Mandy (comics)

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First issue of Mandy, 21 January 1967

Mandy was a British comic for girls, published weekly by D. C. Thomson & Co. from 21 January 1967 (#1) to 11 May 1991 (#1,269),[1] with annuals appearing from 1972[2] until 2007.[3]

From 1991 until the 30 December 1995 issue, it was published as a merged comic with Judy. The two then merged with Bunty before ceasing publication completely in 2001.

Mandy's content, like many other girls comics from the time, appeared primarily in picture-story format. The majority of the stories were serialized, with typically 2-3 pages of a particular story appearing in each issue, and most stories lasting for 8-12 instalments. Some recurring theme elements of "Mandy" stories were:

  • orphans forced to live with cruel or uncaring relatives;
  • girls enduring blackmail, hardship, or unpopularity to protect a secret (often on behalf of their family);
  • girls slaving for cruel employers or criminals;
  • Saving animals from cruelty;
  • Cruel factories, shops, boarding schools or workhouses;
  • Heroines adopting masked identities to secretly help people;
  • spiteful girls causing trouble for an unsuspecting cousin, foster-sister or classmate;
  • girls becoming unpopular because events keep conspiring to make them appear jealous or selfish;
  • blundering girls getting into one scrape after another;
  • girls pretending to be disabled in order to take advantage of people;
  • girls who were put under a curse or came into possession of apparently supernatural objects which adversely affected their lives, but of which they were unable to rid themselves until they worked out how;
  • boyfriend-themed stories (by the 1980s).

Stories were generally moralistic in tone, with long-suffering heroines finally achieving happiness, while villainous relatives or girls who were liars, cheats and bullies received their comeuppance.

Two of the longest-running and most popular picture stories, which also featured in almost every annual, were "Angel" and "Valda". "Angel" centred on Angela Hamilton, a young, wealthy Victorian girl who discovers she has only a year to live and decides to devote her remaining time to caring for orphaned and unwanted children in the slums of the East End of London. "Valda" stories are set in many different times and places and follow the adventures of a girl with extraordinary abilities and apparently indefinite lifespan. Valda, who draws her physical strength from energy or light passing through a mysterious 'Crystal of Life' that she carries, travels the world coming to the aid of the oppressed and those threatened by dark or supernatural forces.

Mandy also ran text stories, usually serialized in the same manner as the picture-stories, of which the most popular was "The Guardian Tree". This followed the trials and tribulations of the Shaw family, when the five children are orphaned in Victorian times. The children, under the leadership of the eldest sister, Rose, escape the dreaded poorhouse by living on the moors in a cave beneath the roots of a vast tree they christen the "Guardian Tree", which appears to have mysterious and benevolent powers. The most popular text stories were often reworked and published as picture stories, including "The Guardian Tree" and "The Sad Star."

List of strips[edit]

