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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Saturday 19 December 2015

We Whiz You A Merry Chipmas - Part Two

Following on from my examination of the contents of the Whizzer section of the Christmas 1986 Whizzer and Chips, I'm now going to scrutinise the festive doings which occurred within the Chips portion of that same Yuletide publication.

As was the case with that week's copy of Whizzer, a story ran through the pages that constituted Chips. Chips' resident sleuth, Mizz Marble, was called upon to investigate the apparent theft of Shiner's Christmas presents to his Chip-ite chums.

Art: Jimmy Hansen

Unlike the Whizzer section, where apart from the usual raider, no characters from the rival title appeared, the Chips story included cameos by several Whizz-kids as the investigation got under way on the Junior Rotter page.

Art: Trevor Metcalfe

Over the page, Phil Fitt chased a couple of suspects but neither turned out to be the present pilferer.

Art: Mike Lacey
Titchy Chip-ite Sammy Shrink was the next to be embroiled in the mystery, and our pint-sized pal placed a suitably seasonal message in the border around his strip.

Art: Terry Bave, master of the Christmas border

Mizz Marble then enlisted Town Tarzan in the search.

Art: Trevor Metcalfe

There then followed a 2-page break to allow for readers' Christmas messages to friends and family, but the search resumed as Mustapha Million (by this time the sole survivor from Cheeky Weekly) recruited fictional sleuths Inspector Clueless (Clouseau), Sherlock Holmes (with Doctor Watson), Kojak, Cagney and Lacey, Magnum P.I. plus Crockett and Tubbs (from TV series Miami Vice). I think the glasses-wearing guy in the baseball cap is meant to be the helicopter pilot from either the Blue Thunder film or the subsequent spin-off TV series of the same name. Not only that, the strip concludes with a reference to vintage American TV police comedy Car 54 Where Are You?

Art: Barry Glennard

The action then moved to the Bottom Of The Class page. This strip's title would later contract to 'Bottom' (some years before Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson appropriated the title for their own comedic purposes), and the stories would then revolve around protagonist Rock's unfortunate habit of tearing or splitting his trousers, but at this point the humour usually focused on the titular lad's surname and resultant posterior-based hilarity. However at the end of this particular episode Rock is trapped under the mistletoe by ugly Cynth and suffers a selection of slobbery kisses...

Art: Nigel Edwards
...hence the hideous sucking noises originating off-panel at the commencement of Creepy Comix which, as well as participating in the ongoing investigations, also contained the conclusion to the JR/Bumpkins subplot that commenced earlier.

Art: Reg Parlett

The Case of The Missing Presents then reached its dramatic climax as all was revealed. Like the Whizz-Kids, our Chip-ite pals enjoyed a well-deserved traditional festive nosh-up at the conclusion of their storyline.

Art: Colin Whittock

But that wasn't quite the end of the riddles, as on the following page readers were challenged to identify the contents of the recovered Chip-ite parcels. The Whizz-kids had an equivalent page in their section which consisted of instructions for the party games as played at their Christmas get-together.

Art: Jack Oliver

The Christmas 1986 Whizzer and Chips was a real Yuletide treat, and the extra effort that was no doubt required from the creators paid off very well. As far as I know it was the only IPC comic to feature plotlines running across the various strips in a single issue (I think DC Thomson may have done something similar on one or two occasions). This edition was so fun-packed that it featured no internal adverts at all – there was just a Weetabix ad on the back cover. Also, as Stephen Archer commented on part one of this post, this edition was, unusually, entirely free from reprints. The running storylines also meant that the strips presented here were very unlikely to be used as reprints themselves.

P.S. Rather ironically I forgot to include reference to the Memory Banks strip in the first part of this two-part post. I have now made a minor update to rectify my omission.

Sunday 6 December 2015

We Whiz You A Merry Chipmas - Part One

Excited youngsters lifting the 1986 Christmas issue of Whizzer and Chips from the newsagents' shelf would, while enjoying the cover depicting a seasonal truce between rivals Sid (Whizz-kid leader) and Shiner (chief Chip-ite), have wondered what '2 fab fun packages' lay in store as they commenced their Yuletide reading. This cover teaser heralded an unusual festive edition of the long-running two-in-one comic, wherein the Whizzer and Chips sections each contained a running storyline that continued across the individual strips in the constituent parts.

The Whizzer plotline began on page 2 where Mr Superstore from the Store Wars strip was, as usual, finding it hard to compete with neighbouring retailer, Bloggs...

Art: Jim Watson
Sneaky Superstore's first prospective customer was Sweeny Toddler...

Art: Tom Paterson
The action continued overleaf, as sugar-craving Sweet-Tooth seemed about to visit Superstore in search of his Yuletide glucose fix...

