As you know, my cousin Allan was a big Bunty fan. His sister, my cousin Mary, bought a few D.C Thomson titles and despite a fairly comprehensive slagging-off, he always championed the British titles when we were growing up. I, on the other hand, despite working on a British comic back in the 1980s, was much more into the US titles, and it's actually only over the last 10 years or so that I have woken up to how great the British comics, especially the 'girls' comics, actually were - and are. Having said all that, the fact that we readers have no idea who made these stories is not fair on us or on the creators. I have, I think, some idea who created some of the pages, but it irks me that creators were treated that badly.
Bunty was a weekly British comic for girls that began in 1958. Like most other British titles, it was an anthology and consisted of a collection of small strips sometimes two, sometimes three but hardly ever more than four or five pages long. There were seasonal specials, such as the Summer Special featured below, and Christmas and summer annuals. The stories, usually written by men and illustrated more often than not by men, were about, well, you'll find out when you read the examples below. They were often beautifully illustrated, often by celebrated European artists, and the coloured pages were hand-coloured by a team of women in the Thomson offices.
Most features in the Bunty came and went, but The Four Marys ran for years, becoming the comic's longest running story. Drawn by Roy of the Rovers and Scorer artist, Barrie Mitchell, who also worked for Mandy, Pow, Wham, 2000 AD and other titles, The Four Marys ran for decades from the comic's initial launch in 1958.
Now, I have to admit this piece of ridiculous hokum, Peggy the Promette, is my favourite story. I absolutely love the hand-coloured work of some faceless Thomson staffer and I love the quality of the line-work. The story is awful, but it looks fantastic.