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

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Wednesday 28 December 2011

The features - Sonny Storm

Sonny Storm was the fourth feature to represent the adventure film component of Cheeky's Saturday morning trip to the cinema.  Previous strips in that location had been;
  • Space Family Robinson, which fulfilled the adventure film serial role in the first 36 issues of Cheeky Weekly
  • James Bold, whose final adventure, Island of Fear had featured on the big screen over 6 issues
  • Archie's Angels, whose aerobatic escapades had also spanned 6 weeks
However, unlike those serials Sonny Storm made a single appearance, in the 23 September 1978 issue.  The adventure film took a break the following week, as the comic underwent something of an overhaul, but returned in the 07 October 1978 issue, this time in the form of the first episode of the serial, The Terrible Trail to Taggart's Treasure.

According to this page, Sonny Storm originated in Knockout comic, and I'm assuming this refers to IPC's Knockout, published from 1971 to 1973, and not the earlier comic of the same name published by Amalgamated Press from 1939 to 1963.  Certainly the green spot-colour on display in the sample frames shown on that site suggest that they originate from IPC's Knockout, which boasted on its cover, rather fraudulently in my opinion, that it was an 'All-Colour Comic', when most of the pages were spot-colour only.

UPDATE 14 January 2012 - Many thanks to philcom55 and Raven from the Comics UK forum for telling me that Sonny Storm actually originated in Cor!! (Sonny's first appearance was in the 25 September 1971 issue).  Sonny's only connection with IPC's Knockout would appear to be that he appeared in some of the annuals.

Anyway, here's Sonny's sole Cheeky Weekly adventure.

The Sonny Storm strip used in Cheeky Weekly was presumably a reprint, and there's certainly evidence of panel resizing.  Interestingly, two approaches to resizing seem to have been employed.  On the first page, an attempt has been made to conceal the resizing, as most panels appear to have been expanded, some at both left- and right-hand sides.  However, on the second page all the panels on the right of the page have been extended to the right, making the adjustments to the artwork rather obvious.

Update 17 October 2017 - Reading Irmantas' post on the original run of Sonny Storm in Cor!! leads me to suspect that the one-off adventure above was sourced from either a Cor!! Summer Special or Annual, which would explain the need for resizing of the artwork.

Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
Sonny Storm23-Sep-7823-Sep-781029,30

Monday 19 December 2011

Cheeky Weekly cover date 23 September 1978

Bump-Bump Bernie shares the main cover pic with Cheeky this week, and there's a nice touch as the comic title displays signs of serious injury in honour of the guest cover star.  The Crack-A-Joke game, which reaches its fourth and final instalment inside, doesn't get a mention on the cover, while the Silly Snaps filler feature is promoted in the above-title banner.  Posh Claude is driven to artistic apoplexy in the What a Cheek strip.

The Skateboard Squad strip gets a bit of a makeover this week, as for the first time they have a proper title panel instead of the introductory caption, and for once our intrepid trio aren't on the trail of a felon - this week they're chasing their escaped pet mouse.

The Squad's new title panel was replaced again the following week

This week's 6 Million Dollar Gran tale, chronicling the synthetic senior citizen's ornithological encounter with a rare spotty-legged woodpecker, includes in the final panel the tag line of a gag set up in the closing frames of the Sunday evening page…

On Tuesday several bandaged limbs are in evidence as a consequence of the cycle crash between cover star Bump-Bump Bernie and Gloomy Glad.

As he arrives at Burpo's house for his babysitting session on Wednesday, Cheeky is dismayed to find that Burpo's cousins are back, and the toothy funster is expected to keep the horde of horrors amused with the Crack-A-Joke game.  Because the final instalment of the colour Crack-A-Joke feature this issue occupies only a single page, the Wednesday feature benefits from full colour.

On Friday it is apparent that Cheeky and Snail are aware that they are characters in a comic, as the toothy funster makes reference to turning the page to see this week's Calculator Kid story, and Snail decides to take a shortcut in that direction (literally).  On the Calculator Kid page we see further evidence that Cheeky Weekly is sold in Cheeky's universe, as an ad for the comic can be seen on a bus.  This isn't the last time we'll see a reference to Cheeky Weekly in a Cheeky's Week page this issue.

Tweety and Sylvester's strip is only a page and a half this issue, to allow an intriguing ad for next week's Cheeky Weekly.

As the Archie's Angels film serial came to an end last week, there is a new adventure film during the cinema show on Saturday - it's Sonny Storm, actually a reprinted strip from IPC's Knockout Cor!! (thanks to philcom55 and Raven from the Comics UK forum for the correction).

Silly psychic Crystal Belle peers into her crystal ball to make assorted prognostications throughout Cheeky's Week in this issue.  In his final encounter with her this week, Cheeky makes reference to the cover price of Cheeky Weekly being 8p, when we know that as from last issue the cost of the comic went up to 9p.  Doh!

Snoozin' Susan brings this issue to a close with her somnolent sojourn on the back cover poster.

There are a number of departures this week, as the comic prepares for a revamp.  The following features come to and end;

Sunday evening
Teacher's Teasers ends its brief run after only its third appearance.

The Crack-A-Joke cut-out game reaches its fourth and final instalment.

The Sonny Storm feature makes its one and only Cheeky Weekly appearance.

Burpo's Cousins make their final appearance, but there's a newcomer to Cheeky's week, in the paint-splattered shape of Krazy Town's painter and decorator, Willie Brushiton.

