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Bunty is one of the longest running comics for girls with stories, comic strips and cartoons.

Bunty reached the end of its long run as a weekly comic around late February/March 2001. It was relaunched in April as an all-reprint monthly, although it's doubtful it will survive long in that format. British comics are definitely dying out - partly due to publishers not knowing how to update them properly. Critics may blame competition from video games and tv, but comics in Scandinavia and Europe are thriving, so that's no excuse. Bunty was an archaic name, dogged with "uncoolness" for contemporary times, but its long history is one that all its contributors and supporters should be proud of. - Lew Stringer

Bunty - bibliography

For more Bunty Titles click here

I was having a look at the entry on Bunty. I was not surprised to hear Bunty had folded. She was definitely the last of dying breed. I picked her up sometimes, but on the whole I found her rather boring. I felt her stories were getting too repetitious, rehashing old themes. And towards the end, she was depending ever more on repeats.

Still, there were some stories I liked:

"Witch!" My all-time Bunty favourite. Ellie Ross and her parents move to their ancestral village, Littledene. Bad mistake! The locals still believe in witches and they think Ellie is descended from the village witch, Elizabeth

"Black Bess" Ross. (Unfortunately, there is indeed evidence to suggest Bessie is an ancestress of the Rosses). Ellie persistently refuses to tell her parents what is going on, because they are so happy in Littledene (considering the village hostility, this is rather difficult to understand). Of course, Ellie's parents do find out about the villagers' hostility and they all quickly leave the district.

"Down with St Desmonds!" C.A. Johnston is out to close down St Desmonds boarding school in revenge for her mother's wrongful(?) expulsion. - Briony

There's more great info from Briony on the Characters page.

Bunty - Character

For more Bunty Characters click here

Sad to say, the relaunched monthly version of Bunty made it no further than June 2001, when it was very quietly cancelled by DC Thomson and replaced by Cool Magazine. Annuals will no doubt continue to appear for some years to come, and a Summer Special is currently available (June 2002), but as of one year ago there are no more weekly comics for girls being published in Britain.

Lew's point about "Bunty" being an uncool name these days - it's Sarah Kennedy's nickname, need one say more? - is a good one. However, Thomson had made some attempt to update the comics during the 1990s, with two strong, remarkably socially realistic soap operas in "Penny's Place" and "The Comp" (the latter taken over from Debbie), and even a slightly looser feel to that vintage public school series "The Four Marys" (drawn by Barrie Mitchell, also the 90s artist on "Roy of the Rovers"!). Unfortunately, more obvious attempts at updating were the switch to photo-covers in 1995, the introduction of photo-stories, and a proliferation of lightweight feature pieces... the shift away from comic towards magazine had been developing for quite a while.

Still, the last stages take nothing away from Bunty's long, proud history. It galvanised the British girls' comics when it first appeared, introducing such daringly new concepts as comprehensive schools and girls working in everyday jobs alongside the more usual features about ballet and air hostesses. As part of Thomson's central trio of girls' titles, together with Judy and Mandy, it offered a graduated range of entertainment for readers throughout primary school and into secondary education and for most of its life offered more sparkle and vivacity than many of its competitors. And, of course, it outlived all the rest! - MikeK

Hi! I was delighted to finally find a website which featured Bunty,as the comic was a great favourite of mine,and I could provide plenty of information on it based on my recollections and some copies which I still have,hopefully including some from the 1980s.

I'm twenty and got my first issue eleven or twelve years ago,and continued to read Bunty until sometime last year when I could no longer find copies;I see from your page that this would have been last summer.Very disappointing,but perhaps for the best,because as your page notes,it'd been going downhill for some time.
I agree with the idea that this was partly due to their not knowing quite how to pitch it to readers,and the overall quality had declined.Sadly the same is true of the annuals which they still make (there's still a Mandy annual too,and it's just as bad),with the only bright spot being the reprints of older stories.

As to what info I could give you for the site,I could provide fuller character lists for "The Four Marys" and "The Comp" and possibly "Penny's Place" (I also have a few old copies of M&J,the amalgamated Mandy and Judy,from which Bunty got "Penny's Place",plus a few Mandy comics) and add to the list of stories.

