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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Tuesday 31 May 2011

Profile - Milkie

Daft dairy deliverer Milkie first appeared in Cheeky Weekly's debut issue, and went on to appear in 41 issues in total.  He also made deliveries in the 18 February 1978 and 15 April 1978 issues of Krazy.

Cheeky's Sunday paper round was when the toothy funster most often encountered the mirthful milkman, but no matter when they met, you could bet that dairy-based humour was imminent.

Milkie's assistant made a one-off appearance in the 10 December 1977 issue.

Milkie was a guest at Cheeky's new year'e eve party in the 07 January 1978 issue.

25 February 1978's issue saw the appearance of the famous Harold Pinter joke.

In the 04 March 1978 issue, Cheeky snuck into the newsagent for his free James Bold read under the cover of the potty pinta purveyor.

On Friday in the comic dated 22 June 1978, Milkie leaves Cheeky a copy of The Mystery Comic in one of the empty milk bottles on the toothy funster's doorstep.  In the 06 January 1979 issue, Milkie finds a copy of the mysterious publication on his round and hands it to Cheeky.

There must have been an 11-week strike at Krazy Town Dairy between Milkie's appearance on 24 June 1978 and his return on 09 September 1978, the longest gap between milk rounds.

Milkie appeared on the cover in two issues.  In 11 November 1978's What A Cheek strip, the daft dairy deliverer was ensnared in one of Baby Burpo's fiendish front-garden traps, and in the Cheeky's Week strip on the cover of the 24 March 1979 issue we witnessed the terrible consequences of Milkie hiring Bump-Bump Bernie as his assistant.  In the comic dated 01 September 1979, Milkie took on Teacher as his assistant.

Milkie was absent from the 19 May 1979 issue, which carried a cover-mounted sachet of Kellogg's milkshake powder as a free gift.

Milkie made his final Cheeky Weekly delivery in the comic dated 12 January 1980.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance

Milkie - Number of appearances by Element
Element Number of Appearances
Cheeky's Week2
New Year's Eve1
Saturday - April Fool's Day1

Milkie - Number of appearances by Page
Page Number of Appearances

Count of elements by artist
Character Artist Total Elements
MilkieFrank McDiarmid19
MilkieFrank McDiarmid pencils11
MilkieMike Lacey5
MilkieUnknown Cheeky Artist 14
MilkieBarrie Appleby3
MilkieDick Millington2
MilkieJim Watson2

Monday 30 May 2011

The Ads - Krazy

In this new series of posts I'll be looking at some of the advertisements that appeared in Cheeky Weekly. I'm sure that some readers begrudged the ads appearing in their favourite comic, thinking that a page promoting a new chocolate bar or ice lolly was taking up valuable space that could otherwise be filled with cartoon fun or thrills. However, the presence of advertising was of course crucial to the survival of the comic, or at least to maintaining an affordable cover price.

Cheeky Weekly's publisher IPC featured advertising across all its late 70s comics, although rival publisher DC Thomson, producer of iconic British titles The Beano and The Dandy among others, did not feature paid-for ads at the time. Those readers who resented the intrusion of ads into their comic reading no doubt enjoyed Thomson's ad-free approach, but for me it gave the impression that DCT existed in a strange, Scottish limbo with little relevance to the modern world, and contributed to my view that their titles were all rather old-fashioned when compared to IPC's output.

From today's perspective, Cheeky Weekly's advertising content gives us an insight into the leisure-time pursuits of late 70s children, or at least the products that the advertisers hoped would catch the imagination of kids of the day.

As well as paid-for ads, Cheeky Weekly also heavily featured IPC's in-house ads for Annuals, Summer Specials, (relating to Cheeky Weekly as well as other titles from IPC's line) and new comic launches.

In this first look at the ads, I'm focusing on the IPC ads relating to Krazy, the comic that spawned Cheeky Weekly, and which came to an end with issue dated 15 April 1978.

Our first Cheeky Weekly encounter with a Krazy-related ad was in fact promoting the 22 April 1978 issue of IPC's long-running title Whizzer and Chips. The issue being plugged was the first merged issue with Krazy, but surprisingly the ad doesn't lead with the news of the two comics joining forces, but focuses on the cut-out Space Spectacular, although Freaky from Krazy's Krazy Gang strip is the featured character. As there were no earlier ads for Krazy in the toothy funster's coimic, it may be the case that since Cheeky Weekly's debut issue on 22 October 1977, Krazy was considered a lost cause, and not worth advertising.

However, despite Krazy's demise, the title did get advertised again a number of times, the first occasion being on 06 May 1978, when an ad for that year's Krazy Holiday Special appeared. With a lead time of several months, this special was possibly instigated before the decision to close the comic was taken, but holiday special versions of IPC's comics often continued years after the weekly title had been consigned to comics history, as was the case with Krazy.

