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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Cheeky Weekly Index - Cheeky Annuals and Specials Index
Cheeky Weekly Artist Index
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Major Characters from the Cheeky pages
Features Ordered by Date of Commencement

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*** CHEEKY WEEKLY, KRAZY, WHOOPEE, WHIZZER AND CHIPS and BUSTER ARE ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ***
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Tuesday 29 November 2022

Cheeky-related characters in the Whoopee Annuals and Specials - Part 4 - 1983

Which of us hasn't found ourselves pondering thusly...

Cheeky Specials and Annuals continued to be published following Cheeky Weekly's merge into Whoopee! in February 1980 (Specials published from 1980 - 1982, and Annuals from 1980 to 1984 - the Annuals dated, of course a year ahead in each case). Whoopee! Specials and Annuals were also published in the same years (and beyond). What, if any, Cheeky-related material appeared in those Whoopee! Annuals and Specials?

...this series of posts aims to bring enlightenment.

Let's start, as has become the custom, with an analysis of publisher IPC's placement of ads for Specials and Annuals in the pages of the weekly Whoopee! during the year in question.

TITLE COVER_DATE ADVERTISER PRODUCT
Whoopee! 16-Apr-1983 IPC Whoopee! Holiday Special
Whoopee! 30-Apr-1983 IPC Whoopee! Holiday Special
Whoopee! 07-May-1983 IPC Whoopee! Holiday Special
Whoopee! 21-May-1983 IPC Whoopee! Holiday Special
Whoopee! 28-May-1983 IPC Whoopee! Holiday Special
Whoopee! 04-Jun-1983 IPC Whoopee! Holiday Special
Whoopee! 11-Jun-1983 IPC Buster Puzzle Holiday Special
Whoopee! 11-Jun-1983 IPC Whoopee! Holiday Special
Whoopee and Wow! 27-Aug-1983 IPC Whoopee! Annual
Whoopee and Wow! 01-Oct-1983 IPC Annuals
Whoopee and Wow! 19-Nov-1983 IPC Whoopee! Annual
Whoopee and Wow! 26-Nov-1983 IPC Annuals
Whoopee and Wow! 03-Dec-1983 IPC Whoopee! Annual
Whoopee and Wow! 17-Dec-1983 IPC Annuals
Whoopee and Wow! 17-Dec-1983 IPC Whoopee! Annual
Whoopee and Wow! 24-Dec-1983 IPC Annuals
Whoopee and Wow! 24-Dec-1983 IPC Whoopee! Annual

A further, and exclamation mark-dislodging, merge had occurred in July 1983 when survivors of failed title Wow! (it seems IPC felt that to feature two exclamations in a single masthead would whip readers into an unseemly frenzy) were welcomed into the senior title.

Of the years examined so far in this series, 1983 has the lowest number of Annual and Specials ads.

Year Annual Special Total Result
1980 13 18 31
1981 16 22 38
1982 17 9 26
1983 9 8 17

 

Whoopee! Holiday Special 1983


This year's Holiday Special was first advertised in the weekly Whoopee! dated 16 April 1983 so presumably copies were delivered to newsagents around that time of year, predating the July divestment of the weekly Whoopee!'s exclamation, and explains why the Special is still proudly sporting its punctuational adornment. The Bumpkins return to fulfil the front cover role, their desert island dilemma illustrated by Mike Lacey.

Despite the fact that there is no Cheeky Summer Special this year (1982's being the final one), there is no Cheeky-related material in this collection, so we can swiftly move on.


Whoopee Annual 1984


Mike Lacey and the Bumpkins are again on front cover duty. A better gag, and one more in keeping with the ethos of the notoriously money-averse agrarians, would surely have been to depict the Bumpkins showering the circus spectators with buckets of cash in the manner with which clowns have traditionally troubled big top audiences by means of confetti, rather than the wallowing-in-moolah, trouser-filling endeavours on display.

Since there's a Cheeky Annual this year, it's probably not surprising that no toothy-funster-related content is to be found in this book (although having said that, there was a cameo by two of Cheeky's pals in last year's Whoopee! Annual). However, this Annual does contain some work by Frank McDiarmid. The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk date back to the first issue of Whizzer and Chips in 1969, where the strip was drawn by Frank. I'm not familiar with the history of the strip in the pages of W&C, but I do know that the character returned, but as a feature in Whoopee!, in 1981. The first 3 adventures of the returning glasses-wearing daydreamer's adventures were titled The Spectacular New Adventures of Willie Bunk (after that the strip was just called Willie Bunk, except in the case of reprints which reverted to the original W&C title, The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk), and the strip was again drawn by Mr McDiarmid. The revived character continued to appear in Whoopee!, but lapsing on 4 occasions into the aforementioned reprints (3 of which weren't by Frank) sourced from, presumably, Whizzer and Chips. The final weekly Bunk of the Whoopee! era appeared in the issue dated 24 April 1982, over a year before this Annual appeared on newsagents' shelves.

