Wednesday Comics: Jimmy of City

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Following on from last week’s Jack of United instalment, here’s the second part of this pair of Jack and Jimmy stories from the 1973 Score annual.

As you can see, there’s a difference in style and tone across the two stories – despite being written and drawn by the same team – and it was this that gave the series its distinct hook, along with little details such as the fact that the two halves of the brothers’ family each supported different teams (their father and sister supported Castleburn United, while their mother and younger brother favoured City).

What I particularly like about this story, though, is the way the central plot point is flipped. In the first strip, getting an answer wrong on a TV quiz later helps Jack in a match, as he recalls a rule about touching the ball again after a penalty (even if it’s a law he really should have known already!) Then in the second half, Jimmy’s performance on the pitch is able to help him win the next round of the quiz (having scored a hat trick that breaks the very record that later comes up as a question).

It’s not hard to see why Jack and Jimmy was one of the most popular strips first in Score ‘n’ Roar, and later when the comic was folded into Scorcher. What is more questionable, however, is who the heck thought it was a good idea to eventually have Jack transfer to City alongside Jimmy, removing the “split” strip format altogether and replacing it with a simple Jack and Jimmy series. Longstanding affection for the characters may have meant that people still liked reading it, but it lost pretty much everything that had made it interesting in the first place.

 


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