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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, KRAZY, WHOOPEE and WHIZZER AND CHIPS ARE ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ***

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Sunday, 30 December 2012

The features - Laugh and Learn

Cheeky's Teacher gained his own puzzle feature, Teacher's Teasers, as from 26 August 1978. Although Teacher's Teasers was a filler that appeared in just 3 issues, it seems that the Cheeky Weekly editor felt the podgy pedadogue deserved elevation to co-star status with the toothy funster himself in a new feature, Laugh and Learn.

Laugh and Learn had a sporadic, 5-issue run between Cheeky Weekly's 07 October 1978 and 09 December 1978 comics. Each episode was set in Cheeky's classroom, where Teacher would focus on a particular area of general knowledge. As Cheeky's tubby tutor attempted to impart salient facts relating to the topic in question, our toothy pal would counter each point with a wily witticism. Only in the 04 November 1978 comic did Cheeky emerge from the lesson punishment-free; in all the other episodes Teacher gave him lines or, on one occasion, an essay to complete.

In the first strip Barrie kids us that Bubblegum Boy
has been aloft since the Cretaceous period,
67 to 65.5 million years ago.
We know he actually emerged in the Krazy era (1976-1978).

Teacher's lectures commenced with the lesson on prehistoric creatures shown above, and subsequent episodes covered the following topics;
  • Chivalry and Knighthood (this was the only single-page Laugh & Learn, all the others being 2 pages)
  • The Seven Wonders of The World
  • The History of Transport
  • British Wildlife
The artwork on the series was unusual for a British humour comic, as each episode was a collaborative effort between Barrie Appleby, who drew the classroom and characters therein in his usual fun, zany style, and Brian Walker who did some very nice work illustrating the topics on which Teacher was expounding. Brian signed his work in all but the first strip, whereas Barrie didn't sign at all.


Cheeky avoids a punishment

Despite the caption in the final panel of the fifth Laugh and Learn, dated 09 December 1978, reading 'There'll be another feast of fun and facts soon pals!', it was the last episode to appear - see below. Maybe reader feedback indicated that kids found the educational element of the feature uncomfortably similar to actual lessons.



Laugh and Learn in the Cheeky Weekly Index


Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
Laugh and Learn07-Oct-7809-Dec-78556,7,8,9,22,23

Issues Missed In Run
14-Oct-78
28-Oct-78
11-Nov-78
18-Nov-78
25-Nov-78

Feature Artist Number of Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Laugh and Learn Barrie Appleby507-Oct-197809-Dec-1978
Laugh and Learn Brian Walker507-Oct-197809-Dec-1978

Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Pages - Page 14

Page 14 underwent 85 churn events during Cheeky Weekly's run - the highest churn rate of any of Cheeky Weekly's pages. For this reason I propose to substitute the insightful prose analysis of the comings and goings on this page, which have heretofore fascinated readers of previous The Pages posts, with a couple of tables succinctly detailing the weekly contents of the page (cries of 'Boo!', 'Shame!' from disappointed blog readers).

Let's start off with this summary - just a reminder that '1/2' after an element name means the Total figure represents the number of times page 1 of a 2-page story fell on page 14. So Mustapha Million had the first page of his story on page 14 in (coincidentally) 14 issues, while the second page of the Tuesday feature, with an embedded Doug's Doodle, was to be found on page 14 in 6 issues. 12 of the 27 single-page Elephant On The Run episodes were to be found on page 14, etc.

Count of Elements (or distinct combinations thereof) appearing on Page 14

Elements Total
Mustapha Million 1/214
Elephant On The Run12
Why, Dad, Why?12
What's New, Kids9
Mystery Boy6
Old Comic6
Tuesday 2/2\Doug's Doodle6
Advertisement: IPC5
Paddywack4
Disaster Des3
Joke-Box Jury3
Stage School 1/23
Advertisement: WH Smith2
Elephant On The Run 1/22
Star Guest2
Wednesday (conclusion)\Creepy Sleepy Tale 2/22
What's New, Kids\Advertisement: IPC2
6 Million Dollar Gran 2/31
Advertisement: Birds Eye Mousse1
Advertisement: KP1
Advertisement: Knit Stitcher1
Advertisement: Weetabix1
Advertisement: World Cup Aces1
Christmas Jokes booklet 2/21
Constable Chuckle booklet 2/21
Creepy Sleepy Tale 1/21
Disaster Des spot the difference1
Doctor Joke booklet 2/21
Farmer Giles booklet 2/21
Hid Kid what does he look like\Advertisement: IPC1
Jogging Jeremy booklet 2/21
Joke-Box Jury\Advertisement: IPC1
Kite Competition winners1
Knock-Knock booklet 2/21
Manhole Man booklet 2/21
Mechanic Jokes booklet 2/21
Mr Chips booklet 2/21
Petula Jokes booklet 2/21
Silly Snaps 1/21
Six-Gun Sam booklet 2/21
Teacher's Teasers1

And here is a run down of the contents of page 14 in every issue of Cheeky Weekly. Enjoy.

