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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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Pages - Page 30

Page 30 in the debut issue of the toothy funster’s comic hosted the first page of the inaugural episode of Space Family Robinson, entitled (no sniggering) The Snatch. A week later the Robinsons’ exile on a faraway planet was once again the subject of the page in question, but issue number 3 saw Cheeky’s emergence from the Saturday morning picture show sharing the page with an assortment of sub-half-page announcements and ads, beginning what was to be a 8-week run during which the concluding part of Saturday shared the page with a similar mix of odds and ends.

The 31 December 1977 issue saw the Robinsons return to the subject page, but the following week a 4 week run of ads for IPC product commenced, featuring promotional pushes for Roy of the Rovers, Shoot and, in a campaign encompassing several humour titles, Whoopee!, Cheeky Weekly, Whizzer and Chips and Krazy, each of which was running a competition with kites as prizes.

Space Family Robinson then resumed occupation for 2 weeks, but were then ousted by the concluding part of Saturday again. The deep space perils faced by the Robinson clan then occupied page 30 once more, this time for an 18 week run, the conclusion of which coincided with the final episode of their epic interstellar adventure. The indomitable abductees were the second most regular occupants of page 30, with a tally of 23 appearances there.

Yet more thrills were to be experienced on page 30 the following week, as what was to be James Bold’s final Cheeky Weekly adventure, Island of Fear, commenced and was serialised in that location for the duration of its 6-episode run. Taking over from Bold as the adventure serial element of Cheeky’s Saturday morning picture show were the incredible airborne team Archie’s Angels who, like Bold before them, remained in the location under review for the whole of their 6 week escapade.

Further excitement was to be had a week later when Sonny Storm made his single Cheeky Weekly appearance.

In the comic dated 30 September 1978, the tedious duo Tweety and Sylvester brought humour (if you can call it that) back to page 30, but were ousted by more adventure a week later when the piratical perils of The Terrible Trail to Taggart's Treasure began to be documented, remaining in that location until the strip's penultimate episode

The issues dated 02 and 09 December were reduced to 28 pages due to industrial action, and Cheeky Weekly failed to be published for 3 weeks following that, but in the issue dated 06 January 1979 Saturday returned to the subject location. However, unlike the Saturday elements that appeared previously on page 30, which had been the conclusions to Cheeky’s weekly cinema visit, this time it was the first page of Cheeky’s 2-page Saturday; the cinema show sequence had come to an end in the edition dated 02 December 1978, after which the Saturday page depicted the toothy funster’s Saturday afternoon pursuits.

Saturday’s first page continued to occupy page 30 for a further 12 editions, but in the comic dated 07 April 1979 the Chit-Chat letters page made its single appearance in the location under review. In the 14 April 1979 issue the subject page was host to Easter Saturday, following which the bog-standard Saturdays resumed for a marathon 42 issue run, lasting until the final Cheeky Weekly dated 02 February 1980. Saturday was the most regular occupant of page 30, with a total of 65 visits (if we include all variants, i.e. Saturday 1/2, Saturday 2/2 and Easter Saturday 1/2).

Page 30 exhibited 18 churn events during Cheeky Weekly's run, ranking it the third least churn-affected page.

Count of Elements (or distinct combinations thereof) appearing on Page 30

Elements Total
Saturday 1/255
Space Family Robinson 2/221
The Terrible Trail to Taggart's Treasure 1/28
Saturday 2/27
Archie's Angels 2/25
James Bold 2/24
Advertisement: IPC3
James Bold 1/22
Saturday 2/2\Advertisement: IPC2
Space Family Robinson 1/22
Page 30 absent2
Advertisement: IPC\Advertisement: IPC1
Archie's Angels 3/31
Easter Saturday 1/21
Sonny Storm 2/21
Tweety and Sylvester 1/21

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Slimy Summer Special

Bruce has posted a strip in which a certain invertebrate of our acquaintance embarks on a summer slither.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Whizzer and Chips - The Cheeky Raids part 29

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.

The next raid on our middle eastern mate was perpetrated in Whizzer and Chips dated 06 December 1986. Can you spot the impudent intruder? Scroll down to discover the identity of the infiltrator...

Whizzer and Chips 06 December 1986
Art: Barry Glennard

Yes, it's the plaything-obsessed Whizzer whippersnapper, Toy Boy. The image of him used in the panel directly above is a rather vintage one - the version of Toy Boy pasted into the Mustapha strip is the one that readers were used to seeing in the comic at the time.

The lazy interloper couldn't even think of an original phrase with which to announce his culpability - the contents of his speech balloon are identical (except for a slight horizontal squeeze) to those used by Winnie the Royal Nag on the previous occasion on which Mustapha fell victim to a raid.

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
18 October 1986Winnie the Royal NagMustapha Million
06 December 1986Toy BoyMustapha Million

Sunday, 24 December 2017

1981 - A Cheeky Christmas part 5 (conclusion)

Next up in my examination of the 1981 festive escapades of those characters from Cheeky Weekly who continued to appear in Whoopee! is Paddywack.

Paddywack Art: Jack Clayton

I like Jack Clayton's depiction of the laughing party guests in the final panel.

The remaining survivors from Cheeky Weekly at this point were Charlie Counter and his battery-powered buddy, Calc. UK television viewers in 1981 had a choice of three channels (Channel 4 would launch in November 1982), most homes had only one TV and less than one in ten households had a video recorder. Thus the Christmas day televisual dilemma looming chez Counter was a familiar one to comic readers of the time.

