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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Basic Stats
Cheeky Weekly Index - Cheeky Annuals and Specials Index
Cheeky Weekly Artist Index
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Cheeky Weekly Timeline
Major Characters from the Cheeky pages
Features Ordered by Date of Commencement

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Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Cheeky-related characters in the Whoopee Annuals and Specials - Part 7 - 1986

1986 was a significant, but sad, year for fans of the toothy funster, as it saw Cheeky's presence as a weekly comic character come to an end. The 08 February issue of Whizzer and Chips carried the final weekly instalment of The Krazy Gang, among whose members was our cheery chum. Thus concluded a creditable nine and a half year run in which the grinning gagster jested his way, for 7 years appearing in 2 titles simultaneously, through the pages of Krazy, Cheeky Weekly, Whoopee (all of which, by the time of the final Krazy Gang episode, had been cancelled), and Whizzer and Chips.

Despite no longer appearing as a weekly comic by 1986, Whoopee continued to have a presence in newsagents twice during the year - in April as a Holiday Special and, as Christmas approached, an Annual. The purpose of this series of posts is to discover whether any Cheeky-related material appeared in those biannual collections.

As of January 1986 Whizzer and Chips introduced a new strategy for publicising IPC product, with the launch of the 'Comic News' feature, the first appearance of which adopted a sort of  'advertorial' approach.

The first Comics News,
Whizzer and Chips 04 January 1986

The advertorial style was dropped after the first appearance, and all subsequent Comics News instalments (one a month from February to June 1986) were very basic, consisting of tables carrying details of forthcoming publications. Below are all the Comics News which contained references to Specials. The summer 1986 demise of Comics News of course meant that none of its appearances contained details of Annuals, so also included below are all Whizzer and Chips' Annual ads to appear during 1986.

Whizzer and Chips 05 April 1986

Whizzer and Chips dated 03 May 1986 presented a dilemma for comic fans with an interest in vintage aviation and also partial to a cinema visit - how many Holiday Specials (all on offer here priced at 65p) could they afford and still have enough cash to secure a ticket to see that year's would-be movie blockbuster, Biggles? The decision was complicated by the ABC cinema chain's recondite '£1 off' promotion, requiring the consideration of so many permutations of age of cinemagoers and times of attendance as to render the achievement of a conclusion highly problematic. However, reviews suggest any prospective cinema patrons would have been wise to forego the opportunity to experience Biggles on the big screen (the film would eventually appear on TV) and instead invest all their available cash in some Specials.

Whizzer and Chips 03 May 1986

Whizzer and Chips 31 May 1986
Quizmaster by Roy Mitchell,
reprinted from Whoopee! 01 January 1983

Whizzer and Chips 13 September 1986

The presence of a 4-page Fleetway Annuals supplement boosted the page count of Whizzer and Chips dated 29 November 1986 to 36.

Whizzer and Chips 29 November 1986

Unlike their 1986 Specials, IPC's Annuals came in a variety of price points, possibly intended 'to suit all pockets' provided one's trousers were sufficiently capacious to accommodate a minimum of £2.50.

Whizzer and Chips 20 December 1986

Whoopee Holiday Special 1986

Sweeny Toddler is once again the cover star, and Mike Lacey is again the artist, depicting the pool pandemonium resulting from chute shark shenanigans.

Our quest for Cheeky-related material is rewarded just a few pages into this Special, as we encounter the toothy funster's former Cheeky Weekly colleague Mustapha Million, enjoying a tale typical of his misunderstanding-British-terminology storylines. Reprinted from Whoopee! and Cheeky dated 30 August 1980 (where it originally boasted red spot colour), this episode is drawn by Joe McCaffrey.

The weekly edition of Whizzer and Chips cover-dated 05 April 1986 (the publication date of this Special) saw Mustapha being drawn for the first time by Barry Glennard, taking over the artwork duties from Robert Nixon who drew the adventures of our munificent mate for 6 weeks when the run of Mustapha reprints which had commenced back in Whoopee and Wow! dated 07 April 1984, and continued when Whoopee was amalgamated into Whizzer and Chips, came to an end.

More Cheeky-related fun is to be found in Stage School, the showbiz-fixated kids who attend the titular educational establishment revisiting a story they originally performed in the 16 August 1980 edition of Whoopee! and Cheeky, coupled with the Paddywack (another Cheeky Weekly alumnus) gag which originally accompanied the same Stage School adventure. At the time of its original appearance, Paddywack gags were provided by the readers, and the offer of £1 to those who submitted jokes that were used in the comic, which appeared in the title panel, has been over-written and the credit to scriptwriter Matthew Scott of Bristol in the final panel has been obliterated.