Date Details
22-Oct-77Tuesday (first appearance) 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid\Doug's Doodle (first appearance) - Art Terry Bave
29-Oct-77Tuesday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid\Doug's Doodle - Art Terry Bave
05-Nov-77Creepy Sleepy Tale 1/2 - Art Mike Brown
12-Nov-77Tuesday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils\Doug's Doodle - Art Terry Bave
19-Nov-77Ad: Knit Stitcher (single appearance)
26-Nov-77Tuesday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid\Doug's Doodle - Art Terry Bave
03-Dec-77What's New, Kids
10-Dec-77Joke-Box Jury (first appearance)
17-Dec-77Tuesday 2/2 - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils\Doug's Doodle - Art Artie Jackson
24-Dec-77Tuesday 2/2 - Art Dick Millington\Doug's Doodle - Art Terry Bave
31-Dec-77Ad: IPC 'Spotter Book next week'
07-Jan-78Old Comic reprint from Chips 'Dickie Duffer' 1 of 2 reprint from Chips 'Rudolf the Red Nosed Ranger'
14-Jan-78What's New, Kids
21-Jan-78What's New, Kids
28-Jan-78Ad: IPC 'Misty No 1' 1 of 2 Ad: 'Shoot' 5 of 13
04-Feb-78Ad: IPC 'Misty No 1' 2 of 2
11-Feb-78What's New, Kids
18-Feb-78What's New, Kids
25-Feb-78What's New, Kids
04-Mar-78What's New, Kids
11-Mar-78Ad: KP (first appearance) 'Outer Spacers Star Wars promotion' 1 of 2
18-Mar-78Ad: Weetabix (first appearance)
25-Mar-78What's New, Kids
01-Apr-78Ad: IPC 'Monster Fun Holiday Special' 2 of 2 Ad: 'Look and Learn' 4 of 16
08-Apr-78Old Comic reprint from Tip Top 'Happy Family' reprint from Tip Top 'Merry Moments at Sunnyside School' 2 of 2
15-Apr-78Ad: WH Smith (first appearance)
22-Apr-78What's New, Kids\Ad: IPC 'Look and Learn' 7 of 16
29-Apr-78Joke-Box Jury\Ad: IPC 'Look and Learn' 8 of 16
06-May-78What's New, Kids\Ad: IPC 'Whizzer and Chips' 3 of 6
13-May-78Kite Competition winners (single appearance)
20-May-78Old Comic reprint from Film Fun 'Abbott and Costello' 2 of 2
27-May-78Hid Kid what does he look like (single appearance)\Ad: IPC 'Tiger' 3 of 10
03-Jun-78Old Comic reprint from The Jester 'Sandy and Dusty'
10-Jun-78Old Comic reprint from Chips 'Casey Court' 3 of 3 reprint from Chips 'Jimmy Joy' 2 of 2
17-Jun-78Old Comic reprint from Tiger 'Dodger Caine' 3 of 3
24-Jun-78Ad: Birds Eye Mousse (first appearance)
01-Jul-78Ad: World Cup Aces (single appearance)
08-Jul-78Paddywack (first appearance) - Art Jack Clayton
15-Jul-78Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
22-Jul-78Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
29-Jul-78What's New, Kids
05-Aug-78Ad: WH Smith
12-Aug-78Creepy Sleepy Tale 2/2 - Art Not known\Wednesday (conclusion) - Art Barrie Appleby
19-Aug-78Creepy Sleepy Tale 2/2 - Art Not known\Wednesday (conclusion) - Art Barrie Appleby
26-Aug-78Joke-Box Jury
02-Sep-78Teacher's Teasers - Art Ed McHenry
09-Sep-78Joke-Box Jury
16-Sep-78Ad: IPC 'Soccer Monthly No 1'Ad: 'Cheeky Annual' 1 of 6
23-Sep-78Silly Snaps 1/2
30-Sep-78Why, Dad, Why? (first appearance) 'Mystery Comic' 1 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
07-Oct-78Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 2 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
14-Oct-78Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 3 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
21-Oct-78Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 4 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
28-Oct-78Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 5 of 37
04-Nov-78Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 5 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
11-Nov-78Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 6 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
18-Nov-78Mustapha Million 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 8 of 34 - Art Reg Parlett
25-Nov-78Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 9 of 37
02-Dec-78Elephant On The Run 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 10 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
09-Dec-78Elephant On The Run 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 11 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
06-Jan-79Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 9 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
13-Jan-79Mustapha Million 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 13 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
20-Jan-79Mustapha Million 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 14 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
27-Jan-79Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 10 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
03-Feb-79Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 11 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
10-Feb-79Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 12 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
17-Feb-79Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 13 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
24-Feb-79Disaster Des 'Mystery Comic' 18 of 30 - Art Mike Lacey
03-Mar-79Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 15 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
10-Mar-79Disaster Des 'Mystery Comic' 20 of 30 - Art Mike Lacey
17-Mar-79Disaster Des spot the difference (single appearance) - Art Mike Lacey
24-Mar-79Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 23 of 37
31-Mar-79Mustapha Million 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 23 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
07-Apr-79Star Guest 'Fuss Pot' - Art Norman Mansbridge
14-Apr-79Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 26 of 37
21-Apr-79Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 27 of 37
28-Apr-79Star Guest 'Scared-Stiff Sam' - Art Mike Lacey
05-May-79Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 29 of 37
12-May-79Mustapha Million 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 28 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
19-May-79Mustapha Million 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 29 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
26-May-79Mustapha Million 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 30 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
02-Jun-79Mustapha Million 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 31 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
09-Jun-79Mustapha Million 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 32 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
16-Jun-79Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 32 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
23-Jun-79Mustapha Million 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 33 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
30-Jun-79Mustapha Million 1/2 'Mystery Comic' 34 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
07-Jul-79Stage School (first appearance) 1/2 - Art Robert Nixon
14-Jul-79Mustapha Million 1/2 - Art Joe McCaffrey
21-Jul-79Stage School 1/2 - Art Robert Nixon
28-Jul-79Stage School 1/2 - Art Robert Nixon
04-Aug-79Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
11-Aug-79Mustapha Million 1/2 - Art Joe McCaffrey
18-Aug-79Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
25-Aug-79Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
01-Sep-796 Million Dollar Gran 2/3 - Art Ian Knox
08-Sep-79Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
15-Sep-79Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
22-Sep-79Disaster Des - Art Mike Lacey
29-Sep-79Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
06-Oct-79Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
13-Oct-79Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
20-Oct-79Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
27-Oct-79Mustapha Million 1/2 - Art Joe McCaffrey
03-Nov-79Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
10-Nov-79Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
17-Nov-79Knock-Knock booklet (single appearance) 2/2
24-Nov-79Manhole Man booklet (single appearance) 2/2
01-Dec-79Doctor Joke booklet (single appearance) 2/2
08-Dec-79Six-Gun Sam booklet (single appearance) 2/2
15-Dec-79Mechanic Jokes booklet (single appearance) 2/2
22-Dec-79Constable Chuckle booklet (single appearance) 2/2
29-Dec-79Christmas Jokes booklet (single appearance) 2/2
05-Jan-80Jogging Jeremy booklet (single appearance) 2/2
12-Jan-80Farmer Giles booklet (single appearance) 2/2
19-Jan-80Petula Jokes booklet (single appearance) 2/2
26-Jan-80Mr Chips booklet (single appearance) 2/2
02-Feb-80Elephant On The Run (final appearance) - Art Robert Nixon

Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Ads - Cheeky Weekly Christmas issues

Cheeky Weekly's brief existence on the newsagents' shelves spanned 3 Christmases; those of 1977, 1978 and 1979. Sadly, however, industrial action prevented publication of the Christmas 1978 issue, although much of the work prepared for that issue eventually surfaced in one form or another.

