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.

Monday 29 September 2014

Cheeky Weekly Star Guests in Whizzer and Chips (part 7)

Calculator Kid was recruited to make a second Star Guest visit to Whizzer and Chips in that title's 23 June 1979 issue (Charlie and Calc's first W&C outing had occurred at the commencement of the 1979 run of Star Guest in the comic dated 31 March 1979). On the face of it, the return of Charlie and his calculating comrade to the pages of Whizzer and Chips would suggest that IPC felt Calculator Kid was a particularly strong feature. However the strip was, oddly, entirely absent from the Star Guest run concurrently appearing in Whoopee. I'm not sure what strips were appearing in Whoopee at the time, but maybe the inclusion of Calculator Kid would have made the level of Terry Bave artwork in a single Whoopee issue uncomfortably high for the editor (but certainly not for Mr Bave's many fans).

The premise of Calculator Kid is nicely encapsulated in the first panel (which, since readers of Whizzer and Chips had already been introduced to the main characters, could suggest that it was originally intended for Whoopee), but the ensuing escapade doesn't really make sense. OK, we understand that Charlie is robbed of his precious two pence by the nefarious Fred Fiddler, but why would the group of adults donate when the flags clearly read 'The Fred Fiddler Benefit Fund'?

Whizzer and Chips 23 June 1979
(week 13 of the 1979 Star Guest run)
Art: Terry Bave

It was certainly a busy (and lucrative) week for public-spirited Charlie Counter as, in the edition of Cheeky Weekly sharing the same cover date, he and his silicon-chipped sidekick foiled a robbery being planned by another of Krazy Town's alliteratively-named criminals, Ned Nicker.

Terry Bave again

Whizz-Kids or Chipites persuaded by this Star Guest outing into buying Cheeky Weekly with immediate effect would have been delighted to find that Calculator Kid was present in all remaining 33 issues of the toothy funster's title. When Cheeky's comic came to an end, Charlie and Calc were among the survivors who decamped to Whoopee where they were hitherto unknown due to their lack of a Star Guest visit to that title.

Sunday 28 September 2014

Tribute to Jim Petrie on BBC Radio 4

The late Jim Petrie is remembered in the latest edition of BBC Radio 4's Last Word (starts 13:20 into the programme).

Monday 22 September 2014

Cheeky history turned upside down

I was recently contacted via email by the seller of this piece on ebay. He had kindly thought of me when putting the item, which is very significant in the history of the toothy funster as Ian Knox's artwork initiated the whole Cheeky phenomenon, on sale. However as noted in my previous post I don't check my Cheeky emails every day, so I didn't become aware of this auction until it had closed. Had I known in advance, I would have mentioned it on the blog. I don't collect original art so wouldn't have entered the bidding myself.

I have also received an email from the proud new owner of this historic work, who prefers to remain anonymous but is understandably chuffed to have secured it. He writes "I thought you and your readers might be interested to know that a small piece of original artwork featuring the first appearance of Cheeky in Krazy Comic issue 1 still exists. This recently came up for auction on eBay and I was fortunate enough to be the highest bidder so the artwork will be making its way down under for the first time. Of course the whole page will be upside down when it arrives but I'll still be able to read the small caption at the bottom :) I'll dutifully preserve this remnant from a wonderful time in English comics".

Congratulations to our Antipodean pal - it's nice to know this important artwork is going to a good home where it will be appreciated.

Saturday 20 September 2014

Comment allez-vous?

A couple of people have contacted me recently via the email address at the top of the blog to say they have had difficulty in submitting comments. I decided to do a test - I tried sending comments to this blog while signed in to another of my Google accounts, and also anonymously. The 'signed in' attempt worked fine - the CAPTCHA request appeared as expected and contained a number, so was easy to copy. The first anonymous attempt failed (my comment disappeared when I clicked 'publish' and the expected CAPTCHA failed to appear), but on the second anonymous attempt I was thwarted by a CAPTCHA containing a totally illegible component, as in the example below.

I'm sure the people who reported they were unable to submit comments are seasoned internet users and will already be aware of this, but for the benefit of others I just thought I'd mention that if you're confronted by a totally confounding CAPTCHA as above, you can generate a new one by clicking the reload button to the immediate right of the box into which you type the CAPTCHA text. Alternatively, you can click the audio button next to the reload symbol, which will generate a CAPTCHA that you will hear via your speakers/headphones, but I've always found these to be even less decipherable than the text ones.

Anyway, the reloaded text CAPTCHA was reasonably clear so I was able to submit a comment without being signed in on the second attempt. All comments sent to the blog are moderated so will not appear immediately. Once a comment has been submitted a message will appear reading 'Your comment will be visible after approval'.