  • Glenda the Guide - Girl Guide Glenda Gardner's attempts at winning badges always land her in the soup.
  • Skeleton Corner - Spooky stories told a skeleton. Since the storyteller was a skeleton, his stories often had an edge to them, similar to Misty.
  • The Sorrows of Laughing Anne - When Anne Foster unknowingly laughs at a witch, the witch retaliates with a spell that gives Anne a loud, hideous, uncontrollable witch's cackle that gets her into increasing trouble. When it reaches the point where Anne's father decides to send her away, Anne must do something fast to get the spell lifted.
  • Very Important Pupil - Lynne Williams had been the most insignificant pupil at Cramley House Boarding School, until she was caught in the rays of an exploding meteorite!
  • Hockey Hannah
  • The Girls of Knock-Out Academy
  • Friend of the Lonely - Susan Holmes helps lonely people.
  • Father Must Go Free! - Set around 1746 two children help their father find freedom after being arrested by the Redcoats.
  • Jenna on the Run - Jenna the gypsy girl is being trained in athletics by the blind Duchess.
  • No Pity for Paula - Crippled Paula Travis is being forced to beg for her cruel relatives - who are very far from poverty-stricken.
  • Hard Hearted Harriet - Orphaned Harriet Bond is caring for her younger brothers and sisters in Victorian England. She discovers she has only months to live, so she must find homes for her charges. To make them want to leave her, she pretends to be hard and unloving.
  • Who is Judy Parker? - Judy Parker senses that the cruel matron of "the Towers" orphanage, Miss Kent, knows something about her mysterious past. It soon becomes apparent that Judy is facing some kind of danger as well.
  • I Can't Stand my Sister! - Jan and Chris can't stand each other - and now they find they're sisters!
  • The Double Life of Dolly Brown - Victorian girl Dolly Brown is being blackmailed into participating in a fraudulent sideshow.
  • Polly's Perfect Mum - Polly Gordon persuades her slapdash, happy-go-lucky mother to enter a "Perfect Mum" contest, only to regret it. When Mrs Gordon wins, life becomes difficult for the rest of the family as not only is Mrs. Gordon determined to live up to her new title, but she becomes determined to turn them into the "perfect" family.
  • Lucy's Loving Cake - Lucy Davis makes a cake from bewitching flour and whoever eats a slice from it becomes extra "loving" - at least, for a time.
  • The Truth About Wendy - Wendy Ware is to all appearances a sweet-natured, popular girl. However, there is always someone in the background who knows differently. In flashback, the person of the week recounts how they have fallen foul of this sneaky schemer. Wendy has hurt them, used them, blackened their names, in order to get her own way "but who will believe me? Only I know the truth about Wendy" they always conclude bitterly.
  • The Doll of Doom – Debbie Soames receives a doll which can tell the future – the very ominous future.
  • The Guardian Tree – In Victorian times Rose Shaw must take care of her siblings after her parents die of influenza. The nasty workhouse beadle, Matthew Crowe, is eager to snap up the younger Shaws, but the family finds a new home in a cave under what they call “The Guardian Tree.” Naturally, Crowe mustn’t find out.
  • Eyes for Mary – Mary Tremayne is going blind, and is training her dog, Shep, to be her guide. This is unheard of in Victorian times and Mary is meeting strong opposition.
  • Elsie's Elephant - Elsie Carter has a very unusual pet - a baby elephant named Hortense. And wherever Hortense goes, trouble follows!
  • Little Miss Icicle – Joanne Blake loses three loved ones in one week. She vows to freeze her heart into ice so it will never feel such pain again.
  • Lucky – The adventures of Lucky the Cat.
  • The Secret Song of Kate Darby – Kate Darby is searching for her long-lost brother, Ted, and earns her living by playing the accordion while she searches.
  • Simon – Three-year-old Simon is having strange, destructive fits, and Tania is getting the blame for everything he does.
  • Slaves of the Mill – Jane March works in a horrible mill, but does her best to make life easier for the others. But there is a secret in Jane’s past, and once the overseer suspects it, Jane’s life is in danger.
  • Space Dog U2 – Robot dog U2 escapes from a starship during an exploration of Earth. He takes a liking to an earthgirl and ignores the starship orders to return.
  • The Truth About Sandy Starr – Stand-in Sandy Starr arranges the accident of the leading actress in a new film, and takes her place. But now Sandy’s accomplice is blackmailing her, and added to that, she is being harassed by anonymous letters.
