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 Weekly Artist Index
Features by Number of Appearances
Cheeky Weekly Timeline
Major Characters from the Cheeky pages
Features Ordered by Date of Commencement

*** 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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Thursday, 29 July 2010

The features - supporting features

From the first issue of Cheeky Weekly to the issue dated 02 December 1978, Cheeky would go to the cinema on Saturdays. The programme included a supporting feature before the interval and main feature. The majority of the strips that represented the supporting cartoon feature were based on Warner Brothers' characters. Presumably these Warner pages were reprinted from American comics.

 

A seemingly random collection of IPC reprints were also used to fill the cartoon spot.


Feature
Reprint from
Number of issues
Tweety and Sylvester28
Bam Splat and BlooieBuster9
Road Runner9
Cocky DoodleBuster5
Wile E Coyote5
Daffy Duck4
Henery Hawk3
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad WolfCor!!2
Hey Presto! Magic Show1
Hickory Dickory DocCor!!1
Tweety1
GhouldilocksShiver and Shake1

Hickory Dickory Doc. apparently originally appeared in Cor!! as one of a number of try-out strips which were voted on by readers.  It didn't win. See Peter Gray's blog.


In the 21 October 1978 issue, the cartoon was replaced by a magic show to celebrate Cheeky Weekly's first birthday. This issue was the only one to feature the Presto character, who appeared throughout the week, inducing paranoia in Cheeky as the other characters claimed not to see the giant rabbit.  Little did Cheeky know that his pals were planning the upcoming magic show.

 

In the 30 September 1978 issue a Tweety and Sylvester 2-pager replaced the main feature.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Cheeky Weekly cover date 05 Nov 1977 - issue summary

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 05-Nov-1977, Issue 3 of 117
PageDetails
1Cover Feature 'Free Badge, Skateboard booklet part 1' - Art Peter Maddocks (single art on feature) - Art Mike Lacey (first art on feature)\What a Cheek - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
3Skateboard Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
4Sunday evening - Art Frank McDiarmid
5James Bold 'Fangs of Fear' 3 of 11 - Art Massimo Belardinelli
6James Bold 'Fangs of Fear' 3 of 11 - Art Massimo Belardinelli
7Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
86 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
96 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
10Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
11Old Comic reprint from Sun Weekly 'Deed-a-Day Danny' 1 of 2
12Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid\Doug's Doodle - Art Terry Bave
13Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
14Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Mike Brown
15Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Mike Brown\Wednesday (conclusion) - Art Frank McDiarmid
16Pin-up pal 'Mustapha Million' - Art Reg Parlett (single art on feature)
17Pin-up pal 'Mustapha Million' - Art Reg Parlett (single art on feature)
18Ad: Timex (first appearance)
19Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
20Home Movie 'The Mummy's Curse' - Art Jack Clayton
21Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
22Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
23Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
24What's New, Kids
25Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
26Bam Splat and Blooie reprint from Buster\Cocky Doodle reprint from Buster
27Interval - Art Frank McDiarmid
28Space Family Robinson 'Escape' 1 of 3 - Art John Richardson
29Space Family Robinson 'Escape' 1 of 3 - Art John Richardson
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Skateboard booklet (first appearance) - Art Peter Maddocks (first art on feature)
32Skateboard booklet (first appearance) - Art Peter Maddocks (first art on feature)

Cheeky Weekly cover date 05 Nov 1977


The cover of the third issue carries a super Friend of Cheeky badge, but gives prominence to the first part of the cut-out skateboard booklet, a ploy to keep kids buying future issues even though there are no more freebies on offer.

The booklet adds to the skateboard content of the comic, which already features the weekly Skateboard Squad strip, to capitalise on the current craze.  A few issues into the future we will see a week where the skateboard theme runs throughout Cheeky's pages.









Back at the third issue, the Skateboard Squad are battling their arch-enemies, the Roller Skate Mob.  After some skateboard vs roller skate rivalry, the squad emerge predictably triumphant.

The booklet means this issue's 6 Million Dollar Gran story is reduced from the usual three pages to two.

This week's Pin-Up Pal poster (the final double-page-spread appearance of this feature) showcases Mustapha Million, who is seen wielding a bucket and spade, building what at first appears to be a sandcastle. On closer inspection the familiar beach construction is revealed to formed of gold dust. The subjects of the first three centre-spread posters (Cheeky, 6 Million Dollar Gran and Mustapha) are presumably the characters that the editor considers will be the most popular.



The Friday feature sees the first Cheeky Weekly appearance of Libby, the defender of weak females, although she had actually made her debut in last week's Krazy. Later in the day, Cheeky finds the Mystery Comic is in Doctor McCornplaster's waiting room (Cheeky Weekly's resident GP, Doctor Braincell, will be introduced in the 11 March 1978 issue).  The search for the Mystery Comic is the regular Friday framing device for presenting Mustapha Million's story, which is the only feature from the mysterious publication which we'll see until the comic undergoes a major revamp almost a year into Cheeky Weekly's run.

The title of this week's Space Family Robinson episode is 'Escape', the first of three episodes of the Robinson saga to share this title.  The Robinsons obviously do a lot of escaping.

Page 30 sees readers being invited to cut out a coupon they will need in order to enter 'a super competition' in the sixth issue - another attempt to prevent the kids spending their 8p elsewhere in the coming weeks.

In addition to the aforementioned Libby, other character debuts this week are Scruffbag (the school moggie who is familiar to readers of Krazy) and fellow feline Tired Tom (a completely new addition to the supporting cat cast), Do-Good Dora and Newsvendor (both of whom are unique to Cheeky Weekly).

