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.

Quick links...
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

Thanks for reading the blog.

Thursday 30 May 2013

Frank's Dodgy Years

Even the mighty Frank McDiarmid couldn't be expected to deliver a whole Cheeky's Week every issue so, as we have seen, a number of other artists stood in from time to time. While Frank was drawing Cheeky's escapades in Cheeky Weekly, he also drew 44 Cheeky pages in Krazy comic during the 26 weeks that Cheeky Weekly and Krazy shared space on the newsagents' shelves.

However, his work during this period wasn't limited to Cheeky Weekly and Krazy, in fact it wasn't even limited to publisher IPC - Frank was also illustrating Roger the Dodger for rival DC Thomson's iconic title, The Beano. Frank's gig on Roger lasted almost ten and a half years - an impressive run.

The McDiarmid style on Roger was restrained in comparison to his Cheeky work, no doubt to comply with Thomson's requirements, and Frank was clearly ghosting Ken Reid's style when drawing The Dodger's face. Again, this may have been at the request of Thomsons since Reid had been the original artist on the strip, or else it was Frank's homage to Roger's creator.

Here is the first of Frank's Roger strips, from The Beano dated 13 December 1975. Previous Roger artist Tom Lavery's title panel has been retained.

Here's Frank's Roger from The Beano dated 22 October 1977 - the same cover date as the first Cheeky Weekly.

This one's from The Beano with the same cover date as the final Cheeky Weekly - 02 February 1980.

Below is Frank's final Roger strip from The Beano dated 24 May 1986.

Frank also drew at least one Bash Street Kids story in The Beano in 1975.

Roger the Dodger is copyright DC Thomson & Co. Ltd.

Monday 27 May 2013

Cheeky Weekly cover date 10 March 1979

Art: Frank McDiarmid
Cheeky Weekly's 70th issue is the first with a cover entirely devoted to a comic strip – all cover strips to date (initially What A Cheek, then Cheeky's Week....Sunday as from the 30 September 1978 revamp issue) have consisted of a single row of panels, sharing the front page with artwork promoting the contents of the current issue. The usual 3-panel format is in evidence on this week's front page despite the strip covering a larger area. Manhole Man and Doctor Braincell are the toothy funster's cover stooges this week.

Cheeky's diary entry for Monday refers to the fact that Uncle Hamish has been staying chez Cheeky for 'about three months now'. This is a reference to the curmudgeonly Caledonian's reappearance in the 13 January 1979 issue after a year's absence.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

The Calculator Kid story takes place in a snowy Krazy Town, although there is no snow evident in the rest of this issue's Cheeky's Week strips. It's my suspicion that this week's Calculator Kid was originally intended for Cheeky Weekly's snow-themed 20 January 1979 issue. However, the CK strip in that issue was, if my theory here is correct, itself originally prepared for the lost 23 December 1978 issue. Thus the wintry CK story slated for 20 January 1979 got shunted forward to this issue.

Art: Terry Bave

Baker's Boy provides Cheeky with this week's Mystery Comic.

Art: Frank McDiarmid
Do snails eat cake?

Tub, the Mystery Comic's corpulent cover star, finds himself wedged in a cement mixer at the conclusion of his current adventure.

Four pages after Tub's mixer mishap, Elephant On The Run suffers a similar predicament.

Barrie Appleby's work graces The Burpo Special (in which the infant interviewer interrogates Constable Chuckle) for the first and only time in the comic's run.

As has become customary, a Pin-Up Pal poster on the back cover brings the comic to a conclusion. The father and son stars of Why, Dad, Why? are the subject this week, with Dad contemplating silencing his ever-inquisitive offspring by means of a swift knock on the noggin. Wouldn't be allowed today.

Frank McDiarmid delivers 9 Cheeky's Week elements in this issue, with Barrie Appleby contributing The Burpo Special. Last week's comic was an all-Frank-McDiarmid Cheeky's Week issue, so this issue breaks the pattern of 'Frank on Cheeky's Week every other issue' which (barring a few hiccups) was established as of the 30 September 1978 revamp. For more details see here.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 10-Mar-1979, Issue 70 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
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
6Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
7Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
8Tease Break
9Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
10Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
11Ad: Trebor 'Double Agents Identikit Promotion' 1 of 2
12Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
13Tub 'Mystery Comic' 19 of 34 - Art Nigel Edwards
14Disaster Des 'Mystery Comic' 20 of 30 - Art Mike Lacey
15Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 21 of 37 - Art John Richardson
16Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 20 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
17Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 20 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
18Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 20 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
19Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 20 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
20Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 16 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
21Ad: IPC 'Smurfs Poster Magazine'Ad: 'Mickey Mouse' 11 of 18
22Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
23Skateboard Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
24Joke-Box Jury
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
29The Burpo Special 'Constable Chuckle' - Art Barrie Appleby (single art on feature)
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Pin-up pal 'Why Dad Why' - Art John K. Geering (single art on feature)

