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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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Tuesday 13 January 2015

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date 07 July 1979 - the New Look!

Art: Frank McDiarmid
Here it is – the much-vaunted (well slightly-vaunted in last week's comic, anyway) 'new look' issue. The cover doesn't have an exceptionally new look about it, apart from the legend '* New Look * New Funnies' at the top of the page. Below the comic title (the style of which hasn't been refashioned) are teasers as to the nature of our 'new fun friends' (although one story will turn out to be not so new). The Cheeky's Week...Sunday cover strip has been dispensed with in favour of a single-panel gag but despite the overhaul, the inimitable Cheeky/Manhole Man double-act return to the front page to make their 20th appearance on page 1.

Turning to page 2 we see that Sunday is still featuring Cheeky's paper round but there is a change in the layout as the What did YOU do today? section at the foot of the page, introduced into the Cheeky's Week features way back in the 30 September 1978 issue, is absent. This will please reader Emily Jacob of Rainham. The different style of lettering in Cheeky's speech bubble in the final panel suggests that the original text has been altered for some reason (we've seen this on a number of occasions before). Maybe in this case Cheeky originally introduced 6 Million Dollar Gran.

Frank again

However, page 3 reveals Calculator Kid has survived the revamp, as he enjoys a day's fishing with help from his battery-powered buddy. Also unscathed is What's New Kids which follows Charlie and Calc.

Any readers worried that Gran had been dropped from the comic will be relieved to see her commence a 3-page adventure on page 5, following which Cheeky and pals enjoy a titter-packed Monday. Further chuckles (some of dubious taste) follow in the form of stalwart feature Joke-Box Jury.

Cheeky Weekly welcomes the first of its newcomers on pages 10 and 11. It's The Gang, but older readers may recognise the strip as it's a retitled reprint of The Double Deckers (based on the TV series Here Come The Double Deckers) which originally appeared in Whizzer and Chips in 1971/72

Art: Robert MacGillivray


After a chortlesome Tuesday with our toothy pal, Disaster Des proves he didn't suffer the ultimate disaster that can befall characters at the time of a revamp, by appearing on page 13. However, Des is normally confined within the Mystery Comic which has traditionally appeared after Cheeky's Wednesday page, so something's afoot. We then encounter the second of our new groups of pals, the showbiz wannabe kids of Stage School.

Art: Robert Nixon

Following this new strip by Robert Nixon is a Cheeky Weekly stalwart by the same artist - Elephant, who is still running and enjoying an adventure in the centre pages. This is the second erstwhile Mystery Comic strip which has turned up before we've even seen the cover of that perplexing publication. We then witness the Wednesday element of Cheeky's Week, but there's no introduction to the Mystery Comic in the final panel as there has been every week since the comic dated 30 September 1978. However, the Mystery Comic's ongoing serial Mystery Boy continues on page 19, following which is a selection of Paddywack gags.

Our toothy pal returns on page 22 with Thursday's collection of corny quips, and then we discover that the Star Guest promotion continues despite the revamp, as Cheeky Weekly is paid a prank-packed visit from Whizzer and Chips' resident japester, Joker.

On the Chit-Chat page, Cheeky solicits reader opinion on the new look explaining, as we have come to suspect, that the Mystery Comic characters have been assimilated into the main comic. Overleaf we share Friday with the toothy funster, then there's picnic fun with Mustapha Million, followed by high-velocity humour at the zoo with Speed Squad.

Our chubby chum Tub, now freed from the confines of the centre pages, lumbers towards the rear of the comic, sharing page 29 with an ad for Dunlop outdoor sports equipment, after which we enjoy 2 pages of Saturday at the beach with Cheeky and his pals. Our toothy pal gets things flowing with a classic Walter Wurx gag... 

Frank once again

A back cover ad for Mr Bellamy's Liquorice Novelties brings this revamp issue to a conclusion.

As revamps go, this one isn't particularly drastic (compare it for example to the previous Cheeky Weekly overhaul). The only strips to have been dropped as of the previous issue in preparation for the overhaul are...

  • The front cover's Cheeky's Week...Sunday feature, which is replaced with an untitled single-panel gag,
  • The Burpo Special which had become something of a fixture on the back cover, occupying page 32 for 12 out of the last 13 issues.
  • Adventure/competition feature Menace of the Alpha Man which reached its conclusion last week.

Despite losing the Mystery Comic as a grouping of strips in the middle pages, all the former MC features continue (despite not appearing this week, Why, Dad, Why? will return). Having lost the Mystery Comic we have also lost the last remaining link between the Cheeky's Week strips and the other features in the comic - remember when the comic started all the non-Cheeky strips were in some way linked to the toothy funster's world. Thus James Bold was a story that Cheeky read (later a film series), 6 Million Dollar Gran was a TV show he watched, Home Movie was a film made by Oscar etc). Now we have no such linked stories (although Snail of the Century which will start next week, starring as it does Cheeky's sidekick, will become the sole direct connection although not 'framed' by the Cheeky's Week strips as were the original linked stories).

We have of course gained 2 'new' strips, one of which is in fact being recycled. Another change is the loss of the introductory panel and What did YOU do today? sections from the Cheeky's Week pages. The remaining framing devices have also been dispensed with.

Frank McDiarmid delivers all 8 Cheeky's Week elements in this issue.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 07-Jul-1979, Issue 87 of 117
1Cover Feature 'New Look: Stage School and The Gang' 'Manhole Man' 2 of 7 - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
3Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
4What's New, Kids
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
66 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
76 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
8Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
9Joke-Box Jury
10The Gang (first appearance) reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray (first art on feature)
11The Gang (first appearance) reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray (first art on feature)
12Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
13Disaster Des - Art Mike Lacey
14Stage School (first appearance) - Art Robert Nixon (first art on feature)
15Stage School (first appearance) - Art Robert Nixon (first art on feature)
16Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
17Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
18Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
19Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art John Richardson
20Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
21Ad: IPC 'Cheeky Summer Special' 6 of 6 Ad: 'Whizzer and Chips Summer Special' 3 of 3
22Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
23Star Guest 'Joker' - Art Sid Burgon (final art on feature)
25Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
26Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
27Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
28Speed Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
29Tub - Art Nigel Edwards\Ad: Dunlop Playsport (final appearance) - Art Nick Baker (final art on feature)
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Ad: Mr Bellamy's


  1. I loved Stage School as a kid..so a nice addition. Nice to see the first one!

    1. Yes, it's a nice fun strip. Over the years I came to assume that Stage School was inspired by the film & TV series 'Fame', but actually the strip came before either version of Fame.

  2. Was Lilypop at the beach!!! ;)