Frank McDiarmid delivers all 13 Cheeky's Week elements in this issue.

This post revised and expanded 19 August 2020.


Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 05-Nov-1977, Issue 3 of 117
PageDetails
1Cover Feature 'Free Badge, Skateboard booklet part 1' - Art Peter Maddocks (single art on feature) - Art Mike Lacey (first art on feature)\What a Cheek - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
3Skateboard Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
4Sunday evening - Art Frank McDiarmid
5James Bold 'Fangs of Fear' 3 of 11 - Art Massimo Belardinelli
6James Bold 'Fangs of Fear' 3 of 11 - Art Massimo Belardinelli
7Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
86 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
96 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
10Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
11Old Comic reprint from Sun Weekly 'Deed-a-Day Danny' 1 of 2
12Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid\Doug's Doodle - Art Terry Bave
13Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
14Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Mike Brown
15Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Mike Brown\Wednesday (conclusion) - Art Frank McDiarmid
16Pin-up pal 'Mustapha Million' - Art Reg Parlett (single art on feature)
17Pin-up pal 'Mustapha Million' - Art Reg Parlett (single art on feature)
18Ad: Timex (first appearance)
19Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
20Home Movie 'The Mummy's Curse' - Art Jack Clayton
21Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
22Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
23Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
24What's New, Kids
25Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
26Bam Splat and Blooie reprint from Buster\Cocky Doodle reprint from Buster
27Interval - Art Frank McDiarmid
28Space Family Robinson 'Escape' 1 of 3 - Art John Richardson
29Space Family Robinson 'Escape' 1 of 3 - Art John Richardson
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Skateboard booklet (first appearance) - Art Peter Maddocks (first art on feature)
32Skateboard booklet (first appearance) - Art Peter Maddocks (first art on feature)
   

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Friend of Cheeky badge

The free gifts in the first two issues of Cheeky Weekly were cardboard, self-assembly affairs secreted within the pages of the comic, requiring that the purchaser verified the presence of the expected freebie before handing over the cover price and vacating the shop.

However, the third issue had its gift sellotaped blatantly on the cover - the Friend of Cheeky badge.  The cover-borne gift had the advantage over two-dimensional inserts in that it was immediately apparent if the gift was missing, but a pile of comics with cover-mounted freebies meant the stack of issues on the newsagent's counter was unstable.  The consequent risk of scrunched-up covers necessitated a search for a copy with as near pristine a front page as was possible.  After a number of such searches by excited readers, scrunchment was almost inevitable, so an early trip to the shops was advisable on cover-mounted gift days.

There then followed the dilemma of how to release the badge/spud gun/space spinner from captivity without damage to the comic.  By cutting the tape on either side, the gift could be removed, leaving two strips of sticky tape adhering to the cover.  After about twenty years, the tape fell off, leaving a slightly dark and semi-transparent patch on the paper.

There's not really much to say about this gift.  It was a metal badge with a proper pin on the back.  Nice.

The same badges were awarded to readers whose letters were printed on the Friends of Cheeky Chit-Chat pages, which began in Cheeky Weekly dated 09 December 1978. After Cheeky Weekly ceased publication, the first combined issue of Whoopee! and Cheeky offered readers a free Friend of Cheeky badge in return for a stamped addressed envelope - the editor obviously had a few boxes of badges cluttering up the office, as apparently 2000 were on offer.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Feature summary - James Bold

REVISED 12 September 2010, as I have now discovered the title of the fourth Bold novel - see here.

REVISED 02 November 2010 - My thanks to Shaqui Le Vesconte and Tony Ingram over at the Comics UK forum for identifying the artist on The Ghost Highwayman as Mike White.

REVISED 26 March 2011 - I've assigned the artwork on Tower of Terror to Mike White. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know.

REVISED 20 May 2011 - I've assigned the artwork on The Frightened Village to Mike White. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know.

REVISED (and hopefully, completed) 29 July 2011 - I've assigned the artwork on Island of Fear to Mike White. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know.



Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
James Bold22-Oct-7705-Aug-784115,6,7,8,9,10,11,29,30,31


Issues Missed In Run
11-Mar-78






Story Title
Start

End
Fangs of Fear22-Oct-7731-Dec-77
The Ghost Highwayman07-Jan-7804-Mar-78
Tower of Terror18-Mar-7822-Apr-78
The Frightened Village29-Apr-7824-Jun-78
Island of Fear01-Jul-7805-Aug-78







Feature Artist Number of Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
James Bold Fangs of FearMassimo Belardinelli422-Oct-197712-Nov-1977
James Bold Fangs of FearLopez719-Nov-197731-Dec-1977
James Bold The Ghost HighwaymanMike White907-Jan-197804-Mar-1978
James Bold Tower of TerrorMike White618-Mar-197822-Apr-1978
James Bold The Frightened VillageMike White929-Apr-197824-Jun-1978
James Bold Island of FearMike White601-Jul-197805-Aug-1978






Preceding Page Count
Monday23
Sunday evening10
Interval6
Christmas Day1
Easter Monday1


Pages per Issue Number of Issues
241

Monday, 19 July 2010

The features - James Bold 'Fangs of Fear'

The James Bold feature was an adventure serial, and from the character's name one might have expected an 007-inspired espionage tale, but James Bold was in fact 'an investigator of the supernatural' and 'steel-nerved ghost-hunter'.

Bold's first adventure was Fangs of Fear...


In subsequent instalments, a couple of creepy characters turn up at the mansion; Casper Cringe, who claims to be interested in buying the property, and one-legged caretaker Hercules Harbottle.

