Following on from my examination of the contents of the Whizzer section of the Christmas 1986 Whizzer and Chips, I'm now going to scrutinise the festive doings which occurred within the Chips portion of that same Yuletide publication.
As was the case with that week's copy of Whizzer, a story ran through the pages that constituted Chips. Chips' resident sleuth, Mizz Marble, was called upon to investigate the apparent theft of Shiner's Christmas presents to his Chip-ite chums.
Unlike the Whizzer section, where apart from the usual raider, no characters from the rival title appeared, the Chips story included cameos by several Whizz-kids as the investigation got under way on the Junior Rotter page.
|Art: Trevor Metcalfe|
Over the page, Phil Fitt chased a couple of suspects but neither turned out to be the present pilferer.
|Art: Mike Lacey|
Titchy Chip-ite Sammy Shrink was the next to be embroiled in the mystery, and our pint-sized pal placed a suitably seasonal message in the border around his strip.
|Art: Terry Bave, master of the Christmas border|
Mizz Marble then enlisted Town Tarzan in the search.
|Art: Trevor Metcalfe|
There then followed a 2-page break to allow for readers' Christmas messages to friends and family, but the search resumed as Mustapha Million (by this time the sole survivor from Cheeky Weekly) recruited fictional sleuths Inspector Clueless (Clouseau), Sherlock Holmes (with Doctor Watson), Kojak, Cagney and Lacey, Magnum P.I. plus Crockett and Tubbs (from TV series Miami Vice). I think the glasses-wearing guy in the baseball cap is meant to be the helicopter pilot from either the Blue Thunder film or the subsequent spin-off TV series of the same name. Not only that, the strip concludes with a reference to vintage American TV police comedy Car 54 Where Are You?
|Art: Barry Glennard|
The action then moved to the Bottom Of The Class page. This strip's title would later contract to 'Bottom' (some years before Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson appropriated the title for their own comedic purposes), and the stories would then revolve around protagonist Rock's unfortunate habit of tearing or splitting his trousers, but at this point the humour usually focused on the titular lad's surname and resultant posterior-based hilarity. However at the end of this particular episode Rock is trapped under the mistletoe by ugly Cynth and suffers a selection of slobbery kisses...
|Art: Nigel Edwards|
...hence the hideous sucking noises originating off-panel at the commencement of Creepy Comix which, as well as participating in the ongoing investigations, also contained the conclusion to the JR/Bumpkins subplot that commenced earlier.
|Art: Reg Parlett|
The Case of The Missing Presents then reached its dramatic climax as all was revealed. Like the Whizz-Kids, our Chip-ite pals enjoyed a well-deserved traditional festive nosh-up at the conclusion of their storyline.
|Art: Colin Whittock|
But that wasn't quite the end of the riddles, as on the following page readers were challenged to identify the contents of the recovered Chip-ite parcels. The Whizz-kids had an equivalent page in their section which consisted of instructions for the party games as played at their Christmas get-together.
|Art: Jack Oliver|
The Christmas 1986 Whizzer and Chips was a real Yuletide treat, and the extra effort that was no doubt required from the creators paid off very well. As far as I know it was the only IPC comic to feature plotlines running across the various strips in a single issue (I think DC Thomson may have done something similar on one or two occasions). This edition was so fun-packed that it featured no internal adverts at all – there was just a Weetabix ad on the back cover. Also, as Stephen Archer commented on part one of this post, this edition was, unusually, entirely free from reprints. The running storylines also meant that the strips presented here were very unlikely to be used as reprints themselves.
P.S. Rather ironically I forgot to include reference to the Memory Banks strip in the first part of this two-part post. I have now made a minor update to rectify my omission.