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 December 2013

Cheeky Weekly cover date 28 April 1979

Unlike the two previous issues, there is a reference to the latest instalment of the Top Ten Poster on this week's cover, teasing readers over the identity of the celebrity voted most popular with readers of the toothy funster's comic.

There then follows front-page fun with feeble fitness fanatic Jogging Jeremy, and bactrian banter from animal admirer Petula.

6 Million Dollar Gran exhibits anger management issues when outraged at the price of chips in her story (again reduced to 2 pages due to pressure on space) this week. This isn't the first time the aged automaton has caused robotic ructions while shopping – the same counter-thumping behaviour was evident when she attempted to purchase a parrot in the 06 January 1979 issue. Maybe her electronic brain circuits require recalibrating. Nigel Edwards stands in for regular Gran artist Ian Knox for the eighth time, and coincidentally (or possibly not) Nigel also drew Gran's previous explosive outburst.

On Monday, in only her second appearance, Hypno-Tessa achieves an astounding feat of mesmerism.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

This week's tea-based Calculator Kid tale ends on an atypically jarring note as Charlie seems a little unappreciative of his electronic pal's efforts.

Art: Terry Bave

The scene in the ticket office on Paddywack's page suggests that one of Cheeky's relatives has won the coveted title Miss British Rail.

Art: Jack Clayton

It's been a while since one of Cheeky's pals has made multiple appearances in a single issue - Presto the Magic Rabbit appeared throughout Cheeky's Week in the 21 October 1978 first anniversary comic, but he's not a Cheeky's Week regular. The most recent instance of 'Cheeky's pal throughout the week' was in the 23 September 1978 issue wherein the recurring character was Crystal Belle. In the current issue Hid Kid is 'in evidence' (or at least as in evidence as the extremely bashful character ever is) every day except Friday. On Wednesday he bags first read of the Mystery Comic.

A crowd of  reward-seeking pursuers mistakes the captain of a ferry for the titular fugitive in Elephant on the Run. As the ferry sinks under the weight of the mob, we learn that a Cheeky Weekly reader has helped our pachyderm pal evade capture.

Art: Robert Nixon

Star Guest intrudes upon the Mystery Comic pages for the third week running. This time the visitor is Whoopee's Scared-Stiff Sam, whose mum is attempting to engender in her petrified progeny an interest in athletics.

Also obtruding on the comic-within-a-comic is (as highlighted on the cover) the final part of the Top Ten Poster. So which celebrity received the most votes in the readers' poll? The winner, teeth gleaming out of the murk of a smudgily-printed black and white photo, is...John Travolta.

This week brings to an end a run of 4 consecutive 12-page Mystery Comics (the highest page counts to feature in TMC's 37-week run), coinciding with the Top Ten Poster promotion. Despite the extra pages, Mustapha Million has been bumped due to the presence of the concluding 2-page poster segment, Star Guest and 2 pages of IPC adverts (the first consisting of half-page ads, one for new title Jackpot - first issue coming next week - and the other pushing the Buster and Monster Fun Spring Special, plus another page devoted to the Kellogg's Two Shakes promotion starting in Buster this week – as mentioned in last week's Cheeky Weekly).

Cheeky's Week resumes with Thursday, whereupon Barrie Appleby takes over artwork duties from Frank McDiarmid for the remainder of the week (apart from a single panel and the Burpo Special). The different style of lettering in Jogging Jeremy's speech balloon in the final panel on that page, together with the appearance of a Frank McDiarmid rendition of the toothy funster, suggests the original closing panel has been changed (making this the fourth consecutive issue to feature such apparent modifications). It may be the case that the original final panel contained Cheeky's intro to the Skateboard Squad, who are absent this week perhaps to allow room for the aforementioned Star Guest.

Art: Barrie Appleby (with cut and paste element
in final panel)

On the Chit-Chat page, Cheeky tantalises readers with a cryptic reference to some 'new things' coming soon to Cheeky Weekly. Our grinning pal also makes mention of an upcoming gift, but we first learned about the forthcoming free sachet of milkshake in last week's issue. The Spotter Book he also mentions is presumably yet another in the tedious line of incessant cut-out booklets with which IPC plague their comic purchasers.

After a strenuous Saturday spent swapping gags with his pals, a famished Cheeky returns home for his mum's fish and chips.

Art: Barrie Appleby

Mike Lacey deputises on the back cover's Burpo Special focusing on this week's cover co-star, Jogging Jeremy, bringing another fun-packed issue to a conclusion.

This issue of Cheeky Weekly appeared in the episode of BBC TV's detective drama Shoestring aired on 04 November 1979.

