Welcome to the Cheeky Weekly blog!


Welcome to the Cheeky Weekly blog!
Cheeky Weekly ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED was a British children's comic with cover dates spanning 22 October 1977 to 02 February 1980.

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Cheeky Weekly Index
Cheeky Weekly Artist Index 
Features by Number of Appearances
Issue Summaries posted to date
Major Characters from the Cheeky pages
Features Ordered by Date of Commencement

*** ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Used with permission. ***
*** CHEEKY WEEKLY, KRAZY, WHOOPEE and WHIZZER AND CHIPS ARE ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ***

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Friday, 19 April 2019

Not Looking a Day Older after 33 Years!

17th April 2019 was a momentous day for all friends of Cheeky as our toothy pal appeared in a new comic strip for the first time since the Krazy Gang feature came to an end in February 1986. I rushed to my nearest WH Smith on the long-awaited day and skidded to a halt by the comic shelves but was disappointed to find no copies of The Cor!! Buster Humour Special in evidence. Had they sold out? Possibly, but I doubt it - I have read reports that in some branches of Smith's the special was located on the top shelf and I must admit I didn't think to look there for it.

Anyway, I ordered a physical copy online later the same day and it arrived in the next post, so well done to Rebellion and their fulfillment partners Intermedia Solutions.

Art: Neil Googe


I was pleasantly surprised to see that Cheeky gets to appear several times in the special. Prior to reading the special I wondered if he would play much of a part in Lew Stringer's Who's In Charge? strip (script by John Freeman) as in Lew's preview of the strip our toothy pal is silent. However I'm pleased to report that Cheeky is involved in the plot and gets a few lines of dialogue, including the strip's closing comment.

Lew has also provided an introduction to characters from classic Fleetway/IPC titles, among them the mighty-molared mirthster, who is seen in a panel drawn by Frank McDiarmid and lifted from the 1982 Cheeky Annual. Great to see Frank represented.

Cheeky also gets some dialogue on an advert for the forthcoming Free Comic Book Day Funny Pages comic - the custard pie image being Robert Nixon's rendition of our toothy pal from the cover of his 1981 annual. The pic of Cheeky at the bottom right of the Funny Pages cover is Frank's work sourced from the 1982 annual.



Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Whizzer and Chips - The Cheeky Raids part 39

New readers start here... After Cheeky Weekly folded and was incorporated into Whoopee as of February 1980 six strips that had originated in the toothy funster's title survived the merge and continued to appear in the amalgamated comic. Whoopee itself foundered in March 1985 and was merged into Whizzer and Chips. Three of the surviving Cheeky Weekly strips successfully negotiated this second merge and went on to appear in the newly combined publication, rather inelegantly titled 'Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee'. The survivors were Mustapha Million, Calculator Kid and (appearing only twice) Stage School. Cheeky continued to appear, but as a member of The Krazy Gang, who had moved into W&C when Krazy, the comic in which the Gang originated, expired in April 1978. However, the Krazy Gang's Whizzer and Chips run ended in the issue dated 08 February 1986. Calculator Kid survived a little longer, his run of reprints coming to an end in the 26 July 1986 edition and leaving Mustapha Million as the sole Cheeky Weekly survivor.

Whizzer and Chips dated 12 September 1987 saw our middle eastern mate embark on a sortie into enemy Whizzer territory for the first time since his 27 June 1987 raid on the recollection-deficient Bernie 'Memory' Banks. It has to be said that Mustapha doesn't make much effort to conceal himself, so you shouldn't have any trouble spotting him as he intrudes upon an uncharacteristically violent Sweet-Tooth. I don't remember boxes of wine gums ever containing cards of any type - in fact I don't remember boxes of wine gums at all. Tubes, yes and loose wine gums, but not boxes. Maybe the script writer was thinking of Rowntree's fruit gums, boxes of which were available when I was a kid, although not including cards as far as I know. However by the time this issue of Whizzer and Chips was published my days as a young whippersnapper lay far in the past so maybe there had been developments in the wine gum market of which I was (and remain) unaware.


Whizzer and Chips 12 September 1987
Art: Trevor Metcalfe

This is the first time in Whizzer and Chips' post-Whoopee merge era that Sweet-Tooth has been raided by an ex-Cheeky Weekly character, but Mustapha was clearly exacting revenge for the confectionary-craving kid's previous intrusions into his strips in the issues dated 28 June and 23 August 1986.



More raiding fun soon!