Thus, there were only ever 2 in-house ads promoting forthcoming Cheeky Christmas fun. The first appeared on page 30 of Cheeky Weekly dated 24 December 1977 (the full-blown Christmas issue appeared a week later, cover dated 31 December 1977 and with an official on-sale date of 22 December).


The artwork for this half-page ad is dominated by a drawing that was utilised a number of times in the comic, and is what I refer to as the 'standard Cheeky face' (as seen at the top of this blog). The toothy funster invites readers to spend Christmas with him and his 'pals' (a rather quaint, archaic word which by the late 70s' was only ever used in comics).

Below our hero's grinning mug, and surrounded by a holly border, a random cast of Cheeky Weekly characters have been assembled by some deft cut-and-paste action. To enhance the seasonal effect, certain of Cheeky's co-stars are sporting pencilled-in festive headgear. Snail bravely risks a sarky remark about Ursula.

Among the milling throng were 2 characters who actually didn't appear in the following week's comic, Doodle Doug and Milkie. The less-than-seasonal evil leer that Doug is displaying here is a possible reason for his exclusion from the festive issue.

Two years later, and sharing the page with an ad for the 1980 Cheeky Annual, this half-pager appeared in Cheeky Weekly dated 22 December 1979;


No doubt due to budgetary constraints, the cast list for this ad is pared down to Cheeky and Snail, and no festive border is present. The toothy funster models a rakish topper-and-scarf combination, as Snail hitches a ride. Us 'pals' are exhorted not to miss the seasonal issue, and Snail is on-message with his advice to order a copy. Prospective purchasers are promised a comic 'full of festive fun'.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Cheeky Weekly cover date 27 January 1979

Our chubby chum Tub gets to appear on two covers this week. Not only is the rotund rascal the subject of the main pic on Cheeky Weekly's front page, but he makes a return to The Mystery Comic's front page after having been bumped from the perplexing publication by the Snap Game in the two previous issues. Readers might have expected the image of Tub on Cheeky Weekly's cover, depicting him clad in his jim-jams and plummeting earthward, to have some connection with his strip in this week's issue.  However, readers are left puzzling over the strange cover scene, as the image is lifted from a panel in the Tub strip that will appear in 2 weeks' time. Maybe the absence of Tub from the comic for 2 weeks resulted in Tub's asynchronous cover appearance.

Beneath Tub's dramatic descent, Mike Lacey draws his first What A Cheek cover strip. Cheeky and the Knock-Knock Door are enjoying a joke as the toothy funster commences his usual Sunday paper round, entirely unaware that they are about to be squashed by their corpulent co-star.

Art: Mike Lacey

We enjoy a rare glimpse chez Lily on page 2. Lily's attire and the way Milkie is hanging around her front door on a Sunday (a day when milkmen don't even deliver) reminds me of this…



6 Million Dollar Gran is back to a full 3 pages, after having been reduced to a 2 page story in last week's issue. Gran and the Potts kids pay a visit to the flower show, and yes that familiar old plot gets yet another airing - a thief steals the trophy. Order is soon restored when Gran lassos the fleeing felon with the Mayor's chain of office (almost strangling said dignitary in the process).

Art: Ian Knox

There's some nice feline fun by Terry Bave in the Calculator Kid story.


On the cover of The Mystery Comic, this week's double cover star Tub is involved in a snowy tale. Maybe this story was intended for last week's snow-themed issue, in which the hapless heavyweight's story was one of the few not to participate in the gelid japes. This week's Elephant on the Run episode finds our pachyderm pal and his plastic-clad pursuer in a mountain ski-ing resort - another story that would have been ideal for last week's snow issue, in which Elephant's strip was among the few that were conspicuously free of the white stuff.

Tub's is not the only strip returning to The Mystery Comic after a two week break. The exasperated father and inquisitive offspring team from Why, Dad, Why? are also back. However, the snap game intrudes upon the Mystery Comic for a third week, so this time Mustapha Million's 2 page story is missing.

In the course of the Disaster Des strip we learn that US President Jimmy Carter is a reader of Cheeky Weekly.

Art: Mike Lacey

Paddywack, who has painted himself into a corner on this week's Pin-Up Pal poster, brings the issue to a close.

Mike Lacey provides all 10 Cheeky's Week elements in this issue, plus his regular strips Disaster Des and Skateboard Squad. A Herculean effort, yet not quite equalling the 13 elements in total that he contributed to the 04 November 1978 comic.


Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 27-Jan-1979, Issue 64 of 117
PageDetails
1Cover Feature 'Tub' - Art Nigel Edwards (single art on feature)\Cheeky's Week - Art Mike Lacey
2Sunday - Art Mike Lacey
36 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
46 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
6Monday - Art Mike Lacey
7Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
8Your chance to vote (first appearance)\Ad: IPC 'Mickey Mouse' 9 of 18
9Tuesday - Art Mike Lacey
10Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
11Spaghetti Junction maze (single appearance) - Art Steve Bell (single art on feature)
12Wednesday - Art Mike Lacey
13Tub 'Mystery Comic' 13 of 34 - Art Nigel Edwards
14Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 10 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
15Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 15 of 37
16Snap Game
17Snap Game
18Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 15 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
19Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 15 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
20Disaster Des 'Mystery Comic' 14 of 30 - Art Mike Lacey
21Silly Snaps\What's New, Kids
22Thursday - Art Mike Lacey
23Skateboard Squad - Art Mike Lacey
24Joke-Box Jury
25Friday - Art Mike Lacey
26Eagle Eye reprint from Shiver and Shake
27Eagle Eye reprint from Shiver and Shake
28Chit-Chat
29The Burpo Special 'Uncle Hamish' - Art Mike Lacey (first art on feature)
30Saturday - Art Mike Lacey
31Saturday - Art Mike Lacey
32Pin-up pal 'Paddywack' - Art Jack Clayton (single art on feature)


Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 27-Jan-1979
Artist Elements
Mike Lacey10

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Whoopee! staff artist's Cheeky

1982's 'little alien lost' movie blockbuster, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, had its UK premiere on 09 December of that year. In Whoopee! dated 26 February 1983, Cheeky regaled his Krazy Town pals with a barrage of E.T. gags. At the end of the strip, readers were invited to submit their own E.T. suggestions for the chance to win 'E.T. type awards'.