Art: Terry Bave

I found this to be a rather sad ending as the Counter family withdrew to separate rooms on Christmas evening, but no doubt they all gathered again once their respective programmes had finished. Terry Bave furnishes his customary Christmas embellishments. Always good to see Charlie's dad's extraordinary moustache.

If I may, I'll close this look back at the Christmas 1981 edition of Whoopee! with a couple of non-Cheeky related strips. Actually, the first does in fact have a link to the toothy funster, since it's drawn by the mighty Frank McDiarmid. The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk first appeared (as far as I know but see my observation later) in the debut issue of Whizzer and Chips in 1969, drawn by Frank. You can see that strip on Peter Gray's blog. To me, it seems that there's evidence of re-sizing of artwork on those Whizzer and Chips pages, so I'm wondering if that strip was in fact a reprint. Anyway, Wikipedia tells us that Willie's Whizzer and Chips adventures ended in that comic's 26 December 1970 issue. However, Frank brought Willie out of retirement to begin a new run of adventures in Whoopee! dated 12 September 1981, and Peter posted the first of that new series here.

Here's the lad with the magic glasses as he appeared in Whoopee! dated 26 December 1981...

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Frank's less cartoony style in evidence here works very well with this kind of story. As Peter mentions on his blog, the Bunk strips made use of spot colour to denote the fantasy sequences where readers shared the world that young Willie was experiencing through his glasses.

Coincidentally, Lew Stringer recently posted a similar 'owner of enchanted eyewear' character's Christmas episode, namely Billy Binns and his Wonderful Specs, from Boys World in 1963. 'Bins' is of course slang for spectacles; I've seen speculation that it's short for binoculars, or that it's Cockney rhyming slang based on the phrase 'bins and receptacles' which I can only imagine was a term used in relation to refuse collections in days gone by.

My final selection from this festive Whoopee! is the back cover's Smiler story. If you remember from the first part of my look at the issue in question, Shiner featured on the cover, so this page nicely rounds off the issue. I always enjoy Nick Baker's artwork, and on his strips featuring the ever-smiling little lad there's the bonus of the descriptions of the various 'beams' issuing from the hero's gob as the story progresses. We join the family just as they've polished off their festive slap-up feed...

Art: Nick Baker
 I hope your Christmas and New Year are suffused with 'beams'.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Dummy Cheeky

Over at the nothingbutafan blog, Col is looking at the dummy version of Cheeky Weekly that was produced prior to the comic going on general sale. As I understand it, IPC would often produce early versions of their new comics as publicity material to be distributed to newsagents. It would seem that the publishers felt that a tangible copy of the proposed comic would be more likely to convince shop owners that the new publication was going to appeal to kids, thereby encouraging healthy orders, than some sort of flyer. I think the dummy issues were included in a pack containing information about the comic, and examples of the free gifts if I'm not mistaken. In later years, of course, preview copies were given directly to the readers of existing comics - I'm thinking of Oink! and others that I can't quite remember (Nipper, I think).

Col's posted an interesting examination of the differences between the dummy version of Cheeky Weekly number 1 and the issue that actually hit the newsagents shelves.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

1981 - A Cheeky Christmas part 4

My trawl through the pages of Whoopee!'s 1981 Christmas issue in search of the Cheeky Weekly survivors now arrives at pages 18 and 19, occupied by a character called Robot Granny. This is of course the aged automaton who Friends of Cheeky first knew as 6 Million Dollar Gran. On her transfer to Whoopee!, Gran's strips were for some reason given a numerically-focused change of title and she appeared as $6000,000 Gran, occasionally reverting to her former title, as was the case in her final outing before being given a more radical re-titling as of Whoopee! dated 09 May 1981, in which the synthetic senior citizen's strips were re-branded Robot Granny (not the last time her strip would undergo a title change). This new stage in Gran's career saw her become a nanny employed by Lord and Lady Swankly to look after their kids at Rottenrich Hall, which is where we find her on Christmas Eve, 1981...

Whoopee! 26 December 1981
Art: Ian Knox

As it's Christmas I'm not going to complain at the two references to Gran being bionic. Her debut in Cheeky Weekly made it clear that she was a robot but despite this she was often described as bionic during her run in the toothy funster's comic. It's surprising that the mistake was still being made when such descriptions of her attributes contradicted the strip's new title

Gran's abilities suit her to the oft-used 'Helping Santa out of Trouble' plot.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

1981 - A Cheeky Christmas part 3

This third installment of my look through the Christmas 1981 issue of Whoopee! in order to observe the seasonal adventures of our Cheeky Weekly pals who had survived the cancellation of their comic brings us to page 13's Christmas Quiz Time, a workout for Xmas-pud-addled brains that featured the toothy funster and his chums (including Paddywack who was for some reason absent from the cover of that festive edition). I have already posted about this page, so I'll direct you here for the full info.

Next up is Cheeky himself, now in somewhat reduced circumstances. Once he was the star of his own comic, and had begun his Whoopee! run with 4 pages a week, but Christmas '81 finds our grinning pal confined to a 2-page centre spread, and even then he has to share it with strips featuring his slimy sidekick and a bearded, jolly fellow who gets very busy at the end of December. Nevertheless Frank McDiarmid packs the space with a welter of Yuletide gags, as Cheeky meets a good number of his Krazy Town pals. Sadly there's no slap-up feed but the feature concludes with a nice sentiment courtesy of the man with the sleigh and reindeer.

Whoopee! 26 December 1981
Art: Frank McDiarmid

More from Whoopee! at Christmas '81 soon,