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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*** ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Used with permission. ***
*** CHEEKY WEEKLY, KRAZY, WHOOPEE and WHIZZER AND CHIPS ARE ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ***

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Friday, 16 July 2021

The Competition

Peter Gray has been posting an interesting series showing which comics were in UK newsagents in a particular week years ago. His latest post focuses on July 1978, and allows us to see which companion and competitor titles were vying with Cheeky Weekly to relieve youngsters of their pocket money. The week in question saw publication of the 38th issue of the toothy funster's comic, and it was the second week of IPC's Mini Comics promotion.

Of course the comics on sale that week prompt the question, 'Who would win in a fight between Ursula and The Incredible Hulk?'

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Cheeky Summer Special 1981

 

Whoopee and Cheeky 27 June 1981
The sunbathing Cheeky and dog were drawn
by Cliff Brown for Cheeky's Holiday Puzzle Challenge
which appeared in Cheeky Holiday Special 1980
 


It seems that the answer to the question ‘when does summer start?’ is not quite as simple as one might expect. Our weather-watching chums at the Met Office inform us that Meteorological summer always begins on 01 June, while Astronomical summer begins on 20 or 21 of that month (at least for those of us clinging to the surface of the northern half of the globe as it swings on its dizzying annual route around the sun). I’m not sure whether the management of IPC based the titling of their Specials on Meteorological or Astronomical seasonal dates, but Cheeky’s Special published in 1981 was designated to be of the Summer variety, as it appeared in shops in June of that year (the previous year’s Cheeky Special was published in April and was thus titled Holiday Special). By the time the Cheeky Summer Special 1981 was published, Cheeky and a select band of features from his own weekly title, which had expired in early 1980, were appearing in Whoopee! To acknowledge the arrival of the toothy funster and pals, the comic had, as was the tradition with ‘merges’, adopted the name of the subsumed publication to become Whoopee! and Cheeky, but when the ad for the 1981 Cheeky Summer Special appeared in the issue of that combined title bearing the cover date 27 June 1981, the comic was just 5 weeks away from quietly dropping the 'and Cheeky' reference on the cover. The Cheeky Summer Special 1981 was advertised just once in Whoopee! and Cheeky, whereas the Whoopee! Summer Special of the same year appeared in ads in 3 issues.

Our grinning hero’s career in Whoopee! seems to have been a rather troubled one, as the editor appears to have struggled to find a vehicle for the jerseyed japester that would prove popular with readers. By the summer of 1981 the titular tittermeister’s strips in Whoopee! had gone from an initial 5 weeks in the same format as in Cheeky Weekly, to a series of movie spoofs that lasted 23 weeks, which by the time of publication of this Special had been replaced with something of a return to the original format in the form of a strip entitled Cheeky. This is the first Annual or Special to be published since the October 1980 demise of Whoopee! and Cheeky's Cheeky Section.

 


 

Unlike the 3 previous Cheeky Specials, the cover of this year’s doesn’t feature a seasonal seafront scene, but it does include a text gag which the earlier Specials lacked. The creative team behind this Special clearly believe that roller disco is still sufficiently popular to attract readers (although the toothy funster evidently favours bopping to a soundtrack of jokes on his Walkman-type personal cassette player rather than the musical accompaniment chosen by his companions). Mike Lacy is again the cover artist, having provided the visuals for the front of the 2 previous Specials.

 

 

A strip entitled Cheeky’s Guide to Holidays, and with a sub-heading of Sports and Games, begins over the page. Frank McDiarmid is the artist as Cheeky samples a selection of leisure pursuits including golf and cycling during this 4 page set, at the conclusion of which a caption tells us that the grinning gagster will return on page 34 with another holiday guide.


 

Next up is a strip going by the name of My Old Man’s a Junk Man (a reference to Lonnie Donegan’s raucous paean to a refuse-removing pa). This feature has not been seen before in any Cheeky-related title. Thanks to the diligent Irmantas’ comprehensive chronicling of Cor!! contents I was able to identify its source as that title’s 02 June 1973 issue, where it appeared as part of the Cor-medy Choice feature. Cor-medy Choice solicited readers’ votes to decide which of 10 new strip ideas would be adopted as a full series. My Old Man etc was voted into 4th place, and thereby...junked. On the strip’s resurrection for this Special, the caption in the second panel has been altered to give the strip a supposed relevance to Cheeky’s universe, and the caption in the third panel has been altered to replace ‘street’ with ‘avenue’ so that it matches the first. The compiler of this Special will be dipping into the Cor-medy Choice runners-up again in a few pages. The Cheeky Weekly editor had made a selection from the second run of Cor-medy Choice to represent the supporting cartoon feature during the Saturday Morning pictures sequence in the issue dated 16 September 1978.

 

I can't identify this artist

 

Tom Williams illustrates the Disaster Des episode which follows. Tom contributed to Cheeky Weekly on just one occasion - in the Whizzer and Chips mini comic which appeared in the issue dated 01 July 1978. This is the second time Tom has dawn our pariah pal – Tom contributed 2 Des pages to the 1979 Cheeky Summer Special.

 

 

The Stage School kids are on the beach in the summery saga occupying pages 10 and 11. Teacher insists his pupils concentrate on the nature study task he has set them, but they would rather be entertained by the nearby Punch and Judy show. Robert Nixon has been the regular artist on this feature since it made its debut in Cheeky Weekly back in July 1979, and he continues to supply the artwork following its transfer into Whoopee! However Barry Glennard, who draws this particular episode, stood in for Robert on 3 occasions during the strip’s Cheeky Weekly run, and has previously supplied artwork on the feature in the 1980 Cheeky Holiday Special and the 1981 Cheeky Annual.

Carties (Skipper and Skatie) and what looks to be a form of motorised tricycle (Wipe-Out) are the modes of transport favoured by Speed Squad in their summery-but- sodden escapade. They find these vehicular choices suited to the muddy conditions prevailing at the park, and their conveyances prove handy in clearing a path through the sludge in order that the brass band can mount their parade. Jimmy Hansen, the regular artist on the strip in its Cheeky Weekly days, provides the visuals.

 


 

Also visiting the park in his strip, though enjoying better weather, is Tub. Despite the dry conditions, our portly pal gets wet as a result of being pushed into the pond. Poor old Tub, I’ve never liked this feature as it seems to focus on cruelty a lot of the time. This page-and-a-half story is drawn by Nigel Edwards, who has illustrated all the Tub strips published since the character first appeared in Cheeky Weekly dated 30 September 1978, although the feature wasn’t among those selected for transfer into Whoopee! after the demise of the toothy funster’s own title – a wise decision as far as I’m concerned.

Occupying the bottom half of the page carrying the conclusion to Tub’s park predicament is a puzzle entitled Animal Antics. A pasted-in image of Petula hovers above the brain-teaser, which consists of 8 farm animals drawn by Ed McHenry. Each beast is accompanied by an onomatopoeic representation of an animal utterance, but they are all mixed up. The challenge is to pair the correct sounds and critters. This grey-matter-taxing feature may have been sourced from IPC's bulging cabinet of previously-published posers.

Page 16 sees the commencement of internal colour printing and the first strip to benefit from the process (although in my copy the print on this page is rather blurred) is a Cave Kids reprint, featuring what may be an antecedent of Cheeky Weekly’s fugitive tusker, Walter.

 

Mercifully, the colour printing on the next page is much clearer as readers are challenged to guide Cheeky, who is equipped with swimming trunks and a towel, through a maze to the beach, avoiding Ursula, Granny Gumdrop, Louise, Gloomy Glad, Posh Claude, Teacher and Jogging Jeremy. This feature is entitled Sink or Swim?

Monochrome printing resumes on page 18, the contents of which are once again sourced from Cor!!’s Cor-medy Choice series of 1973. Referring again to Irmantas’ post on the subject, we can compare the opening of the original printing of Scarey Crow with its resurrection in the Cheeky Summer Special. As was the case with the repurposing of My Old Man’s A Junk Man, there has been some alteration of the reprint of Scarey Crow to tie it in with the Cheeky mythos – in this case the title panel has been re-jigged. When the Cor-medy Choice votes were tallied back in 1973, Scarey Crow came in at number 8, after which the crafty corvid took flight into comic history, which is probably why artist Terry Bave didn’t include the strip in the list of features he drew which appeared in the index of his autobiography Cartoons and Comic Strips. This not the final Cor-medy Choice failure to be recruited for this Special as we will see later.

