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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, 26 May 2015

The Pages - Page 20

As has been documented in earlier posts in this series, the distribution of features around the early issues of Cheeky Weekly was somewhat different to that which became established as the comic settled into a routine. Thus the concluding segment of Creepy Sleepy Tale - along with its inseparable companion piece Wednesday (conclusion) - was allocated a temporary resting place on page 20 in the first 2 issues of the toothy funster's comic. The cinematic slapstick of Home Movie then moved in to the page in question, but was itself deposed a week later by the Friday element of Cheeky's Week. This initial period of volatility was then calmed somewhat by a 6 week return run of Home Movie. However, Friday then returned for a week, followed seven days later by a What's New Kids advertising feature page in the 07 January 1978 edition. This page may have tempted any readers with some spare Christmas money in the immediate post-festive period to lay out some cash on a Marx Toys plastic fort, Action Man books or (maybe a little less skewed towards the male readership) Thomas Salter Practical Joker kits which Cheeky was promoting.

Tubby Thomson and his Home Movie pals then returned to page 20 for a 3-week run, before being interrupted by for one issue by Cheeky and his Thursday doings. Home Movie enjoyed another 3-weeks in residence on page 20 before being rudely interrupted by a double dose of animal shenanigans on page 20 in the 04 March 1978 comic – namely Bam Splat and Blooie together with fellow Buster reprintee, Cocky Doodle (who was in fact cocking, in that issue, his final Cheeky Weekly doodle).

No doubt having swept the area of of any lingering evidence of poultry, Tubby Thomson and his intrepid band of cineastes resumed possession of page 20 for a further 7 weeks, during which they tackled such cinematic greats as 2001 A Space Oddity and Mary Popkins.

This filmic feast was interrupted by a page depicting Cheeky's Friday in the 29 April 1978 comic, after which Home Movie resumed for a valedictory 6-week run which brought the series to a conclusion and made it, at 26 episodes, the most frequent occupant of page 20.

The following week saw a skateboard competition fill the vacancy left by the departing movie moguls, while 7 days later, in the 17 June 1978 edition, the reader participation gagfest that was Joke-Box Jury shared page 20 with an ad for Twirly, the 'fantastic flying hover toy'. Manufacturer Humbrol no doubt planned on shifting as many of these plastic and balsa units as possible during the summer months.

Our moneyed mate Mustapha Million was the next to occupy the subject location, but his tenure on this occasion was brief as a week later Thursday moved back in and stayed for a total of 3 weeks. Mustapha then returned for 2 further weeks, before being displaced by Charlie Counter aka Calculator Kid making his single page 20 appearance.

The Friday element of Cheeky's week then fetched up for a single issue before Mustapha gained control of page 20 for 2 weeks, relinquishing his temporary resting place to Thursday for a further 2 issues.

Mustapha then returned, but a big change was introduced a week later, which saw the comic undergo some dramatic reorganisation.

That change was of course the incorporation of the Mystery Comic into Cheeky Weekly as of the 30 September 1978 issue, which saw a number of new strips occupy the centre pages of our favourite title. Newcomer Disaster Des staked his claim to page 20 as from that date and held his position for a run amounting to 7 weeks before he was deposed for one issue by his fellow Mystery Comic stars, the father-and-son-funsters of Why, Dad, Why? Des returned for a week but clearly his grip on page 20 had been loosened, as he gave way to Paddywack in the following issue dated 02 December 1978. No doubt you're asking why Paddywack, not a member of the Mystery Comic crew, came to rest on a page which should have been allocated to a MC strip. The answer is that the issue in question was the first of 2 editions which were truncated due to an industrial dispute, and the reduced contents were displaced as a consequence. Thus non-MC feature Joke-Box Jury found itself the surprise occupant of page 20 a week later for the same reason.

There then followed 3 weeks during which Cheeky Weekly failed to be printed.

