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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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*** CHEEKY WEEKLY, KRAZY, WHOOPEE and WHIZZER AND CHIPS ARE ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ***

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 30 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 8)

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
SaturdayCheeky Weekly 29 December 1979SaturdayFirst page: Clever replacement of title panel by shunting original 2nd and 3rd panels to the left, inserting an image of Snail in place of the original 3rd panel, and extending the top of panel 5. Reference to Speed Squad in panel 6 has been changed from Skateboard Squad. No resizing at foot of page as Saturday continues on the next page.

Second page: The final row of panels has possibly been extended at the top.


Art: Frank McDiarmid

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 30 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 7)

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
FridayCheeky Weekly 29 December 1979Friday Hmm, not entirely sure that title panel HAS been replaced. Glad's dialogue altered to refer to 1980. The different lettering style in Cheeky's speech balloon in the final panel suggests the toothy funster was originally shown reading an instalment of the Eagle Eye strip. This indicates that Eagle Eye was slated to start in one of the missing issues, 'cos Cheeky would read the serial in school on Fridays commencing in 06 January 1979's first post-hiatus issue (obviously school was out for the Christmas hols in this particular issue). Resizing at foot of page.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Monday, 24 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 30 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 6)

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes

Thursday

Cheeky Weekly 29 December 1979SundayTitle panel replaced, so this wan't originally a Sunday page. The original Sunday artwork was published as Monday in the 1979 Christmas issue. The Cheeky's Week pages had to be shuffled around in this way when eventually published in 1979 because December 25th fell on a Tuesday, not Monday as the previous year.

Cheeky says this is the first time we've seen Mechanic's face, but we had actually seen it in the 28 July 1979 issue. Had this page been published at Christmas 1978 as originally intended, Cheeky would have been correct. In the altered second panel, Cheeky says he will have to wait until Christmas day to open his presents, yet Ursula and Mechanic have received their presents - so this was clearly drawn as a post-Christmas-day page.

Cheeky's final speech balloon has been altered, it would have introduced the Skateboard Squad strip (in the Christmas 1979 issue, Calculator Kid followed this page). Cheeky's altered text in the final panel, with its reference to a forthcoming Christmas, again conflicts with the the panels featuring Mechanic and Ursula. Foot of page has been resized to compensate for removal of What Did YOU Do Today? diary section.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Skateboard SquadCheeky Weekly 17 February 1979Skateboard Squad This appears to be another Christmas story conversion (see also Elephant On The Run, which had a converted story in the same 17 February 1979 issue, and Calculator Kid and Disaster Des who had converted stories printed in the 20 January 1979 comic (see here and here). I would guess that the reference to the infants' 'annual party' was changed from 'Christmas party'. I suspect that a Christmas tree has been removed from panels 8 and 9. Those certainly look like Christmas presents.

Art: Mike Lacey

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 30 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 5 - The Mystery Comic)

The features which comprised The Mystery Comic were grouped in Cheeky Weekly's centre pages from the 30 September 1978 issue to that dated 30 June 1979. Therefore, had the 30 December 1978 issue appeared as planned, it's a fair bet that the Mystery Comic features would have been located together in the middle of the comic.

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
TubCheeky Annual 1980, page 120TubThe size of this strip clearly indicates it was intended to appear below the Mystery Comic title (during the Mystery Comic's run, Tub was usually featured on The Mystery Comic's cover), so was obviously prepared for publication in the weekly comic. In Cheeky Weekly, during our chubby chum's tenure on the Mystery Comic's cover, the 'Tub' title panel was located at the top of the first frame of the strip but, since for this annual appearance the 'Tub' title has been moved up to replace the Mystery Comic banner, the title at the top of the first frame has been excised. The subject matter suggests the strip was intended for the Christmas Cheeky Weekly. There were in fact 2 Tub stories in the 1980 Cheeky Annual (the other appearing on page 57 - see below), both of which appear to have been drawn for Cheeky Weekly, but this Christmas morning story is the obvious contender for inclusion in the 30 December 1978 lost Christmas issue.

