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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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Saturday, 28 August 2010

The Features - Mustapha Million

Art Reg Parlett
The Mustapha Million strip made its debut in the first Cheeky Weekly and appeared in all but 3 issues of the comic.  106 stories were 2-pagers, with the remaining 8 episodes completing in a single page. Early strips see a lonely Mustapha asking British kids to play, then lavishing his vast wealth to secure their friendship, morally a rather dubious scenario.  Later strips show Mustapha using his cash to help kids out of various predicaments, or getting into scrapes after misunderstanding British phrases or customs.
1st appearance - art Reg Parlett

The strip was drawn by 4 artists during its Cheeky run, with Reg Parlett, who was the original artist, and Joe McCaffrey each delivering 56 episodes, While John K Geering and Colin Whittock each stood in on one occasion.  Joe's first work on the character was a single page story in the issue dated 14 January 1978, after which Joe deputised occasionally until Reg's last Mustapha story appeared in the issue dated 17 February 1979.  Joe then supplied all the artwork with the exception of John K Geering's contribution in the 03 November 1979 comic and Colin Whittock's in the 17 November 1979 edition.

Joe McCaffrey's first Mustapha strip

Reg Parlett

Eventually Mustapha developed a friendship with Jimmy (who was first named in the issue dated 04 March 1978), a lad whose hair colour wasn't consistent across the episodes.

In the early issues of Cheeky Weekly, Fridays would find Cheeky seeking out the Mystery Comic, in which Mustapha was one of the characters.  Initially, Mustapha's was the only story from the mysterious publication that we saw, until Cheeky Weekly dated 30 September 1978, from which date the whole of the Mystery Comic was incorporated into Cheeky Weekly. In his strip in the comic dated 17 November 1979, Mustapha is seen reading a copy of Cheeky Weekly. Thus, in an infinitely recursive, meta-disappearing-up-their-own-fictionality loop, Mustapha is a character in a comic read by Cheeky, while Cheeky is a character in a comic read by Mustapha.

Mustapha was one of the guests at Pete and Pauline Potts' party in the 6 Million Dollar Gran strip in Cheeky Weekly dated 06 October 1979.

Jimmy's inconsistent hair

Mustapha exceeded his planned year's stay in Britain by some time, lasting the 2-year-plus run of Cheeky Weekly, and some years more in Whoopee! then Whizzer and Chips.
John K Geering

The Mustapha Million strips that originally appeared in Cheeky Weekly dated 05 November 1977, 26 November 1977 and 03 December 1977 were reprinted in the 1985 Cheeky Annual, which was the final Cheeky Annual to be published, and relied more heavily on reprints than the earlier annuals.  For more details see Bruce's blog.

Friends of Cheeky Chit-Chat
24 March 1979

FeatureFirst AppearanceFinal AppearanceTotal IssuesTotal Issues Missed In RunPage History
Mustapha Million22-Oct-7702-Feb-8011436,7,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29

Issues Missed In Run

UPDATE 10 January 2012: In the table below, Mustapha Million's appearances in The Mystery Comic are counted separately where indicated in the Feature column.

Feature Artist Number of Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Mustapha Million Reg Parlett4522-Oct-197723-Sep-1978
Mustapha Million Joe McCaffrey3314-Jan-197802-Feb-1980
Mustapha Million Mystery ComicReg Parlett1130-Sep-197817-Feb-1979
Mustapha Million Mystery ComicJoe McCaffrey2314-Oct-197830-Jun-1979
Mustapha Million John K. Geering103-Nov-197903-Nov-1979
Mustapha Million Colin Whittock117-Nov-197917-Nov-1979


  1. To me, this was in many ways a very touching strip. We’d had quite a few Fleetway characters with varying attitudes to wealth, however acquired. There were Lolly Pop with his meanness, Ivor Lott with his arrogance and the Bumpkins who were, well, mad (wasteful might have been a kinder term)! With Mustapha, this was radically different from all of the above. He used his wealth, yes, but not to show off or to buy his friends’ friendship. It was the simple act of giving. He’d determine a need and try to fill it, generally with overblown results but his intentions were never anything but good. If only there’d been more strips like this … sniff!

    1. You raise a good point about the contrast between Mustapha and Fleetway's other rich characters. MM was certainly a highlight of Cheeky Weekly when drawn by Reg Parlett.

  2. My only grumble is the pound signs (££) substituting Ls; very distracting and puzzling to young eyes, at least in my case. Gran had the same trouble when she appeared in Whoopee: $6,000,000 meant nothing at all to me at the time – and I don’t exactly see such figures daily now!

    1. Yes, could have resulted in thousands of kids confusing L and £ in their exercise books!