  • With Love from Lindy - Lindy Hughes lives with her widowed mother and 4 younger siblings. Money is often tight, so Lindy does a paper route to help out.
  • A Horse for Holly – Holly Reed must win a big race or lose ownership of her horse.
  • “Beware of Beryl!” – Scheming Beryl pretends to lose her memory to get in with a film star.
  • April Fool – Talented scholarship pupil April Matthews is being blackmailed into helping nasty Shirley Kingsley be the star of their stage school – at April’s expense. To ensure April's compliance, wealthy Mr Kingsley is threatening to withdraw the money he invested in April's fathers business, which would cause the family to be unable to afford vital sight-saving operations for April's little sister.
  • A Switch in Time – Kyra from the year 2084 goes to 1884 as part of a school project. But she has an accident and ends up stranded in 1984. How can she get back?
  • Aunts at War! – Jill Marsden finds herself in the middle of a battlefield between her feuding great-aunts.
  • Bad Luck Barbara – The villagers of Wavertree believe newcomer Barbara Petty is connected to the village witch, Grandmother Petty, and has brought a curse of bad luck upon them.
  • Beth and Boy Georgie – Georgie Hope Foster enters a pairs skating competition under a boy’s name with Beth Dawson. This was just for a laugh, but things get complicated when they are forced to carry on the deception when their deception gets them to the next heat.
  • Big Bad Sister! – Jane Walker and her siblings have been fostered, but Jane feels that her talented new foster sister is taking over from her and supplanting her in the affections of her siblings.
  • Bonny and Belinda – identical twins Bonny and Belinda are dismayed when only Bonny is adopted. Bonny smuggles Belinda into the house where they take turns enjoying their new life.
  • Caesar and Cleo – Upon her death, elderly Miss Amelia Weston leaves her big fancy house to her three greedy, unprincipled nieces...on the condition that they continue to provide a home for her devoted maid Cleo Payne and Cleo's dog Caesar. The nieces try to get Cleo to leave of her own accord, but Cleo is determined to stay for Caesar's sake, as he is the only friend she has in the world.
  • Carol's Cauldron - Carol Carter inherits a cauldron from an old woman who was said to be a witch, and soon discovers that the cauldron causes strange things to happen whenever anything is put inside it.
  • Carrie Chase, Girl Reporter! - In Victorian England, Carrie Chase is a junior reporter for the Daily Clarion, and will do ANYTHING to get a story.
  • Copy Kate! – Kate Thomas feels that everybody except her has something they are good at. She starts copying more successful people - with hilarious results.
  • The Courage of Honour Bright – Honor Bright falls foul of Aunt Betsy, a female Fagin. Aunt Betsy wants to turn Honor into a criminal, but Honor is determined to defend her honour to the last.
  • The Double Life of Julie-Ellen – Julie-Ellen Jones can’t decide between two boys so she pretends to be twins to date them both. Chaos ensues as Julie-Ellen tries to keep up her double life.
  • The Homecoming – Janey Wellson returns to her real family after learning she had been stolen from them as a baby. But the adopted son, Richard, resents her and is determined to cause trouble for Janey.
  • The Singing Hinneys - The 4 Hinney siblings - Helen, Ben, Sandy and Susie - make a living by travelling around the country in Bessie, their minivan, and performing as a pop group. Helen, Ben and Sandy do the singing, while Susie handles the finances (whenever they get any money) and acts as band manager.
  • Late Kate - She's always late for something.
  • Little Horror! – Dianne Moore has fallen for Paul Peters, and in order to get him to notice her, she concentrates on his little brother Terry. But Terry is a horror, and his tricks always get Dianne into trouble.
  • Mary’s Moneybank – Mary Lyall is a spendthrift until she is given a manikin moneybank which seems to have a weird effect on her whenever she puts money into it.
  • Meg Among the Slaves – Meg Jackson is an apprentice seamstress at Hamble’s. While Hamble is away, the manager and his sister, the Joneses, ill-treat the apprentices, especially Meg. Meg runs away, but comes back when she learns that the Joneses are cheating Mr Hamble. Can she unmask them?
  • Melinda, You're a Marvel - Tilly Parkin works for Comet Cosmetics, a vast cosmetics firm owned by her aunt. Tilly has been given the job of travelling the globe and checking on the firm's international agencies accompanied by her aunt's personal assistant Melinda - a woman who appears to be capable of ANYTHING.