Whizzer and Chips Cover Date Raider Raided
06 April 1985Mustapha MillionSuper Steve
04 May 1985Bloggs (Store Wars)Mustapha Million
11 May 1985JokerThe Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
18 May 1985Calculator Kid & CalcOdd-Ball
01 June 1985
Animalad
Mustapha Million
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Boy Boss
08 June 1985Odd-BallCalculator Kid
06 July 1985Toy BoyCalculator Kid
13 July 1985Pa BumpkinThe Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
27 July 1985JokerMustapha Million
24 August 1985CheekySid's Snake
14 September 1985
Odd-Ball
Calculator Kid
Calculator Kid
Store Wars
05 October 1985Mustapha MillionAnimalad
19 October 1985Odd-BallMustapha Million
23 November 1985
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Calculator Kid
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Mustapha Million
18 January 1986Mustapha MillionSuper Steve
25 January 1986
Odd-Ball
Cheeky
Mustapha Million
Odd-Ball
08 February 1986
The Krazy Gang ends this issue
AnimaladMustapha Million
15 February 1986Lazy BonesCalculator Kid
15 March 1986Odd-BallCalculator Kid
29 March 1986Calculator KidMaster P Brain
05 April 1986Bumpkin BillionairesMustapha Million
12 April 1986AnimaladCalculator Kid
31 May 1986Lazy BonesCalculator Kid
07 June 1986Mustapha MillionJoker
28 June 1986Sweet ToothMustapha Million
26 July 1986
Calculator Kid ends this issue
No Cheeky-related raid this issueNo Cheeky-related raid this issue
16 August 1986Mustapha MillionJoker
23 August 1986Sweet ToothMustapha Million
18 October 1986Winnie the Royal NagMustapha Million
06 December 1986Toy BoyMustapha Million
13 December 1986Mustapha MillionOdd-Ball
17 January 1987SidMustapha Million
14 February 1987Odd-BallMustapha Million
11 April 1987Pa BumpkinMustapha Million
25 April 1987Mustapha MillionOdd-Ball
20 June 1987Toy BoyMustapha Million
27 June 1987Mustapha MillionMemory Banks
25 July 1987Lazy BonesMustapha Million
22 August 1987Winnie the Royal NagMustapha Million
12 September 1987Mustapha MillionSweet Tooth

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Revealed at Last - The Truth about Cheeky's Socks

No doubt you, much like myself, have spent an inordinate amount of your life asking yourself 'Will I ever find out what Cheeky's socks look like?'

This is the day you've been waiting for...

Art: Bob Hill


The above pages appeared in The Besssssst of Whizzer and Chips Monthly, December 1984. There are four 2-page Krazy Gang reprints in the Chips section of that issue, but in each case the first page has been paired with a wrong second page (I've matched the correct pages above). Fortunately all the correct concluding pages are present, albeit mismatched, so all four adventures can be enjoyed by flipping through the pages.

UPDATE 18 April 2019 - Many thanks to Stephen Archer who has identified Whizzer and Chips dated 08 December 1979 as the issue in which the above strip originally appeared.

Art - Sid's Snake: Mike Lacey, Joker - Sid Burgon

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

We need to talk about Chip

As mentioned in my earlier post, Cheeky Weekly's merge into Whoopee! was an unusual one, as the toothy funster and his pals were allocated a whole 16-page dedicated section in the centre of the host comic. Yes, half of the combined comic was given over to Cheeky and his pals! Now, I'm not enough of an expert on comics to say whether or not this was an exceptional amount of space to be allocated to a 'mergee', but I suspect it was.

Of course not all of the Cheeky section in the first combined issue contained strips - one page carried the Friscodisco competition, and a further two pages were devoted to the Fib card game. But comparing the number of surviving Whoopee! strips with the total Cheeky Weekly newcomers in that first edition of Whoopee! and Cheeky gives a surprising (to me, anyway) result...

Whoopee! strips Number of Pages Cheeky Weekly newcomers Number of Pages
Sweeny Toddler 1 Stage School 2
Bookworm 1 Paddywack 1
Bumpkin Billionaires 2 Gran 2
Smiler 1 It’s Cheeky 4
Smiler’s Smile-In 1 Mustapha 2
Toy Boy 1 Calculator Kid 1
Scared-Stiff Sam 1

Frankie Stein 1.5

Supermum (Merry-go-Round)* 2

Lolly Pop 1

TOTAL 12.5
12

That's right, the Whoopee! characters occupied just a half-page more than their new Cheeky Weekly chums (and I'm being generous in classifying joke page Smiler's Smile-In as a Whoopee! strip).

