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 Updated 13 October 2017
Cheeky Weekly Artist Index Updated 04 October 2017
Features by Number of Appearances Updated 13 October 2017
Issue Summaries posted to date
Major Characters from the Cheeky pages
Features Ordered by Date of Commencement Updated 13 October 2017


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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Pages - Page 29

The cinema-based shenanigans of Interval occupied page 29 in Cheeky Weekly's first issue, but the following week the main feature of the Saturday morning picture show, the sci-fi thriller Space Family Robinson, began a 9 week run in the subject location, at the end of which Interval moved back in, that particular issue being the 1977 Christmas edition.

After the festivities, the Robinsons resumed occupation of page 29 for a marathon 25 week run, which brought them to the conclusion of their story and saw them (spoiler alert) return to Earth after a hazardous sojourn on an distant planet. The space family appeared on page 29 a total of 34 times, making them the most regular visitors to that location.

Interval then enjoyed a 2 week page 29 run, after which the big-screen adventures of James Bold on The Island of Fear moved in as from the serial's 3rd episode and ran to the conclusion of that particular adventure, which also brought to an end Bold's Cheeky Weekly appearances, 3 weeks later.

Taking over from Bold as the adventure serial element of Cheeky's cinema visits as of the 12 August 1978 comic was Archie's Angels, a tale of fearless flying reprinted from Whizzer and Chips. Page 29 hosted the entire 6-week Angels adventure (or at least page 2 of their debut 3-page instalment, and page 1 of each of the subsequent 2-pagers).

Following the Angels as the thrill-providing segment of the cinema show, and occupying page 29 a week later, was another reprint, this time resurrected from the pages of Cor!!, the punningly-named Sonny Storm who appeared in only one issue of the toothy funster's title.

Interval then returned to page 29 for what was to be a 9-issue run that concluded its appearances in the location under review and making it the third most regular occupant of page 29 with a total of 13 visits.

In the 2 subsequent issues, dated 02 and 09 December 1978, there was no page 29, as industrial action led to the page count being reduced from the usual 32 to 28. The industrial troubles then evidently worsened, as Cheeky Weekly failed to appear for 3 weeks.

It seems the dispute was resolved by mid-to-late December, as publication resumed with the issue dated 06 January 1979, in which The Burpo Special came to rest on page 29, initiating a run in that location which would last for 7 weeks.

Cheeky Weekly's letters page, Chit-Chat, then took over page 29 for 2 weeks, being ousted in the 10 March 1979 edition by a returning Burpo Special, that week focusing on Krazy Town's risible rozzer, Constable Chuckle. A week later however, Burpo was again displaced, this time by a rather scrappily- constructed page consisting of the answers to the Disaster Des spot-the-difference puzzle that appeared on page 14, 2 stamp collecting ads (“please tell your parents”), an ad for IPC's Mickey Mouse comic which was running a competition to win a holiday at Walt Disney World in Florida, plus a reminder to readers that successful contributors to the Chit-Chat feature would bag £2 and a Friend of Cheeky badge.

In the following issue the subject location listed the 50 the lucky winners of a Smurfs LP from the competition which had appeared in the 09 December 1978 comic, and below that list of kids who would soon be tormenting their parents with the warblings of the shrill-voiced blue elves, was an ad alerting readers to the presence of a knitting pattern for Cheeky's jersey in the following edition.

Chit-Chat came to rest on page 29 in that special jersey issue, but in the 07 April 1979 comic it was Cheeky's Saturday doings that were related there. 7 days later the subject location contained instructions for assembling the Top Ten poster, the second part of which was included in that issue, plus an ad for that year's Cor!! Holiday Special (despite the weekly title having ceased publication in 1974). The poster instructions were repeated on page 29 in the next issue, but sharing the page this time was an ad announcing that packets of Kellogg's milkshake mix were to be given free with upcoming editions of Buster, Whoopee!, Whizzer and Chips, Cheeky Weekly and Mickey Mouse.