The final What A Cheek cover strip is the only pure Frank McDiarmid art on the Cheeky's Week strips this issue (but there's more pure Frank on the back cover poster).  The remaining 10 Cheeky's Week features are by Frank McDiarmid pencils.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 23-Sep-1978, Issue 49 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Bump-Bump Bernie' - Art Frank McDiarmid\What a Cheek (final appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (final art on feature)
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
3Skateboard Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
4Sunday evening (final appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils (final art on feature)
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
66 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
76 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
8Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
9Teacher's Teasers (final appearance) - Art Ed McHenry (final art on feature)
10Ad: IPC 'Cor Annual' 1 of 5 Ad: 'Whizzer and Chips' 6 of 6
11Joke-Box Jury
12Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
13Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
14Silly Snaps
15Silly Snaps
16Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
17Crack-A-Joke Game (final appearance)
18What's New, Kids
19Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
20Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
21Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
22Crack-A-Joke Game (final appearance)
23Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
24Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
25Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
26Tweety and Sylvester 'What a Racket'
27Tweety and Sylvester 'What a Racket'\Ad: IPC 'Cheeky Weekly: Mystery Comic next week'
28Interval - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
29Sonny Storm (single appearance) reprint from Cor!!
30Sonny Storm (single appearance) reprint from Cor!!
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
32Pin-up pal 'Snoozin' Susan' - Art Frank McDiarmid

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 23-Sep-1978
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid pencils10
Frank McDiarmid1

Sunday 18 December 2011

Frank McDiarmid's Boy Boss

Lew Stringer's latest look at a Christmas comic focuses on 1984's festive Whoopee! and includes Frank McDiarmid's Boy Boss story from that issue.  Despite it being the season of goodwill, BB is having his usual run-in with miserly accountant Jasper Ferret.

Also on display from the same issue is Ian Knox's Gran's Gang, which features Cheeky Weekly's very own 6 Million Dollar Gran, in her second Whoopee! regeneration (the first being her transition from 6 Million Dollar Gran to Robot Granny).

Thursday 15 December 2011

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Profile - Disco Kid

Disco Kid boogied into Cheeky Weekly in the 08 July 1978 comic, and bopped his way across 67 editions, surviving into the final issue.  According to his first appearance, Disco Kid, who was seen with a copy of the NME (IPC's influential music paper) in his pocket, was so-named because he was frequently to be found in discos.  His main role in Cheeky's Week was to set up music and pop group puns.

First appearance
The funky fun-maker, who was almost as generously-endowed with dentition as Cheeky, featured throughout Cheeky's Week in the issue dated 16 September, when he was seen carrying placards containing TV show and pop group puns, in support of his campaign to get more pop music on TV.  Sample slogans; 'Put Queen in Crown Court', 'Less cricket - more Darts', 'Showjumping out - Showaddywaddy in'.  Disco Kid appeared on one of the 2 Pin-Up Pal posters in the same issue.

In the comic dated 28 October 1978, Disco Kid is annoyed to find that he's been sold that week's issue of The Mystery Comic, instead of the sheet music he was expecting.  Needless to say, Cheeky is delighted to take the mysterious publication off his hands.

In the 18 November 1978 issue, the perky pop-picker was seen pondering which route to the disco would provide 12 more discs for his vinyl collection, in the back-cover maze.

Cheeky met Disco Kid's big brother while visiting a record shop in the comic dated 17 March 1979, and in the 29 December 1979 issue we met our pop-picking pal's father, who was apparently a better dancer than DK.

The centre spread in the 16 June 1979 comic (the 'super disco issue') contained cut-out instructions on how to do the new dance sensation, the Cheeky Hustle.  Disco Kid, Cheeky and Louise were seen on the booklet's cover in the throes of terpsichorean frenzy.  Disco Kid performed the DJ duties at Saturday's big disco in the same issue.

In his early appearances Disco Kid would sometimes wear a bomber jacket with his nickname emblazoned on the back, and his shoes often exhibited signs of makeshift repair necessitated, no doubt, by excessive boogying.  The risible rocker was quite often seen wearing an Olivia Newton-John t-shirt (sometimes abbreviated to ONJ OBE).

Cheeky's tin-can-soccer nemesis, Goalie Catrecycled a Disco Kid joke.

Our musical merrymaker featured on the front cover of the comic dated 08 December 1979, dancing with a large bird, as a visual reinforcement of a joke with the punch line 'John Travulture'.  DK was in evidence at Cheeky's Christmas party in the 29 December 1979 issue, where he could be seen bopping furiously, and he was back on the cover on 05 January 1980, among a group of Cheeky's pals celebrating the new leap year.  Inside the same issue the madcap music maniac was one of the revellers at Cheeky's new year party.

Disco Kid was the coolest and most 'street cred' of Cheeky's pals.  Mercifully he wasn't subject to the ethnic stereotyping that afflicted certain members of the Cheeky's Week cast.  He was created for Cheeky Weekly and never appeared in the 'Ello, It's Cheeky strip in Krazy comic.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Disco Kid6708-Jul-197802-Feb-1980

Count of elements by artist
Character Artist Total Elements
Disco KidFrank McDiarmid48
Disco KidMike Lacey19
Disco KidFrank McDiarmid pencils13
Disco KidDick Millington2
Disco KidBarrie Appleby1
Disco KidBob Hill1
Disco KidNot known1

Sunday 11 December 2011

Nick Baker's Cheeky Christmas

Great to see the latest of Lew Stringer's traditional seasonal comic covers posts.  In that post, Lew includes a link to a post of his from Christmas 2008. Scrolling to the bottom of that page will reveal Nick Baker's Whoopee! Christmas cover from 1981.  I'm a big fan of Nick Baker's work, and this is great.  Nick makes no attempt to ghost the styles of the regular artists of the Whoopee! crew, in fact he draws all the characters with toothy beams just like Smiler, the character he drew each week.