 


 

There is further reprint raillery on the following 2 pages, although the material is not as obscure as the preceding feature. The Swots and The Blots originally appeared in Smash! In 1966 but later transferred into Valiant when the inevitable ‘merge’ took place. The feature has not previously appeared in any Cheeky-related publication, so one might have expected the first episode of the original run to be used to introduce the setup to readers who are encountering the antics of the titular tykes for the first time. However, IPC seem to have a policy of ignoring the original publication order when publishing recycled material. I believe this reprint is drawn by Ron Spencer which if I’m right and going by Lew Stringer’s post on the strip, means its original publication must have pre-dated the Valiant and Smash! merge.

 


 

5 of the preceding 6 pages have consisted of reprints, so it’s a relief to reach page 22 and witness the commencement of a new 2-page $6,000,000 Gran story. The aged automaton was among the features from Cheeky Weekly that transferred into Whoopee! in early 1980 and, apart from being numerically renamed (the strip had been known as 6 Million Dollar Gran in its Cheeky Weekly incarnation), the premise had continued unchanged. However, as from Whoopee and Cheeky’s 09 May 1981 edition, Gran had embarked on a new strip entitled Robot Granny, which saw her gain employment as a nanny. This strip in the 1981 Cheeky Special continues the old Gran format, with the synthetic senior citizen building a towering sandcastle while on a trip to the coast with ‘grandchildren’ Pete and Pauline Potts, regular characters from the original setup who weren’t carried over into the Robot Granny era. Ian knox is the artist – the first time he has drawn a Gran strip for a Cheeky Special or Annual (I suspect Ian’s Gran artwork which appeared in the 1980 Cheeky Annual was intended for the regular Cheeky Weekly).

A page of wild west witticisms follows as 6 single-panel gags drawn by Artie Jackson are presented under the banner of Cheeky ‘Holiday’ Chuckles, with Way Out West as the subject. These may be reprints, but the editor missed an opportunity to link the page to Cheeky by having it introduced by Six-Gun Sam.

Achieving human-powered flight is the aim of the neolithic nippers in the Cave Kids reprint that follows, after which we get another strip exhumed from the comics graveyard, as the response to Ringer Dinger’s telephonic request delivers the wrong kind of engineer, who proceeds to use dynamite to excavate a hole in the lawn. This strip exhibits a title panel design that has not been seen before in any of the previous Ringer Dinger reprints employed to fill various Cheeky publications - a banner-style title has previously been in evidence. I suspect this page-and-a-half tale, containing as it does a reference to summer in the third panel, may have originally appeared in a Summer Special – Terry Bave’s book indicates he drew Dinger in the Cor!! Summer Special of 1971 (presumably he meant Whizzer and Chips?).

 


Sharing the page with the concluding section of Dinger’s explosive escapade is a brainteaser entitled Silly Silhouettes, wherein 8 of Cheeky’s Krazy Town pals are depicted in the manner of the title, and the challenge is to identify all of the funny folk. Answers on page 52.

The Swots and The Blots then engage in 2 pages of reprinted classroom capers drawn this time by Mike Lacey, following which Artie Jackson is on hand to provide a further 6 single-panel Cheeky Holiday Chuckles gags, this time given the sub-heading of All-At-Sea and sharing a maritime theme.

Stress is again put upon the old grey matter on page 31, as we’re presented with a page headed Postcard Puzzler. The text tells us that Teacher, on a tour of Britain, has sent Cheeky 12 postcards but the location of each of the towns he has visited is indicated by picture clues only. For example, clue 10 shows a picture of a swan next to an image of the sea, and the answer required here is clearly the quaint British town of Birdwater. Ed McHenry is the artist for the pictorial clues, and there’s a pasted-in image of the toothy funster in the centre of the page, so this could very well be an altered puzzle from an earlier IPC title.

We’ve now arrived at the centre pages, which are occupied by Mustapha Million, who’s enjoying a suitably holiday-based escapade in colour with artwork by Joe McCaffrey (although the colouring may have been applied by someone else). The ‘middle eastern style’ title banner is very similar to that under which our moneyed mate is currently appearing in Whoopee!, but with some additional curly bits at each end (which may lead readers unfamiliar with the character to assume his surname is Millions) to fill some space because the original lettering was designed to fit the differently-proportioned weekly comic pages.

 


 

Sadly the colour printing proves short-lived as Cheeky returns in monochrome with another Cheeky’s Guide To Holidays, focusing on A Countryside Ramble. This 6 page sequence of hiking humour with the toothy funster and pals in the classic Cheeky mould is once again drawn by the inimitable Frank McDiarmid. A caption in the final panel tells us our grinning chum will return on page 58.

 


Page 40 is the location of a full-page advert for IPC’s weekly humour output carrying the banner ‘4 For Fun’ and displaying sample covers (with prices erased) of the titles Buster, Jackpot, Whizzer and Chips and Whoopee! and Cheeky (although as mentioned earlier the dropping of the reference to the toothy funster from the combined comic’s title was just weeks away at the time this Special was published).

There’s birthday bother in the Dinger household as the telephone-toting tyke and Dad realise they’ve forgotten Mum’s anniversary. The usual communication confusion - this time between the words ‘jewel’ (the perplexed pair consider a gem of some kind would be an appropriate gift) and ‘duel’ - results in the manifestation of a rapier-wielding gent who first engages Dinger in swordplay then suggests a duel with pistols. Dinger and Dad narrowly avoiding getting shot, and Mum turns up in the final panel to tell them her birthday is not until next month.

Following this rather hair-raising episode, it’s a relief to turn the page and witness a relaxed Cheeky enjoying a snooze in the garden as Snail embarks on his holiday in a feature entitled A Snail’s Tale. The mirthful mollusc does a circuit of the back garden, jesting with various inhabitants in the manner of his Snail of the Century circumnavigations of yesteryear, before returning to find the toothy funster still akip in the sun. Frank Mc Diarmid provides the visuals, which include a cameo by Dan Dan the Lavender Man. Cheeky's slithering sidekick had enjoyed a cover strip on the front of Whoopee! and Cheeky's Cheeky Section between 23 February and 04 October 1980, but since then has continued to accompany his grinning pal in the toothy funster's strip each week (the mirthful mollusc will later secure another Whoopee! feature of his own).


 

Sweets are rather surprisingly evident in the classroom next, though the Swots decorously consume some sugary comestibles while the Blots noisily masticate theirs. Teacher sends the whole class to the school dentist and the 2-page strip by Mike Lacey, won’t do much to allay the apprehensions of those readers with an aversion to needle and drill.

That stalwart of Annuals and Specials, the spot-the-difference page, is up next and 2 images, showing Mustapha Million enjoying a camel ride on the beach while his pals are mounted on the more quotidian donkeys, are presented for our variance-identifying pleasure. While it’s common to be challenged to spot 10 or 12 modifications in puzzles of this type, in this case there are a whopping 25 alterations to be identified. This image is specially drawn for the occasion (rather than being sourced from a panel of a Mustapha strip) by regular Mustapha artist Joe McCaffrey. Answers on page 52.

There are more donkeys-on-the-beach scenes on the next page, but of a photographic nature as the feature is titled Flash Harry’s Silly Seaside Snaps and ‘amusing’ captions, which Harry attributes to Cheeky, have been added. This page will engender nostalgic feelings among long-time fans of our toothy pal since it’s based on Cheeky Weekly’s occasional series Silly Snaps.

‘All Abroad’ is the sub-heading of the next batch of Cheeky Holiday Chuckles illustrated by Artie Jackson. This selection of gags, (among which is the hoary ‘My wife’s gone to the West Indies’ joke – although to be fair some of the young readers of this Special may well be encountering this old chestnut for the first time), benefit from colour printing.