Frank McDiarmid provides 5 Cheeky's Week elements, with Barrie Appleby delivering 4 and Mike Lacey giving us a Burpo Special for the third time. This is the last time Barrie will draw Thursday, Friday and Saturday but he will provide artwork in a further 3 issues.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 28-Apr-1979, Issue 77 of 117
1Cheeky's Week - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
36 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
46 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
5Ad: WH Smith
6Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
7Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
8Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
9Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
10Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
11Tub 'Mystery Comic' 26 of 34 - Art Nigel Edwards
12Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 26 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
13Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 26 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
14Star Guest 'Scared-Stiff Sam' - Art Mike Lacey (single art on feature)
15Ad: IPC 'Jackpot No 1'Ad: 'Buster and Monster Fun Spring Special' 3 of 3
16Top Ten Poster (final appearance)
17Top Ten Poster (final appearance)
18Ad: IPC 'Free milkshake promo' 1 of 3
19Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 21 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
20Disaster Des 'Mystery Comic' 24 of 30 - Art Mike Lacey
21Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 28 of 37 - Art John Richardson
22Ad: Palitoy 'Pippa' 2 of 4
23Thursday - Art Barrie Appleby (final art on feature)
24Joke-Box Jury
25Friday - Art Barrie Appleby (final art on feature)
26Menace of the Alpha Man reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Eric Bradbury
27Menace of the Alpha Man reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Eric Bradbury
29Top Ten Poster instructions (final appearance)
30Saturday - Art Barrie Appleby (final art on feature)
31Saturday - Art Barrie Appleby (final art on feature)
32The Burpo Special 'Jogging Jeremy' - Art Mike Lacey

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 28-Apr-1979
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid5
Barrie Appleby4
Mike Lacey1

Sunday 22 December 2013

We Wish You A Cheeky Christmas

Our toothy pal didn't only feature in an episode of The Krazy Gang in the Christmas 1982 edition of Whizzer and Chips - he was all over this festive issue, as the usual Whizz-Kid and Chip-ite rivalry between Sid and Shiner was forgotten in the spirit of the season.

Our cheery chum's on the cover hitching a ride with Santa, Rudolph and his W&C pals...

Art: Mike Lacey

And he's back, on the centre pages, at the W&C staff party...

Art: Bob Hill

Not entirely in the spirit of the festive truce, a Whizz-Kid versus Chip-ite rivalry is encouraged in the associated game...

Cheeky returns among the characters from the Chips section as they gather on the Shiner's Chip-ites letters page, where the Christmas armistice is clearly not being observed by a couple of readers who are keen to unload their best anti-Whizz-Kid funnies...

Art: Jim Watson, with cut and paste elements?

Finally, the Cheeky Annual 1983 is given a plug on page 31. The cover of the toothy funster's end-of-year publication is somewhat obscured on the back row of titles, but that rear rank includes two of IPC's flagship annuals, Whizzer and Chips and Buster, so I don't think Cheeky can complain too much about the placement of his book.

Saturday 21 December 2013

Nigel Edwards' Cheeky Christmas

In this blog I have barely mentioned Cheeky's life as a member of The Krazy Gang, who made their debut in the first issue of Krazy just over a year before the toothy funster's own comic was launched. When Krazy came to an end, the Gang's adventures (still including Cheeky) continued in Whizzer and Chips.

This festive frolic, from the Christmas 1982 issue of Whizzer and Chips (appropriately dated 25 December) and illustrated by Nigel Edwards, suggests that Cheeky was a published author, and that he had romantic feelings towards his fellow gang member, Liz (I hope Louise didn't find out).

The story makes reference to Bloggs' shop, the main setting of Whizzer and Chips' Open All Hours-inspired strip, Store Wars.

For further appearances of Cheeky in this issue of Whizzer and Chips see here.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Cheeky Weekly Star Guests in Whoopee!

Week four of IPC's 1979 Star Guest promotion meant it was the turn of Whoopee! to host a visitor from Cheeky Weekly. This time it was The Mystery Comic's doombringer, Disaster Des, who stepped into the role of Cheeky Weekly ambassador. Whoopee! readers unfamiliar with Des' unfortunate influence are brought up to speed by the dialogue in the first panel, and the story's school-flattening climax will surely be widely appreciated by the host comic's readership. I enjoyed seeing Des take delivery of a whole term's school dinners, including a canister of 'yukky pudding'.