N.B. Although there was a Mystery Comic title above the Tub strip on page 57 of the 1980 Cheeky Annual, the Mystery Comic features were scattered through the annual; pages 6-8 (Mustapha Million), pages 18-19 (Why Dad Why), pages 57-59 (Tub followed by Why Dad Why), 92-93 (Disaster Des) 102-103, 115 (Why Dad Why) and 120 (Tub). This was because the Mystery Comic section of the weekly comic ceased at the end of June 1979, so there was no need for the annual to emulate those issues of Cheeky Weekly in which the Mystery Comic strips congregated on the centre pages.

My thanks to the scanner of the annual pages below who has yet again saved me from having to cram my (if I say so myself) pristine Cheeky Annual into the scanner.

Art: Nigel Edwards

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Why, Dad, Why?Cheeky Annual 1980, page 115Why, Dad, Why?Another page drawn for the weekly comic judging by the width/height ratio but, like Calculator Kid's strip a page earlier in the same annual, this artwork has thankfully remained unresized (is that a word?). Also like Calculator Kid, this Christmas page was curiously located in the November section of the annual.

Art: John K. Geering

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Disaster DesCheeky Annual 1980, page 116Disaster Des Unlike Calculator Kid and Why, Dad, Why, this page drawn for the weekly comic has been resized - the panels in the first three rows have been extended at the bottom. Des had commenced a world tour in Cheeky Weekly dated 09 December 1978 (actually he had embarked on the tour the previous week, but the ship ran aground) which accounts for him arriving at the Arctic in this story, and is evidence that this story was intended for the 1978 Christmas issue..

Art: Mike Lacey

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Elephant On The RunCheeky Weekly 17 February 1979Elephant On The Run I'd suggest this was one of four experiments in converting a Christmas tale into a non-festive-season story (the others being the Skateboard Squad story published in the same 17 February 1979 issue as the EOTR story below, and Calculator Kid and Disaster Des from the 20 January 1979 issue. This episode of EOTR was published in a mid-February 1979 issue of Cheeky Weekly. It's fairly obvious that references to Christmas have been removed, most noticeably in the odd wording of the caption in the first panel. The Man In The Plastic Mac's speech balloon in the same panel has probably been revised so that the word 'weekend' replaces 'Christmas'.

It looks as though the aggrieved commuter in page 1, panel 7, is spouting a similarly altered balloon, as is Elephant in the following picture. The same adjustment is evident in respect of the benevolent gent in panel 7, page 2, and I would guess Elephant's final line in this strip was originally 'Merry Christmas, Pals!". I suspect that some traditional British comic Christmas visual cues (tree, presents, decorations) have been removed from the final panel.

Maybe the editor felt that these converted non-Cheeky strips were less than satisfactory so decided to hold the remainder in abeyance until the 1980 annual. Since most kids' first sight of the annual would be on Christmas morning, stories of a festive nature wouldn't seem out of place.


Art: Robert Nixon

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Mystery BoyCheeky Weekly 20 January 1979Mystery BoyMystery Boy (a reprint of the Who Is Sandy strip from Whizzer and Chips) was the only Mystery Comic strip to feature a continuing story (fellow amnesiac Elephant, from Elephant On The Run, remained a fugitive for the duration of his strip, but each episode was self-contained and no plot development occurred as the series progressed).

It's therefore possible to deduce that, had there been no interruption to the publishing schedule and issues dated 16, 23 and 30 December 1978 had appeared as intended, the episode of Mystery Boy which would have appeared in the 30 December 1978 issue would have been that which was actually displaced to the third issue to appear following resumption of publication, i.e. Cheeky Weekly dated 20 January 1979. This is because the story resumed after the industrial dispute at the cliffhanger it reached in the final issue to be published before the hiatus. There was no Christmas-themed episode of Mystery Boy. Other than the substitution of the Mystery Boy title for its original name, which applied to all the strips during the series' Cheeky Weekly run, there appear to be no changes to the artwork.

