Not Just Nostalgia:

: A Creative and Critical Analysis of Three Stories in Pat Mills’ Misty (1978-1980

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The vast majority of once-popular UK children’s comics have now ceased publication. This includes Misty. Aimed specifically at girls between the ages of 8 and 14, Misty was a comic which consisted entirely of frightening fiction and articles based on the supernatural and horror. This research seeks to identify the reasons for Misty’s popularity at the time of publication (1978 – 1980) and justify a return to frightening fiction through Bildungsromane for girls via the medium of comics. Through the examination of the cultural background at the
time of publication and how this was reflected in Misty, a contemporary creative work, Destiny, a novella, and ‘Destiny’, a Misty-style serial story script, distilled from the novella, has been produced. This has been accomplished via the application of a formula, which is a process created as a result of answers to questions posed via email by the author to Misty’s consultant editor and contributing writer, Pat Mills.

Via the identification and application of critical concepts in the Misty serials ‘Moonchild’ and ‘The Sentinels’, as well as the one-off story ‘The Treatment’, the underlying reasons for the popularity of the stories contained in Misty have been examined. These reasons are analysed and applied in the creation of the new story in the form of a novella, which in turn has been re-written as a comic script, including the artwork for a sample front cover. This, along with Mills’ step-by-step process for creating a comic (the Formula), reveals the potential of comics of this nature as accessible and perhaps even valuable chaperones with which to navigate through the fraught liminal period of adolescence.
Date of Award14 Apr 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Winchester
SupervisorAndrew Melrose (Supervisor) & Gary Farnell (Supervisor)


  • the carnivalesque
  • comics
  • 'destiny'
  • the forumla
  • Life on Mars
  • liminality
  • Misty
  • Pat Mills
  • the uncanny
  • Zeitgeist

Cite this

Not Just Nostalgia: : A Creative and Critical Analysis of Three Stories in Pat Mills’ Misty (1978-1980
Wild, C. (Author). 14 Apr 2019

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis