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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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Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Best Of Whizzer and Chips Annual

Since reading about Egmont's new The Best Of Whizzer and Chips Annual on Lew Stringer's blog I have been trying to track down a copy. There's no Sainsburys on my local high street, so my first trip was to the nearest store which, I was disappointed to discover, has no book section so my expedition was fruitless. Today I headed out to Crayford.

I was soon hurrying through the portals of the superstore in question. Targetting the book section at the back of the shop it wasn't long before I spotted a stack of TBOWACAs in the children's area. Further investigation revealed another stack on the 'Book Charts' shelves, where TBOWACA occupied 29th position and companion publication, the less-than-snazzily-titled The Best of 70s Girls' Comics Annual, nestled next door at number 30. Both are priced at £7.99 on the back cover but cost £3.99 as per the sticker on their front covers.

I bought a copy of each to support the project in the hope that we may see Egmont produce some more gems from their Classic Comics archive.

A quick glance at the books looks promising - the paper quality is much better than some of the original annuals, and there is colour of some kind (either full or spot) on every page of TBOWACA. The pages are tinged with yellow, which is presumably an effect added to enhance nostalgic feelings among the readership, a result that I quite liked.

I wondered whether there might be some Cheeky-related strips in the W&C annual. There aren't, but the Tiny Tycoon 2-pager commencing on page 30 looks to me to be the work of Frank McDiarmid ghosting Tom Williams. There's a slightly jarring moment on the 'welcome' page which says 'We hope you have fun with the Chip-ites and Whizzer-kids'!

I'm very pleased with these books and looking forward to settling down for a good read. Egmont have done justice to the strips and I'm very much hoping that this is just the first batch of an ongoing series. The Best Of Cheeky Annual next year?


  1. Yes, it’s Frank McDiarmid. The front endpapers and page 4 are from about 1978, Ed McHenry’s board game is from about 1984, and another rarity: Joker on pages 20 and 21 may be by Dave Eastbury, but I’m not entirely sure. I couldn’t tell you who did Sweet Tooth on page 56.

    The whole thing is printed in the original colours, nothing added. There was a time in the late 70s until 1982 when the annuals were printed with spot colour only, but from 1983 it reverted to 32 pages colour and the rest B&W or spot colour. Because 1982 was my first annual, I thought 128 pages was normal, but I see back in the 70s it was 144 pages, and before that, 160 pages. Such a change...

    1. Thanks for confirming Frank's hand on TT, Andy, and for the additional info on the original annuals. I must admit that initially I was a tad disappointed that Egmont had selected for this collection a few ghosted strips among those drawn by the 'genuine' artists, but then I remembered that of course there was quite a lot of ghosting in the original annuals so I suppose these reprints just reflect that. Have you spotted any raids yet?

  2. Two deliberate inclusions is all I have - Fuss Pot guesting in Lazy Bones on page 16 and Toffee Nose being the Chip-ite twit of the year on page 46. I think they did well to avoid the reprints which dominated the annuals.

    Another ghosting, this time by that King of ghosters Tom Williams (which makes Frank’s work from the 1982 annual rather ironic) is Super Dad on page 54. In my time it was always Graham Allen.

    I’m really not sure about that Joker strip, the more I look at it. Have a look at some of the work on Little ‘Orror in Cracker - maybe it’s David Easington instead.

    1. I have no idea who the Joker artist is, and I'm not familiar with the artists you mention so I can't offer any valid opinions!

  3. I wish we could get these in Australia!