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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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.


  1. Get your skates on for the next Cheeky post... ;)

    1. I hope you weren't board by this post.