Whoopee! 21 April 1979
Art: Mike Lacey
Many thanks to Irmantas for this scan

This was a new Des strip, and it never appeared in Cheeky Weekly. The episode used for this Star Guest appearance could well have been originally scheduled to appear in Cheeky Weekly dated 21 April 1979 (the same cover date as the issue of Whoopee! in which it was printed), as Des was absent from the toothy funster's comic that week (which would have been frustrating for any Whoopee! readers tempted into buying the current Cheeky Weekly in the hope of enjoying another Des episode). However, Whoopee! fans placing a regular order for Cheeky Weekly as a result of seeing this strip would have been gratified to find that Des appeared (barring six absences) for the remainder of Cheeky Weekly's run (although ironically Des wasn't among the features that transferred into Whoopee! when the toothy funster's comic foundered).

Monday 16 December 2013

Thursday 12 December 2013

Cheeky Weekly cover date 21 April 1979

Art: Frank McDiarmid
We're straight into the comic fun again this week with another cover pleasingly free of promotional fluff, as Cheeky partakes of Easter Sunday badinage with Farmer Giles, then witnesses the fallout from Crunching Chris' cacophonous consumption of seasonal comestibles. An appealingly animated cover from Frank McDiarmid.

Cheeky cracks more egg jokes as his Sunday escapade continues on to page 2, and the Easter fun extends into 6 Million Dollar Gran's story (reduced to 2 pages this week due to the pressure on space resulting from inclusion of part 3 of the Top Ten poster, adverts and Star Guest).

Unlike the cover strip which retains its usual title despite the events depicted thereon transpiring on Easter Sunday (15 April), the Monday page is headed Easter Monday, and of course the toothy funster can't resist more egg-related larks. It appears some alteration to the artwork has been necessary, presumably due to the inclusion of the Star Guest page. I suspect that the different style of lettering in the page's final panel indicates that an episode of Calculator Kid (who is absent this week) was originally scheduled to follow Easter Monday, but Charlie and Calc were dropped to allow room for a visit by Sweet Tooth from Whizzer and Chips as part of the Star Guest promotion. Thus the original final panel featuring Cheeky's intro to Calculator Kid had to be changed. The drawing of Cheeky used in the final panel was also pasted into the final panel of Thursday in the 07 April 1979 comic. This is the third consecutive issue, each of which included a Star Guest, to feature changes of this kind, suggesting to me that the 1979 Star Guest run encompassing Cheeky Weekly, Whizzer and Chips and Whoopee! may have been a hastily-implemented affair that wouldn't have caused such disruption to the other participating comics, since their features don't include introductions to the following strips and thus could easily drop a regular humour strip at short notice with no need for alteration to the surrounding pages.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

On Wednesday Granny Gumdrop gives Cheeky a wooden Easter egg, but our toothy pal is delighted to discover that the Grand Easter Issue of the Mystery Comic is concealed inside. The comic-within-a-comic kicks off with an Easter egg based Tub episode. Elephant On The Run has a typically frantic escapade while at the Easter Fair, and there's seasonal fun in the Why, Dad, Why? strip (featuring an appropriate rendition of the protagonists in the title banner), which for once ends on a relatively amicable note.

Page surround art: Ed McHenry
Tub art: Nigel Edwards
Art: John Geering

There's no Easter content in the Mustapha Million story (other than a caption in the final panel wishing readers a happy Easter). An ad for WH Smith brings this week's Mystery Comic to a conclusion. Disaster Des is missing this time (explaining why his Easter story appeared in last week's issue), because 3 Mystery Comic pages have been devoted to adverts, and a further 2 are host to the the third instalment of the Top Ten poster (this week featuring black and white mugshots of Henry 'The Fonz' Winkler at number 3 and Olivia Newton-John at number 2). 

So much for my confident assertion in the previous issue summary that printing Easter stories in this week's Mystery Comic “would render [them] rather late for Easter celebrations”!

Back within the pages of Cheeky Weekly, the Skateboard Squad are enjoying their Easter holidays, but finding the play street packed with kids, decide to use the empty school playground for their recreational activity of choice. The ever-helpful trio then have fun employing their 'boarding skills to assist the school cleaner.

Art: Jimmy Hansen

It's not only the intrepid Squad members who are going to school despite it being the holidays – on Friday the toothy funster visits his educational establishment in order to sneak a read of the latest Alpha Man episode in Teacher's copy of Teachers Weekly.

On the Chit-Chat page there's disappointment for reader Suzanne Platt, who will be leaving Letchworth, bound for a new life in the USA. Our grinning pal has to break the bad news that Cheeky Weekly is not available across the pond, but helpfully suggests that she might be able to persuade a friend to send her a copy each week. Below that letter, Lynette Kannemeyer tells of an encounter on the celebrity-packed streets of Chiswick.

