Filed under: Comics, Creepy, Etsy, Fripperies, Halloween, Misty, Trinkets
The Guardian newspaper broke the news to me. My favourite childhood guilty-reading matter (read from a really very young age, which probably wasn’t recommended but explains a lot) was returning for a one-off special edition, and being put on the shelves of WHSmith [exclusively, so I believe] tomorrow. Rejoice!
A weekly British comic, Misty began in the late 70’s, bringing genuinely spine-chilling (and sometimes downright WEIRD) stories to young gals who read them under the bed covers, shivering with delight.As The Guradian article opens, it explains that the narrator…
“…looked like an escapee from a Roman Polanski nightmare. “You’ve arrived just in time,” said Misty, all jet-black hair and commanding eyebrows, as she welcomed readers to her new comic. “Soon the sun will rise, the mist will lift, and I’ll have to go.” But not before thousands of pre-teens could scare themselves silly with The Cult Of The Cat, the tale of young Nicola Scott’s induction into a cult who worship the Egyptian cat goddess Bast. The Sentinels, where the parallel worlds of 1978 and 1940 are linked through time via two empty tower blocks. And Paint It Black, in which Maggie Laker discovers “a very special box of paints with a tale to tell”.
I may have actually squealed in excitement when I read the article announcing the publication of this special ‘collector’s’ issue. I explained this to the be-ringleted fiance, but he wasn’t impressed. I could tell by the way he rolled his eyes.
I wouldn’t expect him to understand – you had to be a particular type of ghoulish girl to really love Misty. It was so very different from the other girl’s comics available at the time (which may as well have been published in the 1930’s rather than the ’70’s, with their expectation that ALL girls are only ever interested in 1) Ponies, 2) Ballet, 3) Dolls and 4) Being a Nurse. For the Odd Children such as myself, Misty was an absolute Godsend – it played to what little girls really like best of all… scaring the Hell out of each other/themselves.
The covers, and indeed all the artwork was really stunning and, again, very obviously setting itself apart from the other tawdry rags available on the newsagents shelves. I spent many a happy hour being creeped out by stories in Misty. I also think it was party responsible (along with fabulous band Strawberry Switchblade, who I idolised and Wanted to Be) for making me turn into a bit of a goth in later years. But I digress.
A very informative blog dedicated to news & features about British comics, downthetubes.net, give another account of what really made Misty special. Yes, sometimes it ran stories about ponies, too… but the straplines warned: “She could ride to glory, but the price was HER SOUL!”
Oh yes. Tomorrow morning, you may be sure I will up bright and early, ready to get my copy of the one-off edition. I can’t wait! It brings back such thrilling memories, and I can still vividly remember some of the stories and spooky comic strips of the originals to this very day. Here’s list found on the Wikipedia page to give you a flavour of the type of stories & comic strips they ran:
Moonchild– A girl possesses the power of telekinesis, like her grandmother before her, as shown by a crescent moon on her forehead. She is forbidden to use the ‘cursed’ power by her mother, who is jealous that SHE does not possess the same power, but after being picked on once too often at a party, she starts a fire… (From the Misty annual 1983)
Raggsy Doll– A girl is to inherit a fortune. When her aunt hears of this, she sends her niece a cursed doll… (From the Misty annual 1983)
Miss Tee– A comic strip about a witch.
The Black Widow– Mrs Webb sets out to avenge her husband’s death.
The Four Faces of Eve – Eve Marshall is trying to unravel her true identity, but she seems to be the bits and pieces of four dead women.
Hush, Hush, Sweet Rachel – a girl finds she is the reincarnation of a four year-old called Rachel who died in a fire.
Journey into Fear – Kevin and Janice Frazer become pawns in an evil car’s game to relive its past as a gangster’s car.
Moodring– A moody teenage girl receives a magic mood ring.
Hangman’s Alley– maidservant Melinda Walpole was wrongly executed for stealing a necklace from her mistress. Now Melinda has returned as a bitter, malicious ghost, who wants to take her revenge out on Jacey’s hapless sister Mel for no other reason that Mel looks exactly like Melinda. Jacey offers to clear Melinda Walpole if the ghost will leave her sister alone, but the investigation proves a slow process and the ghost is losing patience.
The Cult of the Cat– Nicola Scott is destined to become a member of a cult who worship the Egyptian cat goddess Bast.
The Sentinels– The parallel worlds of 1978 and 1940 are linked through time via two empty tower blocks.
Paint it Black– Maggie Laker discovers a very special box of paints that have a tale to tell.
Obviously- I mean, you know me by now, right? – I have been busy creating a layout of suitably glamourous yet spooky Etsy treasures related to my chosen theme. I do hope you enjoy your trip to “THE MIDNIGHT WORLD” of Misty!
Direct links to items shown:
Finally, I have to share with you the story behind the ‘Aurola and Mimzy’ imfromthewoods illustration, show above – I find it rather fitting for the theme as it’s exactly the sort of story that would have appeared in Misty.
“A friend got in contact with me because her seven year old daughter had written a tale and was looking for a piece of art based on it. It is a tale of Aulora and Mimzy, the doll. Here it is in Aulora’s own words:
How Mimzy doll lost her eye to the girl name Aulora
A girl once told her doll Mimzy
you must wear an eye patch if you are to be beautiful.
The doll said ‘NO!! I DO NOT WANT TO!’
The girl became angry.
Aulora said ‘because of your refusal’…
Then Aulora walked closer to Mimzy and looked in to her eyes.
Aulora raised her hand and took out Mimzy’s eye.
Aulora said ‘now you will have to wear the eye patch.’
The girl walked away from the doll
as Mimzy cried over the loss of her eye.”
Ah. It’s the sort of story I got sent home from nursery school for scaring my friends with and making them cry. This whole nostalgia trip makes the heart swell, truly it does, darlings.
Until next time…
“Soon the sun will rise, the mist will lift, and I’ll have to go.”
Um. Yes. That sort of thing.
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