On this day, 3 June 1978: Jinty
On this day, 3 June 1978 … Back in January I looked at an issue of Jinty that featured the first episode of Concrete Surfer, the story of Jean, daughter of parents who emigrated to Australia but sent her home to live with her mother’s sister when money became tight, and her sporting skateboard rivalry with perfect cousin Carol. I thought it seemed like quite a cool story – streetwise, a relatable lead character in Jean, and written by Pat Mills who gives it that little extra dash of grit. So the cover of this issue of Jinty caught my eye, and I was pleased to discover the penultimate episode of Concrete Surfer in which Jean’s parents turn up unexpectedly, and Jean takes on Carol in the final of a freestyling skateboard competition. Jean’s thoughts as the bitter rivalry cranks up to 11 are good fun to read, and the episode is even given its own soundtrack as Carol performs to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ and Jean spins the wheels to the Star Wars theme.
In February I reviewed another issue of Jinty, this one from 1979, which contained the final episode of the tragic saga Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the story of two orphans travelling across country on their own just after the end of the Second World War. Today’s Jinty features a critical episode from the start of the story in which Dorrie and Max, having just learned that their father was killed at war, lose their mother in a car accident.
The theme of childhood displacement continues in several other stories this issue. In Knight and Day, Pat – originally fostered – is made to return to live with her cruel biological mother and bullying step-sister. Clancy on Trial sees wheelchair-bound Clancy move to stay in a posh house with her cousin and a grandfather who challenges her to walk again. And Slave of the Swan tells the story of talented ballerina Katrina held prisoner by the former ballet star whose career was ended by an injury caused by Katrina’s mum.