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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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*** CHEEKY WEEKLY, KRAZY, WHOOPEE and WHIZZER AND CHIPS ARE ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ***
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Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Doubling Down on The Deckers

Stephen Archer has returned from his latest investigative foray into the annals of Whizzer and Chips, in search of original dates of another feature reprinted in Cheeky Weekly. The subject of Stephen’s examination on this occasion is The Double Deckers, a series which went by the pseudonymous and somewhat unimaginative title of The Gang during its rehash across the Cheeky titles.

The first page of The Double
Deckers' debut - Whizzer and Chips
22 May 1971

 

The second page of The Gang's
debut (a reprint of the same episode
as above) - Cheeky Weekly
07 July 1979

The Double Deckers ran in Whizzer and Chips (more specifically in the Chips section of that long-running 'two comics in one' title) for 52 weeks between 1971 and 1972. 36 of these episodes were repackaged as The Gang and distributed across the Cheeky publications (and, in one instance, returned to their title of origin as part of publisher IPC’s 1979 Star Guest promotion) as follows...

Title Feature Total Episodes
Cheeky Weekly The Gang 31
Cheeky Holiday Special 1980
The Gang 2
Cheeky Annual 1981 The Gang 2
Whizzer and Chips with Krazy Star Guest The Gang 1

For those of you who read my post on The Gang's Star Guest outing and who have been waiting since June 2015 to see the first page of The Double Decker adventure from which it was parted, here it is...

Art: Robert MacGillivray

 

Below is a list of all the Double Deckers episodes, indicating those selected for reprint as The Gang. My thanks to Stephen Archer for the information concerning the original run in Whizzer and Chips and matching them with the reprints.

Cover Date Originally in Original Feature Art Original Elements Reprinted in Reprint Date Reprint Feature Reprint Elements
22-May-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 07-Jul-1979 The Gang 2
29-May-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



05-Jun-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 19-Jan-1980 The Gang 2
12-Jun-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



19-Jun-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



26-Jun-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



03-Jul-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 18-Aug-1979 The Gang 2
10-Jul-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



17-Jul-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 15-Sep-1979 The Gang 2
24-Jul-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 10-Nov-1979 The Gang 2
31-Jul-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Holiday Special 01-Apr-1980 The Gang 2
07-Aug-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



14-Aug-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 29-Sep-1979 The Gang 2
21-Aug-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Holiday Special 01-Apr-1980 The Gang 2
28-Aug-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



04-Sep-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 27-Oct-1979 The Gang 2
11-Sep-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



18-Sep-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 11-Aug-1979 The Gang 2
25-Sep-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 20-Oct-1979 The Gang 2
02-Oct-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 14-Jul-1979 The Gang 2
09-Oct-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 29-Dec-1979 The Gang 2
16-Oct-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 26-Jan-1980 The Gang 2
23-Oct-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



30-Oct-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers
2 Cheeky Annual 1981 01-Sep-1980 The Gang 4
06-Nov-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



13-Nov-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



20-Nov-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 03-Nov-1979 The Gang 2
27-Nov-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 21-Jul-1979 The Gang 2
04-Dec-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 08-Dec-1979 The Gang 2
11-Dec-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 12-Jan-1980 The Gang 2
18-Dec-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



25-Dec-1971 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 22-Dec-1979 The Gang 2
01-Jan-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 05-Jan-1980 The Gang 2
08-Jan-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



15-Jan-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Annual 1981 01-Sep-1980 The Gang 4
22-Jan-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Whizzer and Chips with Krazy 21-Jul-1979 Star Guest The Gang 1
29-Jan-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 01-Sep-1979 The Gang 2
05-Feb-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 15-Dec-1979 The Gang 2
12-Feb-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



19-Feb-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 01-Dec-1979 The Gang 2
26-Feb-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



04-Mar-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 13-Oct-1979 The Gang 2
11-Mar-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 25-Aug-1979 The Gang 2
18-Mar-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 02-Feb-1980 The Gang 2
25-Mar-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 06-Oct-1979 The Gang 2
01-Apr-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2



