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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Sunday 15 January 2012

Revamp 2

A full-blown revamp hit Cheeky Weekly's 50th issue dated 30 September 1978.  Rather similarly to the first revamp, this second upheaval took place around a cut-out feature.  In the case of the first revamp, the changes had occurred around 1978's mini comics promotion, while revamp 2 was instigated around the 4-week Crack-A-Joke game promotion which began in the 02 September 1978 issue.

Features to end in preparation for revamp 2;

  • Creepy Sleepy Tale and related strip, Wednesday (conclusion), both had their final appearances in the comic dated 26 August 1978, as did Old Comic.  The demise of these features freed up space for the Crack-A-Joke Game to begin the following week.
  • Archie's Angels came to an end in the 16 September 1978 issue, the penultimate issue to carry elements of the Crack-A-Joke Game.
  • Sunday evening, Teacher's Teasers and What A Cheek all ended in the 23 September 1978 issue, the final issue before the revamp.
  • The Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf reprint from Cor!! made its second and final Cheeky Weekly appearance in the 30 September 1978 issue, although the cartoon supporting feature element of Saturday's cinema show continued with Warner Brothers cartoon strips.

New features appearing during revamp 2;

A couple of features emerged, blinking, from IPC's vaults for a single time before being summarily returned to oblivion, as the comic geared up for the revamp;

  • Hickory Dickory Doc, another reprint from Cor!! that was used to represent a supporting feature cartoon, made its sole Cheeky Weekly appearance in the 16 September 1978 issue, and Sonny Storm, yet another reanimated Cor!! character, blew into and out of the comic dated 23 September 1978.
Although Archie's Angels and Sonny Storm, both strips whose role in Cheeky Weekly had been to represent the adventure serial element of Cheeky's weekly cinema visit, had come to an end by 30 September 1978, the cinema serial idea had not been dropped.  A new (to Cheeky Weekly, anyway) adventure strip would commence in the 07 October 1978 issue.

In addition to the new features, revamp 2 saw a change in the design of the Cheeky's Week pages.  Previously, each day of the week was introduced with a caption above the top row of artwork, as from revamp 2 a more conventional title panel, reading Cheeky's Week and including an entry from Cheeky's Diary, kicked off each new day.  In addition to this, a new element was introduced at the bottom of the first of each of the Cheeky's Week pages, with a caption reading What did YOU do today?, and giving a space in which readers were invited to record their daily doings.

Cynics among Cheeky Weekly's readership may have considered that the introduction of these new elements onto Cheeky's pages had an ulterior motive. Taken over a whole issue, the space lost to the new title panel and reader's diary would amount to a whole page or more, reducing the workload for the toiling artists working to fill a whole Cheeky's Week each issue, and of course saving money for IPC.

As can be seen here, revamp 2 had the effect of reducing the total number of Cheeky's Week elements from a pre-revamp average of 13 elements per issue to 10.

The revamp continued in the following week's issue, as the 07 October 1978 comic saw the introduction of 2 more new strips; Laugh and Learn, and The Terrible Trail to Taggart's Treasure, a reprint from Shiver and Shake.

A new policy on Cheeky's Week artists appeared to have been instigated at this revamp. Whereas previously the majority of issues had seen multiple artists contribute to each comic's Cheeky strips, as of 30 September 1978 only one artist (or collaboration) from the usual pool of illustrators provided each issue's Cheeky's Week content. The issues and artists can be seen here.

As of revamp 2, the number of Cheeky's Week elements per issue was reduced to 11, from a previous average 13, then down to 10 as of early 1979. This reduction in Cheeky elements probably made the editor confident that the new 'one Cheeky artist per issue' policy could be maintained, but it began to break down in early 1979.

Revamps were common in comics of the period, as editors tried to fine-tune the contents of their titles to yield maximum readership.  It's interesting that readers were invited to fill out a popularity poll in the comic dated 09 September 1978, a mere 3 weeks before 30 September's reshuffle.  Surely by 09 September, the new features had already been completed.  Maybe the changes introduced at revamp 2 were in response to the first readers' poll in the issue dated 10 December 1977.  Alternatively, the changes may have been made as a consequence of unsolicited reader feedback, or possibly the Cheeky Weekly editor decided to introduce a comic-within-comic to emulate long-running IPC stablemate Whizzer and Chips, which had adopted a 2-comics-in-one approach from its first issue.

Comparison of features: Issues 26-Aug-1978 and 30-Sep-1978
26-Aug-1978 30-Sep-1978
6 Million Dollar Gran6 Million Dollar Gran
Archie's AngelsX - Final appearance was 16-Sep-1978
Calculator KidCalculator Kid
Cover FeatureCover Feature
Creepy Sleepy TaleX - Final appearance was 26-Aug-1978
Joke-Box JuryJoke-Box Jury
Mustapha MillionMustapha Million
Old ComicX - Final appearance was 26-Aug-1978
Pin-up palX - Will return
Skateboard SquadSkateboard Squad
Sunday eveningX - Final appearance was 23-Sep-1978
Teacher's TeasersX - Final appearance was 23-Sep-1978
Tweety and SylvesterTweety and Sylvester
Wednesday (conclusion)X - Final appearance was 26-Aug-1978
What a CheekX - Final appearance was 23-Sep-1978
What's New, KidsX - Will return
X - New after 26-Aug-1978: Begins 30-Sep-1978Cheeky's Pal Puzzle
X - New after 26-Aug-1978: Begins 30-Sep-1978Cheeky's Week
X - New after 26-Aug-1978: Begins 30-Sep-1978Disaster Des
X - New after 26-Aug-1978: Begins 30-Sep-1978Elephant On The Run
X - New after 26-Aug-1978: Begins 30-Sep-1978Hoi! What do you get up to all week
X - New after 26-Aug-1978: Begins 30-Sep-1978Mystery Boy
X - New after 26-Aug-1978: Begins 02-Sep-1978Silly Snaps
X - New after 26-Aug-1978: Begins 30-Sep-1978Tub
X - Started before 26-Aug-1978, Ends 30-Sep-1978Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf
X - New after 26-Aug-1978: Begins 30-Sep-1978Why, Dad, Why?
Started and finished within datesCrack-A-Joke Game Start 02-Sep-1978, End 23-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesHickory Dickory Doc Start 16-Sep-1978, End 16-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesMarx Toys Competition Start 16-Sep-1978, End 16-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesReaders poll Start 09-Sep-1978, End 09-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesSonny Storm Start 23-Sep-1978, End 23-Sep-1978

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