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.

Friday 26 February 2016

The Bold Hawke

Irmantas has posted an interesting article on the Maxwell Hawke strips from the Buster Annuals. As you may recall, the first James Bold serial that was printed in Cheeky Weekly, 'Fangs of Fear', was based on the original script of the first Maxwell Hawke story to appear in Buster, 'MH and The House of a Thousand Secrets' (29 October 1960 to 04 February 1961). The Cheeky Weekly version used new artwork. Apparently the final James Bold tale to appear in Cheeky Weekly, 'Island of Fear', was another re-drawn MH script, this time using the plot of 'MH and The Isle of Ghosts', which ran in Buster from 07 March 1964 to 09 May 1964 (thanks to alanultron5 from the Comics UK forum for the info re Isle of Ghosts). I've always assumed the other James Bold stories (there were 5 series in all) were also based on MH scripts.

Irmantas' latest post has given me the opportunity to check whether the plots apparent on the opening pages he has posted bear any similarities to the openings of the James Bold adventures in the Cheeky Annuals dated 1979 to 1981, namely...

1979 The Phantom

1980 Untitled

1981 James Bold and The Curse of Krah

1982 James Bold and the Ghostly Highwayman

...and I can report that they don't!

Thursday 25 February 2016

Cheeky Weekly cover date 25 August 1979

Cacophonous kid Yikky-Boo has Krazy Town jumping on this week's main cover pic (even Snail has been propelled skyward), underneath a banner alerting readers to the presence of part 2 of the Giant Cheeky poster inside.

Sunday gets off to an exciting start for Cheeky, as he encounters a thrillingly dominant Lily Pop (cough...)

Art: Frank McDiarmid pencils

For the first time since the introduction of the 'new look' back in the issue dated 07 July 1979, there is no evidence that the latest 6 Million Dollar Gran episode originally included the now-defunct framing device that was the 'Cheeky-looking-at-end-caption-of-Gran's-TV-programme' closing panel.

Closing panels of 6 Million Dollar Gran
Art: Ian Knox

There's a 'bumper panel of judges' standing by to deliberate on this week's Joke-Box Jury two-pager (featuring, as it so often did, some material which would be considered inappropriate today).

Despite the fact that Disaster Des is under surveillance by government spies the obligatory, satisfactorily destructive events ensue.

Art: Mike Lacey

This week's second instalment of the giant Cheeky poster, occupying the centre pages, features our toothy pal's knee-to-midriff section. A few pages later, the Chit-Chat feature spans a page and a half (sharing its second page with Tub). Some cynical readers may suspect that the expansion of reader participation features Joke-Box Jury and Chit-Chat is a ploy to reduce the number of comic strips.

Tub - Art: Nigel Edwards

On Friday Snail proves he's a keen observer of global events with his pithy comment on a Cheeky/Mechanic gag.

Art: Frank McDiarmid
There's more reader participation (but this time featuring attendant cartoonery) on the Paddywack page.

Art: Jack Clayton

On Saturday, Cheeky and pals frantically try to conceal themselves from Do-Good Dora who, as always, is seeking to raise funds for her latest cause of choice. The back cover is once again the location of the garden gagfest that is Snail of the Century, bringing the comic to a close for another week.

Frank McDiarmid delivers 6 Cheeky's Week elements in this week's issue, with 3 elements originating from the artistic collaboration I refer to as Frank McDiarmid pencils.

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 25-Aug-1979
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid6
Frank McDiarmid pencils3

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 25-Aug-1979, Issue 94 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Yikky-Boo' 2 of 2 - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
3Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
46 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
66 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
7Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
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 pencils
13Disaster Des - Art Mike Lacey
14Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
15Ad: IPC '2000AD and Tornado' 2 of 2 Ad: 'Puzzle Time' 3 of 6
16Giant Cheeky Poster
17Giant Cheeky Poster
18Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
19Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art John Richardson
20Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
21Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
22Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
23Speed Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
25Chit-Chat\Tub - Art Nigel Edwards
26Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
27Why, Dad, Why? - Art John K. Geering
28Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
29Ad: Trebor 'Double Agents Night Spy Kit Promotion' 1 of 2
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Snail of the Century - Art Frank McDiarmid

Friday 19 February 2016

Whizzer and Chips - The Cheeky Raids part 14

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'.

Whizzer and Chips 30 November 1985

Normally I ask you to spot the raider, then reveal the interloper's identity further down the page, but in the face of this massive onslaught by the teeny terror I felt I should prepare readers for the traumatic events that occurred in the pages of Chips dated 23 November 1985...

Whizzer and Chips 23 November 1985
Art: Terry Bave

This tale of questionable morality (since Calc knew in advance that the bull would escape, why didn't he get Charlie to alert the farmer, instead of waiting for the beast to rampage and then instructing young master Counter to steal the fish?) first appeared in colour in Cheeky Weekly dated 22 July 1978.

There's more pilfering afoot in the Krazy Gang, but our toothy mate foils the nefarious nocturnal nicking...

Whizzer and Chips 23 November 1985
Art: Bob Hill

The final ex-Cheeky Weekly star to be raided in this W&C issue is Mustapha...

Whizzer and Chips 23 November 1985
Art:Joe McCaffrey

This MM story originally appeared in Cheeky Weekly dated 02 June 1979. On its original appearance, teacher's word balloon in the final panel on the first page made reference to a 'Cheeky Annual'.

Despite Cheeky Weekly having come to an end in February 1980, Cheeky Annuals continued to be published for some years (each edition cover dated, as was the tradition with all Fleetway annuals, a year in advance). The final Cheeky Annual was dated 1985, so sadly the toothy funster's yearly treat was not among the annuals filling the newsagents' shelves when Whizzer and Chips dated 23 November 1985 went on sale.