Blurry colour of the type we experienced when reading The Cave Kids on page 16 is again in evidence as Ringer Dinger begins another escapade on page 49. The similarity of off-register printing on these pages is not a surprise since the contents of both exist on the same sheet of paper, which has been folded and transfixed by staples during the collation stage of the printing process. Squinting through the murky reproduction, it’s just about possible to follow the Dinger story in which a complaint from Mum about the slow cooking of the family dinner prompts our young hero to dial the Gas Board. The usual confusion results in the appearance of Baron Von Flugel and his Zeppelin. The conclusion of this episode differs from most Dinger escapades as none of the items summoned by the malfunctioning phone have dematerialised. The final panel shows the roof of the Dinger residence having been torn off as the crew of the airship fly away, leaving the Baron to face the wrath of the assembled family.

For the third time the compiler of this Special resorts to the 1973 run of Cor-medy Choice, and the strip selected for reprint this time is Sheik Oleg. As with the 2 previous Cor-Medy selections in this Special, an alteration has been made in order to tie the feature into Cheeky’s universe. In this case a banner caption has been added to the top of the page. Also, because of the original strip’s weak ending, a caption reading The End has been added to the concluding panel. Irmantas has posted the entire original story. Following the strip’s original publication, readers of Cor!!, clearly unimpressed with the Sheik and his camel capers, voted this effort into 10th and final place.

Now, you’re clearly wondering, like me, ‘why did the editor of this Cheeky Special choose to reprint some of the poorer-performing contenders in the original Cor-medy Choice results rather than the most popular?’ It’s possible that the winner, Val’s Vanishing Cream, had by this time been recalled from the IPC vaults and was functioning as a filler in a companion title. However I suspect that the 3 strips in question were chosen because of the 10 available those were the ones that could, with a minimum of effort, be given an apparent link to Cheeky’s universe.

 

Art: Stan McMurtry

 

Another batch of Cheeky Holiday Chuckles ensues, but whereas the earlier features under this title were comprised of 6 gags each, this batch with the sub-heading Wish You Were Here? (despite the vacation connotations of this phrase, the jokes presented here are all prison-related), contains 4 jokes only. The reason for the reduction in funnies is the presence on the same page of the answers to the various brainteasers presented earlier in the Special (unaccountably, it seems my answer to question 10 of the Postcard Puzzler was wrong).

Did each of the Cave Kids have individual names during their original Buster run? If so, none of the reprints selected for this Special name any of our prehistoric pals with the exception of Rocky, who is the main character to feature on their page 53 adventure. He’s looking forward to his birthday in a week’s time and plans to enjoy a ‘last play’ with the toys he received a year earlier, in this episode probably drawn by Leo Baxendale.

Sweets are once again driving the plot of The Swots and The Blots in their episode on pages 54 and 55. The School Inspector is due and the sugary treats with which he rewards diligent pupils are the target of the ruffian Blots. This rather shocking tale, featuring kidnapping and threats of violence, is drawn by an artist I can’t identify.

 


There’s a much calmer atmosphere as an original 2 page strip featuring Calculator Kid follows. Calc has a plan to grant Charlie’s wish for a swimming pool, as Terry Bave echoes the plot of his earlier Ringer Dinger script using the same desire for garden-based bathing as its starting point. Charlie’s extravagantly-moustached dad makes an appearance which is always a bonus. This feature was among the strips from Cheeky Weekly to be carried forward to Whoopee! and Cheeky, where it continues to appear.

Cheeky’s final investigation for this year into various forms of holiday begins, as promised at the conclusion of the previous Cheeky’s Guide To Holidays sequence, on page 58. This 6 page set by Frank McDiarmid gives us another view of Krazy Town’s seafront which was glimpsed on rare occasions during Cheeky Weekly’s run - here, here, here and here. Something we’ve never seen before is Krazy Town pier, which is on view in the background of one of the panels as Cheeky conducts his disguised tour of the environs. The map of Krazy Town which appeared way back in the first issue of Krazy gave no indication that the toothy funster’s patch was a coastal location.

 



 

Another slightly blurry Cave Kids strip in colour is given the honour of bringing proceedings to a conclusion on the back cover, with a tale in which Rocky is tasked with providing Chiefy, who’s intent on dispatching a grub-grabbing mammoth, with an arrow.

In common with the 3 previous Cheeky Specials, this year’s consists of 64 pages, with 8 printed (not always in the most legible manner) in colour. For the first time, the cost has not risen, with last year’s 45p cover price maintained.

All the ex-Cheeky Weekly features currently appearing in Whoopee! and Cheeky are represented in this Special, with the exception of Paddywack, who has been included in all the previous Cheeky Annuals and Specials. His absence from this Special is something of a surprise as he's the current Whoopee! and Cheeky cover feature. However, the fact that our bumbling chum is given the prized front page slot in that weekly title is in itself surprising as he has never attracted enough votes to appear among the top ten favourite characters in any of the 3 popularity polls conducted since Whoopee! subsumed Cheeky Weekly.

Disaster Des, Tub and Speed Squad, features running in Cheeky Weekly at the time of its cancellation but which failed to transfer into Whoopee! and Cheeky, appear in this Special as they have done in the 2 previous Cheeky Specials (their late debuts in Cheeky Weekly meant they missed the 1978 Cheeky Summer Special). Elephant on the Run and Why, Dad, Why?, similarly late arrivals to Cheeky Weekly and which also failed to survive the merge, are absent this year despite appearing in the 1980 Special.

Reprints of The Cave Kids continue, their antediluvian antics having previously appeared in last year's Special and 1981 Annual. The Swots and The Blots are new reprints (if that's not a contradiction in terms), replacing recycled appearances by The Gang and Soggy the Sea Monster who all served to pad out last year's Special and Annual, and Copy Kate who appeared in last year's Special but not the Annual. It's quite possible that all existing material featuring these characters has been exhausted.

It seems that the 1979 Cheeky Summer Special, with its reprint content amounting to one quarter of the total elements, was something of an anomaly in this respect since this year's and those of 1978 and 1980 all include one third reprinted material (I have only included those strips that I know to be reprints in the total for this Special. Those about which I have only suspicions - mainly gag and puzzle pages as referred to above - have not been counted as reprint).

YEAR TITLE TOTAL_ELEMENTS ORIGINAL_ELEMENTS REPRINT_ELEMENTS REPRINT_PERCENT
1978 Cheeky Summer Special 63 42 21 33.33
1979 Cheeky Summer Special 65 50 15 23.08
1980 Cheeky Holiday Special 65 44 21 32.31
1981 Cheeky Summer Special 66 44 22 33.33

It's a pity once again that the colour printing has been allocated to reprints, gags and puzzles rather than Cheeky pages, but it seems the printing process limits the use of colour to the front and back covers, pages 16-17, 32-33, and 48-49. The Cheeky Holiday sequences all exceed 2 pages, so the editor possibly felt that it's preferable to print them entirely monochrome rather than partly in colour. However, the 2-page Snail's Tale could have benefited from the colour available on 16-17 or 48-49, leaving a multi-hued Mustapha in the centre.

It's great to see Frank McDiarmid providing his usual excellent, energetic and fun-filled artwork for the Cheeky features in this Special (he has contributed art for all the previous Specials except for 1980). There are 19 pages of Cheeky strips in this year's Special, including the cover (and I'm including the 2 Snail pages in that figure). The 1978 Special contained 25 Cheeky pages, 1979 contained 23 and last year's contained 15 pages of japes with our toothy pal.




