Saturday, September 4, 2010

British Girls' Comics: Calling Nurse Abbott

Calling Nurse Abbott is an example of a British girl's comic story from the early 1960s. The sequential art comes from a hardbound book (see cover above). This is an annual, published towards the end of the year for Christmas, featuring a character from the comic Girl. Girl is the female equivalent of the famous boy's comic Eagle. Girl comes across as rather middle class aspiring to be upper middle class. Typically for British weeklies intended for children, it contains a combination of illustrated text stories, sequential art, and informative sections. Scanned and posted below are all of the sequential art pages from this 1963 Calling Nurse Abbott Annual. The nurses in the main stories are young, independent, savvy individuals. There's some rather nicely drawn art here, by an artist I'm unable to identify. There are some very British culture- and period-specific goings on in this first story:

In this second Nurse Abbott story there are also more glimpses into Britain in the early 1960s. I love the industrial backdrops on page 4.

Finally, the publishers chose to use sequential art to present some true life accounts of famous nurses, plus Marie Curie and Helen Keller, in black and white.

Finding back issues of the actual Girl comics has proven impossible for me so farm, after several years of trying. The annuals are obtainable, and I'll be posting material from a couple of those from the late 50s in the near future. I hope y'all enjoyed this little glimpse here into some rather nice examples of what British girls were reading in the early 1960s.


  1. I would love to get hold of a copy of this annual, I used to have a copy when I was small and it was always my favourite ever book, I am in my 50s now. Any Idea where I can get a replacement copy

    1. Hello, I was the photographer who took the cover picture' the little boy is my son, He took the role very seriously!He has 2 grown up sons of his own now. regards Jim Williams

    2. Jim that's amazing. It is a really cool photo cover.

    3. I stumbled on this page after picking up a copy of this annual today (16/06/2013) from a second hand bookshop in Llangollen North Wales for £1.50. I'll certainly be looking through this blog in more detail in the coming weeks - I'm very impressed. To think that the boy on the cover's dad found the site as well. I wonder what happened to the nurse!
      To anonymous who was looking for the book, hopefully you have got it now, but if not, there are currently 3 on Amazon:

      Mike Davies

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  2. I can only suggest checking eBay as often as possible - that's how I got my copy. It is rare. But wherever you go just check out second hand bookstores, car boot sales, etc. Eventually one will turn up if you keep looking, I'm sure.

  3. Thank you so much for showing these pages, it's brought back lovely memories. I still admire Edith Cavell and remembered the illustrations in this book.