Whoopee! 26 February 1983
Art: Frank McDiarmid

In Whoopee's 09 April 1983 issue, the following announcement appeared, including a version of Cheeky drawn by (presumably) a Whoopee! staff artist.


Whoopee! E.T. - Erroneous Text.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Roy Mitchell's Cheeky

A new puzzle feature began in the 04 December 1982 issue of Whoopee!. This new series of perplexing posers went under the name of Quizmaster, and characters from the roster of Whoopee! stars would take turns at being the titular question-setter. The series was drawn by Roy Mitchell, who signed himself 'Mitch', and would include a trademark mushroom/toadstool thing each week (which Mitch also incorporated into his Rambling Rhymes artwork in the same comic).

The host of the first Quizmaster was Cheeky Weekly's Calculator Kid, and in the 19 March 1983 issue Cheeky got his chance at setting readers some brain teasers.


I found Mitch's real name on Peter Gray's blog.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Profile - Doctor Braincell

Madcap medic Doctor Braincell first appeared in Cheeky Weekly issue 21, dated 11 March 1978. Evidently the scriptwriter had a plentiful supply of Doctor jokes, as thereafter the GP japester was absent from the comic on only 4 occasions, making his final daft diagnosis in Cheeky Weekly's last issue.

Braincell actually appeared twice in the issue in which he made his debut - on Friday he produced a copy of The Mystery Comic from his little black bag, and he was outside the cinema as Cheeky and pals exited the Saturday morning pictures. In neither of these appearances was he named.

Braincell's debut
Art: Barrie Appleby

However, when the daffy Doctor next appeared in Cheeky Weekly (25 March 1978), he was given a namecheck by the toothy funster as Doctor Brain-Cell.

The Doctor's first namecheck
Art: Barrie Appleby
The 20 May 1978 issue saw the jolly GP feature in 9 Cheeky's Week elements, as Cheeky engaged in a multiplicity of medical mirth.

On the cover of the 27 May 1978 comic we witnessed a comical consultation as Cheeky sought advice from Braincell in the What a Cheek strip. This was the only strip in which the Doctor was seen in his surgery (although a later Pin-Up Pal poster would depict a surgery scene - see below), and it was also the first of Braincell's 9 cover appearances - 6 times in the cover strips (What A Cheek and Cheeky's Week) and, after the cover strips came to an end in the 30 June 1979 issue, a further 3 times in the main cover pic.

2038: Geriatric GP meets toothless funster
Cheeky Weekly 19 August 1978
Art: Frank McDiarmid
On every occasion where we saw the nameplate outside his front door, the merry medic's name was spelled Braincell (except in the 08 September 1979 comic), and in 13 January 1979's Burpo Special, wherein the funny physician was the subject of Burpo's infantile interrogation, his surname was again missing its hyphen. Although the Brain-Cell spelling is more common, I have adopted the unhyphenated version in this blog, as;

(A) It's the name shown (with one exception) by his front door, and he should know how to spell it

and

(B) it's marginally funnier.

08 September 1979 - I suspect the hyphenated spelling on
the nameplate is the result of it being squeezed into the frame
Art: Frank McDiarmid

19 May 1979 - both spellings of the Doctor's name in a single gag
Art: Frank McDiarmid

The playful pill peddler often sported a sticking plaster on his head, and something on his Adam's apple which was either a pimple or some sort of dressing, possibly on the site of a shaving accident. He was evidently afflicted by a chronic conk condition, as his proboscis was permanently bandaged.

The scatty stethoscope-user was seen frantically searching through his medical text books while attempting to diagnose Cheeky's sore digit on the Pin-Up Pal poster in the 24 February 1979 issue. The poster can be seen on Bruce's blog. Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue of Doctor Jokes appeared in the 01 December 1979 issue. Braincell never appeared in Cheeky's strip in Krazy.


Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Doctor Braincell9311-Mar-197802-Feb-1980

Count of elements by artist

Character Artist Total Elements
Doctor BraincellFrank McDiarmid50
Doctor BraincellMike Lacey19
Doctor BraincellBarrie Appleby16
Doctor BraincellFrank McDiarmid pencils16
Doctor BraincellJim Watson4
Doctor BraincellDick Millington4
Doctor BraincellUnknown Cheeky Artist 11

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Cheeky Weekly cover date 20 January 1979

The second part of the cut-out snap game gets main billing on this week's cover. This promotion of the second part of the game is obviously intended as a reminder for those readers who bought last week's comic, since parts 2 to 4 will be useless to those who didn't buy the issue containing part 1.

In the Cheeky's Week…Sunday cover strip, an icy incident befalls Jogging Jeremy as he attempts a daring 'on-the-move' method of taking delivery of his Sunday paper.

The wintry theme continues inside, as we discover Krazy Town is suffering a cold snap. Spiv, always keen to exploit a sales opportunity, is peddling ready-made snowballs. Ten pence for 50 sounds a pretty good deal to me, although our toothy pal is less than impressed. Spiv is certainly impressed by Cheeky's well-aimed icy projectile as it impacts his kisser.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

This week's snowy 6 Million Dollar Gran episode is reduced from the usual 3 pages to 2, possibly due to the presence in the comic of Steve Bell's maze (see below). In Gran's story there's a great panel showing the results of the Potts kids inviting all their pals to join them on their sledge. From an early 21st century multi-cultural viewpoint it's noticeable that all the faces are white but, to be fair, it would probably have been difficult to depict darker faces at this small size.

Art: Ian Knox
As is often the case, Gran foils a robbery during the course of the story, and earns a huge sack of cash as a reward. The generous synthetic senior citizen decides to buy sledges for all the kids, but by the final panel her magnanimity proves to have backfired, as not only does she still have to tow all the kids, but all their sledges as well.


This week's Calculator Kid story continues the snowy theme, and is a story that may possibly have been altered from a Christmas to a post-Christmas setting, if my theory here is correct. This would appear to be the first of two such altered strips in this issue - see below.

Page 8 is the location of a rather odd inclusion in this issue - it's a maze drawn by Steve Bell. Now there's no doubting that the artwork is very accomplished, but the way it's been used here has a distinct whiff of 'filler' about it (it's the first of 3 mazes by Steve that will feature in 3 consecutive issues). If this page had been produced specifically for Cheeky Weekly, surely it would have been based on characters from Cheeky's Week. It's not clear why this page was inserted at the cost of a page to Cheeky Weekly regular, Gran. The image of Cheeky looks like to me as though it's been pasted in.


For the second consecutive week, Tub and Why, Dad, Why? are absent from The Mystery Comic due to the presence of the snap game in the centre pages. Also for the second week running, and for the final time, Disaster Des is promoted to The Mystery Comic's cover.

On page 21, Cheeky gives us an update on current state of polling for the Cheeky Weekly Top Ten Personality Chart. The toothy funster first solicited votes on this topic in the 18 November 1978 issue. The most popular personalities will be featured on an upcoming poster.


Cheeky's final comment above is a reference to a catchphrase used by the host of TV's Opportunity Knocks talent show, Hughie Green (see below at 1:47). The show had finished its ITV run the previous year, but would be revived by the BBC in the late 1980s.



While preparing this post I realised that this week's Disaster Des story could well be another strip that was originally intended for either the pre-Christmas or Christmas issues 1978 of Cheeky Weekly, both of which failed to be published due to industrial action. I have therefore updated my earlier post here to suggest that the Des strip was, like this week's Calculator Kid story, possibly altered to remove Christmas references.

The jobseeking Jolly Jack Tar is a reference to the 1979
decommissioning of Royal Navy Aircraft Carrier HMS Ark Royal.
Art: Frank McDiarmid

Cheeky's icy week comes to an end on Saturday with a climactic snowball fight in which Louise seems to be the main target.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

The comic reaches its customary (since 06 January, anyway) Pin-Up Pal conclusion on the back page. This week's poster features Disaster Des and is drawn by Des' usual artist, Mike Lacey - the first time Mike's work has featured in the Pin-Up Pal series.

The editor's edict that 'only one artist (or combination thereof in the case of Frank McDiarmid pencils) shall provide the Cheeky's Week elements in any issue, and furthermore, every other issue shall contain a Cheeky's Week featuring pure Frank McDiarmid art only' that seems to have been in effect since 30 September 1978's revamp issue (see analysis here), got disrupted somewhat as the comic emerged from the industrial troubles of December '78. As a result, this is the second consecutive all-pure-Frank issue (but no complaints from me, there), as Mr McD provides us with 10 crisp and frosty Cheeky's Week elements.

The snowy theme carries through the entire Cheeky's Week, but not all strips participate in the frosty frolics - Paddywack, Disaster Des, Elephant On The Run, the Eagle Eye and Mystery Boy reprints and The Burpo Special are all conspicuously lacking any sign of parky precipitation.

So was there any real-life snow in Britain in January 1979? This site suggests that London experienced heavy snow on 2 dates.


Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 20-Jan-1979, Issue 63 of 117
PageDetails
1Cover Feature 'Friends of Cheeky Snap Game' 2 of 2 - Art Frank McDiarmid\Cheeky's Week - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
36 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
46 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
5Ad: IPC 'Tiger' 7 of 10 Ad: 'Shoot' 8 of 13
6Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
7Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
8Goonburger Maze (single appearance) - Art Steve Bell (single art on feature)
9Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
10Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
11Ad: IPC 'Roy of the Rovers' 8 of 8 \Ad: Shreddies (final appearance)
12Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
13Disaster Des 'Mystery Comic' 13 of 30 - Art Mike Lacey
14Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 14 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
15Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 14 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
16Snap Game
17Snap Game
18Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 14 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
19Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 14 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
20Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 14 of 37
21Silly Snaps
22Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
23Skateboard Squad - Art Mike Lacey
24Joke-Box Jury
25Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
26Eagle Eye reprint from Shiver and Shake
27Eagle Eye reprint from Shiver and Shake
28Chit-Chat
29The Burpo Special 'Cheeky's Dad' - Art Frank McDiarmid
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Pin-up pal 'Disaster Des' - Art Mike Lacey (first art on feature)

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 20-Jan-1979
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid10

Thursday, 22 November 2012

A Wacky look at Cheeky Classics

Over at the Wacky Comics Blog, George has posted some examples of the vintage comic pages that featured in early issues of Cheeky Weekly. As this feature wasn't given a name when it appeared in the toothy funster's comic, I referred to it as the Old Comic feature when I did a post about it a couple of years ago. George has dubbed the series Cheeky's Classic Comics, which is actually a much better title.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Cut-Out Features - More Joke Strips

Starts Today!

In this new series of posts I'm going to focus on the cut-out features that appeared during Cheeky Weekly's run (but not including the Pin-Up Pal posters which I've already covered here, and anyway, although the posters were clearly designed to be removed from the comic, readers weren't instructed to do so, which is the main criterion for features that will be included in this series).

The first feature in Cheeky Weekly which included an invitation to excise it from the comic was the 'More Joke Strips' printed in the 12 November 1977 issue. The first cut-out feature can be seen here.

'More Joke Strips,' featured in the 12 November 1977 issue, were designed to supplement the strips printed as part of the Friend Of Cheeky Fun Wallets which were the free gift in Cheeky's Weekly's second issue, published a week earlier.


