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, 9 October 2019

The Whoopee! Years – Cheeky (second run)

Following the conclusion of the second run of his It’s Cheeky strips, our toothy pal continued his adventures in a series which saw his feature re-adopt the title Cheeky, previously used in the comics (initially Whoopee! and Cheeky, then subsequently Whoopee!) dated 11 October 1980 to 5 September 1981. Cheeky’s entire Whoopee! run was a restless one, and his strips underwent a number of format changes in the period, suggesting the editor was struggling to find a setup that would prove popular. Although the strip’s 'Cheeky' title would remain unchanged from its resurrection in Whoopee! dated 22 May 1982 until the toothy funster finally bowed out of Whoopee (by that time the comic's exclamation mark had been excised), the format of this feature was subject to further tweaking as our grinning pal headed towards oblivion.

The first of the second run of 'Cheeky' demonstrates that the new, condensed title panel, replacing as it did the It’s Cheeky banner across the top of the page, allowed more room for our toothy pal’s cartoon antics. The new title design was also smaller than that which headed each episode of the previous run of the strip of the same name, and the new run also did away with the individual titles for each week’s story, saving even more space.

Whoopee! 22 May 1982
Art: Frank McDiarmid, as is all the artwork
in this post, unless noted otherwise

The new run of 'Cheeky' continued the more plot-based episodes (rather than the stream of unrelated gags featuring various pals with which the grinning gagster found fame), many focusing on life at home with mum and dad or set around school activities, which had commenced with tour toothy pal’s previous vehicle, the second run of It’s Cheeky. Initially very few of Cheeky’s Krazy Town pals were in evidence during his concluding Whoopee! run, but in the 18 September 1982 episode the grinning gagster announced 'I'm going to look for some of my pals that (sic) I haven't seen for ages'. Thereafter, the strips reverted to the original format, with the toothy funster exchanging gags with his chums, apart from the 12 March 1983 edition, when Cheeky was on a solo visit to the zoo.

 
Cheeky’s feature in the 1982 Christmas issue was titled Cheeky’s Christmas Crackers, a full-page picture depicting the toothy funster and pals enjoying a slap-up festive feed while delivering seasonal funnies.

Unusual depiction of Cheeky with no teeth on view.
From the Cheeky strip dated 06 November 1982



The Cheeky strip in the 15 January 1983 issue commences with the toothy funster exiting a newsagent with a bag of papers over his shoulder, saying ‘I’ve got this job delivering papers’. There’s no mention of his erstwhile Sunday paper round in Cheeky Weekly.

Another toothless funster - 05 February 1983


Cheeky goes digital

Whoopee!'s final full-page 'Cheeky' strip appeared in  the issue dated 18 June 1983. The following week the toothy funster was absent due to the presence of a 2 page announcement informing readers that a selection of features from sister comic Wow! were to be amalgamated into Whoopee as from the next issue.

The first combined issue of Whoopee and Wow! was a somewhat shocking one for friends of Cheeky, as our punning pal's strip, still titled 'Cheeky', was reduced to a single row of panels among 3 similarly restricted features on a page of Quick Strips.

Paddywack: Jack Clayton
Bleep: Jim Barker
Here Is The News: Ed McHenry

This reduced format (shared by former Cheeky Weekly star Paddywack) was maintained until Whoopee's demise following the 30 March 1985 edition. Most of his strips appearing on the Quick Strips page saw Cheeky interacting with only a single member from among his supporting cast. Whoopee star Sweeny Toddler made a cameo in the 21 April 1984 edition.


All the strips in this run were drawn by Frank McDiarmid, who after a couple of weeks working on the condensed format began signing them with just an 'F'. The Quick Strips version of 'Cheeky' was absent from the comic on 21 occasions during its run, although it was present in the final Whoopee.


Sadly (or maybe mercifully in view of the ignominious circumstances in which he ended his solo career), Cheeky was not among the features chosen to transfer into Whizzer and Chips when it absorbed Whoopee a week later, although he continued to appear in the Krazy Gang strip which had been running in Whizzer and Chips since Krazy failed in 1978.

The final Whoopee 'Cheeky' strip - 30 March 1985


4 comments:

  1. the cheeky strips were funny to the end...liked the snail one!!! eek!

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    1. It was worth shelling out for the comic that week. Ouch - sorry!

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  2. I agree it may’ve been confusing for Cheeky’s strip to have continued in W&C given his Krazy Gang appearances. It would presumably still have been a three- or four-panel job due to space reasons. Who knows, such a double-dose might even have spurred unenlightened readers to write in saying, “This Cheeky lad’s a laugh, why not give him his own comic?” And then where’d we have been?

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    Replies
    1. I would have had to do a whole lot more work on this blog if that had been the case!

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