The History

On June 20th 1969, mankind set foot on the moon for the first time in history. But that wasn't the only great thing to happen that fine year! Just four months later, Britain's best comic was launched as well!
[The front cover of the very first Whizzer and Chips comic.]
The week before Whizzer and Chips hit the stores,  brochures were placed in several different comics, including Smash!, Wham! and others. (There was also apparently a television ad, but I think that only exists in a telivision studio's recordings.) These brochures were given out for a variety of different comics, and most of them were four pages with the main character telling you all about this fabulous new paper! For Whizzer and Chips, there were brochures advertising the first three issues. Here (until I obtain scans of the other two), is the brochure produed for the first issue (although not all the events the characters are in on the centre spread are from the issue #1). Thanks to Lew Stringer for the scans.

Here it the 'pink flyer' that was given away inside other comics. This one was probably given away in Smash!




Whizzer and Chips took off on 18th October 1969 (it actually went on sale a little earlier, hitting the stores on 13th October 1969) subtitled as 'Two Comics For Only 6D!' - although within the walls of the Fleetway Fun House, it was always regarded as one. The first issue came with twelve super stickers, of which all known surviving sets have unfortunatly but expectedly, lost their stick (you can see one of those final sets if you scroll down!). The characters that appeared in issue one are (in order of appearence): Me and My Shadow (Artist: Terry Bave - one page - black and white), Odd Ball (Artist: Mike Lacey - one page - black, white and red), Little Saver (Artist: Terry Bave - one page - black and white), Kings of the Castle (Artist: Mike White - two pages - black and white), Give A Dog A Bone (Artist: Graham Allen - one page - black, white and red), (Chips section) Sid's Snake (Artist: Mike Lacey - one page (with room at top for Chip's logo) - full colour), Space School (Artist: Mike Higgs - one page - black and white), Batty Bat (Artist: Joseph Lee - 1 colum (4 pancels) vertically down left hand side of page 7cm across - black and white), Angel Face and Dare Devil (Artist: Mike Lacey - 2/3 page (shared with Batty Bat) - 13cm wide - black and white), Puddin' Tops (Artist: Terry Bave, half page - black white and red), Karate Kid (Artist: Terry Bave - half page - black white and red), Ginger's Tum (Artist: Terry Bave - one page - black and white), Parker the Parky (Artist: Terry Bave - one page - black and white), Harry's Haunted House (Artist: Reg Parlett - one page - black and white), The Space Accident (Artist: Ron Turner - one page - black, white and red), Hetty's Horoscope (Artist: Terry Bave - one page - black and white), Wear 'Em Out Wilf (Artist: Norman Mansbridge - one page - black and white), The Spectacular Adventures of Willie Bunk (Artist: Frank McDiarmid - two pages - black, white and red), Aqua Lad (Artist: Terry Bave - one page - black and white), Steadfast McStaunch (Artist: Denis Gifford - one page - black and white), Hot Rod (Artist: Alf Saporito - one page - full colour), (back into the Whizzer section) The Mummy's Curse (Artist: Reg Parlett - one page - black, white and red), The "Stealer" (Artist: Tom Kerr - two pages - black and white), Fred's Family Tree (Artist: Toni Goffe - one page - black and white), Slowcoach (artist: Mike Lacey - one page - black, white and red), The Champ (Artist: Leo Baxendale - one page - black and white), KooKoo Klub (Artist: Denis Gifford - one page - black and white), Minnie's Mixer (Artist: Angel Nadal Quirch - one page - full colour). 


[The Minnie's Mixer from issue one, which appeared on the back cover in full colour.]

Issue one came with 'Twelve Super Stickers', which have an important message on them from Sid, hence the fact thay all have 'Sid Says' written on them. They came in three rows of four, and (in order of appearence), they read: Learn to Tolerate Adults, England for the World Cup, I Like School - Closed, If You can read this Give Me a Sweet, Support Your Local Bobby, I Like Looking Like This, Bring back the Halfpenny Lolly, Keep Teacher off the Moon, Please Feed Me, It's My Birthday, My Teachers Learnt Me All I No, I Didn't Do It. With thanks to Steven Adamson for the photograph.

Right from the start there was a rivalry between the Whizz-kids (Whizzer fans) and the Chip-ites (Chips fans). Despite the ongoing rivalry the first "raid" into the other comic wasn't made until issue two. The raider from Whizzer was the shadow from 'Me and My Shadow' (drawn by Terry Bave) who appeared in the fountain in the 'Ginger's Tum' (also drawn by Terry Bave - maybe it was Bave's idea to have a raider?)comic strip which appeared on page 5 of Chips, or page 13 of the whole comic. Chips' first raid into Whizzer happened in the following issue (issue #3), but eventually instead of being consecutive both comics were raided weekly - and even in the annuals and specials! Below is an announcement from Sid in issue 2 at the bottom inside the front cover, announcing the rivlary for the first time!