Art: ?
This leaves one last character from the complement of Mystery Comic fun-pals unaccounted for - Mustapha Million. I am not aware of any converted Christmas tales featuring Mustapha in Cheeky Weekly's run. Mustapha's sole appearance in the Cheeky Annual 1980 is on pages 6, 7 and 8. This is not a Christmas-themed story and appears to have been drawn to fill an annual-size page. The Mustapha strips in Cheeky Weekly were never more than 2 pages. Probably the 1979 Christmas story was the one intended for the 1978 Christmas issue - there's no way of telling for sure.

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Mustapha Million Cheeky Weekly 29 December 1979Mustapha Million No real evidence for this being a deferred Christmas 1978 strip, but the balance of probabilities is that it is.

Art: Joe McCaffrey


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 30 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 4)

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
WednesdayCheeky Weekly 29 December 1979ThursdayThe shunted-a-day-forward effect, resulting from the delay of a year in publishing this material, continues to ripple through the post-Christmas day pages of the comic. Title panel replaced by inserting a new second panel featuring a pasted-in 'standard Cheeky face'. Artwork in the final panel has been altered - it would originally have shown Cheeky whipping out The Mystery Comic. Canny editor cleverly changes it to plug the 1980 Cheeky Annual. Our portly pal Tub would have followed this page had it been published as intended in 1978, as the Mystery Comic section would have followed Wednesday (the Mystery Comic concept came to an end in the 30 June 1978 issue). Foot of page resized.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 30 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 3)

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Tuesday - Boxing DayCheeky Weekly 29 December 1979WednesdayAs a consequence of appearing a year later than intended, this page has been shunted forward a day from Tuesday to Wednesday (Boxing Day in 1979). Title panel replaced (by inserting a new second panel and shifting the original second panel to the left - sneaky!).  This delayed appearance by Spiv  is the final one he'll make in Cheeky Weekly (the final Spiv joke to be written appeared in the 30 June 1979 comic). Calculator's dialogue has been changed as this page would have led to the Calculator Kid strip (Tub followed Wednesday in the 29 December 1979 issue). Foot of page resized.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Calculator KidCheeky Annual 1980, page 114Calculator KidThe large amount of blank space surrounding the strip is evidence that it was intended for a page in the weekly comic. Fortunately, no attempt has been made to resize the artwork to better fit the proportions of the annual page, allowing us to enjoy Terry Bave's original page design..

Strangely, this Christmas story was placed in the November section of the annual.

As I didn't want to damage my annual by scanning it, my thanks to the scanner of the Calculator Kid page featured here.

Art: Terry Bave

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 30 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 2)

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Monday - Christmas DayCheeky Weekly 29 December 1979Tuesday (Christmas day in 1979 was on a Tuesday)First Page: Title panel replaced. The Cheeky Annual on the toothy funster's bed was presumably changed to represent the 1980 annual. No resizing at the foot of the page, meaning it was originally followed by a continuation of Christmas day.

Second Page: No title panel replacement or resizing at foot of page, as this is a continuation of Christmas Day.

Third Page: The lettering and shape of Burpo's speech balloon doesn't match all the others, so may have been changed.

No evidence of resizing at the bottom of the second and third pages, so it appears there was no What did YOU do today? section for Christmas day 1978.




Monday, 17 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 30 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed!

Moving on to identify the artwork that would have appeared in the 30 December 1978 issue of Cheeky Weekly (the Christmas issue) had publication not been interrupted due to a strike...

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
SundayCheeky Weekly 29 December 1979MondayThere is no evidence of title panel replacement, the church appears in panel 3 and Cheeky's dialogue in the final panel has been changed from its original reference to 6 Million Dollar Gran, so this was drawn as a Sunday page. In 1978, Christmas day was on a Monday, so this Christmas Eve page was shunted forward a day when it was eventually published the following year. Foot of page doesn't appear to have been resized.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
6 Million Dollar GranCheeky Annual 1980, pages 9-116 Million Dollar GranFirst Page: Text in first speech balloon has been changed - presumably 'New Year party' replaces 'Christmas Party' - note the Christmas cracker on the third page (this strip appears in the January section of the annual).