Whereas there were 4 different Fun Wallets, each with a separate set of jokes, the gags printed on the 'More Joke Strips' pages were of course the same in every copy of Cheeky Weekly.  Approaching another Friend of Cheeky in the playground armed with this latest batch of jokes was therefore likely to be futile since both parties would know all the punchlines.



I would imagine that trying to slide the flimsy newsprint into the slightly more substantial card from which the Fun Wallet was constructed could prove problematic, and if successful, I doubt the additional joke strips would survive much more than a couple retractions and insertions before disintegrating.

The artwork at the top of the second page is a cut-and-paste assemblage culled from a panel on page 31 of the previous week's issue, in which the Fun Wallets were given away.

Art: Frank McDiarmid
Also lost to posterity - as well as the strips themselves, what collateral damage would result from removal of the feature in question? In order for the joke strips to function, the gags and punchlines had to be printed on each side of a single sheet of paper so, providing readers carefully cut around the jokes as per the instructions, no other elements would be lost from the comic.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The features - Mystery Boy

Despite having witnessed Cheeky scouring Krazy Town for a copy of The Mystery Comic each week since Cheeky Weekly began publication in October 1977, until the 30 September 1978 issue we had only ever seen one character from said perplexing publication - Mustapha Million.

The aforementioned 30 September 1978 comic was the first of a run of 37 issues of Cheeky Weekly in which the whole of The Mystery Comic occupied its centre pages. Among the Mystery Comic strips in that issue was Mystery Boy.

Mystery Boy was the only serial story to be printed in The Mystery Comic during its run in Cheeky Weekly. It was therefore fortunate for readers of the toothy funster's title that the first full edition of The Mystery Comic to be printed in Cheeky Weekly contained Mystery Boy's initial episode.

Chronologically the seventh Cheeky Weekly feature to consist of material reprinted from IPC's vaults (not counting the various one-, two- and three-offs included in the Old Comic series), and the second to be sourced from the company's long-running title Whizzer and Chips (the earlier W&C reprint was Archie's Angels), Mystery Boy had originally appeared under the title 'Who Is Sandy?', commencing in W&C's 02 January 1971 issue.

Mystery Boy was set early in World War II. Although the war had ended 33 years earlier, when Cheeky Weekly began re-running Sandy's adventures, a comic story with a wartime backdrop was not unusual. The second global conflict was a prominent element in British popular culture as the 1970s drew to their turbulent conclusion. In a Britain beset by industrial strife, it would seem that a significant proportion of the adult public were nostalgic for a period perceived to be one where 'we all pulled together'. TV schedules were peppered with dramas (and a perennial comedy featuring the Local Defence Volunteers/Home Guard) set in WWII.. Kids as always enjoyed action stories, and thus many late 70s comics still featured tales of valour set on land, sea and in the air during the 1939-45 war.

This is how the saga of Mystery Boy began (or was re-run for readers who caught it the first time round)...


The second episode finds our young hero gripping onto a suitcase as it is propelled along the fast-flowing river. His mother and sister are among the survivors of the crash, but fail to see our hero as he is swept away.

Two days later, Mystery Boy's unconscious form drifts onto a sand-bank at the river's mouth, where he is discovered by a pair of fishermen. When he's been revived, our hero realises he has lost his memory. Inspired by the location in which they found him, the fishermen decide to name the unknown lad Sandy. The young amnesiac determines that he will find out who he is and from where he came.

An incident-packed tale unfolds over the following 50 episodes, as Sandy eventually remembers the name of the street in which he lived, but is dismayed on arrival to find it has been destroyed in a bombing raid. Scrambling among the rubble he discovers a smashed frame containing a photograph of a woman he recognises and suspects may be his mother. This clue leads him to Cornwall. Along the way Sandy is befriended by a stray mongrel dog who he names Corker. As he journeys west, Sandy sees a German bomber shot down and is taken hostage by the two surviving aircrew. Sandy eventually escapes his German captors, who are taken into custody by British soldiers. News of Sandy's action in assisting the capture of the bomber crew reaches a British officer, who orders that our hero be tracked down. Sandy, whose sole intention is to find his family, decides that he will evade the military and the police, fearing he will be detained and prevented from finding his parents.


As the quest continues, Corker's owner reclaims the dog (whose real name, it turns out, is the rather unimaginative 'Rover'), leaving a miserable Sandy to continue the journey alone. However, it's not long before Corker runs away from his original owner and is reunited with our young hero. Seeing how happy Corker is with Sandy, the dog's owner lets Sandy keep him.


Mystery Boy, who is evidently something of a jinx when it comes to aircraft, witnesses another bomber crash. This time it's a British bomber limping home after an encounter with the Luftwaffe. Sandy alerts a policeman to the location of the British aircrew, then continues his journey.

Sandy's four-legged chum is injured during the pair's foiling of an armed robbery, but makes a full recovery.

Having travelled all the way from London to Glasgow via the not insignificant detour to Cornwall, Sandy locates the lady he has been told was the one in the photo. Sadly, it turns out she is someone entirely different. At this point it becomes clear that Sandy, who we cannot fault in terms of tenacity and pluck, may be somewhat lacking when it comes to IQ, as the lady points out that the back of Sandy's precious photo has the address of the photographer printed on it. Whereas most people would at this point succumb to the lure of a good meal and comfy bed, gladly handing themselves in to the authorities, indefatigable Sandy and his equally determined canine companion set off for the photographer's Blackpool address.


Further mishaps befall our young hero as he attempts to track down the photographer - he is directed into an abandoned mineshaft by an unbelievably irresponsible mine-worker, and plummets into the inky depths. After surviving this latest trauma, Sandy finds his way on to a British motor-torpedo boat just as it leaves port to engage with a German convoy. Needless to say, the torpedo boat is struck by enemy fire, casting Sandy and Corker into the English Channel, and the pair are washed up on a French beach.

