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

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Wednesday 28 August 2013

Profile - Do-Good Dora

Do-Good Dora first rattled her collecting tin in Cheeky Weekly's third issue, dated 05 November 1977, and went on to pester the good folk of Krazy town in a further 73 editions of the toothy funster's comic. In his encounters with the indefatigable fundraiser, Cheeky usually managed to contribute a joke rather than any cash, although he did reluctantly donate money on a few occasions.

Dora's first appearance
Art: Frank McDiarmid

In only the 6th issue of Cheeky Weekly to include her (issue dated 07 January 1978), Dora appeared in 6 Cheeky's Week element as it took her all week to recite her list of 1000 new year resolutions.

The 15 April 1978 comic featured the highest number of appearances by the cheerful chugger in a single issue – an anxious Cheeky adopted a variety of tactics to evade her collecting tin as she pursued him across 8 Cheeky's Week elements, only to discover on Saturday that Dora wanted to hand him a record token he'd won in her raffle.

Dora appeared in 10 February 1979's Burpo Special, in which the terrible toddler's subject was Auntie Daisy.

There was one Krazy Town resident for whom Dora's ever-ready collecting tin was far more than a mere annoyance – the sight of it induced a 'Mac-Panic' in Uncle Hamish in the 17 February 1979 issue, and the Pin-up Pal poster in Cheeky Weekly dated 24 March 1979 depicted the Caledonian curmudgeon fleeing in terror from Dora's latest fund-raising venture. Dora was the subject of the Pin-Up Pal poster in the comic dated 10 June 1978, whereon a number of Krazy Town residents (the toothy funster among them) are seen departing at speed from the relentless fundraiser. All the Pin-Up Pal posters can be seen at Bruce's Comic Archive.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

In the 15 September 1979 issue we learned that mirthful mailman Postie is Do-Good Dora's uncle.

Art: Frank McDiarmid pencils

Dora was among the guests at Cheeky's Christmas party in the issue dated 29 December 1979, and the following week she made her only front cover appearance, joining Cheeky and an assortment of his pals who were jumping in the air to celebrate the new leap year. Inside that issue, Dora was once again at our grinning pal's house, this time attending the Cheeky family new year party.

In the final issue of the toothy funster's comic Dora, never one to miss a fund-raising opportunity, homed in on the wealthy members of the cast of companion title Whoopee! into which the survivors from Cheeky Weekly would merge the following week. Dora first met up with Pa from Whoopee's Bumpkin Billionaires, a meeting that – judging from the wad of banknotes protruding from her tray - was highly satisfactory for both parties. In the final panel of the same issue, Dora was seen hopefully rattling her tin beside Whoopee's Lolly Pop, an endeavour which was unlikely to be as successful.

Dora meets Pa Bumpkin
Art: Frank McDiarmid

Dora's appearance wasn't always consistent among the Cheeky's Week artists. The first depiction of the tin-rattling tyke was by Frank McDiarmid, who showed her wearing glasses. The next two occasions on which Dora appeared, both drawn by Frank McDiarmid pencils, followed Frank's example and included the specs. However, on her fourth Cheeky Weekly outing, drawn again by Frank McDiarmid, Dora was without her eyewear. On every subsequent occasion on which he drew her in 'present day' Krazy Town, Frank drew Dora without glasses. The only time Frank returned to drawing a bespectacled Dora was when Cheeky met her older self in 19 August 1978's '60 years into the future' issue.

The Dora (and Cheeky) of 2038
Art: Frank McDiarmid

The other Cheeky artists continued to depict Dora wearing specs until the 08 April 1978 issue, in which Jim Watson seemed to draw Dora with and without glasses on the same page. Thereafter, with the exception 20 May 1978 (Jim Watson) and 24 June 1978 (Barrie Appleby), the youthful Dora always appeared without specs.

Dora loses her glasses during the interval,
or did Jim Watson just forget to draw the
arm of her specs in the penultimate panel?

Art: Mike Lacey

A similar issue arose in relation to Dora's hair, which Frank McDiarmid changed in November 1978 from the rather nondescript style which was in evidence on her first outing, to a rather striking, frizzy, three-triangle construction. The only other artist to adopt the triangular hairstyle was Jimmy Hansen who drew Dora's new coiffure in the 15 September and 06 October 1979 comics, but on returning to the character in the 20 October issue the same year showed her with the original hair.

06 October 1979 - Jimmy Hansen draws Dora
with her revised hairstyle

Dora never appeared in the Cheeky strip in Krazy comic.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Do-Good Dora7405-Nov-197702-Feb-1980

Count of elements by artist
Character Artist Total Elements
Do-Good DoraFrank McDiarmid47
Do-Good DoraFrank McDiarmid pencils26
Do-Good DoraMike Lacey12
Do-Good DoraDick Millington3
Do-Good DoraBarrie Appleby3
Do-Good DoraUnknown Cheeky Artist 13
Do-Good DoraJimmy Hansen3
Do-Good DoraJim Watson2
Do-Good DoraNot known1

Monday 19 August 2013

A Victory For Team Cheeky!