Art: Trevor Metcalfe
On Winnie, The Royal Nag's page, the titular equine heroine was required to pull Charles and Di's carriage as they visited Superstore, intent on a regal Christmas shopping spree.

Art: Ian Knox

Toy Boy was Mr. Superstore's next target, and things were looking good for the shifty shopkeeper...

Art: Terry Bave
Likeable loafer Lazy Bones seemed to have generated a sale, but ended up being given a ride home courtesy of Bloggs' assistant Ted and his delivery bike. This strip was also the subject of a seasonal sneaky raid by a Chip-ite invader – can you spot the infiltrator?

Art: Bob Hill

Next up was Whizz-Kid leader Sid and his serpentine sidekick Slippy.

Art: Mike Lacey

Mr Superstore then turned his attention to Joker.

Art: Sid Burgon

Surely the Bumpkins, always keen to dispose of their unwanted millions, were only too willing to bestow their fortune on Mr Superstore?

Art: Jimmy Hansen

A great Odd-Ball page followed...love how the Odd-Balls from the surround merge into the first panel of row 3.

Art: Terry Bave

Whizzer's forgetful Bernie 'Memory' Banks was the next to encounter greedy Mr Superstore.

Art: Mark Bennington
who was signing himself Mark Benno at this time

Sadly, Mr Superstore didn't undergo a Scrooge-like redemption as the story came to a conclusion (the strip had to continue as normal in the new year, after all) but at least things ended on a traditional Christmas slap-up feed. Were the years of festive face-filling finales in British comics inspired by the Cratchits dining on Turkey at the end of A Christmas Carol? Discuss. But not here.

Art: Jim Watson

Part 2 of this examination of Whizzer and Chips' Christmas 1986 edition will be a little more on-topic as I report on, among other things, Mustapha Million's role in the Chips section of this issue.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Profile – Bubblegum Boy: Part Two - The Cheeky Weekly Era

For a profile of Bubblegum Boy's career in the pages of Krazy, see here.

Bubblegum Boy had the honour of appearing on the cover of Cheeky Weekly's debut issue, where he narrowly avoided a collision with the flying free gift. Inside that same edition, BB's appearance on the Sunday page saw him musing philosophically on Krazy Town's signage before drifting away on the breeze. From thereon BB continued to float, silent and unnoticed for the most part, across the cartoon skies as depicted in Cheeky Weekly, in exactly the same way as he had in Cheeky's strip in Krazy prior to the launch of Cheeky's own title. Indeed, our aerial chum continued to appear in Krazy while concurrently floating across the pages of Cheeky Weekly.

Cheeky Weekly No 1
Art: Frank McDiarmid, as is all the art in this post,
unless noted otherwise

Soon after the debut of the toothy funster's comic, BB was honoured with his own episode of the Cheeky's Pal feature in Krazy's 10 December 1977 edition, wherein it was revealed that the reluctant aviator's name was Fred, although this fact was never referred to again in Krazy, and only once more in Cheeky Weekly.

A month after his cover appearance on the first Cheeky Weekly, Fred was again on the front page of the 19 November 1977 issue.

Fred's third cover appearance occurred on Cheeky Weekly dated 03 December1977, and his fourth on 28 January 1978.
Thanks to a note from Frank McDiarmid which appeared in Cheeky Weekly dated 18 February 1978, readers learned that Fred's surname was Holroyd.

Young Master Holroyd was back on the front cover of the 22 April 1978 comic, where his likeness was in fact the same image that had appeared on the cover of the first issue.

Our airborne chum made yet another front page appearance on the edition dated 13 May 1978.
A catastrophic mid-air clash between BB and B-BB occurred on Monday in the 05 August 1978 comic.

In Cheeky Weekly's '60 years into the future' edition, it was prophesied that an aged Fred will still be airborne in the year 2038.

The hapless chewer was again on the cover of the 14 October and 28 October 1978 issues, on these occasions observing events within the front page gag strips.
The cinema Commissionaire employed a gum-bubble to evade his customary Saturday trampling in the issue dated 04 November 1978.

Art: Mike Lacey
BB first took to the skies in Krazy dated 08 January 1977,
so by November 1978 he hadn't been aloft 'over two years'
but no doubt the aerial banishment seemed longer to him.

The reluctant aviator was once again on the cover of the comic dated 25 November 1978, and he narrowly avoided a rapidly-descending Tub on the 27 January 1979 cover.
High-flying Fred was yet again witness to front page frolics as of the 02June 1979 edition.

A plaintive cry from the sky on Sunday in the 09 June 1979 edition revealed that our airborne chum's birthday was the 2nd of June.

Art: Frank McDiarmid pencils
Bubblegum Boy's aerial wanderings took him to the coast in Cheeky Weekly dated 07 July 1979, just in time for a wee joke with Walter Wurx.

