So I was delighted to hear an item about girls' comics on Woman's Hour the other day, which sent me into paroxyms of nostalgia - I'd forgotten all about "The Cat", but as soon as they started talking about it I instantly visualised the art work, it all came back in an instant. Valda, of course, also got a mention, but I was slightly disappointed that no one mentioned the gloriously masochistic Miss Angel (rich girl who discovers she is dying of unspecified consumption-esque ailment and, to spare her parents the pain of watching her die, goes off to set up a sort of refuge for even more pitiful orphans in a stable house. Supporting characters included Annie, the hunchbacked orphan who was a musical genius. Miss Angel also regularly visited the orphans under the railway arches whom she was "unable to house", wishing that "the stable house was as big as my heart", though as my sister Busta J and I would regularly point out, the stable house always had room for the picturesque "orphan of the week" who arrived with an interesting backstory).
Other favourite stories in the C**** household back in the '80s included Workhouse Wendy (rich child goes undercover in workhouse to investigate its cruelty, but then her parents are killed in a shipwreck and she's trapped there!), Little Stranger (brilliantly scary story about a girl - who is an only child - who wakes up one day and discovers that as far as everyone else is concerned, she's always had a little sister. Who is, of course, really an alien who has brainwashed everyone) and, most of all, The Honourable S.J., in which the evil Sarah-Jane Cheetwell (oh, yes!) blackmailed the daughter of her housekeeper, who was unlucky enough to repeatedly end up at the same boarding school as S.J. We could never understand how, after being unmasked as evil and expelled time and time again, S.J. managed to get accepted at her next school, apparently without a stain on her character, and get made a prefect or headgirl straight away. But there you go. Perhaps her evil powers had a magical quality.
So what were your favourites?