Saturday, May 19, 2012

The end of Whoopee...

Whoopee was Fleetway's third longest living comic, surviving for over 10 years between 1974 and 1985. Throughout it's run, Whoopee created many fantastic characters, including Toy Boy, The Bumpkin Billionaires and the less lived Ad Lad, to name a few! However, despite having such a strong array of characters, Whoopee ended on 30th March 1985. 

Usually when the final issue came out, the strapline read something along the lines of "Great News Inside Pals", but for Whoopee it simply read "Me's Got To Fly". This strapline tied in with the cover story, as Sweeny Toddler was out flying a kite, but I can't help but wonder if it is also hinting us about the end of the comic!

Inside, Snack-Man, who had been in the comic since 1982, met the girl of his dreams. Unfortunatly for him, Snack-Girl thinks he is far too fat, and he must go on a diet - of one lettuce leaf and a carrot a day! That of course, was the end of the series.

That wasn't the only strip to end. Family Trees was about a group of trees who are always running away from axes and saws. Illustrated by Robert Nixon the tree's have finally found a home after years of searching!

The centre pages featured a two page ad for next week's Whizzer and Chips with Whoopee. 

As well as the advert, another way to get readers to Whizzer and Chips was to have a competition. The competition in question is for a Yamaha keyboard, and part one appeared in Whoopee, and part 2 appeared in the following Whizzer and Chips! Of course, to make it fair to Whizz-kids and Chip-ites, part one of the competition also appeared in Whizzer and Chips of the same week.

Also in that same issue was a two page advert drawn by Frank McDiarmid, where Sid and Shiner are choosing who will be coming into their comics! Sweeny isn't pleased about not being picked!

And there was a final one panel advert reminding you about the merge at the bottom of Joker's strip!

When the merge finally came Sweeny Toddler kept popping up throught the issue trying to find his strip. When he discovered that he was on the back cover, he wasn't happy, and resolved to get revenge on the editor "next week"!

But a message from Sweeny that following week revealed that it didn't go according to plan! Despite that he managed to secure his place on the front cover, becoming one of the comics most succesful characters, even lasting until the end of Buster in 2000!


Harry Rickard said...

Thank you very much for this - I thoroughly enjoyed it! A really nice blog post and it was nice reading the final stories - The Whizzer and Chips/Whoopee comic strip by Frank McDiarmid in the middle was a great read and goes to show why Fleetway were so good. Thanks for sharing!

Peter Gray said...

I bought this issue and remember it well with Snack-man and Family Trees...though it was an event for it merging with Whizzer and chips it was a sad day...loved Whoopee!!

thanks for bring back the memories..and finally getting to see it again..

George Shiers said...

I thought the Frank McDiarmid strip was very intresting, and that's a lot of new characters coming from Whoopee!

I liked the way the strips that weren't merging came to an end, even if it was quite sad...

Andy Boal said...

Remind me, how did Frankie Stein end?

Just two corrections - Whoopee didn't create either Creepy Comix (Wow) or Sweeney Toddler (Shiver and Shake) - but it was certainly where both strips lasted longest! Whoopee was an excellent comic, no mistake.

Did you notice that merger or no merger, they still kept reprinting Tomboy in Whizzer and Chips?

George Shiers said...

If this was Frankie's last appearence the strip didn't have an ending. Maybe they were planning to keep him going?

Thanks for the correction - Creepy Comix could have been in Monster Fun if it had been around at the time.

They should have kept some of the other strips, instead of using Tomboy reprints really, it would have been better!

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Mr Straightman said...

It seems Whoopee! dropped dead on my eleventh birthday. It was always one of my very favourite comics, largely because of Frankie Stein. Hilarious character.

George Shiers said...

Not the greatest birthday present ever! It was a shame it folded, as it had some great characters such as Frankie Stein (as you said), and The Bumpkin Billionaires.