Thursday, November 7, 2013

This Week In: 1979 - Cheeky

One good thing about many of Fleetway's comics was the fact that they came out on a Monday. Monday is the worst day of the week as it's the day everybody has to go back to work or, more suitably for a comic, school, so the arrival of a new comic on a Monday was very welcome, the perfect way to beat those "Monday Blues"! Cheeky was another of the comics that came out on a Monday, a cheery and cheeky way to start the week!

I'll start with none other than Cheeky himself. If you've ever read an issue of Cheeky you'll know that Cheeky's strip is split up into seven parts and each part appears separately throughout the comic. There is one part for every day, starting on Sunday and finishing on Saturday, but for sakes of space I'll only show the 'Sunday' page here. Frank McDiarmid had a heavy workload as he drew all of Cheeky's pages week in week out!

Next up is Charlie, who you will know as Calculator Kid! Charlie is very lucky in that he has a talking calculator for a friend (and yes, he had real friends as well) that could predict the future - a very useful tool in Charlie's life that almost always led him to collecting a nice cash reward! Terry Bave was the illustrator here, and the strip would continue for a very long run continuing for several years after Cheeky in Whoopee.

My favourite strip in this issue has to go to The Gang. Although it doesn't have the most creative name in the world, this is a very well written strip, and it's well illustrated as well although I'm afraid I can't say who the artist is. The Cheeky Weekly blog tells me that The Gang is in fact a (poorly retitled) reprint of the Double Deckers from Whizzer and Chips.

Next up is Elephant On The Run, a strip about a man in a plastic mac who, for some unknown reason, is trying to capture our friendly elephant, who has lost his memory and has no idea why he's wanted! Bob Nixon is the artist.

The fantastic Mustapha Million, a great and extremely popular strip illustrated by Joe McCaffrey, took up the centre spread. Obviously the title of this strip is supposed to sound like "must have a million", but really the young lad must be a multi billionaire at least!

And finally, here's a queer advertisement for 'Mr. Bellamy's', showing all the (ahem) fun you can have with liquorice!


Lew Stringer said...

Actually all the comics that had 'Every Monday' on their covers actually came out the previous Saturday, which was the ideal day for comics.

Cover days are deceptive on those old comics. They always came out a working day before the day stated on the cover. So, for example, The Dandy and The Beezer had 'Every Tuesday' but they were in shops on Monday. The Beano and Topper had 'Every Thursday' but were out on Wednesday.

Lew Stringer said...

PS: Thanks for showing some of these pages. This issue was out in the years when I'd stopped buying kids' comics so I never saw it. Looks a great issue!

George Shiers said...

Gosh! That's confusing!

Andy Boal said...

Not only that, but in many places Cheeky, Whizzer and Chips, Buster, Whoopee etc came out on Friday rather than Saturday!

Frank was one of five or six artists who drew Cheeky’s week (see Niblet’s Cheeky Weekly blog for details.) The one you showed was by Barrie Appleby, and I suspect the cover is also his.

Lew Stringer said...

That's right. One of my local independent newsagents used to fetch the comics from the wholesales on Friday, so he could get the advantage over WH Smith (who would put them out on Saturdsy).

It's not that confusing George. Just remember weekly comics up until about 10 or 15 years ago came out a working day before the day on the cover, and that the date on the cover was the weekend after publication, not the day of publication. You'll get used to it. We did. :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh cheeky Lew.

Raven said...

My 'Every Monday' comic was always delivered inside Monday's newspaper, so I did associate them with Monday; if only I'd known I might have had it for the weekend!

Raven said...

The Gang strip here is a reprint from the 24th July 1971 issue of Whizzer and Chips.

It gave quite a buzz at the time to have a strip of the popular US series 'Here Come the Double Deckers' in the comic, but the black boy Spring tended to be drawn as a racial stereotype caricature. It's interesting to note that for this reprint, the times were a little more enlightened, and his face has been retouched to change that disagreeable portrayal.