On this day, 13 February 1971: Sally
On this day 13 February 1971 … Last week’s Monday blog featured the first issue of Tammy, considered by many to be the British comic that pioneered a new sensibility of realism, relatable characters and more complex storylines. This week’s Sally, published alongside issue two of Tammy, is a good example of the sort of girls’ comic that Tammy was to replace (in fact, Sally was merged into Tammy at the end of March, suggesting that the new wave was rolling in at great pace).
I haven’t featured Sally on the blog before, simply because copies are hard to track down, and consequently those few that appear on eBay are priced high. It was launched in June 1969 and ran for just twenty-one months. I’m no expert on typography but that title logo has quite a 1960s look about it, and the tone of the comic gives the feel of one published a few years later than it should have been. However, like so many of the boys’ comics of this era – I’m thinking of you, Jet, Lion and Thunder – it’s fun to read so long as one is looking for quaint curiosity rather than engaging characters and plots. Oh, and Farm Boss Fanny will never stop making me snigger.
Cover story Maisie’s Magic Eye, drawn by the wonderful Robert McGillivray, was a fun story about a schoolgirl whose brooch turned the spoken commands of anyone within hearing range into reality, and plenty of the comic’s other strips – including the aforementioned Fanny, Sheila’s Skeelers, A Sister for Five Brothers and Mad Hatter’s Castle – were drama with a light-hearted tone that often strayed into slapstick. Sally’s cover caption announced that she was ‘The comic that is famous for exciting picture-stories’, a claim backed up by a number of stories with imaginative set-ups: My Best Friend’s a Cave Girl, The Ghost Hunters (spooky sci-fi with a Nancy Drew flavour, and a rare example of Shirley Bellwood’s stip work), Sara’s Kingdom (British schoolgirl is trialled to become queen of a Himalayan state), The Cat Girl (making feline leaps across urban Britain many years before The Leopard from Lime Street), Broken-hearted Rebel (gun-totin’ girls of the Wild West), High Dive Hazel (adventures of a swimming ace – I believe (thanks to Phil Rushton on the Comics UK forum) that this is a reprint of a 1960s June strip originally called Pat of the Dolphins, also drawn by Robert McGillivray), and Dinah and Harry (sleuthing pals).