Cheeky guided readers through the complexities of assembling the Top Ten poster yet again a week later, which was the issue containing the final section of the (less-than-scintillating) wall adornment. Below the instructions were 2 stamp collecting ads, a reminder that cash was to be won by contributing to the Joke-Box Jury, Paddywack and Chit-Chat pages, a coupon enabling readers to order their Cheeky Weekly from the newsagent and, to fill an empty space, a drawing of Snail with associated thought balloon, placed in such a way that he was depicted as thinking, in his own molluscy fashion, the 'cash prizes' reminder.

In the 05 May 1979 comic, with the holiday season looming, page 29 was the site of ads for 2 more IPC Specials – that year's Krazy (another posthumous special, Krazy - the title which spawned our toothy pal - having bit the dust a year earlier) and Frankie Stein summer collections.

Chit-Chat then returned for 2 weeks, being usurped by Joke-Box Jury, after which page 29 was again given over to ads for IPC product, this time promoting the company's newest humour title Jackpot and long-running educational mag Look and Learn. More IPC ads were to follow in the next issue when the Buster Holiday Special was allocated a half-page slot prominently featuring that comic's humorous take on Jaws, Gums, below which Cheeky turned up to announce the following week's special Disco issue of Cheeky Weekly, and helpfully providing another coupon with which to order the comic from your local newsagent.

The lively letters of Chit-Chat then enjoyed another 2 week page 29 outing, after which an ad for model aircraft from the North Pacific Flyers range shared the page with yet another announcement by Cheeky, this time informing readers that, for the first time, the whole of the Mystery Comic was to feature in the following issue, although our grinning pal was so excited that on this occasion he forgot to provide a newsagent's coupon.

Rotund rascal Tub then made his sole visit to the subject location, sharing the site with an ad for Dunlop's Playsport line of outdoor game equipment. It was then the turn of Stage School to make a single appearance on page 29, after which another pair of IPC ads turned up, this time the first Jackpot Summer Special was promoted alongside Walt Disney's Puzzle Time.

Paddywack made his debut page 29 appearance a week later, and the 2 subsequent editions carried in the subject location the same ad for retailer WH Smith, who were offering free posters (although little detail was given about the content) with purchases of Corgi, Dinky and Matchbox toys.

The following week an ad for the first merged issue of 2000AD and Tornado shared the location under review with an ad for Freshen-Up chewing gum and more poster assemblage instructions, this time relating to the Giant Cheeky Poster, the first part of which, featuring our toothy pal's feet, was included that week.

7 days later another ad appeared, this time placed by confectioners Trebor, who were running a promotion whereby consumers of their Double Agents boiled sweets could obtain a Double Glow Seven kit, consisting of an iron-on transfer and sheet of stickers, both of which would glow in the dark (“tee shirt not included in offer”).

In the 01 September 1979 comic, page 29 was the location of another ad for IPC's Walt Disney's Puzzle Time, together with an ad for Whizz-Kids – nothing to do with IPC's Chips-encapsulating title, but rather a line of instructional paperback books published by MacDonald Educational on topics such as ponies, bikes and birdwatching (not to be carried out simultaneously, I hasten to add).

Mustapha Million then brought his brand of affluent adventures to the subject location for a single time, and a week later the whole page was given over to an ad publicising the debut issue of IPC's new footie mag, Top Soccer, which included a free autograph album (blank, presumably).

Top Soccer was advertised again on page 29 in the following issue, but this time the ad was reduced to a half page which shared the site with a promotional boost for the 1980 Cheeky Annual, the first time that year's hardback collection of Cheekiness had been advertised in Cheeky Weekly.

The perplexing prattlings of Paddywack then returned to the subject location for one week, after which our mayhem-generating mate Disaster Des moved in for his single, catastrophic visit. Paddywack then returned, but a week later was deposed by the gagsters of Joke-Box Jury. Paddywack then fetched up for a 3 week run that was to conclude his visits to page 29.

Chit-Chat then moved in for the 12 weeks that remained before the toothy funster's comic was cancelled, bringing the number of times that this reader participation feature appeared in the subject location to 19, making it the second most regular occupant.