  • Mighty Minnie - Minnie Biggs is a tennis ace who supports herself and her grandfather by travelling the country on her bike and competing in competitions for money.
  • Mona's Monkey - Mona Harding helps her parents run their farm with the help of her mischievous pet monkey Tiko.
  • My Dad Next Door – Karen Walton pretends the dashing next-door neighbour is her father because she thinks her own is boring.
  • Perri – Rosanna Lee’s father gives up the gipsy life and becomes a farmhand. But Rosanna finds herself bullied at school and her only friend is a fawn called Perri. But Perri has to be kept hidden.
  • Secret Star! – when pop star Jeff Collins loses his voice, his twin sister Jodie agrees to secretly take his place until he recovers.
  • Shed No Tears for Tammy – Cindy Brown learns that her friend Tammy North has a fatal illness.
  • Sleeping Beauty from the Stars – Banished to the penal Planet Peutridd because of her mischievous ways, an alien beauty queen instead lands on Earth, and is awakened from deep sleep by a kiss. She becomes a model, “Stella Saturn”, but danger looms when her home planet, Xerox, discovers her whereabouts.
  • That Bad Bettina! – The Carrs foster Bettina Dickson, who was once accused of shoplifting. But their daughter, Susie, resents Bettina and is trying to get rid of her – even going as far as to start a fire in her own bedroom.
  • The Many Faces of Moppet – Janette Johnson rescues a doll. The doll puts on many faces, each one affecting Janette’s moods, and getting her into trouble.
  • The Posy Princess – Jill Bailey is treated like a servant by her relatives. She enters a competition to win a trip to New Zealand, and find her Aunt Kate. But her nasty cousin Marilyn is in the contest as well, and will do anything to make sure Jill doesn’t win.
  • The Tribe at Number Ten – Carol Rogers vows not to let her widowed mother get too involved with a widower and his five children.
  • The Truth About Mum – When Mrs Morris returns home after an accident, she starts telling tall tales, then losing the memory of them. Her daughter Lucy covers up for her because she does not want to be separated from her mother again – but this causes problems for Lucy.
  • Too Many Mums! - Julia Casson has a problem with her mother, stepmother and Aunt Joyce.
  • Topsy Turvey – Topsy Turvey is sent an aborigine witch doctor’s pendant, and finds that the pendant can turn upside-down the personality of anyone else who looked at it e.g. make a lying cheat tell the truth.
  • Very Important Person! – Jill Jordan takes second place to her sister Mandy. Then a great aunt dies, and leaves a fortune – but with the stipulation that any expenditure be approved by Jill. Now the family treats Jill like a VIP - but there is scheming afoot.
  • Wedding of the Week – Kay Harper runs a feature, “Wedding of the Week” for the local newspaper.
  • Daughter of the House - When Sharon Welch's parents die, she finds there has been a mix up at the hospital, and now comes to live with her real parents, the Gowers. However, Janice Gower, the other mixed up baby, is convinced Sharon is trying to push her out.
  • Roll-along Roma - the story of a roller skater.
  • The Whispering Shell - Dawn Fenton finds a mysterious sea shell that whispers messages in rhyme to her.
  • A Home for Helen - Helen Grant is staying with her grandmother after her parents are killed.
  • Cat! - A cat exerts an evil influence over Livvie Clarke.
  • Frankie from the Film - Is a screen figure actually coming to life?
  • Malice in Wonderland - an amusement park turns into a nightmare for Becky Shaw.
  • My Cousin Quacker - a witch turns Kate into a duck in retaliation for an insult. High jinks ensue as Cousin Sally and her friend track down the witch to remove the spell.
  • Pam of Pet Parade - Pam Bruce is keeping animals in secret to save them from being put down.
  • Rita - Rita Barraclough is determined to break a record at any cost.
  • Selfish Susan - Susan Smith has been temporarily deaf after an illness. When her hearing returns, she keeps it a secret so as to continue getting preferential treatment.
  • Sharing Starlight - Cousins Patti Mills and Sarah Blake inherit a pony, Starlight. Unfortunately the cousins hate each other due to a family feud, and poor Starlight is caught in the middle.
  • Sisters in Secret - Jackie Munroe and Alison Brown are half-sisters, but the trouble is, their mothers hate each other.
  • They Must Stay Together - Debbie Smith is trying to save her friend's family from separating.
  • A Switch in Time... - a magic sundial causes a girl from 1891 and a girl from 1991 to switch places.
  • Baker's Dozen - Louise Baker has to protect her puppies from horrible relatives.
  • Behind the Green Door - Maidservant Emily Dove is hiding her siblings in her attic bedroom to save them from a horrible orphanage.
  • Copycat! - Chrissie is such a copycat.
  • Diary of Despair - Karen Kemp is on a campaign of revenge against the bullying pupils and teachers who made her sister's life a misery.
  • Door to Yesterday - Timetravel to 1967.
  • Fran's Four Friends - What's going to happen to the horses if the stables close down?
  • Ghost Writer - Tina Baxter is hopeless at writing until she acquires a strange typewriter.
  • The Girls of 3C - flashbacks of school days at Millmead School Reunion.
  • The Girl Who Hated Horses! - Why does Tracey Perls have a problem with horses?
  • Hannah and Herbie - Amnesic Hannah is trying to find her past.
  • Johnnie Who? - Jonnie is really Princess Jonquil - the Sleeping Beauty!
  • The Jinx - anything nasty written in a book called "the Jinx" comes true.
  • Lady Lucy - Lucy Lamford is determined not to be turned into a lady and starts leading a double life.
  • Lonely - Anna Jackson is looking after badgers.
  • Mary's Mini Mum - an accident with a chemical formula makes Mrs Myers shrink whenever she gets hot.
  • The Mask - Dorinda Lacey has to wear a mask because her face is so ugly - or so her guardians claim.
  • My Mum - My Chum! - Becky Brown is trying to snap her mother out of depression after her husband leaves.
  • Nola Knows - Problems occur when Nola Handley's powers of precognition develop.
  • Our Baby Brother - problems with a newborn brother and his jealous sister.
  • The Rescuer - Vikki Brantwood is trying to make amends for neglecting her pony by rescuing others.
  • Rosa's New Friend - there is something strange about Rosa Mason's new friend who appears to be her guardian angel.
  • Sarah's Secret - Sarah Roberts is determined to be fostered all by herself - by fair means or foul.
  • Sorry, Sue - After mistreating foster-girl Sue Grant, Janie Clarke now regrets her actions, but she cannot convince Sue of her good faith - especially since her efforts always end in disaster.
  • Strange Neighbours - Tracy Wilson is puzzled with her neighbours.
  • Summer of Fear - Is Treetops Boarding School haunted?
  • Tessa Goes to Town - Tessa Mercer's separated parents have her alternating between town and country.
  • Us - Plus Boys! - Best friends are drifting apart.
  • Wendy Out West - Ranch life in America.
  • What Lila Wants... - is to get rid of her cousin, Sarah Peterson.
  • Between Friends - Best friends fancy the same boy and each is finding it difficult to break the news to the other.
  • Classmates - the life of pupils at Tower Hill Comp.
  • Cuddles - the adventures of a teddy called Cuddles.
  • Cutting Edge - Amy Jackson is trying to get Cheryl Boyd sacked from the hair salon.
  • Double Take - Toni Dayley thinks that everything that happens to her is also happening to the Baileys.
  • Fast Fido - a computer dog comes to life!
  • Hands Off! - A crusade to save the Youth Club.
  • Happiness House - Laura Willoughby is determined to find out why Happiness House has become a jinxed cottage.
  • Home, Sweet Home - Claire Maxwell is caught in the middle of her separated parents.
  • I Hate Boys! - Maria Atwell is annoyed her younger brothers are allowed more privileges than her.
  • Neil Next Door - Lisa Norton becomes bored with her boyfriend after he becomes the boy next door.
  • Nurses - the saga of first-year nurses.
  • Sara's Secret Garden - Sara Stanford can't handle living with a noisy family, until she finds a neglected garden.
  • Second Hand Sal - Sal Edwards has to keep the fact that her mother is now running a used clothes stall secret from her friends.
  • Stage School - Nicky Carr is accepted into an exclusive stage school, but is peeved that conceited Gavin Mellor has been accepted as well.
  • Taking Tara's Place - strange things start happening when Beth Maynard is fostered in the wake of the death of Tara.
  • Terry's Troll - Terry Clarke and her friendly, cheeky troll.
  • Two Plus One - Katy is Dave's girlfriend, but then she meets Tony.
  • All Change! - Twins Lucy and Lisa Clayton have their lives turned upside-down when their parents split.
  • Deceived! - Diane Carlton makes the cardinal error of getting involved with her best friend Amy Davis’ boyfriend, Gary. Diane is now caught in a horrible two-timing trap. Can she find a way out of this mess before it destroys her friendship with Amy?
  • I Hate You! - Unhappy at her new boarding school, Gail Jenkins writes to her parents begging them to return from abroad. A plane crash leaves Dad dead and Mum comatose. Gail blames herself because of the letter and her sister Sue turns against her for the same reason. The rift between the sisters becomes ever-wider as Gail’s attempts to mend their relationship invariably go wrong.
