It's time to delve into the Treasury Of British Comics again, as publishers Rebellion trawl British girls' comics of the 1970s to unearth hidden gems that only our big sisters will remember. Appearing in the disarmingly named Jinty throughout the most of 1976, Fran Of the Floods manages to warn people about the dangers of global warming before it was even a thing. Thank writer Alan Davidson ('Little Miss Nothing', 'The Valley Of Shining Mist') for that.
The floods in question aren't just a case of people canoeing down the high street for a few days. Fran lives in Hazelford, not taking much notice of the dire warnings of excess rain coming from further down south. Instead of preparing for a national emergency life goes on as normal, with a school concert and squabbles with her sister, until the rains come and refuse to go away. Even though they are on relatively high ground, Hazelford is soon submerged, and Fran is separated from her family, trying to survive as best she can.
She sets out on a quest to get to Scotland, where she hopes to find both her family and higher ground, and it's this quest that provides the bulk of the story as she runs into groups of survivors both good and bad and is reunited with a school friend, Jill, bringing conversation and shared peril into the narrative. Phil Gascoine brings the scripts to life very well, with a style that is pretty standard for the time but nonetheless clear and highly readable.
'Fran Of The Floods' has it's flaws, like the world's stupidest doctor, but it's a surprisingly robust series with a sound basis for the frak weather that has stood the test of time. It's neither a girls or boys strip in the end, just a story that happens to have a girl as the main protagonist. A fascinating piece of comics history that has certainly earned it's right to be reproduced today.
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