This was not so much a merge, more an attempted coup by the toothy funster and his fellow refugees.

Since the Friscodisco competition was a one-off feature celebrating the inaugural amalgamated issue, a page was to become free within the Cheeky section in subsequent issues of Whoopee! and Cheeky. So which of the Cheeky Weekly alumni not already ensconced within its pages would be chosen to occupy the prized location? There were a number of quality contenders - Elephant on the Run? Disaster Des? Speed Squad?

Sadly, none of those was to secure the vacant spot. Political manoeuvring by IPC management, clearly intended to prevent the Cheeky camp outnumbering their hosts, saw the installation of an inferior interloper with no connection to the toothy funster's iconic title.

Cheeky is still featuring prominently on the
cover of the second combined issue.
Lolly Pop art: Sid Burgon



Chip, which made its debut on page 2 of the Cheeky section in Whoopee! and Cheeky dated 16 February 1980, was a new strip and therefore had no allegiances to either Whoopee! or the Cheeky crew.

Chip's debut
Art on all selections shown: Trevor Metcalfe

The rather ill-tempered and violent dad is distinctly unappealing but the main problem with the 'kid with gadget' set-up of this strip is its similarity to that of Calculator Kid, residing just 14 pages away on the back cover of Cheeky's comic-within-comic. I'm obviously biased here, but while I can accept the idea of a talking calculator, a giant, flying microchip with the power of speech (although in later episodes the titular microprocessor 'thinks' his dialogue) and which can control any machine stretches credulity too far. Mike's dad isn't just irascible in the first episode for the purposes of the set-up, he's unpleasant in subsequent instalments as well, and in early stories a feud develops between Chip and the peevish parent.




Whereas Calc is almost infallible, Chip's interventions usually go awry. Mike/Michael is clearly too scared of his dad to ask him to take the irresponsible processor back to the laboratory where he works to get the thing reprogrammed.



The Cheeky section within Whoopee! and Cheeky lasted until the issue dated 04 October 1980, and thereafter the strips that had hitherto been confined to the 16 innermost pages were freed to wander the comic. Since Chip's tenuous link to the Cheeky oeuvre ceased at this point, his activities from that date onward need not concern us. My intention for this post is little more than to acknowledge the strip's existence due to its (unwelcome) presence in the toothy funster's section. However, in fairness I have to report that the majority of Whoopee! readers clearly didn't share my opinion of the feature as Chip continued until Whoopee! merged into Whizzer and Chips in 1985.

The final issue of Cheeky Weekly included two Disaster Des stories. Possibly it was originally intended that Des would transfer into the merged title, and one of those Des pages in that ultimate edition was originally prepared for use in Whoopee! and Cheeky. However, neither of the adventures in question have an explanation of the premise of the strip, which one might expect to see in the first episode of a post-merge feature.

*Merry-go-Round was a concept which I'm assuming was introduced at the point when Cheeky Weekly merged into Whoopee! Each week a strip selected from a number features that had appeared in Whoopee! prior to the merge, yet had not secured a permanent slot in the combined title (such as Blabbermouth, Ivor Swap and Dads as Lads), would appear on the M-g-R page. This device allowed long-time Whoopee! readers to continue to enjoy some of their fun pals who would otherwise have been dropped to make space for the incomers, and this arrangement could be seen as an acknowledgement by the editor of the large number of pages devoted to Cheeky and his chums.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Whoopee! and Cheeky - the first combined issue; 09 February 1980

We learn from the cover of the first Whoopee! and Cheeky that our toothy pal and his ex-Cheeky Weekly co-survivors will be ensconced in a 16 page comic-within-comic in the centre of the host title, a rather unusual way of absorbing one comic into another (the customary fate of an underperforming title was its 'merge' into a more successful comic). Most 'merges' resulted in the features from the failed comic being interspersed among the pages of the host title. Cheeky Weekly wasn't so much merged into Whoopee!, rather the toothy funster's title was embraced by the elder comic.

Whizzer and Chips had most famously employed the two-comics-in-one format since 1969, but the idea had also been used in Shiver and Shake, and of course Cheeky Weekly itself adopted the concept during the period in which the Mystery Comic occupied its centre pages (although adding an additional metatextual spin not present in the above examples by having the Mystery Comic being a title read by the Cheeky Weekly characters).