On resuming publication with a full 32-page issue dated 06 January 1979, Disaster Des was once again ensconced on the page in question, but in the following 2 issues Des was deposed by the Mystery Comic's adventure serial, Mystery Boy. Des then returned for a further run, this time amounting to 4 weeks, before being replaced for the second time by Why, Dad, Why? The disastrous one then reappeared on page 20 for just a week, and was supplanted again by Why, Dad, Why? who moved in this time for a 3-week sojourn.

Mystery Boy then set up camp as of the 31 March 1979 issue, but remained for only 2 weeks, after which Mustapha Million resumed occupation, himself for just 2 issues. Disaster Des made his return a week later, but ceded control of page 20 to the irascible Dad and inquisitive Son antics of Why, Dad, Why? who occupied the subject location for just one week.

Our plucky World War 2 amnesiac chum, Mystery Boy, then found himself on page 20 again, but was displaced the following week by Disaster Des who in turn gave way, in what seemed to be a developing cycle, to Why, Dad, Why?

However, the titanic Des/Mystery Boy/Why Dad Why? tussle over page 20 was not in evidence in the comic dated 02 June 1979 when a segment of the Cheeky Spotter Book of Town and Around came to rest in that location. Having been thusly interrupted, Des resumed occupation for three more weeks. This run ended Des' tenure on page 20, where our pariah pal became the second most tenacious strip to feature (hardly a disaster), clocking up a creditable 19 visits.

In the following issue, dated 30 June 1979, the Mystery Comic as a comic-within-a-comic made its final appearance in Cheeky Weekly and MC stars Why, Dad, Why? enjoyed their final outing on page 20. For the following 2 editions page 20 was home, as the erstwhile centre-page-hugging MC strips found themselves scattered about the comic, to our boneheaded buddy Paddywack, but there followed 3 weeks in which Mustapha Million moved in. The aspiring showbiz students of Stage School then made a 2-week bid for control, but were dislodged by a returning Mustapha. However, Mustapha's hold on the page lasted for only 2 editions after which an advert for Trebor's Double Agents broke the big-spender's grip on page 20.

Reader participation features then monopolised page 20 for over 2 months; the Chit-Chat letters page moved in for a 6-week run before being ousted by Joke-Box Jury in the 27 October 1979 comic. A further run of Chit-Chat, this time lasting for 2 editions, ensued.

As of the 10 November 1979 issue Thursday took occupancy of page 20, lodging there for the 12 weeks that remained until Cheeky Weekly ceased publication with the 02 February 1980 edition, and making Thursday the third most regular page 20 denizen (and just 1 behind Des) with a total of 18 visits.

A quick look at my post on page 'churn' reveals that page 20 exhibited 52 churn events during its run, making it the 19th most-afflicted-by-churn* Cheeky Weekly location.

*I must admit that I now tend to think of churn as an affliction of comic pages purely because a high incidence of churn in a particular location requires more effort when writing these 'pages' posts. However, as a reader of comics I think a certain amount of churn makes a title more interesting and keeps it fresh. The Beano of the 1970s & 80s very seldom varied the pages on which the features appeared (I think the only time things moved was when one strip came to an end and was replaced by another) which contributed to making the comic, in my opinion, extremely tedious (sorry for the heresy, Beano fans!).

Count of Elements (or distinct combinations thereof) appearing on Page 20

Elements Total
Home Movie26
Disaster Des19
Mustapha Million 1/212
Why, Dad, Why?8
Chit-Chat 1/27
Mystery Boy5
Creepy Sleepy Tale 2/2\Wednesday (conclusion)2
Advertisement: Trebor1
Bam Splat and Blooie\Cocky Doodle1
Calculator Kid1
Cheeky Spotter Book of Town and Around 2/21
Friday 1/21
Joke-Box Jury1
Joke-Box Jury 2/31
Joke-Box Jury\Advertisement: Twirly1
Mustapha Million 2/21
Skateboard Competition1
Stage School1
Stage School 1/21
What's New, Kids1

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