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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Friday 27 May 2016

Whizzer and Chips - The Cheeky Raids part 17

The 08 February 1986 issue of Whizzer and Chips was a sad milestone for all loyal Friends of Cheeky. But first, an explicatory wander down comics' memory lane...

Cheeky rose to fame during something of a late 1970s renaissance in British comics. Ground-breaking titles Action (1976-77) and 2000AD (1977 - present) are often cited as revivifying forces in what had become a somewhat staid comics scene, but there were equally mould-breaking humour titles appearing in the shops during the same period. The free-wheeling, madcap Krazy made its debut with an issue cover dated 16 October 1976. The toothy funster, who first appeared in that premiere edition, was pushing the envelope of comic convention from the start, featuring in 2 strips in Krazy every week – as a member of The Krazy Gang and also as the star of his own four-page strip 'Ello, It's Cheeky (later retitled 'Ello I'm Cheeky). Just a year later, Cheeky's career ascended to another level as his very own comic, the innovative Cheeky Weekly – in which he featured throughout - hit the newsagents. For a golden period of 26 weeks, comic readers could immerse themselves in Cheeky's gag-cracking world across two titles.

These glory days couldn't last forever, and it seems Krazy's unconventional style was not to everyone's taste, as that comic folded in April 1978. Following its demise, however, some of Krazy's features were assimilated into one of IPC's flagship titles, Whizzer and Chips. Among the Krazy survivors moving into the pages of that venerable comic were The Krazy Gang, still featuring our grinning pal as a member of the titular group.

Thus, despite the foundering of the comic that spawned him, fans of Cheeky continued to enjoy the grinning gagster in 2 comics each week because, undeterred by the fate of its progenitor title, Cheeky Weekly continued publication.

Sadly, the vicissitudes of the comics business were too much for even our toothy pal to withstand, and his own title just made it into the new decade before coming to an end with the issue dated 02 February 1980.

The 'merge' that inevitably resulted from the wreck of Cheeky's comic saw survivors from Cheeky Weekly scramble aboard another IPCstalwart, Whoopee! Somebody at IPC (possibly Bob Paynter, Group Editor of the IPC humour titles) clearly had a soft spot for our grinning chum, as Cheeky was allocated his own comicsection at the centre of Whoopee!, into which the refugees from his former title settled, and within which Cheeky himself was given a whopping 4-page strip in which to carry on jesting.

Despite this change in Cheeky's fortunes, loyal fans were still able to buy 2 comics (Whizzer and Chips and Whoopee!) featuring the mighty-molared mirthster.

Cheeky continued to appear on 4 Whoopee! pages per issue until the title underwent a revamp commencing in the edition dated 12 September 1981, from which date Cheeky was reduced to 2 pages a week (although, ever the iconoclast, the grinning gagster appeared in multiple strips across those pages, sharing space with a strip devoted to his slimy sidekick, Snail).

From 1982, Cheeky suffered a further demotion that cut his strip to just a single Whoopee! page per week. Sadly, this was not be be the final indignity for a comic superstar who once had an entire comic devoted to his weekly adventures – as from Whoopee dated 02 July 1983 (the date of Whoopee's absorption of Wow! and the point at which the host comic lost its exclamation mark), Cheeky was relegated to the Quick Strips page where his presence in the comic was reduced to a single row of panels among 3 other strips (one of which featured his erstwhile Cheeky Weekly colleague Paddywack). Notwithstanding the ignominy, Cheeky was still able to boast weekly appearances in both Whizzer and Chips and Whoopee.

As the economic realities of the 1980s took hold, further upheavals in the comics industry were inevitable. Whoopee's final issue hit the newsagents five years after it absorbed Cheeky Weekly. As the British comics business contracted, there were fewer available titles into which defunct comics could be merged. Andy Boal's highly enlightening comment here gives an overview of how Fleetway/IPC's merges were allocated from the early 70s.
IPC management decided that Whoopee would merge into Whizzer and Chips. Sadly Cheeky, in his incarnation stretching back to the 'Ello, It's Cheeky strip in Krazy, did not survive this latest merge. However, The Krazy Gang, whose genesis also reached back to the origins of Krazy but via a diverging route, were among the strips that were retained in Whizzer and Chips.

Thus, the week of the first combined issue of Whizzer and Chips and Whoopee (cover dated 07 April 1985) was the first since October 1977 in which Cheeky had a regular strip in only one comic. This 7 year run of concurrent appearances by the same character in 2 comics (although not the same comics for the entirety of the run) must surely be some kind of record.

Cheeky, resolute in the face of this reversal of fortune, continued to play his part as a Krazy Gang team member until that strip came to an end in Whizzer and Chips dated 08 February 1986 (bringing this post back to where it started).