The readership of Whoopee and Wow! in early 1984 probably included a large proportion who weren't even aware that 6 of the strips they were enjoying each week had transferred into their comic from the defunct title Cheeky Weekly in February 1980. However, most readers of the time would have known that Whoopee! had assimilated some strips from another failed comic, Wow!, because that title had been getting second billing on the cover since July 1983. The aforementioned 6 refugee features from the toothy funster's comic had all survived the Wow! merger, though Cheeky's strip had been reduced to single row of panels and 6 Million Dollar Gran had undergone a major refashioning to become the lead character in a strip called Gran's Gang. Nevertheless the fact that all the Cheeky strips which transferred to Whoopee! had managed, in one form or another, to withstand the vicissitudes of the contracting British comics industry for a period of 4 years after Cheeky Weekly's demise (at the time to which I'm referring - some Cheeky Weekly characters would survive considerably longer) is rather remarkable. Not only that, but a new strip based on Calculator Kid, entitled Calculator Corner, had been introduced after the Cheeky Weekly merger, and was still appearing as 1984 commenced.

The page below is from Whoopee and Wow! dated 21 January 1984.

TV Quiz Kids was one of the highlights of Whoopee and Wow! at this time. Devised and drawn by the ever-inventive J Edward Oliver, the strip affectionately spoofed a different TV quiz show each week. The page above took as its inspiration Anglia TV's Sale of the Century, the self-styled 'quiz of the week' from Norwich, presented at the time by Nicholas Parsons.

16 comic characters from the Whoopee and Wow! crew of the time were depicted as quiz contestants, 5 of whom were Cheeky Weekly survivors. Stage School was the only ex-Cheeky Weekly strip not to be represented on the page, despite at this point having the honour of appearing on pages 2 and 3 of Whoopee and Wow! each week. Stage School's absence from Wail of the Century may have been because it was an ensemble piece and therefore had no real lead character to represent it.

Somewhat surprisingly, bumbling blockhead Paddywack provides the correct answer to his question. It's less surprising that Gran gets her question right as she has a computer brain (despite her robotic nature no longer being apparent in Whoopee and Wow! by this stage).

6 Million Dollar Gran's electronic brain
Cheeky Weekly 06 May 1978
Art: Ian Knox

Fluffing their questions and letting the Cheeky side down are the toothy funster himself, Mustapha Million and, in another shock, Calculator Kid who evidently wasn't allowed to confer with his silicon-chipped sidekick.

Of the 11 remaining regular characters, only 2 have the correct answer, so I make that a win for team Cheeky whose members had a success rate of 40% with their answers, whereas the combined brainpower of characters originating in Whoopee and/or Wow!, despite their greater numbers, can only achieve a paltry 18.18% correct responses. I know they're severely hampered by having Frankie Stein on their team, but shame on you, Bookworm and Bleep.

Another J Edward Oliver version of Cheeky can be seen here.


Thursday 15 August 2013

Classic Comics - Egmont UK

I'm delighted to report that Egmont UK, who hold the copyright to Cheeky Weekly, have given me permission to continue using material from the comic on this blog.

As you'll see from Egmont's website, they are releasing gems from their impressive archive of iconic British comic titles, so let's hope the Classic Comics project is a success.

Tuesday 13 August 2013

The features – Menace of the Alpha Man

Cheeky Weekly 24 February 1979

Keeping up Cheeky Weekly's adventure quotient (alongside Mystery Boy) in the 18 issues spanning cover dates 03 March to 30 June 1979 was Menace of the Alpha Man, reprinted from its original run in Shiver and Shake in 1974. The initial outing of this story has been covered in typically comprehensive style over at the Kazoop blog, so I won't attempt to summarise the plot, but will instead concentrate on other aspects of the strip following its exhumation from IPC's vaults some 5 years after its original appearance.

Menace of the Alpha Man was chronologically the eleventh straight reprint feature to appear in Cheeky Weekly (not including the strips in the Old Comic series), and the third sourced from the pages of Shiver and Shake. Those earlier strips resurrected from S&S, The Terrible Trail toTaggart's Treasure and Eagle Eye,  were shorn of their original competition elements when occupying the pages of Cheeky Weekly, but Alpha Man's reprint run did in fact conclude with a cash-prize competition in the manner of its original appearance. At the conclusion of his adventure in Cheeky Weekly the week before Alpha Man's recycled tale began, Eagle Eye told readers "Next week, look out for a new serial starring 'The Alpha Man'! You could win some cash!"