A thirst-inducing half-page ad on page 29 announces that a free sachet of Kellogg's milkshake mix will be affixed to the cover of a rotating selection of IPC's humour titles over the next 5 weeks. Cheeky Weekly readers will have to wait until the issue dated 19 May to get their hands on the raspberry-flavoured powder, although IPC are no doubt hoping their ploy of staggering the freebies will tempt kids into buying comics other than their regular title in order to enjoy an early milkshake or two. In what is intended to be a mutually beneficial promotion, Kelloggs hope to inculcate Two Shakes habits that will swell their coffers across the summer months. Knock-on sales, as households around the country find themselves unaccountably short of milk as a result of the consumption of free drink mix, could boost the British dairy industry as well.

After Cheeky spends Saturday in the garden, with the inevitable crop of herbaceous humour, the comic rounds off with the now-traditional back page feature, the Burpo Special. This time the subject of Burpo's interrogation is Ursula.

There's a recurring, curiously-posed Cheeky/Snail image in this week's issue; on Easter Monday, again on Thursday and once more on Saturday. Frank must have liked drawing it.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

This week sees a welcome all-pure-Frank McDiarmid-Cheeky's-Week, the first since 24 March 1979. Frank delivers 10 fun-filled elements (including the Burpo Special). As well as that, there's a nice spread of Easter stories among the non-Cheeky strips.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 21-Apr-1979, Issue 76 of 117
1Cheeky's Week - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
36 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
46 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
5Joke-Box Jury\Ad: IPC 'Buster and Monster Fun Spring Special' 2 of 3
6Easter Monday (final appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (final art on feature)
7Star Guest 'Sweet Tooth' - Art Trevor Metcalfe (single art on feature)
8Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
9Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
10Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
11Tub 'Mystery Comic' 25 of 34 - Art Nigel Edwards
12Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 25 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
13Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 25 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
14Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 27 of 37 - Art John Richardson
15Ad: IPC 'Tornado' 4 of 4 Ad: 'Cor Holiday Special' 2 of 2
16Top Ten Poster
17Top Ten Poster
18Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 20 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
19Ad: Palitoy 'Star Wars competition' - Art Brian Bolland (first art on feature)
20Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 26 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
21Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 26 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
22Ad: WH Smith
23Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
24Skateboard Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
25Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
26Menace of the Alpha Man reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Eric Bradbury
27Menace of the Alpha Man reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Eric Bradbury
29Top Ten Poster instructions\Ad: IPC 'Free milkshake promo next week'
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32The Burpo Special 'Ursula' - Art Frank McDiarmid

Friday 6 December 2013

The Birds, The Bees and Family Trees

Forgive me for going a tad off-topic here, but reading through Whoopee and Wow! dated 24 November 1984 I was surprised by this episode of Family Trees. The somewhat disturbing story of a pregnant birch tree being delivered of offspring overnight would surely confuse any young readers who were at that point being taught about plant reproduction.

Little did we know prior to this strip that arboreal ardour was rife among the protagonists. Since none of the male cast had the decency to admit responsibility, the identity of the lustful leaf-bearer who fathered the new arrivals remains open to speculation.

Art: Robert Nixon

Monday 2 December 2013

The Ads - Action Man

Palitoy's multi-jointed marvel Action Man first appeared in UK toy shops in 1966, the year in which my age advanced into double figures. I remember seeing tantalising ads for GI Joe (the original US version of the same toy) in American comics some time before AM became available over here. Thus I had been fantasising about staging my own miniature military manoeuvres for several months by the time Action Man's arrival on these shores was announced during an ad break on teatime TV. Much parent-pestering ensued until I secured my very own small-scale scar-faced soldier.

The Action Man figures came in soldier, sailor and airman varieties but although the toy's name was changed for UK release, the basic uniforms supplied with the models had a distinctly US appearance. However, a large range of additional costumes and equipment was available in order to expand the fighting figure's area of operations from snowy mountains to outer space. I remember sending my AM on several reconnaissance missions to the depths of the bath after having provided him with appropriate clothing in the form of the scuba outfit. The snug-fitting rubbery costume was very hard to get on and off the figure, and on one occasion while removing his scuba trousers, I was horrified to find that the bottom half of AM's leg had remained within the garment, having parted company with the rest of his body. Fortunately this life-changing injury was short-lived as it was possible to restore his lower limb by means of a plastic connector protruding from the exposed knee joint (not the only way in which AM's anatomy diverged from that of a real-life, healthy male specimen).

As if the possibilities for new adventures offered by the additional gear on sale wasn't incentive enough, each pack of accessories came with stars which could be cut out and stuck on a card. A card filled with 21 stars entitled the owner to claim a free Action Man, who arrived completely naked except for a pair of boots. I did manage to get a second Action Man in this way, and it was of course identical in every way to the first (even down to the scarred cheek) except that the new arrival's plastic hair was blonde in contrast to the original's brown pvc locks.