Bold recruits the pair to join the search, but the nefarious duo capture Bold and Angel, at which point a humanoid wolf-creature appears, but rather surprisingly it flees instead of attacking, and Cringe disappears as well.

Harbottle then explains that he only captured Angel because he is worried he'll lose his job when Carol inherits the mansion. Bold sees that Harbottle is telling the truth, and again accepts Harbottle's help in the search.

The adventurers then find a giant conservatory, stocked with immense flora (and, it soon transpires, fauna) from 'the unknown jungles of darkest Africa'. Another encounter with the wolf-thing ensues. Just as Bold is about to confront the creature with his rapier, a giant gorilla emerges from the undergrowth. It becomes apparent that the oversized ape is under the control of the wolf-creature, who directs it to crush Bold, causing our hero to drop his blade.

Despite a valiant attempt by Angel to shoot the supersized simian, the gorilla carries Bold up an enormous tree. Near the top of the tree, the ape pauses to tend to its bullet wound, at which point Bold grabs a vine and, Tarzan-style, swings out and back, dislodging the gorilla from its perch.

Returning to the ground, Bold finds Casper Cringe roped to a tree. Cringe tells Bold the Wolf captured him, and Bold ejects him from the premises, confidently (and accurately) predicting he won't be seen again.

Harbottle then leads Bold and Angel to the first of twelve bedchambers which must be searched. Angel finds Carol in bed in the first room, but immediately Angel's lantern goes out, and on reigniting it, she finds the girl is gone. Bold spots a pair of eyes peering through a painting on the wall, and stabs through the canvas with his rapier. A man emerges, who reveals himself to be Ted Tremble, clerk to Silas Scroll, the lawyer dealing with Sir Charles' estate. Luckily, the force of Bold's rapier thrust was deflected by Tremble's wallet.

There follows another confrontation with the wolf, who unleashes a giant crocodile to attack Angel after she falls into a lake under the mansion. Bold dives into the water and dispatches the reptile with his knife.

Deciding to take the initiative and lure the wolf-creature into the open for a showdown, Bold, alone and unarmed, shouts a challenge to the beast. Suddenly overcome by noxious fumes, Bold regains consciousness inside a cage, with the wolf-creature seated at a table nearby and holding Carol Masters captive. Carol tells Bold that the wolf is Silas Scroll, and that he is trying to force her to sign the Grange over to him. The wolf then takes Carol and leaves Bold alone in the chamber, but using 'every ounce of his tremendous strength', Bold forces open the door of the rusty cage.

Just as Bold returns to the main hall of the mansion, Silas Scroll arrives. Bold accuses him of being the Wolf, but Scroll explains his office was raided by the Wolf, who was searching for Sir Charles' will. Unable to find the will, the Wolf took Scroll's signet ring. Carol Masters saw the creature wearing the ring and therefore assumed it was really Scroll. Bold recruits Scroll to join the search for Carol.

The group then discover a locked room in which movement can be heard. Bold Hurls himself the at the door.

Now read on...

Bold demonstrates two surprising attributes in this tale. He seems to have an extremely trusting nature, repeatedly accepting help from those he considered enemies only minutes before. However, events proved he was right to do so, and possibly his brushes with the supernatural (assuming there were real supernatural elements in previous cases) have given him an insight into the psyche of those he meets. However it's hard to excuse his his recklessness in stabbing the figure behind the painting before knowing who it was.

A comment by John Gilheany on Peter Gray's blog points out that this tale seems to be a rehashed script that originally appeared as a Maxwell Hawke story, 'Maxwell Hawke in The House of a Thousand Secrets' in Buster from 29 October 1960 to 04 February 1961. The storyline and location name, as well as the supporting character names, in the sample pages posted on Peter's blog are identical to the giant ape sequence and final page in Cheeky Weekly, though the artwork is different.  The ending of the Maxwell Hawke version of the story is as unsatisfying as the Bold version, as neither explain why Tremain went to all that trouble.

Assuming there were no breaks in the story as it originally ran, the Buster version ran for 15 weeks, while Fangs of Fear spanned 11 issues.

I believe the first four instalments of Fangs of Fear in Cheeky Weekly were drawn by Massimo Belardinelli, but I don't know who drew the remainder. In fact, I don't know who drew any of the subsequent James Bold stories. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

Also, if anyone knows whether the later Bold stories are based on other Maxwell Hawke scripts, please get in touch.

This James Bold tale fitted into Cheeky's week as a novel he read in bed on Sunday evenings. Each episode ended with some misfortune plunging Cheeky into darkness; his Mum switching the light out, the batteries in his torch failing and other similar mishaps.

I'll be looking at the other James Bold serials in later posts.

REVISED 02 November 2010 - Please see here for the James Bold feature summary.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Profile - Snail


Snail was Cheeky's constant companion, accompanying him throughout the week, even into the cinema. A particularly fleet-footed gastropod (or fleet-podded gastrofoot), Snail would often be seen at Cheeky's feet in one panel, and atop the toothy funster's head the next. This head-borne method of travel benefitted Snail as he expended less energy while keeping up with his pal, and explains the slicked-down look of Cheeky's hairstyle.

The relationship between the two was rather odd, as Cheeky rarely acknowledged Snail's existence.  One such occasion took place in the 14 October 1978 issue, when Snail became love-struck on meeting an attractive female Snail.

The strip creators didn't give Snail the power of speech with humans, but readers could see his molluscy speech and thought balloons. He often became annoyed when the artist left him out of a few panels.




At moments of extreme stress, Snail would exit his shell at speed. Initially, these scenes were censored to avoid readers being confronted with a naked Snail, but occasionally a more liberal approach was in evidence and such occurrences were illustrated without editorial interference.