In fact another Krazy Special followed swiftly behind the first Holiday Special and, under the headline 'A Comic Comeback!', The Best Of Krazy was advertised in the 24 June and 01 July 1978 issues of Cheeky Weekly. A 'Best Of' compilation from a defunct comic was a rare event at this time (it's billed on the cover as an 'extra-special'), and it seems from the introductory message from the editor that it was a try-out for a larger format version of Krazy, but the fact that it was mainly reprint presumably limited sales and a revitalised Krazy never appeared, although the holiday specials and annuals continued.

The 1979 Krazy Annual was advertised in Cheeky Weekly issues dated 07 October and 25 November 1978. Annuals were of course dated one year ahead, so that they had a shelf-life beyond the end of the year in which they were published, although newsagents usually sold any annuals still in stock after new year's day at half price.

The 1979 Krazy Holiday Special featured in ads in Cheeky Weekly dated 05, 12, and 19 May 1979.

The 20 October and 24 November 1979 issues of Cheeky Weekly carried two different ads for the 1980 Krazy Annual. These were the last Krazy ads to appear in Cheeky Weekly, which itself ceased publication in February 1980.

Adverts Subject Krazy

Issue Date Page Page Type Advertiser Subject
22-Apr-197824NormalIPCWhizzer and Chips merge with Krazy
06-May-197824NormalIPCKrazy Holiday Special
24-Jun-197831NormalIPCThe Best of Krazy
01-Jul-197818NormalIPCThe Best of Krazy
07-Oct-197823NormalIPCKrazy Annual
25-Nov-19786NormalIPCKrazy Annual
05-May-197929NormalIPCKrazy Holiday Special
12-May-19798NormalIPCKrazy Holiday Special
19-May-197924NormalIPCKrazy Holiday Special
20-Oct-197915NormalIPCKrazy Annual
24-Nov-197927NormalIPCKrazy Annual

Thursday 26 May 2011

Cheeky Weekly cover date 06 May 1978

Cheeky is marsupially mashed by Petula's pouch-packing pet in another nice main cover illustration by Frank McDiarmid.  The What a Cheek strip features a Krazy Town United gag which ends with what looks like Gloomy Glad's cloud hovering over the team's one supporter.

Skateboard Squad are invited to give a display at the school sports day, and in the grand British tradition of sports-day-set comic stories, a thief is on hand to steal the trophies.  However, he is soon apprehended as the Squad use various items of sports equipment to halt his getaway.

On Sunday evening as he returns home to enact his latest ruse for watching 6 Million Dollar Gran, Cheeky meets Herman the traffic warden, who is practising for his attempt on the world parking-ticket record.  Then Cheeky watches 6 Million Dollar Gran get involved in trouble at the bank, with a nice depiction by Ian Knox of the synthetic senior citizen's electronic memory circuits.

Thursday's Home Movie is a spoof of long-running British TV cop show, Z Cars, which started in 1962 and, at the time this issue of Cheeky Weekly was published, was nearing its end.  However, the first panel of the strip is a nod to even longer-running British police TV show, Dixon of Dock Green, which ran from 1955 to 1976.

A new pal joins Cheeky's gang during the cinema interval - Snoozin' Susan makes her somnolent debut.

The art duties on Cheeky's Week are shared by Frank McDiarmid (7 elements plus the main cover illo), Barrie Appleby (5 elements) and, making a final contribution to Cheeky Weekly, Unknown Cheeky Artist 1.

There is no Pin-Up Pal poster this week, as the back cover features the second of 3 appearances of the ad for Trebor's Corgi Juniors Batman promotion.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 06-May-1978, Issue 29 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Petula' 1 of 3 - Art Frank McDiarmid\What a Cheek - Art Frank McDiarmid
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
9James Bold 'The Frightened Village' 2 of 9 - Art Mike White
10James Bold 'The Frightened Village' 2 of 9 - Art Mike White
11Suddenly - Art Frank McDiarmid
12Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
13Old Comic reprint from Chips 'Casey Court' 2 of 3 reprint from Chips 'Jimmy Joy' 1 of 2
14What's New, Kids\Ad: IPC 'Whizzer and Chips' 3 of 6
15Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
16Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Keith Reynolds
17Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Keith Reynolds\Wednesday (conclusion) - Art Unknown Cheeky Artist 1 (final art on feature)
18Joke-Box Jury
19Thursday - Art Barrie Appleby
20Home Movie 'Z Carties' - Art Jack Clayton
21Friday - Art Barrie Appleby
22Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
23Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
24Ad: IPC 'Krazy Holiday Special' 1 of 4 Ad: 'Roy of the Rovers' 6 of 8
25Saturday - Art Barrie Appleby
26Tweety and Sylvester 'Pet Getter'
27Tweety and Sylvester 'Pet Getter'
28Interval - Art Barrie Appleby
29Space Family Robinson 'Escape' 2 of 3
30Space Family Robinson 'Escape' 2 of 3
31Saturday - Art Barrie Appleby\Ad: IPC 'Look and Learn' 9 of 16
32Ad: Trebor 'Corgi Batman promotion' 2 of 3

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 06-May-1978
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid7
Barrie Appleby5
Unknown Cheeky Artist 11

Wednesday 25 May 2011

The One-Offs - Station Porter

Cheeky had plenty of adult pals who were regularly seen performing their jobs around Krazy Town; Postie, Doctor Braincell, Constable Chuckle, Milkie etc.