Whizzer and Chips 08 February 1986
Art: Bob Hill

Bleep art: Jim Barker

Thus ended, with no ceremony, Cheeky's nine and a half year presence in weekly British comics.

In that same issue, Mustapha Million suffered a pesky Whizz-kid interloper. Can you spot the gatecrasher?

Whizzer and Chips 08 February 1986
Art: Joe McCaffrey


Buuuut .... that wasn't quite the end of the influence of the toothy funster's comic, since Mustapha Million and Calculator Kid continued to appear in Whizzer and Chips beyond the demise of The Krazy Gang. Stage School limped from the wreckage of Whoopee into Whizzer and Chips, but only appeared in two issues.

OK, let's get this somewhat circuitous Whizzer and Chips Raids post back on track and do the admin. This would appear to be a revenge raid by Animalad on Mustapha, who had previously invaded the rather insipid, animal-morphing character in the 05 October 1985 edition (link in table below). At this stage our ex-Cheeky Weeky chums had been raided on 14 occasions, having perpetrated 8 incursions on those pesky Whizz-kids. We can only imagine what the effect of losing Cheeky in his guise as a Krazy Gang member will have on the future tally of raids. I have to admit, it's not looking good.

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
19 October 1985Odd-BallMustapha Million
23 November 1985
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Calculator Kid
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Mustapha Million
18 January 1986Mustapha MillionSuper Steve
25 January 1986
Mustapha Million
08 February 1986
The Krazy Gang ends this issue
AnimaladMustapha Million

Friday 20 May 2016

Great News - It's Cheeky!

The ever-excellent Great News blog is taking a look at another issue of Cheeky Weekly, and confronting the uncomfortable issues that arise when considering certain aspects of the comic from today's perspective.

Thursday 19 May 2016

The One-Offs – Colonel Balderdash

Is it really two and a half years since my last One-Offs post? Time to rectify the situation with a glance at Cheeky Weekly dated 30 June 1979. The two-page Saturday feature in that issue showed Teacher leading Cheeky and pals on a country ramble. Naturally, it wasn't very long before the toothy funster encountered Krazy Town's rustic jokesmith, Farmer Giles. However, as the ramble progressed onto its second page, our grinning pal had a humorous brush with a country squire who, despite being allocated a name, never appeared in the comic again.

Cheeky Weekly 30 June 1979
Art: Dick Millington

Saturday 14 May 2016

Profile – Vicar

Ministering to the spiritual needs of the various obsessives that populated Krazy Town was surely an unenviable task, but the Vicar remained cheerful despite the odd nature of his flock. The comical clergyman (who was created for Cheeky Weekly and hadn't previously appeared in Cheeky's strips in Krazy) made his debut in the first issue of the toothy funster's own title, and went on to revel in religious raillery in a total of 68 issues.

Never without what we originally assumed to be The Good Book under his arm (but revealed on many occasions to be a one of a selection of tomes with joke titles), the Vicar's first gag centred on his two children, neither of whom ever appeared again.

The Vicar's first appearance - Cheeky Weekly No 1
Art: Frank McDiarmid

Vicar appeared most regularly in the Sunday evening element of Cheeky's Week, a feature that was dropped from Cheeky Weekly as of the 30 September 1978 issue to make way for the inclusion of The Mystery Comic. In Sunday evening's 48-issue run, Vicar appeared on that page in 39 editions (Vicar also featured in the Christmas 1977 issue on the Boxing Day page, which that year was on a Sunday). Following the demise of Sunday evening, Vicar was most regularly to be found on Saturday. Possibly the result of a decision by the editor to avoid any contentious matters that may have arisen from his inclusion on such significant days in the Christian calendar, Vicar was absent from Christmas Day 1977 (there was no Christmas issue in 1978 due to industrial action), Easter Day 1978 and Christmas Day 1979 (which was in the comic titled Tuesday; although inconsistent, this was logical because that was the day of the week on which the celebrations fell that year).

Frank again, as is all the artwork in this post

Of course, as would be expected in a mainstream title for children, the humour derived from the Vicar's presence on the streets of Krazy Town was of an entirely innocuous, pun-based nature.
Our cheerful church-based chum's nemesis was Herman the Traffic Warden, who had a fondness for affixing parking tickets to the vicar's velocipede.

Cheeky Weekly's skateboard issue

Vicar's first cover appearance was on the comic dated 11 February 1978, where he was among that week's Joke-Box Jury panel as they were given a front page boost.

A month later, in the 11 March issue, Vicar was to be found at the opposite end of the comic, where he was the subject of that week's Pin-Up Pal poster.