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 10-Mar-1979
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid9
Barrie Appleby1

Sunday 19 May 2013

The features – Tease Break

The Tease Break feature was the third puzzle series to appear in Cheeky Weekly, following on from the brief  run of Teacher's Teasers (3 issues from 26 August to 23 September 1978) and the slightly longer-lived Cheeky's Pal Puzzle (10 issues, 30 September to 02 December 1978). Whereas the aforementioned series prominently featured Cheeky and pals and were clearly prepared specifically for Cheeky Weekly, Tease Break had a somewhat generic feel about it, and was probably sourced from publisher IPC's filing cabinet of old puzzles originally created for other titles. Cheeky and some of his Krazy Town neighbours did appear sporadically during Tease Break's run, but I suspect that this was as a result of some deft cut-and-paste work on the part of the art assistant tasked with compiling the quiz. I'm fairly certain that the punning Tease Break title itself was recycled from another comic. (UPDATE 23 October 2017 - A search for the word 'tease' on the Kazoop blog yields several occurrences of Tease Break, including this one). All this gives Tease Break a strong feeling of 'filler', which is compounded by its intermittent nature, appearing in only 9 issues spanning cover dates 17 February 1979 to 03 November 1979.

The first Tease Break was the only one printed in red and white -
all the others were black and white.

6 Tease Breaks occupied a full page, with the remainder being half pages.

Question 4's 'here is the answer, what is the question' format was cunningly designed to be used in any comic
after a minor alteration to the text. Here, Cheeky's ugly mug has also been pasted in.
During Tease Break's Cheeky Weekly run, a page entitled Cheeky's Summer Tease Break appeared in the 1979 Cheeky Summer Special. This was the only Special/Annual Tease Break appearance.

Tease Break in the Cheeky Weekly Index

Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
Tease Break17-Feb-7903-Nov-799295,8,11,15,21,22,24

Tuesday 14 May 2013

The One-Offs – Slurping Sophie

Slurping Sophie (sister of deafening diner Crunching Chris) was seen once during Cheeky Weekly's run, appearing during 18 February 1978's Interval. Her failure to return was probably due to the limited scope for liquid laughs (at least at the point of ingestion – Walter Wurx had of course monopolised micturatory mirth).

Art: Unknown Cheeky Artist 1

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Sid Burgon's Cheeky

Almost a year before Cheeky Weekly was launched, the toothy funster had made his debut in the pages of Krazy comic, where he had featured in 2 strips. Not only was he the star of 'Ello It's Cheeky, which was very much the template for the Cheeky's Week pages in Cheeky Weekly, but he was also a member of The Krazy Gang who appeared in the strip of the same name.

Despite (or possibly because of) its bold deviation from the traditional British humour comic format, Krazy ceased publication after a 19-month run. Following Krazy's final issue dated 15 April 1978, the most popular features decamped to IPC's long-running Whizzer and Chips, which then became known as Whizzer and Chips with Krazy (WCK). Whizzer and Chips had a particular gimmick (evidently highly effective in view of the comic's longevity) whereby it was presented as being two separate comics, with Chips located in the centre of Whizzer (the same idea was appropriated by Cheeky Weekly, although clearly much less successfully, during the 37 issues in which The Mystery Comic was found in its centre pages).

The Krazy Gang, still featuring the toothy funster, was one of the strips that transferred from Krazy to WCK. Here's the cover of the first combined issue, on which the Krazy refugees met the stars of the host comic. Artist Sid Burgon is somewhat restrained when it comes to depicting Cheeky's trademark choppers.

Saturday 4 May 2013

Cheeky Weekly cover date 03 March 1979

The menacing, cowled figure of The Alpha Man - anti-hero of this week's new adventure strip on pages 26 and 27 – looms over the cover, while in lighter vein Cheeky enjoys a wild west witticism with Six–Gun Sam, and a piscatorial pun with Mr Haddock in the front page cartoon strip.

6 Million Dollar Gran takes the Potts kids to the cinema to see Jaws III this week, but there's much disappointment when the movie house manager tells the queuing patrons that the film has failed to arrive. Gran sets off to track down the missing reels of celluloid and discovers that the delivery van has been unable to cross a collapsed bridge. Heading back to the cinema, Gran's grip on the film canisters proves surprisingly weak and the film ends up in what the synthetic senior citizen assumes is a Dolphinarium. It's actually the local shark research facility (you mean there isn't one in your area?) and our robotic pal fends off several of the fearsome fish to recover the film and deliver it to the cinema. Jaws 2 had been released in the UK on Boxing Day 1978, and the third film in the franchise, Jaws 3-D, would not burst through the big screen until 1983.