As I said above, the first raid was the shadow from 'Me and my Shadow' (a Whizzer story), who raided  'Ginger's Tum' (a Chips story). Below is the full page of Ginger's Tum from issue two (dated 25th October 1969), illustrated by Terry Bave. (Apologies for the scan being on an angle, but I do not wish to damage my comic too much.) 

Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted that back in the early days instead of a button nose, Champ had a pointed nose! It wasn't until issue #21 where he got his nice round nose (and I have to say, I prefer it round). The ledgendary Leo Baxendale drew him first, who was then taken over by Colin Whittock who would ghost Leo's style!


[Champ from one of the earlier issues with his very pointed nose!]

Here's a picture of Colin Whittock's Champ with his more familiar button nose. As you can see, his dog - Rover - remians very much the same!
[Champ drawn by Colin Whittcok with his button nose - from the 1977 annual.]

The two comics/groups had their own leaders, Sid and Slippy (known as Sid's Snake) for Whizzer and Shiner for Chips. Sid's Snake was a great comic strip - but do you think such a name would be allowed (or considered politically correct) today? And what about some of the other characters Fleetway produced, such as Spotty Dick, Clever Dick and worst of all - Invisible Dick! (I bet they had a laugh coming up with those characters) Suprisingly though, in the first issue it was Sid who appeared on the cover of Chips, with Shiner no-where to be seen! He would get his first black eye in the second issue a week later! Below is the first Chips cover, complete with date to show that it really was two comics in one! (It doesn't have a price though - but that was probably to advoid confusion and stop people paying twice as much!)

The cover of issue two - and Sid's Snake has finally made it to Whizzer!


The cover of Chips issue two, featuring the first episode of Shiner! This was the only change to the contents arrangement.


Issue two which came with a Sid's Snake flip book (which was called the 'Super Cartoon Flick Book' and can be seen in the free gifts section of this website! Although only one was produced, this gift was titled: Flick Book Story One "Sid the Charmer". Maybe they had plans to produce more later on in the comics life? Issue 3 came with a free Guy-Fawkes mask and was also the first fireworks issue. In the early days, the main storyline of Sid's Snake was Sid attempting to charm slippy with his pipe, but Slippy hates the music, and so is always trying to hide or run away. (This usually ended in Sid been punished by his Dad.) This structure had very limited stories so was later dropped (although used again occasionally), to the more free structure. 

With most Fleetway comics, the first 3 issues usually had a free gift. Whizzer and Chips was no exception, and issue two came with another Sid's Snake gift - a Flick Book called "Sid the Charmer". (That's two Whizz-kid gifts in a row!!). Also, it say's 'Story 1' on it, even though they only made on flip-book. This is becuase there was a story on each side, and both sides can be shown here. With thanks to Steven Adamson for the photographs.


On the 3rd issue the logo changed for the first time, originally when the comic was launched the 'Whizzer' logo didn't have an outline, but it quickly obtained a black one (it looks more complete with one). The 'and' on issue #3 was a similar typeface as #1 and #2, but the 'a' was slightly different. The Fleetway 'and' first appeared on the 1969 christmas edition, but changed back straight after. (The christmas logo also had a bolder line and the words wern't so tall.)It changed permanently sometime between February 21st 1970 and April 4th 1970. Even though this was done in early 1970, it wasn't changed on the 1971 annual (which went on sale in late 1970), and the 'Whizzer' logo was only edited on the 1970 Holiday Special, plus the 'and' remained the same. Below is the first Whizzer with a black outline (#3), the first Fleetway 'and' (christmas issue - 27th December 1969) and a logo with a capital Fleetway 'and' from 4th July 1970.

Issue 3 also came with a free gift, as well as a new logo! This time it was a 'Super Full-Colour Guy Fawkes Mask'! Fleetway had given away similar masks with comics before. Once again thanks to Steven Adamson for the photograph.


The next free gift came with issue dated 21st Feburary 1970. The gift in question was the Lunar Launcher and Splashdown capsule. What happens is the launcher fired the capsule into the air, which then spun back down to earth using some flaps at the top. Here to demonstrate are Sid ans Slippy! Thanks to Steven Adamson for the photo.
The following issue also came with a free gift, this time it was 'The Instant Disguise Kit'! This is almost identical to the kit given away with the third issue of Buster from 1960, which can be seen underneath. Thanks to Steven Adamson for the photo.


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[This section still needs to be updated.]



Only a few months after it's launch, the first Holiday Special was launched, and was sold to kids in holiday destinations all over the country for a mere 3/- (3 shillings). It was so popular, these specials would out-live the comic itself, right up until the mid-ninties!


(To see covers of some of the specials, go and check out the gallery at comicsuk.co.uk. We eventually hope to have our very own gallery here on this website! Fingers crossed!)

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Cover illustration by Mike Lacey.