By the time of Cheeky Weekly's first Action Man advert in the 30 June 1979 issue, my Action Men had long since been retired after distinguished military careers often taking them far beyond the call of duty, and the toy had evolved somewhat from the rather basic original. Later models were endowed with malleable, gripping hands rather than the inflexible digits of the versions I had, fuzzy hair instead of the plastic moulded coiffure of the mid-60s, moving eyes and even a voice-box. For all I know, the legs may have even been more securely attached. The Cheeky Weekly ad heralded a competition in which the first prize was a trip to the Blackpool Illuminations and a meeting with Action Man himself. Not only that, but a trip to the seafront Action Man Tableau (i.e. advertisement), a ride in the Action Man car and a princely £10 to blow on Blackpool Pleasure Beach were on offer.

Cheeky Weekly 30 June 1979

A clever element had been incorporated into the competition - the chance to win 200 Action Man stars (hence the competition name and the five-pointed designs exploding from the page). This mind-boggling booty would, if the late 70s Action Man star exchange rate was unchanged from the mid 60s, entitle the lucky winners to each accumulate a private army of 9 naked Action Men. However, the action figures themselves may not have been on offer as, crucially for Palitoy's sales, this aspect of the competition required entrants to study a list of eligible AM products listed on the entry form. Thus those who failed to get a prize but had been salivating over their gear of choice would no doubt add a few items to their birthday/Christmas present lists.

This ad was placed in a late June issue of Cheeky Weekly in order that the winner could be chosen in time for that year's Illuminations which ran for the traditional 66 days from switch-on (by Kermit the Frog) on 31 August.

As Christmas 1979 approached another Action Man ad appeared, this time focusing on the Transport Command line of vehicles designed to accommodate the fighting mini-man. Obviously conscious of opportunist toy manufacturers churning out cut-price AM-scale military machinery, Palitoy were keen to remind readers to look for the picture of Action Man on their packaging. Among the toys being promoted was the Sea Wolf one-man sub, which no doubt enabled the fighting figure to explore the depths of the bath in comfort and without risk of trouser-removal trauma.

Cheeky Weekly 01 December 1979

Tuesday 26 November 2013

The One-Offs - Great Uncle Daniel

Cheeky's attempt to flush out a copy of the Mystery Comic in Cheeky Weekly dated 26 November 1977 involved his usual brush with wee Nosy Nora. Initially, it seemed the toothy funster would have to read another comic in lieu of his favourite title. However, Cheeky's movements in pursuit of the mysterious paper began a chain of events that led him to the location in which his Great Uncle Daniel toiled. There was no riddle about Walter Wurx's arrival - for him that was bog-standard behaviour.

Cheeky's extravagantly moustachioed relative, whose face fungus prevents us from seeing whether his teeth share the same porcelain quality of those of his great nephew, was only too happy to relieve himself of a copy of that most mysterious magazine.

Art: Frank McDiarmid pencils

This lavish scene was Great Uncle Daniel's only appearance in the toothy funster's comic. Maybe the Cheeky Weekly editor thought he was a little potty.

Not to be confused with: school gardener Dan Dan the Lavender Man.

I hope you were engaged by this post, and didn't have a vacant expression while reading it.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Cheeky Weekly cover date 14 April 1979

Art: Frank McDiarmid
Despite the inclusion of the second part of the Top Ten poster, there's no mention of it on the cover. One might have expected the Cheeky Weekly editor to advertise the poster's continuation as a reminder to comic fans in possession of last week's issue but vacillating over the tempting titles strewn before them across the newsagent's counter. Nevertheless, the comic dives straight into Cheeky's Sunday paper round encounters with Bump-Bump Bernie and luscious Lily Pop.

There's trouble on the tracks in this week's 6 Million Dollar Gran episode, which features some typically eccentric work from artist Ian Knox – I enjoyed the train rearing up on its hind wheels as the synthetic senior citizen super-stokes the boiler.

One of this week's Paddywack jokes is contributed by sci-fi fan Wayne Bruce of Hornchurch, who had a letter published on the Chit-Chat page in Cheeky Weekly dated 13 January 1979. I'm still not sure whether his name is genuine.

Art: Jack Clayton

Cheeky's regular search for The Mystery Comic leads him to somnolent schoolgirl Snoozin' Susan, who is using a copy of said perplexing publication as a pillow while enjoying a park bench doze.

Mystery Comic cover star Tub's tale is a variation on the old fox, chicken and sack of corn conundrum – in this case Dad's task is to ensure that he, Tub and (most importantly) a picnic lunch are transported in safety across the river.

Art: Nigel Edwards

Cheryl Ladd and the members of Blondie are the subjects of this week's instalment of the Top Ten poster (occupying 4th and 7th position respectively), and the quality of the photo reproduction hasn't improved since last week.