On his arrival back on British shores (thanks to a sympathetic French boat-owner, willing to risk the wrath of occupying German forces), Sandy is apprehended by British troops patrolling the seafront and ends up being fostered by a rather unpleasant couple. By now, readers are becoming all too familiar with Sandy's unending streak of bad luck, so it comes as no surprise when his foster home is bombed. However, some good results from our hero's latest predicament, as a press photographer takes a snap of Sandy and Corker as they are pulled from the rubble. The picture features prominently on many of the following morning's newspapers (although why Sandy should be singled out for this treatment from among the thousands of families bombed out of their homes remains unclear).

Now read on...


All 52 Mystery Boy episodes were single-pagers; 48 were in black and white, and 4 featured red spot colour. The story was present in all issues of Cheeky Weekly from 30 September 1978 to 13 October 1979 inclusive, but The Mystery Comic section came to an end in Cheeky Weekly's 30 June 1979 issue, so subsequent Mystery Boy episodes were, like all the erstwhile Mystery Comic features, no longer gathered around the centre of the host title but instead assimilated into Cheeky Weekly's pages. Our fugitive pal was one of two amnesiacs to feature in the Mystery Comic/Cheeky Weekly, the other being Elephant On The Run (unlike 'Sandy', Elephant's memory sadly remained unrecovered).

A jarring transition between the episodes dated 04 and 11 November 1978, wherein the latter instalment picks up from a point that is different to the former's cliff-hanger, suggests that an instalment was edited out of the Cheeky Weekly reprint run.

Presumably the original title of the strip was changed to tie it in with The Mystery Comic.

Title banner from first episode of the story's original run.
Whizzer and Chips, 02 January 1971
Mystery Boy was promoted on Cheeky Weekly's covers dated 07 October 1978 (in which the second MB instalment appeared) and 10 February 1979. On both occasions, the image used on the cover was sourced from the artwork of the episode appearing within the comic.

I don't know who drew the strip, but there are some nice depictions of cars and aircraft of the period.

Mystery Boy in the Cheeky Weekly Index


Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
Mystery Boy30-Sep-7813-Oct-7952011,14,15,16,18,19,20,21,26

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Cheeky Weekly cover date 13 January 1979 - The Deferred New Year Issue

The comic is still suffering fall-out from the industrial dispute that halted publication for 3 weeks in December 1978 - had printing not been interrupted, the previous week's issue would have been the edition welcoming in 1979. However, for reasons explained here, the 09 January 1979 issue was a 'standby' issue and therefore was devoid of any reference to the turn of the year.

This edition, with its new year references, had obviously been prepared some weeks prior to its eventual publication (it was probably completed before the industrial troubles at the printers escalated into an all-out strike). The Cheeky Weekly editor evidently felt that the new year festivities were fresh enough in reader's memories to get away with publishing Cheeky Weekly's New Year issue in the second week of 1979. The alternative option - to hold over this New Year issue until 1980 came around (in the same way that some of the material intended for the aborted Christmas 1978 issue was held over until the following festive season) - was evidently felt to be less attractive.

However, I would guess that, had this New Year issue been published a week earlier as originally scheduled, the cover would have made mention of the turn of the year, as did the covers of the comics dated 07 January 1978 and 05 January 1980. To run this issue with a mention of the New Year on the cover was possibly deemed unwise in case casual comic readers browsing the newsagents' shelves assumed it must be unsold stock from the previous week's edition.

This week's cover leads with news of the commencement of yet another cut-out game (the most recent being the Crack-a-Joke game which concluded in the 23 September 1978 issue). This time readers are invited to snip out and retain the first instalment of the Friends of Cheeky Snap Game, which will be running for the following three issues as well. The decision to print the announcement in light green ink on a pale blue background is a questionable one.

Meanwhile at the foot of the cover, the toothy funster is unconcerned by such matters, as in the Cheeky's Week…Sunday strip, he and his parents are preparing for their imminent New Year bash .

The party gets into full swing on page 2, where Cheeky's dad is blackmailed by luscious Lily Pop into allowing our grinning pal stay up to enjoy the festivities.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

The party continues onto page 3, where we witness the extremely rare sight of Uncle Hamish after being relieved of some cash. We might have guessed that Spiv would be the one to achieve this awesome feat.

The slogan on Hamish's badge is a reference to the
independence campaign by The Scottish National Party.
Art: Frank McDiarmid
Cheeky's dad is rewarded with a smackeroo from lovely Lily (much to Cheeky's mum's annoyance) as the clock strikes twelve.

Art: Frank McDiarmid
A caption above the first page of this week's new-year themed 6 Million Dollar Gran story explains "There was a special edition of Cheeky's favourite programme on Monday…". This is fortunate for readers, since on the front page we joined Cheeky on Sunday evening, and as from the 30 September 1978 revamp issue, Gran's TV programme had been moved to a Sunday afternoon slot (because the Sunday evening element of Cheeky's week had ceased the previous week). There is a curious moment in this week's Gran episode where she says "A happy new year, readers". Surely she meant "viewers"?

Art: Nigel Edwards

After a new-year's-resolution-based Calculator Kid story, Tuesday sees Cheeky encountering several of his pals whose resolutions are causing much hilarity.

This week's Mystery Comic is the first to be without Tub on the cover (or anywhere else, as he's absent this week, seemingly a casualty, along with Why,Dad, Why? of the intrusion of the snap game into the Mystery Comic's centre pages). Instead Disaster Des gets promoted to the perplexing publication's front page for the first of only two occasions. This week Des exports his particular brand of mayhem to South America, inadvertently foiling a revolution in the process.

Readers of The Mystery Comic who are unaware of Cheeky Weekly must be mightily puzzled by the snap game occupying the centre of their comic, featuring as it does a selection of characters entirely unknown to them. As a result of the snap game, which is printed in colour, this week's episode of Elephant On The Run, in which Elephant and The Man in the Plastic Mac have an encounter at a new year's party, is in black and white

This week's Skateboard Squad strip includes some nice crossovers with characters from Cheeky's Week.

Art: Mike Lacey
The belated new year issue rounds off with a Pin-Up Pal poster featuring noisy nosher Crunching Chris.

