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SCHOOL FOR SPIES

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Full Name: Stainsfield
Series Name: School For Spies
Nationality: British
Organization: Stainsfield
Occupation Agency

Creator: Neville Wilson
Time Span: 1974 - 1974

ABOUT THE SERIES

Stainsfield is a school for spies.

It is known more commonly to those not aware of its true primary function as a boarding school for gifted boys located in the countryside of England. There young teens are taught everything they will supposedly need to head to the famous institutes such as Oxford and Cambridge. Again, this is as most people know it.

In truth it is where those young people who have been pointed out by spotters around the various other prep schools in the nation are gathered to be taught the intricacies of spycraft so that they can eventually take their spots in the different intelligence organizations that Britain has.

The subject of this entry is the school but its nature is told through the actions of several of its pupils. These students share two major traits. One is that they are all quite gifted in one area or another, fields which will be very useful in the spy world. The other is that they are all orphans. This puts their care in the control of the government, hence the ability to transfer each student to Stainsfield as desired.

The one at the forefront of this attention and the one that the action follows most of the time is Danny Conway, a dark-haired polite boy of 12 years of age. Conway's gift is that of an impressive ability with languages. When we first meet him he is the bane of several masters at the school he is originally at because they "just can't teach the young whippersnapper any more ... he's better than us all!" French, German, Arabic, Latvian, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, and undoubtedly several more. "He's even brilliant at dialects".

At Stainfield Conway will learn that each of the students is given a nickname which usually helps to identify their unique skill. As a result of his grasp of languages, Conway will be given at Stainsfield the nickname of "Chatter".

Two young fellows sent by Stainsfield to escort Conway to the school are "Dipper" Davis and "Lanky" Lowther. The latter has his nickname from his tall, extremely think physique which keeps people from suspecting he is a martial arts expert able to launch into action instantly and effectively. The former gets his name from the fact that he is an excellent thief, especially at pickpocketing.

There is also "Poacher" Price, a boy with an amazing gift with controlling animals, "Prof" Perkins, a wizard with electronics, and "Springy" Smith, the school's best athlete.

The boys are all under the direction of the Headmaster, Mr. Lucan (don't call him the "Old Man" unless you fancy an hour in detention).

COMIC BOOKS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MANGA

Number of Stories:3
First Appearance:1974
Last Appearance:1974

1 The Foreign Agents The Foreign Agents
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Neville Wilson (artist)
Copyright: 1974

Printed in 4 issues of Valiant and TV21 (Jan. 5 - Feb. 9, 1974) with 8 black & white pages.
Danny Conway is taken in by a private school called Stainfield that is a training place for new spies. Then he and 2 other orphan boys are also given a mission to catch spies.
Click here to read the story.

2 The Langdales Research Station The Langdales Research Station
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Neville Wilson (artist)
Copyright: 1974

Printed in 8 issues of Valiant and TV21 (Feb. 23 - Apr. 13, 1974) with 16 black & white pages.
Three other boys get a mission to take something from the Langdales Research Station and Danny Conway decides to go as well.
Click here to read the story.

3 Chatter Conway Captured Chatter Conway Captured
Published by IPC Magazines
Contributors: Neville Wilson (artist)
Copyright: 1974

Printed in 1 issue of Valiant and TV21 (Apr. 20, 1974) then 4 issues of Valiant (Apr. 27 - May 18, 1974) with 10 black & white pages.
Danny Conway is kidnapped! Sherlock and Spook from the school must find him before he talks and then rescue him.
Click here to read the story.

MY COMMENTS

This far too short series was written, obviously since it is in a teen male magazine, for boy teens and those a tad younger and a bit older. Many decades later, this far from a teen reader actually got a kick out of the stories as well.

Totally ridiculous concept, of course. Young boys able to pull off crazy stunts to get the job done and adult supervisors not only willing to let them do it, actually sending them out into the dangerous field under orders! No wonder the school is all so very hush-hush!

This sort of thing would not happen today, I tell you! I am sure it did not happen back then, either, but it was fun reading about it.

GRADE

My Grade: C+

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