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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*** CHEEKY WEEKLY, KRAZY, WHOOPEE and WHIZZER AND CHIPS ARE ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ***

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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Profile - Nosy Nora

Nosy Nora made her debut on the Friday page of Cheeky Weekly's first issue, in pursuit of the toothy funster as he himself tracked down The Mystery Comic. In her first outing it's not clear whether Nora was previously aware of The Mystery Comic's existence, but in the majority of her subsequent appearances she dogged Cheeky as he sought out that perplexing publication, in order that she could read it herself. Unlike most of the Cheeky's Week supporting cast, whose appearances would usually be limited to a maximum of three consecutive panels as they participated in a gag with Cheeky, Nora's pursuit of the elusive comic would regularly span a whole page (although she didn't necessarily appear in all the panels). Nora lacked perseverance and would often depart in despair of ever seeing The Mystery Comic just before Cheeky acquired his copy.

Nosy Nora (or is it Nosey Norah?) makes her debut
 in the first issue of Cheeky Weekly.
Art: Frank McDiarmid

In the 25 February 1978 issue Nora was unwittingly the source of The Mystery Comic, but in the following issue (04 March) she obtained a copy of the coveted publication before Cheeky was able to track it down, thanks to Baby Burpo who was exacting revenge on the toothy funster for forgetting the terrible toddler's birthday.

Cheeky got his own back the next week when sneaky snooper Nora was unable to leave home while suffering from a cold. Our grinning pal stood outside her house reading the comic just beyond range of Nora's glasses as she peered forlornly out of the window.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

In the 25 March 1978 comic Nora was frightened by Yikky-Boo in the second Friday panel and failed to pursue Cheeky as a result. It seems the event proved traumatic, as this strip brought to an end a 23-week run in which Nora attempted to pursue Cheeky in search of The Mystery Comic every Friday (Mustapha Million's strip followed the Friday page every week in this 23 issue sequence - his was the only Mystery Comic story to appear in Cheeky Weekly until the end of September 1978). In the following issue, Nora migrated to the Wednesday page, where she was seen among a bunch of Cheeky's pals in just a single panel. Nora was then absent from the comic for 11 issues (despite Cheeky continuing his weekly search for The Mystery Comic), returning on Friday in the 12 August 1978 comic, where she introduced the Calculator Kid story on the following page (Mustapha had relocated to the page after Thursday as of 01 July 1978). This was the final time that Nora was named in the pages of Cheeky Weekly, although she did appear in a further 4 issues. The first of these final outings came after a 4 week gap, when she delivered a couple of lines during the Interval. A further 29 weeks passed without an appearance by Nora, until she was seen sporting a facsimile of the toothy funster's trademark jumper in 31 March 1979's special issue. Mike Lacey drew Nora in 2 Cheeky's Week elements in the comic dated 16 June 1979, neither of which were speaking roles. Nora's final nose around the pages of Cheeky Weekly came in the 14 July 1979 comic, when Mike Lacey depicted her (silently) among Cheeky's classmates at school.

Cheeky Weekly 25 March 1978
Art: Barrie Appleby

Nosy Nora's final appearance, 14 July 1979
Art: Mike Lacey

In her first Cheeky Weekly appearance, Krazy Town's schoolgirl snooper was named Nosy Norah (although in the same panel the word was also spelled 'nosey'). She was also referred to as Nosey Nora on 2 occasions, but the usual spelling was Nosy Nora.

Nora appeared, partially obscured by Auntie Daisy, as Cheeky and his pals invited readers to join them in  Cheeky Weekly, in the 'Ello, It's Cheeky strip in Krazy's final issue.


Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Nosy Nora2922-Oct-197714-Jul-1979

 Count of elements by artist


Character Artist Total Elements
Nosy NoraFrank McDiarmid pencils10
Nosy NoraFrank McDiarmid9
Nosy NoraUnknown Cheeky Artist 15
Nosy NoraMike Lacey3
Nosy NoraBarrie Appleby2
Nosy NoraDick Millington1

Thursday, 17 October 2013

A Chip off the old Calculator

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.


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 that's something which never happened in Cheeky Weekly's run, 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 to 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.

Frank McDiarmid provides 6 Cheeky's Week elements, with Mike Lacey delivering 4 - there's also a touch of cut-and-pastery as discussed above.


Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 07-Apr-1979, Issue 74 of 117
PageDetails
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 Mike Lacey
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
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
30Chit-Chat
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

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Rejects - Lily Pop's Little Sister

A recent request to show this particular strip has prompted me to kick off a new series of posts that I've been planning for a while - The Rejects.

As we have seen, a number of the cast of the Cheeky's Week strips in Cheeky Weekly originated in the 'Ello, it's Cheeky/'Ello, I'm Cheeky pages in Krazy. However, some characters who appeared quite regularly in those same Krazy pages failed to make the transition to Cheeky's own comic. This new series will focus on the toothy funster's Krazy pals who didn't make it to Cheeky Weekly.

This Cheekys' Pal page from Krazy dated 25 February 1978 introduced readers to luscious Lily Pop's little sister. Maybe the relationship established here between Baby Burpo and young Miss Pop was deemed to deviate too radically from the terrible tyke's tough toddler image, but for whatever reason Lily's sister was never seen again either in Krazy or Cheeky Weekly.




Burpo introduced Lily again in the first episode of Cheeky Weekly's run of Burpo Specials almost 10 months after the above strip was published.