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Misty, Spellbound and the lost Gothic of British girls’ comics.

Round, J., 2017. Misty, Spellbound and the lost Gothic of British girls’ comics. Palgrave Communications, 3 (17037), 1-11.

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palcomms201737.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


DOI: 10.1057/palcomms.2017.37


This article is a case study of the 1970s British girls’ comics Spellbound (DC Thomson, 1976–1977) and Misty (IPC, 1978–1980). These mystery anthology comics followed the more famous American horror comics from publishers like EC Comics - but were aimed at pre-teen girls. The article situates these comics with respect to Gothic critical theory and within the wider landscape of British girls’ comics. Firstly, it closely considers and compares the structure and content of their stories with respect to theories of the terror and horror Gothic. It discovers that both comics offer similar fare, with a subversive streak that undercuts established horror archetypes. The article then looks closely at both titles’ aesthetics and their use of the page to draw comparisons. It uses comics theory and Gothic cinematic theory to demonstrate that the appearance of Misty is more strongly Gothic than the aesthetic of Spellbound. Finally, it considers a selection of stories from both comics and analyses their common themes using Gothic critical theory. It argues that both comics rework Gothic themes into new forms that are relevant to their pre-teen and teenage readers. It concludes by summarising the study’s findings and suggesting that these comics offer a “Gothic for Girls” that is part cautionary tale and part bildungsroman. This article is published as part of a collection on Gothic and horror.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:gothic; girl; comics; cultural and media studies; literature
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:29245
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:23 May 2017 08:49
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:04


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