The station porter on the cover of the 19 November 1977 issue probably thought he was lined up to join these Cheeky Weekly stalwarts, particularly as jokes at the expense of British Rail were regularly featured in the media at the time.  Although Cheeky usually encountered his fun-pals on the street, and shoehorning in a railway joke in while Cheeky did his weekly round of Krazy Town could have been problematic, there seems no reason why a railway theme couldn't have occasionally been used again in the What A Cheek cover strips.

Sadly for Station Porter, no further trackside fun was featured in the comic.

Saturday 21 May 2011

The features - James Bold 'The Frightened Village'

Cheeky started reading the 4th James Bold novel, The Frightened Village, in Cheeky Weekly dated 29 April 1978.  As with the two previous Bold Tales, the toothy funster crept into the newsagents for a free read of a thrilling instalment each week, reaching the final chapter in the 24 June 1978 issue.

As ever, James Bold is accompanied by glamorous 'assistant', Angel O'Mercy when his car breaks down on mist-shrouded Harkstone Moor, plunging the pair into yet another terrifying escapade…

Angel succeeds in gunning the car's engine back into life, as Bold uses the whip to keep the wolves at bay while the man they rescued climbs into the vehicle.  Bold leaps into the car and tells Angel to head for the nearby village, but on hearing this, the man lets out a terrified scream of 'No!  Not the village!  Anywhere but there!', and threatens to throw himself from the speeding automobile.  Angel brings the car to a screeching halt and the mysterious man heads off into the mist.

Bold and Angel resume their journey and enter the village to find the church bell tolling and all the townsfolk fleeing in terror.  Suddenly, more of the hooded figures appear, using their whips to herd a group of villagers before them.  One of the hooded fiends spots Bold and Angel, pursuing them into a barn, where Bold knocks him unconscious.  Bold and Angel follow the main group of hooded figures and their hostages into the churchyard, but arrive to find the area deserted.  Angel rests against a tomb, but suddenly the lid opens and a hand drags her inside.

Bold finds a secret button that opens the tomb, revealing a chamber beneath.  Bold leaps in, to find Angel in the hands of a hooded figure.  The figure reaches for a hidden lever, and a trap door opens beneath Bold's feet.  As he plunges into the darkness, Bold grabs the edge of the pit.  The hooded horror is distracted by Bold's predicament, so Angel lunges and sends the shrouded fiend tumbling into the void.

Angel helps Bold out of the pit and the pair explore a tunnel, finding a huge cavern filled with sinister-looking plants.  As they emerge into the cavern a gate closes behind them, forcing them to move further into the subterranean jungle.  As Angel brushes past some tendril-laden vegetation, a plant lashes out and wraps her in snake-like fronds.  Bold snatches up a stick and smashes at the heart of the plant, which loosens its grip on our heroine.

As Bold frees Angel from her green assailant, a voice warns the pair to beware the poisonous spiders, just as dozens of oversized arachnids appear and begin advancing on our heroes.  Bold spies a crevice in the cave wall, and the pair enter to find they can climb up a chimney-like fissure.

Emerging into another cavern, Bold and Angel find themselves looking down on more hooded figures who are using whips to force villagers to work at the cave wall with pick-axes.  One of the hostages whispers to Bold and Angel, telling them to flee as they are in danger, and 'The Master has an all-seeing eye'.

Bold finds a store-room containing spare shrouds and whips, and dons a hood and robes.  Grabbing Angel and pretending that she is one of the captured villagers, he descends to join the others.  At that moment a voice is heard, which one of the hooded fiends identifies as The Master.  The voice tells the shrouded group that there is a stranger in their midst, and that they should all remove their hoods.  Before this can happen, Bold uses his whip to hurl a flaming torch from the wall into the robed band of fiends, and makes a bid for freedom in the confusion.  Bold is pursued into a tunnel by one of the hooded guards.  Seconds later a robed figure returns, dragging an unconscious form, also hooded, and tells The Master that the spy has been captured.

The Master decrees that the interloper should be thrown into the bottomless pit.  Angel rushes to the prone figure and tears off its hood, revealing that it is not Bold.  Bold, his ruse now blown, releases his captive, grabs Angel and, still dressed in the hood and robes, dashes with her down a tunnel.

Arriving at an underground river, Bold discards his disguise and he and Angel dive into the water only to hear the splash of approaching oars.  As the hooded crew propel their boat towards Angel, Bold takes a pen from his pocket, and unscrews it.  Using the barrel as a breathing-tube, he submerges beneath the surface of the turbid water.  When the hooded figures lean out of the boat to grab Angel, Bold surfaces and tips the small vessel, propelling the occupants into the stygian depths.