Cheeky Summer Special - published June 1981
Page Details
1Cover - Art Mike Lacey
2Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'Sports and Games' - Art Frank McDiarmid
3Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'Sports and Games' - Art Frank McDiarmid
4Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'Sports and Games' - Art Frank McDiarmid
5Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'Sports and Games' - Art Frank McDiarmid
6My Old Man's a Junkman reprint from Cor!!
7My Old Man's a Junkman reprint from Cor!!
8Disaster Des - Art Tom Williams
9Disaster Des - Art Tom Williams
10Stage School - Art Barry Glennard
11Stage School - Art Barry Glennard
12Speed Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
13Speed Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
14Tub - Art Nigel Edwards
15Tub - Art Nigel Edwards\Animal Antics - Art Ed McHenry
16The Cave Kids reprint from Buster
17Sink or Swim
18Scarey Crow reprint from Cor!! - Art Terry Bave
19Scarey Crow reprint from Cor!! - Art Terry Bave
20The Swots and The Blots reprint from Smash! - Art Ron Spencer
21The Swots and The Blots reprint from Smash! - Art Ron Spencer
22$6,000,000 Gran - Art Ian Knox
23$6,000,000 Gran - Art Ian Knox
24Cheeky Holiday Chuckles 'Way-Out West' - Art Artie Jackson
25The Cave Kids reprint from Buster
26Ringer Dinger reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Terry Bave
27Ringer Dinger reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Terry Bave\Silly Silhouettes
28The Swots and The Blots reprint from Smash! - Art Mike Lacey
29The Swots and The Blots reprint from Smash! - Art Mike Lacey
30Cheeky Holiday Chuckles 'All-At-Sea' - Art Artie Jackson
31Postcard Puzzler - Art Ed McHenry
32Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
33Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
34Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'A Countryside Ramble' - Art Frank McDiarmid
35Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'A Countryside Ramble' - Art Frank McDiarmid
36Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'A Countryside Ramble' - Art Frank McDiarmid
37Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'A Countryside Ramble' - Art Frank McDiarmid
38Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'A Countryside Ramble' - Art Frank McDiarmid
39Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'A Countryside Ramble' - Art Frank McDiarmid
40Ad: IPC '4 For Fun'
41Ringer Dinger reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Terry Bave
42A Snail's Tale - Art Frank McDiarmid
43A Snail's Tale - Art Frank McDiarmid
44The Swots and The Blots reprint from Smash! - Art Mike Lacey
45The Swots and The Blots reprint from Smash! - Art Mike Lacey
46Spot the Difference - Art Joe McCaffrey
47Flash Harry's Silly Holiday Snaps
48Cheeky Holiday Chuckles 'All-Abroad' - Art Artie Jackson
49Ringer Dinger reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Terry Bave
50Sheik Oleg reprint from Cor!! - Art Stan McMurtry
51Sheik Oleg reprint from Cor!! - Art Stan McMurtry
52Cheeky Holiday Chuckles 'Wish You Were Here' - Art Artie Jackson\Answers to Teasers and Puzzles
53The Cave Kids reprint from Buster
54The Swots and The Blots reprint from Smash!
55The Swots and The Blots reprint from Smash!
56Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
57Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
58Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'Holiday-Making at Home' - Art Frank McDiarmid
59Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'Holiday-Making at Home' - Art Frank McDiarmid
60Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'Holiday-Making at Home' - Art Frank McDiarmid
61Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'Holiday-Making at Home' - Art Frank McDiarmid
62Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'Holiday-Making at Home' - Art Frank McDiarmid
63Cheeky's Guide to Holidays 'Holiday-Making at Home' - Art Frank McDiarmid
64The Cave Kids reprint from Buster







Cheeky Summer Special Features never running in Cheeky Weekly
Cheeky Summer Special Feature
$6,000,000 Gran
A Snail's Tale
Animal Antics
Answers to Teasers and Puzzles
Cheeky Holiday Chuckles
Cheeky's Guide to Holidays
Cover
Flash Harry's Silly Holiday Snaps
My Old Man's a Junkman
Postcard Puzzler
Scarey Crow
Sheik Oleg
Silly Silhouettes
Sink or Swim
Spot the Difference
The Cave Kids
The Swots and The Blots

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Cheeky Annual 1981

Whoopee! and Cheeky
06 September 1980

Cheeky’s Annual carrying the cover date 1981 was the third yearly hardback collection of jolly japes and jests starring the toothy funster and featuring his numerous pals. However, it was the first to be published since our grinning chum’s weekly comic was cancelled in early 1980. Despite this setback, Cheeky continued to have a presence in the regular funny papers jostling for space on newsagents’ shelves, as he had secured a place in sister publication Whoopee! following the traditional ‘merge’ of his eponymous title into a more robust stablemate. This change in status from being the star of his own comic to becoming a refugee in Whoopee! may have affected the manner in which comic readers were informed of the existence of this latest Annual - whereas the 1979 and 1980 Annuals were advertised via dedicated half-page ads in Cheeky Weekly (and possibly other titles in the IPC line), Cheeky Annual 1981 didn’t get its own ad, instead it was among 9 other titles first heralded by Pa Bumpkin in Whoopee! and Cheeky dated 06 September 1980. Yet this change in advert type was probably due to what appears to have been a revision of IPC’s policy on advertising Annuals that seems to have been introduced as of autumn 1980, rather than being a reflection of the toothy funster’s reversal of fortune. During Cheeky Weekly’s run, our grinning chum’s Annuals got ads to themselves in that title, but in addition there were individual ads for companion Annuals such as Whizzer and Chips, Cor!! and Krazy. From September 1980 until its own demise in 1985, only 2 types of adverts for Annuals were printed in Whoopee! – Whoopee! Annuals continued to be spotlighted in ads each year, but other IPC Annuals were grouped together and publicised in the ensemble manner of the ad shown above (I don’t know if this change of advertising method was applied to all IPC output of the time).


 

Robert Nixon provides the art for this year’s cover – showing Louise pouting beneath the mistletoe in osculatory anticipation, while Cheeky has other plans. I like the way that the cover involves the reader via Cheeky’s conspiratorial gaze out of the front page, urging the reader to keep quiet. This cover demands a ‘what happens next?’ resolution on the back of the Annual. Will we get one? – we’ll find out in 128 pages.

Moving inside we encounter the Annual tradition that is appreciated by those with a proprietorial attitude to their reading matter – the This Book Belongs To page, this year hosted by Cheeky and Snail.

Following the format of the previous Cheeky Annuals, the first strip is entitled January with Cheeky, and finds our toothy pal wandering the snow-covered streets of Krazy Town, swapping gags with a selection of his chums. This 4-page sequence is in colour and drawn by Barrie Appleby using the marginless page design that recalls Cheeky’s debut in Krazy.

 


Also enjoying a colour outing is The Ringer Dinger reprint which follows. This is the 26th Dinger tale to be presented to loyal followers of the toothy funster, yet this particular episode of Dinger doings must have appeared early in the strip's original run in Whizzer and Chips, as the introductory caption sets out the feature's premise. My examination of Mustapha Million’s Whoopee career suggests that IPC’s policy for reprinting humour strips was to ignore the original publication order and for some reason scatter them randomly across the weeks. The contents of Dinger’s first speech balloon appear to have been altered – he probably originally said. ‘I can’t think who to ring this week’. UPDATE - My thanks to Stephen Archer who informs me that the contents of Dinger's speech balloon were indeed altered, but that's not the only change to have been made - see Stephen's comment below, which also contains the original issue dates for all of Dinger's escapades in this Annual.

 

Art: Terry Bave

A page entitled Tim’ll Fix It follows, featuring the odd-job-man character who has previously featured on 2 pages in the 1978 Cheeky Annual. This time the woeful workman’s repairs to a broken table leg prove less than satisfactory. Colour printing of a strip by an artist I can’t identify, although Irmantas has located a signed piece by the same illustrator, who drew Jason and his Joggernaut in the 1981 Monster Fun Annual, but unfortunately the signature is illegible.

Monochrome printing commences overleaf as a Cave Kids reprint from Buster relates the neolithic nippers’ construction of a roller-coaster and roundabout. There’s no evidence of resizing of the artwork although the monetary references in certain speech balloons have been updated from LSD to decimal.

Shoelace shenanigans are then on the agenda as Calc advises Charlie to leave his footwear unfastened in a 2 page Calculator Kid story.

There is still snow on the streets of Krazy Town as we rejoin our toothy pal for February with Cheeky. This 3 page set is followed by a page showing Cheeky’s dad (seen on this occasion without his usual flat cap) surrounded by a tangle of 5 hose pipes. Readers are tasked with identifying which tap our grinning pal’s pater should rotate in order to supply water to the hose being wielded by a fire fighter hoping to dowse the conflagration afflicting the garden shed, in a page entitled Hosepipe Maze.

