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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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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Dollars and Sense

From the very first of his strips, Mustapha Million's adventures were introduced by a caption fashioned to read Mustapha Mi££ion. In all the references I have made to this strip over the years I have chosen to type Million rather than the jokey construction used in the comic because;

  • Typing Mi££ion requires a bit more thinking about than the conventional spelling. Forcing my fingers to formulate the curious 'Shift and 3' configuration that will cause the iconic currency-denoting symbol to appear on screen slows my words-per-minute count which is already pretty poor due to my two-digit keyboard manipulation. Thus I choose to use the conventional spelling to save a bit of time.
  • While it looks ok in the comic, Mi££ion just looks very odd in whatever font blogger defaults to, causing it to look a bit like Miffion.

In the first episode we learned that Mustapha had inadvertently struck oil in his homeland as a result of over-enthusiastic hammering on a tent peg while setting up camp in the desert. Although his oleaginous wealth didn't originate in the UK, the use of pound signs in the Mustapha title frame was entirely appropriate because our moneyed mate was, for the duration of his comic adventures, living in good old Blighty and therefore his frequent distribution of large amounts of cash (no anti-money-laundering regulations to worry about in those days) was very likely mostly transacted in sterling.

Cheeky Weekly was of course home to another character whose title included a seven-figure allusion - 6 Million Dollar Gran. I always assumed Gran was based in the UK, but that Professor Potts' pioneering robotics research was funded by the US, thus giving rise to the title. Clearly I'm thinking far too deeply about this as '6 Million Dollar Gran' was just a play on the 6 Million Dollar Man TV series and I doubt whether the creator gave much thought as to why Gran was valued in a currency other than that of the UK. Nevertheless, the synthetic senior citizen's title caption read 6 Million Dollar Gran throughout her Cheeky Weekly career. However...

Someone made a bit of a slip-up when composing the cover of Cheeky Weekly dated 01 September 1979, as the banner at the top of the front page reads 'Bionic Action with 6 Mi££ion Dollar Gran - Inside!'. Apart from the fact that they used the wrong currency symbol, they also forgot to take account of the GBP/USD exchange rate. This online historical converter suggests that on 22 October 1977 (cover date of the first Cheeky Weekly and my presumed date of her dollar valuation) a more accurate description would have been Three Mi££ion, Three Hundred and Eighty-Eight Thousand and Fifteen Pounds and Ninety One Pence Gran.

Of course, setting aside the exchange rate issue, if they'd spelt it with the more appropriate dollar signs that would have made the title read '6 Mission Dollar Gran' which doesn't make sense.


  1. Lily Gran! Gulp!
    Elephant on the calculator!

  2. Things got even worse when Gran went over to Whoopee in 1980: "$6,000,000 Gran". What did all that mean to six-year-old me? Nothing! Had the usage of plain words gone briefly out of fashion? A parody of a then-current TV show was one thing, but this'd have looked better in the Financial Times!

    1. Yes, why did they do that? The TV series used a non-numeric title as far as I'm aware (never watched it).

  3. As regards the slipup, I couldn’t agree more. In Scream no. 15 (the last as I’m sure you know) a reader wrote in to comment that the werewolf seen in no. 8 was drawn by the same artist (Steve Dillon) who’d drawn ‘Cry of the Werewolf’ for 2000AD the previous year. Ghastly McNasty just said that Judge Dredd didn’t do a good job of killing the werewolf. This is fatuous. That story was set in the year 2105 by the Mega-City One calendar, while the Scream story was evidently set in the present day. How could a werewolf have travelled back in time 121 years, even if it weren’t dead? The Proteus time machine hadn’t been built yet. Why don’t people THINK??!