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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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Saturday 28 October 2023

Cheeky-related characters in the Whoopee Specials and Annuals - Part 14 - 1993

The Whoopee Summer Special of 1993 was advertised in an ensemble publicity piece also promoting Specials portraying the football feats and hi-tech heroics of Roy of the Rovers and Thunderbirds respectively,  in the 10 and 24 April 1993 editions of the weekly Buster. Publishers Fleetway Editions had chosen not to advertise the previous year's Whoopee Special in the weekly Busters during 1992, so they appear to have had a change of policy during the intervening months.


The 1992-dated Whoopee Annual, published in autumn 1991, was the final hardback collection of strips from the Whoopee stable.

Whoopee Summer Special 1993

I have been kindly provided with images of the pages of the 1993 Whoopee Special, but sadly a page (which I judge to be page 55) is missing from the collection.

Sweeny Toddler appears to have commandeered a speedboat in this cover scene of a seaside soaking drawn by Jimmy Hansen.


Frank McDiarmid provides a Boy Boss tale on page 3, which I'm assuming is a reprint.

Pages 4 and 5 are definitely reprints as they contain a Mustapha Million adventure drawn by Barry Glennard which originally entertained readers of Whizzer and Chips dated 21 June 1986.


Frank McDiarmid draws the Sweeny Toddler adventure on pages 8 and 9, a story which expands on the events depicted on the cover, so this would seem to be a new strip. I know this feature isn't really Cheeky-related but it's always good to see some colour artwork by Mr M.


The editor of this Special has reached back to 1977 for content to fill pages 32 and 33, which present a feature from Krazy dated 09 April of that year. This is the first occasion in this series of posts examining the contents of Whoopee Annuals and Specials for Cheeky-related features that I have a found a reprint to have been selected from Krazy, the comic in which Cheeky originated. It's great to see our wee pal again as Frank McDiarmid does the artwork honours on The Perils of Walter Wurx. The lettering of the story has been renewed, and two references to Krazy Town (in the caption and the shop sign) have been removed from the fifth panel. The artwork, which was originally printed in black and white, has been resized to make it slightly wider than on its debut.

An uncharacteristically irascible Showbiz teacher is on view in the Stage School escapade reprinted on pages 44 and 45 from Whoopee! dated 15 January 1983. On its original presentation, Robert Nixon's artwork benefitted from red spot colour.

The contents of the missing page 55 remain unknown, but there's a relevant feature on pages 56 and 57. Last year's Whoopee Special included a new appearance by Cheeky (albeit in a cameo role). This year Cheeky appears again, but in a reprinted episode of The Krazy Gang which originally featured among the pages of the 1981 Krazy Holiday Special. Some adjustments have been made in order to prepare this set for reprinting - the page has been coloured, the lettering has been refreshed, the artwork (by Bob 'Mr.' Hill) has been resized to widen it as was the Walter Wurx strip from Krazy above (although that originated in the weekly comic rather than a Special), and an inflationary uplift has been applied to the monetary values. This is the first occasion on this blog that a reprint has been found to have originated in anything other than a weekly comic.


Prices had risen since 1981...

Although again not Cheeky-related, there's more multi-hued work by Frank McDiarmid on page 58, and I'm assuming that like his earlier Sweeny piece, this tale of the Bumpkins and their short-lived bucolic band The Wurzeleeze (a play on real-life pastoral popsters The Wurzels, and/or possibly the arcane tongue of the bird-scaring community, Worzelese) is a new set.

Sadly, unlike last year's Whoopee Special, Frank hasn't included a cameo of Cheeky in either of his new works (although Hairy Henry Dog seems to be emulating Cheeky's Pal Walter Wurx in the first panel of the bottom row on the second page of Sweeny's story).

Was the 1993 Whoopee Holiday Special the final one? I don't know for sure, but to date I haven't seen any evidence of a later one.