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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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Saturday, 28 April 2018

The Pages - page 32

Page 32 was of course the back cover of IPC’s humour titles in the late 70s (except in cases such as Cheeky Weekly’s two 28-page truncated issues). Let’s see what this prime, colour-bearing site had to offer readers over the course of the comic’s existence.

In the inaugural edition of the toothy funster’s title, the concluding segment of the Saturday picture show sequence was to be found in the subject location, together with a message from our grinning pal advising readers that the following issue would include a free ‘joke-filled’ Fun Wallet. The visual of Cheeky which accompanied this announcement was somewhat disturbing, as whoever assembled the image allocated a left hand to his right arm (the same unsettling image was used on the What's New, Kids features dated 12 November and 24 December 1977 and 07 January 1978).

Art: Frank McDiarmid, who I'm sure wasn't
responsible for the hand/arm gaffe

A week later, with bonfire night approaching, firework manufacturers Standard placed a full-page, colour ad on page 32. The ad took the form of a snakes-and-ladders-style board game featuring a selection of their incandescent products together with cautionary content such as ‘You are under 16 and try to buy your own fireworks. It is not allowed! Go back to [square] No. 4’.

Hopefully all Friends of Cheeky were sensible enough to follow the sage advice in Standard’s advert and thus fit and ready to read issue number 3 which on its back cover included the first part of the skateboard booklet, as did page 32 in the following three editions.

Immediately following the conclusion of the skateboard booklet was another cut-out-and-keep feature, this time a 1978 diary. Once again this ran for 4 editions, which seems to have been the default duration for all such promotional schemes.

In the comic dated 31 December 1977 the back page documented the Cheeky family’s preparations for their new year party, and ended on a cliff-hanger regarding the identity of the first person to cross their threshold as the chimes of midnight struck. Cheeky’s mum told him that he would have to kiss the first attendee if female. The toothy funster feared that he might be required to plant a smacker on Libby, Ursula or Louise, while his dad hoped that luscious Lily Pop would head the queue of revellers. Readers had to wait seven days to learn Cheeky’s fate, which was revealed on page 2, but in that issue the back cover was host to the first instalment of yet more cut-out content, this time the Cheeky Spotter Book of Fun. The Spotter book ran on the back page for, you won’t be surprised to learn, the following three editions.

A cut-out feature again occupied the page under review in the 04 February 1978 special skateboard edition. This time it was that week’s third section of the Skateboard Snap game. Contrary to my earlier assertion that these snip-and-save features ran for 4 weeks each time, all the elements of Skateboard Snap were contained within that single issue, so it troubled readers no more after this particular edition.

A week later Cheeky’s slimy sidekick Snail took control of the back cover to demand of readers (rather rudely, in my opinion) ‘Oi! What’s my name?’. The inimitable invertebrate went on to explain that he was fed up with not having a proper name and senders of the best suggestions for a mollusc monicker would receive £2.

Cheeky Weekly readers who had become a little tired of their Six Million Dollar Man/Follyfoot/Noddy bedroom wallpaper were delighted when, in the 18 February 1978 edition, the Pin-Up Pal series resumed with a back-page poster of cracking crossing lady Lily Pop. The colour printing on the back page made it the ideal location for the series (although the three previous posters were printed in the centre pages thus enjoying the additional benefit of double-sized posters). Readers would have the opportunity to complete the redecoration of their bedrooms as the series continued (with odd gaps and a longer period of absence as we will see later) until the 31 March 1979 issue. The second run of PUP ran, with some absences as shown below (mostly due to paid advertisements usurping the coveted back cover location), until 23 September 1978 and included the 16 September 1978 occasion when the comic contained 2 posters in one edition


Date Details
18-Feb-78Pin-up pal 'Lily Pop' - Art Frank McDiarmid
25-Feb-78Pin-up pal 'Jogging Jeremy' - Art Frank McDiarmid
04-Mar-78Ad: Hovis (single appearance)
11-Mar-78Pin-up pal 'The Vicar' - Art Frank McDiarmid
18-Mar-78Pin-up pal 'Baby Burpo' - Art Frank McDiarmid
25-Mar-78Pin-up pal 'Buster the Busker' - Art Frank McDiarmid
01-Apr-78Pin-up pal 'Auntie Daisy' - Art Frank McDiarmid
08-Apr-78Pin-up pal 'Sid the Street Sweeper' - Art Frank McDiarmid
15-Apr-78Pin-up pal 'Louise' - Art Frank McDiarmid
22-Apr-78Pin-up pal 'Constable Chuckle' - Art Frank McDiarmid
29-Apr-78Pin-up pal 'Ursula' - Art Frank McDiarmid
06-May-78Ad: Trebor 'Corgi Batman promotion' 2 of 3
13-May-78Pin-up pal 'Six-Gun Sam' - Art Frank McDiarmid
20-May-78Pin-up pal 'Granny Gumdrop' - Art Frank McDiarmid
27-May-78Pin-up pal 'Posh Claude' - Art Frank McDiarmid
03-Jun-78Ad: Rotaplane (first appearance)
10-Jun-78Pin-up pal 'Do-Good Dora' - Art Frank McDiarmid
17-Jun-78Pin-up pal 'Yikky-Boo' - Art Frank McDiarmid
24-Jun-78Ad: Kellogg's
01-Jul-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid\Ad: IPC 'Mini Comics promotion' 2 of 3
08-Jul-78Saturday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils\Ad: IPC 'Whizzer and Chips Holiday Special' 3 of 3
15-Jul-78Ad: Wall's (final appearance) 'lollies'
22-Jul-78Ad: Bubbly (first appearance)
29-Jul-78Pin-up pal 'Bump-Bump Bernie' - Art Frank McDiarmid
05-Aug-78Pin-up pal 'Libby' - Art Frank McDiarmid
12-Aug-78Pin-up pal 'Teacher' - Art Frank McDiarmid
19-Aug-78Pin-up pal 'Herman' - Art Frank McDiarmid
26-Aug-78Pin-up pal 'Petula' - Art Frank McDiarmid
02-Sep-78Crack-A-Joke Game (first appearance) 3/3
09-Sep-78Crack-A-Joke Game 3/3
16-Sep-78Pin-up pal 2/2 'Disco Kid' - Art Frank McDiarmid
23-Sep-78Pin-up pal 'Snoozin' Susan' - Art Frank McDiarmid