At the time of publication of this Special, Stage School no longer had a weekly presence in Whizzer and Chips, their most recent appearance there (the second of only 2 W&C outings for the aspiring entertainers) having been in the 13 July 1985 issue. Paddywack wasn't among the characters chosen to make the transition into Whizzer and Chips so his most recent previous appearance was in the final issue of Whoopee, dated 30 March 1985.

The IPC staff member tasked with selecting previously-published material to bulk out this Special obviously scoured at least 3 issues of Whoopee! and Cheeky, as the 20 September 1980 issue is the source of the next Cheeky-related treat. The Calculator Kid story from that edition is resurrected in monochrome on the Special's page 29, but we'll enjoy its original colour outing below...

Calc and Charlie continued to appear in the weekly Whizzer and Chips as of the publication date of this Whoopee Special, although their adventures had slipped into reprints sourced from Cheeky Weekly commencing in the 29 June 1985 edition.
That concludes the appearances of ex-Cheeky Weekly funny folk in this year's Whoopee Special, but there are a couple of additional delights which can't be ignored, both featuring work by Cheekmeister General Frank McDiarmid. The first is a 3-page episode of Boy Boss, a feature which began in the 07 August 1982 issue of the short-lived Wow!, appeared in all subsequent editions, only two episodes not drawn by Frank, and was among the features which transferred from that comic into Whoopee following the customary post-cancellation 'merge'. The BB 3-pager below appeared in the 1986 Whoopee Holiday Special, but the angularly-coiffed  young executive (not, of course to be confused with fellow IPC star Tiny Tycoon whose moolah-accumulating machinations were of a more modest nature, as were his follicular attributes) also appeared in the same year's Wow! Holiday Special, in a 2-page, full-colour episode drawn by Frank.


Despite clearly being a character popular with readers, cover star Sweeny Toddler appears in just one story in this Special, rendered by the sure hand of Mr McDiarmid. From the style of drawing, I'm guessing this is a reprint of material that originally appeared some time in the 1970s. Given the subject matter I'd be tempted to suggest that the original must have appeared in a Summer or Holiday Special, but in all of Stephen Archer's research into the source of reprints featured on this blog (and my own investigations in that regard), I don't recall anything other than the weekly issue of a comic as being the source of recycled material. In fact I've just checked and with Stephen's help I have recorded 516 comic elements as having originated in specific earlier issues, and all of those source issues are weeklies. If anyone can verify that the strip below is a reprint, please get in touch. I do know that a panel from this story was the basis of the cover of July 1987's edition of The Best of Whoopee Monthly, although the episode from which it was taken was not among the contents.

Whoopee Annual 1987


Whereas many would fill their pockets with the cash on offer, a highly-principled bus company employee refuses bundles of Bumpkin banknotes on this cover by the reliable Mike Lacey.

The first of the Cheeky-related Annual content is an appearance by the star-struck kids of Stage School, drawn on this occasion by Nigel Edwards, the first time the aspiring acts and exasperated educator have been rendered by this artist. Those of us who appreciate a stylishly-sported cravat will be disappointed that the kids' showbiz teacher is depicted with a bow tie instead of his usual rakish neckwear, and is rather more formally clad than we are used to. This may be due to the character's somewhat rare appearances in the weekly episodes, meaning he was possibly absent from the strip(s) to which Nigel referred when preparing to draw this set, and thus Nigel assumed that the mortar board and gown worn by Sir was the attire of all the teachers at the establishment in question. The title banner is the 20th Century Fox-inspired one which appeared on 4 occasions during Stage School's Whoopee run.

Page 90 is the location of an appearance by Gran, in her human Gran's Gang persona, This rather weak single-page story, which doesn't reflect the 'competition between the generations' nature of the Gran's Gang premise during its Whoopee run (in fact the panel showing Gran punching through the TV harks back to her earlier robotic incarnations), is drawn by an artist I can't identify.

Gran was not among the characters selected to transfer into Whizzer and Chips (she was never particularly popular in Whoopee so her selection for inclusion in this Annual is a little surprising), and her most recent appearance was in the final issue of Whoopee dated 30 March 1985.

Four pages later Mustapha Million commences a new escapade, involving his long-term chum with the inconsistent hair colour, Jimmy. This is the first time our pecunious pal has been drawn by Ian Knox, who was the regular artist on Gran's Gang. Maybe Ian declined to illustrate the Gran script above due to its poor quality.

