I never cared very much for the antics of Chip, whose first installment intruded upon the Cheeky section of Whoopee! the week after it absorbed the toothy funster's comic. Chip's basic premise was uncomfortably close to that of the far superior Cheeky refugee Calculator Kid, who appeared in that very same Cheeky pull-out. Both strips featured a young lad with a small, electronic sidekick, but the idea of an intelligent, talking calculator somehow required less of a suspension of disbelief than was needed to accept stories about a flying microchip which could, by some unexplained means, animate any number of unlikely objects, electronic and otherwise. Additionally, Charlie's Calculator was almost entirely infallible whereas Chip's intervention in a situation usually signalled a (tedious) minor disaster. Quite how the Whoopee! editor allowed two similarly-themed strips to run concurrently for such a long time, particularly when their proximity within the pages of the same comic served to highlight just how poor Chip was, is something of a mystery.
|Chip's first episode, from the second|
combined issue of Whoopee! and Cheeky
(appearing on the second page of the
comic's Cheeky pull-out),
16 February 1980.
Art: Trevor Metcalfe
With my rather tetchy preamble out of the way, in this post I want to focus on the Chip episode from the 09 June 1984 issue of Whoopee and Wow! By this time Mike Lacey had taken over the artwork duties (maybe Trevor Metcalfe shared my view that the strip was less than scintillating and bailed out). In this particular episode, another feature from the same comic, Calculator Kid's Cheeky Weekly co-survivor Mustapha Million, gets a mention in a rather feeble gag.