Our drifting pal had a speaking role on the cover of the 11 August 1979 issue.
Six-Gun Sam caused BB some concern

Bubblegum Boy appeared on the Pin-Up Pal poster featuring Disco Kid that appeared in the 16 September 1978 comic.

Fred joined Cheeky Weekly's front cover fun for the final time as of the 03 November 1979 issue, and his final appearance within the pages of the toothy funster's title was on the Friday page of the last issue dated 02 February 1980.

BB's final Cheeky Weekly outing.
The mystery was revealed later in the comic to
be the imminent merge with Whoopee!

This last appearance brought to 73 the number of Cheeky Weekly issues through which our soaring pal drifted, 13 of which featured BB on the front cover.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Bubblegum Boy7322-Oct-197702-Feb-1980

Count of elements by artist

Character Artist Total Elements
Bubblegum BoyFrank McDiarmid96
Bubblegum BoyFrank McDiarmid pencils25
Bubblegum BoyBarrie Appleby6
Bubblegum BoyMike Lacey3
Bubblegum BoyJim Watson2
Bubblegum BoyDick Millington1
Bubblegum BoyUnknown Cheeky Artist 11
Bubblegum BoyNigel Edwards1

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Profile – Bubblegum Boy: Part One - The Krazy Years

Bubblegum Boy was a familiar sight as he floated above the streets of Krazy Town throughout Cheeky Weekly's run. At least he was a familiar sight to readers of the toothy funster's comic – most citizens of Cheeky's home town seemed entirely unaware of his aerial predicament. However, the accidental aeronaut was first seen in Krazy, the title which spawned spin-off Cheeky Weekly.

Krazy issue 13, dated 08 January 1977, was certainly an unlucky one for Bubblegum Boy, as this was the comic in which, unnoticed by Cheeky and pals, over-enthusiastic bubble-inflation caused the hapless gum-chewer to take to the skies.

Krazy 08 January 1977
Art: Frank McDiarmid, as is all the artwork in this post

BB became a regular fixture in Cheeky's strips in Krazy, observing events from high above Krazy Town, initially unable to call for assistance since to loosen the seal between his lips and his gummy mode of aerial transport would result in a painful plummet onto the street below.

Krazy dated 19 March 1977 was the first issue in which BB uttered a cry for help. Due to the aforementioned restriction on his vocalisations, this appeal for assistance was unintelligible, although readers were able to ascertain his meaning thanks to a helpful thought bubble.
Krazy 19 March 1977
If that was BB's mum on the pavement, 

she evidently took no action to get him down
 as he continued to float above the street
At the request of Krazy reader Neil Bastian, a close-up of Bubblegum Boy was featured in the issue dated 09 April 1977.

By Krazy's 24 September 1977 edition, BB had developed ventriloquial skills that allowed him to be understood while maintaining the vital oral grip on his sticky aircraft, and on the same page readers enjoyed a Bubblegum-Boy-viewpoint of a Knock-Knock joke in progress.

BB was absent from Krazy dated 22 October 1977, the same week that the first issue of Cheeky Weekly went on sale, but he did get to feature on the front cover of that debut edition of the toothy funster's comic.

An eventful Cheeky's Pal strip appeared in Krazy dated 10 December 1977, in which Bubblegum Boy's name was revealed to be Fred.

...Louise got her Krazy issue number wrong – it was the 13th edition in which Fred first took to the air.
Bubblegum Boy's final Krazy appearance came in the 25 March 1978 Easter edition, three weeks before that comic's final issue.

A profile of Fred's career in the pages of Cheeky Weekly can be seen here.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

You can't whack The Slipper

During my journeyings around the internet in pursuit of Cheeky-related nuggets I found this nice post on the Slipper blog. Have added the blog to my blog list.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Whizzer and Chips - The Cheeky Raids part 12

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'.

Three weeks after the momentous events depicted in the raid-and-retaliatory-strike issue, Whizzer and Chips dated 05 October 1985 witnessed another daring sortie into Whizz-kid territory by an ex-Cheeky Weekly star. Can you spot the intrepid infiltrator? Scroll down to see the answer.

Whizzer and Chips 05 October 1985
Art: Roy Mitchell

Not quite sure why Mustapha wasn't able to make his own
announcement, but I suppose it's an honour to have
the proclamation made by chief Chip-ite Shiner

The image of Mustapha dangling perilously from a hot air balloon, as used in the above raid, originally appeared in Cheeky Weekly dated 10 March 1979.

Art: Joe McCaffrey

 This latest event brings the tally of raids perpetrated by ex-Cheeky Weekly stars to 6, while those wily Whizz-kids have struck 8 times. More raiding fun soon!