My quest to identify any Cheeky-related content in the Whoopee Annuals and Specials will continue.

Monday, 23 January 2023

Cheeky Gets Shirty

Maybe the middle of winter isn't the best time to launch a range of T-shirts, but those thinking ahead and seeking stylish clothing in which to be seen on the beach may like to consider the Cheeky garb available here. Apparently these shirts have been produced with the agreement of Rebellion (I haven't ordered one myself so I can't assess the quality), and the shirt featuring our toothy chum and pals is just one of a range based on iconic IPC comics.

Cheeky's membership of the eponymous Gang, in addition to the strip in which he starred, more than entitles him of course to appear on the Krazy T-shirt as well, and I'm pleased to say that his goofy mug is indeed among the fizzogs (not all of whom are eligible to grace a Krazy shirt) on display.

Thursday, 12 January 2023

Cheeky-related characters in the Whoopee Annuals and Specials - Part 6 - 1985

By the mid 1980s, readers of British comics had become well acquainted with the inexorable destiny of new titles, which would see a comic launched then, after an existence of variable duration, the newcomer would be cancelled and 'merged' into a more successful funny paper. Such was the case with Cheeky Weekly which, having logged a respectable 117 issues, was subsumed into Whoopee! as of February 1980. However, it was the custom that Annuals and Specials relating to a cancelled title would continue to be published after the demise of the weekly from which they sprang. Inevitably though, as new titles embarked on the 'launch/flourish/decline/cancel/merge/post-merge-Annuals & Specials' pathway, it was necessary to eventually bring those posthumous Annuals and Specials based on older cancelled titles to a halt, in order to avoid flooding newsagents with publications relating to comics of which younger readers would have no knowledge.

The final Cheeky Special was published in 1982, although the Cheeky Annuals continued beyond that date.

As 1985 dawned, Whoopee found itself, due to the diminishing market for comics, entering its own terminal phase, and was amalgamated with Whizzer and Chips as of April that year. Sadly, Cheeky as a solo star failed to make the transition into W&C, although he was already making weekly appearances there in the ensemble piece known as The Krazy Gang, but his former Cheeky Weekly colleagues Calculator Kid and Mustapha Million were among the Whoopee survivors welcomed aboard by chief Chip-ite Shiner (the Stage School kids evidently found their transfer onto the Whizzer and Chips payroll traumatic in the extreme, expiring as they did after just 2 appearances under the sporadic  'School Rounds' rotating roster of scholastically-focused features).

Fans of Cheeky would have been anxiously scanning the autumn 1985 issues of Whizzer and Chips for adverts containing news of a Cheeky Annual, but no such announcement was to be found, and it transpired that the Cheeky Annual published in 1984 (cover-dated 1985) was in fact the final one.

So by this point in comics history, the situation which pertained in the years examined in earlier parts of this series of posts had changed - the Cheeky Annuals and Specials had ceased, and the weekly Whoopee had been terminated.  Under these circumstances would IPC's policy of not featuring any Cheeky-related material in the Whoopee Annuals and Specials (aside from one cameo) be revised?

As usual with this series, I'll start by listing the ads for Annuals and Specials to appear during the year in question. Due to the aforementioned demise of Whoopee, the data below is extracted from Whizzer and Chips which, in honour of its April absorption, styled itself 'Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee' until the issue dated 12 October 1985. Actually my database query also encompasses the final issues of Whoopee published in the first quarter of 1985 and there were of course no Annual ads in those editions, but neither were there any ads for Specials.

Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee 13-Apr-1985 IPC Whoopee Holiday Special
Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee 20-Apr-1985 IPC Whoopee Holiday Special
Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee 11-May-1985 IPC Tammy Holiday Special
Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee 18-May-1985 IPC Tammy Holiday Special
Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee 15-Jun-1985 IPC Whizzer and Chips Holiday Special
Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee 22-Jun-1985 IPC Whizzer and Chips Holiday Special
Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee 12-Oct-1985 IPC Whizzer and Chips Annual
Whizzer and Chips 19-Oct-1985 IPC Annuals
Whizzer and Chips 26-Oct-1985 IPC Whizzer and Chips Annual
Whizzer and Chips 02-Nov-1985 IPC Annuals
Whizzer and Chips 09-Nov-1985 IPC Whizzer and Chips Annual
Whizzer and Chips 16-Nov-1985 IPC Annuals
Whizzer and Chips 23-Nov-1985 IPC Whizzer and Chips Annual
Whizzer and Chips 30-Nov-1985 IPC Whizzer and Chips Annual
Whizzer and Chips 07-Dec-1985 IPC Annuals
Whizzer and Chips 14-Dec-1985 IPC Annuals
Whizzer and Chips 21-Dec-1985 IPC Annuals

