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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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