Some months into the comic's run, a competition was held to name the snail, although none of the winning suggestions were ever used in the strips.

11 February 1978


22 April 1978




















Evidently a popular character, Snail eventually secured his own page in the comic, a feature entitled Snail of the Century. The title was a pun on TV's Norwich-based 'quiz of the week', Sale of the Century. In the strip, Snail was able to converse with the animal/insect occupants of Cheeky's garden, and the strip was basically the same joke-tastic tomfoolery as the Cheeky strips, but nearer the ground.

Our slithery pal made a number of guest appearances in other strips in the comic - he appeared in The Skateboard Squad strips dated 13 May 1978 and 14 and 21 October 1978, and also in the Calculator Kid strips dated 15 July 1978, 05 August 1978 and 09 December 1978.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Cheeky Weekly cover date 29 Oct 1977 - issue summary

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 29-Oct-1977, Issue 2 of 117
PageDetails
1Cover Feature 'Super gift for you - Fun Wallet' - Art Frank McDiarmid\What a Cheek - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Hello again (single appearance)
3Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
4Skateboard Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
5Sunday evening - Art Frank McDiarmid
6James Bold 'Fangs of Fear' 2 of 11 - Art Massimo Belardinelli
7James Bold 'Fangs of Fear' 2 of 11 - Art Massimo Belardinelli
8Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
96 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
106 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
116 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
12Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
13Old Comic reprint from Film Fun 'Abbott and Costello' 1 of 2
14Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid\Doug's Doodle - Art Terry Bave
15What's New, Kids
16Pin-up pal '6 Million Dollar Gran' - Art Ian Knox (single art on feature)
17Pin-up pal '6 Million Dollar Gran' - Art Ian Knox (single art on feature)
18Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
19Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Mike Brown
20Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Mike Brown\Wednesday (conclusion) - Art Frank McDiarmid
21Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
22Home Movie 'Airship Over England' - Art Jack Clayton
23Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
24Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
25Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
26Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
27Bam Splat and Blooie (first appearance) reprint from Buster\Cocky Doodle (first appearance) reprint from Buster
28Interval - Art Frank McDiarmid
29Space Family Robinson 'The Chase' - Art John Richardson
30Space Family Robinson 'The Chase' - Art John Richardson
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Ad: Standard Fireworks (single appearance)

This issue sees the first in sporadic runs of Cocky Doodle and Bam Splat and Blooie, both of which were reprinted from Buster comic.

btw, I don't record any page elements of less than half a page, unless that element is a feature (a strip, joke or letters page), so none of those stamp collecting ads will be shown in the issue summaries

Cheeky Weekly cover date 29 Oct 1977

Art: Frank McDiarmid
The front cover of issue 2 uses the same image that featured on the back page of the first edition, showing an impossibly-contorted Cheeky offering up this week’s free gift prominently for our inspection. On view are the colours of the four Fun Wallet variants, although two wallets seem to be almost the same red/orange hue but that's probably due to the shortcomings of the comic printing process – there’s a noticeable lack of colour gradients on this cover compared to the last. The colours are much ‘flatter’ this week. Presumably more money was spent on the slightly more sophisticated colour printing of the cover of the launch issue to make it more appealing.

A rather blank-faced Snail stares out of the cover, and slithers into the What a Cheek strip where our toothy pal engages in bus banter.

On page 2 Cheeky welcomes us to the comic, and asks readers to tell all their pals about his new title. Below that is the announcement of the Fun Phone – readers are asked to dial a number and submit their jokes. Those whose gags are published will receive the rather unspecific ‘pocket money prize’ (later revealed to be £2).

Jokes submitted via the short-lived Fun Phone (this method of reader communication was eventually withdrawn in January 1978 due to a ‘technical problem’ - I suspect the editorial staff soon regretted making an office telephone number available to their readership) would be printed in the Joke-Box Jury feature which commenced in the 10 December 1977 issue.

This week’s issue follows the pattern set by the first – we follow the grinning gagster throughout his week, starting with his Sunday morning newspaper round, and his pages frame all the non-Cheeky strips.

Frank again

Knock-Knock Door, a surreal ‘character’ Cheeky fans first saw in Krazy’s debut issue, makes its inaugural Cheeky Weekly appearance this week. Cheeky’s Mum, whose voice was heard/read in last week’s issue although she wasn’t seen and has never featured in Krazy, appears for the first time. Mum doesn’t fare much better this week to be honest, as it’s only her right arm on view, untroubled by the anatomical inaccuracy afflicting her offspring on the cover this week. Funny fishmonger Mr Haddock also makes his first Cheeky Weekly outing, although a similar-looking seafood vendor named Mr Codface had previously purveyed a plethora of piscatorial puns in an issue of Krazy. Also dropping in for the first time is Parachutist.

The book from which Cheeky selects a terrifying bedtime story is for the first time given a title - Creepy Sleepy Tales – this week.

Last week’s centre spread poster featured, naturally enough, Cheeky, and this issue the accolade of a centre-page Pin-Up Pal poster is awarded to 6 MillionDollar Gran, who is depicted leaping over 6 parked cars in the manner of Evel Knievel, although Gran of course achieves this feat without resorting to a motor cycle. Gran’s poster appearance this week suggests that the editor is confident she will be among the most popular characters in the comic.