At this point in Cheeky Weekly's history, the toothy funster would locate his copy of the Mystery Comic every Wednesday and therefore, within Cheeky Weekly's daily chronology, the events depicted in the Mystery Comic section are related to Wednesday 11th April. Thus, readers may consider Disaster Des' Easter egg – based Mystery Comic contribution to be rather premature (Easter Sunday in 1979 fell on 15th April), but printing his story in next week's issue, its Mystery Comic location associating it with 18th April, would render it rather late for Easter celebrations.

Art: Mike Lacey

For the second week running, IPC's promotional Star Guest feature (on this occasion hosting Sweeny Toddler from Whoopee!) intrudes upon the pages of The Mystery Comic.

The Mystery Comic rounds off with Mustapha Million, followed by an ad for KP's salty, space-themed snacks, Outer Spacers, informing consumers of the crunchy cosmic crisps that their purchases entitle them to enter a competition in which Raleigh bikes can be won.

The father and son team from Why, Dad, Why? are absent from this week's Mystery Comic section, bumped by Sweeny's Star Guest appearance.

The image of Cheeky without his shirt appears for the third consecutive issue – it originally graced the cover of 31 March 1979's Jersey issue, then appeared again on last week's front page, and now turns up pasted into the final panel of the Thursday page. This suggests that the original final panel introduced the Skateboard Squad who are absent from this issue, necessitating a swift cut-and-paste and change of dialogue to herald a half-page Joke-Box Jury. Maybe the staff artist who did the alteration still had the image he had cut out for use on last week's cover.

Art: Frank McDiarmid pencils
(plus cut-and-pasted final panel)

IPC missed a sales-boosting opportunity by not mentioning that Skateboard Squad fans missing the intrepid trio can see them making their own Star Guest appearance in this week's Whizzer and Chips.

Cheeky's final outing for the week, Easter Saturday, takes him to the YMCA, where our toothy pal enjoys his first encounter with mirthful mesmerist Hypno-Tessa.

The issue reaches a conclusion with the back cover's Burpo Special, the subject of which is affable agrarian Farmer Giles.

Pure Frank McDiarmid art tops and tails this edition, with his front cover Cheeky's Week...Sunday and the back cover Burpo Special. The eight internal Cheeky's Week elements are drawn by what I believe is an artist collaboration that I refer to as Frank McDiarmid Pencils (see link under Thursday image above for more details).

This is the only issue of Cheeky Weekly to identify Good Friday and Easter Saturday. The equivalent days in 1978 were shown as Friday and Saturday.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 14-Apr-1979, Issue 75 of 117
1Cheeky's Week - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
36 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
46 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
6Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
7Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
8Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
9Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
10Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
11Tub 'Mystery Comic' 24 of 34 - Art Nigel Edwards
12Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 24 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
13Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 24 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
14Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 26 of 37 - Art John Richardson
15Ad: IPC 'Tornado' 3 of 4 Ad: 'Buster and Monster Fun Spring Special' 1 of 3
16Top Ten Poster
17Top Ten Poster
18Disaster Des 'Mystery Comic' 23 of 30 - Art Mike Lacey
19Star Guest 'Sweeny Toddler' - Art Tom Paterson (single art on feature)
20Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 25 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
21Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 25 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
22Ad: KP (final appearance) 'Outer Spacers'
23Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
24Joke-Box Jury\Ad: IPC 'Pop Poster promo'
25Good Friday (single appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils (single art on feature)
26Menace of the Alpha Man reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Eric Bradbury
27Menace of the Alpha Man reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Eric Bradbury
29Top Ten Poster instructions\Ad: IPC 'Cor Holiday Special' 1 of 2
30Easter Saturday (single appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils (single art on feature)
31Easter Saturday (single appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils (single art on feature)
32The Burpo Special 'Farmer Giles' - Art Frank McDiarmid

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 14-Apr-1979
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid pencils8
Frank McDiarmid2

Saturday 9 November 2013

A corpulent curiosity

I was surprised to discover over at the Kazoop blog that among the strips in the 1983 Shiver and Shake Annual, which was published towards the end of 1982, was an appearance by Cheeky Weekly's own bulging buffoon, Tub. Our portly pal had simultaneously appeared in the 1983 Cheeky Annual, and his final appearance in a Cheeky title came in the last ever Cheeky Annual cover-dated 1985. The Shiver and Shake '83 Annual strip was not a reprint, and I didn't expect to see Tub moonlighting in another annual while still on the Cheeky payroll!