Count of Elements (or distinct combinations thereof) appearing on Page 29
Elements Total
Space Family Robinson 1/221
Space Family Robinson 2/213
The Burpo Special8
Advertisement: IPC\Advertisement: IPC5
Archie's Angels 1/25
Chit-Chat 2/25
James Bold 1/24
Advertisement: IPC3
Advertisement: WH Smith2
Paddywack 2/22
Page 29 not present2
Advertisement: IPC\Advertisement: Whiz Kids1
Advertisement: North Pacific Flyers\Advertisement: IPC1
Advertisement: Trebor1
Archie's Angels 2/31
Chit-Chat 2/2\Advertisement: IPC1
Disaster Des1
Joke-Box Jury1
Joke-Box Jury 2/21
Mustapha Million 2/21
Poster instructions\Advertisement: IPC1
Saturday 2/21
Smurfs competition results\Advertisement: IPC1
Sonny Storm 1/21
Stage School 2/21
Top Ten Poster instructions1
Top Ten Poster instructions\Advertisement: IPC1
Tub\Advertisement: Dunlop Playsport1

Monday, 16 October 2017

Bruce's Birthday Bash

Bruce is presenting a series of posts marking the fortieth (yes, it really is forty years) anniversary of the first issue of Cheeky Weekly. It's a good thing he's doing it because I'm not organised enough to have planned any celebrations - maybe I'll do something for the fiftieth (makes note in diary).

Monday, 9 October 2017

Cheeky Weekly cover date 24 November 1979

Art: Frank McDiarmid
Our toothy pal engages in a ghostly gag with Spook on this week's cover. Cheeky hasn't been this scared since he read his final Creepy Sleepy Tale way back in the 26 August 1978 issue. Frank McDiarmid delivers another cracking cover, the second time this month that he has furnished skeletal sketches, the previous occasion being the issue closest to Halloween. This week's eerily atmospheric front page image would maybe have been more suited to that earlier slot.

The above-title banner is another instance of the reference to '6 Mi££ion Dollar Gran' which, as I discussed here, isn't appropriate for a variety of reasons. Neither is she bionic but I've groused about that so many times that I'm not going to mention it.

There's further phantom fun on Monday when Spook materialises from Mr Mutton's mincemeat...

Art: Frank again

A few pages later, Stage School's Teacher demonstrates that, despite professing to despise all things show-biz, he's not without a few skills himself in that direction...

Art: Robert Nixon

This week's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue consists of a selection of gags pertaining to drain-dwelling wit Manhole Man.

There are further misrepresentations of Gran's attributes in her story, this week concerning a missing bridegroom, where she is described as performing a 'supersonic squint' (eh?) and a 'bionic bound'.

Art: Ian Knox
On the Chit-Chat page, Cheeky's column continues to furnish us with background info on the creative team behind his comic. This week it's Ian Knox who comes under scrutiny. Previous Chit-Chat columns have omitted artists' surnames so Ian is honoured to get a full namecheck. The image of Cheeky below Gillian Payne's letter is a redrawn (by whom? - an art assistant probably) version of one of Jimmy Hansen's Cheeky Hustle illustrations from the 16 June 1979 Disco Special.

Cheeky's feeling chilly on Saturday so lines up some low-temperature laughs.


The toothy funster's back in the warm by the commencement of Snail of The Century, wherein his mollusc mate, having concluded his customary slimy tour of the back garden, resolves the crossword dilemma, thus rounding off another issue.

Yet more Frank

This week's comic contains an all-Frank McDiarmid Cheeky's week, as did the previous issue.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 24-Nov-1979, Issue 107 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Spook' - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
3Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
4Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
5Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
6Stage School - Art Robert Nixon
7Stage School - Art Robert Nixon
8Joke-Box Jury
9Tub - Art Nigel Edwards
10Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
11Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon (first art on feature)
12Disaster Des - Art Mike Lacey
13Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue 'Manhole Man Jokes'
14Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue 'Manhole Man Jokes'
15Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
16Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
17Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
18The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
19The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
20Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
21Why, Dad, Why? - Art John K. Geering
22Ad: Peter Pan Playthings
23Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
246 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
256 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
26Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
27Ad: IPC 'Krazy Annual' 4 of 4 \Ad: Palitoy 'Star Wars Collection' 3 of 3
28Speed Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Snail of the Century - Art Frank McDiarmid

Monday, 2 October 2017

Whizzer and Chips - The Cheeky Raids part 27

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 raiding Joker, Mustapha Million himself fell victim to a retaliatory strike by one of the prankster's Whizz-Kid compatriots. Can you spot the intruder? Answer below.

