On this day, 22 September 1979: Jackpot
On this day, 22 September 1979 … That Angel off of Angel’s ‘Proper’ Charlies, eh? I think she qualifies as one of the most devious characters in humour comics. Are we supposed to be on her side or not? I guess opinion will be divided, but you have to admire her brass. Angel’s ‘Proper’ Charlies was one of the highlights of Jackpot, always fun to read and quite an original idea in a genre dominated by formulaic strips. Each episode, Angel would be out and about, grumbling about some chore she had to complete, and would encounter her three Charlies – hopeless romantics of the stoogiest kind. ‘I wonder …’ she would think to herself, before fooling the love-heart besotted young gents into somehow doing her tasks for her.
As well as this being an atypical morality – sneakiness is rewarded, and the ‘good’ (if hopelessly naïve) guys suffer – the story is fairly unusual for comics of the time in that it acknowledges boys and girls fancying each other (or not). I can think of only a handful of other instances in IPC humour comics – Horace and Doris in Whizzer and Chips, Louise in Cheeky, and School Belle in School Fun and Buster – and in all these stories the fun is to be found in unrequited love. There must be an example or two of an actual young boyfriend/girlfriend relationship in a comic from the seventies or eighties, but I can’t think of one right now. Unless we count the original sinners, Little Adam and Eva – another of Jackpot’s unlikely but fascinating strips.