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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Tuesday 23 October 2018

Creepy Sleepy Tale artwork credited to Keith Reynolds

This is something I have been vacillating over since at least 2011, but as the Cheeky Weekly phase of this blog nears its conclusion I felt I must now grasp the metaphorical nettle and have finally got round to assigning to Keith Reynolds the Creepy Sleepy Tale artwork that was not by Mike Brown, Mike Lacey or Tom Paterson. It therefore emerges that Keith was the most regular artist to draw the feature, with 34 episodes to his name.

Although on the blog I had assigned Christmas 1977's Creepy Pantomime variant to Keith way back in 2010, I hadn't actually updated my comic database to reflect this, so the necessary change has also been made in that respect.

The following posts have now been updated;

Creepy Sleepy Tale

Cheeky Weekly Artist Index

Artist Key

I haven't totally got my mitts around the irritating vegetation yet, as I now need to go back and update all the contents tables included in the issue summary posts relating to the affected editions but I hope to do that in stages when time allows. 

Thursday 18 October 2018

Profile - 6 Million Dollar Gran

Readers who have been following this blog for some time will be aware that this series of Profile posts examines the named characters who appeared alongside the toothy funster in his daily ‘Cheeky’s Week’ pages. Cheeky Weekly’s USP (at least in its early days) was that the Cheeky elements acted as framing devices for all the other features in the comic. A number of the characters from the non-Cheeky features were shown to share the same universe as our grinning pal. For example, Skateboard Squad and Calculator Kid were seen on the Cheeky pages a number of times.

Other features had a metafictional relationship to Cheeky’s world; James Bold was the hero of a series of novels (and later a film) which Cheeky enjoyed, and Elephant on the Run was a strip in our grinning pal’s favourite funny paper, the Mystery Comic.

In some cases Cheeky Weekly blurred the reality boundary by incorporating fictional-from-Cheeky’s-perspective characters into the Cheeky pages; Paddywack was initially presented as the subject of a cartoon strip drawn by Doodle Doug, but was later seen at the cinema during a Saturday morning pictures sequence, and on one occasion the titular pachyderm from Elephant on the Run, plus his plastic-clad pursuer, turned up in Cheeky’s Week. Were these examples of the scriptwriter deliberately being playful with the whole concept of the ‘reality’ depicted in comics, or rather the result of lapses in concentration? You decide.
6 Million Dollar Gran, initially presented as the robotic star character in Cheeky’s favourite humorous sci-fi/fantasy TV show, made one transition across the fictionality interface into Cheeky’s world. In that particular case, I think we can excuse the comic’s creators for what some may consider to be a gaffe, since Gran’s sole Cheeky’s Week appearance occurred in the final issue of the toothy funster’s comic, during a sequence in which all those funny folk who would be transferring into Whoopee! the following week were shown meeting their new comic colleagues, and therefore the scriptwriter had no option other than to include the synthetic senior citizen. Additionally, the depiction of Gran as a TV character ceased following the 14 July 1979 edition of Cheeky Weekly (Gran’s being the final framing device to be dropped from the comic), and her former TV star status was never mentioned in Whoopee! so it was simpler to assign her to the same level of reality as her Cheeky chums in the final issue of Cheeky's mighty, if short-lived, title.

Gran's non-speaking role in the final Cheeky Weekly
Art: Frank McDiarmid

Any blog readers cross-referencing to the list of Cheeky's Week Characters will be understandably puzzled by the discrepancy between this post's mention of Gran's single appearance and that list's total of 5 appearances by the robotic senior citizen. The difference exists because the Cheeky's Week Characters list includes in the total Cover Features containing the relevant character, whereas the figures shown in these Profile posts excludes Cover Features. The description Cover Feature is one I use for elements that appear on page 1 but which are not comic strips (What a Cheek and its replacement Cheeky's Week were the main cover strips).

Gran's front page appearances that I have classified as Cover Features are on the 12 November 1977, 29 July 1978, 02 September 1978 and 21 July 1979 issues.

It's now apparent that my assignment of Cover Feature is not really adequate - I should have created an additional category called something like Cover Feature - Cheeky-Related, which would have meant that the single-panel Cheeky gag covers would have been identified separately from the cover features such as those listed above. Maybe I'll get round to reclassifying those elements one day.

Sunday 7 October 2018

Profile – Burpo’s Cousins

As if one terrifying toddler wasn’t enough for the toothy funster to contend with, the introduction to 26 November 1977’s Creepy Sleepy Tale revealed that there were in fact a further 5 (possibly more) belligerent babies in the same mould.

Art: Frank McDiarmid pencils
Despite the presence of the cousins, only Burpo was seen in the post-creepy-sleepy-tale scene as Cheeky left for home, and this was the case on all the subsequent occasions on which the myriad of mini marauders appeared prior to the Wednesday bedtime story.

The kiddie cousins’ next appearance was in the 'Ello It's Cheeky strip in Krazy dated 14 January 1978, the only time they featured in that title, in which we saw there were at least 6 mini mischief makers in addition to Burpo, although the line of Burpo-alikes was emerging from around a corner so there could have been many more.

Krazy 14 January 1978
Art: Frank McDiarmid

The toddler troupe’s next Cheeky Weekly appearance was in the 11 February 1978 edition, in which on Monday Cheeky hid himself among the nappy-wearing throng in order to enter the newsagent’s unseen for a free read of James Bold novel The Ghost Highwayman. The toothy funster’s usual perusal of 2-comic-pages-worth of the supernatural thriller was interrupted on the Suddenly page when the cousins gave him away, and he was propelled from the shop by the proprietor’s boot. The cousins were back on Wednesday in the same issue when, in the pre-Creepy Sleepy Tale sequence we witnessed 12 cousins in addition to the ‘orrible original, although once again only Burpo was in evidence in the post-Tale conclusion. This three-pages-of-cousins issue was the only one in which the toddling terrors appeared on more than one page, and also the only time they featured on any day other than Wednesday.

Cheeky was again waylaid by Burpo and rowdy relatives as he arrived for his Wednesday babysitting ordeal in the 06 May and 29 July 1978 issues.

Our toothy pal expected to be free of Burpo, let alone the attendant horde of diabolical dummy-suckers, when he embarked on a canal barge holiday in the comic dated 12 August 1978, but found himself being forced to walk the plank by a plethora of piratical potty-perchers.

The cousins’ final Cheeky Weekly appearance was in the 23 September 1978 comic, wherein the menacing multitude was so great that counting them was impossible. It seems that the intolerable infants were surplus to requirements once the depiction of Cheeky’s babysitting misfortunes was dropped from the comic.
The cousins' final appearance. Art: Frank McDiarmid pencils
By this time Creepy Sleepy Tale had come to an end, and in this issue the Wednesday page above was followed by the final instalment of the Crack-A-Joke Game

The cousins, none of whom were identified by name, terrorised our toothy pal in 6 issues of his comic.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Burpo's Cousins626-Nov-197723-Sep-1978

Count of elements by artist
Character Artist Total Elements
Burpo's CousinsFrank McDiarmid pencils5
Burpo's CousinsFrank McDiarmid2
Burpo's CousinsJim Watson1

Gaps between appearances

Prev Date Next Date Gap (weeks)