Bold and Angel swim off and soon find a door in the cave wall.  Entering the tunnel on the other side of the door, our heroes are surprised to emerge into a bustling kitchen.  The Master's voice booms out, alerting the kitchen staff that two intruders are at large.  One of the cooks spots our heroes and, telling them that any enemy of The Master is a friend of his, gives them two hoods.  However, the Master's henchmen simply have to follow the trail of wet footprints to unmask Bold and Angel, and The Master's voice orders that the captives should be taken to the great hall.

On arriving, The Master's booming tones are heard once again, telling Bold that he is to fight for his life against a master swordsman.  Bold is handed a blade and his opponent, dressed in black robes, scythes his steel weapon towards the ghost-hunter.  Bold parries the blow as his opponent rips down a curtain and throws it over our hero, then lunges with his blade.  The agile Bold leaps behind a statue, then springs out and with a flick of his sword, disarms the black-robed swordsman.

Bold and Angel race up the stairs and through a door, emerging in a room in which sits an elegantly-dressed, moustachioed man, who Bold recognises as Al Malone, wanted criminal, aka The Master.  Malone orders his henchmen to take Bold and Angel to separate rooms in order that they may change out of their wet clothes.  As Bold changes he speculates that Malone has been using the slaves to carve an underground lair, in which the criminal stores the proceeds of his crimes.

Things take a nasty turn for Angel when she has changed, as Malone's guards seize her and tie her on a sacrificial stone.  Malone then hypnotises her and tells her she must meet Bold in the garden and push him into the fish pond, which the criminal fiend has stocked with crocodiles.

Bold's lightning-fast reactions save him as Angel attempts to carry out Malone's plan, and he knocks her to the ground, causing her to strike her head, the shock of which breaks Malone's hypnotic hold.

Bold tells Angel to return to Malone and tell him she successfully carried out the hypnotic command.  Having done so, Malone tells his hooded guards to take her to the dungeons, but Bold, who has been watching from a gallery above, grabs a chandelier and swings into the group of henchmen, incapacitating them all.

Now read on…

Bold's conspiratorial wink brings to an end a slightly different adventure.  In earlier tales, Bold has been pitted against nutcases who carry out elaborate ruses to fake supernatural events for no convincing reason.  In comparison, this tale is a relatively sober 'master criminal in underground lair' affair, with standard giant, poisonous spider and man-eating plant accoutrements.  The sight of Angel lying bound on what the script refers to as a sacrificial stone is a rather shocking one to find in a children's comic, but it turns out The Master's plan is to hypnotise her rather than something more final.

We know that the first James Bold tale in Cheeky Weekly was a rehashed Maxwell Hawke script from Buster.  I'm assuming that this tale was also based on a recycled Maxwell Hawke script.  From the list of titles on the Buster Comic website, there seem to be 2 possible contenders for the original script on which The Frightened Village (spanning 9 issues) was based - The Haunted Moor (which ran for 5 issues, assuming an unbroken run) or The Knell of Doom (14 weeks assuming unbroken).  I would therefore guess that The Frightened Village was an edited version of The Knell of Doom, since it would probably be easier to edit out sections of an existing script rather than writing new sections to expand The Haunted Moor.  UPDATE 07 July 2011 - I can now say that The Frightened Village was NOT based on Maxwell Hawke and The Knell of Doom.

The James Bold features originally appeared on pages 5 and 6 (apart from the first 2 Cheeky Weekly issues where all the contents were shifted back by the presence of an introduction page), but by the time of The Frightened Village, Bold was occupying pages 9/10 or 10/11.

I'm assigning the art credit on The Frightened Village to Mike White, but if anyone knows otherwise, please get in touch.

My work-in-progress summary of all the James Bold tales in Cheeky Weekly can be seen here.

Sunday 15 May 2011

Cheeky Weekly cover date 29 April 1978

The cover of the 28th issue of Cheeky Weekly gives prominence to this week's competition to win copies of The Hamlyn Book Of Skateboarding, and the comic's own boarders, Skateboard Squad, are on hand to celebrate. Meanwhile Cheeky and anonymous pal are for some reason in the dole office, where the toothy funster delivers the What a Cheek gag.

A foul felon purloins the Cheeky editor's considerable wages on the Skateboard Squad page, but the brave boarders soon apprehend the miscreant (see here).

6 Million Dollar Gran is at Firwood Studios, auditioning for a part in a new film, The Fastest Gun in the West.  After much Western-style fun, Gran is offered the lead role, but generously agrees to share top billing in the movie, which has now been re-titled The Fastest Gun in the West Meets The Fastest Gran in the West.

A colour ad on page 8 with the strapline 'Holy Treborland, Batman, what a Chewtastic offer' alerts readers to the fact that Trebor Chews wrappers can be exchanged for Batman-related models from the Corgi Junior range.  Simply send 20 wrappers together with 10p postage to get a Batmobile, Batboat or Batcopter.  They'll try to send your choice of model but can't guarantee to do so.