There is evidence of panel resizing to make the strip fit the proportions of the annual pages.

Final Page: Text in panels 1 and 5 has been changed - presumably 'New Year' replaces 'Christmas'. Looks like there's something missing from policeman's speech balloon in panel 4 - could have been a Christmas reference, but more likely the balloon has been enlarged to fill some of the blank space resulting from panel resizing. The final panel has been changed - it would originally have shown Cheeky looking at the TV screen, which was the customary final panel of Gran strips in late 1978. Instead, a Jim Petrie rendition of Cheeky, originally published on page 72 of the 1979 Cheeky Annual, has been pasted in.

As I didn't want to damage my annual by scanning it, my thanks to the scanner of the Gran pages featured here.




Sunday, 16 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 23 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 7)

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Saturday (first page)Cheeky Weekly 22 December 1979Saturday (first page)Title panel replaced. Christmas card story continues. In the first panel of the final row, which depicts Cheeky exchanging a joke with Mechanic, there's a note reading 'Must've read last week's comedy catalogue'. This reference to the Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue Of Mechanic Jokes booklet which appeared in the 15 December 1979 issue was evidently added to the original artwork. The punchline to the previous week's variation on the same joke was 'Mini Miner'. No resizing at bottom of page because the What did YOU do today? diary area didn't appear on the first Saturday page after the 02 December 1978 issue.

Art: Mike Lacey

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Saturday (concluding page) Cheeky Weekly 22 December 1979Saturday (concluding page) Christmas card storyline concludes. The change of lettering style in the dialogue between Cheeky and Spiv in panel 5 suggests the text has been altered - don't know why. This is Spiv's penultimate published appearance - his previous appearance had been way back in the 30 June 1979 issue, which was presumably the last Spiv joke to be written (his final appearance will be in a page from the lost 1978 Christmas issue, published in the 29 December 1979 comic). No evidence of panel resizing, so it appears there was no What did YOU do today? section.

Art: Mike Lacey

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 23 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 6)

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
FridayCheeky Weekly 22 December 1979FridayTitle panel replaced. Christmas card story continues. The final panel suggests that the Eagle Eye strip was slated to start in one of the missing issues, 'cos Cheeky would read each EE episode in school on Fridays commencing in the 06 January 1979 issue (obviously School was out for the Christmas hols in this particular issue). Presumably Cheeky would have been reading Eagle Eye in the original artwork. Foot of page has been resized.

Art: Mike Lacey

Horror Bags ad

Paul from the excellent Cobwebbed Room blog has enquired about this ad which appeared in Cheeky Weekly dated 08 July 1978, so I thought I'd post it rather than describe it - you're welcome to use it on your blog, Paul, if it's one that you haven't already featured.


Friday, 14 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 23 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 5)

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
ThursdayCheeky Weekly 22 December 1979ThursdayTitle panel replaced. Christmas card story continues despite change in artist. Final panel is intro to Skateboard Squad, but that strip finished in May 1979, a couple of weeks before the team re-appeared under their new title, Speed Squad. Text has therefore been altered (Why, Dad, Why? followed Thursday in the 22 December 1979 issue - Speed Squad appeared 8 pages later). Foot of page resized.

Art: Mike Lacey

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 23 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 4)

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
WednesdayCheeky Weekly 22 December 1979WednesdayAnother cut-and-pasted head on new body replaces the title panel. Christmas card storyline continues. Final panel is clearly an intro to The Mystery Comic, but that came to an end in the 30 June 1979 issue, so the text has been changed to make it a Christmas card reference. Clever! In the 22 December 1979 issue, Mustapha Million followed Wednesday. Foot of page resized.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
TubCheeky Annual 1980, page 57TubThis was the first of 2 Tub strips in the 1980 Cheeky Annual (the other, more Christmassy tale can be seen here). Both were sourced from material prepared for the missing December 1978 issues. I would guess that this strip was drawn for the abandoned 23 December 1978 pre-Christmas issue, as it has an icy/snowy setting. Note how the Mystery Comic's sci-fi cover background has been cut down to allow the Tub strip to be blown up to fill the width of the annual page - now why didn't they do the same for Tub's episode on page 120 of the annual, seen in the link above, which is left floundering at the centre?