There's pure Frank McDiarmid art on all 11 Cheeky's Week elements this week (we have come to expect all-pure-FM work on Cheeky's Week in celebration issues), plus Frank does the honours on the back cover poster.


Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 13-Jan-1979, Issue 62 of 117
PageDetails
1Cover Feature 'Friends of Cheeky Snap Game' 1 of 2 - Art Frank McDiarmid\Cheeky's Week - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
3Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
46 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
66 Million Dollar Gran - Art Nigel Edwards
7Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
8Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
9Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
10Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
11Ad: Shreddies (first appearance)\Ad: IPC 'Collecting promo' 2 of 2
12Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
13Disaster Des 'Mystery Comic' 12 of 30 - Art Mike Lacey
14Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 13 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
15Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 13 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
16Snap Game (first appearance)
17Snap Game (first appearance)
18Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 13 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
19Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 13 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
20Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 13 of 37
21Ad: IPC 'Roy of the Rovers' 7 of 8 Ad: 'Tiger' 6 of 10
22Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
23Skateboard Squad - Art Mike Lacey
24Joke-Box Jury
25Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
26Eagle Eye reprint from Shiver and Shake
27Eagle Eye reprint from Shiver and Shake
28Chit-Chat
29The Burpo Special 'Dr Braincell' - Art Frank McDiarmid
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Pin-up pal 'Crunching Chris' - Art Frank McDiarmid

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 13-Jan-1979
Artist Elements
Frank McDiarmid11

Monday, 5 November 2012

J Edward Oliver's Cheeky

Calculator Kid was among the strips from Cheeky Weekly still going strong in Whoopee! 3 years after the toothy funster's comic merged into it. In fact, commencing in Whoopee! dated 27 November 1982, Charlie and Calc began appearing in a spin-off feature, Calculator Corner, which sprang from the fertile mind of comics genius and puzzlemeister, Jack Edward Oliver.

Early Calculator Corner strips included a cameo from one of Whoopee!'s comical crew, and in the 12 February 1983 issue, Jack gave us his version of the toothy funster (who at this stage was still hanging on in Whoopee! by the skin of his not inconsiderable teeth).


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Mustapha Million at Reg Parlett's 80th Birthday Party

Irmantas has posted the special Buster strip which celebrated Reg Parlett's 80th birthday. All the guests surrounding a rather glum-looking Reg at his birthday bash are characters he drew during his long career in comics. Peering round the pile of birthday cakes is a certain middle-eastern moneybags who will be familiar to Cheeky Weekly readers.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Profile - Phone Box

The less-remembered of the two inanimate 'characters' among Cheeky's pals (the other being the Knock-Knock Door), the time-travelling Phone Box may not have been the most original idea, but at least this telephonic time-machine was of the civilian variety, rather than a police box.

Cheeky's first time-trip occurred on the Saturday page in Cheeky Weekly dated 29 July 1978, when our toothy pal looked inside an unfamiliar phone box. On dialling 1492, in accordance with cryptic instructions on a note therein, Cheeky found himself on a whirlwind round-trip to that year, and a brief joke with Chris Columbus, before being returned to Krazy Town, 1978. This first time-jump was emphasised by being printed in red ink. All the subsequent trips across the years were printed in black ink, with occasional use of red spot colour.

Cheeky's first trip through time
Art: Frank McDiarmid
The toothy funster evidently enjoyed the experience, as he immediately hoped for another meeting with the phone box, even as it receded into a temporal vortex.

Cheeky had to wait a mere 7 days until his next excursion into the past. Saturday in the 05 August 1978 issue was the jumping-off point for a trip to meet Henry VIII. As on the first occasion, this and all subsequent trips began with Cheeky dialling the year shown on the mysterious note inside the phone box.

Cheeky's journey across the years in the 26 August 1978 comic was in the opposite direction to those depicted previously, when he jumped ahead to the year 2001 to share a brief joke with some four-armed aliens on an unspecified planet. This was the only occasion on which Cheeky was propelled into the future by the phone box. Cheeky had, of course, been given a glimpse into the year 2038 via Crystal Belle's crystal ball in the 19 August 1978 issue, but that view of the future was achieved by Belle's psychic skills rather than by time-travel.

In 1978, Tom Jackson was General Secretary of the
Union of Post Office Workers.
The Post Office was at that time responsible
for the operation of the telephone system.
Art: Frank McDiarmid
In Cheeky Weekly dated 23 September 1978, the toothy funster was transported back to 1666 for a meeting with Auntie Daisy's ancestor, who admitted to starting the Great Fire of London as a result of burning some jelly. Our toothy pal met another antecedent of one of the Cheeky's Week cast, when he made a trip to the Boer War in the 14 October 1978 comic and encountered Teacher's forebear among the flying shells.

The furthest back in time that Cheeky travelled was to 218 BC for a crash-landing in the Alps, and a meeting with Hannibal. Sadly, no evidence of an ancestor of Elephant was seen among the Carthaginian military commander's war-beasts.

Art: Frank McDiarmid
The 30 September 1978 issue was the first to include the whole of the Mystery Comic. On the Wednesday page of that edition, by way of an introduction to the Mystery Comic section, the Phone Box took Cheeky on a short trip a couple of days into the past, to the moment in which the single copy of said perplexing publication emerged from the printing press.

Cheeky Weekly 30 September 1978.
The note on the wall of the printing works is
 prophetic of the industrial action which
halted publication of Cheeky Weekly in December 1978.
Art: Frank McDiarmid
Among the characters from history that Cheeky met was, appropriately, Alexander Graham Bell (in the 02 December 1978 issue).

After appearing in 15 issues, the Phone Box disappeared into the fourth dimension, never again to appear on the streets of Krazy Town. Readers were left puzzling over the source of the mysterious notes that had prompted the toothy funster's trips through time. That other telephone-based time-traveller, a certain Doctor from the planet Gallifrey, made cameo appearances during Cheeky's Week in the 13 October and 03 November 1979 Cheeky Weeklies. Maybe he had something to do with Cheeky's journeys along the time-stream.


Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Phone Box1529-Jul-197806-Jan-1979