On Monday, Snail has a disturbing experience when he finds he has slipped through the page structure and can see himself in the adjacent comic panels.  Cheeky, oblivious to his mollusc pal's 'breaking-the comic-panel' trauma, enters the newsagent to commence reading the new James Bold novel, concerning the mysterious events unfolding in The Frightened Village.

It's funny how Cheeky is unaffected by the spooky goings-on in which James Bold is involved, yet is so terrified when he finishes reading the Creepy Sleepy Tale that he refuses to go home, and intends to spend the night hiding under Burpo's cot.

Sid the Street-Sweeper appears on four days in this issue, handing Cheeky pages from the Mystery Comic that have been littering the streets of Krazy Town.  It's not until Friday that Sid hands Cheeky the Mustapha Million pages, which is the only Mystery Comic feature in which the toothy funster is interested.

On the Friday page we also see the Cheeky Weekly editor, anxiously pacing atop King's Reach Tower (despite having his wages returned earlier in the issue, he's still concerned about the missing Mustapha page).  King's Reach Tower was at that time the home of publisher IPC.

In Mustapha's strip we see him watching an episode of 6 Million Dollar Gran on TV (so we briefly get to see what Reg Parlett's version of Gran looks like), before Mustapha attempts to become bionic himself.

On page 25 there's an ad for Funny Faces - no, not the lollies, but a blank cartoon face with a selection of stick-on features, manufactured by Pritt's of Pritt-Stick fame.

The Pin-Up Pal poster of Ursula brings issue 28 to a close.

Jim Watson provides the bulk of the Cheeky's Week artwork this week, with 5 elements, Frank McDiarmid pencils turn in 4 elements, Frank McDiarmid furnishes 2 (along with the Pin-Up Pal poster) and Unknown Cheeky Artist 2 gives us a single element.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 29-Apr-1978, Issue 28 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Great news for skateboarders' - Art Jimmy Hansen\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: Trebor (first appearance) 'Corgi Batman promotion' 1 of 3
9Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
10James Bold 'The Frightened Village' 1 of 9 - Art Mike White
11James Bold 'The Frightened Village' 1 of 9 - Art Mike White
12Suddenly - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
13Old Comic reprint from School Friend 'Dilly Dreem' 2 of 2
14Joke-Box Jury\Ad: IPC 'Look and Learn' 8 of 16
15Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
16Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Keith Reynolds
17Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Keith Reynolds\Wednesday (conclusion) - Art Unknown Cheeky Artist 1
18Skateboard competition (single appearance)\Ad: Arena Swimwear (first appearance)
19Thursday - Art Jim Watson
20Friday - Art Jim Watson (first art on feature)
21Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
22Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
23Ad: IPC 'Whizzer and Chips' 2 of 6 \Send a Father's Day message (single appearance)
24Saturday - Art Jim Watson
25Ad: Funny Faces (first appearance)
26Road Runner 'Coyote Catcher'
27Road Runner 'Coyote Catcher'
28Interval - Art Jim Watson
29Space Family Robinson 'Underwater Slaves'
30Space Family Robinson 'Underwater Slaves'
31Saturday - Art Jim Watson\Ad: IPC 'Roy of the Rovers' 5 of 8
32Pin-up pal 'Ursula' - Art Frank McDiarmid

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 29-Apr-1978
Artist Elements
Jim Watson5
Frank McDiarmid pencils4
Frank McDiarmid2
Unknown Cheeky Artist 11

Saturday 14 May 2011

Profile - Six-Gun Sam

Fan of TV Westerns, 6-Gun Sam joined the roster of Cheeky's Krazy Town pals in the 14th edition of Cheeky Weekly, dated 21 January 1978, and went on to feature in a total of 98 issues. Sam's appearances always heralded a cowboy joke, with Cheeky usually playing the 'I don't know, why DID the cowboy cross the road?' straight man role. Sam's punchline was often delivered with a spirited 'Yee-Hah', sometimes a 'Whoop-de-Doo', or occasionally the curious 'Rooti-Tooti', which I presume is derived from 'rootin'-tootin'', but I don't think I've ever heard John Wayne saying it.

Sam's turn to be the 'Cheeky's pal featured throughout the week' came in the 03 June 1978 issue, when with the help of The Goalie Cat, who propelled tin can targets into the air, Sam attempted to demonstrate his sharp-shooting pop gun skills.

In the 02 June 1979 issue, Hypno Tessa uses her powers of suggestion to persuade Sam to dress as a Native American. In the comic dated 19 January 1980, Sam displays a cruel streak when he draws a bead on poor, defenceless Snail.

Sam appeared on the front cover of 6 issues of Cheeky Weekly, 4 times in Cheeky's Week strips, and in the main illustrations on the cover of the 15 April 1978 and 05 January 1980 issues. He demonstrated his lariat skills on the Pin-Up Pal poster in the 13 May 1978 issue, and a booklet of Six-Gun Sam jokes was printed in the comic dated 08 December 1979.  Sam made a guest appearance in the Skateboard Squad strip in the 24 June 1978 issue.