A week after the second run of PUP came to an end, a new series of back cover features, which I have christened Cheeky’s Pal Puzzle, commenced. This feature occupied page 32 for 9 weeks and quite possibly generated unfavourable feedback from readers who had not succeeded in covering their bedroom walls when Pin-Up Pal ceased earlier in the year, because a new run of PUP began in the 06 January 1979 edition. This final PUP run was to last for 13 weeks, bringing the total number of times that Pin-Up Pal featured on page 32 to 35 and making it the most regular occupier of the site under review.
 
The Burpo Special was then relocated from the inside pages to the back cover, and occupied the same for 8 weeks until it was displaced by an advert for Trebor Chews featuring a colouring competition based on a Superman comic strip. The Burpo Special then resumed its page 32 run for a further 4 weeks which brought this feature to a conclusion and made it, with 12 appearances on page 32, the third most regular visitor to the subject location.

The back cover of the comic dated 07 July 1979 featured an advert for the less-than-enticing (in my view, never having been a fan of the sticky, black, tooth-discolouring and slightly bitter confectionary) liquorice novelties purveyed by Mr Bellamy.

Snail of the Century, which had the distinction of being the final original strip to commence in Cheeky Weekly, then began on the back page of the issue dated 14 July 1979. This initial run was broken after 3 issues when page 32 was host to an ad placed by British Rail who wanted readers to know about their Great Rail Club, which entitled train travellers between the ages of 5 and 15 to rail discount vouchers to the value of £5. ‘You can travel with your parents, or on your own with their permission’.

Snail and his back garden buddies then resumed occupation of the subject location for a further 6 issues, after which Why, Dad, Why? made a surprise bid to take control of the back cover, but was repelled just 7 days later when Snail of the Century began another 6 week residency. This time the snaily japes were interrupted by Mr Bellamy who was still trying to offload his liquorice bootlaces, pipes (yes, kids were encouraged to ape adult smokers but this was a time when the idea of kids aged 5 travelling alone on trains was apparently deemed acceptable) and sundry other unappealing ‘sweets’.

What was to be a 5 week run of SotC then commenced in the comic dated 17 November 1979, following which the hectic hilarity of Elephant on the Run made its single visit to the back page.

Snail-based humour then returned to the back page, and this run continued in that location until the penultimate edition of the toothy funster’s comic, dated 26 January 1980. This brought to 25 the number of times Snail of the Century had occupied page 32, making it the second most regular feature to appear there. A week later the back cover of the final edition of Cheeky Weekly announced that the first combined issue of Whoopee and Cheeky would include a competition to win Corgi Friscodisco record players. The back page ad also carried a coupon which was required in order to enter the competition together with another coupon for placing a regular order for Whoopee and Cheeky at the local newsagent. The TV ad for Friscodisco featured Tony Blackburn reading a comic, but not an IPC title - instead the disc jockey was seen with a copy of The Beano.


Count of Elements (or distinct combinations thereof) appearing on Page 32
Elements Total
Pin-up pal34
Snail of the Century25
The Burpo Special12
Saturday 2/2\Cheeky's Pal Puzzle9
Diary 2/24
Skateboard booklet 2/24
The Cheeky Spotter Book of Fun 2/24
Saturday 2/2\Advertisement: IPC3
Advertisement: Mr Bellamy's2
Advertisement: Trebor2
Crack-A-Joke Game 3/32
Page 32 not present2
Advertisement: Bubbly1
Advertisement: Hovis1
Advertisement: IPC1
Advertisement: Kellogg's1
Advertisement: Rotaplane1
Advertisement: Standard Fireworks1
Advertisement: The Great Rail Club1
Advertisement: Wall's1
Elephant On The Run1
New Year's Eve1
Oi! What is My Name?1
Pin-up pal 2/21
Skateboard Snap 3/31
Why, Dad, Why?1

3 comments:

  1. There’s something deeply unsettling about Cheeky’s hand on the wrong arm, or the arm being on the wrong side or whatever it was that happened. If you want to know what disturbing imagery’s all about, see the Sid’s Snake for W&C 13/10/79, or indeed Best of W&C Monthly May 1985 where I first saw it. Spooked the bejesus out of me – still does. If I’d read it in ’79 I’d probably have choked on my slice of birthday cake (not my own birthday, W&C’s).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the pointer - will extract the relevant edition of W&C from my collection when time allows.

      Delete
  2. Yes, do that; drop me an email with your thoughts. Please DON'T blog about it as it's not directly pertinent to Cheeky and it'd freak me out royally to see it again: not joking. Brrr...

    ReplyDelete