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.
Cathy 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.
Giorgio Giorgetti (1920-1982) was, as his name suggests, Italian, but moved to London in 1950, 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.
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 final strips, before his untimely death).
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.
The Treasury of British Comics Girls Comics Collections (Amazon Affiliate Links)
• Misty Volume One: “Moonchild” and The Four Faces of Eve” | Misty Volume Two: “The Sentinels” and “End of The Line” | Misty Volume 3: Wolf Girl & Other Stories | Misty Presents The Jordi Badia Romero Collection | Bella at the Bar | Jinty Volume 1: The Human Zoo & The Land of No Tears | Jinty: Fran from the Floods
• Buy Gothic for Girls: Misty and British Comics by Julia Round (AmazonUK Affiliate Link)
Today fans still remember and love the British girls’ comic Misty for its bold visuals and narrative complexities. Yet its unique history has drawn little critical attention. Bridging this scholarly gap, Julia Round presents a comprehensive cultural history and detailed discussion of the comic, preserving both the inception and development of this important publication as well as its stories.
Images © Rebellion Publishing Limited
With thanks to Riccardo Giorgetti