The poster is of course in full colour, but there’s a rather strange distribution of colour pages around the comic this week – the front and back covers feature full colour printing which is to be expected (the back page is occupied by an advert for Standard Fireworks). But as well as the centre spread, page 8 (the Monday element of Cheeky’s week) is also in full colour. Across the staples, the other half of the sheet of paper that carries page 8 is page 25, and one would normally expect colour pages to be paired up, but page 25 is the second of Mustapha Million’s pages this week, and is printed in monochrome to match his first page.

Whereas the animated cartoon element of the Saturday morning pictures programme was represented last week by a Wile E Coyote/Roadrunner strip, the same function this issue is performed by Cocky Doodle and Bam, Splat andBlooie reprints from Buster.

After Cheeky and his pals exit the cinema on page 31, our toothy pal informs them (and us) that a metal badge will be given away with each of next week’s issues of Cheeky Weekly.

Frank McDiarmid draws all 13 Cheeky's Week elements in this issue.

This post revised and expanded 13 August 2020.


Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 29-Oct-1977, Issue 2 of 117
PageDetails
1Cover Feature 'Super gift for you - Fun Wallet' - Art Frank McDiarmid\What a Cheek - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Hello again (single appearance)
3Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
4Skateboard Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
5Sunday evening - Art Frank McDiarmid
6James Bold 'Fangs of Fear' 2 of 11 - Art Massimo Belardinelli
7James Bold 'Fangs of Fear' 2 of 11 - Art Massimo Belardinelli
8Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
96 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
106 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
116 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
12Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
13Old Comic reprint from Film Fun 'Abbott and Costello' 1 of 2
14Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid\Doug's Doodle - Art Terry Bave
15What's New, Kids
16Pin-up pal '6 Million Dollar Gran' - Art Ian Knox (single art on feature)
17Pin-up pal '6 Million Dollar Gran' - Art Ian Knox (single art on feature)
18Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
19Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Mike Brown
20Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Mike Brown\Wednesday (conclusion) - Art Frank McDiarmid
21Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
22Home Movie 'Airship Over England' - Art Jack Clayton
23Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
24Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
25Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
26Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
27Bam Splat and Blooie (first appearance) reprint from Buster\Cocky Doodle (first appearance) reprint from Buster
28Interval - Art Frank McDiarmid
29Space Family Robinson 'The Chase' - Art John Richardson
30Space Family Robinson 'The Chase' - Art John Richardson
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Ad: Standard Fireworks (single appearance)

Monday, 12 July 2010

Friend of Cheeky Fun Wallet


























More in in keeping with the joke-fest nature of Cheeky Weekly than the Red Jet Rattler, the free gift in the second issue was the Friend of Cheeky Fun Wallet. This consisted of a self-assembly cardboard sleeve and two cardboard joke strips. The strips were inserted into the wallet in such a way that a feed line could be read in one window, with the hilarious tag line visible through another. The spare joke strip could be stored safely in the wallet while not in use.

There were apparently four different wallet/joke strip combinations given away.

Inside the wallet there is a space for the owner to proudly record their name and address, under which is the legend 'A regular reader of Cheeky Weekly', an attempt to instil in the possessor an obligation to buy the comic in perpetuity.

The wallet also introduces the concept of the Friend of Cheeky (a reader of the comic), which was to be used with the next free gift and on the letters page.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

The features - What A Cheek

The What A Cheek strip was a cover feature consisting of a 3 panel gag. Cheeky always delivered the punchline, and the strip usually featured one of the regular characters from the Cheeky pages, but sometimes anonymous stooges appeared.

The feature was absent from some covers when a competition or promotion was publicised, and it didn't appear on the Christmas 1977 issue.

Having appeared since the first issue, What A Cheek came to an end in the 23 September 1978 issue, and was eventually replaced by the Cheeky's Week feature which initially was the same format with a different title, but later expanded to fill the front cover and consequently had more panels.

The title What a Cheek was later revived following Cheeky Weekly's merge into Whoopee!, where the resurrected strip of the same name appeared in 28 issues of the amalgamated comic.



FEATURE
FIRST APPEARANCE

FINAL APPEARANCE

TOTAL ISSUES

TOTAL ISSUES MISSED IN RUN

PAGE HISTORY
What a Cheek22-OCT-7723-SEP-784181




ISSUES MISSED IN RUN
31-DEC-77
07-JAN-78
28-JAN-78
04-FEB-78
17-JUN-78
19-AUG-78
09-SEP-78
16-SEP-78


Page History in the first table above shows the page numbers occupied by the strip in its run. As this was a cover feature, it only ever appeared on page 1.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Profile - Cheeky


"What's the difference between an LP Record and a skunk?"

"One's a long player, the other's a pong layer!"

Cheeky's jokes didn't really get any better than that, but the readers of Cheeky Weekly didn't expect anything other than awful, corny jokes. It was the sheer number of Cheeky's jokes per issue that charmed us into submission.

With a toothy grin, prominent ears and a slicked-down short-back-and-sides that was surely unfashionable for the late 70s, Cheeky, like so many gawky kids before him, sought popularity by becoming the joker among his peers.

Cheeky would exchange banter with his pals, tradesmen, and authority figures. From vicars to teachers, parachutists to one-man bands, Cheeky was fearless in tackling any feed line he was given.

His creators realised there was a danger of portraying him as an insufferable smart-alec with an answer for any situation, and his vulnerabilities were regularly on display -

Puzzlement when the phone rang just as he passed by the telephone box. He was never lost for a snappy answer to the riddle he was given, but as he put the phone down, he never understood how someone could know he was nearby, not thinking to look up and see the man working on the telegraph pole.

Fear when delivering newspapers to the creepy house when a ghoul of some kind would answer the door.

Embarrassment at his pursuit by Louise, the girl who fancied him even though he would rebuff her with a comic put-down.

