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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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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