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 24 April 2020

The Whoopee Years - Paddywack

Lovable lunk Paddywack first bumbled his way into comic history in Cheeky Weekly issue number 38. At that time all the non-Cheeky strips in the comic were framed as being within the toothy funster’s universe, and the conceit around Paddywack saw him presented as the subject of a cartoon strip (within the Cheeky strip), drawn by Cheeky’s pal Doodle Doug. On Paddywack’s second Cheeky Weekly outing, the strip was accompanied by a caption asking readers to send in ‘Paddy Wack-type jokes’, and as of its 12 August 1978 appearance all the gags featured in the strips were based on those posted into the IPC office by youngsters hoping to win the £2 on offer to the first senders of jokes chosen for publication. Paddywack enjoyed 77 outings in Cheeky Weekly, and the perplexing poltroon was among the survivors who transferred into Whoopee when it absorbed the remnants of the toothy funster’s comic.

Paddywack's first
Whoopee! and Cheeky outing
Art: Jack Clayton as is all the art
in this post, unless noted otherwise

The prize money for successful Paddywack gag submissions was halved to just £1 as of the first combined Whoopee! and Cheeky, although a bonus prize of a whoopee cushion was added. Presumably the Paddywack jokes in the first few editions of the amalgamated title were originally submitted to Cheeky Weekly. Whether those readers whose gags appeared in the early days following the merge got the £2 promised in Cheeky’s comic or the reduced cash award plus bogus-flatus apparatus on offer in Whoopee!, and their feelings about whichever situation pertained, is something history does not record. The combined prize for a successful Paddywack gag was the same as that awarded to readers who had their letters printed on the Whoopee Chit-Chat letters page, although the sender of the week’s Star Letter would have their cash award boosted to a princely £2. The prize package was also the same as for the comic’s other reader-generated gag page, Smiler’s Smile-In, although the jokes on the ever-beaming little lad’s page of funnies were of the single-panel variety and he, like the Chit-Chat page, operated a two-tier reward system whereby the sender of the Smile of the Week would receive £2 + the unmentionable-noise-generating equipment.

In the first Whoopee! and Cheeky following their merge, Paddywack occupied a whole page, consisting of 3 gags, each of which spanned 3 panels. Subsequent issues saw the bumbling buffoon reduced to a single gag per week, each of which concluded in a single row of 3 panels. In the 19 April 1980 issue Paddywack’s strip was rather oddly placed above the second part of that week’s Stage School episode – usually it was at the foot of the page.

The lettering and image of Paddywack in the title was familiar to
readers of Cheeky Weekly

Mention of the whoopee cushion was dropped in the 10 May 1980 edition - readers were for the next few weeks informed that  successful entries would receive £1 plus an unspecified 'bonus award'. As of the 09 August 1980 comic, the bonus was revealed to be a Whoopee T-Shirt, although the cash element of the award remained at £1. From 30 August 1980 the design of the text and art surrounding the Paddywack strip underwent an overhaul.

Two Paddywack gags appeared in Whoopee! And Cheeky dated 04 October 1980, sharing the page with an announcement of the first instalment of Terry Bave’s How to Draw Comic Strips booklet in the following week’s issue. There was another double helping of our befuddled buddy in the 25 October 1980 edition, this time sharing the page with the announcement of presence of the traditional cut-out Guy Fawkes mask in the next issue. 

Paddywack's cover debut

A fortnight later Paddywack was promoted to the front page, where his joke was expanded to 4 panels plus a title panel containing an image of the titular twit which, as Paddy's cover run continued, would vary each week, often relating to the ensuing gag. The front cover jokes continued to be based on reader submissions, with the sender credited, but the solicitation for entries was relocated to the Whoopee Chit-Chat letters page. Paddywack’s front page appearances continued until the 27 December 1980 Christmas edition, the cover of which featured our muddled mate’s erstwhile Cheeky Weekly colleague Mustapha Million in a seasonal scene in which he transports Santa and his presents on a flying carpet. However a full page feature entitled Christmas with Paddywack was included inside the same issue.

Paddywack was back on the cover a week later, but reduced to a single row of 3 panels due to the announcement of the pull-out 1981 calender which occupied the centre pages.

The former 4-panels-plus-title Paddywack cover format then resumed for another 7 weeks. In that seventh week, cover dated 21 February 1981, an ominous announcement loomed at the top of the front page - ‘Great news for all readers – inside!’ However the headline did not indicate an imminent merger, but instead an impending free gift: the following issue (along with companion titles Buster, Jackpot and Tammy) would carry a free pack of Hubba Bubba bubble gum. A week later the presence of the chewy inducement sellotaped to the cover, plus the announcement of the pull-out Whoopee! Doubles card game commencing inside, saw Paddywack’s gag relocated to the comic’s interior, although the dithering dunderhead featured on one of the sample cards shown on the front page, alongside a selection of his Whoopee co-stars appearing on the first selection of cards on the centre pages (as the name of the game would suggest, successful execution of a round would require two of each card design, and Paddy's second card appearance was in the 07 March 1981 edition). The same ‘boom’ issue saw the cash element of the prize for successful Paddywack gag-furnishers increase to £2 – the Whoopee! T-shirt was maintained. This meant that the Paddywack prize now outstripped the measly £1 + T-shirt awarded to readers who got their letter printed in the comic and the same value prize doled out to successful donors of Smile-In gags (although the Star Letter/Smile of the Week still received £2 + T-shirt).

