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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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Thursday 10 October 2013

Cheeky Weekly cover date 07 April 1979

The image of Cheeky on the cover of this week's issue (unusual as it shows him without a shirt collar poking from his jumper) is the same as appeared on the front of last week's issue on the cover of the knitting pattern.

The majority of the front page teases readers over the identities of the celebs featured on the first part of the Top Ten poster in the centre pages (and no, Snail's grasp of mathematics isn't at fault -the star voted 7th most popular isn't among those depicted on the first installment of the poster).

The toothy funster regains his usual mode of dress in time for the Cheeky's Week...Sunday cover gag featuring a denture dilemma for Posh Claude.

There has evidently been some adjustment to the April Fool art on page 2, the majority of which is drawn by Frank McDiarmid – the first panel appears to be a (presumably pasted-in) Barrie Appleby version of the toothy funster and there's a different style of lettering in Cheeky's speech balloon. Maybe the cover was originally planned to be without the Cheeky's Week...Sunday strip (as it was last week), so the original page 2 art included the Cheeky's Week...Sunday title panel.

Art: Frank McDiarmid, with Barrie Appleby
on the first panel

The April Fool fun continues into 6 Million Dollar Gran, in which the synthetic senior citizen spies the fateful date on the calendar as she descends the stairs breakfastward, and determines to avoid falling victim to any pranks. A series of seemingly suspicious scenarios ensue, so wary Gran finds herself ignoring warnings to avoid wet cement and a pane of glass being carried by two workmen. At the story's conclusion Gran discovers that the mischievous Potts kids advanced the calendar by one day and it's actually 31st March.

There's further evidence of adjusted artwork at the foot of the Monday page, where a hand other than Frank McDiarmid's appears to be the source of the illustration in the final panel and again the style of lettering appears to differ from that on the rest of the page. I'd guess that this week's Skateboard Squad story, in which the intrepid trio are victims of a rather odd April Fool cake-snatch prank, had originally been slated to appear immediately after 6 Million Dollar Gran in order to keep it within April Fool's Day. However, since Gran and the Squad have never butted up against each other in any previous issue, maybe it was later felt that moving the Squad to follow the Monday page would improve the flow of the comic.

Art: Frank McDiamid, and someone else on
the final panel?

Dour depressive Gloomy Glad is the source of The Mystery Comic this week. The perplexing publication makes no mention on its cover of the Top Ten poster located in the centre spread.

There's trickery afoot in Elephant On The Run (though not explicitly of the April Fool variety) when our pachyderm pal is hired to operate an excavator on a building site known by his unscrupulous employers to contain unexploded bombs. In a typically enjoyable and fast-moving episode, The Man In The Plastic Mac arrives just as the betrunked fugitive unearths a nasty-looking explosive device...

Lively work by Robert Nixon

Star Guest fetches up inside The Mystery Comic for the first time this week, and the featured character is Fuss Pot who by this stage in her long career was causing a fuss in Whizzer and Chips.

Anticipation mounts as we approach the centre pages. Which celebrities have been voted into the Top Ten by Cheeky Weekly readers? This is going to be something really special. Or is it?

Sadly, the poster is a huge disappointment, and any kids looking forward to a colourful addition to their bedroom wall will feel extremely let down. Since the celebrities (in one case a late celebrity) were chosen democratically, there's a chance that some of the pics on offer could appeal to readers, but the photos are printed in black and white. Not only that, but the somewhat primitive printing process and cheap newsprint renders the photos as if taken through a thick fog.

There's April Fool fun in Mustapha Million's story, as his pals try to persuade the middle-eastern moneybags that a UFO has been sighted overhead. A sceptical Mustapha's not biting, but he flies his radio-controlled UFO model over the town, leading the townsfolk to a super slap-up feed.

This week's Mystery Comic is the first to be comprised of 12 pages (all the previous issues, apart from one 10-pager, have covered 8 pages), although 2 MC pages are given over to the Top Ten Poster, and another 2 contain adverts. Star Guest also intrudes, resulting in Why, Dad,Why? being bumped this week.

The Thursday page returns us to Cheeky Weekly, and at this point Mike Lacey takes over the Cheeky's Week artwork from Frank McDiarmid, who drew all the Cheeky pages before the Mystery Comic section. However, there appears to be some more adjusted artwork in the final panel of Thursday, as a Frank McDiarmid Cheeky seems to have been pasted in. It could be that Calculator Kid, absent this week, was originally intended to follow this page, so the final panel originally introduced Charlie and Calc.

Art: Mike Lacy, with final panel
by Frank McDiarmid

On the Joke-Box Jury page is a gag that (I'm sure purely coincidentally) mentions a character who would appear in IPC's new comic, Jackpot, launched a month after this Cheeky Weekly went on sale.

Pin-Up Pal, which came to an end last week, relinquishes its coveted back cover location to The Burpo Special (this week focusing on shifty Spiv). Thus another week of Cheeky chortles reaches its conclusion.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 07-Apr-1979, Issue 74 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Poster part 1' 1 of 2 - Art Frank McDiarmid\Cheeky's Week - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
36 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
46 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
6Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
7Skateboard Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
8Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
9Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
10Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
11Tub 'Mystery Comic' 23 of 34 - Art Nigel Edwards
12Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 23 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
13Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 23 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
14Star Guest 'Fuss Pot' - Art Norman Mansbridge (single art on feature)
15Tease Break\Ad: IPC 'Comics Go Pop promo'
16Top Ten Poster (first appearance)
17Top Ten Poster (first appearance)
18Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 24 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
19Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 24 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
20Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 25 of 37 - Art John Richardson
21Disaster Des 'Mystery Comic' 22 of 30 - Art Mike Lacey
22Ad: WH Smith
23Thursday - Art Mike Lacey
24Joke-Box Jury
25Friday - Art Mike Lacey
26Menace of the Alpha Man reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Eric Bradbury
27Menace of the Alpha Man reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Eric Bradbury
28Saturday - Art Mike Lacey
29Saturday - Art Mike Lacey
31Top Ten Poster instructions (first appearance)\Ad: IPC 'Tornado' 2 of 4
32The Burpo Special 'Spiv' - Art Frank McDiarmid

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 07-Apr-1979
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid6
Mike Lacey4

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