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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Monday, 14 January 2019

Profile - Hot Air Balloon

My decision to devote a Profile post to this particular Krazy Town inhabitant contradicts my declaration here that to qualify for this honour the character must possess a name. In fact, the 'character' under examination this time is an inanimate object (although there is a human being associated with it), but then again so are the Knock-Knock Door and time-traveling Phone Box, both of which have received a Profile post despite not having names as such, so let's press on.

It seems to me that the Hot Air Balloon (HAB) was a creation of a Cheeky's Week artist who I am unable to identify, and refer to on the blog as Unknown Cheeky Artist 1 (UCA1), since this artist was the only one to depict the blimp floating above Krazy Town. HAB made its debut appearance, being pursued by a large bird, on the Saturday page in the 11 February 1978 issue. This wasn't the first occasion on which UCA1 had drawn an aerially-drifting object, as the same artist included Bubblegum Boy (BB) hovering above Cheeky's home town in the comic dated 14 January 1978. That was the only occasion on which UCA1 drew the perpetually-drifting Fred Holroyd, so fortunately readers were spared the sight of a mid-air collision between HAB and BB.

Hot Air Balloon's debut
Art: Unknown Cheeky Artist 1

The next issue to include artwork by UCA1 was that dated 18 February 1978, but HAB was not in evidence on any of the 4 pages which the artist contributed that week. UCA1 next provided work in the 04 March 1978 edition, and 2 of the 5 pages that were delivered by the unidentified artist did feature the subject of this post; on Thursday the balloon was punctured by an arrow, the source of which was unseen, and the following day the perforated sphere continued to  Proooooop!! across the sky.

Art: Unknown Cheeky Artist 1

A week later 3 of the 6 Cheeky's Week elements drawn by UCA1 contained images of the still-damaged dirigible being propelled through the firmament by the gas leaking from its unwelcome aperture, the occupant remaining surprisingly mute considering his predicament.

UCA1 was next drafted in to provide visuals for the 25 March 1978 edition, which was the last to include the hot air balloon, and was the only time that its occupant spoke.

Please note the following page contains material which would be considered inappropriate today...

Hot Air Balloon's final appearance
Art: Unknown Cheeky Artist 1

HAB never appeared in the Cheeky strips in Krazy.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Hot Air Balloon411-Feb-197825-Mar-1978

Count of elements by artist
Character Artist Total Elements
Hot Air BalloonUnknown Cheeky Artist 17

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Cheeky Weekly cover date 26 January 1980

Art: Frank McDiarmid
It’s the penultimate edition of Cheeky Weekly, although readers picking it up from the newsagents’ counters all those years ago would have been unaware that was the case (however there are intimations of the imminent demise of our favourite comic inside this issue as we’ll see). A rather strange cover suggests that Cheeky’s Sunday paper round has been extended to include Tarzan’s jungle abode. This rather jarring cover, abandoning any pretence of a link with the toothy funster's Krazy Town locale, makes me wonder whether  the creators were, by taking this liberty with the setting, signalling (maybe subconsciously) that the end of the title was looming. Nevertheless, Frank McDiarmid furnishes a nice depiction of the bellowing vine-swinger.

Over the page we’re back in Krazy Town for the remainder of Cheeky’s deliveries, and the weather has improved since the snowy conditions that prevailed in last week’s comic, although Gloomy Glad’s personal rain cloud is, as ever, precipitating.

Frank again

The kids of Stage School are on an educational trip to the museum, but they’re not enjoying it so use their showbiz wiles to trick Sir into spinning what he thinks is a piece of ancient pottery atop his cane.

Art: Robert Nixon

This gets Teach into a state of nervous exhaustion and the entire group ejected from the building, so the kids head for their Stage School and a lesson from their (rarely-seen) cravat-sporting showbiz teacher. This is the final time Robert Nixon will draw the aspiring performers in Cheeky Weekly - Barry Glennard will deputise next week.

This week’s episode of Elephant on The Run sees our pachyderm pal return to employment in the circus. Cheeky Weekly readers who have followed this feature since its first episode will recall that in the opening instalment a terrible accident befell the amnesiac tusker while he was appearing at Tingaling’s Circus. The final panel of this week’s adventure could almost serve as a conclusion to the story, with The Man in the Plastic Mac seemingly frightened off and Elephant happy in his new circus role. What is missing, of course, is an explanation of why our be-trunked hero is being pursued. Maybe we’ll discover the reason in next week’s comic (non spoiler alert – we won’t).

Robert again

Mike Lacey takes over the artwork duties from Frank McDiarmid on Cheeky’s Week as of Thursday.

I don’t often show Tub strips, mainly because it’s not a favourite of mine, but this one’s not too bad as our portly pal gets one over on his rather unpleasant dad.

Art: Nigel Edwards
Cheeky’s Chit-Chat message cryptically refers to an upcoming 'exciting' event…

There’s no particular theme to Cheeky’s Saturday, so our toothy chum roams Krazy Town exchanging gags with his pals, as he does most days. Is the billboard a deliberately ironic inclusion?

Art: Mike Lacey

This issue sees the final Cheeky Weekly appearances of

And we also say goodbye to the Paddywack strip (although the witless welly-wearer will continue to confound in Whoopee!). This week's Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue, featuring gags relating to Krazy Town's jovial joiner Mr Chips, is the final one. Ian Knox delivers his final 6 Million Dollar Gran artwork (Nigel Edwards will provide the visuals next week).

Frank McDiarmid furnishes 5 Cheeky's Week elements, and Mike Lacey gives us his final 4 renditions of the Cheeky pages.