Paddywack then returned to the cover for a 17 week run, following which the same half-page format that had previously appeared on the front page continued inside the comic (albeit in black and white) for a further 18 issues.

The witless welly-wearer was featured in the 17 October 1981 instalment of Terry Bave’s second How to Draw Comics booklet (Terry’s first collection of cartooning tips a year earlier had clearly elicited a positive reader response). Ironically, Paddy's was among the features bumped from the comic that week due to the presence of the mighty Mr Bave's instructional treatise.

The final time that reader contributions for Paddywack gags were sought was in the issue cover-dated 12 December 1981, and subsequent Paddywack strips showed no reader credits.

The comic dated 02 January 1982 saw the commencement of the Cheeky Diary for that year. As seasoned consumers of IPC product would have come to expect, the 12-month journal was presented in 4 weekly cut-out sections, each of which was designed to be detached from the comic, rotated through 90 degrees and folded in half before being collated. The first instalment featured the diary front cover, boasting a rendition of the toothy funster with which long-time fans of the grinning gagster were particularly familiar, together with the back cover which carried a comedic confection described as Paddywack’s Calendar for 1982. Our discombobulating dimwit chum's strip was missing that week, although as well as appearing on the diary's back cover he also featured within the diary on a page entitled Cheeky Predicts, and on the second of the December pages.

A week later Paddywack’s strip was expanded to fill a whole page, and saw the inimitable idiot employed as a lift operator. Instead of just a single gag, Paddy delivered three elevator-related funnies during the course of the episode, and his mum contributed the concluding quip. There followed a further 15 full-page Paddywacks (during this run a ‘Paddywack Corner', consisting of 3 reader’s jokes in text form and with credits, appeared on the Whoopee Chit-Chat page in the 06 March 1982 comic, the only time such a feature was included), broken in the 01 May 1982 issue when the feature shared a page with an ad announcing the presence of a Mekon poster in that week’s issue of Eagle.

Paddywack’s ensuing 57 appearances, featuring the perpetual plonker in a variety of jobs, saw the number of his full-page outings diminish in favour of half-pagers (the final of his 10 full-page episodes of this run featured in the edition dated 14 August 1982). Different renderings of the same pet shop based gag were printed in the 26 February and 04 June 1983 editions.

The 02 July 1983 edition of the comic was the scene of considerable upheaval due to the absorption of another failed title, this time Wow! All of the Cheeky Weekly contingent survived this latest merge, although suffering differing fortunes. Paddywack, along with his former stablemate Cheeky, found himself consigned to the Quick Strips page, an assemblage of 4 single-row strips. Our feeble-minded friend had of course spent a considerable amount of his career in this brief format, so his transfer to this arrangement was not as ignominious as that of his toothy ex-colleague who had never before appeared in such reduced circumstances. To make things worse for our grinning pal, Paddywack appeared at the top of the page while Cheeky was placed third.

Whoopee and Wow! 02 July 1983
Bleep art: Jim Barker
Cheeky art: Frank McDiarmid
Here is the News art: Ed McHenry

Paddywack and Cheeky were to be confined to the Quick Strips format until Whoopee itself succumbed to a merge and was subsumed into Whizzer and Chips in April 1985. Neither Paddywack nor Cheeky survived this merge, although Cheeky had been appearing in the famous 'two comics in one' since Krazy was merged into it back in 1978, and continued to do so until 1986, albeit as a member of the Krazy Gang rather than a solo star.

Paddywack made some appearances outside his own strip during his Whoopee career. A feature entitled The Whoopee! Quiz (later to be known as Whoopee! It’s Quiz Time) began in the edition dated 14 March 1981. Readers' memory power was put to the test each week as scenes from various strips in the current issue (the quiz was always located to the rear of the comic, usually page 31 - the furthest it got from the back cover was page 29) were shown, together with questions relating to the stories – answers were given at the bottom of the page. Paddywack was among the quiz subjects in the 25 April 1981, 26 June, 11 September and 16 October 1982 comics. He also featured in 26 December 1981’s Christmas Quiz Time and in Jack Oliver’s TV Quiz Kids puzzles in the 29 October 1983, 21 January and 04 February 1984 editions (in the latter it was actually only Paddywack’s hair that appeared – readers were tasked with identifying a selection of Whoopee characters by barnet only).

The chucklesome chump also made appearances in the Cheeky strips dated 22 November 1980 and 17 January 1981. There then followed a period when he fetched up in 10 of the toothy funster’s outings over 17 issues spanning 06 November 1982 to 26 February 1983.