However, let's enjoy Frank's rendition of Bunkery from the above Whoopee! Annual.



 There is a second Bunk adventure among the same collection, but it's drawn by another artist.

Join me again soon when I continue my investigation.

Sunday 6 November 2022

Cheeky-related characters in the Whoopee Annuals and Specials - Part 3 - 1982

This is the third part of my investigation seeking to answer the question 'What, if any, Cheeky-related features appeared in the Whoopee! Annuals and Specials published following Cheeky Weekly's absorption into Whoopee! in February 1980?'

Let's start with a look at the ads for Specials and Annuals that appeared in the weekly Whoopee! during 1982...

TITLE COVER_DATE ADVERTISER PRODUCT
Whoopee! 01-May-1982 IPC Frankie Stein Holiday Special
Whoopee! 15-May-1982 IPC Frankie Stein Holiday Special
Whoopee! 15-May-1982 IPC Whoopee! Summer Special is coming
Whoopee! 19-Jun-1982 IPC Whoopee! Summer Special
Whoopee! 03-Jul-1982 IPC Whoopee! Summer Special
Whoopee! 10-Jul-1982 IPC Cheeky Summer Special
Whoopee! 10-Jul-1982 IPC Whoopee! Summer Special
Whoopee! 21-Aug-1982 IPC Whizzer and Chips Summer Special
Whoopee! 21-Aug-1982 IPC Whoopee! Summer Special
Whoopee! 28-Aug-1982 IPC Annuals
Whoopee! 11-Sep-1982 IPC Annuals
Whoopee! 18-Sep-1982 IPC Whoopee! Annual
Whoopee! 02-Oct-1982 IPC Whoopee! Annual
Whoopee! 09-Oct-1982 IPC Whoopee! Annual
Whoopee! 16-Oct-1982 IPC Annuals
Whoopee! 23-Oct-1982 IPC Annuals
Whoopee! 06-Nov-1982 IPC Whoopee! Annual
Whoopee! 13-Nov-1982 IPC Big Daddy Annual
Whoopee! 20-Nov-1982 IPC Annuals
Whoopee! 20-Nov-1982 IPC Big Daddy Annual
Whoopee! 27-Nov-1982 IPC Annuals
Whoopee! 27-Nov-1982 IPC Big Daddy Annual
Whoopee! 04-Dec-1982 IPC Whoopee! Annual
Whoopee! 11-Dec-1982 IPC Annuals
Whoopee! 18-Dec-1982 IPC Big Daddy Annual
Whoopee! 18-Dec-1982 IPC Whoopee! Annual

Of the 3 years of Whoopee! advertising examined so far in this series of posts, 1982 had the lowest overall total of Annuals/Specials ads, although the Annuals total was actually the highest, seemingly due to publisher IPC's drive to promote the Annual based on what was presumably the licensed property Big Daddy. The comic escapades of the real-life Shirley Crabtree had been appearing weekly in the pages of Buster since February 1982.

Year Annual Ads
Special Ads
Total Ads
1980 13 18 31
1981 16 22 38
1982 17 9 26

There was a dramatic reduction in the number of Specials ads compared to 1980 and 81, but the Cheeky Summer Special was again allocated a single ad, the same as 1981, whereas in 1980 the toothy funster's Special was advertised on 3 occasions.

The final Whoopee! Frankie Stein Holiday Special was published in 1982, and once again we can satisfy ourselves that it contained no Cheeky-related material by reference to Irmantas' analysis of its contents.

 Whoopee! Summer Special 1982


The Bumpkin Billionaires, who graced the cover of the 1980 Whoopee! Special but were deposed by Toy Boy from the front page of 1981's summertime collection of funnies, return this year in a camping scene rendered by an artist I can't identify.