You may also remember the small comics,about the size of Reader's Digest,which were called "Bunty Libraries" and would contain one story;these were published every two to four weeks I think.I have a stack of these mixed with Debbie,Judy and Mandy libraries if these would be of any use. Anyway,hope this is of some help,- Angeline Adams.

I was perusing your entry on Bunty comic and I'd like to pedantically correct the suggestion that the Bunty story 'The Comp' was taken over from Debbie comic, it did in fact come over from Nikki. I used to get both. I read Nikki from issue one, which came with a free plastic pencil case. I was a huge Bunty fan too and am sad to learn of her demise. Thanks, - Jinny

i used to love getting bunty, mandy and judy,as well as nikki when i was desperate. it's very sad that we've got a culture now where young girls are growing up so fast, and they've got sex and commercialism pushed on to them instead of being able to enjoy just being girls and morality and ponies and stuff.

This is going to sound really stupid, but how did those artists draw so well and so consistently? they were really talented!!! - Rosie Lucas

Strange how things pop into your head - out of nowhere I suddenly thought of Bunty - I read it back in the early 60's and couldn't remember all the names of the Four Marys. Mary Simpson and Mary Cotter, but the other two - no. I loved Bunty until I was about twelve before I outgrew her and gave my allegiance to Jackie. Thanks for stopping me from racking my brains all day. Keep up the site - it was a real trip down memory lane. Cheers - Lizzie

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting your site. I am 56 years old, living in Brisbane Australia, and can vividly remember when Bunty first came out. I must have been about 10 years old and I lived in Belfast Northern Ireland.In the first issue of Bunty there was a free ladybird ring. I think everyone in my class had one. I read Bunty for many years until I was about fifteen.I loved the adventures of the four marys and laughed at Toots.Every year I would get the Bunty annual at christmas and later when I had a daughter of my own (she is now 28) my mum would send her the Bunty weekly comics and the yearly annuals..All of which I enjoyed reading. I also remember there was a readers letter page and each published letter would win a prize. I tried heaps of times to win a pair of pink satin ballet slippers but unfortunately I never did.I was extremely disappointed when I visited my mum in Ireland to find that Bunty no longer exists but at least I still have my happy memories. - Joan Fitches

Just wanted to say that I am now 47 and Bunty was the 'fave' among me and my friends at about the age of 11-12. LOVED seeing it on your site - thought it was all but forgotten. I didn't like the four Marys - my school was never like that! I did like Lorna Drake - prima ballerina who was being taught by Thelma Mayne, an embittered old spinster who was a failed ballet dancer due to an injury or something. How did they make up so many different stories about Lorna's struggles in the face of adversity?? Must say I never did the dressing-up bit on the back page, but it had to be there - it wouldn't have been the same without it, would it? Guess if they relaunched it now they'd have to call it Kylie or Courtney or something! - Jopacey

I was a regular reader of Bunty during the late fifties and early sixties in Dublin. I see someone mentioned Lorna Drake, the ballerina, but I am sure there was a earlier one called Moira Kent, as in 'The Dancing Life of Moira Kent'. I was also very fond of the story of the Irish nurse, Katy O'Connor, Student Nurse and loved reading about the evil Staff Nurse Leach. I did sometimes cut out the paper doll patterns on the back of the comic and loved the occasional free gifts - one I remember was the pink 'rosebud ring' I eventually graduated to Jackie and from that on to two magazines called 'Miss' and 'Young Woman - don't know who published these. It is a pity young girls don't read comics anymore - I certainly saw some of the heroines as role models and was inspired by their adventures - Jennifer

While punk band the Damned were touring from '76 onwards I used to read Bunty every week in the van much to the 'amusement' of my colleagues.

