In Praise Of… Comic Artist Giorgio Giorgetti, creator of “Cat Girl”

Sally - cover dated 9th May 1970
Comics artist and archivist Lew Stringer has just posted a smashing item on his Blimey! blog  about “Cat Girl, drawn and co-created by Giorgio Giorgetti (writer unknown), a strip that first appeared in Sally, and later Tammy.

The strip was published five years before the first appearance of “The Leopard of Lime Street” in Buster (and two years after the first appearance of “Billy the Cat” in The Beano) and was reprinted in Spanish and Dutch.

Cat Girl - Cathy finds the costumeCathy Carter’s father was a private detective who was given a curious gift by a grateful African witch doctor: a cat costume which, Cathy discovered, proved to have magical poweres, enabling her to become the crime-fighting, globe-trotting Cat Girl, aiding her not always very competent father, usually without his knowledge, and combatting villains such as master criminal The Eagle.

Sally was first published in 1969 and “Cat Girl” appeared from the very first issue onwards, meaning the character is almost certainly owned by TimeUK rather than Rebellion. (So, sadly, don’t expect a “Leopard of Lime Street” crossover any time soon – a character from Buster now owned by Rebellion, whose early adventures have recently been re-published).

Memorable strips included “Maisie’s Magic Eye” as well as “Cat Girl”, both of which would be absorbed into Tammy in early 1971, the first of six titles that would be absorbed by that comic during its 13-year run.

The title started off with a strong emphasis on adventure, fantasy, SF and super-heroine stories, but the brilliant Jinty resource site notes some of these elements gave way to more traditional stories on orphans and ballet.

Over on Great News for All Readers, David Moloney notes it’s his understanding Sally‘s circulation figures were hit hard by industrial action, which may have prompted the change of style, but it didn’t save the title from cancellation and merger after just 21 months of weekly publication.

The opening page from the first episode of "Cat Girl"
The opening page from the first episode of “Cat Girl” in Sally
Art from a 1970 episode of "Cat Girl" set in Spain
Art from a 1970 episode of “Cat Girl” set in Spain

Giorgio Giorgetti (1920-1982) was, as his name suggests, Italian, but moved to London in 1951, later setting up a studio in Margate. During his long career he worked on a diverse range of titles including Eagle, June, June and School Friend, Mirabelle, Tammy, Valiant and others.

Tammy - Sister in the Shadows

June - Tennis Star Tina

June - Tennis Star Tina

His credits (he often slipped his name into panels of strips he worked on) include “The Ghostly Galleon” in Shiver and Shake; “The House of Dolman” for Valiant (a strip perhaps more associated with Eric Bradbury); several “Gypsy Rose” tales for Jinty; “Mam’selle X” and “Jacey” for June and School Friend; “Tennis Star Toni” for June (published in 1961); “Rat-Trap” for COR!!; “Belinda Bookworm”, “Sister in the Shadows” “Star Struck Sister” and “Witch Hazel” for Tammy (the latter reprinted in Katy, and in the Spanish comic Pecosa (Freckles), from MC Ediciones; and “Jump, Jump, Julia” for Tammy and Jinty (one of his later strips).

Tammy and Jinty - cover dated 28th November 1981
Giorgetti also illustrated books for Collins’ Books.

He continued to work from his Margate studio until his death in February 1982. His son, Riccardo Giorgetti, owned many of his originals.

Read Lew’s “Cat Girl”article here

Giorgio Giorgetti On the Jinty resource

Giorgio Giorgetti on Lambiek

More “Cat Girl” memories over on ComicsUK here

Writer Jenny McDade recalls her work on Tammy, including “Star Struck Sister”

Imgaes copyright respective publishers: Sally and June – TimeUK; Tammy – Rebellion

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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