Whizzer and Chips 23 August 1986
Art: Barry Glennard

Yes, it's Sweet Tooth.  But did the sweet-scoffing scoundrel, clearly heading towards the nearest confectioner to satisfy his sugar addiction, nick some moolah off our middle eastern chum?

This is the ninth time that Mustapha has been raided, and the second occasion on which Sweet Tooth has been the interloper in our ex-Cheeky Weekly chum's pages (see here for the earlier incident).

The score at this point is; raids into Whizzer by our ex-Cheeky Weekly chums =  11, raids suffered by our pals = 21.

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

Monday, 25 September 2017

The Pages - Page 28

Each issue of Cheeky Weekly commenced with the toothy funster's doings on Sunday, then progressed through the week, culminating in the following Saturday. Thus, as we progress towards the back of the comic in this series examining the contents of each page throughout the comic's run, we find ourselves considering the latter portion of the week. Since Cheeky had a regular appointment at the Saturday morning picture show, it's not surprising that we encounter an element of the picture show sequence on page 28 of Cheeky Weekly's first edition, namely the second page of Wile E Coyote's adventure which was that issue's strip representing the animated cartoon element of the big screen programme.

The following week the Interval component of the picture show sequence came to rest on page 28, but 7 days later an 8-week run on page 28 of Space Family Robinson, the adventure serial element of the show, commenced.

This run was ended in the 31 December 1977 Christmas issue when Bam Splat and Blooie shared page 28 with and ad for IPC's soccer title, Shoot!

Sci-Fi thrills then resumed as Space Family Robinson enjoyed a further 4 week sojourn in the subject location, after which Interval moved back in for 2 issues. The 04 February 1978 edition saw Bam Splat and Blooie sharing page 28 with a half page Interval. Interval expanded to its usual full page the following issue, after which Space Family Robinson returned for what was to be their final page 28 outing. The Robinsons' alien-planet-ordeal occupied page 28 on 13 occasions making them the third most frequent occupants.

Interval then resumed for 18 issues, interrupted for 2 weeks by Tweety and Sylvester. In the comic dated 15 July 1978, Interval began a 4-week run, after which the debut Cheeky Weekly appearance of Archie's Angels came to rest on page 28. However, the intrepid air display teams's tenure of the subject location was to prove brief, as Interval then commenced a 6 issue residency which proved to be the final Interval run in that location, bringing to 31 the total times the feature appeared on page 28 and making it the most regular occupant.

In the 30 September 1978 comic it was the fearsomely-fanged-predator-versus-geriatric-protagonist shenanigans of Who's Afraid of The Big Bad Wolf? that acted as the animated cartoon, but Tweety and Sylvester provided the same function a week later, with Ghouldilocks doing the same thing in her own spectral fashion in the following issue.

In honour of Cheeky Weekly's first birthday, the 14 October 1978 edition saw a special one-off Interval element, Hey Presto! Magic Show, occupy page 28, but the furious bird-and-cat feuding of Tweety and Sylvester then returned to the site under review for 5 weeks.

The first of the truncated issues, dated 02 December 1978, resulted in page 28 being the back cover and thus Saturday (featuring the last of the Cheeky's Pal Puzzles) being the occupant, while the back page of the second 28-page issue a week later was home to a Pin-Up Pal poster of Flash Harry. Cheeky Weekly was then absent from newsagents for 3 weeks, returning with an issue dated 06 January 1979, in which the Chit-Chat letters page made its first appearance on page 28, remaining in that location for a further 12 issues until ousted by Saturday. However, Chit-Chat moved back in a week later, this time clocking up a 9-week run.

