Welcome to the Cheeky Weekly blog!

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 21 March 2018

The Pages - Page 31

It’s always seemed to me that, in general, page 31 of IPC’s 32-page comics during the 70s was the least-favoured spot in any issue. The back cover was of course a prime location, being one of the limited number of pages in each issue that would feature colour printing (except in the case of Buster which, for some reason, was more parsimonious in its use of colour than its companion titles, limiting multi-hued artwork to its front page only), and it also had the responsibility of bringing the comic to a satisfying conclusion so I presume some thought was given to which strip would best suit the benefits and responsibilities of such a key spot (except on the occasions on which the back cover was the site of an advert, of course). I’ve always viewed the placement of strips as indicative of their popularity, and assume that the most successful features were allocated slots towards the front of the comic or in the colour-bearing centre or back pages, with the remaining locations hosting features placed in descending order of reader appreciation. Thus, in my (quite possibly erroneous) view of the rules of element distribution, whatever content occupied page 31 in most titles tended toward filler material or second-string adverts.

However, the situation pertaining to Cheeky Weekly was somewhat different. Each issue chronicled a week in our toothy pal’s gag-filled life, starting on Sunday and concluding the following Saturday. Since these seven pun-packed daily episodes were interspersed between the other features comprising each issue, initially acting as framing devices for the other strips, my assumption clearly cannot be applied to the Cheeky’s Week elements of the comic, nor the ‘framed’ strips and the strips contained within the Mystery Comic section, since they were all tied to a particular location, although I’d argue that my theory still holds true in respect of the non-Cheeky material in the issues published after the framing and Mystery Comic devices were abandoned.

Cheeky’s Saturday visits to the cinema dictated what would be printed on page 31 until the final Saturday morning pictures sequence was printed in the 02 December 1978 issue. Thus sci-fi cinema serial Space Family Robinson occupied the page under review in Cheeky Weekly’s debut edition, but the following week the placement of the picture show elements was disrupted somewhat by the debut of cartoon elements Bam Splat and Blooie and Cocky Doodle, plus the inclusion, as Guy Fawkes night approached, of the appearance on the back cover by an ad for Standard Fireworks, making the most of the colour printing to emulate the effects of their incandescent products. Thus Cheeky’s emergence from the cinema occupied page 31 that week, but for the following four weeks the subject page was host to the cut-out Skateboard booklet, an item again benefitting from the colour printing available overleaf on the back page.

The conclusion of the Skateboard booklet was immediately followed by another 4-week cut out scheme involving page 31, this time presenting readers with a diary in which to record their doings during 1978.

The intergalactic thrills of Space Family Robinson then returned for a single week, following whch yet more snip-out-and-save activity landed on page 31 as the Cheeky Spotter Book of Fun commenced its 4-week occupancy.

The 04 February 1978 issue was the skateboard special, and that week the location under review was home to Cheeky’s Saturday exit from the cinema, together with a photo of a chimp on a skateboard – the epitome of a filler. The concluding portion of Saturday turned up again the following week, but in the next issue page 31 contained 2 in-house ads; one for Misty issue 3 which that week featured a Wheel of Fortune Wallet free gift, and the other for Buster which was also handing out freebies in the form of Corona stickers relating to the soft drink manufacturer's 'Every bubble's passed its Fizzical' ad campaign.

Saturday and the slapstick antics of Bam Splat and Blooie then shared the page, after which Saturday found itself alongside some stamp-collecting ads (please tell your parents) and the announcement of the forthcoming competition to win a copy of Basil Brush's most recent vinyl release, Boom! Boom! It's the eponymous, bushy-tailed, Ivan Owen-operated humorous puppet. That IPC failed to issue an LP record featuring songs and japes performed by Cheeky and pals is of course something with which all true Friends of Cheeky have ever since failed to come to terms.