I remember some of the stories well, of course the 'Four Marys' and 'Bella' - but the one I liked best was 'Melody Lee - a dancer she'll be!'... so much so that The Damned recorded a song of that name which is still one of our fan's favourites live. In fact we are going to play it on our UK tour which starts in a few days (dates and other info always here www.myspace.com/thecaptainsensible)

When this character was dropped, myself and a ragbag collection of punks demonstrated outside Thompsons in Fleet St. and later attended a Sid Vicious show in Camden. We walked into his dressing room with the banners and as we propped them up in the corner of the room Nancy Spungen (who he allegedly killed later on in their drug addled relationship) took a look at them and remarked 'Who is Melody Lee Sid?'.

Once again I found this irresistible as the subject matter for a song and there, on my A+M album 'Women and Captains First' amongst my hits 'Happy Talk' and 'Wot' is the song 'Who is Melody Lee Sid?'.

What a great comic Bunty was....

Oh, I forgot:

There Are More Snakes Than Ladders / The Four Mary's GoGo Dance All Night At The Groovy Cellar (1984 A&M Capx7)

ANOTHER Bunty related song of mine! - Captain Sensible

The cutout bits on the back were really hard to put on her as the paper was so flimsy! When I first started reading Bunty (I'm 54) she was wearing a vest - I was horrified years later when i caught a glimpse of her in a crop top and later still in a BRA! (especially miffed at this as i remained flat chested). Four Marys names are engraved on my heart forever, along with the fair-minded Dr Gull; many a time the 4M's solved a riddle or mystery that prevented the school from burning down ( usually a 'common' caretaker or some lowly individual with a grudge to bear) or from shutting down (through lack of new gels, some sort of smear campaign or a redevelopment plan that had come out of the blue, threatening to bulldoze St. Elmo's to the ground).However did they find the time to do any school work? (let alone plait their hair.) In the Annuals you could count on at least one person with a handicap; disfigured face, withered arm, birth mark, a polio victim, blind, as well as wheelchair bound or bitter ex-dancers/trapeze artists who had to lean heavily on a stick....one story featured a girl who not only wore calipers (oddly, she was also in a wheelchair) but had ginger hair as well! a double blow for one so young..... - LB

I was a boy who occasionally got a chance to read his 3 girl cousins' Bunty comics or those of 2 friends who were sisters. I was only allowed to read these at their houses and never allowed them at home. The story that I recall and have always wondered how it finished was about an evil female doll that was alive. I can only recall an episode showing the doll walking/standing on railway track. I think the doll pretended to be an ordinary doll and came alive and ran away from its owner. I vaguely remember it hurt or killed someone but don't know if it was likely in those distant times.
This would have been around 1968-1970.
Can anyone fill in the gaps please? - G. Hamilton

Hi My name is Jean and I am 59 yrs old now but used to read the Bunty every week along with my older sister Irene who is 2years older than me , I have a question and really hope that someone can help.

In1963 my sister was 11 yrs old and as I have said we used to read the Bunty every week there was a readers letters page where the readers would send in their stories and win prizes now I don't know if it was Tell Tammy or Cosy Corner, but my sister Irene Chidlow wrote a story about a monkey we owned called Cheeky Chico and she won the star prize of a Timex Watch we we're all delighted I wonder if anyone could help me find a copy of that issue. Please thank you - Jean Chidlow-Jones

When I first came to England in 1977,my English wasn't too good, and my boyfriend, who also posted in this site, his name is Captain Sensible, was reading all the girls comics. Bunty was the one I loved most and I actually learned to speak English by reading it every week. I also am a big fan of the story Melody Lee, a dancer she'll be and I have tried DC Thomson as well as eBay to get the story. Living back in Germany I do miss Bunty and I will get some copies ever if they don't have Melody Lee in them. I remember the demonstration in Fleet street, there was only three of us with banners saying "bring back Melody Lee" and "Bunty unfair to readers" and nobody was interested, but at least Sid Vicious was later at his gig, and Nancy.... I do hope someone will contact me or Captain, telling that they have at least a few episodes of the story and will copy them, that's almost as good as having the original thing, greetings from Germany - Christiane Kistner

If you have any other information on Bunty please drop us a line.Drop us a line.

   
 

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