In the 2 previous Whoopee! Specials there was no Cheeky material as such, the only references to our grinning pal were in the form of adverts for comics from IPC's humour line, which included in those years the merged title Whoopee! and Cheeky. However, since Cheeky was dropped from Whoopee!'s title as of August 1981 (although Cheeky and pals continued to appear inside), this year there is no reference to our toothy mate on the equivalent ad page. Included among the three comics being promoted is a concocted Whoopee! cover carrying the Smiler strip which appeared on the cover of the 20 February 1982 edition, but with a revised, two-tone version of the Whoopee! logo which was introduced  to the weekly comic as of the issue dated 01 May 1982.


Art: Nick Baker

Just before we leave this Whoopee! Special, we'll enjoy the centre spread, featuring the Bumpkin Billionaires in a tale of tent troubles, echoing the reluctantly rich rural rascals' front cover appearance. WARNING - surprisingly strong language from young Daisy in this episode.


Art: Jimmy Hansen
Apologies for the blurry fold

 

Whoopee! Annual 1983

In the 2 years examined so far in this series of posts which scrutinise the contents of the Whoopee! Annuals and Specials published in the post-Cheeky-merge era, we've seen that each year's cover star(s) of the Special have/has returned to grace the front of the same year's Annual (Bumpkins in 1980, Toy Boy in 1981). However, this year is different as our cash-averse country chums don't return on the cover of the Annual, but rather the literature-loving lad Bookworm, who's enjoying some library laughs, illustrated by Mike Lacey.

Now, please brace yourselves as I have to report that for the first time in this series THERE IS SOME CHEEKY-RELATED MATERIAL IN THIS ANNUAL! As has been the case in the 2 previous years examined, Cheeky Annuals and Specials have been published this year, and the purpose of this series is to establish whether it's IPC's policy to restrict Cheeky and pals' appearances to his own surviving once-a-year titles. In the 2 previous years there have been no toothy-funster-type intrusions upon the Whoopee! folk in their non-weekly publications, so it appears IPC may be relaxing their constraint on the placement of characters (in fact, as we'll see later in this post, in one case this year there's a complete relaxation of any requirement for a connection between the placement of a feature and its comic of origin).

Having said all that, I'd caution against allowing your levels of excitement to rise to unmanageable levels.

The first instance I need to report on is one I have to reluctantly acknowledge. C**p was an unwanted (by me, at least) interloper into the Cheeky Section of Whoopee! and Cheeky, a central segment of the merged comic which housed all the survivors from Cheeky's former weekly title following the inevitable merge pursuant to Cheeky Weekly's demise. The tedious C**p scenario was foisted upon Cheeky fans as from the second merged issue, and it has no connection to Cheeky other than its placement within his portion of the comic. Although the Cheeky Section ceased to feature in Whoopee! and Cheeky as of October 1980, the dull doings of the mediocre microchip continue to bore the readers of Whoopee! as of 1983. However, this is the first Whoopee! Annual into which the strip has insinuated itself. Subjecting readers of this Annual to 2 C**p stories, the editor at least ameliorated the somnolent effect on those otherwise enjoying this book by having the first episode drawn by the mighty Terry Bave, of whose creation Calculator Kid the egregious C**p is a poor imitation. Possibly significantly, Terry omits to include this piece in the list of his work in the appendix of his memoir.


The second C**p episode in this Annual is drawn by Doug Jensen.

The remaining Cheeky-related characters to appear in this Annual are, ironically, Calculator Kid and his trusty artificial-intelligence endowed number-crunching associate, Calculator (Calc to his friends). However Charlie and Calc don't get to appear in a strip, but instead they feature on the 59th square of the Toy Boy's Journey to the Toy Factory game, for which you will need 'one dice' (sic) and a 'counter' for each participant (pun probably unintentional on the part of the designer of the game). It looks like space may have been included in square 59 to allow for a typically sagacious aphorism from our battery-powered buddy, but silence reigns.

Art: Ed McHenry

Whereas C**p and Calculator Kid did have connections with Whoopee!, another of Cheeky's chums found himself appearing in a 1983-dated Annual based on a title with which he was completely unrelated. Tub began appearing in Cheeky Weekly dated 30 September 1978, and the adventures of the rotund rascal ran until the comic ceased publication. The corpulent cove also featured in the Cheeky Specials of 1979, 1980 and 1981, as well as Cheeky Annuals cover-dated from 1981 - 1985. As reported by Irmantas, our portly pal made a mystifying appearance in the 1983 Shiver and Shake Annual, in a story which had not previously been seen elsewhere.

Sadly for McDiarmidistes, unlike the 2 previous Whoopee! Annuals, there is no work by Frank in this year's collection.

My quest to uncover the truth about the Cheeky-related features in the Whoopee! Annuals and Specials will continue.