Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Girlie Magazines

They used to come from Ireland - Jackies and Mandies, sent to us by our indefatigable grandfather from Sandycove. His gloriously crabbed writing addressed the envelope to my sister and me. He was also not above adding sly commentary on the magazines themselves. One particularly dreadful cover of David Essex, shown swimming with red-rimmed eyes, bore the words, "Old Nyuck."
Sweet shirt, and I just may have rocked this hairdo 

The Mandies were filled with stories of girls who had wonderful talents - they were dancers, singers, actors - and all of them lost their parents and had to go and live with dreadful stepparents who mistreated them shamefully. Or they had a way with animals that defied explanation. And there were the Valda series. Valda was a girl who was very mysterious. She needed light to refresh herself from time to time, and her heartbeat was very, very slow. 

All of the stories were told in beautifully drawn detail. Some of them were silly, but they held us in thrall.

Jackies were another breed altogether. The history of Jackie magazine is funny - it purported to be a cutting edge fashion mag for teens, and for a while it was the rage in the UK. It had posters in the center of every issue, of David Bowie and the Mael Brothers, of Gary Glitter and, yes, David Essex. There were gossip columns about the stars of Poldark and Doctor Who.
The Amazing Valda!!!!!!

It also featured stories done as comics, but they were romance, of course. Some of them were humorous, and some were dolefully sad ("He Left Me for my Best Friend" etc etc)

Later, an editor for Jackie admitted that the magazine was developed and written in  a far corner of England, not on Fleet Street. The issues were mailed to London, to seem more cosmopolitan. 
Stuff like this was always happening to Mandy. She was a crab magnet.

Alas, I suppose hiring artists to illustrate stories became too expensive. The comics were replaced by dreadful Photo Stories, featuring spotty youths which made the whole thing seem a bit ridiculous. Jackie died out soon after that.

My sister still has a huge pile of Mandy annuals that she has promised to lend to my daughter. I only hope she can get the same enjoyment we derived from reading them every week.

If you didn't enter my huge giveaway yet, you can sign up for it here.


Unknown said...

Oh I have them, back to 1972, plus some Jackie annuals. Remind me to bring them with me on our next soujourn.

Johanna Garth said...

Those are so uber-cool. The decorator in me wants you to blow up some of the drawings and make a framed collage style arrangement in your daughter's room...you know...in your spare time. ;)