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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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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The features - Creepy Sleepy Tale

Creepy Sleepy Tale never had a conventional title panel, but inherited its title from the book from which Cheeky selected Burpo's bedtime story on Wednesday evenings (although in the edition dated 28 January 1978 Cheeky is seen reading from a tome entitled 'Orrible Creepy Tales).  In the first issue of Cheeky Weekly, during his babysitting session, Cheeky drew a book titled Creepy Sleepy Tales from his pocket and chuckled "Hur, Hur!  I'll tell [Burpo] such a scarey tale, he'll not sleep for a week.  And I'll never be allowed to babysit for him again!  Cackle!"

Art Mike Brown
Art Mike Brown

This plan always failed because Burpo was never scared and Cheeky often ended the evening running home in terror, having frightened himself while reading the story.

The Creepy Sleepy Tale was always a 2-element feature, but the second element in each issue was not a full page in order to allow room for a 3-panel strip concluding Wednesday and showing Cheeky departing in haste, much to Burpo's amusement.

Art Unknown

Art Unknown
Creepy Sleepy Tale ran in 43 issues, from the first issue of Cheeky Weekly until Cheeky read the final Creepy Sleepy Tale in issue 45 dated 26 August 1978.  The feature was absent from two issues during its run - in the Christmas issue dated 31 December 1977, Cheeky took Burpo to see a Creepy Pantomime (which was to all intents and purposes a Creepy Sleepy Tale), and in the special skateboard issue of Cheeky Weekly, dated 04 February 1978, Creepy Sleepy Tale's place was taken by two pages of the cut-out Skateboard Snap game.

Cheeky Weekly regularly had 4 pages in full colour - the cover, 2 centre pages and the back cover.  There were often extra full colour pages in the form of advertisements, but 4 feature pages in full colour was the norm.  In the first 3 issues, The centre pages were given over to full colour posters of Cheeky (issue 1), 6 Million Dollar Gran (issue 2) and Mustapha Million (issue 3), forcing the Creepy Sleepy Tale onto black and white pages.  From the fourth issue, the centre pages became vacant and Creepy Sleepy Tale moved in, taking advantage of the full colour that was available at this prime position in the comic.  It's not clear why a blue and white Creepy Sleepy Tale was printed in the 11 February 1978 issue, as only the front and back covers were in full colour that week. Maybe the reduced colour on the strip was due to budgetary constraints at the time.

Art Unknown

Art Unknown

Full colour Tales resumed the following week and continued until the 01 July 1978 issue, in which the Creepy Sleepy Tale was again printed in blue and white.  This was because page 9 printed the front and back cover of that week's Whizzer and Chips mini comic in full colour, and Calculator Kid was lucky enough to get the remaining full colour page.

The following three issues (08, 15 and 22 July 1978) all had black and white Creepy Sleepy Tales because each issue featured one page devoted to another mini comic front and back cover in full colour, and as before the remaining colour page was given to Calculator Kid.  Quite why the 01 July 1978 Creepy Sleepy Tale was blue and white while in the subsequent three issues the CSTs were black and white remains a bit of a puzzle.  It has to be said that a page printed in light blue ink is not a very comfortable reading experience, and maybe the editor abandoned the idea after the second blue and white strip appeared.

Art Tom Paterson
Art Tom Paterson
Creepy Sleepy Tale returned to full colour until August, when the 12 and 19 August 1978 Creepy Sleepy Tales were in black and white because Mustapha Million moved into full colour in these issues.  The final appearance of the Creepy Sleepy Tale, on 26 August 1978 was in black and white because the Monday feature and Calculator Kid were in full colour.  After the demise of the Creepy Sleepy Tales, Elephant On The Run became the most regular occupant of the coveted centre page full colour spread.

In total there were 32 full colour Creepy Sleepy Tales, with 9 black and white and 2 blue and white.

Art Mike Lacey
Art Mike Lacey
The Creepy Sleepy Tale art in the first issue was signed by Mike Brown, who went on to sign the strips dated 05 November 1977, 12 November 1977, 19 November 1977, 26 November 1977 and 03 December 1977.  The art on 29 October 1977 was also by Mike, although unsigned.  I have previously assigned the art credits for the majority of the subsequent Tales to Mike Brown, but looking through them while preparing this post, I now suspect that another artist, ghosting Mike's style, took over the strip with effect from the 10 December 1977 issue.

That week's strip, and all the subsequent ones by the ghost artist, were unsigned.  Unfortunately, I can't identify who that artist was.

What is not in doubt is that Tom Paterson provided the art for 15 July 1978's Tale (he signed it!), and that Mike Lacey drew the 05 August 1978 story (not signed, but it's pure Mike L).  Mike also provided the 3-panel Wednesday conclusion following the second Tale element that week.

The Creepy Sleepy Tales are sometimes said to be derivative of the Badtime Bedtime Book strip which ran in Monster Fun.  I don't have any copies of Monster Fun so I can't comment on any similarities, but you may like to look here and here for more info.



Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
Creepy Sleepy Tale22-Oct-7726-Aug-7843213,14,15,16,17,18,19,20



Issues Missed In Run
31-Dec-77
04-Feb-78





Feature Artist Number of Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Creepy Sleepy Tale Not known3410-Dec-197726-Aug-1978
Creepy Sleepy Tale Mike Brown722-Oct-197703-Dec-1977
Creepy Sleepy Tale Mike Lacey105-Aug-197805-Aug-1978
Creepy Sleepy Tale Tom Paterson115-Jul-197815-Jul-1978


Preceding Page Count
Wednesday43


Pages per Issue Number of Issues
243

4 comments:

  1. That's a great checklist for a wonderful batch of instalments.

    Monster Fun was a bit before my day but I've bought back issues and prefer the Creepy Sleepy tales.

    The 'derivative' charge re Badtime Bedtime Books is fair enough because all the artists were influenced by Leo Baxendale. I still think the format within each of the two comics was sufficiently unique and the Cheeky strips relied on all the iconic horrors of film and fairytale fiction whereas Baxendales strips were more wide ranging and I think it was only the covers of each cut-out booklet that contained colour.

    Those final panels with Cheeky getting freaked out or stalked by some ghoul(s) from his book always seemed to take on a life of their own!

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  2. Thanks for that insight into the relative merits of CST and BBB, John.

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  3. I wouldn't swear to it, but I think those 'art unknown' instalments are by Keith Reynolds.

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  4. Hi Mr S, yes I had a similar thought myself http://cheekyweekly.blogspot.com/2011/06/cheeky-weekly-cover-date-27-may-1978.html

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