Since the focus of this blog is on Cheeky and his pals, I'll home straight in on that very first Cheeky section. On the section's front page, our toothy pal is, unusually, sporting a blue and black jumper instead of his familiar red and black apparel (the new sweater was probably given to him by the Whoopee! editor as a bit of a sweetener). This is another use of an image that I refer to as the 'standard Cheeky face' which was first seen in the debut issue of Cheeky Weekly and on several subsequent occasions. The office cleaner has clearly been complaining about having to dust the boxes of  Friend of Cheeky badges left in the corner of what was the Cheeky Weekly office. Snail makes his presence felt, as he did on the Whoopee! cover.



The Curtain rises on Stage School with a brief résumé of the strip's premise for the benefit of Whoopee! readers, before the cravat-wearing showbiz teacher (who was rarely seen in Cheeky Weekly) sets a tough exam assignment. The title panel that appeared in the last few months of the strip's Cheeky Weekly run has been retained.


Art: Robert Nixon

Stage School's 2-pager is followed by a page carrying the details of the proper-front-page-announced competition to win a Friscodisco battery-powered record player.



Erstwhile Cheeky Weekly readers may be a bit surprised to see a selection of Paddywack gags over the page, as the bumbling buffoon wasn't included among the band of characters shown to be transferring to their new home in last week's final issue of our grinning pal's comic. Readers are still being invited to submit their Paddywack gags (the editor clearly hoping to mine a previously-untapped source of gags in the shape of Whoopee! readers who, because the dithering dolt wasn't included in the Cheeky mini comic that appeared in their funny paper, were hitherto unaware that such a thing as a 'Paddywack type joke' even existed), although the cash reward for successful contributors has been reduced from Cheeky Weekly's £2 to a single quid BUT with a bonus Whoopee! Cushion prize which I'm sure is worth a pound of anyone's money.


Art: Jack Clayton

Next up is 6 Million Dollar Gran, or rather $6000,000 Gran as she has now been styled. Pauline Potts informs Whoopee! readers that the titular OAP is a 'bionic robot granny'. Well, at least this oxymoronic statement  does acknowledge Gran's robotic origin.

Art: Ian Knox

The next 2 pages of Cheeky's section are devoted to the first instalment of the cut-out Fib card game, IPC, as ever, never missing an opportunity to encourage readers to attack their comics with scissors. The cards feature characters from the newly-combined comic, so Cheeky, Mustapha Million, Snail, Gran and Calculator Kid rub shoulders with the likes of Whoopee! stalwarts Frankie Stein and Lolly Pop. Readers excising the game from within the Cheeky section would be losing the second of Gran's pages and the first of Cheeky's.



Cheeky, seemingly unaware that he risks being glued to a cornflake packet then sliced into pieces, does the introductions in his whopping 4-page segment, titled It's Cheeky!. Well, obviously 4 pages is a bit of a comedown compared to the coverage he had in Cheeky Weekly, but it's a good number of pages to be allocated post-merge (the opinions of long-time Whoopee! readers who find their favourite strips jettisoned to make way for what they may well consider to be 'all this Cheeky rubbish' would no doubt differ). The monochrome printing means we can't tell whether the toothy funster is wearing his new blue/black jumper. Mike Lacey does his usual superb job, but it's a pity Frank McDiarmid wasn't on hand to furnish the inaugural artwork for Cheeky's Whoopee! era. I suspect Frank either took a well-deserved break for a week, or was busy building up a stock of Cheeky strips for future use.

Art: Mike Lacey



Like Gran, Mustapha has undergone a title revision which now reads Mu$tapha Mi££i(coin image)n - he was previously titled Mustapha Mi££ion although I rarely referred to him as such. Joe McCaffrey clearly used Reg Parlett's artwork on the first Mustapha episode as a reference for the 3-panel back-story.


Rounding off the Cheeky section is Calculator Kid. It's remarkably fortunate for Whoopee! readers that just as the story starts, Charlie and Calc encounter a newcomer to the area (modelling rather alarming, baggy tartan trews), giving young Master Counter and his battery-powered buddy the opportunity to explain the strip's set-up. Whereas in Cheeky Weekly the feature had a title panel located at the left hand side of the first row of pictures, Charlie and Calc now have a banner-style title, although using the same image as before.

Art: Terry Bave
Long-time readers of the host title may have already been aware of Cheeky, Gran and Mustapha if they had read the aforementioned Cheeky mini comic that appeared in their 08 July 1978 edition.