The comical cowpoke was another victim of CWIHCS (Cheeky Weekly Inconsistent Hair Colour Syndrome), being depicted with brown and blonde hair. Sam appeared in just one episode of Cheeky's strip in Krazy, dated 15 April 1978.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Six-Gun Sam9921-Jan-197802-Feb-1980

Missing From Issues

Six-Gun Sam - Number of appearances by Element
Element Number of Appearances
Sunday evening5
Cheeky's Week4
Cover Feature4
Hey Presto! Magic Show1

Six-Gun Sam - Number of appearances by Page
Page Number of Appearances

Count of elements by artist
Character Artist Total Elements
Six-Gun SamFrank McDiarmid61
Six-Gun SamFrank McDiarmid pencils18
Six-Gun SamMike Lacey17
Six-Gun SamBarrie Appleby9
Six-Gun SamJim Watson4
Six-Gun SamDick Millington4
Six-Gun SamUnknown Cheeky Artist 12
Six-Gun SamNot known1

Monday 9 May 2011

The pages - page 7

Page 7 in the first 2 issues of Cheeky Weekly was the home to the second page of James Bold's adventure, Fangs of Fear.  The third Cheeky Weekly featured the Monday element of Cheeky's Week on page 7, and in the following two issues the What's New, Kids advertising feature occupied page 7.

Monday was back on page 7 from the 26 November 1977 issue to the issue dated 24 December 1977, after which 6 Million Dollar Gran moved in for 4 weeks.

Monday was again back on page 7 for the 28 January 1978 issue, but Gran was back in control for the ensuing 6 weeks, before What's New, Kids returned on 18 March 1978.

Gran then regained page 7 for a further 12 weeks, until she was bumped from page 7 in the 17 June 1978 issue, when a page of readers' Father's Day messages was printed in that location.  The following week page 7 was home to Gran again, as it was the week after that, but Gran's run on page 7 was again interrupted on 08 July 1978, when the Monday feature moved back in.

An advert for Palitoy's Pippa range of dolls appeared on page 7 in the 15 July 1978 issue.  The ad featured a promotion in which purchasers of any doll from the range could send off the top of the pack together with their receipt and receive a free doll in return, 'dressed in a lovely outfit'.  This is more generous than the same manufacturer's 'get a free Action Man' schemes, where tokens had to be collected from Action Man equipment packs in order to receive a free Action Man, naked except for his boots.

On page 7 the following week was a '5 Papers Competition', also running in IPC stablemates Buster, Mickey Mouse, Whizzer and Chips and Whoopee!  There were 300 hundred first prizes of Streakers - no, we're not back to servicemen clad only in footwear.  From the illustration, the Streaker appears to be a rugby-ball shaped plastic device threaded with two lengths of clothes-line.  Two people are required to operate it, and they stand holding one line in each hand, with the Streaker suspended between them.  Operator A then extends his arms to the sides, forcing the Streaker towards his chum at the other end of the line.  As the plastic Streaker approaches, operator B, fearing the imminent collision, jerks his arms apart.  If operator A is feeling suitably compliant and brings his hands together, the device will reverse its direction of travel.  The Streaker session will likely end in stalemate, with both participants holding their arms as wide as possible, and the plastic rugby-ball device sagging to the ground.

Gran returned to page 7 from 29 July 1978 to 09 September 1978.  The following week, What's New, Kids was back, after which Monday found itself on page 7 for 3 weeks.

Page 7 was the home of the short-lived 'edutainment' feature, Laugh and Learn, on 21 October 1978.  Monday then moved back in from 28 October 1978 to 25 November 1978, but Laugh and Learn was back on 02 December 1978.

In a surprise move, Paddywack turned up on page 7 in the 09 December 1978 issue, the only time he appeared on this page.

Calculator Kid moved into page 7 on 06 January 1979, but in the following issue Charlie Counter's electronic pal must have calculated that page 7 was not a good place to be that week, as that was the location of the Monday feature.  For the next 3 weeks, Calculator Kid was back on page 7, until the issue dated 10 February 1979, when the second page of a Joke-Box Jury 2-pager occupied the seventh page.

Calculator Kid was back on page 7 from 17 February 1979 until 07 April 1979, and the following week Skateboard Squad moved in, before Calculator Kid returned on 14 April 1979.

Sweet Tooth from Whizzer and Chips made an appearance in the  'Star Guest' feature on page 7 in the comic dated 21 April 1979, before Calculator Kid returned from 28 April 1979 to 19 May 1979.

Page 7 of the issue dated 26 May 1979 was the home of 2 IPC ads.  In the first, Charlie Counter's number-crunching electronic pal calculated that if readers filled in the adjacent coupon and handed it to their newsagent, their worries about missing an issue of Cheeky Weekly would be at an end. (don't forget to get the signature of your parent or guardian).  The second ad was for Look and Learn magazine, which that week came with a free album in which to affix a collection of stickers featuring birds of the world.  6 stickers were also free this issue, with 6 more free stickers to follow next week.  After that, you're on your own.  You can buy further packs of stickers at your newsagent, but with 300 to collect, be prepared to be expending considerable amounts of pocket money for the next year.  And to be knee-deep in duplicates of the Peruvian Gannet.

