the artists speak!
a gallery of
comic strips and
puppets in the UK
a special tub of vanishing cream that really did
make things disappear. You name it, Val would rub her
cream upon it and - voila! - it vanished before
Val made sure she always had her cream with her
all times. Although its
uses were myriad,
employed the stuff against bullies and burglars and
irritating adults - as was customary in a Fleetway
Val's Vanishing Cream originally featured as one
ten strips put up for a public vote in Cor!! The
Choice selection was published one strip a week
ten weeks before readers submitted their votes.
Val's strip was #4, and it appeared 12th May 1973.
It was an origin strip, showing us how she acquired
magic cream. There was nothing special about its
discovery, though. It was simply lurking midst
of old cosmetics which Val's Mum had asked her
throw out. Val puts the stuff to good use at school
she makes Teacher's cane disappear to avoid a
Four months later, flushed with success in the
the strip officially joined the comic. Val even
on the cover. In this first regular strip, Val
her pal Mary and thwarts a bicycle thief with
the aid of an invisible bike...
Cor!! merged with Buster comic in June 1974, but Val
didn't vanish. Indeed, she thrived in her new weekly
home. She even doubled up her Annual appearances
by appearing in both Cor!! and Buster Annuals for a
and was included in the gaggle of characters who starred
on the cover of Buster's 1977and 1978 editions.
The strip's artist was Mike Lacey. Val had a Tomboy
look, with her short straw hair and freckles. She
striped top, similar to Ray, in X-Ray Specs which
another Lacey strip at the time. It could be argued
she has a cousin in Richie
Wraggs. There's a certain
similarity there, for sure!
Val's was indeed something of a Tomboy. Stories
had her visiting the Army, or donning overalls
in Uncle John's garage, or getting a friend with
to give her hand. Oh, and she'd regularly take
on a big
greasy bully called Basher. But although she punched
abover her weight, she was cetainly not a troublemaker.
No, there was another Fleetway Tomboy
On the home front, Val had a young puppy dog called
Towser. In the original Cor-medy Choice strip,
depicted as having a trendy 70s perm. When Dad
showed up in later strips he has a swinging paintbrush
moustache. They made a groovy couple, alright...
Of course, we all wondered just how much vanishing
cream Val had. It never seemed to run out!
Our Val's not the only Fleetway gal to have a cosmic
had a monster jar of magic too...