Total Annual and Special Ads by Year

Figures from Whoopee Feb '80 - Apr '85, Whizzer and Chips thereafter

Year Annual Special Total Ads
1980 13 18 31
1981 16 22 38
1982 17 9 26
1983 9 8 17
1984 16 3 19
1985 11 6 17


Whoopee Holiday Special 1985


The toddler terror torments trapped tubsters on this cover by Mike Lacey. I am a little uneasy with the inconsistent eyelines of some of the hungry horde, who seem to be looking past Sweeny. I wonder whether the image of the demon baby was originally smaller (or maybe... there was another character originally in the scene?), and the editor had it enlarged, thus disrupting the gaze of the dieters. The final popularity poll result to be published before Whoopee ceased to have a weekly presence on newsagents' shelves was printed in the issue dated 09 March 1985, and revealed that Sweeny had garnered most reader votes, thus it's not surprising that he was chosen to front the Special.

There are no appearances by any Cheeky-related characters in this Special. Among the obligatory reprints with which IPC would pad out Specials and Annuals are 2 episodes of a feature which has always bothered me. Why, if it's 'Orrible, is the titular supernatural aperture not described as an 'Ole? To call the strip 'Orrible Hole is annoyingly inconsistent.


Art: Reg Parlett, with alterations
by an unknown 'Orrible 'And

Whoopee Annual 1986

Mike Lacey is on hand again to illustrate this cover, whereon the terrifying tyke subjects poor old Santa to a spot of watery (I'm hoping the antagonist hasn't resorted to his potty as a source of ammunition) blackmail. Fortunately all the gazes, including those of Sweeny's parents, observing the grim grotto goings-on from a safe distance, are directed as they should be so I can relax and focus on the contents of the Annual.

And, my friends, we've hit the (if you don't mind me mixing my comic metaphors) jackpot with this Annual as there most definitely, IS some Cheeky-related (and not just related) material nestling within.

It's a delight to turn to pages 66 and 67 and be reacquainted with our toothy chum, although it's actually Snail who gets top billing. Great to see that Frank McDiarmid is the artist, too. This strip follows the template of Snail of the Century, Cheeky's mollusc mate's starring vehicle from Cheeky Weekly.



Calculator Kid who, as mentioned above, had relocated into Whizzer and Chips following the termination of Whoopee, also appears in this Annual. The young owner of the sentient mathematical aid has a cameo role, along with his electronic associate, in Jack Oliver's It's Puzzle Time, on page 95. Also appearing during the quiz are Sir and Jo-Jo the trainee clown from Stage School, whose second and final appearance in Whizzer and Chips occurred in the issue dated 13 July 1985.


But that's not all, we're lucky enough to get a second segment of slithering silliness as Snail (and grinning pal) return on pages 98 and 99 for a (literal) flight of fancy...IN COLOUR!



Lovely to see more work by Frank McDiarmid, which includes a glimpse of Cheeky's mum and dad. It's a little sad that Cheeky isn't actually the star of these strips, and that he doesn't get to deliver any of his trademark corny jokes, but we know that the toothy funster was never a favourite of Whoopee readers. The editor of this Annual was canny in commissioning these new strips based on the Snail of the Century format in which Cheeky appeared at the beginning and end of each episode, thus allowing long-time fans of the grinning gagster to spend some time with their punning pal.

Will there be more Cheeky appearances in the 1986 Whoopee Special and Annual? Join me soon to find out.

Wednesday, 14 December 2022

Cheeky-related characters in the Whoopee Annuals and Specials - Part 5 - 1984

Cheeky Specials and Annuals continued to be published following Cheeky Weekly's merge into Whoopee! in February 1980. Specials of the post-Cheeky Weekly demise era  were published from 1980 - 1982, and Annuals from 1980 to 1984 - the Annuals dated, of course a year ahead in each case. Whoopee! Specials and Annuals were also published in the same years (and beyond). What, if any, Cheeky-related material appeared in those Whoopee! Annuals and Specials?

Here's a list of all the adverts for Specials and Annuals which appeared in Whoopee and Wow! during 1984...

