On this day, 30 March 1985: Whoopee!
On this day, 30 March 1985 … I’ve just been venting in the previous post about the demise of Tiger, how it had lost its identity before being swallowed up by Eagle. Now it’s the turn of Whoopee!, the final issue of which appeared on the same day as Tiger’s, incorporated into Whizzer and Chips after a long run – nowhere near as long a history as Tiger’s, but at eleven years still an impressive innings that easily qualifies Whoopee! as one of IPC’s big hitters.
You know, it could be said that Whoopee! had also abandoned its unique identity by the end. I’ve explored in previous posts just what that identity might have been: after appearing first as a jolly, somewhat rascally new comic, it wasn’t long before Whoopee! upped its content of ‘horror’ fun strips and a mischievous, dark flavour of fun that marked it out as different from the other humour titles on the shelves. Turning through the pages of this final issue, it’s apparent that that isn’t really there any more. Creepy Comix and Frankie Stein are the only two scare-based stories, and it’s only really the irrepressible Sweeny Toddler who carries any sense of menace. Beyond those three it’s just your basic fun tales.
But it’s hard to feel the rants about this Whoopee! in the same way that I did about Tiger. I’m reading it and it’s still making me smile. It’s sad that it’s over, but … well, I just love these guys. Sweeny, obviously – he’s one of my all-time faves, the little fang-toothed despot, and anyway he’ll go on to terrorise the front and inner pages of Whizzer and Chips for some time to come. But also Boy Boss by Frank McDiarmid – so cheeky and cocky and confident, a corporate Cheeky for the 1980s. The Bumpkin Billionaires, ‘arr’ing and ‘loik’ing there way out of yet another unwelcome windfall (although the print quality of this episode makes me wonder whether it’s a reprint from an earlier edition). There’s Toy Boy, never growing up, just playing with his toys, as deep down we all want to. And Supergran, once of Cheeky, now patrolling the streets with Gran’s Gang. Lolly Pop and Archie counting the green stuff, and Mustapha Million who has an army of lackeys to do the counting for him. No pretensions, no labouring to be cool or to match the trends of the day – just laughs and winks and pratfalls and slap-up nosh for all. Thanks for the memories, fun-stars of of Whoopee!