Page 28 in the 16 June 1979 edition hosted a competition entitled Who Is The Alpha Man?, inviting readers who had been following the nefarious deeds of the aforementioned letter-loving criminal to submit their guesses as to the identity of the titular felon, whose story had come to a conclusion on the preceding page. Sharing page 28 with this competition was a half-page ad placed by Dunlop, who were promoting their line of Playsport outdoor games with a nice drawing by Nick Baker (of Smiler fame) depicting a bunch of kids and parents working themselves into a frenzy of summer, back-garden fun while using a selection of the products on offer.

Chit-Chat moved back for 2 weeks which concluded its appearances in the subject location and making it the second most regular page 28 occupant with a total of 24 visits.

Speed Squad thundered onto page 28 a week later, their first outing in this location, but their initial sojourn was a brief one as in the next edition the showbiz antics of Stage School replaced the intrepid trio.

The various blunders of Paddywack were then the subject of the location under review for 6 issues until, in the 01 September 1979 comic, Disaster Des made his sole visit, after which Mustapha Million enjoyed a similarly unique outing.

Paddywack then returned for 2 weeks, and then Why, Dad, Why? turned up for a week. The reprinted telephonic tribulations of Ringer Dinger made their Cheeky Weekly debut 7 days later, but then Why, Dad, Why? returned.

The following week an ad drawn by Brian Bolland depicting selections from Palitoy's Star Wars range occupied page 28 but 7 days later Cheeky's Friday doings were the subject of the page. Paddywack then made a final foray on to the location under review, after which Speed Squad moved back in for 9 issues, in the 15 December 1979 comic sharing the page with a row of vintage Mike Lacey single-panel gags, a filler that was entitled Cheeky Chuckles.

A one-off filler feature focusing on the health regime of Krazy Town's fitness fanatic failure, Jogging Jeremy's Weakly Exercise Routine, then shared the page with ad an for IPC's veteran sport-oriented title Tiger,  alerting prospective readers to the imminent commencement of a 1980 Winter Olympics booklet within its pages.

Speed Squad's high-velocity escapades were the subject of page 28 in the final 2 issues of Cheeky Weekly, and they were the third most regular visitors to the site under review with 11 of their strips zooming through.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Profile – Skatie, Skipper and Wipe-Out

The strips featuring the intrepid trio who constituted the Skateboard Squad (later restyled, as they embraced more varied modes of transport, Speed Squad) were, like all of the non-Cheeky features in Cheeky Weekly's golden era, framed by the toothy funster's pages. In the case of the Squad, the members of the team – Skatie (female), Skipper (male) and Wipe-Out (canine) - were introduced by Cheeky in the final panel of the Cheeky's Week page preceding their adventure, regularly bowling our grinning pal over as they sped to their latest escapade, although the individual Squad members were often obscured by the clouds of dust raised by their rapid passage. All but one of the first 49 Skateboard Squad episodes saw Cheeky's introductory encounter with the intrepid trio occurring in the final panel of Sunday. In the case of the 04 February 1978 skateboard issue, the intro appeared in the final panel of the front cover's Cheeky's Week strip which, by implication, took place on Sunday – there was no Sunday page that week to allow the Skateboard Squad story to expand onto a second page in celebration of the special issue.

Skateboard Squad's intro from Cheeky Weekly's first issue
Art: Frank McDiarmid

On two occasions in those first 49 stories, the terrific three failed to appear in the intro. The first such occurrence was in Cheeky Weekly's first Christmas issue, dated 31 December 1977, when Cheeky was surprised that the Squad weren't in evidence in the usual location. The explanation for their absence on the street was forthcoming in the ensuing story which began with the team unwrapping their Christmas presents (skateboards, natch) at home. The second time Skateboard Squad didn't appear in the intro was in 19 August 1978's sixty-years-into-the-future edition when what Cheeky describes as the Squad's grandchildren, Jetboard Squad, were seen on the page before an adventure of 1978's Skateboard Squad.

Frank McDiarmid

Subsequent to 30 September 1978's introduction of the Mystery Comic and the consequent reorganisation of Cheeky Weekly to accommodate the new central section, Skateboard Squad was shunted further back into the comic. Although displaced, the 30 September 1978 Squad episode did feature the team in an introductory panel on the preceding page, but the following 10 adventures had no intro. This cessation of intros could be seen as part of the policy to eventually end all the framing devices, yet introductions resumed in the comic dated 06 January 1979 and continued up to and including the 17 March 1979 edition. The following week there was no introduction as the page preceding the Squad's adventure was occupied by Paddywack. After this there were 4 remaining appearances by Skateboard Squad before their renaming, and all of those final 4 outings in their original guise included intros.