Other than the '2 Famous Comics in One' banner on Whoopee!'s front page and the Cheeky/Posh Claude gag, there is no mention of the 'merge' in this week's issue - not even a 'welcome to our new readers'-type message on the letters page (although some of the strips in the Whoopee! section do include introductory explanations for new readers).

There is, however, this ominous announcement...



Monday, 11 March 2019

Whizzer and Chips - The Cheeky Raids part 38

New readers start here... After Cheeky Weekly folded and was incorporated into Whoopee as of February 1980 six strips that had originated in the toothy funster's title survived the merge and continued to appear in the amalgamated comic. Whoopee itself foundered in March 1985 and was merged into Whizzer and Chips. Three of the surviving Cheeky Weekly strips successfully negotiated this second merge and went on to appear in the newly combined publication, rather inelegantly titled 'Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee'. The survivors were Mustapha Million, Calculator Kid and (appearing only twice) Stage School. Cheeky continued to appear, but as a member of The Krazy Gang, who had moved into W&C when Krazy, the comic in which the Gang originated, expired in April 1978. However, the Krazy Gang's Whizzer and Chips run ended in the issue dated 08 February 1986. Calculator Kid survived a little longer, his run of reprints coming to an end in the 26 July 1986 edition and leaving Mustapha Million as the sole Cheeky Weekly survivor.

A month after being raided by Lazy Bones, Mustapha Million was approaching the end of his summer holiday, and enjoying a brief stopover at the Disneyland-esque (and reminiscent of Walley World as featured in the 1983 film National Lampoon's Vacation) Wishy World, when he was again subject to an unwelcome intrusion by one of those pesky Whizz-kids. Can you spot the miscreant in the story below? If your answer is 'nay', scroll down to discover the identity of the interloper.

Whizzer and Chips 22 August 1987
Art: Barry Glennard
















Yes, it's that mischievous mare, Winnie the Royal Nag, who was the first to coin the annoying phrase which was adopted by many of the subsequent gloating raiders of Mustapha's strip (I can't bring myself to type the offending slogan, so please see her previous raid on our middle eastern mate here). Mercifully, she didn't say it this time.

More raiding fun soon!

Whizzer and Chips Cover Date Raider Raided
06 April 1985Mustapha MillionSuper Steve
04 May 1985Bloggs (Store Wars)Mustapha Million
11 May 1985JokerThe Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
18 May 1985Calculator Kid & CalcOdd-Ball
01 June 1985
Animalad
Mustapha Million
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Boy Boss
08 June 1985Odd-BallCalculator Kid
06 July 1985Toy BoyCalculator Kid
13 July 1985Pa BumpkinThe Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
27 July 1985JokerMustapha Million
24 August 1985CheekySid's Snake
14 September 1985
Odd-Ball
Calculator Kid
Calculator Kid
Store Wars
05 October 1985Mustapha MillionAnimalad
19 October 1985Odd-BallMustapha Million
23 November 1985
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Calculator Kid
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Mustapha Million
18 January 1986Mustapha MillionSuper Steve
25 January 1986
Odd-Ball
Cheeky
Mustapha Million
Odd-Ball
08 February 1986
The Krazy Gang ends this issue
AnimaladMustapha Million
15 February 1986Lazy BonesCalculator Kid
15 March 1986Odd-BallCalculator Kid
29 March 1986Calculator KidMaster P Brain
05 April 1986Bumpkin BillionairesMustapha Million
12 April 1986AnimaladCalculator Kid
31 May 1986Lazy BonesCalculator Kid
07 June 1986Mustapha MillionJoker
28 June 1986Sweet ToothMustapha Million
26 July 1986
Calculator Kid ends this issue
No Cheeky-related raid this issueNo Cheeky-related raid this issue
16 August 1986Mustapha MillionJoker
23 August 1986Sweet ToothMustapha Million
18 October 1986Winnie the Royal NagMustapha Million
06 December 1986Toy BoyMustapha Million
13 December 1986Mustapha MillionOdd-Ball
17 January 1987SidMustapha Million
14 February 1987Odd-BallMustapha Million
11 April 1987Pa BumpkinMustapha Million
25 April 1987Mustapha MillionOdd-Ball
20 June 1987Toy BoyMustapha Million
27 June 1987Mustapha MillionMemory Banks
25 July 1987Lazy BonesMustapha Million
22 August 1987Winnie the Royal NagMustapha Million