On this day, 16 October 1976: Krazy
On this day, 16 October 1976 … What a day this was. It was my sister’s fourth birthday, pre-ban Action made its final appearance, Valiant bowed out after fourteen years and Cheeky appeared for the first time before a British audience, taking a cheeky wazz behind a bush. Oh, and we have the first issue of Krazy, madcap, innovative, irrepressible Krazy, and a kick in the busters for the humour comics industry.
I've talked about the new wave changing the landscape of adventure comics in the mid-1970s, and Krazy marked the beginning of a similar revolution in the funnies. The comic really did bring a different formula, abandoning the familiar structure of strip after strip after strip, usually in much the same order each week, in favour of a much looser, unpredictable arrangement of a fewer number of regular stories mixed in with cartoons, puzzles, stories and gimmicks. Krazy lasted only eighteen months before being merged into Whizzer and Chips, but it blazed brightly and initiated the Cheeky dynasty. The tombstone-toothed one was the undoubted star of Krazy, making an ostentatious debut as noted on page three as a member of The Krazy Gang, but with the additional honour of his own strip, ‘Ello It’s Cheeky, in this first issue. Cheeky was sufficiently popular to get his own comic in 1977, but remained a member of The Krazy Gang after it moved to Whizzer and Chips in 1978. In 1980, Cheeky the comic was taken over by Whoopee!, in which Cheeky the character continued to play a central role for several more years. He’s a brilliant creation, representative of something risky and rebellious that we’ve seen time and time again in IPC comics from this period and beyond. Cheeky is the krazy spirit of ’76.