It seems from my brief experimentation that when signed in and submitting a comment, you'll be presented with an easy CAPTCHA of the numeric variety. If you successfully negotiate the CAPTCHA, you'll see the confirmation message as mentioned above.

The first attempt to submit an anonymous comment will not generate a CAPTCHA so will fail (thus the confirmation message will not appear) and on the second anonymous try the more challenging text CAPTCHA will appear. I'd therefore suggest signing in before commenting if you have an appropriate account.

If all else fails, don't forget you can contact me via the email address, but please be aware that, unlike the comments to this blog which I check every day, I don't monitor the email account associated with the blog on a daily basis.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Cheeky Weekly cover date 23 June 1979

Art: Dick Millington
Can it really be Cheeky Weekly's 85th issue already? Dick Millington draws the cover strip for the first (and only) time, depicting culinary comedy and agricultural antics plus the added bonus of an appearance by Arthur Fonzarelli (this is the second consecutive week that a celebrity has joined the mirthmakers on the front page).

Dick hands over the artwork duties to Frank McDiarmid as Sunday continues on page 2. There's a reference to last week's disco issue, and I like the photo on top of the TV showing Cheeky's dad in his army days.

Art: Frank McDiarmid 

In this week's episode of 6 Million Dollar Gran the synthetic senior citizen's creator, Professor Potts, has either forgotten that Gran is actually a robot or is covering in case her unguarded comment was overheard.

Art: Ian Knox

This week's Star Guest is Whizzer and Chips' comical canine, Paws, who first appeared in Krazy, the comic which also spawned our toothy pal.

The toothy funster finds the latest issue of the Mystery Comic secreted within the pages of his telephone directory. Either Frank McDiarmid knew which design of Mystery Comic cover would be used this week, or he made a lucky guess, but his depiction of the front page of the perplexing publication, featuring a title and background printed above the front page strip (rather than the type of cover on which the background surrounds the strip) matches that of the current issue...

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Title Art: Ed McHenry
Tub Art: Nigel Edwards

The Mystery Comic's juvenile jinx, Disaster Des, brings this issue of the mystifying mag to a conclusion while learning that the show's not over until the fat lady falls through the woodwork.

Art: Mike Lacey

No extraneous elements intrude upon The Mystery Comic this week, so there's a full complement of strips.

As we return to the Cheeky Weekly section and progress to page 22, we're met with the first ad for this year's Cheeky Summer Special - start saving up the requisite 40p for your helping of holiday humour.

There's abundant hill-arity on Saturday as Cheeky is inclined to take a hike. Please note this strip includes content that many today would consider inappropriate.

Art:Frank McDiarmid

The Burpo Special brings this edition to a close. Crystal Belle is the subject of Burpo's interrogation, and there's an unexpected but typically calamitous intrusion by Bump-Bump Bernie. This penultimate Burpo Special is the final time Frank McDiarmid's art will appear on the feature.

9 of this week's 10 Cheeky's Week elements (among which I include The Burpo Special) are by Frank McDiarmid, with Dick Millington delivering the cover art.

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 23-Jun-1979
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid9
Dick Millington1

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 23-Jun-1979, Issue 85 of 117
1Cheeky's Week - Art Dick Millington (single art on feature)
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: Mr Bellamy's
9Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
10Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
11Star Guest 'Paws' - Art Leslie Harding (Styx) (single art on feature)
12Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
13Tub 'Mystery Comic' 33 of 34 - Art Nigel Edwards
14Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 33 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
15Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 33 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
16Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 33 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
17Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 33 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
18Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 36 of 37 - Art John Richardson
19Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 27 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
20Disaster Des 'Mystery Comic' 29 of 30 - Art Mike Lacey
21Joke-Box Jury
22Ad: IPC 'Cheeky Summer Special' 4 of 6 Ad: 'Whizzer and Chips Summer Special' 1 of 3
23Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
24Speed 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
29Chit-Chat\Ad: IPC 'Angler's Mail' 2 of 2
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32The Burpo Special 'Crystal Belle' - Art Frank McDiarmid (final art on feature)

Monday 8 September 2014

Whizzer and Chips - The Cheeky Raids part 4

New readers start here...After Cheeky Weekly folded and was incorporated into Whoopee as of February 1980 six strips that had originated in the toothy funster's title survived the merge and continued to appear in the amalgamated comic. Whoopee itself foundered in March 1985 and was merged into Whizzer and Chips. Three of the surviving Cheeky Weekly strips successfully negotiated this second merge and went on to appear in the newly combined publication, rather inelegantly titled 'Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee'. The survivors were Mustapha Million, Calculator Kid and (appearing only twice) Stage School. Cheeky continued to appear, but as a member of The Krazy Gang, who had moved into W&C when Krazy, the comic in which the Gang originated, expired in April 1978.