Art: Ian Knox

A late-for-school Charlie is dismayed to observe ferocious teacher Mister Thwackem prowling for tardy pupils at the school gate in this week's Calculator Kid tale. Ever-reliable Calc devises a plan to sneak Charlie past the grizzly gatekeeper without revealing his identity. Is that a cameo appearance by Shiver and Shake's somewhat-deficient-in-the-leg-department spider star Webster in the final panel?

Art: Terry Bave

Cover co-star Six-Gun Sam joins Teacher, Crunching Chris and The Vicar on this week's Joke-Box Jury panel of judges, none of whom seem to mind that there are 2 'fly in my soup' gags among the submissions up for scrutiny.

On page 9, the introductory extract from Cheeky's diary shows the day as Shrove Tuesday. Of the two Shrove Tuesdays which occurred during Cheeky Weekly's brief existence – 07 February 1978 and the current issue's 27 February 1979 – this was the only one to be referred to as Shrove Tuesday in the comic - the other was just called Tuesday and included no pancake reference. Shrove Tuesday 1979 was the only one to occur during the period in which the Cheeky's Week title panel introduced the toothy funster's daily adventures.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

After a page of boneheaded bamboozlement courtesy of Paddywack, and a selection of perplexing posers on the Tease Break page, Cheeky's Week resumes with Ash Wednesday. As with Shrove Tuesday this was the only time Ash Wednesday got a specific mention in the comic's run.

Footbal-mad feline Goalie Cat is the source of this week's Mystery Comic.

There's a seismic collision between our portly pal Tub and the Fattest Girl in the World on the Mystery Comic's cover. Rotund romance appears to ensue. I'm not quite sure what the 'super-bulge' in the final panel refers to but thankfully it's attributed to the female half of the couple.

Posh Claude is the subject of this week's Burpo Special interview, and on Thursday there's a reference to another movie blockbuster when Bump-Bump Bernie has a close encounter of the painful variety. Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters had premiered in the UK almost a year earlier on 14 March 1978.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Page 22 sees Charlie and Calc encouraging readers to place a regular order for the toothy funster's comic. 

Constable Chuckle makes an uncredited cameo in this week's Skateboard Squad tale, appearing in the final panel to take into custody the smash -and-grab jewel thief that the intrepid trio have apprehended.

Art: Jimmy Hansen

The final panel of Friday's strip sees Cheeky sneaking a crafty read of Teacher's copy of Teacher's Weekly, as he has for each of the previous 7 issues. However, because the story he was previously reading (Eagle Eye) came to an end last issue, this week Teacher's Weekly serves as the framing device for the first instalment of Menace of the Alpha Man (reprinted from Shiver and Shake).

Cheeky pays a return visit to Krazy Town Harbour on Saturday, arriving just as ex Prime Minister Edward Heath is having a spot of maritime misfortune with his yacht, Morning Cloud.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

This week's comic rounds off with the now-customary Pin-Up Pal poster, this time featuring compost connoisseur Dan-Dan the Lavender Man.

This is another all-Frank McDiarmid Cheeky's Week issue, with Frank delivering 10 daily elements plus the back cover poster. The apparent policy of having every other issue featuring a pure Frank McD Cheeky's Week, seemingly introduced as of September 1978 (bar a few minor deviations along the way), is still in effect .

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 03-Mar-1979, Issue 69 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Menace of the Alpha Man' - Art Eric Bradbury (final art on feature)\Cheeky's Week - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
36 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
46 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
5Silly Snaps
6Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
7Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
8Joke-Box Jury
9Shrove Tuesday (single appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (single art on feature)
10Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
11Tease Break
12Ash Wednesday (single appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (single art on feature)
13Tub 'Mystery Comic' 18 of 34 - Art Nigel Edwards
14Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 15 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
15Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 20 of 37 - Art John Richardson
16Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 19 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
17Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 19 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
18Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 19 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
19Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 19 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
20Disaster Des 'Mystery Comic' 19 of 30 - Art Mike Lacey
21The Burpo Special 'Posh Claude' - Art Frank McDiarmid
22Ad: IPC 'Cheeky Weekly: Want to win some extra cash?'Ad: 'Do you have trouble getting copies of Cheeky Weekly' 1 of 5
23Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
24Skateboard Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
25Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
26Menace of the Alpha Man (first appearance) reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Eric Bradbury (first art on feature)
27Menace of the Alpha Man (first appearance) reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Eric Bradbury (first art on feature)
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Pin-up pal 'Dan-Dan The Lavender Man' - Art Frank McDiarmid