Doomsville's long-suffering Mayor is hoping a giant robot will deter Disaster Des from approaching the new library building. Sadly, no-one seems to have considered Des’ influence on the synthetic sentry. Art is by Mike Lacey who was the regular artist on the strip during its Cheeky Weekly run.



 

A Soggy the Sea Monster reprint follows, in which the lovable leviathan rescues the occupants of a volcanic island from an imminent eruption. The layout of this strip suggests to me that this 2 page story originally appeared in a Shiver and Shake Annual or Special.

Krazy Town has benefited from a thaw when we rejoin our grinning pal for March with Cheeky. Among the pals Cheeky meets in this section is Ah Sew, and Barrie seems to have based his renditions of Krazy Town's tailoring tittermeister on Frank McDiarmid’s artwork on the character’s debut in Cheeky Weekly dated 27 October 1979.

 


 

During the same month Teacher flees from an unnamed dentist who is not Ivor E Tugger, the molar mechanic with whom erstwhile readers of Cheeky’s own title became familiar.



Martin Baxendale signs his work on the last of the 5 page Dick Twerpin saga which follows. The titular hapless highwayman has previously featured in the Cheeky Annual 1980, but is not to be confused with the different character of the same name who appeared in the Badtime Bedtime Book in Monster Fun, nor with the character in the Home Movie that appeared in Cheeky Weekly dated 27 May 1978. We learn the name of Dick’s Dog’ (who would appear to be an antecedent of Sweeny Toddler’s canine chum Henry) for the first time.

There will be more Dick (yet another different one) later in this Annual.

 

Tub’s rather unpleasant, predisposed-to-violence dad is displeased when his obese offspring rends his jacket, but things end well after our heavyweight hero buys an old sofa at the jumble sale and finds a stash of money amid the horsehair stuffing. An act of generosity concludes this usually rather mean-spirited strip, as Tub donates half of his windfall to the jumble sale charity and still has enough left to buy a new coat.

The 2-pager is drawn by Nigel Edwards, who was the strip’s regular illustrator when the feature was running in Cheeky Weekly.

 


 

A Colin Whittock-illustrated Speed Squad tale follows. Colin has previously deputised for Jimmy Hansen (who was the main artist on the feature in its Cheeky Weekly days), twice in the regular comic. Although we’re approaching April with Cheeky, in this strip the Krazy Town environs are still under snow, so this frigid fable would have been better placed on pages 10 and 11 between January and February with Cheeky, both of which featured heavy falls of the white stuff. Calculator Kid, which occupies pages 10 and 11, has no snow in evidence so it could have been swapped here. The intrepid trio choose a bobsleigh (Skipper and Skatie) and skis (Wipe-Out) as their modes of transport for this double-page icy escapade.

 


 

Cheeky is pondering matters meteorological at the commencement of the next ‘...with Cheeky’ sequence, but snow isn’t his concern – he’s more worried about April showers. Fortunately he gets to the end of this 3-page round of puns and jests without being troubled by precipitation of any kind.

Difference-spotters among the readership of this Annual may have been getting a little anxious prior to this point, as there has so far been no sign of a challenge to their powers of variance-identification. Well, they can relax now, as that traditional Annual-filler makes an appearance on page 35. A feeling of deja vu may replace their anxiety, however, as the image used originally appeared on the cover of Cheeky Weekly dated 04 August 1979.

Art: Frank McDiarmid
 

Having identified all 10 changes to the artwork (I didn’t read the upside-down answers, honest), we progress to the pachydermal plight of Elephant on the Run who, somewhat at odds with Cheeky’s most recent appearance in April, is involved in a Christmas caper. The Man in the Plastic Mac, pursuing as ever our be-trunked hero, doffs his usual waterproof outerwear in order to masquerade as a department store Santa. Needless to say, fugitive Walter evades the clutches of his implacable foe by the end of the 4-page tale drawn by Barry Glennard, and is seen tucking in to a slap-up festive feed in the concluding panel. Surely it would have been more appropriate to place this story towards the end of the Annual as Cheeky reaches December.  This is the first EotR adventure to appear in a Cheeky Annual. The large-eared amnesiac's 30 September 1978 debut in Cheeky Weekly was after the publication of the first Annual, although almost a year before the Cheeky Annual 1980 hit the newsagents. However EotR did appear in the 1980 Cheeky Holiday Special and, like the episode that was featured in that Special, this story does nothing to enlighten us as to the reason for TMITPM’s dogged pursuit of our tusker chum. 



There follow 2 pages containing a total of 12 single-panel gags featuring Cheeky Weekly favourite Paddywack. This collection of rib-ticklers is titled Paddywack at Large and is drawn by the ever-reliable Jack Clayton, who to the publication date of this Annual has illustrated all Paddywack strips since the character made his debut in Cheeky Weekly's 08 July 1978 edition.

The unusual sight of the toothy funster wearing something other than his striped jersey ushers us into May with Cheeky. The reason for his unusual attire soon becomes apparent. On the same page we meet a character who has never previously featured in any Cheeky strip – it’s plumber Mr Drip. On the 3rd and final page of this set Cheeky meets another dentist but it’s still not Ivor E Tugger.


 

Over the page, pterodactyl tribulations are concerning The Cave Kids, who enter a prehistoric pie-eating contest. This is followed by a 2 page Why, Dad, Why? escapade and once again we’re presented with a story taking place amid snowy scenes, although the weather has no bearing on the plot which concerns Son’s attempts at stilt-walking. Why set the tale in the winter when it didn’t need to be, then place it in the summer section of the Annual?

The next feature is headed Creepy Sleepy Tale, a feature title with which early adopters of Cheeky Weekly were well acquainted, as it ran from the first edition of the toothy funster’s comic until the issue dated 26 August 1978. However, what is presented here originally appeared as a Badtime Bedtime Book (with the same title of Dick Twittington – the second ‘Dick Tw...’ of this Annual) in the issue of Monster Fun dated 03 January 1976 which was, as this link informs us, the only one of that series to be drawn by the mighty Terry Bave. Once again we have to question the decision to place in the summer section of the Annual a strip referencing the great British Christmas pantomime tradition. The fact that there is no framing sequence to give it context, as there was with the original CSTs, will leave readers of this Annual who are unfamiliar with the concept feeling that while certain parts are indeed ‘creepy’, they are unable to identify what there is about this tale that could be described as ‘sleepy’.

The readers’ voices responding to the question ‘Do you believe in ferrets?’ that appeared in the centre of pages 4 and 5 of the strip on its original appearance and which can be seen on the above site, have been excised from the reprint. Their removal is understandable since placement between the pages of the Annual would have been problematic, but harder to understand is the erasure of references to London that were included in the original. A panel showing a puzzled Cheeky asking himself, ‘What was all that about?’ replaces Leonard Rottingsocks’ original new year wishes on the final page of this sequence. Unlike its debut outing, this reprint is entirely monochrome.

The Tub page which follows looks suspiciously like it was drawn for a regular-comic-proportioned page rather than for this Annual, as the large gap at the top has been filled by some text.

 

Art: Nigel Edwards

Colour printing resumes on page 57 as June with Cheeky commences, and most of the gags in this 3 page set are sun- or summer-related.

Having just witnessed the sun-baked streets of Krazy Town it’s a little jarring to see snow on the ground as Gran commences an adventure introduced by the 6 Million Dollar Gran title panel familiar from her Cheeky Weekly days, although she is now appearing as $6,000,000 Gran in the regular Whoopee! comic. Once again Gran is referred to as bionic although she is a robot – an error which has plagued the aged automaton for her entire comics career. Nigel Edwards is the artist, who has supplied all the Gran artwork for her strips in the Cheeky Specials and Annuals to date with the exception of Gran’s strip in last year’s Annual which was drawn by regular artist in Cheeky Weekly and Whoopee!, Ian Knox, BUT I suspect was a strip originally intended for Cheeky Weekly.

How does a robot catch a cold?

