Story File: Snobby Shirl the Shoeshine Girl!
‘Shirley Lomax was a snob. She went to a snob school and had fine snob manners.’ So began the tale of Snobby Shirl, the Shoeshine Girl!, attractively drawn by the talented Jose Casanovas. Shirley was indeed a snob, friendless but comfortably ensconced in the mansion of her ‘embarrassing’ New Money father – a self-made cockney with plenty of dosh and staff, but none of his daughter’s airs and graces. Fed up with her toffee-nosed arrogance, Mr Lomax kicked Shirley out on to the streets with nothing but a straw hat and a box of shoeshine tools, so that she might learn to make her own fortune – as had he – polishing footwear.
Shirley has various slapsticky ups and downs in this thirteen-part Jinty and Lindy tale, accompanied by new-found poor pal Alice, although most of her successes seemed to come by playing on her high breeding (for example, setting herself up as a well-spoken guide for tourists visiting stately homes). By chance, Shirley and Alice end up in the employ and palace of rich Sheik Ababa, polishing shoes surrounded by exotically-dressed members of his harem. Impressed by his daughter’s apparent achievement – in actuality, a swapping of one phoney snobbery for another – Pa Lomax allows Shirley back home, but she her experiences have given her a taste for enterprise and it is not long before she hits the streets once more, shoeshine box in hand.