The next results appeared in the 07 August 1982 edition. Top Ten voting coupons had by then been printed in the 29 May, 26 June and 31 July comics (clearly the votes sent in response to the latter coupon would have been received too late to be included in the 07 August results). Small voting coupons also appeared on most Whoopee Chit-Chat letters pages - readers were asked to complete and return the coupon when responding to the participation features.
To understand what features were appearing in the comic between the previous results and those of 07 August 1982, let's first examine those that had ended between the two dates, which could be seen as the features being culled for failing to garner sufficient votes in the intervening period...
|06-FEB-82||27-FEB-82||Go to the Pictures - Free|
|20-FEB-82||06-MAR-82||Enter For Frankie's Monster Awards|
|28-MAR-81||27-MAR-82||Mother's Day Messages|
|28-NOV-81||03-APR-82||The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk|
|30-JAN-82||15-MAY-82||It's Cheeky (second run)|
|01-MAY-82||22-MAY-82||Crazy Graffiti book|
|24-JUL-82||31-JUL-82||Bullseye Game instructions|
A significant loss for me in this period is the antedeluvian antics of The Cavers, but clearly my enjoyment of the strip wasn't shared by enough readers to prevent it from being curtailed. Willie had done a bunk, both in his Willie Bunk (new strips) and The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk (occasional reprint) guises. Fun-Fear was also a reprint, returning in March 1982 as an occasional filler pending the comic's revamp in May. You'll notice that 6 features, including participation pages Whoopee Chit-Chat and Smiler's Smile-In, came to an end in the 24 April 1982 issue. This was because the following edition announced itself as having a 'new look', sported a new, two-coloured title design and included '3 fantastic new stories', which appear on the table of features starting between the poll results...But before we look at that, I'll mention that the toothy funster's turbulent post-Whoopee-merge career underwent yet another refashioning as It's Cheeky (a second run for him with that title), ended 2 weeks after the comic's new look was introduced.
This is the promised list of features starting between the poll results...
|01-MAY-82||25-SEP-82||Frankie's Monster Awards|
|01-MAY-82||25-JUN-83||Kids of Class Five|
|22-MAY-82||25-JUN-83||Cheeky (second run)|
David Mostyn's Little Ed was actually introduced just over a month ahead of the May '82 revamp, and was a lively, fun strip, with the titular character (Ed being short for Editor) devising different genres of story each week and instructing the artist (whose hand and pen were seen in the strip) on how the narrative should progress. Maybe this strip was influenced by the real Whoopee editor's struggles with its contents. Of the features commencing on 01 May, Beaky was a rather tedious strip, possibly inspired by Rod Hull's aggressive avian associate, concerning a large bird, Jimmy Fixit was entirely forgettable (its association, by reason of its title, with a certain TV programme of the time is now extremely unfortunate), and Kids of Class Five was a quite diverting series, which veered more towards the dramatic than the humorous, and bore similarities to the long-running Grange Hill TV drama (the subject of an earlier IPC title and a later spin-off, prequel strip in the publisher's School Fun). The editor presumably felt that a non-humour strip was necessary to replace the similarly dramatic Willie Bunk, although the arrival of the Kids brought to a total of 3 the number of school-based stories (Stage School and Teacher's Pets were also running at this point) and possibly risked alienating readers who sought refuge from educational matters in their leisure reading. Cheeky's fortunes underwent another overhaul 3 weeks after the above-mentioned 'new look' issue, as his strip reverted to being titled Cheeky, but maintained, for the period in question, its one-page-a-week footprint.
What strips/features were ongoing?...
|01-MAR-80||19-JAN-85||Top Ten voting coupon|
|10-MAY-80||09-MAR-85||Top Ten Results|
|01-NOV-80||27-OCT-84||Guy Fawkes Mask|
|21-MAR-81||27-NOV-82||Whoopee It's Quiz Time|
|12-SEP-81||25-JUN-83||Tom Horror's World|
|31-OCT-81||05-NOV-83||Guy Fawkes Supermask|
Calculator Kid was carrying on with the format established way back in Cheeky Weekly, helmed as ever by the always-reliable Terry Bave. Stage School was also unchanged from its early days in the toothy funster's comic. Paddywack, who had enjoyed a run of full-page stories following his stint on the front cover, was finding his strip reduced to just half a page with increasing regularity. Gran was continuing in her Robot Granny phase which had been introduced following her failure to return to the top ten after dropping out as $6,000,000 Gran in the 15 November 1980 poll results, and Mustapha Million carried on, as generous as ever.
So what was the readers' verdict as reflected in the 07 August 1982 results?...
Mustapha had slipped from 3rd to 4th position. Calculator Kid had dropped 2 places from number 4 to number 6. The kids of Stage School were down from 7th to 8th place. Gran, Paddywack and Cheeky again failed to register anywhere among the top ten.
My examination of the fortunes of the ex-Cheeky Weekly funny folk in the Whoopee Top Ten polls continues in part 4.