The mirthful minister was again on the cover, this time featuring alongside our toothy pal in a What a Cheek strip, on the front of the 05 August 1978 edition.

Vicar, developing a reputation as something of a party animal, was seen toasting the new year (with a drink poured from a bottle labelled Pop) at the Cheeky family's new year party in the comic dated 13 January 1979.

The second instalment of the Cheeky Snap Game occupied the centre pages of the 20 January 1979 issue, and a selection of the cut-out cards featured on that week's cover, including one bearing a likeness of the Vicar that was in fact the same image that graced the Pin-Up Pal poster back in March 1978.

The Vicar fired the starting pistol at the commencement of Krazy Town's cross country run in the comic dated 04 August 1979. He was also at the finishing line to welcome home the surprise winner, not realising at the time that his bike had yet again been the subject of Herman's attention.

Our preaching pal's fourth and final cover outing was on the front of the 01 September 1979 edition.

Vicar's penultimate appearance was in the comic dated 05 January 1980, where he was yet again glimpsed at the new year festivities chez Cheeky. Sadly, despite his plethora of parish puns, we never learned the risible rector's real name.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance

Thursday 5 May 2016

Cheeky Weekly cover date 08 September 1979

Art: Mike Lacey
Moonraker, the fourth James Bond film to feature suave star Roger Moore as the British super-agent, and the first (and only) 007 outing to be influenced by the Star Wars phenomenon, had its UK premiere in late June 1979. Our favourite comic is thus a bit late in jumping on the promotional bandwagon, announcing on the cover of this week's issue a competition to win a replica of the gun toted in said film by the gadget-wrangling secret service operative while aboard a space station. Below that announcement, the ever-reliable Cheeky/Manhole Man double act furnishes us with an arctic rib-tickler. I don't know what the pig has been using as a loo but I note that there's an awful lot of yellow ice about.

The toothy funster evidently undertook a swift trudge across the tundra as he's back on the streets of Krazy town by page 2, doing his usual Sunday paper round. Further space station-related matters arise as Frank McDiarmid references pioneering orbiting vessel Skylab which, amid much speculation as it reached the end of its mission about possible damage and injury that may have resulted from its planned (uncrewed) destruction on re-entry, made a not-entirely-controlled-but-non-injurious return to Earth, with remnants landing in Australia on 11 July 1979.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

The final panel of the Sunday page seems very much like it's going to turn into an introduction to the 6 Million Dollar Gran story that follows, but as documented here, Cheeky's intros to the Gran strips came to an end in the 30 July 1979 issue.

Nigel Edwards deputises for Ian Knox on 6 Million Dollar Gran for the twelfth time, depicting the aged automaton's visit to a medieval tournament. Gran clearly has a liking for these events as she previously attended one in Cheeky Weekly dated 30 June 1979.

Yet again Gran is referred to as bionic

The Joke-Box Jury panel is reduced to three members this week as the gag-evaluating team share a page with the assembly instructions for the giant Cheeky poster which concludes this week with the upper half of the toothy funster's grinning fizzog.

Things look very grim for our favourite fugitive elephant. I like the panel showing the stampeding bargain-hunters - Robert Nixon uses a nice, loose, kind-of-goofy style on Elephant on the Run that I'm not sure I've seen in his other work. This style really suits the daft nature of this feature. Lovely stuff.

Page 15 is the location of the latest What's New, Kids advertorial feature, and prominence is given to the Lone Star Moonraker Pistol referred to on the cover.

Cheeky enjoys a late summer visit to the seaside on Saturday.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

The back garden banter of Snail of the Century once again brings the comic to a conclusion.

Frank McDiarmid provides all 9 fun-filled Cheeky's Week elements this issue.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 08-Sep-1979, Issue 96 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Moonraker Guns to be won' 'Manhole Man' 3 of 7 - Art Mike Lacey
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
3Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
46 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
66 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
7Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
8Ad: Signal (single appearance) 'Dracula promo'
9Joke-Box Jury\Poster instructions (single appearance)
10Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
11Speed Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
12The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
13The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
14Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
15What's New, Kids
16Giant Cheeky Poster (final appearance)
17Giant Cheeky Poster (final appearance)
18Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
19Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art John Richardson
20Ad: Trebor 'Double Agents Night Spy Kit Promotion' 2 of 2
21Why, Dad, Why? - Art John K. Geering
22Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
23James Bond competition (single appearance)\Ad: IPC 'Top Soccer No 1' 1 of 2
25Chit-Chat\Tub - Art Nigel Edwards
26Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
27Ad: IPC 'Cor Annual' 3 of 5 \Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
28Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
29Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Snail of the Century - Art Frank McDiarmid