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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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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Profile - Phone Box

The Knock-Knock Door is the best-remembered inanimate 'character' from among the vast roster of Cheeky's supporting cast (other non-living participants being Spook and the more obscure Hot Air Balloon), but there was another lifeless player on the streets of Krazy Town. The time-travelling Phone Box may not have been the most original idea, but at least this telephonic time-machine was of the civilian variety, rather than a police box.

Cheeky's first time-trip occurred on the Saturday page in Cheeky Weekly dated 29 July 1978, when our toothy pal looked inside an unfamiliar phone box. On dialling 1492, in accordance with cryptic instructions on a note therein, Cheeky found himself on a whirlwind round-trip to that year, and a brief joke with Chris Columbus, before being returned to Krazy Town, 1978. This first time-jump was emphasised by being printed in red ink. All the subsequent trips across the years were printed in black ink, with occasional use of red spot colour.

Cheeky's first trip through time
Art: Frank McDiarmid
The toothy funster evidently enjoyed the experience, as he immediately hoped for another meeting with the phone box, even as it receded into a temporal vortex.

Cheeky had to wait a mere 7 days until his next excursion into the past. Saturday in the 05 August 1978 issue was the jumping-off point for a trip to meet Henry VIII. As on the first occasion, this and all subsequent trips began with Cheeky dialling the year shown on the mysterious note inside the phone box.

Cheeky's journey across the years in the 26 August 1978 comic was in the opposite direction to those depicted previously, when he jumped ahead to the year 2001 to share a brief joke with some four-armed aliens on an unspecified planet. This was the only occasion on which Cheeky was propelled into the future by the phone box. Cheeky had, of course, been given a glimpse into the year 2038 via Crystal Belle's crystal ball in the 19 August 1978 issue, but that view of the future was achieved by Belle's psychic skills rather than by time-travel.

In 1978, Tom Jackson was General Secretary of the
Union of Post Office Workers.
The Post Office was at that time responsible
for the operation of the telephone system.
Art: Frank McDiarmid
In Cheeky Weekly dated 23 September 1978, the toothy funster was transported back to 1666 for a meeting with Auntie Daisy's ancestor, who admitted to starting the Great Fire of London as a result of burning some jelly. Our toothy pal met another antecedent of one of the Cheeky's Week cast, when he made a trip to the Boer War in the 14 October 1978 comic and encountered Teacher's forebear among the flying shells.

The furthest back in time that Cheeky travelled was to 218 BC for a crash-landing in the Alps, and a meeting with Hannibal. Sadly, no evidence of an ancestor of Elephant was seen among the Carthaginian military commander's war-beasts.

Art: Frank McDiarmid
The 30 September 1978 issue was the first to include the whole of the Mystery Comic. On the Wednesday page of that edition, by way of an introduction to the Mystery Comic section, the Phone Box took Cheeky on a short trip a couple of days into the past, to the moment in which the single copy of said perplexing publication emerged from the printing press.

Cheeky Weekly 30 September 1978.
The note on the wall of the printing works is
 prophetic of the industrial action which
halted publication of Cheeky Weekly in December 1978.
Art: Frank McDiarmid
Among the characters from history that Cheeky met was, appropriately, Alexander Graham Bell (in the 02 December 1978 issue).

After appearing in 15 issues, the Phone Box disappeared into the fourth dimension, never again to appear on the streets of Krazy Town. Readers were left puzzling over the source of the mysterious notes that had prompted the toothy funster's trips through time. That other telephone-based time-traveller, a certain Doctor from the planet Gallifrey, made cameo appearances during Cheeky's Week in the 13 October and 03 November 1979 Cheeky Weeklies. Maybe he had something to do with Cheeky's journeys along the time-stream.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Phone Box1529-Jul-197806-Jan-1979

1 comment:

  1. the strip sure had lots of topical info scattered around the strip...very interesting to see from the year 2012..