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
01 June 1985
Mustapha Million
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Boy Boss
08 June 1985Odd-BallCalculator Kid
06 July 1985Toy BoyCalculator Kid
13 July 1985Pa BumpkinThe Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
27 July 1985JokerMustapha Million
24 August 1985CheekySid's Snake
14 September 1985
Calculator Kid
Calculator Kid
Store Wars
05 October 1985Mustapha MillionAnimalad

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Cheeky Weekly cover date 11 August 1979

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Bubblegum Boy, still dangling from his chewy dirigible, makes a return to the cover (his previous front page appearance was on the 02 June 1979 issue) while below, Cheeky shares a joke with Gunga Jim, who last graced the cover as of the 17 March 1979 edition. Cheeky is holding a copy of The Sunday Snigger, but Jim's paper seems to be called simply Sunday. The space below the title suggests that Frank McDiarmid was intending to insert a title but maybe forgot, or inspiration wasn't forthcoming before deadline time.

Aged automaton 6 Million Dollar Gran is on the golf course this week. The scriptwriter's apparent confusion over Gran's robotic origin continues, as the caption in the final panel on page 2 refers to the synthetic senior citizen's 'computer-like brain'  It IS a computer! Gah!

Art: Ian Knox

I suspect the artwork on the third Gran page above has been altered. The hatching at the bottom of the tweed jacket in the second panel of row 2 seems to have been added later, suggesting that the final panel has been moved to the right, probably to compensate for the removal of a 'Cheeky watching the 6 Million Dollar Gran closing credits' final panel which was the traditional conclusion during the period that Gran's adventures appeared as a TV show watched by the toothy funster. However, as examined here, the Cheeky's week framing devices were gradually dropped, with the final 'official' 6MDG link appearing in the 30 June 1979 issue (one later closing Gran link appeared, as a result of an error I suspect, in the comic dated14 July 1979).

Gran's golf gags put me in mind of similar links larks perpetrated by the mighty Norman Wisdom in his 1965 saga of feuding milkmen, The Early Bird. Norman, arriving at the golf course in the guise of a man of the cloth, disrupts the recreational tour of the greens planned by rival dairy owner, Mr Hunter (played by splendid comic foil Jerry Desmonde).


The What's New, Kids advertorial feature is this week devoted to books. I bought a copy of the 'Superman from the 30s to the 70s' collection which is among the publications being promoted, and parts of it proved to be an interesting reading experience due to the pages being assembled in the wrong order.

Barry Glennard stands in for regular Elephant On The Run artist Robert Nixon this week. Yahglubb (uttered by The Man In The Plastic Mac as he's smothered in cement) is another word you only ever see in comics.

Art: Barry Glennard

Disaster Des causes a crash in the housing market...

Art: Mike Lacey

Also enjoying a colour adventure is Calculator Kid. This is one of those rare occasions when Calculator's electronic scheming turns out less than optimally for Charlie.

Art: Terry Bave
There are two pages of Chit-Chat letters this week. Reader Amanda Bullock asks for a Pin-Up Pal poster of Cheeky. The toothy funster omits to mention in his reply that he was the subject of a double-page centre spread poster way back in Cheeky Weekly number 1, but he does allude to an upcoming event of the cut-out-and-keep variety.

...and all is revealed on page 27...

Cheeky Weekly readers had been invited to send in their guesses as to the Alpha Man's true identity in the 16 June 1979 Disco issue.

On Saturday our toothy chum is laid low by a severe case of the sniffles. Doctor Braincell is evidently not available, but after being visited by a selection of his chums, our pyjama-d pal perks up as Dad prescribes this week's Cheeky Weekly (and the cover of the comic in the clutches of our sniffly mate is indeed that of this very issue). I'm sure the fact that Cheeky will already know all the jokes he told this week won't stop him from enjoying a chucklesome read.

Art: Frank McDiarmid
Hypno-Tessa and Cheeky's mum must go to the same hairdresser

Back cover strip Snail Of The Century was never linked to a specific day of the week. If we assume the events depicted below to have occurred after those seen on Saturday above, it appears Cheeky was cheered up enough to emerge from his bed, although clearly still not firing on all cylinders.

Art: Frank again

This brings to a conclusion a pleasingly all-Frank-McDiarmid Cheeky's Week, the second such issue in a row.

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 11-Aug-1979
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid9

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 11-Aug-1979, Issue 92 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Gunga Jim' 1 of 5 - 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
6What's New, Kids
7Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
8The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
9The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
10Joke-Box Jury
11Joke-Box Jury
12Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
13Elephant On The Run - Art Barry Glennard (single art on feature)
14Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
15Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
16Disaster Des - Art Mike Lacey
17Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
18Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
19Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art John Richardson
20Stage School - Art Robert Nixon
21Stage School - Art Robert Nixon
22Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
23Speed Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
26Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
27Ad: IPC 'Poster next week'
28Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
29Ad: WH Smith
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Snail of the Century - Art Frank McDiarmid