Thwarted plans when reading baby Burpo a Creepy Sleepy Tale, planning to frighten the toddler but always scaring himself.

He couldn't even put a shot past the goalie cat waiting in his front garden.


The toothy funster also displayed a rather parsimonious nature (probably inherited from Uncle Hamish), gleefully obtaining free cakes from Baker's Boy, and sneaking into the newsagent for a free read of the latest James Bold novel.

In the great comics tradition, Cheeky never seemed to change his oufit, permanently attired in a hooped jersey with a 'C' on the front. A knitting pattern for the jersey was eventually published in the comic, so that mums could turn out Cheeky lookalikes (although for the full effect, comedy false teeth would be required).

Cheeky was very rarely seen without his mollusc companion, Snail.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Essential reading for all friends of Cheeky


No Cheeky fan should be without a copy of issue 12 of Crikey! ('The Great British Comics Magazine'), which features an interview with the Cheekmeister himself, Frank McDiarmid.

This back issue can be procured by visiting the Crikey! website , and while you're there you should sort yourself out a subscription to the magazine, which is full of stuff of interest to anyone wanting to find out about the past, present and future of British comics.

Cheeky Weekly cover date 22 Oct 1977 - issue summary

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 22-Oct-1977, Issue 1 of 117
PageDetails
1Cover Feature (first appearance) 'Free gift inside: Red Jet Rattler' - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)\What a Cheek (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
2Hiya I'm Cheeky (single appearance)
3Sunday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
4Skateboard Squad (first appearance) - Art Jimmy Hansen (first art on feature)
5Sunday evening (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
6James Bold (first appearance) 'Fangs of Fear' 1 of 11 - Art Massimo Belardinelli (first art on feature)
7James Bold (first appearance) 'Fangs of Fear' 1 of 11 - Art Massimo Belardinelli (first art on feature)
8Monday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
96 Million Dollar Gran (first appearance) - Art Ian Knox (first art on feature)
106 Million Dollar Gran (first appearance) - Art Ian Knox (first art on feature)
116 Million Dollar Gran (first appearance) - Art Ian Knox (first art on feature)
12Tuesday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
13Old Comic (first appearance) reprint from Knockout 'Mike'
14Tuesday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)\Doug's Doodle (first appearance) - Art Terry Bave (first art on feature)
15What's New, Kids (first appearance)
16Pin-up pal (first appearance) 'Cheeky' - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
17Pin-up pal (first appearance) 'Cheeky' - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
18Wednesday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
19Creepy Sleepy Tale (first appearance) - Art Mike Brown (first art on feature)
20Creepy Sleepy Tale (first appearance) - Art Mike Brown (first art on feature)\Wednesday (conclusion) (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
21Thursday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
22Home Movie (first appearance) 'Hambush at Deadmanz Gulch' - Art Jack Clayton (first art on feature)
23Friday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
24Mustapha Million (first appearance) - Art Reg Parlett (first art on feature)
25Mustapha Million (first appearance) - Art Reg Parlett (first art on feature)
26Saturday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
27Wile E Coyote (first appearance) 'Space Ace Chase'
28Wile E Coyote (first appearance) 'Space Ace Chase'
29Interval (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
30Space Family Robinson (first appearance) 'The Snatch' - Art John Richardson (first art on feature)
31Space Family Robinson (first appearance) 'The Snatch' - Art John Richardson (first art on feature)
32Saturday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)\Ad: IPC (first appearance) 'Cheeky Weekly: Free Fun Wallet next week'

Cheeky Weekly cover date 22 Oct 1977

Art: Frank McDiarmid, as is all the
artwork in this post

Many of the readers excitedly lifting a copy of the first edition of Cheeky Weekly from the newsagents’ counter would already have been fans of the titular toothy funster, having initially encountered him in the pages of Krazy, first published in October 1976. In that title the grinning gagster regularly appeared in two strips each week – as a member of the Krazy Gang, and also in his own feature entitled ‘Ello It’s Cheeky (later ‘Ello I’m Cheeky). Evidently he had proved popular enough to suggest to the management at IPC, publishers of Krazy, that he could sustain a title of his own.

Featured prominently on the cover of issue number one, alongside Cheeky’s tooth-crammed fizzog, is the traditional launch edition free gift – In this case the Red Jet Rattler. Also honoured with a front page appearance are the titular tittermesiter’s mollusc mate, Snail, and the toothy funster's airborne associate, Bubblegum Boy, both of whom are regulars in Cheeky’s starring strip in Krazy. At the foot of the front page is a 3-panel strip entitled What A Cheek in which Cheeky shares a gag with another stalwart of his Krazy strip, mirthful mailman Postie.

Flipping over to page 2 we’re welcomed by Cheeky, who explains that ‘Each issue of my new comic takes you through the week with me!’ and that ‘I’ve got people to meet, stories to read and telly and films to see, so tag along’. Alongside our toothy pal’s introduction are the instructions for assembling the free gift, placed near the front of the comic for the benefit of those impatient to get their cardboard aircraft into the sky without delay.

Page 3 is titled Sunday, and we accompany Cheeky on his paper round, during which he trades gags with new character Milkie, and Manhole Man who we’re familiar with from Krazy. He also delivers a paper (The Sunday Spook) to the creepy house, something (as is the case with the paper round) that we’ve never seen before. In the final panel Cheeky is almost run down by what he refers to as the Skateboard Squad, although all we see is clouds of dust as the speeding team pass within inches of our apprehensive hero.