Whoopee and Wow! 28-Apr-1984 IPC Whoopee Holiday Special
Whoopee and Wow! 09-Jun-1984 IPC Wow! Holiday Special
Whoopee and Wow! 16-Jun-1984 IPC Wow! Holiday Special
Whoopee and Wow! 01-Sep-1984 IPC Whoopee Annual
Whoopee and Wow! 08-Sep-1984 IPC Whoopee Annual
Whoopee and Wow! 29-Sep-1984 IPC 50 Annuals
Whoopee and Wow! 29-Sep-1984 IPC 50 Annuals
Whoopee and Wow! 29-Sep-1984 IPC 50 Annuals
Whoopee and Wow! 29-Sep-1984 IPC 50 Annuals
Whoopee and Wow! 27-Oct-1984 IPC Whoopee Annual
Whoopee and Wow! 03-Nov-1984 IPC Annuals
Whoopee and Wow! 10-Nov-1984 IPC Whoopee Annual
Whoopee and Wow! 17-Nov-1984 IPC 321 Annual
Whoopee and Wow! 24-Nov-1984 IPC Whoopee Annual
Whoopee and Wow! 01-Dec-1984 IPC Annuals
Whoopee and Wow! 01-Dec-1984 IPC Shiver and Shake Annual
Whoopee and Wow! 08-Dec-1984 IPC Whoopee Annual
Whoopee and Wow! 15-Dec-1984 IPC Annuals
Whoopee and Wow! 22-Dec-1984 IPC Whoopee Annual

The total number of Special/Annual ads has risen slightly on the previous year, although the number of Special ads has fallen to just 3, with the Wow! Holiday Special getting twice the number of ads allocated to Whoopee. The total Annual ads far outnumber the total Special ads, although each appearance of an ad is counted regardless of size, so half-page and full-page ads both get counted as 1. The 29 September 1984 '50 Annuals' flyer is counted 4 times since it covers 4 pages...

Year Annual Special Total
1980 13 18 31
1981 16 22 38
1982 17 9 26
1983 9 8 17
1984 16 3 19


Whoopee Holiday Special 1984

This Special was advertised in the weekly Whoopee and Wow! dated 28 April 1984, and it's the first Whoopee Special to emerge since Wow! dislodged the older title's exclamation mark when Whoopee absorbed the survivors of that failed title in July 1983. Sweeny Toddler is the cover star, causing a beach-based denture dilemma rendered by the reliable Mike Lacey. The most recent popularity poll results appeared in Whoopee and Wow! dated 31 March 1984, and revealed that the demon baby was the readers' favourite, so it's no surprise that the notorious nipper has been chosen for the front page. Fans of the intimidating infant will possibly consider the editor to have been rather mean with his Sweeny ration, as the Special contains only 4 episodes of teeny terror, all of which are reprints (although the recycled back cover tale has been coloured).

There was no Cheeky-related material in last year's Whoopee! Special, despite there being no Cheeky Special either (the 1982 Cheeky Special was the final one).

As of the end of March 1984 the following ex-Cheeky-Weekly-related strips continue to feature in the weekly Whoopee and Wow!

However, none of these characters are to be found within the pages of the 1984 Whoopee Special, so we'll swiftly move on.


Whoopee Annual 1985

Like this year's Whoopee Special, this is the first Whoopee Annual to be divested of its '!', and the Bumpkins are the cover stars as they were on the previous year's Annual. Mike Lacey is once again commissioned to provide the visuals, as the rural rascals load their Christmas pud mix with shovel-loads of cash. Those unfortunates who partake of this coin-crammed Christmas confection will at least be able to fund the dental work necessary to repair their shattered molars.

Since publication of this year's Whoopee Special, a further set of popularity poll results has been published, in Whoopee and Wow! dated 21 July 1984. Reader opinion at that time placed Sweeny Toddler again at the number one spot, with cover stars the Bumpkins at number 3, slipping one place since the previous poll results were revealed.

This Annual will be sharing newsagents' shelf space with the Cheeky Annual 1985, so it's probably not surprising that there is no Cheeky-related material lurking within the Whoopee Annual 1985. Sadly there is no work by Frank McDiarmid, who provided a Willie Bunk episode last year, on display here, either - the 2 helpings of Bunk featured within are by another artist.

Surprisingly, in view of the recent poll results referred to above, the Bumpkin presence in this Annual outnumbers Sweeny's, with a total of 8 pages of Bumpkins (2 of which are in colour) versus 6 and a half of black and white Sweeny reprints.

Sweeny's half-page outing

Join me again soon as I examine the Whoopee Special and Annual published in 1985 for evidence of Cheeky content - the Cheeky Annual published in 1984 was the final one, so what effect will that have?