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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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Sunday 9 December 2012

Profile - Doctor Braincell

Madcap medic Doctor Braincell first appeared in Cheeky Weekly issue 21, dated 11 March 1978. Evidently the scriptwriter had a plentiful supply of Doctor jokes, as thereafter the GP japester was absent from the comic on only 4 occasions, making his final daft diagnosis in Cheeky Weekly's last issue.

Braincell actually appeared twice in the issue in which he made his debut - on Friday he produced a copy of The Mystery Comic from his little black bag, and he was outside the cinema as Cheeky and pals exited the Saturday morning pictures. In neither of these appearances was he named.

Braincell's debut
Art: Barrie Appleby

However, when the daffy Doctor next appeared in Cheeky Weekly (25 March 1978), he was given a namecheck by the toothy funster as Doctor Brain-Cell.

The Doctor's first namecheck
Art: Barrie Appleby
The 20 May 1978 issue saw the jolly GP feature in 9 Cheeky's Week elements, as Cheeky engaged in a multiplicity of medical mirth.

On the cover of the 27 May 1978 comic we witnessed a comical consultation as Cheeky sought advice from Braincell in the What a Cheek strip. This was the only strip in which the Doctor was seen in his surgery (although a later Pin-Up Pal poster would depict a surgery scene - see below), and it was also the first of Braincell's 9 cover appearances - 6 times in the cover strips (What A Cheek and Cheeky's Week) and, after the cover strips came to an end in the 30 June 1979 issue, a further 3 times in the main cover pic.

2038: Geriatric GP meets toothless funster
Cheeky Weekly 19 August 1978
Art: Frank McDiarmid
On every occasion where we saw the nameplate outside his front door, the merry medic's name was spelled Braincell (except in the 08 September 1979 comic), and in 13 January 1979's Burpo Special, wherein the funny physician was the subject of Burpo's infantile interrogation, his surname was again missing its hyphen. Although the Brain-Cell spelling is more common, I have adopted the unhyphenated version in this blog, as;

(A) It's the name shown (with one exception) by his front door, and he should know how to spell it


(B) it's marginally funnier.

08 September 1979 - I suspect the hyphenated spelling on
the nameplate is the result of it being squeezed into the frame
Art: Frank McDiarmid

19 May 1979 - both spellings of the Doctor's name in a single gag
Art: Frank McDiarmid

The playful pill peddler often sported a sticking plaster on his head, and something on his Adam's apple which was either a pimple or some sort of dressing, possibly on the site of a shaving accident. He was evidently afflicted by a chronic conk condition, as his proboscis was permanently bandaged.

The scatty stethoscope-user was seen frantically searching through his medical text books while attempting to diagnose Cheeky's sore digit on the Pin-Up Pal poster in the 24 February 1979 issue. The poster can be seen on Bruce's blog. Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue of Doctor Jokes appeared in the 01 December 1979 issue. Braincell never appeared in Cheeky's strip in Krazy.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Doctor Braincell9311-Mar-197802-Feb-1980

Count of elements by artist

Character Artist Total Elements
Doctor BraincellFrank McDiarmid50
Doctor BraincellMike Lacey19
Doctor BraincellBarrie Appleby16
Doctor BraincellFrank McDiarmid pencils16
Doctor BraincellJim Watson4
Doctor BraincellDick Millington4
Doctor BraincellUnknown Cheeky Artist 11

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