Friday 8 November 2013

Gran Toddles In

The issue of Whoopee and Wow! displayed below joined the array of comics vying for attention on newsagents' counters in August 1984. Four and a half years after Cheeky Weekly had been merged into it, reference to the toothy funster's comic had long since been dropped from Whoopee's cover, not least because another failed title, Wow!, had been absorbed just over a year before this issue appeared, and thus gained the companion title slot.

However, all the survivors who had jumped ship as a holed-beneath-the-waterline Cheeky Weekly sank into comic history continued to appear in Whoopee and Wow! at this time, although their fortunes had varied considerably as the post-Cheeky Weekly months progressed;

  • Stage School were still occupying two pages a week, undiminished from their days in the toothy funster's comic.
  • 6 Million Dollar Gran had metamorphosed into a seemingly non-robotic role as the leader of Gran's Gang, a single page strip that was something of a come-down after her 3-pages-a-week Cheeky Weekly heyday.
  • Mustapha Million continued to appear but had recently reverted to reprints of his Cheeky Weekly adventures.
  • Charlie and Calc's Calculator Kid escapades continued (not reprints), and had in fact generated a spin-off strip, Calculator Corner.
  • Paddywack persisted with his brand of bumbling buffoonery. 
  • Ironically, Cheeky himself had suffered the worst ignominy, and from being the star of his own comic was now reduced to a single row of panels near the rear of Whoopee and Wow!

The cover of Whoopee and Wow! dated 18 August 1984 featured a surprise appearance by Cheeky Weekly's synthetic senior citizen, Gran, making a cameo appearance in the Sweeny Toddler strip...

Sweeny Toddler: art Tom Paterson
Family Trees: art Robert Nixon

This looks a bit odd to me; Gran is the only character in the strip to display a shadow on her body, and casts no shade on the ground to her right. Also her unspecified 'Yak Yak', and indeed her very presence, seems to be entirely ignored by the other characters in the frame. As you can see below, Gran plays no further role in the strip. Strange. Maybe the aged automaton's presence was meant to suggest that Sweeny's Great Grandpa was a member of Gran's Gang. 

For the benefit of anyone puzzling over the teaser in the Family Trees cover appearance...

Art: Robert Nixon

Thursday 7 November 2013

The Wacky world of Cheeky

It's always good to see Cheeky Weekly get a mention elsewhere, so head over to Wacky Comics where George is leafing through the pages of the issue dated 10 November 1979 - one I have yet to cover in my series of issue summaries. As Andy mentions in his comment on the post, the Cheeky strip artist is misidentified but otherwise it's an interesting view of the toothy funster's comic from (can it really be?) 34 years ago.

Saturday 2 November 2013

Cheeky Weekly Star Guests in Whizzer and Chips

As IPC's Star Guest run for 1979 entered its third week, the alternating nature of the placement of strips meant it was the turn of Whizzer and Chips to host a feature from Cheeky Weekly. On this occasion it was the dauntless Skateboard Squad who were chosen to represent the toothy funster's comic. The story (not a reprint from Cheeky Weekly) in which our heroes deputised for an out-of-commission stunt biker gave an opportunity for the Squad to demonstrate their prowess on skateboards to those Whizzer and Chips readers unfamiliar with the feature.

Whizzer and Chips 14 April 1979
Drawn by the strip's regular artist, Jimmy Hansen

This was the only Skateboard Squad episode in which our pooch pal Wipe-Out was seen to converse with his companions (although he appeared to speak in the 18 November 1978 issue of Cheeky Weekly).

In the same week that the above page appeared in Whizzer and Chips, The Skateboard Squad were absent from Cheeky Weekly which, in its own run of Star Guests, was hosting Whoopee's Sweeny Toddler.

Cheeky Weekly's final Skateboard Squad episode would appear just 4 weeks after their Whizzer and Chips Star Guest outing. However, the intrepid trio returned to the pages of the toothy funster's comic after a 2 week break, in their new guise as the Speed Squad.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Profile - Nosy Nora

Nosy Nora made her debut on the Friday page of Cheeky Weekly's first issue, in pursuit of the toothy funster as he himself tracked down The Mystery Comic. In her first outing it's not clear whether Nora was previously aware of The Mystery Comic's existence, but in the majority of her subsequent appearances she dogged Cheeky as he sought out that perplexing publication, in order that she could read it herself. Unlike most of the Cheeky's Week supporting cast, whose appearances would usually be limited to a maximum of three consecutive panels as they participated in a gag with Cheeky, Nora's pursuit of the elusive comic would regularly span a whole page (although she didn't necessarily appear in all the panels). Nora lacked perseverance and would often depart in despair of ever seeing The Mystery Comic just before Cheeky acquired his copy.