All the Cheeky Weekly episodes of Alpha Man
were read on Friday by Cheeky who would sneak a read
of Teachers' Weekly
Art: Frank McDiarmid

Recycling a comic competition could give an unfair advantage to any Cheeky Weekly readers with access to a Shiver and Shake collection (maybe lovingly hoarded by an older sibling), so the canny editor chose to make some alterations to the suspect's names in the Alpha Man strip on its second run. Compare the list of suspects below with their Shiver and Shake counterparts over at Kazoop.

Cheeky Weekly 23 June 1979

However, the basic idea of the story - that the initial letters of the words describing each of the methods used by the Alpha Man to pursue his nefarious ends could be rearranged to spell out his real name - was unchanged. Thus, following some judicious juggling of letters by staff in the Cheeky Weekly office, in his 1979 run the Alpha Man was revealed to be not Bert Gash as he was in 1974, but Seth Brag. Despite this change, anyone with access to Shiver and Shake would have found it easy to substitute the new name for the original since the characters' faces were not altered.

Whereas in 1974 there were 50 £1 prizes on offer (although 51 winners were listed as can be seen over at Kazoop – Andrew and Alison Little presumably shared their prize), in 1979 the same number of prizes were available but had doubled in value to £2.

Cheeky Weekly 18 August 1979
There was no explanation of the solution as there had been
when the list of Shiver and Shake winners were printed

Alpha Man's original run appeared in Shiver and Shake from 09 March 1974 and its outing in Cheeky Weekly commenced almost exactly 5 years later on 03 March 1979. Yet, despite both runs occupying 18 issues, the final Cheeky Weekly installment appeared in the comic dated 30 June 1979, whereas the Shiver and Shake story ended in the 03 August 1974 issue. The later conclusion of its first run is due to a printers' strike which halted publication of Shiver and Shake for the whole of July 1974.

 Menace of the Alpha Man in the Cheeky Weekly Index

Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
Menace of the Alpha Man03-Mar-7930-Jun-7918026,27

Monday 5 August 2013

Cheeky Weekly cover date 24 March 1979

Art: Frank McDiarmid
The Cheeky's Week...Sunday cover strip contains 2 gags this week – the top row of panels concern the latest of Auntie Daisy's culinary catastrophes, while the bottom panel displays the full horror of a dairy delivery disaster resulting from the ill-advised collaboration between Milkie and Bump-Bump Bernie.

After an encounter with Ursula on Wednesday, Cheeky is alerted to the imminent arrival of this week's copy of the Mystery Comic by mirthful mailman Postie.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Tub's story is a bit odd this week – our portly pal is perplexed as his glider has landed 'out of reach', yet it's only lodged on a window ledge. Tub is not the most athletic of kids, so surely a quick walk up the stairs would involve less exertion than trampolining or clambering up the rain pipe.

This week's Mustapha Million story introduces our wealthy pal's pet hippopotamus, Frisky.

Art: Joe McCaffrey
Bumped from the Mystery Comic this week is Disaster Des, whose absence is due to disruption resulting from the 2 pages given over to listing all 800 lucky winners of the Saint competition which ran in the 02 December 1978 issue plus a further half page of Smurf competition winners from 09 December 1978, not to mention a full-page ad heralding the first issue of IPC's new comic, Tornado.

On page 29 is news of a somewhat unusual feature next week – it's a knitting pattern for Cheeky's jersey.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Our toothy pal 'enjoys' a spot of fishing on Saturday, before the comic rounds off in the traditional way with a Pin-Up Pal poster, this week featuring that sporran-sporting skinflint, Uncle Hamish, fleeing in terror from Do-Good Dora's collecting tin.

Frank McDiarmid provides all 9 Cheeky's Week elements in this issue, together with the back cover poster. This is the final time that Frank's work will grace a Pin-Up Pal poster. The feature will come to an end next week, with a Skateboard Squad poster by Jimmy Hansen.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 24-Mar-1979, Issue 72 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
8Ad: Trebor 'Double Agents Identikit Promotion' 2 of 2
9Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
10Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
11Ad: IPC 'Mickey Mouse' 13 of 18 Ad: 'Battle Action' 1 of 2
12Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
13Tub 'Mystery Comic' 21 of 34 - Art Nigel Edwards
14Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 23 of 37 - Art John Richardson
15Ad: IPC 'Tornado No 1' 2 of 2
16Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 22 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
17Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 22 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
18Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 22 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
19Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 22 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
20Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 18 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
21Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
22Saint competition results (single appearance)
23Saint competition results (single appearance)
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
29Smurfs competition results (single appearance)\Ad: IPC 'Cheeky Weekly: Jersey pattern next week'
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Pin-up pal 'Uncle Hamish' - Art Frank McDiarmid (final art on feature)

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 24-Mar-1979
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid9