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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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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Cheeky Weekly: Year 1 in review

This post revised January 2017

Cheeky Weekly underwent two revamps in its first year, one a relatively minor tweaking of the comic which happened in June/July 1978, 8 months into the comic's run, and the second, instigated a mere 3 weeks short of the first anniversary issue, a more substantial rejigging of the contents.

Let's compare the contents of the first issue, and issue number 52, to see what changes came about;

Comparison of features: Issues 22-Oct-1977 and 14-Oct-1978
Survivors

The following features began in issue 1 and were still running as of 14 October 1978;

Changes between: Issues 22-Oct-1977 and 14-Oct-1978
Category Detail Start End
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)Mustapha Million22-Oct-197702-Feb-1980
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)6 Million Dollar Gran22-Oct-197702-Feb-1980
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)Skateboard Squad22-Oct-197712-May-1979
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)What's New, Kids22-Oct-197717-Nov-1979
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)Pin-up pal22-Oct-197731-Mar-1979
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)Interval22-Oct-197702-Dec-1978
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)Cover Feature22-Oct-197702-Feb-1980
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)Friday22-Oct-197702-Feb-1980
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)Monday22-Oct-197702-Feb-1980
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)Saturday22-Oct-197702-Feb-1980
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)Sunday22-Oct-197702-Feb-1980
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)Thursday22-Oct-197702-Feb-1980
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)Tuesday22-Oct-197702-Feb-1980
Survivor (started on 22-Oct-1977 and still running as of 14-Oct-1978)Wednesday22-Oct-197702-Feb-1980

Apart from the daily Cheeky pages, which remained a fixture throughout the comic's life (barring the odd loss as we'll discover later), a core of non-Cheeky's Week strips that helped define the comic survived to the end of year 1. It could be argued that Pin-Up Pal is a less-than-essential survivor, but I'm sure the posters adorned many a bedroom and possibly imparted a modest increase in circulation figures as a result of being seen by young friends who weren't previously aware of the comic. Advertorial feature What's New Kids has little going for it other than presumably being a source of revenue for the publishers. However, Mustapha Million and 6 Million Dollar Gran, who both outlived the toothy funster's comic for several years, joined Skateboard Squad, Interval and the daily Cheeky pages in providing the solid foundations on which to build year 2.


Comparison of features: Issues 22-Oct-1977 and 14-Oct-1978
Newcomers

Changes between: Issues 22-Oct-1977 and 14-Oct-1978
Category Detail Start End
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Joke-Box Jury10-Dec-197702-Feb-1980
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Tweety and Sylvester21-Jan-197802-Dec-1978
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Easter Monday01-Apr-197821-Apr-1979
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Calculator Kid01-Jul-197802-Feb-1980
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Paddywack08-Jul-197826-Jan-1980
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Silly Snaps02-Sep-197820-Oct-1979
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Smurfs competition09-Sep-197809-Dec-1978
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Cheeky's Week30-Sep-197830-Jun-1979
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Why, Dad, Why?30-Sep-197802-Feb-1980
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Cheeky's Pal Puzzle30-Sep-197802-Dec-1978
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Elephant On The Run30-Sep-197802-Feb-1980
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Tub30-Sep-197802-Feb-1980
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Mystery Boy30-Sep-197813-Oct-1979
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Disaster Des30-Sep-197802-Feb-1980
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978The Terrible Trail to Taggart's Treasure07-Oct-197802-Dec-1978
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Laugh and Learn07-Oct-197809-Dec-1978
Newcomer after 22-Oct-1977, still running as of 14-Oct-1978Ghouldilocks14-Oct-197814-Oct-1978

7 of the strips running as of 14 October 1978 but which hadn't been present in issue 1 had commenced as at the September 1978 revamp, and 5 of those are features from The Mystery Comic. There are 2 strips that were introduced in the July 1978 mini-revamp (Calculator Kid and Paddywack), both of which, at this stage, were framed by Cheeky's Week. Reader participation feature Joke-Box Jury, which joined the comic in December 1977, was a good fit with the comic's gag-based ethos and became a stalwart, surviving until the final issue. Ghouldilocks - a one-off filler reprint - gets scooped up in this category as the strip's single outing occurred in issue number 52.

Comparison of features: Issues 22-Oct-1977 and 14-Oct-1978
The Departed


Changes between: Issues 22-Oct-1977 and 14-Oct-1978
Category Detail Start End
Started on 22-Oct-1977 but departed before 14-Oct-1978Space Family Robinson22-Oct-197724-Jun-1978
Started on 22-Oct-1977 but departed before 14-Oct-1978Old Comic22-Oct-197726-Aug-1978
Started on 22-Oct-1977 but departed before 14-Oct-1978Home Movie22-Oct-197710-Jun-1978
Started on 22-Oct-1977 but departed before 14-Oct-1978Creepy Sleepy Tale22-Oct-197726-Aug-1978
Started on 22-Oct-1977 but departed before 14-Oct-1978Doug's Doodle22-Oct-197714-Jan-1978
Started on 22-Oct-1977 but departed before 14-Oct-1978Wednesday (conclusion)22-Oct-197726-Aug-1978
Started on 22-Oct-1977 but departed before 14-Oct-1978James Bold22-Oct-197705-Aug-1978
Started on 22-Oct-1977 but departed before 14-Oct-1978Hiya I'm Cheeky22-Oct-197722-Oct-1977
Started on 22-Oct-1977 but departed before 14-Oct-1978Sunday evening22-Oct-197723-Sep-1978
Started on 22-Oct-1977 but departed before 14-Oct-1978What a Cheek22-Oct-197723-Sep-1978
Started on 22-Oct-1977 but departed before 14-Oct-1978Wile E Coyote22-Oct-197707-Jan-1978

This table shows the features that were present in issue 1, but whose end dates fell on or before 14 October 1978, and thus don't survive into year 2.  As we can see, 3 Cheeky's Week elements were dropped; Sunday evening, Wednesday (conclusion) and cover feature What a Cheek.

7 features that were framed by Cheeky's Week or otherwise provided the framing were discontinued during year 1 - Space Family Robinson, Old Comic, Home Movie, Creepy Sleepy Tale, Doug's Doodle, the above-mentioned Wednesday (conclusion) and James Bold, but as we have already seen, 2 new 'framed by Cheeky's Week' features had been introduced at revamp 1, Calculator Kid and Paddywack, and the 5 new strips which, along with old hand Mustapha Million, constituted the (framed by Cheeky's Week) Mystery Comic, began at the end of September 1978 (all the framing links to these strips would be discarded during year 2).

Hiya I'm Cheeky was the toothy funster's introductory message in issue 1, so made no further appearances.


Comparison of features: Issues 22-Oct-1977 and 14-Oct-1978
Arrived and Departed

  Here's a list of all the features which started after issue 1 and ended before issue 52;


Started and finished within dates4 Comics competition Start 28-Jan-1978, End 28-Jan-1978
Started and finished within dates5 Papers Competition Start 22-Jul-1978, End 22-Jul-1978
Started and finished within dates500 T-Shirt Winners Start 11-Mar-1978, End 11-Mar-1978
Started and finished within datesArchie's Angels Start 12-Aug-1978, End 16-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesBam Splat and Blooie Start 29-Oct-1977, End 17-Jun-1978
Started and finished within datesBasil Brush competition Start 11-Mar-1978, End 11-Mar-1978
Started and finished within datesBasil Brush competition winners Start 03-Jun-1978, End 03-Jun-1978
Started and finished within datesBoxing Day Start 31-Dec-1977, End 31-Dec-1977
Started and finished within datesBuster mini comic Start 08-Jul-1978, End 08-Jul-1978
Started and finished within datesChimp on a skateboard photo Start 04-Feb-1978, End 04-Feb-1978
Started and finished within datesChristmas Day Start 31-Dec-1977, End 31-Dec-1977
Started and finished within datesChristmas Dinner Start 31-Dec-1977, End 31-Dec-1977
Started and finished within datesChristmas Morning Start 31-Dec-1977, End 31-Dec-1977
Started and finished within datesCocky Doodle Start 29-Oct-1977, End 04-Mar-1978
Started and finished within datesCrack-A-Joke Game Start 02-Sep-1978, End 23-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesCreepy Pantomime Start 31-Dec-1977, End 31-Dec-1977
Started and finished within datesDaffy Duck Start 24-Dec-1977, End 11-Mar-1978
Started and finished within datesDiary Start 03-Dec-1977, End 24-Dec-1977
Started and finished within datesDraw Hid Kid winners Start 05-Aug-1978, End 05-Aug-1978
Started and finished within datesEaster Sunday Start 01-Apr-1978, End 01-Apr-1978
Started and finished within datesFather's Day Messages Start 17-Jun-1978, End 17-Jun-1978
Started and finished within datesFriends of Cheeky competition Start 26-Nov-1977, End 26-Nov-1977
Started and finished within datesHello again Start 29-Oct-1977, End 29-Oct-1977
Started and finished within datesHenery Hawk Start 26-Nov-1977, End 04-Feb-1978
Started and finished within datesHickory Dickory Doc Start 16-Sep-1978, End 16-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesHid Kid what does he look like Start 27-May-1978, End 27-May-1978
Started and finished within datesHoi! What do you get up to all week Start 30-Sep-1978, End 30-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesKite Competition winners Start 13-May-1978, End 13-May-1978
Started and finished within datesMarx Toys Competition Start 16-Sep-1978, End 16-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesMickey Mouse Mini Comic Start 22-Jul-1978, End 22-Jul-1978
Started and finished within datesMore joke strips Start 12-Nov-1977, End 12-Nov-1977
Started and finished within datesName the Snail results Start 22-Apr-1978, End 22-Apr-1978
Started and finished within datesNew Year's Eve Start 31-Dec-1977, End 07-Jan-1978
Started and finished within datesOi! What is My Name Start 11-Feb-1978, End 11-Feb-1978
Started and finished within datesReaders poll Start 09-Sep-1978, End 09-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesRoad Runner Start 18-Feb-1978, End 03-Jun-1978
Started and finished within datesSaturday - April Fool's Day Start 01-Apr-1978, End 01-Apr-1978
Started and finished within datesSend a Father's Day message Start 29-Apr-1978, End 29-Apr-1978
Started and finished within datesSkateboard Competition Start 17-Jun-1978, End 17-Jun-1978
Started and finished within datesSkateboard Snap Start 04-Feb-1978, End 04-Feb-1978
Started and finished within datesSkateboard booklet Start 05-Nov-1977, End 26-Nov-1977
Started and finished within datesSkateboard competition Start 29-Apr-1978, End 29-Apr-1978
Started and finished within datesSonny Storm Start 23-Sep-1978, End 23-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesSuddenly Start 07-Jan-1978, End 24-Jun-1978
Started and finished within datesTeacher's Teasers Start 26-Aug-1978, End 23-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesTennis Competition Start 24-Jun-1978, End 24-Jun-1978
Started and finished within datesTweety Start 14-Jan-1978, End 14-Jan-1978
Started and finished within datesWhizzer and Chips mini comic Start 01-Jul-1978, End 01-Jul-1978
Started and finished within datesWho's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Start 24-Jun-1978, End 30-Sep-1978
Started and finished within datesWhoopee mini comic Start 15-Jul-1978, End 15-Jul-1978

This is something of a rag-bag category of short-lived and little-missed features, competitions, fillers, reprints and cut-out-and-keep promotions. No major losses here, except maybe the Suddenly framing device which was dropped as the comic prepared to welcome the Mystery Comic.

Reprints by Month 22-OCT-77 to 14-OCT-78

This table shows, for each month of the comic's first year, the total features, the number of those features that were sourced from reprints, the percentage reprint content, and the number of reprints broken down by source.

The figures for October 1977 and October 1978 of course reflect only 2 issues each, as the first issue was dated 22 October 1977.


Month Total Features Reprint Features % Reprints Reprint Sources
OCT-19775148Buster 2, Film Fun 1, Knockout 1
NOV-197710088Buster 4, Chips 1, Jingles 1, Sun Weekly 1, Tiger 1
DEC-197712276Buster 2, Film Fun 2, Radio Fun 1, TV Fun 1, Tip Top 1
JAN-19789944Chips 1, School Friend 1, Swift 1, Tip Top 1
FEB-19789966Buster 2, Chips 1, Comet 1, TV Fun 2
MAR-197810166Buster 2, Chips 1, Knockout 1, Swift 1, Tiger 1
APR-197812465Buster 1, Chips 1, Knockout 2, School Friend 1, Tip Top 1
MAY-19789833Chips 1, Film Fun 1, Knockout 1
JUN-19789666Buster 1, Chips 1, Cor!! 1, The Jester 1, Tiger 1, Wonder 1
JUL-197810911Knockout 1
AUG-19789344Whizzer and Chips 4
SEP-197811876Cor!! 3, Whizzer and Chips 4
OCT-197849510Jag 1, Shiver and Shake 4, Whizzer and Chips 4


Thanks to the Old Comic feature, vintage comics were strongly represented among the source of reprints until the feature ended in August 1978. It's interesting to note that the highest percentage of reprints occurred in the final two issues of the first 52, published in October 1978.  Is this the beginning of a trend of increasing reliance on previously-published material?

'Semi-reprints' James Bold and Why, Dad, Why? (which were based on previously-published scripts but with new artwork) are not included in the figures above.

Thus the end of year 1 saw a Cheeky Weekly that had undergone a number of changes, although probably no more than any newly-launched comic as it is tweaked in pursuit of maximum circulation. The essential 'Cheeky Weeklyness' was retained - our toothy pal's puntastic, week-long gagfests continued, with the quality of the mighty Frank McDiarmid's work undiminished despite his heavy workload. All the other strips interspersed within the comic were still linked into Cheeky's world by various means, although lumping 5 features within the Mystery Comic seems, in some respects, a bit of a cop-out when previously each non-Cheeky strip had its own individual framing conceit. Nevertheless, the arrival of the Mystery Comic delivered some classic Cheeky Weekly characters in the form of Elephant on the Run and Disaster Des. Also joining during year 1 were Calculator Kid (prior to that the comic was, unbelievably for an IPC title of the period, without a strip by Terry Bave) and Paddywack. These newcomers join stalwarts Mustapha Million, 6 Million Dollar Gran and Skateboard Squad to complete a strong core of humour strips, while Mystery Boy and The Terrible Trail to Taggart's Treasure (both reprints) provide the adventure content that IPC evidently feel is necessary.

Overall, a strong foundation on which to build in year 2.

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