A rare convocation of the titanic-toothed trio; Cheeky, Jeremy and Paddy
Art: Frank McDiarmid

Calculator Kid spin-off Calculator Corner was host to Paddywack in the 30 July 1983 comic.

The Paddywack gag strip was missing from just 37 of the 264 issues of Whoopee published from the date it absorbed Cheeky Weekly to its own demise. Jack Clayton's distinctive art style (which to me is somehow reminiscent of seaside postcards), with lots of background gags, livened up the frequently corny gags.

My apologies - Blogger have introduced changes which seem to have resulted in images appearing smaller than previously. If there's a way around this, I haven't found it.

Thursday 2 April 2020

Whizzer and Chips - The Cheeky Raids part 53

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. However, the Krazy Gang's Whizzer and Chips run ended in the issue dated 08 February 1986. Calculator Kid survived a little longer, his run of reprints coming to an end in the 26 July 1986 edition and leaving Mustapha Million as the sole Cheeky Weekly survivor.

A week after Mustapha was raided by Slippy in the 16 September 1989 edition of Whizzer and Chips, head Whizz-kid Sid announced the resumption of weekly reciprocal raids (after the moratorium on new raids was lifted in the 12 August 1989 issue, raids had been limited to a single one each week, alternating between a Whizz-kid incursion into Chips one week, and a Chip-ite foray into Whizzer the next).

Whizzer and Chips 23 September 1989

Thus it was entirely possible under the reintroduced 2-raids-a-week regime that a character could be both perpetrator and victim, and the next issue to involve Mustapha in a cross-comic sortie (28 October 1989) did indeed see him in both roles.

Mustapha struck a blow for the Chip-ites by intruding upon the somewhat disturbing romantic entanglement of Bobby with his girlfriend from beyond the grave. The strip's title was a pun on Susan Maughan's 1962 recording of Bobby's Girl, a reference of which few Whizzer and Chips readers in 1989 would have been aware.

Art: Anthony Hutchings

Can you spot the gate-crasher in Mustapha's pages?  Scroll down the discover the identity of the infant interloper.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Yes, it's the 'orrible occupant of a notoriously niffy nappy, Sweeny Toddler, carrying out his second raid on our middle-eastern mate. Sweeny's previous intrusion upon Mustapha was during the belligerent baby's multi-raid rampage way back in Whizzer and Chips dated 23 November 1985.

I suspect the billboard advertising Gungeo Hair Gel is another popular music reference, although much more recent for readers in 1989 than that cited above - Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan had enjoyed chart success with 'Especially for You' in 1988. I'm not going to embed a video of the song, so please seek it out yourself if you're so inclined.

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
15 February 1986Lazy BonesCalculator Kid
15 March 1986Odd-BallCalculator Kid
29 March 1986Calculator KidMaster P Brain
05 April 1986Bumpkin BillionairesMustapha Million
12 April 1986AnimaladCalculator Kid
31 May 1986Lazy BonesCalculator Kid
07 June 1986Mustapha MillionJoker
28 June 1986Sweet ToothMustapha Million
26 July 1986
Calculator Kid ends this issue
No Cheeky-related raid this issueNo Cheeky-related raid this issue
16 August 1986Mustapha MillionJoker
23 August 1986Sweet ToothMustapha Million
18 October 1986Winnie the Royal NagMustapha Million
06 December 1986Toy BoyMustapha Million
13 December 1986Mustapha MillionOdd-Ball
17 January 1987SidMustapha Million
14 February 1987Odd-BallMustapha Million
11 April 1987Pa BumpkinMustapha Million
25 April 1987Mustapha MillionOdd-Ball
20 June 1987Toy BoyMustapha Million
27 June 1987Mustapha MillionMemory Banks
25 July 1987Lazy BonesMustapha Million
22 August 1987Winnie the Royal NagMustapha Million
12 September 1987Mustapha MillionSweet Tooth
19 September 1987Odd-BallMustapha Million
24 October 1987Odd-BallMustapha Million
12 December 1987JokerMustapha Million
13 February 1988Bloggs (Store Wars)Mustapha Million
20 February 1988Mustapha MillionJoker
12 March 1988Odd-BallMustapha Million
23 April 1988JokerMustapha Million
28 May 1988
Readers asked not to let their Whizz-kid or Chip-ite sympathies colour their favourite strip votes
No Cheeky-related raid this issueNo Cheeky-related raid this issue
11 June 1988SlippyMustapha Million
16 July 1988Toy BoyMustapha Million
30 July 1988 New raids halted

05 August 1989 (raid reprinted from 25 Aug 1984)CheekyStore Wars
12 August 1989 Resumption of new raids (one per week)No Cheeky-related raid this issueNo Cheeky-related raid this issue
02 September 1989JokerMustapha Million
16 September 1989SlippyMustapha Million
23 September 1989 Weekly reciprocal raids resumeNo Cheeky-related raid this issueNo Cheeky-related raid this issue
28 October 1989
Mustapha Million
Sweeny Toddler
Bobby's Ghoul
Mustapha Million