A nice close-up of the terrific trio by Frank McDiarmid

Speed Squad made their debut in the 26 May 1979 issue, and although the revitalised team didn't actually appear on the preceding page, Cheeky was seen there loitering near the trio's shed, saying 'Now to find out what Skip, Skatie 'n' Wipe-Out have been up to for a week'. This panel would seem to be a hasty construction, featuring as it does a pasted-in Frank McDiarmid Cheeky on what is otherwise a Jimmy Hansen Tuesday set. Over the page, Speed Squad's premiere tale commenced inside the shed we had seen previously. The Speed Squad adventures in the following three comics all had intros, but it was at this point that the Squad fell victim to the framing device cull, as from the 07 July 1979 comic to that dated 15 December 1979, there was no evidence of the members of the team outside of their own strips, nor any mention of them within Cheeky's pages.

24 February 1979 - this somewhat basic intro, the final panel in a page otherwise drawn by Mike Lacey
suggests that it replaced the original contents.

However, the canny Cheeky Weekly editor still had in his desk some unused pages which were prepared for the three editions of Cheeky Weekly that failed to appear in December 1978, an interruption which occurred in those heady days when all the framing devices were in full force. Among those previously-unseen sets were 2 that featured Skateboard Squad intros, and these, after some judicious editing to replace references to Skateboard Squad with Speed Squad, were eventually published in December 1979.

These final 2 forays into Cheeky's Week by the terrific trio didn't really fulfill the original intention to serve as intros, since their appearance on the Thursday page in the 22 December 1979 edition preceded the Squad strip by 8 pages, and a week later they turned up on the Sunday page despite there being no Speed Squad strip in that issue.

Following the publication of those 2 held-over pages, there were no further intros to the Squad's strips.

Although their likenesses are somewhat at variance with their usual depictions, the presence of a skateboarding dog makes it clear that the human 'boarders accompanying Wipe-Out, Cheeky and Snail in the instructional images featured in the All About Skateboarding booklet serialised in Cheeky Weekly in November 1977 were intended to represent the non-canine members of the Squad.

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Features - Ringer Dinger and Soggy the Sea Monster

Cheeky Weekly, from its first issue, included reprints (not an unusual situation in comics of the time), but initially some imagination was used in the way those recycled strips were selected and framed within Cheeky's universe. For example Bam Splat and Blooie and Cocky Doodle, sourced from early 60s issues of IPC's mighty Buster, were used to represent the animated cartoons watched by Cheeky and his pals during their weekly outing to the Saturday morning picture show. The feature I refer to as Old Comic, showcasing even more venerable selections from IPC's inherited archive of funnies, was presented as Cheeky's choices from his dad's trunk full of comics in the loft. The James Bold stories, initially incorporated into Cheeky's universe by presenting them as a series of books read by the toothy funster (and later viewed by him on the big screen) were 'partial reprints' in that scripts written for Maxwell Hawke, again from Buster, were re-drawn for Cheeky Weekly.

As mentioned before, the use of reprints was standard practice in British comics of the time and it's entirely understandable that the Cheeky Weekly editor would seek to manage his budget by resorting to past successes to economically fill out a few pages of the toothy funster's comic. The majority of readers would be unaware that they were reading strips that had been enjoyed by earlier comic fans (except, of course, in the case of Old Comic where the whole point of the feature was to make readers aware of the vintage nature of the selections). However, over time the framing devices which made each issue of the comic a cohesive narrative were dropped, and whereas formerly reprints were used in a creative way that enhanced Cheeky Weekly's unique nature, towards the end of the comic's life seemingly random old strips were brought out of retirement to cheaply fill some space in what appeared to be a more cynical fashion.