As we all know, Cheeky Weekly merged into Whoopee! in February 1980.   The final issue of Whoopee! to include a reference on the front cover to the Cheeky title  was that dated 25 July 1981.  However, the ex-Cheeky Weekly characters continued to appear in Whoopee! beyond that date, so among the fun-pals drawn by Nick on Whoopee's Christmas '81 cover is his rather unusual take on Cheeky.

For some Smiler strips, see here.

Wednesday 7 December 2011

The pages - Page 12

For the first 6 issues of Cheeky Weekly, page 12 was the home of the Tuesday feature.  In those early issues, Tuesday was usually split across 2 pages, with Cheeky's climb to the attic for a furtive read of one of his dad's old comics appearing between them.  Of those first 6 issues, page 12 was host to the first part of the Tuesday feature on 4 occasions, the second part on one occasion (including one of Doug's Doodles), and in the 19 November 1977 comic page 12 was home to the only Tuesday page that week, the second Tuesday segment having been replaced by an advert.

In issues 7 and 8, Old Comic appeared on page 12, but then Tuesday moved back in for 2 weeks, until the Christmas 1977 issue saw the first page of Cheeky's Boxing Day antics occupy that location.  Page 12 was the proud host of the debut Suddenly feature in the 07 January 1978 issue, but the week after, Tuesday, now reduced to a single page each week, began another run, this time for 3 weeks.  After an issue in which page 12 was the home of the What's New, Kids feature, Tuesday enjoyed another run, this time for 8 issues until Suddenly appeared again for one week.

Tuesday was back on page 12 in the comic dated 06 May 1978, but Suddenly moved in again the following week, then was ousted by a page shared by What's New, Kids and an ad for Arena Swimwear in the 20 May 1978 comic.

Tuesday then reappeared for 1 week, after which Suddenly made a concerted bid for dominance, but relinquished control to Tuesday again 3 weeks later.

For the following 4 issues, 1978's mini comics promotion saw page 12 host the final page of each of the miniature versions of Whizzer and Chips, Buster, Whoopee! and Mickey Mouse respectively.

Paddywack moved into page 12 in the first post-mini-comic issue, dated 29 July 1978, and the following week the first page of lucky winners of the Draw Hid Kid competition were printed in that location, each of whom could look forward to receiving £2 for their efforts.

On 12 August 1978, the Wednesday feature made its first foray onto page 12, where it remained the following week, but was ousted by plucky Tuesday in the 26 August 1978 comic.  The following week page 12 hosted the first page of the debut appearance of filler feature Silly Snaps, but next issue our bumbling pal Paddywack was back.  Silly Snaps returned to page 12 the week after, but indefatigable Tuesday was back the following week.

In a surprise move, Wednesday laid claim to page 12 for the next 9 issues, before being deposed by the first page of  The Mystery Comic's Mustapha Million story for the next 2 weeks.

After this interruption by the middle-eastern moneybags, Wednesday was firmly back on page 12 for a further 8 weeks, being ousted only by variant Ash Wednesday, in the issue dated 03 March 1979.

Wednesday proper was then in control for a further 4 weeks, until The Mystery Comic moved back in for another 4 issues, each time featuring  on page 12 the first element of the hectic man-in-plastic-mac vs peripatetic pachyderm chase that was Elephant On The Run.

Wednesday enjoyed a 9 week run from 05 May 1979, after which it never returned to that location.  Wednesday had clocked up a creditable 32 appearances on page 12, making it the feature to appear there most regularly.

Tuesday then defied those who thought they had seen the last of it on page 12, and established itself there for 4 weeks, until its run was interrupted on 04 August 1979 by a readers' poll.  Tuesday was back again for a 3 issue run until an ad appeared on page 12 in the 01 September 1979 comic for a joint promotion being run in the pre-Christmas period by WH Smith and Spear's Games.

The juvenile stars of TV's all-singing-and-dancing omnibus-based entertainment show The Double Deckers, masquerading as The Gang in a re-titled series of reprints from Whizzer and Chips, hogged page 12 for 10 weeks from 08 September 1979 to 10 November 1979, until the catastrophic clot Disaster Des wrought several varieties of havoc on page 12 for a 6 week run.  Tenacious Tuesday then made its final page 12 appearance in the issue dated 29 December 1979 (the third Tuesday element to appear in that issue), before relinquishing control to Des for his final disastrous outing on page 12.

A father-and-son takeover bid ensued as the duo from Why, Dad, Why? moved in on 19 January 1980, but dad and his lad were evicted from page 12 the following week by a Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake.

In an entirely unexpected move, Snail emerged triumphant in the battle for page 12 in Cheeky Weekly's final issue, as the merry mollusc and his back garden buddies featured in that location in the final episode of Snail of the Century.

Count of Elements (or distinct combinations thereof) appearing on Page 12
Elements Total
The Gang 1/210
Disaster Des7
Tuesday 1/26
Elephant On The Run 1/24
Mustapha Million 1/22
Old Comic2
Silly Snaps 1/22
Soggy the Sea Monster2
Advertisement: Arena Swimwear\What's New, Kids1
Advertisement: WH Smith & Spear's Games1
Ash Wednesday1
Boxing Day 1/21
Buster mini comic 4/41
Draw Hid Kid winners 1/21
Mickey Mouse Mini Comic 4/41
My favourite Cheeky pals1
Snail of the Century1
Tuesday 2/2\Doug's Doodle1
Tuesday 3/31
What's New, Kids1
Whizzer and Chips mini comic 4/41
Whoopee mini comic 4/41
Why, Dad, Why?1

Sunday 4 December 2011

Cheeky Weekly cover date 16 September 1978

As Cheeky warned us last week, with effect from this issue the cover price has increased by 1p to 9p.  However, to compensate, 100 toys are to be won in the competition running inside.  The cover sees Cheeky testing his skill on one of the prizes, while Snail wisely stays clear of the target area.  The Crack-A-Joke game, now in its third week, also gets a mention on the front page, although now, as if the enthusiasm for it is waning, it's referred to merely as the Cut-Out Game.

On Sunday, Cheeky tells us that he's starting a campaign for more pop music on telly, and Disco Kid says he'll be helping as it was his idea.  This is the first time we've had a 'Cheeky's pal throughout the week' issue since Teacher underwent his breakdown in the 05 August 1978 comic.

Skateboard Squad feel pity for Cheeky in their strip, having run him over again in the final panel of the Sunday feature on the previous page.  However, their concern for our toothy pal is short-lived as the Squad realise the felon they apprehended last week is on the run, and the intrepid trio are soon rolling in pursuit.

On Sunday evening there's a guest appearance by BBC TV's rugby commentator and It's A Knockout scorekeeper, Eddie Waring, as well as a rare glimpse of a happy Gloomy Glad.

6 Million Dollar Gran sets her sights on a diamond necklace, reduced from £5000 to 5p in a sale.  Taking up position outside the store the night before the sale doors open, Gran has to contend with 2 villains intent on stealing said trinket.  Gran's story is reduced from the normal 3 pages to a 2-pager this week.

On page 14 is the first ad for the first Cheeky Annual.  It's out now but, as is the tradition for British annuals, is dated a year ahead.

Mustapha Million puts his considerable resources towards helping a pal watch his favourite TV show this week.  However, despite having banks of TV screens able to pick up any channel from around the globe, Mustapha's staff are hogging all the screens, so Mustapha's mate has to watch his show in a shop window (but surely he couldn't hear the TV through the glass).  Reg Parlett draws The Two Ronnies on screen, and a copper with a car on his foot in the background.

There's a surprise reprint on pages 26 and 27 as the weekly cinema show begins - it's Jim Watson's Hickory Dickory Doc one-off strip from Cor!!  This strip appears in place of the usual Warner Brothers cartoon feature - hooray!

Following the cinema interval, the final episode of Archie's Angels hits the big screen.

After the cinema show, Cheeky meets Disco Kid to assess the results of their campaign for more pop music on TV.  Disco Kid has been seen throughout the week holding placards emblazoned with pop music and TV show-related puns.  Cheeky solicits readers' views on the question of a music-only TV channel (it'll never happen, trust me).

The issue fittingly closes with a Pin-Up Pal poster of Disco Kid strutting his funky stuff.  This is in fact the second poster to appear this week - Calculator Kid is the subject of the poster on page 17, drawn by Frank McDiarmid rather than usual CK artist Terry Bave.

This week's issue loses one page to the Crack-A-Joke game, whereas the two previous issues each contained 3 game pages.  I would guess that this loading of cut-out game pages into the early weeks of the promotion is to lessen the impact for those readers who started buying the comic after the first 2 weeks of the game.  The game sections printed from 09 September on are useless if one hasn't got the first part.  I wonder whether it was originally planned that there would be 2 game pages this issue, and that's why Gran's story is reduced to 2 pages, and an extra poster was therefore deployed to replace the planned second game element this week.

For the second week running there's a gratifying whole Cheeky's Week of pure Frank McDiarmid art.  Frank does his last pure art on the Sunday evening feature, which will be coming to an end next week.  Frank also provides the main cover pic and 2 posters.  Excellent!

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 16-Sep-1978, Issue 48 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Marx Toys competition and Cut-Out Game part 3' - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
3Skateboard Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
4Sunday evening - Art Frank McDiarmid (final art on feature)
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
66 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
7What's New, Kids
8Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
9Marx Toys Competition (single appearance)
10Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
11Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
12Silly Snaps
13Silly Snaps
14Ad: IPC 'Soccer Monthly No 1'Ad: 'Cheeky Annual' 1 of 6
15Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
16Crack-A-Joke Game
17Pin-up pal 'Calculator Kid' - Art Frank McDiarmid
18Joke-Box Jury
19Joke-Box Jury
20Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
21Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
22Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
23Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
24Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
25Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
26Hickory Dickory Doc (single appearance) reprint from Cor!! - Art Jim Watson (single art on feature)
27Hickory Dickory Doc (single appearance) reprint from Cor!! - Art Jim Watson (single art on feature)
28Interval - Art Frank McDiarmid
29Archie's Angels (final appearance) reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Ron Turner (final art on feature)
30Archie's Angels (final appearance) reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Ron Turner (final art on feature)
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid\Ad: IPC 'Three Great Comics'
32Pin-up pal 'Disco Kid' - Art Frank McDiarmid

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 16-Sep-1978
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid10

Sunday 27 November 2011

Profile - Flash Harry

Krazy Town's funny photographer, Flash Harry, made his Cheeky Weekly debut in the Christmas 1977 issue, when he was hired by Cheeky's Mum to take a photo of the Cheeky family at their Christmas party.  Harry bowed out after snapping his way through 41 issues worth of photographic fun, in the Christmas 1979 number.

Harry's first appearance
Harry's second outing was in the comic dated 07 January 1978, when his face was obscured by the flash as he took a photo of Cheeky, but by the time of his third appearance, in the issue dated 04 March 1978, he looked entirely different to his debut.  In subsequent issues Harry returned to his original look, at least for a while as we shall see.

Different look for third appearance

In the 27 May 1978 issue, Harry gave Cheeky a copy of The Mystery Comic (surprisingly not a photo of it).

Flash Harry was featured throughout Cheeky's Week in the comic dated 15 July 1978, as he followed the toothy funster around in the hope of obtaining a snap worthy of the local paper's prize for the most unusual photo of the week.  Although a number of suitably extraordinary events occurred, for various unlikely reasons Harry was unable to obtain a picture, and in an ironic twist found himself the subject of the winning entry.

In the comic dated 16 September 1978, Frank McDiarmid introduced a differently-nosed Flash Harry, and Frank carried on drawing this new version of the silly snapper in all his subsequent work on the character, while other artists continued to draw the more generously-nosed Harry, as he had originally appeared.

16 September 1978 - First appearance of Frank's new version of Harry
In the 07 October 1978 issue, somebody realised that an opportunity for a joke had been missed on the previous occasion that Harry had provided Cheeky with his copy of The Mystery Comic, and this time the funny photographer did indeed give the toothy funster a photo of the mysterious publication.

20 October 1979 - Mike Lacey, like all the artists other than Frank, continues to draw Harry with the original nose
In his only front page appearance, Harry was in evidence in the Cheeky's Week strip on the cover of the 03 February 1979 issue.

Harry featured in The Burpo Special dated 16 June 1979, which had as its subject Burpo himself, who was depicted in a series of photos that Harry had doctored to make the belligerent babe look heroic.  Harry was the subject of the Pin-Up Pal poster in the comic dated 09 December 1978.

Like Snail and Baby Burpo, Flash Harry graduated to his own feature, but unlike his illustrious pals, Harry's feature was merely a sporadic filler, Silly Snaps.

UPDATE 10 May 2012 - for information on how Flash Harry is the key to a reassignment of artist credits, please see here, and here.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Flash Harry4131-Dec-197729-Dec-1979

Flash Harry - Number of appearances by Element
Element Number of Appearances
Cheeky's Week1
Christmas Day1
Easter Saturday1
Sunday evening1
The Burpo Special1

Flash Harry - Number of appearances by Page
Page Number of Appearances

Count of elements by artist
Character Artist Total Elements
Flash HarryFrank McDiarmid17
Flash HarryMike Lacey16
Flash HarryFrank McDiarmid pencils9
Flash HarryJim Watson3
Flash HarryBarrie Appleby3
Flash HarryUnknown Cheeky Artist 11
Flash HarryDick Millington1

Thursday 24 November 2011

The features - Silly Snaps

Flash Harry's Silly Snaps was a feature consisting of photos, supposedly supplied by Krazy Town's resident photographer, Flash Harry, with funny (ahem) captions supplied by Cheeky. The feature appeared in 12 issues of Cheeky Weekly, its first occurrence being in the 02 September 1978 issue, and the final appearance coming in the 20 October 1979 comic.

In each of its first 5 appearances, in addition to the captioned photos, a pic containing a blank speech balloon was printed, and readers were invited to send in their suggestions for an amusing caption.  The entries printed would each win a £2 prize.  Despite there being 5 caption competitions, the results of only 4 were printed.  The first competition results were printed in the comic dated 11 November 1978, and included a note saying "Look out for the September 9th contest winners soon!"  However, the next Silly Snaps results to be printed were those which appeared in the 20 January 1979 comic, giving the results of the competition set in 16 September 1978's issue.  Presumably the 09 September results were scheduled to appear in one of the issues which failed to be published as a result of industrial action during December 1978.  Wonder if any prizes were issued in respect of the 09 September competition?

The first 5 Silly Snaps features, which ran weekly from the issues dated 02 to 30 September 1978, all included a caption competition and spanned 2 pages.

The following 3 Silly Snaps features (11 November 1978, 20 and 27 January 1979) covered a half page each and consisted of successful caption competition entries and the related photo only.

In the 03 February 1979 issue a single-page Silly Snaps feature appeared on page 11, and on page 21 in the same issue was a half-page feature giving the results of the final Silly Snaps caption competition that had been set in the 30 September 1978 comic.

The picture of Flash Harry that appeared in the title panel of all the Silly Snaps features, except the competition results versions, was taken from the funny photographer's first appearance in Cheeky Weekly dated 31 December 1977.  That first appearance included the same flash/Oxo cube joke that was used in the title panel.

Single-page Silly Snaps appeared in the 24 February, 03 March and 20 October 1979 issues, bringing to an end this feature's sporadic run.

Although some effort was made to make it relevant to Cheeky's Week, Silly Snaps falls firmly into the filler category.  Another filler, the short-lived Teacher's Teasers, emerged the week before the first Silly Snaps.  It seems that both features were intended to fill some vacant slots in the comic pending the end of the Crack-A-Joke game promotion and the revamp that occurred in the 30 September 1978 issue.  However, unlike Teacher's Teasers, Silly Snaps returned a few more times after the revamp.

Unfortunately the cheap paper and basic printing techniques used on IPC's comics of the time meant that reproduction of photos was very poor.  For the second Silly Snaps feature, an artist was employed to draw white outlines around the key objects in the photos, but this technique was never tried again.

Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
Silly Snaps02-Sep-7820-Oct-7912455,8,9,11,12,13,14,15,18,19,21

Thursday 17 November 2011

Cheeky Weekly cover date 09 September 1978

This week's cover abandons the What a Cheek strip in favour of plugs for reader participation features Joke-Box Jury and Paddywack, which can earn money for successful contributors.  The Crack-A-Joke game, now in its second week is also mentioned in the above-title banner, as a reminder for prospective comic purchasers, vacillating over the tempting piles of funny papers on their newsagents' counter, who remembered to keep their cut-out pages from the previous issue.  Parts 2, 3 or 4 of the game will be useless to readers who haven't got part 1.

There's evidence of a theme developing on the Sunday page, as Frank McDiarmid includes a couple of Smurf-related slogans in the background of a couple of panels - 'Smurfs Rool' and 'Smurfy Tyler-Moore', a reference to US actress Mary Tyler-Moore.

The Skateboard Squad are at a grand sports meeting and yes, it's time for that traditional British comic standby script to get yet another airing - the trophies are stolen, just as they were in the Squad's strips in the 06 May 1978, 20 May 1978 and 01 July 1978 issues.  This time, the terrific trio's deft use of the tug of war rope brings the fleeing felon to account.

There's more Smurfery on Sunday evening, as it appears Father Abraham is on the trail of his chirruping blue chums.


The same page also sees a bit of a row developing between Snail and Frank McDiarmid.  Good gag about the miners.

In this week's Six Million Dollar Gran strip we learn that the synthetic senior citizen is a member of Midwich Grannies Club, who are on a mystery tour by coach.  The coach, which is as venerable as the assorted granny passengers, soon breaks down.  Gran, determined to complete the mystery tour, tows the charabanc into the middle of an army artillery range. Is there a connection to John Wyndham in the story?

As Cheeky Weekly approaches its first anniversary, page 9 solicits feedback from readers.  This is one of the most detailed readers' polls I have seen, and there's not even a '5 entries drawn from a hat will win a £2 prize' incentive for readers to complete it.  It's interesting that Creepy Sleepy Tale is included in the list of features, when it ended 2 issues ago. This is actually the second time a readers' poll has been conducted - the first poll was printed way back in the 10 December 1977 issue, where it occupied a third of a page.  Let's hope the results of this poll mean we finally get shot of those flippin' Warner Brothers cartoon strips…

There's further mollusc/artist antagonism on the Tuesday page when Snail is amazed to see Cheeky leaning at a 45 degree angle with no visible support.  In the next panel Frank realises he forgot to draw the wall against which the toothy funster is lolling, prompting an outraged thought balloon from Snail, "Bah! That artist has got to go!"

On page 13 the reason for this issue's high level of Smurfage becomes apparent - a Super Smurfs Competition, of the 'spot the difference' variety, is featured.  Cheeky Weekly, National Benzole and Decca records pool their mighty resources to offer readers a chance to win vouchers to redeem for Smurf merchandising from National Benzole service stations.  As a bonus, all winners will receive a copy of a 'Smurfs hit' from Decca records.

The Joke-Box Jury is sitting in judgement on page 14, the same line-up of jurors as featured on the cover, except they've changed their seating arrangements.  All of them seem suitably amused by this week's batch of readers' funnies, so senders of all the jokes featured are assured of their £2 prizes.

I like Cheeky's encounter with Louise on Thursday.  Frank McDiarmid depicts a toothy funster boiling with rage.  Good acting, Cheeky, but we all know you fancy Louise really.

On page 31 is an announcement which all comic fans fear - no, not the 'Great news for all readers' which often heralded the end of the line for a title, but a note from Cheeky…

...good to know that our toothy pal cleared the price hike officially.

Avid TV viewer Square Eyes makes his debut in Cheeky's Week this issue.

We lose 3 pages of funnies to the Crack-A-Joke game for the second week, but on the plus side, this issue contains a glorious all-Frank McDiarmid Cheeky's Week, with added Smurfs.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 09-Sep-1978, Issue 47 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Win money with Joke-Box Jury' - Art Frank McDiarmid 'Win money with Paddywack' - Art Jack Clayton (single art on feature)
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
3Skateboard Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
4Sunday evening - Art Frank McDiarmid
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
66 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
76 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
8Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
9Readers poll (single appearance)
10Ad: IPC 'Whizzer and Chips' 5 of 6
11Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
12Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
13Smurfs competition (first appearance)\Ad: Bassett's
14Joke-Box Jury
15Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
16Crack-A-Joke Game
17Crack-A-Joke Game
18Silly Snaps
19Silly Snaps
20Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
21Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
22Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
23Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
24Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
25Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
26Tweety and Sylvester 'Bowled Over'
27Tweety and Sylvester 'Bowled Over'
28Interval - Art Frank McDiarmid
29Archie's Angels reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Ron Turner
30Archie's Angels reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Ron Turner
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid\Ad: IPC 'Soccer Monthly' 1 of 5
32Crack-A-Joke Game

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 09-Sep-1978
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid10

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Mini Comics Posts Completed

I'm extremely grateful to Jes, who has sent me scans of the Cheeky mini comic which appeared in Mickey Mouse comic dated 01 July 1978.  I have therefore updated my post here.

My thanks once again to Zeg, klakadak-ploobadoof and Jes, without whom I wouldn't have been able to complete the mini comics posts.

Friday 11 November 2011

Thursday 10 November 2011

A Cheeky Smacker

Bruce continues his journey through the Cheeky Summer/Holiday Specials with a look at 1979's offering, on the cover of which our toothy hero makes an ill-advised headgear choice considering Louise is in the vicinity.

Sunday 6 November 2011

The Ads - Star Wars

According to the imdb, the first Star Wars film to hit planet Earth's cinema screens opened in the UK on 27 December 1977.  However, the film had premiered in the US the previous summer, so in the UK the hype had been building for some months.  Cheeky Weekly made a modest contribution to the growing hysteria, as a brief item about the imminent space blockbuster was included in the What's New, Kids feature that appeared in the issue dated 10 December 1977.

The next Star Wars reference in Cheeky Weekly came in the issue dated 11 March 1978, which included an ad for KP's crunchy, space-themed nibbles, Outer Spacers.  KP were running a promotion in which consumers of the salty space snacks could collect wrappers and send off for a kite emblazoned with a dogfight scene and the Star Wars logo.  Star Wars enthusiasts who were expecting their order to be transported across the space lanes to Tatooine or the ice-planet Hoth may have been disappointed to find that the destination for their postal order was in fact East Molesey.

Luke Skywalker and his spacefaring chums (or at least miniature, plastic representations thereof) were featured on the What's New, Kids page in the issue dated 08 April 1978.

Krazy Town succumbed to the Star Wars phenomenon on the cover of Cheeky Weekly dated 13 May 1978, and in the same issue the KP Outer Spacers ad mentioned above got a second and final outing.

The fact that the toy being promoted on the What's New Kids page in the comic dated 20 May 1978 is called The Force Beam rather than The Light Sabre (or Saber) rather suggests it may have been an opportunistic, unlicensed addition to the toy shop shelves.  And a quick search reveals that was indeed the case.

Readers who had begun a collection of the Star Wars action figures advertised in previous issues may have been tempted to buy the to-scale land speeder or X wing fighter models promoted in What's New Kids dated 06 January 1979.

By spring 1979 it seems plans for the first Star Wars sequel were well under way, as model manufacturers Palitoy were running a competition to win trips to Elstree studio to see the film in production.  The artwork on this ad from 21 April appears to originate from the sure hand of Brian Bolland.

Brian Bolland was back doing the artwork in the next Star Wars ad, again aimed at collectors of the action figures and this time pushing the cantina, droid factory and Jawa models.  This full-page ad appeared in the 29 September and 27 October 1979 issues, with a half-page variant, promoting the T.I.E. fighter and again by Brian Bolland, appearing in the comic dated 24 November 1979, in a ploy to get the merchandising included on the Christmas lists of as many aspiring young Jedis as possible.

UPDATE 15 December 2011 - I found another Star Wars ad, that I missed originally due to my policy of not recording in my comics database any ads of less than half a page.  This one (about a third of a page) appeared in the issue dated  04 August 1979, and looks to be by Brian Bolland again...

Adverts Subject Star Wars
Issue Date Page Page Type Advertiser Subject
11-Mar-197814NormalKPOuter Spacers Star Wars promotion
13-May-197818NormalKPOuter Spacers Star Wars promotion
21-Apr-197919NormalPalitoyStar Wars competition
04-Aug-197912NormalPalitoyStar Wars Collection
29-Sep-197911NormalPalitoyStar Wars Collection
27-Oct-197928NormalPalitoyStar Wars Collection
24-Nov-197927NormalPalitoyStar Wars Collection

Thursday 3 November 2011

The features - Teacher's Teasers

The Teacher's Teasers puzzle feature was a filler that appeared in only 3 issues of Cheeky Weekly, spanning cover dates 26 August to 23 September 1978. The Old Comic and Creepy Sleepy Tale features had made their final appearances in the 26 August 1978 comic, and the Crack-A-Joke cut-out game ran from the 02 September 1978 comic to that dated 23 September 1978. It seems that Teacher's Teasers was used to fill some spaces in the comic pending the end of the Crack-A-Joke promotion and Cheeky Weekly's revamp in the 30 September 1978 issue, in which the full Mystery Comic moved in to the centre pages.

Although it was a filler, some effort was taken to tie the feature into Cheeky's Week.  In the first instalment, Teacher introduces the puzzles, saying "Welcome to Teacher's Teasers. They'll get you thinking in time for school next week!" thus picking up on the theme of the impending resumption of school after the summer holidays which runs through the Cheeky's Week strips in that issue. Also, Cheeky and several of his pals are depicted around the puzzles.

The first Teacher's Teasers was a 2-page feature, but the two subsequent appearances were single pages.  Teacher, Cheeky and Louise appeared in the second, and Teacher and Cheeky in the third and final TT page.

Ed McHenry did nice artwork on all 3 TT features.

Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
Teacher's Teasers26-Aug-7823-Sep-78329,10,11,14

Issues Missed In Run

Feature Artist Number of Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Teacher's Teasers Ed McHenry326-Aug-197823-Sep-1978

Preceding Page Count
Silly Snaps1

Pages per Issue Number of Issues

Monday 31 October 2011

Cheeky Weekly cover date 02 September 1978

This week's cover leads with the Crack-A-Joke game that occupies 3 precious pages inside. I'm not a fan of these cut-out promotions that afflicted IPC comics of the period, I'd much prefer that the pages were put to better use with comic strips. IPC management obviously felt these schemes were effective in securing readers, as they appeared with annoying regularity.

Cheeky's in the dentist's chair awaiting an extraction in the What a Cheek strip, although the toothy funster's gnashers seem intact in the subsequent strips. Snail has gone pale with the stress of it all.

The mirthful mollusc is on the chimney pot in the first frame of the Sunday page (how did he get up there?), surveying the pall of gloom hovering above Krazy Town.  Yes, as was heralded last issue, this is the week in which school resumes after the summer hols.

The plucky trio of the Skateboard Squad are having no truck with school blues, intent as they are on a desperate race across town.  A wily journalist is on their trail, eager to bag an exclusive on the Squad's latest mission.  The newshound struggles to keep up with our heroes, crashing a bike in the process, then chasing them into an office block.  The exhausted journo enters the lobby just as the squad head into the lift and press the button for the 18th floor.  Missing the closing lift doors by inches, the press man races up the stairs.  Emerging utterly drained on the 18th floor, and anticipating a scoop of international proportions, the hack is just in time to see the Squad deliver Skipper and Skatie's dad's lunchtime sandwiches, which he forgot when he left for work.

There's more dental desperation in the 6 Million Dollar Gran strip, as Pauline Potts is suffering from toothache.  Some rather horrific scenes ensue as Gran ends up in the dentist's chair, with Ian Knox's grotesque style employed to great effect.

On page 8 is an IPC ad informing us that cut-out games are also appearing this week in Whizzer and Chips with Krazy, Mickey Mouse and Whoopee!  Additionally, competitions with £300 of Louis Marx toys as prizes will be appearing once in each of the comics mentioned over the next 4 weeks.  The competition will hit Cheeky Weekly dated 23 September.

On Monday, Cheeky is delighted to find that Teacher has lost the key to the school.

The Silly Snaps feature makes its debut on pages 12 and 13.  Consisting of 'amusing' photos supposedly taken by Krazy Town's resident photographer, Flash Harry, (but no doubt really sourced from IPC's filing cabinet of dog-eared old photos) this is, as far as I'm concerned, a filler depriving us of another 2 pages of potential comic fun.

Further fillage is to be found on page 14, where a page of Teacher's Teasers (i.e. puzzles) lies in wait to disappoint those of us eagerly anticipating a resumption of comic fun.  No offence to artist Ed McHenry who provides some nice work, including Cheeky, Teacher and Louise .

Mercifully, the comic-strip capers resume in page 15's Wednesday strip, when the toothy funster encounters Spiv making his first foray into the used (very used in this case) car trade.  A note at the bottom of this page tells readers to "Keep pages 16, 17 and 32 in a safe place until we tell you what to do with them in a few weeks' time, pals!"  So, having wasted 3 valuable pages in this issue, readers can't even do anything with them yet!

Pages 16 and 17 contain the first part of the 'board' for the Crack-A-Joke game.

Page 18 is devoted to the advertising feature, What's New, Kids, but the comics resume on page 19 with the Thursday element of Cheeky's Week, followed by the usual 2-page Mustapha Million

A temporary halt to the cartoon fun occurs on page 22, as the Joke-Box Jury are sitting in judgement.  I always enjoy readers' jokes pages, so no complaints from me, there.

From there on it's comics all the way until the back cover, which contains the first batch of question cards for the Crack-A-Joke game.

So this is a rather disappointing issue for lovers of comic strips, as a total of 6 pages are given over to either cut-out features or fillers.  A further page is also lost to an IPC in-house ad, but I accept such ads are necessary so I won't quibble about that.

Two characters make their Cheeky's Week debuts in this issue.  Ding-Dong Debbie makes the first of her 5 appearances, and Paddywack makes his sole appearance in a Cheeky's Week strip, though he has of course been appearing in his own strip since 08 July 1978.

There's pure Frank McDiarmid art on only What A Cheek this week, the remaining 10 Cheeky's Week elements are by Frank McDiarmid pencils.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 02-Sep-1978, Issue 46 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Crack-A-Joke Game part 1'\What a Cheek - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
3Skateboard Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
4Sunday evening - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
66 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
76 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
8Ad: IPC '4 Comics game and competition'
9Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
10Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
11Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
12Silly Snaps (first appearance)
13Silly Snaps (first appearance)
14Teacher's Teasers - Art Ed McHenry
15Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
16Crack-A-Joke Game (first appearance)
17Crack-A-Joke Game (first appearance)
18What's New, Kids
19Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
20Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
21Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
22Joke-Box Jury
23Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
24Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
25Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
26Tweety and Sylvester 'Fat Cat'
27Tweety and Sylvester 'Fat Cat'
28Interval - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
29Archie's Angels reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Ron Turner
30Archie's Angels reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Ron Turner
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
32Crack-A-Joke Game (first appearance)

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 02-Sep-1978
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid pencils10
Frank McDiarmid1

Thursday 27 October 2011

Profile - Ding-Dong Debbie

Ding-Dong Debbie was introduced to Cheeky Weekly readers by way of a Knock-Knock Door joke in the 02 September 1978 issue.  Judging by Debbie's appearance in that first strip, she could well be related to Gloomy Glad.

Debbie 's demeanour had improved considerably by the time she returned in the 14 October 1978 comic, in fact she looked positively manic in the first panel.  Admittedly, not so good in the second.

Two weeks later Debbie was back, and her earlier experience had obviously been so traumatic that fruit was now firmly off the menu.

In 09 December 1978's issue, Debbie provided Cheeky with his copy of The Mystery Comic.

After an absence of 24 issues, the giddy gambler returned for one more time in the 26 May 1979 comic, bringing to an end a run during which she appeared in only 5 issues.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Ding-Dong Debbie502-Sep-197826-May-1979

Count of elements by artist
Character Artist Total Elements
Ding-Dong DebbieFrank McDiarmid3
Ding-Dong DebbieFrank McDiarmid pencils2