Whizzer and Chips had a long tradition of sending characters from the Chips section into Whizzer and vice versa. These cross-comic forays were known as 'raids'. In this series of posts I'm chronicling the raids involving the ex-Cheeky Weekly characters who made the transition into Whizzer and Chips, all of whom were allocated to the Chips section. For the purposes of this series, although this particular manifestation of the toothy funster didn't directly descend from Cheeky Weekly, I'm including Cheeky's Krazy Gang appearances as those of an 'ex-Cheeky Weekly character'.

The previous raid covered in this series occurred in Whizzer and Chips dated 11 May 1985. A week later, yet another raid involving an ex-Cheeky Weekly character occurred. This was the third consecutive issue to feature a toothy funster-related incursion, but was this latest raid perpetrated by, or upon, one of the Cheeky Weekly survivors?

Whizzer and Chips 18 May 1985
Art: Terry Bave

Well clearly Odd-Ball and his pal Nobby are the victims this week, but can you spot the intrepid infiltrator? Scroll down, where the roguish raider will be revealed.

...Charlie (Calculator Kid) Counter and his battery-powered buddy, Calculator.

The art assistant tasked with sourcing an image of Charlie and Calc suitable for cutting and pasting into the above Odd-Ball tale didn't venture far into the archives - it had appeared only a week earlier...

Whizzer and Chips 11 May 1985
Calculator Kid: Terry Bave
Calculator Corner: J Edward Oliver

This latest raid evens the score to date - Ex-Cheeky Weekly Raiders 2, Whizzer Raiders 2

Whizzer and Chips Cover Date Raider Raided
06 April 1985Mustapha MillionSuper Steve
04 May 1985Bloggs (Store Wars)Mustapha Million
11 May 1985JokerThe Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
18 May 1985Calculator Kid & CalcOdd-Ball

Tuesday 2 September 2014

The Pages - Page 19

Page one of the two-elements-per-week feature Creepy Sleepy Tale occupied page 19 in Cheeky Weekly's first two issues (as the contents of the comic settled into a more regular pattern following the volatility of the early weeks, the feature would eventually locate most frequently in the centre pages). In the third issue, the Thursday component of Cheeky's Week moved in, after which a Home Movie flickered its way onto page 19. Thursday then resumed occupation, commencing a 6 week run.

Tubby Thomson and his filmic friends then brought their Home Movie hilarity back to page 19 with a seasonal offering entitled Christmas Past in the 31 December 1977 edition, after which Thursday enjoyed a further 4-week run. The second page of a 2-page Joke-Box Jury gagfest then occupied page 19, before Thursday commenced a marathon 21-week occupation of the subject location.

It was an ad for Gold Spinner cheese spread, alerting Cheeky Weekly readers to their promotion whereby 3 box lids and a 50p postal order could secure a genuine Frisbee (allow 28 days for delivery) which had the audacity to interrupt Thursday's page 19 tenancy. A barely-visible 'CHE1' printed on the cut-out coupon allowed the organisers of the Gold Spinner promotion to monitor how many responses this particular ad generated.

Creepy Sleepy Tale made another visit (its last) to page 19 in the comic dated 15 July 1978. On this occasion it was the second of the two CST elements that week, so was accompanied by its inseparable companion feature Wednesday (conclusion). A week later the legend 'CHE2' was borne in tiny letters on the coupon on page 19, as the Gold Spinner ad got its second and final Cheeky Weekly outing.

The second half of Mustapha Million's story came to rest on the page under review the following week, before Thursday returned for one issue. Friday then moved in for a week before being supplanted by 'advertorial' What's New, Kids. A further 2 week run of Thursday was then interrupted by page 2 of a Silly Snaps filler which itself was followed by the second page of a Joke-Box Jury 2-pager.

Thursday was then back for one issue, before the second page of Mustapha Million moved in for 3 weeks. An ad for Weetabix interrupted Mustapha's run in the first-birthday 21 October 1978 edition, but thereafter the boodle-blessed Bedouin returned for a further 3 weeks.

Page 19 was the location of another ad in the 18 November 1978 issue – this time confectionary manufacturer Trebor was keen to inform readers that a cap-firing Super Spy Gun could be obtained for 90p plus two wrappers from their Double Agents sweets.

Our middle-eastern pal was then back for a week, after which Friday moved in, only to give way the following week to Skateboard Squad. However, even the trio of intrepid 'boarders couldn't deter Mustapha, who returned for one issue before being elbowed out for 3 weeks by Elephant On The Run's second page. Mustapha's return for a week was again interrupted by Elephant for two issues, before Mustapha enjoyed a 5 week sojourn on page 19.

