Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Issue Of Princess Tina - 1970

I own, even after seven years of collecting, just one girl's comic, a solitary issue of Princess Tina from 6th August 1970. In fact, until the other day, I had never even read it, it has sat in my 'to read' pile for over two years now, probably because the idea of a "girl's comic" didn't appeal to me.

The first strip inside was The Happy Days, a comic strip written in the style of a diary of a young girl called Sue Day. The writing is very strong on this strip, the author has done an excellent job of giving it a child's voice in the captions using techniques such as listing (in the first caption), and the artwork is very solid too. The artist is Andrew Wilson and unfortunately the writer's name  will probably never be known.

Hugh McNeill, a well known D.C Thomson artist, had a two-pager in Princess Tina called The Trolls. It is about, obviously, trolls, who always annoy the owners of the garden they live in. The weekly strip is a promotional piece for the trolls toys (you know the ones - with the long colourful hair), and it must be said that this is amongst the better advertisement strips I've ever seen. 

There was one other humour strip in the comic - Willy the Wily Wolf. A funny one-pager about a wolf who, this week, is trying to impress a lady. I don't know who the artist for this page was.

There were five pages that used full-colour in this comic, the front and back covers, the center spread and page 25. The centre spread was given to a photo of two Princess Tina readers wearing trendy gear, and a how brave are you quiz, so the only comic strip to recieve the full-colour treatment was Vicky in Australia. This is a reprint from Girl, in which Vicky used to travel the world in various adventures. Although not credited in Princess Tina, both the writer and artist are named in Girl - the story is by Betty Roland and the artist is Dudley Pout.

That just about sums up this look at Princess Tina. Princess Tina is actually two comics not one, for it is made up of Princess and Tina, for when Tina comic folded it merged into Princess and instead of becoming Princess and Tina they decided to name it Princess Tina.

I'll wrap up this post with the fantastic looking advertisement on the back page, for the Super Mousse chocolate bar.


Kid said...

Seeing that Trolls story reminded me that I used to letter the Trolls comic in the '90s when the craze for them enjoyed a revival for a while. Princess Tina actually looks like a very well produced periodical.

George Shiers said...

It is a very high quality comic, printed on good paper too.

Michel Couzijn said...

I have fond memories of 'Tina', as the weekly periodical was called in The Netherlands. My older sister had a subscription back in 1968, when she was 13 and I was all of 4 years old. When the mailman brought the Tina at about 10.30 in the morning, my sis had gone to school and I was the first to thumb trough the magazine. I couldn't read yet, but during the morning coffee break my mum used to read The Trolls to me and I learned to read in this way. She taught me the alphabet and I really, really wanted to be able to read the Tina by myself so I had a great motivation to learn to read.

As a 4, and later 5 year old I didn't really notice that all the hero's (or rather heroines) in Tina were girls. They were just the main characters, and I liked their adventures. I liked Sue Day, the girl-next-door character by whom I got to know something about British society and how it differed from Dutch society; I liked Vicky, who introduced me to Australia; I liked the romantic mystery comic Laura, complete with 18th century castles and candlelight; I liked Patty's World (called 'Peggy' in my country), a VERY long running comic by the Spanish artist Purita Campos, who illustrated many Princess Tina covers; I liked 'secret agent' Jane Bond, a female James Bond spin-off; I liked 'The Space Girls', drawn in a somewhat similar colourful style like Don Lawrence and his 'Trigan Empire' (in a boy's magazine).

In sum, '(Princess) Tina' was my introduction to reading, to comics, and to various parts of the world. It got my attention for several years, until my sister stopped her subscription. And as a boy, I of course didn't dare ask her to renew it...

P.S. The writer of the 'Happy Days' comic was Jenny Butterworth. I don't know whether she is/was related to Mike Butterworth, the renowned co-writer of Don Lawrence's comics.