Thanks to the scanner of this annual page.

UPDATE 26 November 2012:

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Disaster DesCheeky Weekly 20 January 1979Disaster DesThis page, one of the two occasions on which Disaster Des occupied the Mystery Comic's cover, appears to include a strip from which Christmas references have been removed (as was the case with Elephant On The Run and Skateboard Squad in the 17 February 1979 Cheeky Weekly, and Calculator Kid in the same 20 January 1979 issue as this Des story). I suspect that Des's speech balloon in panel 2 on the second row originally read "I thought we were going to be home by Christmas, Cap'n!", and that in the following panel he originally said "It's not going to be much of a Christmas with only us two on board". In the final panel, it looks as though the Captain's balloon has been altered, probably the words "some fun" replaced "a party". I'd guess Des's closing balloon originally read "It isn't everyone who gets his own private Christmas circus!"

I have assumed that this strip was originally intended for Cheeky Weekly's 23 December 1978 issue, but it's possible that the Disaster Des strip that was eventually printed in the 1980 Cheeky Annual (as seen in this post) was the one slated for the pre-Christmas issue, and this episode was intended for the Christmas issue.

Art: Mike Lacey

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 23 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 3)

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
TuesdayCheeky Weekly 22 December 1979TuesdayA rather peculiar agglomeration of cut-and-pasted Cheeky head with newly-drawn body replaces the title panel. Christmas card storyline continues. Doodle Doug's presence in the final panel indicates that Paddywack would have followed had the page been published in December 1978, but the text has been altered because the Doodle Doug intros to the Paddywack strips ceased as of the 07 July 1979 comic. In the 22 December 1979 issue, Paddywack appeared 6 pages earlier than the Tuesday page, which was followed by a Soggy the Sea Monster reprint. The art at the foot of the page has been resized to compensate for the removal of the What Did YOU Do Today? diary section.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 23 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed! (part 2)

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
MondayCheeky Weekly 22 December 1979MondayChristmas card storyline continues. In December 1978 the introductory page of each daily Cheeky feature had a Cheeky's Week… title panel. These panels ceased to appear as from July 1979. This page in the 22 December 1979 comic has clearly had the title panel removed and replaced with a cut-and-paste Cheeky and some text in a different style to the rest of the page. Calculator Kid would have evidently followed in December 1978, but Cheeky's dialogue has been amended because CK had actually appeared on the preceding page in the 22 December 1979 issue. The artwork at the foot of the page has been resized because the 'What did YOU do today? diary section, which was also present in December 1978, but not in December 1979, has been removed.

See below for what I believe was the Calculator Kid strip that would have followed in the lost 23 December 1978 issue.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
Calculator KidCheeky Weekly 20 January 1979Calculator Kid This was one of four strips that I suspect were originally intended for the lost 23 or 30 December 1978 issues, but were converted into non-festive-season stories (the other conversions being the Disaster Des strip that eventually appeared in the same 20 January 1979 issue as this CC story, and Elephant On The Run and Skateboard Squad published in Cheeky Weekly dated 17 February 1979 ).

It would be my guess that this story originally saw Charlie setting out to buy Christmas presents - note the snow, suspiciously festive wrapping paper on Charlie's presents and what look like Christmas decorations inside the store. If I'm correct, the original version of the story was set prior to December 25th, so it's likely that it was intended for the 23 December 1978 issue (I suspect the Calculator Kid strip that eventually appeared on page 114 of the 1980 Cheeky Annual was originally intended for the 30 December 1978 issue).

It may be that the Cheeky Weekly editor decided that the Christmas story conversions were not entirely successful, and as a consequence the rest of the non-Cheeky strips originally created for the 23 and 30 December 1978 issues were held over for use later in the year.


Monday, 10 September 2012

Cheeky Weekly's lost 23 December 1978 issue - Reconstructed!