Nosy Nora (or is it Nosey Norah?) makes her debut
 in the first issue of Cheeky Weekly.
Art: Frank McDiarmid

In the 25 February 1978 issue Nora was unwittingly the source of The Mystery Comic, but in the following issue (04 March) she obtained a copy of the coveted publication before Cheeky was able to track it down, thanks to Baby Burpo who was exacting revenge on the toothy funster for forgetting the terrible toddler's birthday.

Cheeky got his own back the next week when sneaky snooper Nora was unable to leave home while suffering from a cold. Our grinning pal stood outside her house reading the comic just beyond range of Nora's glasses as she peered forlornly out of the window.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

In the 25 March 1978 comic Nora was frightened by Yikky-Boo in the second Friday panel and failed to pursue Cheeky as a result. It seems the event proved traumatic, as this strip brought to an end a 23-week run in which Nora attempted to pursue Cheeky in search of The Mystery Comic every Friday (Mustapha Million's strip followed the Friday page every week in this 23 issue sequence - his was the only Mystery Comic story to appear in Cheeky Weekly until the end of September 1978). In the following issue, Nora migrated to the Wednesday page, where she was seen among a bunch of Cheeky's pals in just a single panel. Nora was then absent from the comic for 11 issues (despite Cheeky continuing his weekly search for The Mystery Comic), returning on Friday in the 12 August 1978 comic, where she introduced the Calculator Kid story on the following page (Mustapha had relocated to the page after Thursday as of 01 July 1978). This was the final time that Nora was named in the pages of Cheeky Weekly, although she did appear in a further 4 issues. The first of these final outings came after a 4 week gap, when she delivered a couple of lines during the Interval. A further 29 weeks passed without an appearance by Nora, until she was seen sporting a facsimile of the toothy funster's trademark jumper in 31 March 1979's special issue. Mike Lacey drew Nora in 2 Cheeky's Week elements in the comic dated 16 June 1979, neither of which were speaking roles. Nora's final nose around the pages of Cheeky Weekly came in the 14 July 1979 comic, when Mike Lacey depicted her (silently) among Cheeky's classmates at school.

Cheeky Weekly 25 March 1978
Art: Barrie Appleby

Nosy Nora's final appearance, 14 July 1979
Art: Mike Lacey

In her first Cheeky Weekly appearance, Krazy Town's schoolgirl snooper was named Nosy Norah (although in the same panel the word was also spelled 'nosey'). She was also referred to as Nosey Nora on 2 occasions, but the usual spelling was Nosy Nora.

Nora appeared, partially obscured by Auntie Daisy, as Cheeky and his pals invited readers to join them in  Cheeky Weekly, in the 'Ello, It's Cheeky strip in Krazy's final issue.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Nosy Nora2922-Oct-197714-Jul-1979

 Count of elements by artist

Character Artist Total Elements
Nosy NoraFrank McDiarmid pencils10
Nosy NoraFrank McDiarmid9
Nosy NoraUnknown Cheeky Artist 15
Nosy NoraMike Lacey3
Nosy NoraBarrie Appleby2
Nosy NoraDick Millington1

Thursday 17 October 2013

A Chip off the old Calculator

I never cared very much for the antics of Chip, whose first installment intruded upon the Cheeky Section of Whoopee! the week after it absorbed the toothy funster's comic. Chip's basic premise was uncomfortably close to that of the far superior Cheeky refugee Calculator Kid, who appeared in that very same Cheeky pull-out. Both strips featured a young lad with a small, electronic sidekick, but the idea of an intelligent, talking calculator somehow required less of a suspension of disbelief than was needed to accept stories about a flying microchip which could, by some unexplained means, animate any number of unlikely objects, electronic and otherwise. Additionally, Charlie's Calculator was almost entirely infallible whereas Chip's intervention in a situation usually signalled a (tedious) minor disaster. Quite how the Whoopee! editor allowed two similarly-themed strips to run concurrently for such a long time, particularly when their proximity within the pages of the same comic served to highlight just how poor Chip was, is something of a mystery.

Chip's first episode, from the second
combined issue of Whoopee! and Cheeky
(appearing on the second page of the
 comic's Cheeky pull-out),
16 February 1980.
Art: Trevor Metcalfe

With my rather tetchy preamble out of the way, in this post I want to focus on the Chip episode from the 09 June 1984 issue of Whoopee and Wow! By this time Mike Lacey had taken over the artwork duties (maybe Trevor Metcalfe shared my view that the strip was less than scintillating and bailed out). In this particular episode, another feature from the same comic, Calculator Kid's Cheeky Weekly co-survivor Mustapha Million, gets a mention in a rather feeble gag.

A further rant of mine on the subject of Chip can be enjoyed/endured here.