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 26-Jan-1980
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid5
Mike Lacey4

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 26-Jan-1980, Issue 116 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Tarzan of the Apes' - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
3Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
4Paddywack (final appearance) - Art Jack Clayton (final art on feature)
5Ad: IPC 'Mickey Mouse' 17 of 18 Ad: 'Shoot' 12 of 13
6Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
7Ringer Dinger reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Terry Bave
8Stage School - Art Robert Nixon (final art on feature)
9Stage School - Art Robert Nixon (final art on feature)
10Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
11Ad: IPC 'Tiger' 9 of 10 \Ad: Pop-A-Points (final appearance)
12Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon
13Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue (final appearance) 'Mr Chips Jokes'
14Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue (final appearance) 'Mr Chips Jokes'
15Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
16Disaster Des - Art Mike Lacey
17Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
18Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
19Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
20Thursday - Art Mike Lacey (final art on feature)
21Tub - Art Nigel Edwards
22The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
23The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
246 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox (final art on feature)
256 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox (final art on feature)
26Friday - Art Mike Lacey (final art on feature)
27Joke-Box Jury
28Speed Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
30Saturday - Art Mike Lacey (final art on feature)
31Saturday - Art Mike Lacey (final art on feature)
32Snail of the Century - Art Frank McDiarmid

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Cheeky's First Christmas - part 3

This concluding part of my short series examining Cheeky's festive doings in the Christmas 1976 edition of Krazy brings us to Cheeky's third strip appearance in that issue. The Krazy Gang, who numbered Cheeky among their assorted human, avian and alien members, had appeared in Krazy from the first issue. When Krazy folded in April 1978, the Gang were among the survivors to be absorbed into Whizzer and Chips, where their adventures (still including our toothy hero) continued until February 1986.

However, all this upheaval lay in the future as readers of that first festive Krazy anticipated a seasonal escapade with Cheeky and his Gang colleagues...

Krazy 25 December 1976
Art: Ian Knox

It's always good to see Cheeky without his usual amused grin and I like the expressions of sheepishness on display in this strip. This is Pongo Snodgrass' second encounter with the Gang in this issue, and both feature similar final panels. Not quite the seasonal rapprochement one might have expected.

Don't eat too many chocolates, and have a merry Christmas, Pals!

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Cheeky Upfront Yet Again!

Our toothy pal is certainly enjoying a high profile at the moment as, following cover appearances on recent issues of Comic Scene and Fanscene, next year he'll be gracing the cover of (and presumably be included among the reprints inside) a special Free Comic Book Day publication titled Funny Pages which you can read about on Lew Stringer's blog.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Cheeky Upfront Again

Art: Mark Wayne Barrett

Not long after appearing on the cover of Comic Scene issue 2, our toothy pal can be seen on the front page of another publication. This time Cheeky is gracing FANSCENE’s '50th anniversary of UK Comic Cons' issue (free to download - although a donation to the charity of your choice is encouraged - here). As is explained inside the ‘zine, the collection of characters depicted above have all performed the role of ‘editor’ of either a comic or letters page. Cheeky was of course the editor of the Chit-Chat letters page.

Unfortunately, other than a mention on the page that identifies all the comic greats gathered on the cover, Cheeky is not featured inside this issue – not really surprising as the focus is on recollections of various Comic Cons through the years. Sadly, CheekyCon has yet to be organised (although it can only be a matter of time - just think of the cosplay possibilities).

Friday, 14 December 2018

Cheeky's First Christmas - part 2

In the second part of this short series examining Cheeky's contributions to the Christmas 1976 edition of Krazy, we skip ahead to page 19, the site of 2 reader participation features. Our grinning pal joins his Krazy Gang chums to deliver a selection of readers' gags in the Krazy News-Pound.

Krazy Agony Column Art: Nick Baker
Krazy News-Pound Art: Ian Knox

Over the page Cheeky is in the spotlight as his own 4-page  'Ello, It's Cheeky strip commences. We know from Cheeky Weekly dated 19 January 1980 that Frank McDiarmid enjoys drawing snow, and the toothy funster's festive stroll around Krazy Town allows Frank to indulge himself in plenty of wintry scenes.

Art: Frank McDiarmid
The bottom left panel contains the
payoff to the gag set up at the bottom
right of the News-Pound page shown above.

This page features the un-named
occasional character I refer to as Brother Girl

We'll leave Cheeky heading home to enjoy some more Christmas pressies, but join me again in a few days as I examine more Cheekiness from Christmas '76.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Terry Bave 1931 - 2018

I was so sorry to read on Lew Stringer's blog of the sad passing of the mighty Terry Bave. Terry of course drew Calculator Kid for Cheeky Weekly and the successful character continued in Whoopee! after Cheeky's comic came to an end. There was a time when it seemed Terry had artwork appearing in just about every comic in publication, with a never-ending roster of hugely popular characters created in collaboration with his wife Shiela. I always found Terry's artwork to be very appealing, and he depicted a world that was, despite the regular appearance of bullies who were a staple of comic scripts of the period, very cosy and reassuring as justice was always served by the end of the story. This time of year I particularly remember Terry's Christmas strips into which he put extra effort, enhancing the festive fun by drawing a border around them featuring clever seasonal designs. It's impossible to imagine the heyday of British comics without Terry's vibrant and always amusing strips. What a great legacy he leaves behind.

My thoughts are with his family, friends and countless fans.

Whoopee! 26 December 1981

Whoopee! 25 December 1982