Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Nuggets from the Loft…

During a fleeting forage in the loft last week, I couldn’t help but notice that the teetering piles of treasure-filled cardboard boxes up there were starting to get a little bit damp… threatening the myriad of priceless antiques (251 issues of Whizzer and Chips and at least seven Star Wars Annuals) up there with irrevocable damage!

As a result I’ve spent my day off today transferring everything up there into proper, plastic storage boxes, and – in the process – have unearthed a couple of delightful little nuggets. I think I’ve mentioned before that I spent most of 1978 scribbling incredibly convoluted depictions of scenes from Star Wars, and – brilliantly – here’s the evidence…

(Click on the picture for a larger version!)

I think I’ve managed to indentify all the characters and spaceships in this, but I’m happy to offer special (and utterly worthless) Wiffle Points to anyone who can put names to them!

The picture was actually tucked inside a Mr Men Acitivity Book, and one of the activities required me to enter the date… which I’d done, in shaky pencil handwriting – Saturday 3rd June 1978. So I’m guessing my drawing dates from around the same time, that strange transitional period when my allegiances were transferring from the cosy, sepia-tinted snuggliness of my early childhood (Hello Mr Tickle! Hello Bungo Womble! Hello Rupert Bear! But bugger off Raggety the Twigman, you creepy wood-faced bleeder…) to the lightsabre-filled adventure of my early 80s school years. I was five years old in June 1978, reaching the end of my first year in ‘reception’ at Levendale Primary School, and lustily embarking on a life of heartfelt geekdom.

(Except, of course, I wasn’t. There was nothing geeky about Star Wars in 1978, it was as mainstream as it was possible to get. EVERYONE I knew – boys and girls – loved Star Wars and Doctor Who, and it was only when I reached my teenage years that a fascination for all this stuff began to mark me out as something – ahem – special. But that’s another story… and let’s face it, I wrote a whole bloody book about it…)

My other little Nugget from the Loft today is an hilariously sexist bit of comic strippery from Christmas 1979…

‘HOW’S THIS FOR A CHRISTMAS CRACKER?’ Fantastic. A cover clearly drawn by Jack and Stan from On The Buses in a quiet moment down the depot, making ‘Phwoooar’ noises and suggestive gestures with their forearms as a legion of mini-skirted ‘clippies’ slink by. I showed this to my other half today, and she asked me – in all sincerity – ‘is this real? Was it actually made for kids?’

I can only assume the Christmas 1979 edition of Bunty comic didn’t have a hairy-chested, cartoon John Travolta in skin-tight jeans bursting out of a pink Christmas cracker.

More priceless Nuggets from the Loft coming soon!


  Thing wrote @

I remember that Cheeky actually had a character called Libby, who was a supposedly militant feminist, always angrily accusing Cheeky or others of sexism and calling him “Piglet” as if it were his name (as in sexist pig, presumably). Indeed, I think that might well be her looking up disapprovingly at the whole spectacle from the bottom left corner of the cover.

  bobfischer wrote @

Blimey, yes, you’re right… that’s her. Although oddly enough she isn’t in the main comic, just on the cover. She’s the forerunner of Millie Tant from Viz!

The girl in the cracker is a regular character in the actual Cheeky strip as well, she’s called Lily Pop… there’s quite a bit about her on this fine-looking blog site…


I think that site is right, Cheeky seems a lot… well, cheekier than other comics from time, it’s got some quite saucy stuff in there. Celebrity guest appearances seem to be a running feature as well – you can see Kenny Everett on the site above, and the copy of Cheeky that I scanned has Paul ‘Benny’ Henry from Crossroads popping up in cartoon form!

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