 

Following Gran’s 4-page colour adventure is another multi-hued entry, but there’s more change in climatic conditions as the weather switches from the snowy scenes of the synthetic senior citizen’s tale to warm sunshine as we join The Cave Kids for a tale involving pole-vaulting and stolen eggs.

Art: Probably Leo Baxendale

 

There follows a page containing 6 single-panel gags, printed in colour under the banner Cheeky Chuckles. These jokes have no connection to Cheeky or related strips, so I would guess this selection of funnies drawn by Mike Lacey have previously appeared elsewhere and are sourced from the extensive filing cabinets that constitute IPC’s archive.

As we reach page 66, the temperature drops again as The Gang bemoan their lack of transport suited to the icy conditions at the beginning of their reprinted 4-page colour escapade. Some resizing has been applied to the artwork, and Brains’ dialogue has been changed to refer to Krazy Town (or Krazytown as the adjuster of text would have it). This is the first time The Gang (who were known as The Double Deckers when the feature first ran in Whizzer and Chips) have appeared in a Cheeky Annual. The strip joined Cheeky Weekly as of the 07 July 1979 'new look' edition, 10 months after publication of the first Cheeky Annual. The 1980 Annual appeared just 2 months after the Gang debut (the contents of that Annual had probably been decided upon some months earlier), although they did previously appear in the Cheeky Holiday Special 1980 which was published in April of that year.

 

Art: Robert MacGillivray

The colour printing continues as we again adjust to a change of weather while embarking on a 3-page July with Cheeky.

 

 

It seems that the citizens of Krazy Town are still subject to Cheeky Weekly inconsistent hair colour syndrome or, more accurately, the variant known as Cheeky Annual inconsistent hair colour syndrome. Bernie, who had fallen victim to the malaise on a number of previous occasions, clearly hasn't accrued a sufficient reserve of antibodies to repel a relapse. Bernie had previously appeared on page 5 of this Annual but despite it being printed in colour we were unable to discern the tone of his hair due to the bandages in which his unfortunate bonce was swathed. This time the bandaging is less extensive, allowing us a view of his barnet.



 

Printing returns to monochrome as James Bold and Angel O’Mercy anticipate a dirty quiet weekend. A similar ‘going on holiday but getting involved in mysterious doings’ scenario introduced their adventure in last year’s Cheeky Annual. This year, were it not for Bold's questionable driving skills, which lead to their car breaching a fence designed to exclude interlopers, the intrepid pair would have had an uneventful journey to their hotel and never discovered the spooky goings-on. Last year's Bold adventure benefited from colour printing but was untitled, while this one is dubbed The Curse of Krah, in which the fearless investigator of all matters supernatural encounters what appears to be a reanimated ancient Egyptian mummy. The intrepid duo become trapped in a replica pyramid and endure the kind of perils with which long-time Bold-readers are familiar. The 8-page tale ends SPOILER ALERT with the duo discovering that all the apparently supernatural events were faked to deter discovery of an operation to forge banknotes.

I can't identify the artist

Our toothy pal, wearing just his swimming trunks (fortunately he doesn’t strip down as far as Snail, who is in the nude), is on the beach to introduce August with Cheeky.Three pages of seaside silliness ensue.


 

Following the beach-based banter, we meet a bored Ringer Dinger who, fed up since there’s nothing good on TV, dials up a jester to raise his spirits. Rather unusually, there is no misunderstanding over young Dinger’s telephonic request, and his phone does indeed deliver a medieval funnyman. The humour in this tale derives from the incompetence of the entertainer who proceeds to cause havoc in the Dinger household (I know Dinger is not his surname but I don’t think we have learnt that in all the strips so far). The conclusion of this resized tale differs from the norm in that the final panel doesn’t show the jester evaporating as is usually the case with those invoked by the magical dog and bone – a ferocious-looking Mum is wielding a rolling pin while he sweeps up the broken eggs and crockery which resulted from his abortive juggling.

Readers will then be sent scrambling around the house trying to locate a die (or ‘a dice’ as the text on page 85 would have it) and counters in order to participate in Speed Squad’s Grand Prix. You must throw a 6 to start. Unless you decide not to.

There’s more game play over the page, as Soggy the Sea Monster witnesses the off-target splash-down of a manned space capsule and, not realising there are human occupants, treats it as a plaything. All ends well as Soggy flings the spacecraft to land near its recovery vessel.

There are more Cheeky Chuckles on page 88, this time deliniated by Leslie ‘Styx’ Harding.

Fallen leaves are troubling Snail as we join our grinning chum again for September with Cheeky. During this sequence Barrie Appleby depicts Cheeky's sartorial stooge Ah Sew in very similar fashion to his earlier appearance. Bernie has emerged from self-isolation having overcome his trichological trauma.

 


We’re plunged back (or possibly ahead) into the depths of winter as the kids of Stage School complain about the cold classroom. Barry Glennard deputises for Robert Nixon, who is currently drawing the strip in Whoopee! and Cheeky, on this 2-page tale. There are echoes of Ringer Dinger’s adventure back on page 7 of this Annual as the Stage School kids employ a hitherto-unknown-to-readers class member, Fred the Fire-Eater, to raise the temperature (a Flaymo the Fire-Eater would later appear on one occasion during the strip's Whoopee years, in the issue dated 05 February 1983). The aspiring entertainers of Stage School made their Cheeky Weekly debut a week after The Gang, so like their erstwhile bus-based comedy colleagues, and for the same reasons as delineated earlier, this is the first Cheeky Annual to include their showbiz shenanigans, although they previously appeared in the Cheeky Holiday Special 1980.


 

The weather conditions remain icy as some welcome Frank McDiarmid art is featured in a strip entitled Snail of the Century. Although our slithering pal has starred in strips in Cheeky Annual 1980 and Cheeky Holiday Special 1980, neither of those appeared under the title Snail of the Century which was of course the name of the mirthful mollusc’s own feature in Cheeky Weekly (Snail is currently appearing in an untitled strip on the ‘front cover’ of the Cheeky section in the weekly Whoopee! and Cheeky). This Annual version of SotC conforms to the structure of those seen in Cheeky Weekly, with the gastropod gagster observing events within the Cheeky household as the tale commences, then entering the garden to enjoy a selection of wildlife witticisms before returning to view developments in the toothy funster’s residence. However, the strip does diverge from its formerly weekly counterpart by virtue of its page count – the Annual SotC consists of 2 pages whereas the defunct Cheeky Weekly version was limited to single pages only. SotC joined Cheeky Weekly's roster of features with the issue dated 14 July 1979, two weeks after The Gang, and a week after Stage School so you already know why this is the strip's first Annual outing.

 


The frozen weather of Cheeky’s back garden is replaced by the storm with which Soggy the Sea Monster is contending on pages 96 and 97, following which Speed Squad return (having already appeared in a strip on pages 30 and 31, and in page 85’s Grand Prix game). The titular trio arrive at the Town Hall on a 3-seater tandem (trandem as The Goodies would have it), then use their skateboards to speed preparations for the imminent Christmas party, and enjoy a slap-up festive feed (the second such meal of this Annual – see also Elephant on the Run) as a reward.

There are yet more weather woes as Cheeky commences October beneath a downpour, and the rain persists for the entirety of this 3-page sequence.

Confusion regarding the words ‘pilot’ and ‘pirate’ fuels the Ringer Dinger adventure which is up next. The young owner of the tricky telecommunication device hopes to secure the services of someone who can assist with flying his model ‘plane, but instead an eyepatched, wooden-legged and cutlass-equipped corsair named Jolly Roger materialises, causes maritime-style mayhem and then (unlike the jester earlier on) disintegrates at the story’s conclusion. From whence these characters are summoned and to where they return is a subject that has not been broached in any of the Dinger reprints we’ve seen so far, and I suspect it never was.

I hope we’re not witnessing mollusc misogyny on page 104 as Snail informs us he’s absent from The Girls, a feature which focuses on certain of the distaff members of the Cheeky supporting cast, and has been present in the 2 previous Cheeky Annuals. This year’s The Girls, like its predecessors, spans 4 pages.


