Debbie 101: School of the Shadow – Unknown

Debbie 101This is a collected digest of one of the stories serialised in the weekly version of Debbie. This is a boarding school story that is a very common theme in this area of fiction. Despite being published in 1986 the school is very different to the Grange Hill comprehensives more familiar to its readers. This is something more at home in the 1950’s or an Enid Blyton book.

The story is actually a clever one and contains a supernatural element also common in girl’s comics. Whilst there is no real horror the thought of being picked on and not being believed when you are telling the truth are strong emotional anchors. The girls win through by using their heads and taking risks to outwit misguided authority. Resource and perseverance are the key qualities rewarded here.

The layout is the very rigid two or three panels per page so typical of these books. The art is black and white line drawing but with a fair amount of hatching and solid black fills. All the characters appear different from each other and enjoy a fair amount of expression. When supernatural influence is at work you get a gargoyle’s face pop up as an insert into the frame. This ruins any suspense or mystery and it would be interesting to have read the story and worked out what was going on yourself.

An interesting read, well thought out and well put together.

Thumbs Up!

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