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Back in the fogs of yesteryear, horror comics are traditionally the realm of those with a Y chromosome, there wasn't a lot aimed at the female contingent.

Horror novels and movies weren't much better, if you were a woman you were either a malevolent witch, vamp (in every sense of the word)  or you got first crack in the role of "Doomed peasant in underwired bra". There were sexual undertones in the Hammer Dracula movies aplenty, but they were all predatory in nature (both in Christopher Lee's sheer screen presence, or the scantiness of the nighties worn by his brides)

Shows like "Bewitched", "The Munsters" and "The Addams Family" were brilliant, but were "comedy macabre" with the emphasis on the comedy, and the less said about the gender politics of "I Dream of Genie" the better.

In comics the dark arts aimed for the female set never really seemed to get much further than "Sabrina" or "Wendy, the Good little witch" and those are hardly good examples.

Nowadays of course, post Buffy, and Charmed and the like, the potters field is a little more open... Laurell K Hamilton is writing the sort of novels that embrace horror and fantasy (and in her specific case, softcore pornography... and lots of it) and Stephanie Meyer is writing... well, okay, that might be overstating the case... a LOT... but she's out there adding to the horror genre (or your horror OF the genre, according to taste)

In the late 70's and early 80's in the UK, there was an attempt to balance the scales a little, but putting together a comic where the focus would be on magic, mystery and horror, and aimed exclusivedly at the young female demographic. The title of this series was

MISTY!




Essentially a standard format British comic in terms of composition, with anthology stories, longer form episodic stories and features, it also had that most standard of standard trends in a such themed comics; a host, Misty herself



Yeah, having her as my guide would make me so much more comfortable about my future...

But least you think she was simply a pretty face (and let's be honest, it IS a pretty face) we got a chance to find out a little bit more about her from time to time. There's something seriously spooky about this lady...





The bit about the legs in particular is a terrific piece of weirdness, you know instantly what she means, but you can hear it in such a sort of... disjointed, ambivalent tone, one gets the feeling she's really not bothered at all.

Now for the trick part. My primary source of material was the "Special Souvenir Issue" of Misty which was published in 2009. It has a lot of stories in it, highlighting the sort of thing the title did; female protagonist (not always a heroine by any mean, there are at least two spoiled brats, one juvenile delinquent and a pickpocket in the stories shown), mysterious events and no guarantee of a happy ending (in fact probably the opposite). Alas they are all four pages long, and our 1/3 rule means that I can only post 1.3 pages, which is a bit of a bind all things considered.

I tried it with one story though, so you can get a feel for the thing...

The story is entitled; "Wolfsbane" and concerns Sara, a city girl staying on her Aunt's farm for the holidays. It's a nice certup, but not what she's used to and is bored out of her mind, but there's a disco on town that night, and she'd love to go. her aunt worries about her crossing the moors to get home in the dark afterwards though.



That's a styling 70's waistcoat she has there...



Looks more like a triffid crossed with a daffodil to me (and for those interested in things botanical, this is what wolfsbane looks like)

Sara is a little creeped out by it for some reason, especially the way Paul keeps going on about the legends... and why is he facing AWAY from her so much...



Ah, a classic wolfman, nice!

Not being a shrinking violet (or even wolfsbane) Sara does the sensible thing and powers away on the bike, leaving Paul far, far behind. However she can't go home because in her panic she drove back towards the town, and doesn't want to risk going near Paul again. So she does indeed head back to town, Stella, the woman who ran the disco, seemed friendly and it's the only place that there are still lights on in the village. Stella does indeed let Sara in, she remembers that she left with Paul, but clearly soemthing has unnerved her, so sits her down and makes her a cup of tea (how very British). Sara relates her story....



dun dun DUUUUUNNNNNNNNNN!

Now, before you go thinking I've skimped on the story here, I confess I have, but I can offer you something much, much better if you want to see more "Misty" stories.

The official Misty website has, with the approval of the licenceholders, reprinted an impressive number of the stories which ran in the original series. Look under the link called "Cavern of Dreams" and you can see these stories for yourself. There is also an interesting breakdown of the history of the title, and it's eventual merger with the much more mundane "Tammy"

Happy Halloween! I may have a little something extra to post later, along my more... typical lines! ;) 

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