Preview: ‘Tammy & Jinty Remixed’ -Bringing The Best Of The Past Right Up To Date…
by Richard Bruton
Bringing you two years’ worth of great stories from the Tammy & Jinty Specials, all collected into this one great volume – where the spirit of the comics of the past is remixed into something forward-thinking and perfect for a new generation of comics readers.
Are you ready for the REMIX?
Because that’s what this collection of the two Tammy & Jinty Specials, published by the Treasury of British Comics in 2019 and 2020, is giving you.
Bringing the very best from the spirit of another time in comics, Tammy & Jinty Remixed gives you a mix of completely new strips and reboots of some classics from days gone by – all featuring some of the best female talents, new talents, and some familiar names to those of you who like your Brit comics.
Of course, the roots of this come from two of Britain’s best-loved girl’s comics in the 1970s and ’80s, Tammy and Jinty, two separate comics that led the way amongst a crowded field of Brit comics more geared towards girls, somewhere that fostered some great storytelling and even better artwork. With Rebellion’s acquisition of the huge comic archive making up the Treasury of British Comics, we’ve been seeing some classic reprints of the sorts of incredible strips of old, including Bella at the Bar, Fran of the Floods, Concrete Surfer, Sugar Jones, the Jinty collection, not to mention a host of material from girls’ mystery and supernatural comic, Misty.
But part of the remit of the Treasury is to bring back these classic characters for today, which is why you’ll see familiar names such as Bella at the Bar given a great new spin here, along with lesser-known old strips brought bang up to date by some top new talent, such as the new version of Cat Girl that closes this collection.
Additionally, you’ll find most of the material in this collection is all-new, strips evoking the spirit and tone of the comics of old, yet still giving a new generation of readers something to love.
Gone are the days of comics marketed as girls comics and boys comics, now we’re looking at comics for everyone – and this Tammy & Jinty Remixed is just that, a tribute to all that went before whilst also looking to the future of comics for all!
Below, I’ll give you the preview pages of each, but lets just pull out a trio of absolute favourites from a really strong collection… a couple of reboots and a brilliant brand-new strip…
BELLA AT THE BAR – Rachael Ball & Vanessa Cardinali, letters by Jim Campbell
This was perhaps the one that was really going to cause people to get in a tizzy… a classic from days gone by given a rather radical new look.
Bella’s adventures were probably the best known of all the girl’s comic strips and much loved for the incredible artwork of John Armstrong… it looked a little like this…
So, the decision to reboot it with such a radically different artistic style was always going to be a bold move. BUT… it’s a really bold move that worked, completely and totally, with Vanessa Cardinali’s art truly capturing all the kinetic spirit and graceful movement of the original.
But it’s also got that wonderful sense of something more modern, perhaps the very epitome of the idea of the remix that this Tammy & Jinty Remixed is all about.
And that remix nature is all the way through this, not just in Cardinali’s art but in the wonderful little tale from Rachael Ball, where it’s no longer all beautiful ballet but a modern mix of street dance and gymnastics through in as well, but still retaining the essence of what made Bella so wonderful in the first place.
It’s a wonderful update, completely respectful, something that captures the mood and the idea of what it was that made this such a beloved thing in the first place, in the hands of the original writer and artist Jenny McDade and John Armstrong, yet turns in a strip that perfectly updates it for today, perfect for a modern audience.
THE ENIGMA VARIATION – Grainne McEntee & DaNi, letters by Jim Campbell
Now for something completely new, looking totally different from anything else in here, with DaNi’s work presented in start black, white, and red, a really striking, wonderfully effective look.
And again, it’s a very modern version of the sort of school kid goes on an adventure strip that was all the range back in the original Tammy and Jinty comics.
Here though, it’s all tied into an acknowledgment of the incredible work carried out by women during WWII, as McEntree and DaNi weave a fantastical tale of kids going on a school trip to Bletchley Park and ending up time-traveling.
A magnificent little tale, a perfectly done story and panel after panel, page after page of DaNi’s amazing artwork to be enjoyed.
CAT GIRL, by RAMZEE and Elkys Nova, colours by Pippa Bowland, letters by Simon Bowland.
Finally, for the trio of stand-outs, we have the updating of Cat Girl, another old favourite from the pages of Sally.
But here, RAMZEE and Elkys Nova take the whole idea of Cat Girl and completely update it, making their new heroine the biracial daughter of the original hero, who discovers her mom’s old costume and wears it as fancy dress to a social media star’s party, only to discover that the costume is a magical artefact, giving her the powers of Cat-Girl!
It’s yet another wonderfully done thing, with RAMZEE’s decision to add some much-needed diversity – the tales in Tammy and Jinty were unrelentingly white things – just something that works simply and easily, yet also opens the strip up, showing a whole new generation of kids that there are heroes in the comics that look like them as well.
