Petula was of course named after her predilection for animals, and her role in Cheeky's world was to provide the opportunity for wildlife witticisms, bestial badinage and creature capers. On her first appearance, in Cheeky Weekly number 14 dated 21 January 1978, the young zoological zealot was the custodian of a hamster.
Art: Frank McDiarmid
It wasn't long before Petula's choice of animal companion veered into the exotic, and in the 11 February 1978 issue, The Mystery Comic was to be found in the beak of her pelican pal. The following week Petula was accompanied by a strangely familiar-looking ape.
|Art: Frank McDiarmid
In the 08 April 1978 edition Petula appeared 6 times with that week's pet of choice, a mynah (or minah as the comic has it) bird. Petula warned the toothy funster that the bird had been taught 'naughty words' but parents of impressionable Cheeky Weekly readers needn't have worried as the strongest epithet to emerge from the voluble avian was 'smelly feet!'.
Petula ('assisted' by Sherlock) was on the trail of a lost elephant throughout Cheeky's Week in the 01 July 1978 comic, tracking a pachyderm-shaped path of destruction across Krazy Town. The search culminated on Saturday, making this the second (and final) issue to feature 6 appearances by the creature-craving kid...
|Frank McDiarmid again.
For more on the mini-comics see here.
...maybe the above storyline inspired Elephant On The Run.
Petula was again examining apparent elephant spoor on Tuesday in the 05 August 1978 issue, but I suspect that Teacher may have laid a false trail as this was the issue in which the podgy pedagogue exhibited aberrant behaviour following a nervous breakdown.
|Art: Mike Lacey
Cheeky's pal with a passion for pets appeared on 5 covers (06 May 1978, 28 April 1979, 21 July 1979, 05 January 1980 and 19 January 1980 - which was also the final edition to feature her, so she didn't quite make it to the comic's farewell issue two weeks later). Petula was seen with a tiger in tow, strolling casually towards the cat show, on the Pin-Up Pal poster in Cheeky Weekly dated 26 August 1978. Frank McDiarmid's depiction of the big cat is rather splendid, and the poster can be seen on Bruce's blog here.
|Art: Dick Millington
Cheeky's Cut-Out Catalogue of Petula Jokes was contained in the previously-mentioned final issue to include the pet-potty pre-teen, Cheeky Weekly dated 19 January 1980.
|Cheeky meets the Petula of 2038
in the comic dated 19 August 1978
Art: Frank McDiarmid
Petula featured in 82 editions of the toothy funster's comic, but made a single appearance in Krazy - the 15 April 1978 edition.
Count of elements by artist
|Frank McDiarmid pencils
|Unknown Cheeky Artist 1