Art: Barrie Appleby

Soggy the Sea Monster is the unfortunate recipient of a harpoon intended for a nearby whale, as his story begins on page 108. Things aren’t quite as bad as they sound, since the nautical weapon is tipped with a sucker rather than barbs, and the would-be whaler gets his comeuppance by the end of the 2-page tale.

We then join Cheeky as he emerges from school at the beginning of November with Cheeky. Following the usual round of banter with his pals, the toothy funster informs us a ‘fantastic party’ is planned for December.

Barrie

 

A particularly convoluted Ringer Dinger plot sees the hero summon himself from wherever his magic phone sources the characters which it conjures into existence. However, for reasons which are not explained, the duplicate Dinger is intent on mischief and torments dad before performing an elaborate, three-stage evaporation in the final panel.

 


 

Dinger’s strip has been resized, as has The Gang’s which ensues. The story concerns Brains’ latest invention – jet-powered running shoes - and his plans to deploy them at the local sports day. This 4-pager would have been more appropriately located on pages 66-69, during Cheeky’s summer, while the snowy Gang adventure in that part of the Annual could have been swapped here, between Cheeky’s November and December.

A diamond delivery for Mustapha Million (he’s planning to use them to fund presents for his pals) comes to the attention of two masked criminals, who attempt to purloin the gems from Mustapha Mansion. The felons’ footprints in the snow prove to be their downfall, but our wily middle eastern mate has also replaced the glittering precious stones with ice cubes.

More footprints (although not in the snow) are in evidence as colour printing resumes on page 121, with The Cave Kids’ parents hunting the thief who’s been raiding their food store. The kids eventually rout the rotten raider, and the contents of a speech balloon seems to have been obliterated in this reprint’s final panel.

 

Leo again?
 

The following page contains a further 6 single-panel gags under the title Cheeky Chuckles.

Barrie Appleby acknowledges the potential arduousness of drawing a character-packed Cheeky strip as we begin December with our grinning pal. Snow once again blankets Krazy Town as Cheeky and chums prepare for the promised party. This final monthly sequence covers 5 pages, the Christmas bash spanning pages 126 and 127, where Barrie’s perspiration is on view as he labours to depict a festive repast attended by the toothy funster and 19 chums.

 


 


 

We now close the Annual to inspect the back cover, and find that our hopes of seeing the custardy consequences of Cheeky’s pie threat on the front of this book are dashed as the image from the front cover is repeated on the rear of the book.

This Annual consists of 128 pages, the same number as in each of the 2 previous Cheeky Annuals. All 3 contain 32 colour pages, including the covers, with the multi-chromatic pages occurring in the same locations (front cover to page 8, pages 57 to 72 and pages 121 to 128). Parents of the lucky kids who would wake on Christmas Day 1980 to find this gag-packed tome among their seasonal booty will have had to spend an additional 25p above last year's price, as the cost has risen to £1.50.

12 internal colour pages were allocated to Cheeky in the 1979 Annual, whereas in the 1980 hardback collection our toothy pal benefited from colour on 10 pages. This year Cheeky features on a bumper 15 multi-hued internal pages. The 12-months-with-Cheeky format of the previous Annuals, recalling the classic Cheeky-wandering-Krazy-Town-enjoying-gags-with-his-friends setup that fans of the toothy funster were familiar with from Krazy and Cheeky Weekly, continues this year, although Cheeky’s turbulent career in Whoopee has by this time seen him embark on his series of movie spoofs. Last year’s Annual’s pantomime in December is replaced this time with a December round of gags followed by a slap-up feed. Barrie Appleby is the artist on the monthly sequences and The Girls, as he was last year, and delivers a total of 41 pages (Jim Petrie supplied 52 Cheeky pages in the 1979 Annual, and Barrie furnished 44 last year).

Of the Annuals published so far, this one features the fewest contributions by Frank McDiarmid. Frank drew 5 pages in the ‘79 Annual, if we count the front and back covers as 2 separate pieces, 6 in the 1980 Annual (again counting the front and back as 2), but only 3 in this year’s – and that’s counting the reprinted spot the difference page as one of his contributions.

All the features in this Annual which originated in Cheeky Weekly (with the exception of James Bold, whose final appearance in Cheeky Weekly was in the 05 August 1978 issue) are ones which survived to the end of that comic’s run, although not all of them transferred into Whoopee! Those who failed to continue their weekly comic capers after the demise of the toothy funster’s title, yet appear in this Annual, are

  • Why, Dad, Why?
  • Elephant On The Run
  • Tub
  • Disaster Des
  • Speed Squad

Among the reprints in this Annual are three features which for a time ran as reprints in Cheeky Weekly, namely

  • The Gang
  • Ringer Dinger
  • Soggy the Sea Monster

...none of which transferred into Whoopee!

The elements in this Annual which did transfer into Whoopee! are

  • 6 Million Dollar Gran
  • Calculator Kid
  • Stage School
  • Paddywack
  • Snail

...and of course Cheeky himself.

Thus all of the comic strips which were running in Cheeky Weekly at the time of its cancellation are represented in this Annual.

Cheeky of course continues to appear in Whoopee!, although the title of his sequences in this Annual don’t match those of any of his Cheeky Weekly or Whoopee! vehicles. Snail of the Century in this Annual is based on the Cheeky Weekly feature of the same name. There was no feature titled The Girls in Cheeky Weekly, but it's closely related to the classic Cheeky format. Although Creepy Sleepy Tale was a feature in Cheeky Weekly, what is presented in this Annual under that title is in fact a reprinted Badtime Bedtime Book from Monster Fun. Thus if we include the [Month] with Cheeky strips, The Girls and Snail of the Century elements in this Special with those featuring 6 Million Dollar Gran, Mustapha Million, Stage School, Calculator Kid and Paddywack, we find that this Special contains a total of 59 elements based on ex-Cheeky Weekly strips which transferred into Whoopee! (I included the spot the difference in this category but I'm still not sure why). There are 43 elements based on ex-Cheeky Weekly strips which failed to transfer into Whoopee! Thus there are a total of 101 elements relating to ex-Cheeky Weekly strips, meaning the ex-Cheeky Weekly elements which failed to transfer represent 42.57% of the total ex-Cheeky Weekly elements in this Special. So features that did transfer account for 57.43% of the  ex-Cheeky Weekly elements, and the weighting towards features that did survive into Whoopee! is as one would expect, since presumably the strips that did so are those which were felt by IPC management to be the most popular among erstwhile readers of the toothy funster's expired title.

It's hard to understand why James Bold was recalled to service in the Cheeky Annuals, having been jettisoned from Cheeky Weekly 18 months before the comic folded (and just weeks before publication of the first Annual), and also in view of the fact that Cheeky Weekly became an 'all funnies' comic 4 months before its final issue. Possibly the editor, when selecting content for the Annuals, felt that 128 pages of mirth would be too much, and the contents required leavening with a portion of thrills. Evidently there were sufficient funds in the Annual budget to cover the cost of a new Bold outing rather than resorting to a cost-saving, random reprint adventure strip summoned from IPC's dusty vaults.

The percentage reprint content continues its seemingly inexorable rise (the Cheeky Chuckles gag pages in this Annual are probably comprised of reprints but since I can't be conclusive about that I haven't counted them as such)...


DATE TITLE TOTAL_ELEMENTS ORIGINAL_ELEMENTS REPRINT_ELEMENTS REPRINT_PERCENT
1/9/1978 Cheeky Annual 1979 130 114 16 12.31
1/9/1979 Cheeky Annual 1980 128 107 21 16.41
1/9/1980 Cheeky Annual 1981 128 103 25 19.53
 
My gripes about the placement of the snowy/Christmas/pantomime strips in relation to their surrounding Cheeky months are probably due to my nostalgia for Cheeky Weekly's heyday in which all the non-Cheeky strips in each issue were framed within Cheeky's life. Sadly this aspect of the regular comic was never replicated in any of the Annuals. It was the tradition to feature snowy stories in Annuals due to their association with the festive season, and I doubt my concerns troubled many readers of this book, some of whom had probably never read an issue of the toothy funster's own comic.

 FEATURES IN PREVIOUS CHEEKY ANNUALS AND THE LATEST

01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 6 Million Dollar Gran 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 6 Million Dollar Gran
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 6 Million Dollar Gran 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 6 Million Dollar Gran
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 April with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 April with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 April with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 April with Cheeky
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 August with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 August with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 August with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 August with Cheeky
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Back Cover 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Back Cover
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Back Cover 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Back Cover
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Calculator Kid 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Calculator Kid
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Cover 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Cover
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Cover 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Cover
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Creepy Sleepy Tale 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Creepy Sleepy Tale
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Creepy Sleepy Tale 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Creepy Sleepy Tale
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 December with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 December with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 December with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 December with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Dick Twerpin 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Dick Twerpin
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Disaster Des 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Disaster Des
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 February with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 February with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 February with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 February with Cheeky
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 James Bold 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 James Bold
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 James Bold 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 James Bold
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 January with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 January with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 January with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 January with Cheeky
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 July with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 July with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 July with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 July with Cheeky
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 June with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 June with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 June with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 June with Cheeky
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 March with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 March with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 March with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 March with Cheeky
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 May with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 May with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 May with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 May with Cheeky
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Mustapha Million 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Mustapha Million
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Mustapha Million 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Mustapha Million
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 November with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 November with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 November with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 November with Cheeky
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 October with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 October with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 October with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 October with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Paddywack at Large 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Paddywack at Large
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Ringer Dinger 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Ringer Dinger
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Ringer Dinger 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Ringer Dinger
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 September with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 September with Cheeky
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 September with Cheeky 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 September with Cheeky
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Soggy the Sea Monster 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Soggy the Sea Monster
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Speed Squad 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Speed Squad
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 This Book Belongs To 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 This Book Belongs To
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 This Book Belongs To 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 This Book Belongs To
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Tim'll Fix It 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Tim'll Fix It
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Tub 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Tub
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Why, Dad, Why? 01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Why, Dad, Why?

 

 FEATURES IN LATEST ANNUAL BUT NOT PREVIOUS ONE(S)

01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Cheeky Chuckles
01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Elephant On The Run
01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Hosepipe Maze
01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Snail of the Century
01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Speed Squad's Grand Prix
01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Spot The Difference
01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 Stage School
01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 The Cave Kids
01/09/80 Cheeky Annual 1981 The Gang

FEATURES IN PREVIOUS ANNUAL(S) BUT NOT LATEST

01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 6 Million Dollar Gran Spot the Difference
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 All Snails Are Alike?
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Baby Burpo Strikes
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Baby Burpo Strikes Again
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Bam Splat and Blooie
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Biddy's Beastly Bloomers
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Biddy's Beastly Bloomers
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Cartoon Gallery
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Cocky Doodle
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Comic Changes
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Copy Kate
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Double Trouble
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Home Movie
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Moon Loon
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Puzzle Patch
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 Skateboard Squad
01/09/79 Cheeky Annual 1980 Snail
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 The Doors Are Open
01/09/78 Cheeky Annual 1979 The Robot Olympics

 

Cheeky Annual 1981 Features never running in Cheeky Weekly
 
Cheeky Annual 1981 Feature
April with Cheeky
August with Cheeky
Back Cover
Cover
December with Cheeky
Dick Twerpin
February with Cheeky
Hosepipe Maze
January with Cheeky
July with Cheeky
June with Cheeky
March with Cheeky
May with Cheeky
November with Cheeky
October with Cheeky
Paddywack at Large
September with Cheeky
Speed Squad's Grand Prix
Spot The Difference
The Cave Kids
The Girls
This Book Belongs To
Tim'll Fix It

 


Cheeky Annual 1981 - published September 1980
Page Details
1Cover 'Custard Pie' - Art Robert Nixon
2This Book Belongs To 'Cheeky and Snail' - Art Barrie Appleby
3January with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
4January with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
5January with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
6January with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
7Ringer Dinger reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Terry Bave
8Tim'll Fix It
9The Cave Kids reprint from Buster
10Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
11Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
12February with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
13February with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
14February with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
15Hosepipe Maze
16Disaster Des - Art Mike Lacey
17Disaster Des - Art Mike Lacey
18Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon
19Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon
20March with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
21March with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
22March with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
23Dick Twerpin - Art Martin Baxendale
24Dick Twerpin - Art Martin Baxendale
25Dick Twerpin - Art Martin Baxendale
26Dick Twerpin - Art Martin Baxendale
27Dick Twerpin - Art Martin Baxendale
28Tub - Art Nigel Edwards
29Tub - Art Nigel Edwards
30Speed Squad - Art Colin Whittock
31Speed Squad - Art Colin Whittock
32April with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
33April with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
34April with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
35Spot The Difference reprint from Cheeky Weekly - Art Frank McDiarmid
36Elephant On The Run - Art Barry Glennard
37Elephant On The Run - Art Barry Glennard
38Elephant On The Run - Art Barry Glennard
39Elephant On The Run - Art Barry Glennard
40Paddywack at Large - Art Jack Clayton
41Paddywack at Large - Art Jack Clayton
42May with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
43May with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
44May with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
45The Cave Kids reprint from Buster
46Why, Dad, Why? - Art John K. Geering
47Why, Dad, Why? - Art John K. Geering
48Creepy Sleepy Tale reprint from Monster Fun 'Dick Twittington' - Art Terry Bave
49Creepy Sleepy Tale reprint from Monster Fun 'Dick Twittington' - Art Terry Bave
50Creepy Sleepy Tale reprint from Monster Fun 'Dick Twittington' - Art Terry Bave
51Creepy Sleepy Tale reprint from Monster Fun 'Dick Twittington' - Art Terry Bave
52Creepy Sleepy Tale reprint from Monster Fun 'Dick Twittington' - Art Terry Bave
53Creepy Sleepy Tale reprint from Monster Fun 'Dick Twittington' - Art Terry Bave
54Creepy Sleepy Tale reprint from Monster Fun 'Dick Twittington' - Art Terry Bave
55Creepy Sleepy Tale reprint from Monster Fun 'Dick Twittington' - Art Terry Bave
56Tub - Art Nigel Edwards
57June with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
58June with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
59June with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
606 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
616 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
626 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
636 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
64The Cave Kids reprint from Buster
65Cheeky Chuckles - Art Mike Lacey
66The Gang - Art Robert MacGillivray
67The Gang - Art Robert MacGillivray
68The Gang - Art Robert MacGillivray
69The Gang - Art Robert MacGillivray
70July with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
71July with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
72July with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
73James Bold 'The Curse of Krah'
74James Bold 'The Curse of Krah'
75James Bold 'The Curse of Krah'
76James Bold 'The Curse of Krah'
77James Bold 'The Curse of Krah'
78James Bold 'The Curse of Krah'
79James Bold 'The Curse of Krah'
80James Bold 'The Curse of Krah'
81August with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
82August with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
83August with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
84Ringer Dinger reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Terry Bave
85Speed Squad's Grand Prix
86Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon
87Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon
88Cheeky Chuckles - Art Leslie Harding (Styx)
89September with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
90September with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
91September with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
92Stage School - Art Barry Glennard
93Stage School - Art Barry Glennard
94Snail of the Century - Art Frank McDiarmid
95Snail of the Century - Art Frank McDiarmid
96Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon
97Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon
98Speed Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
99Speed Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
100October with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
101October with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
102October with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
103Ringer Dinger reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Terry Bave
104The Girls - Art Barrie Appleby
105The Girls - Art Barrie Appleby
106The Girls - Art Barrie Appleby
107The Girls - Art Barrie Appleby
108Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon
109Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon
110November with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
111November with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
112November with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
113Ringer Dinger reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Terry Bave
114The Gang
115The Gang
116The Gang
117The Gang
118Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
119Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
120Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
121The Cave Kids reprint from Buster
122Cheeky Chuckles - Art Mike Lacey
123December with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
124December with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
125December with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
126December with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
127December with Cheeky - Art Barrie Appleby
128Back Cover 'Custard Pie' - Art Robert Nixon





Cheeky Annual 1981 Reprint Feature Elements by %
Total Feature Elements Original Feature Elements Reprint Feature Elements Reprint %
1281032519.53