Text stories appeared in Bunty comics and annuals besides picture stories and photo stories. Although I wasn’t as big a fan of the text stories in girls’ comics and annuals as the more visual stories due to finding the latter types of stories easier to follow, some text stories in girls’ comic annuals I particularly enjoyed were A Dog for Debbie in the Bunty 1985 annual, Swing High in the Mandy 1990 annual, Just One of the Crowd in the Bunty 2000 annual and Bon Voyage in the Mandy 2000 annual. I thought these stories were very well written and decently paced. I also enjoyed some text stories that were based on 2 of my Bunty picture story favourites – The Comp and The Four Marys – as well as It Happened to Me…, a series of readers’ real life stories that appeared in Bunty annuals in the 2000s.
There are 2 text stories in the Bunty for Girls 1999 annual. Here’s what I thought of them (WARNING: Contains spoilers):
Carly’s Crowd! (page 18)
Spot art by Peter Wilkes
Carly’s Crowd! is a text story serial that is a spin-off of The Comp. It revolves around Carly, the sister of Roz Cummings from The Comp (both Roz and Carly are American, although Carly lives in America with her mum and Roz lives in Redvale with her dad because their parents are divorced at the time the Bunty for Girls 1999 annual was published, although their mum remarries in an instalment of The Comp in the Bunty 2003 annual), and her family and friends stateside.
In this instalment of Carly’s Crowd!, Carly tells readers that the fourth Thursday in November is Thanksgiving in America and she reminisces the previous year’s Thanksgiving. Carly wanted to invite her whole crowd over for Thanksgiving, but Marie Gomez couldn’t come because a lot of her relatives from Mexico City were planning to visit her. Carly’s mum gave Carly and the rest of her crowd the job of defrosting all the food for the Thanksgiving dinner. They thought they had defrosted everything until Carly’s mum told them they forgot to defrost the turkey. Marie then phoned Carly to let her know her relatives from Mexico City couldn’t make it because their flight was cancelled, so she invited Carly and the rest of the crowd to her house for Thanksgiving dinner instead.
Like both instalments of The Comp, this instalment of Carly’s Crowd! has the typical set-up of something seeming to run smoothly at first only for it to go wrong and then it gets resolved. I love the mention of the Jolly Green Giant, the mascot of a well-known brand of vegetables in tins and jars, in this story.
Ben (page 42)
Spot art by Claude Berridge
On the first day of the summer holidays, Katie dreams about floating on her back in a warm, blue sea. Suddenly, her dog Ben wakes her up by licking her face. Katie, her mum and Ben go for a picnic on Redmond Hill, but this is ruined when the rain starts to fall. As Katie, her mum and Ben descend the hill, a landslide begins. As the rocks fall, Ben tries to push Katie out of the way, but she loses her footing and becomes unconscious. In her unconscious state, Katie thinks that Ben is still with her. When Katie comes around, her parents find her, but she can no longer see Ben. Her parents take her to the hospital where the doctor orders her to rest for a day or two, but she is unable to rest because Ben is not at home. Katie and her parents return to Redmond Hill to look for Ben only to find him lying beneath the rocks that had killed him in the landslide. Katie is devastated by Ben’s death because she believes that he had saved her life.
As a dog lover, I find this story very heartbreaking, especially when Ben is killed after having allegedly saved Katie’s life.
Even though each story is only a page long, they were still very well written and as decently paced as some other girls’ comic annual text stories I had read. While Carly’s Crowd has a more light hearted tone, Ben was more tragic in comparison.
Disclaimers: This is not a sponsored blog post. All opinions expressed are my own.
The images used in this blog post belong to D.C. Thomson & Co., Ltd., although I have made my own scans of them.
Links to my other Bunty for Girls 1999 annual blog posts