Thursday, 17 September 2009
Tammy had Thatcher's number.
At one time comics used to give away free gifts to encourage sales, maybe they still do. I wonder if any of those gifts have survived and if there are perfectly respectable grandfathers who lock themselves in the loo from time to time and stare lovingly at their dog eared Desperate Dan Club membership card? Everything came full circle this week with the Guardian giving away reproductions of classic comics of the seventies and eighties. Dandy, Beano, Roy of the Rovers, all good stuff but it was the 1971 first ever issue of Tammy that did it for me. Tammy, why didn't I know about this at the time? I can only assume that Tammy was written by ex LSE students who thought that it might be more fun than Red Mole. Take a look at My Father-My Enemy the heartening tale of Julie Jeffries-The Rich Girl With The Rebel Spirit. Julie doesn't rebel against her Victorian mine owner dad by doing a bit of spliff, or spending a few days at climate camp. No, Julia helps organise the miners in there first ever trade union. Bit vanguardist and all that, but blimey! And anyway what did Roy Race ever do for the class struggle?
In Slaves of War Orphan Farm (prisoners of an evil and ruthless woman) evacuee children from London are farmed out by the woman who is supposed to be caring for them to work in a nearby quarry. The name given this foul oppressor? Mrs Thatcher. It's at times like this that I think that I understand what the surrealists were on about. The Iron Lady was Secretary of State for Education at the time - and clearly Tammy had her number.