The brief conclusion to Saturday then continued to appear on page 31, together with a variety of ads and features…

Date Details
11-Mar-78What's New, Kids\Saturday 2/2 - Art Barrie Appleby
18-Mar-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils\Ad: IPC 'Mickey Mouse' 1 of 18
25-Mar-78Ad: IPC 'Monster Fun Holiday Special' 1 of 2 \Saturday 2/2 - Art Unknown Cheeky Artist 1
01-Apr-78Saturday - April Fool's Day (single appearance) 3/3 - Art Jim Watson
08-Apr-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Jim Watson
15-Apr-78Bam Splat and Blooie reprint from Buster\Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid
22-Apr-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Barrie Appleby\Ad: IPC 'Roy of the Rovers' 4 of 8
29-Apr-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Jim Watson\Ad: IPC 'Roy of the Rovers' 5 of 8
06-May-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Barrie Appleby\Ad: IPC 'Look and Learn' 9 of 16
13-May-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils\Ad: IPC 'Jinty' 1 of 7
20-May-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Jim Watson\Ad: IPC 'Tiger' 2 of 10
27-May-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Dick Millington\Ad: IPC 'Jinty' 3 of 7
03-Jun-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Jim Watson\What's New, Kids
10-Jun-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Jim Watson\Ad: IPC 'Jinty' 4 of 7
17-Jun-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Mike Lacey\Ad: IPC 'Junior Puzzles'
24-Jun-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils\Ad: IPC 'The Best of Krazy' 1 of 2

The commencement of the Mini Comics promotion in the issue dated 01 July 1978 resulted in some disruption to the usual order, so in that and the subsequent edition James Bold found himself the subject of the page under review., but then Saturday resumed occupation…

Date Details
15-Jul-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Mike Lacey\Ad: IPC 'Mini Comics promotion' 3 of 3
22-Jul-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Barrie Appleby
29-Jul-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid\Ad: IPC 'Whoopee' 2 of 9
05-Aug-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid\Ad: IPC 'Jinty' 5 of 7
12-Aug-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils\Ad: IPC 'Jinty' 6 of 7
19-Aug-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid\Ad: IPC 'Jinty' 7 of 7
26-Aug-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Mike Lacey
02-Sep-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
09-Sep-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid\Ad: IPC 'Soccer Monthly' 1 of 5
16-Sep-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid\Ad: IPC 'Three Great Comics'
23-Sep-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils

As mentioned above, the 30 September 1978 issue was the last to include the Saturday morning pictures sequence (although Saturday continued as a 2-page per week feature, thereafter focusing on the toothy funster’s Saturday afternoon pursuits), and in that issue Tweety and Sylvester’s antagonistic escapade occupied page 31. 7 days later The Terrible Trail to Taggart's Treasure began an 8 week run (making the piratical peregrinations of the Mason clan the third most regular subject on page 31), following which truncation of the subsequent 2 issues due to industrial action meant there was no page 31. The comic then failed to be published for 3 weeks as the industrial problems escalated.

When the comic resumed publication with the issue dated 06 January 1979, page 31 was once again the home to Saturday, and that continued to be that case for a further 12 weeks. The 07 April 1979 edition saw page 31 host the assembly instructions for the Top Ten Poster, part 1 of which was contained in that issue. Saturday then resumed for the remaining 43 issues of the comic’s run, bringing the total times that Saturday occupied the location in question to 88, making it the most regular occupant of the site. The second most frequent inhabitants of the subject location were half-page, in-house ads for IPC product, which appeared there in 20 issues.

Count of Elements (or distinct combinations thereof) appearing on Page 31
Elements Total
Saturday 2/263
Saturday 2/2\Advertisement: IPC17
The Terrible Trail to Taggart's Treasure 2/28
Diary 1/24
Skateboard booklet 1/24
The Cheeky Spotter Book of Fun 1/24
Bam Splat and Blooie\Saturday 2/22
James Bold 2/22
Space Family Robinson 2/22
Page 31 not present2
Advertisement: IPC\Advertisement: IPC1
Advertisement: IPC\Saturday 2/21
Chimp on a skateboard photo\Saturday 2/21
Easter Saturday 2/21
Saturday - April Fool's Day 3/31
Saturday 2/2\What's New, Kids1
Top Ten Poster instructions\Advertisement: IPC1
Tweety and Sylvester 2/21
What's New, Kids\Saturday 2/21


  1. How could page 31 "Not [be] present" twice, or any other amount of times? Page 32 would fall off! Or am I being fatuous for lack of understanding?

    1. Two 28-page issues were published in December 78 due to industrial problems, after which the comic failed to appear for three weeks.

  2. Ah; a relatively minor casualty of those dark days. Still we’d the Friends of Cheeky Snap Game to take the sting out of it in early 1979, as well as Charley’s War elsewhere in comicdom.

    1. I'm still grieving for the lost Christmas 78 issue of Cheeky Weekly - although a lot, if not all, of the material prepared for that issue did eventually appear in one form or another, we were still deprived of one of the three Christmas issues that should have appeared.