The tally of raids now stands at Whizz-kids 12, with 6 raids carried out by ex-Cheeky Weekly characters.

In case anyone's wondering, in addition to his raids on the three surviving characters from Cheeky Weekly, Sweeny's fourth raid in the issue in question was on Lolly Pop.

I have a confession to make - I prepared the scans for this post some months ago. When I came to write the post I realised I had forgotten to scan the second page of Mustapha's story above. I didn't feel like embarking on a major excavation to retrieve the Whizzer and Chips in question, so the second page shown above is actually from the story's original appearance in Cheeky Weekly - the eagle-eyed among you may have spotted the 'CHEEKY 2.6.79' in the bottom right corner.

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
19 October 1985Odd-BallMustapha Million
23 November 1985
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Calculator Kid
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Mustapha Million

Monday 15 February 2016

Snail of the Century artwork reassigned

Prior to writing my post on Snail of the Century I had believed that all the SotC strips were drawn by Frank McDiarmid. However while re-reading the series for research purposes it became apparent that artwork on one of the episodes was by Barrie Appleby, while a second was probably by Barrie rather than Frank.

This is the one that's unmistakably (except that I did mistake it) the work of Barrie...

Cheeky Weekly 13 October 1979

This one (from the following week's issue) is less obviously Barrie's work but I reckon the book pages in panel 2, the building in panel 3 and Dan-Dan in the final row are sufficiently Appleby-esque for me to make an attribution - it's a bit hard to use the manner of Cheeky's rendition to determine the artist, as the toothy funster is depicted as being uncharacteristically groomed, gleaming and not a little shocked by the whole cleaning experience.

Cheeky Weekly 20 October 1979

I don't need to change my SotC post as I had already reassigned the artwork credits for these episodes before embarking upon it, but I have had to update the following posts...

Cheeky Weekly Index

Cheeky Weekly Artist Index

Cheeky's Week - Artists by issue and %

The Other Cheeky Artists - Barrie Appleby

Cheeky's Week artist roundup

Thursday 4 February 2016

The features – Snail of the Century

Snail had been Cheeky's faithful (but silent) slimy sidekick since issue 6 of Krazy in November 1976, but over two and a half years later our mollusc mate was elevated to become the star of his very own feature. Snail of the Century was the last original strip to commence in Cheeky Weekly, making its debut in the edition dated 14 July 1979 and completing the comic's 'new look' which had been initiated a week earlier.

First appearance of Snail of the Century
Cheeky Weekly 14 July 1979
Art: Frank McDiarmid

The strip (the title, which had first appeared on the cover of Cheeky Weekly dated 02 June 1979, being a play on Parsonstastic TV quiz show of the time, Sale of the Century) was a spin-off from the Cheeky's Week pages and Snail thus joined Baby Burpo to become the only characters from Cheeky's supporting cast to make it into their own regular strips (The Burpo Special in the case of the notorious nappy-wearer). Additionally, both Snail's and Burpo's own features bore titles referencing TV shows of the era.

Despite the much earlier competition in which readers were invited to send in suggestions for Snail's name, none of the winning entries published in the 22 April 1978 edition were ever used in either Cheeky's Week or Snail of the Century (seemingly not the first time IPC had neglected to use a name supplied by a reader).

Frank again
Although the strip was clearly set in Cheeky's universe, there was no introduction within the CW strips, since Cheeky Weekly's framing devices had been dropped as of the aforementioned 'new look' issue dated 14 July 1979. However, there was framing within each SotC episode, as at the beginning of every story the inimitable invertebrate would observe Cheeky's current preoccupation before slithering out into the garden to meet his back yard buddies. The end of each episode saw Snail return indoors to view the latest state of affairs in the Cheeky household. Snail, Cheeky, his parents, Baby Burpo and school gardener Dan-Dan the Lavender Man were the only characters from the Cheeky's Week pages to feature in SotC, and none of the SotC supporting cast appeared in Cheeky's Week.

Most memorable among the SotC characters was Weevil Knievel (whose surname underwent a number of different spellings in the early weeks of the feature), the motorcycle stunt rider. The mini motorcyclist (a spoof of course on Evel Knievel) either appeared or was mentioned in every SotC episode.

Snail's nephew appeared just once
Snail of the Century was missing from just 3 issues after its commencement, appearing in 27 editions in total. The feature was most often to be found on Cheeky Weekly's back cover, benefiting from the colour printing available in that location on 25 occasions. Frank McDiarmid drew 25 episodes, with Barrie Appleby supplying 2.

Missed opportunity for a gag -
surely Snail's fave disc is Me Shell by The Beatles

I mentioned above that Snail of the Century was a spin-off from Cheeky's Week, but really it was more like a knock-off. It attempted to relocate Cheeky's pun-fests to the back garden, but sadly Snail, while a great sidekick, didn't really have the personality to front a strip on his own. Having no arms or legs and only a rudimentary face meant the star of the strip was visually a little dull. Nor were the mirthful mollusc's mates as engaging a bunch as Cheeky's pals. Not being a fan of anything with more than 4 legs or lacking a backbone, the strip never really appealed to me.

Snail of the Century in the Cheeky Weekly Index

Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
Snail of the Century14-Jul-7902-Feb-8027312,23,32

Issues Missed In Run

Feature Artist Number of Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Snail of the Century Frank McDiarmid2514-Jul-197902-Feb-1980
Snail of the Century Barrie Appleby213-Oct-197920-Oct-1979

Preceding Page Count
Saturday 2/225
Ringer Dinger1
Joke-Box Jury1

Pages per Issue Number of Issues