  • I Want Him Back – Zoe Elder is determined to get her boyfriend back (completely ignoring the fact that he dumped her because of her horrible attitude) – and her methods are not very honourable.
  • Revenge! - Alison blames her sister Emma for her injured leg because Emma innocently asked Alison to switch places with her in the car moments before it crashed. So Alison secretly causes trouble for Emma.
  • Rhona’s Rescue – Rhona Anderson sets up a rescue for sick animals.
  • The Girl for Gareth – Michelle Taylor is trying to match her brother Gareth up with the perfect girl – but the perfect girl is proving elusive.
  • The Lonely Pony – Cath Watson’s horse Brantub shares a paddock with Camilla Baxter-Smythe’s pony Desert Sands. Unfortunately Cath can’t stand Camilla because she is such a snob – but things can change.
  • Toni’s Troubles – Mum suddenly returns after walking out years before. However her daughter Toni, who has been raising the family since Mum’s departure, is secretly trying to get rid of Mum because she is convinced that Mum is up to something.
  • Mystery Boy – Jo Evans and Carol Smart set out to unravel the mystery of new boy John Smith (which may not even be his real name)
  • Be Nice to Nikki - Yvonne Baxter is under strict instructions from her father to be "nice" to his employer's daughter. However the girl is a vicious bully, so being "nice" to her is a nightmare. But Yvonne's father won't listen.
  • Eye Spy Trouble - a girl fakes blindness while causing trouble for her cousin.
  • Here to Stay - A nightmare begins for the Walkers when visiting relatives come to stay. The visitors are soon taking over the house and coming up with devious ways to prolong their stay.
  • He's Not For You! - Martin's snobby sister disapproves of his girlfriend and tries to split them up. She even goes as far as having the family swimming pool wrecked and blaming the girl.
  • It's a Dog's Life - Lisa Thornley is being blackmailed by nasty Vera Gibson, who is threatening to put her dog in the pound.
  • Let Me Be! - Gaynor Wood is caught in the middle of squabbling grandparents.
  • Pine Tree Grove - the story of a TV soap.
  • Soap Suds - Sally Gibson is exasperated with her relatives who copy everything they see on a TV soap to ridiculous lengths.
  • Whodunnit? - Actors in a detective theatrical drama become real detectives after someone wrecks the props.
  • Angel - Victorian lady Angela Hamilton has only a year to live. After faking a drowning accident to spare her parents the grief of watching her die slowly, Angela goes to London to dedicate her remaining time to helping the poor waifs of London as the benefactress "Miss Angel." When Angel finally succumbs to her illness, her parents, who have discovered the truth, set up a children's home in her "loving memory.
  • Everyone's Perfect Mum - Kay Maxwell, star of TV soap "Garden Square", is the most popular personality in Britain as "everyone's perfect mum." Only her cruelly-treated stepdaughter knows what Kay is like in real life.
  • Hateful Hattie - Hattie Taylor is despised by the other girls of a cruel orphanage because she curries favour with the staff to get preferential treatment. They are unaware that it is Hattie's cover for her other persona - "The Angel Ghost," a mysterious benefactor who helps alleviate their hard life.
  • The Jealousy of Jemma - Julie believes she is being terrorised by the spirit of her twin sister, Jemma.
  • Picture-Book Polly - Polly is an avid reader of the girls' comic "Candy". Polly's attempts to copy the antics of the characters in Candy always ends in disaster, but she finally learns it is better to be herself.
  • Terry and her Trike - Terry Ward has a bicycle of her own - an old-fashioned trike.
  • The Quiet One - Danni is a vicious bully, but pretends to be nice and shy while bullying in secret.
  • They Call it Aggro-batics! - The Cluffs and the Martins are feuding families. The daughters from each family are compelled to work with each other at their acrobatics class - then find they work well together. But can they work equally well to end the family feud?
  • Valda - Valda is a mystery super-girl whose Crystal of Life gives her eternal life and strength. Valda uses her powers to come to the aid of others.
  • Wendy's Web - Carol is determined to help her friends, who are being blackmailed (with false information) by Wendy Allen.
  • Who Hates Steve? - Nicola is investigating who is playing tricks on her boyfriend, Steve.
  • Collector Katie - She's always collecting something.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mandy (26pigs.com)
  2. ^ Mandy: bibliography (26pigs.com)
  3. ^ Mandy (BritishComics.com)

External links[edit]