As if one terrifying toddler wasn’t enough for the toothy funster to contend with, the introduction to 26 November 1977’s Creepy Sleepy Tale revealed that there were in fact a further 5 (possibly more) belligerent babies in the same mould.
|Art: Frank McDiarmid pencils|
Despite the presence of the cousins, only Burpo was seen in the post-creepy-sleepy-tale scene as Cheeky left for home, and this was the case on all the subsequent occasions on which the myriad of mini marauders appeared prior to the Wednesday bedtime story.
The kiddie cousins’ next appearance was in the 'Ello It's Cheeky strip in Krazy dated 14 January 1978, the only time they featured in that title, in which we saw there were at least 6 mini mischief makers in addition to Burpo, although the line of Burpo-alikes was emerging from around a corner so there could have been many more.
|Krazy 14 January 1978|
Art: Frank McDiarmid
The toddler troupe’s next Cheeky Weekly appearance was in the 11 February 1978 edition, in which on Monday Cheeky hid himself among the nappy-wearing throng in order to enter the newsagent’s unseen for a free read of James Bold novel The Ghost Highwayman. The toothy funster’s usual perusal of 2-comic-pages-worth of the supernatural thriller was interrupted on the Suddenly page when the cousins gave him away, and he was propelled from the shop by the proprietor’s boot. The cousins were back on Wednesday in the same issue when, in the pre-Creepy Sleepy Tale sequence we witnessed 12 cousins in addition to the ‘orrible original, although once again only Burpo was in evidence in the post-Tale conclusion. This three-pages-of-cousins issue was the only one in which the toddling terrors appeared on more than one page, and also the only time they featured on any day other than Wednesday.
Cheeky was again waylaid by Burpo and rowdy relatives as he arrived for his Wednesday babysitting ordeal in the 06 May and 29 July 1978 issues.
Our toothy pal expected to be free of Burpo, let alone the attendant horde of diabolical dummy-suckers, when he embarked on a canal barge holiday in the comic dated 12 August 1978, but found himself being forced to walk the plank by a plethora of piratical potty-perchers.
The cousins’ final Cheeky Weekly appearance was in the 23 September 1978 comic, wherein the menacing multitude was so great that counting them was impossible. It seems that the intolerable infants were surplus to requirements once the depiction of Cheeky’s babysitting misfortunes was dropped from the comic.
|The cousins' final appearance. Art: Frank McDiarmid pencils|
By this time Creepy Sleepy Tale had come to an end, and in this issue the Wednesday page above was followed by the final instalment of the Crack-A-Joke Game
The cousins, none of whom were identified by name, terrorised our toothy pal in 6 issues of his comic.
|Character||Total Issues||First Appearance||Final Appearance|
Count of elements by artist
|Burpo's Cousins||Frank McDiarmid pencils||5|
|Burpo's Cousins||Frank McDiarmid||2|
|Burpo's Cousins||Jim Watson||1|
Gaps between appearances
|Prev Date||Next Date||Gap (weeks)|