The next page begins, without the traditional title panel, as a trio of skateboarders roll into Krazy Town park (yes, the events in the new comic take place in the same area as those seen in Krazy) in response to a distress call. Thanks to a bystander, we are informed that the intrepid speedsters are indeed the Skateboard Squad, who go on to rid the play area of some bullies.

Following the high-speed excitement, we turn the page to discover that it’s now Sunday evening as Cheeky enjoys a gag with another new character, the Vicar, and the obligatory pee joke with Krazy veteran Walter Wurx before retiring to bed to read his book entitled Fangs of Fear.


A striking double-page spread of Massimo Belardinelli artwork ensues, introduced by a caption that reads ‘And this is what Cheeky read...’(once again there is no traditional title panel) The story stars James Bold, investigator of the supernatural who heads off to get to the bottom of some diabolical goings-on at the forbidding Grimstone Grange. Unlike the humorous strips seen earlier in the comic, this is a dramatic, spooky tale which ends on a (literally) gripping note as a young woman is grabbed by ‘a pair of hairy hands’. The second page concludes, immediately after this cliff-hanger moment, with Cheeky’s mum turning off his bedroom light, curtailing his evening’s reading, although a caption promises he will continue to read the book next week.

Over the page we’ve reached Monday, and the fun commences with our toothy pal emerging from school at high velocity, telling us ‘I’ve got to get home in time to see the Six Million Dollar Gran on the telly!’ On his journey he meets a character we’ve never seen before – the luscious lollypop lady, Lily Pop. With her assistance, Cheeky safely traverses the busy road and gets home just in time to be able to switch his TV on in the final panel.


Underneath text reading ‘This is what he saw...’ 6 Million Dollar Gran’s first TV episode (we know it’s on TV because the title panel is in the form of a cathode ray tube) is screened across the next 3 pages. The story of advanced robotics and industrial espionage is played for laughs, and at the conclusion Cheeky is seen watching a caption on the gogglebox reading ‘End of Episode One – Tune in Again Next Week’.

Next up we’re back with Cheeky, and it’s now Tuesday. Emerging from his house, Cheeky decides to meet his dad as he finishes work. Pausing only to kick a tin can towards a loitering moggie, our pal heads off across Krazy Town, meeting Jogging Jeremy and Spiv along the way. He also encounters his Krazy Gang comrade Sporty, who returns some comics that Cheeky lent him. Cheeky’s dad is dismissive of the funny papers, telling his son ‘You wouldn’t have caught me reading comics when I was your age’. In the final panel we see Cheeky, having returned home, mounting the stairs and looking scornfully at his flat-capped pater while muttering ‘I’ve discovered something that he doesn’t know that I know’. This is the lead-in to the following page, in which the toothy funster, now ensconced in the loft, lifts the lid of an old chest and explains that it contains his Dad’s old comics. Below this is a reprint of a 1949 ‘Mike’ page from Knockout.

Overleaf, Cheeky is able to slam the lid of the chest just as his dad enters the loft, and our toothy pal makes a swift exit, meeting Doodle Doug. We then witness Doug’s (rather violent) doodle.

Page 15 is the location of What’s New, Kids, in which our toothy pal tells us about a variety of books, model kits, films and board games that we might want to add to our birthday/Christmas gift lists.

Pages 16 and 17 are of course the centre of the comic, which is the location of a Pin-Up Pal poster of our grinning gagster mate, who is depicted on a speeding skateboard alongside his slithering sidekick who is of course travelling on his own miniature conveyance.

Cheeky’s Wednesday commences with him dejectedly heading towards his babysitting appointment with Baby Burpo, the terrifying toddler we're familiar with from Krazy. As he slouches past a telephone box, our hero lifts the ringing handset and is told a joke. The puzzled punster emerges from this encounter wondering how the caller knows he just happened to be passing, unaware of the telephone engineer working on the pole above. On arriving at Burpo’s house, Cheeky falls victim to a booby trap set by the belligerent baby, and then commences to read a scary bedtime story to his infant charge in the hope that giving the sinister sprog a bad case of the heeby-jeebies will result in Cheeky’s babysitting services being cancelled. The story Cheeky has selected, which plays out over the next 2 pages, commences with Little Miss Muffet and associated spider. Deviating somewhat from the nursery rhyme, the tale then sees the arachnid eat Miss Muffet, and then go on to consume Humpty Dumpty, Little Boy Blue and a number of other traditional characters. Cheeky’s ruse fails as Burpo enjoys his bedtime tale, and a thwarted Cheeky departs for home, not noticing a giant eight-legged beast looming in the darkness behind him.


Over the page we witness Cheeky emerging from his house on Thursday, having enjoyed his tea consisting of sausages, chips and a triple helping of beans. Snail contributes the inevitable fart gag, then the toothy funster has humorous encounters with Herman the traffic warden, Bump-Bump Bernie and the commissionaire at the local posh hotel before being invited in by Oscar to see his latest home movie. Readers also witness this farcical footage as it plays out, not entirely as its young director would have liked, on the following page.



There’s an air of mystery evident on Friday, as Cheeky is conspiring with his schoolmates to arrange a clandestine rendezvous at the dentist. Nosy Norah is on the trail of our punster pal as he visits Granny Gumdrop’s shop, all the time adding more youngsters to the gang of school pals accompanying him. The crowd of kids eventually convene in the dentist’s waiting room and the object of their visit becomes clear – they have come to get a free read of a particular comic which is among the reading material on offer to nervous patients, and is not available elsewhere.

Mustapha Million, a strip residing within that mysterious publication, is featured over the page, introduced with a caption reading ‘And this is what the gang read’.