It’s a strip that’s a really well-done update of one of those classic girls strips of old, one that keeps the sense of fun of the original, all the sense of adventure, and yet brings it right up to date, giving it relevance and inclusion, just as it should.
Tammy & Jinty Remixed is released on 10th June. It’s well worth getting, for you, for your kids, for anyone with any interest in seeing the potential of Brit comics.
Now, previewing the rest of what is an incredibly strong collection…
ROCKY OF THE ROVERS – Rob Williams & Lisa Henke, colors by John Charles, letters by Jim Campbell
Rocky is already a star from Roy of the Rovers, young Roy Race’s way more talented sister, but seeing her here, getting one of her first solo outings was a perfect thing. Expect much more from Rocky in the forthcoming graphic novels and prose novels, where she’s increasingly becoming a star.
Here, she’s drawn to perfection by Lisa Henke, whose art has a wonderful kinetic nature about it, almost going to the abstract at times in a beautiful, stylish, and visually stunning way of showing us all that football action.
SPEED DEMONS – Sarah Millman, letters by Jim Campbell
There were always sports stories back in the old girls’ comics, but they tended to reflect what was considered appropriate at the time – so you got lots of ballet and horse-riding. Today, it’s so different, and that’s reflected perfectly here in Millman’s story of roller derby, adding in just that little bit of the supernatural – after all, a team that calls itself the Speed Demons is the perfect roller derby crew to get a little demonic assistance.
DUCKFACE – Rachael Smith & Yishan Li, letters by Jim Campbell
Smith and Li have two great strips here, both of them perfectly taking the classic spirit of the comics of old and switching it up for the now.
First, there’s this classic tale of teenage conflict, popularity, the trouble of not fitting in, and how to accept yourself. Outsider Lottie discovers she has a powerful ability through her writing – something that allows her to take out all her frustrations on the mean girl at school. But, in making the bad girl suffer, Lottie finds out so much about herself and learns that there are so many reasons for people being the way they are and that sometimes all it takes is to see things from a different perspective.
BOARDING SCHOOL, by Rachael Smith and Yishan Li, colours by Pippa Bowland, letters by Jim Campbell
Boarding School is a way longer tale, with Smith and Li going the route of a period tale, a classic mysterious old school, complete with its quartet of Governesses, all there to look after brother and sister, Tabatha and Richard, the sole pupils in this strange boarding school. But why do they treat Tabitha so badly whilst celebrating everything Richard does?
And just what on Earth is going on with these special powers Richard starts manifesting? And just what’s the connection with the strange new children that Tabitha discovers? It’s a wonderful adventure that sees both Smith and Li get the strangeness just right.
IN THE COLD DARK – Matt Gibbs & V.V. Glass, letters by Mike Stock
This one could have gone very, very dark, as an archaeological dig brings something old and dangerous into the modern world.
But instead, thanks to a lightness in both storytelling and, especially, in Glass’ artwork, that potential darkness is a perfect contrast to something that gives us just a little horror, a fines little adventure, and a dash of neatly worked in comedy.
MAISIE’S MAGIC EYE – Kate Ashwin & Kel McDonald, letters by Mike Stock
Here’s another one of the strips that reboot an old favourite, where young Maisie managed (as was the way in those comics of old) to get hold of a supernatural bit of jewelry… no explanation of the why, just accept that it happened. Here, in this remixed reboot, Ashwin and McDonald take all the strange absurdity that we often saw in these older strips and just run with it, riffing so well off each other.
And it’s another one of those that get straight to the heart of what the old comics were about, with this new version successfully updating the idea but never forgetting that the ideas of friendship and standing up to the bullies in the right way, is a message that all children need to read about in great comics such as this.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION – Andy W. Clift, letters by Mike Stock
Very much something that takes the spirit of old and blasts it into a very different setting, with Andy Clift’s artwork just popping off the page, all sci-fi fun and dayglo bright colours.
And it is a hell of a lot of fun, with Val Vox discovering a strange artefact giving her amazing powers and abilities, abilities she’s going to need to use very soon to battle ‘The Overlord’ – bullies come in all shapes and sizes, after all.
JUSTINE: MESSENGER OF JUSTICE – Emma Beeby & PJ Holden, colors by Dearbhla Kelly, letters by Jim Campbell
Another weird and wonderful character and concept given the modern update by Beeby and Holden, two very familiar names to those reading 2000 AD, where they take Justine, first seen in Sally comic in the late’ 60s, and give her a modern spin, a great adventure, and a few laughs along the way.
A chance encounter with the Goddess Athena turns Justine’s life upside down, gives her a magical mirror, winged sandals, and the crown of Hermes. But all these weird new experiences mean she still can’t find a good date, especially when her latest date turns out to be a Minotaur – and where’s the best place to deal with a Minotaur? Yes, that’s right, in a labyrinth… and in these modern times, there’s no better labyrinth than Ikea.
You see what I mean about this one raising a few smiles?