Ringer Dinger, originally appearing in Whizzer and Chips in 1970 1971 (thanks to Stephen Archer for correcting me), began his Cheeky Weekly run of recycled telephonic tales in the issue dated 06 October 1979. However, loyal Friends of Cheeky would have been familiar with the character and his cordless companion as 4 reprinted escapades had featured in the 1979 Cheeky Annual which went on sale in late 1978. The strip was another of Terry Bave's kid-with-technology creations (see also Trevor's Treasure Tracker from Whoopee! and of course, Cheeky Weekly's own Calculator Kid). In this case young Dinger, the possessor of a magic telephone, could request assistance by dialing up whatever he required, inevitably resulting in the customary comic calamity

Dinger's Cheeky Weekly debut,
issue dated 06 October 1979
Art: Terry Bave
Note banner referencing Dinger's appearance in
the first Cheeky Annual.
I wonder if Dad's speech balloon in the final panel
was also blank when this strip was originally printed.
Update: See Stephen Archer's interesting comment below.

Ringer Dinger appeared in 2 further issues of Cheeky Weekly - the penultimate and final issues. One wonders why - if the telephonic tyke was such a 'favourite' as claimed in the banner above his Cheeky Weekly debut - he was absent for such a long period before his return in the final 2 issues*, being replaced in the intervening period by another reprint, this time featuring the aquatic adventures of a lovable leviathan.

Soggy the Sea Monster, retrieved from the dusty archives of Shiver and Shake, enjoyed his first watery Cheeky Weekly outing in the issue dated 17 October 1979. I'll let Irmantas apprise you of the salient details of Soggy's initial run (or should that be swim?), and summarise here the mirthful monster's reappearances in the toothy funster's comic some 6 years after he originally surfaced.

Soggy's Cheeky Weekly episodes commenced with one of the 2 strips from the original run that were drawn by Terry Bave. Like Ringer Dinger, Soggy had appeared in the 1979 Cheeky Annual, but unlike our dog-and-bone wielding pal, the silly sea serpent didn't get an above-strip banner advising readers that they may have seen him before.

Cheeky Weekly 17 October 1979
Art: Terry Bave

Whereas Dinger notched up a paltry 3 outings in his Cheeky Weekly reincarnation, Soggy's appearances in the toothy funster's comic amounted to a slightly more respectable 12, with both Dinger and Soggy appearing in the comic's final 2 issues.

*It's highly likely that by the time of the commencement of Ringer Dinger's Cheeky Weekly run, the decision had already been made to cancel the comic. It's therefore possible that, even if Dinger had engendered favourable feedback from his appearance in the previous year's annual, the editor decided that rather than squandering the strips in a comic under sentence of death, he would hold back his stock of RD strips to use in forthcoming Cheeky Annuals and Summer Specials, the publication  of which would continue for some years after the weekly comic had folded.

Ringer Dinger in the Cheeky Weekly Index

Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
Ringer Dinger06-Oct-7902-Feb-803157,11,28

Feature Artist Number of Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Ringer Dinger Terry Bave306-Oct-197902-Feb-1980

Date Page Feature Page Feature
06-OCT-79 28 Ringer Dinger
17-NOV-79 11 Soggy the Sea Monster
24-NOV-79 11 Soggy the Sea Monster
01-DEC-79 11 Soggy the Sea Monster
08-DEC-79 4 Soggy the Sea Monster
15-DEC-79 11 Soggy the Sea Monster
22-DEC-79 11 Soggy the Sea Monster
29-DEC-79 8 Soggy the Sea Monster
05-JAN-80 11 Soggy the Sea Monster
12-JAN-80 12 Soggy the Sea Monster
19-JAN-80 11 Soggy the Sea Monster
26-JAN-80 7 Ringer Dinger 12 Soggy the Sea Monster
02-FEB-80 11 Ringer Dinger 17 Soggy the Sea Monster

Soggy the Sea Monster in the Cheeky Weekly Index
Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
Soggy the Sea Monster17-Nov-7902-Feb-801204,8,11,12,17

Feature Artist Number of Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Soggy the Sea Monster Terry Bave117-Nov-197917-Nov-1979
Soggy the Sea Monster Robert Nixon1124-Nov-197902-Feb-1980