Calculator Kid was then back on page 7 for his last run in this location, which lasted for 5 weeks.

6 Million Dollar Gran made a bid to return to page 7, but she only managed to hold on to this spot for 2 weeks, after which Monday regained control of page 7 for 14 weeks.  Monday's run was broken by the return of Joke-Box Jury on 27 October 1979. In this issue, Joke-Box Jury appeared 3 times, page 7 hosting a half-page instalment, with a 2-page J-B J occupying pages 20 and 21.  The bottom half of page 7 contained an ad for Knockout Annual, 1980.  The weekly Knockout comic had failed and been merged as far back as 1973, but in the grand British comics tradition, annuals continued to be published long after the weekly version had ceased to exist.

Monday was then back for 2 weeks, but Stage School came to rest on page 7 in the 17 November 1979 issue and for the next 5 weeks. 

Mustapha Million, another refugee from the erstwhile Mystery Comic then appeared on page 7, before the Monday feature made its final appearance in that location.  The following issue, dated 12 January 1980 contained an ad for Pop-A-Points coloured pens, after which Mustapha Million was back for his final outing on page 7.

Ringer Dinger made the second of his 3 Cheeky Weekly appearance on 26 January 1980, the only time Terry Bave's telephonic tyke would dial up on page 7.  Ringer was of course a reprint from Whizzer and Chips.

Disaster Des was given the honour of appearing on page 7 in the final issue of Cheeky Weekly, in the second page of a 2-page set, although each page contained a separate story.
Count of Elements (or distinct combinations thereof) appearing on Page 7

Elements Total
6 Million Dollar Gran 3/330
Calculator Kid21
Stage School 2/26
What's New, Kids4
6 Million Dollar Gran 2/22
6 Million Dollar Gran 2/32
James Bold 2/22
Mustapha Million 2/22
5 Papers Competition1
Advertisement: IPC\Advertisement: IPC1
Advertisement: Palitoy1
Advertisement: Pop-A-Points1
Disaster Des 2/21
Father's Day Messages1
Joke-Box Jury 1/3\Advertisement: IPC1
Joke-Box Jury 2/21
Laugh and Learn1
Laugh and Learn 2/21
Monday 2/21
Ringer Dinger1
Skateboard Squad1
Star Guest1

Thursday 5 May 2011

Cheeky Weekly cover date 22 April 1978

Cheeky is missing from the main cover pic this issue, as Snail borrows Manhole Man's 'Oi!' to ask us if we want to know his name, directing readers to the results of the 'name snail' competition.

Snail also appears in the What a Cheek cover strip, alongside Cheeky's Mum, the third time she has appeared on the cover, and the second time she has been in a what A Cheek strip.

While on his Sunday newspaper round, Cheeky delivers Auntie Daisy the school meals lady's copy of The Sunday Scorcher.  The calamitous culinarian tells him, as smoke wafts from her front door, that she's making him a special dish.  Cheeky gets increasingly worried as he sees her gathering the ingredients all week.

On Monday Cheeky reads the final chapter of James Bold's latest adventure, Tower of Terror.  When his furtive reading is discovered, Cheeky makes a curious comment, telling the Newsagent that this is the sixteenth time he has been found out.  I can count only 9 previous Suddenly pages.  Cheeky's remark that this is the last time he'll be discovered is also inaccurate.  Maybe the scriptwriter thought that the next James Bold tale would be the one that Cheeky will watch in the cinema, but the toothy funster will be returning to the newsagents for a further 9 weeks to read The Frightened Village.

In the What's New, Kids feature on page 14, freaky Frankie Stein pops in to tell readers about a new character in this week's Whoopee! - Dick Doobie, the Back to Front Man.  To see Dick's debut strip, head over to Peter Gray's blog, and don't forget to take a mirror with you.

Name the Snail results are on page 18.  Disappointingly for the winners, none of the winning names were used in the comic strips.

Constable Chuckle is the subject of this week's Pin-Up Pal poster on the back cover, which is surprisingly early as he only made his debut in the comic dated 01 April 1978.  In the poster, the comical copper is seen enjoying a good chuckle, not noticing two felons making their getaway with a haul of stolen jewellery.