08-Apr-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 17-Nov-1979 The Gang 2
15-Apr-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 22-Sep-1979 The Gang 2
22-Apr-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 24-Nov-1979 The Gang 2
29-Apr-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 04-Aug-1979 The Gang 2
06-May-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 08-Sep-1979 The Gang 2
13-May-1972 Whizzer and Chips The Double Deckers Robert MacGillivray 2 Cheeky Weekly 28-Jul-1979 The Gang 2

As you'll see, I haven't attributed an artwork credit to the Double Deckers episode dated 30 October 1971, reprinted in Cheeky Annual 1981. This is because I don't believe it to be the work of Robert MacGillivray, and I'm unable to identify the artist (this is my own opinion on the matter, Stephen has not commented, mainly because I haven't asked him for a view on the subject). Here is that episode as printed in the Cheeky Annual 1981 - as mentioned above, there have clearly been alterations to the artwork to expand it to fill 4 Annual pages. Quite why the editor felt the need to go to the trouble of deputing a staff member to resize 2 episodes for use in this Annual is a bit of a mystery, considering there were 16 Double Decker strips which had not been reprinted at the time the book was compiled, and no further Gang episodes would appear after the 1981 Annual. Maybe it was felt that including four soporific 2-page Gang tales in one Annual rather than two 4-page ones would have elevated the tedium of the feature to unendurable levels. Speaking personally, even one appearance by the uninspiring team is too much for me.

The Gang's second adventure
from Cheeky Annual 1981




Apart from the resizing of episodes and title change, a number of additional alterations were made to the original strips when preparing them for reprint, some of which I have previously documented and can be found via the link in the first paragraph above.

Stephen has previously researched the original dates of 3 Cheeky reprints - Ringer Dinger, The Cave Kids and Why, Dad, Why?, but The Gang is the first feature to come under his scrutiny where the debut episode of the reprint run has featured the strip which was the inaugural story from its original series. However, unlike the aforementioned 3 features, there was a definitively final Double Deckers episode, at the conclusion of which the bus-based band bade farewell to their Chip-ite chums as they eschewed their erstwhile omnibus dwelling in favour of a caravan and motored off into comic history, but it was reprinted, with alterations among which was (for some inexplicable reason) the design of Albert's car, as the 5th instalment of The Gang's 36-episode resurrection.

Whizzer and Chips 13 May 1972

Cheeky Weekly 28 July 1979


Having ceded their 2-page-a-week slot in Chips, what was chosen to replace the dreary doings of the tedious troupe as from the 20 May 1972 edition? Chip-ite supremo, the permanently eye-blackened Shiner, made an announcement in the issue from which The Double Deckers departed...

I don't know who the artists are on either of these pages, showing the debut episodes from Whizzer and Chips dated 20 May 1972.


The evidence of the first episode of Ma, Pa and Baby Ba suggests it was a variation on the 'unruly infant' idea which was often seen in comics over the years, arguably reaching its apotheosis in Sweeny Toddler. Cheeky Weekly of course featured its own version of the naughty nipper concept - Baby Burpo.

2 comments:

  1. Spotted the Gang’s Star Guest turn in W&C on 21/7/79 yesterday; I never sent you the original date of 22/1/72 so you must’ve verified it by other means. I also saw a total of nine Star Guest slots in W&C, most of which you’ve blogged about – the Gang's was the last, so I don’t know if it were thought CW didn’t require undue promoting. Cheeky himself appeared on 7/7 – and on 28/4 in case you didn’t know – supporting this thought process: “We’ve got the Gang and Stage School now; they’ll see us right”. It was the beginning, with hindsight, of the end. It’d be unfair to insinuate the Gang brought about CW’s end, but I think it’s reasonable to say the title was running out of innovation; sad indeed as it had started with nothing BUT innovation two years before.

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    Replies
    1. Cheeky Weekly's heyday was indeed brief, but glorious!

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