Mystery Comic co-star Disaster Des ousted our pachyderm pal in the 31 March 1979 edition, after which plucky Mustapha returned for a week. Sweeny Toddler then made a Star Guest appearance on page 19, and the following week another advert, this time a competition to promote Palitoy's range of Star Wars models. Readers were invited to submit a design for a new droid (along with proof of purchase of a Palitoy Star Wars product), and the winners would get a trip to Elstree Studios to see the filming of The Empire Strikes Back and meet some of the stars (by which I assume they meant Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher et al and not a selection of white dots on a black background behind a model of the Millennium Falcon).

Why, Dad, Why? then made its first foray onto page 19, before being replaced by Mustapha, followed by our peripatetic pachyderm pal, Elephant, who was, as ever, running.

The Mystery Comic's adventure serial, Mystery Boy, then moved in for 2 weeks until being displaced by the third instalment of the less than scintillating Cheeky Spotter Book of Town and Around. The father-and-son-fun that was Why, Dad, Why? returned for a week, before Mystery Boy replaced them. However, the following week WDW were back, only to be dislodged 7 days later by an advert for The Stickits. Bryant and May, best known as manufacturers of matches, were evidently keen to diversify, probably in the face of increased usage of disposable cigarette lighters. Their Stickit range consisted of tubes containing wood sticks (i.e. matches without the igniting head), hats, eyes, noses and other accessories which could be affixed to the outer surface of the tube to create 'four comical characters'.

Mystery Boy commenced another run on page 19 in Cheeky Weekly dated 07 July 1979. Our plucky WW2 amnesiac pal clocked up 11 consecutive appearances in that location until he was displaced by Mustapha. However the affluent Arab was in turn deposed in the 29 September 1979 issue by an advert for WH Smith who, anticipating the impending flurry of festive spending, were keen to alert readers (and their parents) that the 1980 annuals (not just those published by IPC) were in stock.

The following week the showbiz wannabes of Stage School occupied page 19, but 7 days later 2 ads shared that site. Below an in-house ad in which Charlie and Calculator asked readers 'Do you have trouble getting copies of Cheeky Weekly?' and advised those thusly afflicted to place a regular order with their newsagents, was an advert for Pop-A-Points containing a colouring competition in which the first prize was somewhat ambiguously described as a 'TV Game'. This could indicate either a box of the latest microchippery enabling the proud winner to battle Space Invaders on the family goggle box, or (the less appealing option for most) a board game based on a popular TV show.

A week later page 19 was host to the last in the sporadic run of Silly Snaps fillers. In the following edition Elephant On The Run made his final excursion to page 19, being replaced there the following week by Mustapha Million.

7 days later Thursday paid its valedictory visit to page 19, making it the feature to most regularly occupy the site under examination, dropping in on a total of 37 occasions.

Despite their (reprinted under a different name) adventures having commenced in Cheeky Weekly dated 07 July 1979, it wasn't until the 17 November 1979 edition that the previously-known-as-The Double-Deckers-now-renamed-The-Gang made their first call on page 19. Our pseudonymous pals evidently found that location agreeable as they remained for 6 weeks before 6 Million Dollar Gran made her only visit. The Gang then resumed tenancy for a further 3 weeks until their run was interrupted by Mustapha Million's final page 19 outing in the penultimate Cheeky Weekly. Our affluent Arab chum was the second most regular inhabitant, making a total of 20 appearances on page 19 (the first page of his 2-page adventures on 19 occasions, and the second page just once).

The Gang had the honour of being the final page 19 occupants as the toothy funster's comic reached the end of its run.

Count of Elements (or distinct combinations thereof) appearing on Page 19

Elements Total
Mustapha Million 2/219
Mystery Boy14
The Gang 2/210
Elephant On The Run 2/26
Why, Dad, Why?3
Advertisement: Gold Spinner2
Creepy Sleepy Tale 1/22
Home Movie2
Joke-Box Jury 2/22
6 Million Dollar Gran1
Advertisement: IPC\Advertisement: Pop-A-Points1
Advertisement: Palitoy1
Advertisement: The Stickits1
Advertisement: Trebor1
Advertisement: WH Smith1
Advertisement: Weetabix1
Cheeky Spotter Book of Town and Around 1/21
Creepy Sleepy Tale 2/2\Wednesday (conclusion)1
Disaster Des1
Elephant On The Run1
Mustapha Million 1/21
Silly Snaps1
Silly Snaps 2/21
Skateboard Squad1
Stage School1
Star Guest1
What's New, Kids1