Frank McDiarmid supplies 6 Cheeky's Week elements this issue (plus the main cover pic and the Pin-Up Pal poster), Barrie Appleby delivers 5 elements, Unknown Cheeky Artist 1 furnishes us with 2 elements, and Frank McDiarmid pencils provides a single element.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 22-Apr-1978, Issue 27 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Name Snail results' - Art Frank McDiarmid\What a Cheek - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
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
9James Bold 'Tower of Terror' 6 of 6 - Art Mike White
10James Bold 'Tower of Terror' 6 of 6 - Art Mike White
11Suddenly - Art Frank McDiarmid
12Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
13Old Comic reprint from Knockout 'Deed-a-Day Danny' 2 of 2
14What's New, Kids\Ad: IPC 'Look and Learn' 7 of 16
15Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
16Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Keith Reynolds
17Creepy Sleepy Tale - Art Keith Reynolds\Wednesday (conclusion) - Art Unknown Cheeky Artist 1
18Name the Snail results (single appearance)
19Thursday - Art Barrie Appleby
20Home Movie 'Mary Popkins' - Art Jack Clayton
21Friday - Art Barrie Appleby
22Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
23Mustapha Million - Art Reg Parlett
24Joke-Box Jury\Ad: IPC 'Whizzer and Chips merge with Krazy'
25Saturday - Art Barrie Appleby
26Tweety and Sylvester 'A Bird Can Fly But Can A Fly Bird'
27Tweety and Sylvester 'A Bird Can Fly But Can A Fly Bird'
28Interval - Art Barrie Appleby
29Space Family Robinson 'The Fish Men'
30Space Family Robinson 'The Fish Men'
31Saturday - Art Barrie Appleby\Ad: IPC 'Roy of the Rovers' 4 of 8
32Pin-up pal 'Constable Chuckle' - Art Frank McDiarmid

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 22-Apr-1978
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid6
Barrie Appleby5
Unknown Cheeky Artist 11
Frank McDiarmid pencils1

Tuesday 3 May 2011

The One-Offs - Milkie's Assistant

From Cheeky Weekly dated 10 December 1977 comes this appearance of Milkie's rather tubby assistant. The assistant was there just to set up Cheeky's joke, after which he was never seen again.

Sunday 1 May 2011

Profile - Charlie Counter and Calculator

Calculator Kid (real name Charlie Counter) and his talking calculator (real name Calculator) were, like The Skateboard Squad, privileged to appear in their own strip and to occasionally cross over into Cheeky's Week.*

The Calculator Kid feature made its debut in the 01 July 1978 issue of Cheeky Weekly, but Charlie Counter and his calculating compadre made the first of their Cheeky's Week appearances in the comic dated 08 July 1978, when Cheeky met them and introduced their story.

Charlie and Calculator's next appearance during Cheeky's Week was in the 19 August 1978 comic, which was the issue in which Cheeky was projected 60 years into his future.  In this case, the framing device for the Calculator Kid strip explained that Calculator would calculate what Charlie had done 60 years earlier and show the results on the following page.

On 16 September 1978 we see only Charlie in Cheeky's Week, as just his face is seen as a reflection in a car's wing mirror.

On the Monday page in the 06 January 1979 issue, Calculator predicts that in exactly fourteen and a quarter days (i.e. Tuesday in the 20 January issue) Granny Gumdrop will knit him a calculator cosy.  However, Calculator and Charlie are absent from the Tuesday page in the issue in question so we have no proof, but as we know Calculator is never wrong.

We do eventually get to see Calculator in a cosy, in the 'Cheeky's Jersey pattern' issue dated 31 March 1979.

Charlie and Calc were among the guests at Pete and Pauline Potts' party in the 6 Million Dollar Gran strip in Cheeky Weekly issue number 100 dated 06 October 1979.

The longest span between appearances of Charlie and Calculator in Cheeky's Week was the 25 issues which elapsed between 30 June 1979 and 22 December 1979.  This break was due to the introduction of a 'new look' to the comic as from 07 July 1979.  The resulting changes meant that the Calculator Kid feature moved nearer the front of the comic, and the device whereby Charlie and Calculator would appear in Cheeky's Week to introduce their strip was dropped.  Why then did the introduction re-appear in the 22 December issue?  Because pages that had originally been prepared for the 2 Christmas-themed issues of Cheeky Weekly which were among the 3 issues that failed to appear in December 1978 due to industrial action, were used in the 22 December 1979 and 29 December 1979 issues.  These pages retained the Calculator Kid intro panel, but with modifications.  In the 22 December 1979 issue, the Calculator Kid feature appears on page 3, yet Charlie and Calculator's 'introduction' appears on page 5.  Cheeky's speech balloon has been altered, presumably to remove the original reference to their adventure on the next page that would have followed had the page been published a year earlier as originally intended.  In the 29 December 1979 issue, the Calculator Kid feature appears on page 3, but the modified 'introduction' is included on page 15.

Charlie and Calculator made their final appearance on a Cheeky's Week page in the final issue of Cheeky Weekly, where they were featured among the characters who would survive the merge, meeting their new Whoopee! fun pals.

The Calculator Kid Strip appeared in 78 issues, while Charlie and Calculator appeared during Cheeky's Week in 38 issues.

*The situation of Snail and Baby Burpo, who also had their own strip as well as making appearances in Cheeky's Week, was slightly different as they were established characters in Cheeky's Week before securing their respective features.

Total Issues
First Appearance
Final Appearance
Calculator Kid3808-Jul-197802-Feb-1980

Count of elements by artist

Total Elements
Calculator KidFrank McDiarmid23
Calculator KidFrank McDiarmid pencils7
Calculator KidMike Lacey5
Calculator KidBarrie Appleby2
Calculator KidDick Millington1