Following Mustapha’s 2-page escapade, we meet Cheeky again to witness his Saturday pursuits. On his way to the Saturday morning picture show at the cinema, our toothy pal has quick gags with Mechanic and Sid the Street-Sweeper. Joining the queue outside the picture palace, Cheeky is subject to the cacophonous compositions emerging from Buster the Busker’s array of instruments, until the Commissionaire announces that the cinema doors are open. A stampede ensues, and over the page is a 2-page story featuring Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner (referred to in the title as Beep-Beep). This strip is presented as the animated cartoon enjoyed by the youthful cinema patrons. As the ‘That’s All, Folks!’ caption fades from the screen, we’re returned to the cinema interior where Cheeky encounters Ursula the Usherette, and noisy nosher Crunching Chris. The room then darkens as the title ‘Space Family Robinson’ flickers onto the big screen.


The first episode of this science fiction serial plays out over the next 2 pages, following which we sadly find that overleaf is Cheeky Weekly’s back cover, where we witness the toothy funster and his pals emerging from the cinema. The free gift that will be available in the second issue of Cheeky’s new comic is given a plug (with a rather disturbing pictorial accompaniment), before Cheeky signs off, having sagely advised us to place a regular order.

What a cracking first issue! It's gratifying to see so many pages drawn by Frank McDiarmid, who Krazy readers strongly associate with Cheeky. Frank's energetic work is a delight, with plenty of extra gags packed into the busy pages. It's great to see that the already extensive supporting cast of idiosyncratic Cheeky's Week characters has been expanded to increase the fun quotient. The impressive feat of having all the non-Cheeky strips linked in various ways into Cheeky's week, giving the whole issue an ongoing narrative, is something we've never seen before and it's clear that the creative team behind the issue have put more effort into this comic than into the average title - effort that has certainly paid off. I don't know about you, but I'm definitely going to buy issue 2!

This post revised and expanded 30 July 2020


Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 22-Oct-1977, Issue 1 of 117
PageDetails
1Cover Feature (first appearance) 'Free gift inside: Red Jet Rattler' - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)\What a Cheek (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
2Hiya I'm Cheeky (single appearance)
3Sunday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
4Skateboard Squad (first appearance) - Art Jimmy Hansen (first art on feature)
5Sunday evening (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
6James Bold (first appearance) 'Fangs of Fear' 1 of 11 - Art Massimo Belardinelli (first art on feature)
7James Bold (first appearance) 'Fangs of Fear' 1 of 11 - Art Massimo Belardinelli (first art on feature)
8Monday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
96 Million Dollar Gran (first appearance) - Art Ian Knox (first art on feature)
106 Million Dollar Gran (first appearance) - Art Ian Knox (first art on feature)
116 Million Dollar Gran (first appearance) - Art Ian Knox (first art on feature)
12Tuesday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
13Old Comic (first appearance) reprint from Knockout 'Mike'
14Tuesday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)\Doug's Doodle (first appearance) - Art Terry Bave (first art on feature)
15What's New, Kids (first appearance)
16Pin-up pal (first appearance) 'Cheeky' - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
17Pin-up pal (first appearance) 'Cheeky' - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
18Wednesday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
19Creepy Sleepy Tale (first appearance) - Art Mike Brown (first art on feature)
20Creepy Sleepy Tale (first appearance) - Art Mike Brown (first art on feature)\Wednesday (conclusion) (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
21Thursday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
22Home Movie (first appearance) 'Hambush at Deadmanz Gulch' - Art Jack Clayton (first art on feature)
23Friday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
24Mustapha Million (first appearance) - Art Reg Parlett (first art on feature)
25Mustapha Million (first appearance) - Art Reg Parlett (first art on feature)
26Saturday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
27Wile E Coyote (first appearance) 'Space Ace Chase'
28Wile E Coyote (first appearance) 'Space Ace Chase'
29Interval (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)
30Space Family Robinson (first appearance) 'The Snatch' - Art John Richardson (first art on feature)
31Space Family Robinson (first appearance) 'The Snatch' - Art John Richardson (first art on feature)
32Saturday (first appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (first art on feature)\Ad: IPC (first appearance) 'Cheeky Weekly: Free Fun Wallet next week'

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Red Jet Rattler


So what did those kids who had been whipped into a frenzy by IPC's ad campaign (which may have included a short ad shown on teatime TV) get as they flung 8p of their pocket money across the newsagent's counter?

Well, the first thing most kids would look for is the free gift. In those days there would usually be a gift in each of the first 3 issues of any new comic. How many of us bought the comic just to get the flimsy cardboard/plastic tat lurking within the pages? The publishers obviously hoped that by the third issue those readers lovingly fondling their collection consisting of a plastic spud gun, brown paper banger thing and rude-noise-making balloon would have been sufficiently entranced by the printed comic contents to become readers for life.

In Cheeky Weekly's first issue, the item tumbling from its pages was The Red Jet Rattler, a flimsy, cardboard self-assembly aeroplane that didn't so much fly as whirl from a piece of string. The string, as far as I recall, was not supplied, neither was the penny which was crucial to effective operation. The number of pennies lost as plane separated from string and disappeared into the neighbouring garden would probably make a substantial contribution towards the national debt.

So what was the link between aeroplanes and the contents of the comic? Er, none. At least an attempt was made to link the gift and the comic's contents by having Cheeky grinning daftly from the Red Jet Rattler's cockpit. Surprisingly, the underside of the Rattler reveals it was patented in Britain and the US! Possibly the stealth bomber was a further development of the same design (but without the cardboard Cheeky banner on the tailplane, which would presumably have lessened the stealth effect somewhat).