|Cover of the Cheeky Weekly|
mini comic presented in
Whizzer and Chips 22 July 1978
Art: Frank McDiarmid
Having (rather belatedly) wound up my individual examinations of IPC's 1978 mini comics promotion as it related to Cheeky Weekly, I felt it would be instructive (to me, anyway) to offer a concluding overview of the Cheeky Weekly mini comics which were presented in Mickey Mouse, Whoopee!, Buster and Monster Fun and Whizzer and Chips in that late 70s summer.
All the Cheeky Weekly mini comics contained the same features, namely;
- What A Cheek (all drawn by Cheeky supremo Frank McDiarmid)
- Mustapha Million (all by Joe McCaffrey who at the time in Cheeky Weekly was occasionally deputising for original MM artist Reg Parlett)
- 6 Million Dollar Gran (all drawn by Cheeky Weekly's occasional stand-in for Ian Knox, Nigel Edwards)
- Cheeky (a necessarily condensed version of the Cheeky's Week pages from the toothy funster's title, drawn in the mini comics by Dick Millington who provided the artwork for Cheeky's Week on occasion)
- Skateboard Squad (drawn by regular artist Jimmy Hansen)
- Bam, Splat and Blooie (reprinted from Buster – not sure who it was drawn by – probably one of the Spanish artists who were recruited to illustrate certain of Buster's content in the title's early days).
- A concluding promotional appearance by Cheeky
In terms of the distribution of features, the layout of the Cheeky Weekly mini comics in Whoopee!, Buster and Monster Fun and Whizzer and Chips were identical (although the individual strips were unique to each mini comic);
- Cover pic and What A Cheek on page 1
- 6 Million Dollar Gran on pages 2 and 3
- Cheeky on pages 4 and 5 (thus allocating our toothy pal the centre pages of the weeny facsimile editions in question)
- Mustapha Million on page 6
- Skateboard Squad on page 7
- Bam, Splat and Blooie and a promotional plug by the grinning gagster sharing the back cover.
Only Mickey Mouse chose to deviate from this agreeable arrangement, placing Mustapha Million on page 2, which resulted in the 6 Million Dollar Gran and Cheeky 2-pagers being shunted forward by a page. Thus those readers who chose to excise and collate their mini comics as instructed found the Gran and Cheeky stories printed back-to-back on a single sheet, necessitating a turn of the page to read the whole story, rather than being presented side-by-side for a more appealing reading experience.
Mickey Mouse's Cheeky Weekly mini comic further deviated from the norm by being the only one of the four not to source its main cover pic from a Pin-Up Pal Poster reprint, probably because the Pin-Up Pal depiction of Burpo wouldn't have reproduced well in reduced form.
Buster and Monster Fun's mini comic suffered from Buster's long-standing parsimonious policy on the use of colour, which meant that, unlike the toothy funster's condensed comics in the other titles which sported colour on the front and rear pages, B&MF's Cheeky Weekly mini comic was entirely monochrome.
|Mickey Mouse||Whoopee||Buster and Monster Fun||Whizzer and Chips|
|Page||01 July 1978||08 July 1978||15 July 1978||22 July 1978|
|1||Cover pic – Burpo & Cheeky (Barrie Appleby)/What A Cheek (Frank McDiarmid)||Cover pic – Jogging Jeremy (from Pin-Up Pal Poster)/What A Cheek (Frank McDiarmid)||Cover pic – Sid The Street-Sweeper (from Pin-Up Pal Poster)/What A Cheek (Frank McDiarmid)||Cover pic – Six-Gun Sam (from Pin-Up Pal Poster)/What A Cheek (Frank McDiarmid)|
|2||Mustapha Million (Joe McCaffery)||6 Million Dollar Gran (Nigel Edwards)||6 Million Dollar Gran (Nigel Edwards)||6 Million Dollar Gran (Nigel Edwards)|
|3||6 Million Dollar Gran (Nigel Edwards)||6 Million Dollar Gran (Nigel Edwards)||6 Million Dollar Gran (Nigel Edwards)||6 Million Dollar Gran (Nigel Edwards)|
|4||6 Million Dollar Gran (Nigel Edwards)||Cheeky (Dick Millington)||Cheeky (Dick Millington)||Cheeky|
|5||Cheeky (Dick Millington)||Cheeky (Dick Millington)||Cheeky (Dick Millington)||Cheeky|
|6||Cheeky (Dick Millington)||Mustapha Million (Joe McCaffery)||Mustapha Million (Joe McCaffery)||Mustapha Million (Joe McCaffery)|
|7||Skateboard Squad (Jimmy Hansen)||Skateboard Squad (Jimmy Hansen)||Skateboard Squad (Jimmy Hansen)||Skateboard Squad (Jimmy Hansen)|
|8||Bam, Splat and Blooie/Join me each week...||Bam, Splat and Blooie/Join me each week...||Bam, Splat and Blooie/Join me each week...||Bam, Splat and Blooie/Join me each week...|
All of Cheeky's pals appearing on the various mini comic front covers were present among the Cheeky strips' supporting cast within the respective issues.
Cheeky (and Snail) naturally featured in all the Cheeky strips, but none of Cheeky's pals featured in more than 2 mini comics each. Baby Burpo, Jogging Jeremy, Manhole Man and Teacher were those who made it into 2 of the teeny tracts.
Readers of the mini comic in Whoopee! enjoyed a gag-packed Cheeky strip in which the toothy funster quipped with 8 of his Krazy Town chums, whereas Whizz-kids and Chip-ites were somewhat short-changed with a measly 6 of Cheeky's pals represented in their mini comic. Mickey Mouse and Buster and Monster Fun fans were able to make the acquaintance of 7 of the Cheeky's Week supporting cast each.
|Mickey Mouse||Whoopee!||Buster and Monster Fun||Whizzer and Chips||Total Cheeky Mini Comic appearances|
|Sid The Street-Sweeper||Y||1|
The Cheeky Weekly mini comics gave as good a representation of the contents of a typical issue as was possible within the constraints of miniature format. The only puzzling inclusion was Bam, Splat and Blooie who had permanently exited the toothy funster's title some weeks before the commencement of the promotion. I suppose there were plenty of BS&B strips mouldering in IPC's vault, so the feature made a cheap half-page filler, but the reduction in size rendered the artwork less than appealing. Surely some specially-drawn Paddywack jokes or Cheeky-and-pal gags would have served the promotion better.