As discussed here, Cheeky Weekly failed to be published for 3 weeks in December 1978 due to an industrial dispute. The missing issues were those that would have been dated 16, 23 and 30 December 1978.

Material for Cheeky Weekly was clearly prepared some weeks in advance of the publication date, so it's a safe bet that the pages scheduled to appear in these lost issues had been delivered to the Cheeky Weekly editor before the industrial action brought publication to a temporary halt. Since two of the lost issues had a Christmas theme (there were two Christmas-themed Cheeky Weeklies in 1977; 24 December's pre-Christmas issue and 31 December's full-blown Christmas issue), these pages could not really be used (at least not without modification - of which more later) until the following festive season, and that is indeed what happened with the Cheeky's Week material.

From the 30 September 1978 issue to that dated 30 June 1979, the Cheeky's Week pages included an introductory title panel, and an area at the foot of some pages entitled 'What did YOU do today?' which gave readers the space to record a brief diary entry. Since a number of the Cheeky pages prepared for the Christmas 1978 issues included these elements, which would have to be removed in preparing the artwork for its eventual use at the end of 1979, it's possible to identify those pages which were salted away by a canny Cheeky Weekly editor for use in the following year's festive editions.

I'm embarking on a series of posts in which I will identify those pages that would have appeared in 1978's Christmas issues had Cheeky Weekly not become briefly embroiled in the volatile industrial relations of the late 70s.

Cheeky Weekly's lost 23 December 1978 issue

Element Eventually published in Published as Notes
SundayCheeky Weekly 22 December 1979SundayChristmas card storyline begins. Different lettering style in Cheeky's speech balloon in the final panel suggests his original comments have been altered - in the original version he would have introduced 6 Million Dollar Gran, whose strip would commence on the following page. By the end of 1979, Gran had been moved to the rear of the comic. In the 22 December 1979 issue, Sunday was followed by Calculator Kid.

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The missing issues

By the end of 1978, the weary British public were well acquainted with the effects of industrial action. The 70s had seen governments attempting to control inflation (which had rocketed to a peak of 26.9% in 1975) by means of pay limits, a measure that was, of course, anathema to the trade unions. This confrontational scenario resulted in a series of strikes, power cuts, shortages of basic commodities and reduced working hours for many - even those not actually on strike.

As 1978 ground to its drear conclusion, Britain entered a particularly acute period of industrial strife, which came to be known as The Winter of Discontent. IPC, publishers of Cheeky Weekly, had already suffered the effects of industrial disputes earlier in the decade, and there were indications that trouble was again brewing when Cheeky Weeky dated 02 December 1978 was reduced from the usual 32 pages to 27. No reason for the page reduction was given in that issue, but most readers would have guessed that some sort of strike or work to rule was the cause. This thread on the Comics UK forum suggests that the majority of the disputes that affected IPC's output in the 70s were at the printers rather than at IPC itself.

The following week's issue was also truncated, although gaining an extra page on the previous week to make it only four pages shorter than normal.

Whatever the dispute that had caused the reduced issues, it must have worsened, as no Cheeky Weekly appeared for the following 3 weeks.

I don't remember where in London I was working at the time, but for a number of years I would visit newsagents near my various places of work during my lunch break on the day my comics of choice were published. I would then smuggle my purchases back into the office under my coat, as I didn't want my colleagues to know I was a comic reader. I don't recall asking the newsagent why there was no Cheeky Weekly during the period in question - I think I just assumed it hadn't appeared due to a strike or somesuch, but checked a couple of other newsagents, just to be sure.

We can be sure that no issues were published with cover dates 16, 23 and 30 December 1978 because the episode of Mystery Boy featured in the first issue after the break (dated 06 January 1979) continues directly from that in the 09 December 1978 issue in which Sandy was abducted by two German airmen. Also, there was a message across the top of page 2 of the 06 January 1979 issue (which was a full 32 pages) reading "Sorry we've been away - glad to be back for the new year, pals!"

It was particularly frustrating that one of the lost comics was what would have been the Christmas 1978 issue. However, I believe that most if not all of the material prepared for that issue was eventually used in one form or another - see these posts.