The next major event in the comics life was the 1971 annual, which cost 10/6 and probably came out around October/ November 1970 so that it was on the shelves in time for Christmas. This was the very first Whizzer and Chips annual, and, unlike all the annuals which follow it, it didn't have a Whizzer section or a Chips section.

The annual started off with a fun board game. Not snakes and ladders, which can be seen on the cover (although is you land on square 49 you do have to slide down Slippy), but just a race to the finish. Here's the game, so why not have a go?



The 1971 annual  was great. For the first time, longer stories could be put together to form one adventure, something they should have done in the 1970 holiday special. One example is  The "Stealer", a serial which appeared in the weekly. The strip, illustrated by Tom Kerr, got a special 9 page adventure!











Kings of the Castle is another fantastic example of using space well. Usually the strip got just two pages in the weekly comic, but in the annual it got 10 pages. However, one of those pages is one full-page illustration, something that could never be done in a weekly issue, mostly because the story wouldn't move on quickly enough!













Late in 1971 the 1972 annual was released. This was the first annual that was divided into a Whizzer section and a Chips section, and raiders were sent into the enemies pages, and it was the readers job cheer on their raider and blot out the enemy!






Knockout was the first comic to merge with Whizzer and Chips, and it did so on 30th June 1973. Knockout itself began in 1971, and lasted for 107 issues. Quite a few characters came over, but the most notable were Joker, Sammy Shrink and Fuss Pot. Going with them as well were Boney, Son of Sir, The Toffs and The Toughs, Hot Dog and Cool Cat, Beat Your Neighbour and The Super Seven. Most of these characters were short lived, up to a year or two at the most. By the time ‘Knockout’ was dropped from the masthead, there were just 6 of the comics stories left: Sammy Shrink, Pete’s Pockets, (who, interestingly, didn’t come over when the two comics merged, but appeared later) Son Of Sir, Fuss Pot, Boney and Joker.

Whizzer and Chips had a little history to share with Knockout, as some of the strips from the comic begun to appear in Knockout. These appeared on a ‘Star Guest’ page, on alternate weeks with ‘Cor!’. The first was a Whizzer and Chips Story – Sid’s Snake – and began in issue #60, dated 29th July 1972. Here is the complete list of Whizzer and Chips stories in Knockout:

·      Sid’s Snake - #60 – dated 29th July 1972

·      Harry’s Haunted House - #62 – dated 12th August 1972

·      Timothy Tester - #64 – dated 28th August 1972

·      Odd Ball - #66 – dated 9th September 1972

·      Belle Tent - #68 – dated 23rd September 1972

·      Ginger’s Tum - #70 – dated 7th October 1972

·      Wear ‘Em Out Wilf - #72 – dated 21st October 1972

·      Champ - #74 – dated 4th November 1972

·      Me and My Shadow - #76 – dated 18th November 1972

·      Slowcoach - #78 – 2nd December 1972

·      Toffee Nose - #80 – 16th December 1972

·      Croc - #82 – dated 30th December 1972

·      Loser - #84 – dated January 13th 1973

·      Super Dad - #86 – dated 27th January 1973

·      Sweet Tooth - #88 – dated 10th February 1973

·      The Name Game - #90 – 24th February 1973

·      Belle Tent - #92 – dated 10th March 1973

·      Ginger’s Tum - #94 – dated 24th March 1973

·      Shiner - #96 – dated 7th April 1973

·      Super Dad - #98 – dated 21st April 1973

·      Glug - #101 – dated 12th May 1973

·      Smart Alec - #103 – dated 26th May 1973

·      Harry’s Haunted House - #105 – dated 9th June 1973


When all these fantastic new characters arrived, the Whizzer and Chips gang decided to celebrate by giving away not one, but two joke books! Here is the ‘Sid’s School Smiles’ book. On the reverse was Harry’s Ghost Gags – which is strange because harry was actually a Chip-ite! Shiner’s book, Shiner’s Holiday Humour, had a whizz-kid on the back! Champ’s Sports Jokes was on the other side. Maybe this was because each comic got only one of the two joke books, and any Whizz-kids/Chip-ites wouldn’t be happy to see only the enemies on their book (ignoring the first two issues with only Sid on them, because that was the early days.). With thanks to Steven Adamson for the photos of all the following free gifts.

A free rubber bat came with the 5th birthday issue (maybe because it was almost haloween) in 1974 (actual date 19th October 1974)! The idea was it came on some string and you would swing in round - scaring the living daylights out of everybody! Once again thanks to Steven Adamson for the photo. 
Practical jokes are great fun, as long as they're not used against you! Here's such a joke from Whizzer and Chips dated 8th March 1975, in which when you pressed the button of the camera a jet of water would squirt out at the person in front! Brilliant! Image courtesy of Steven Adamson.

'Kalkitos' were rub-down transfers that given away with Whizzer and Chips issue dated 13 October 1979, which was the 10th birthday issue!
In 1980 a new sweet came on the market, and with Whizzer and Chips as well! But these weren't just any old sweets - thses were Sweet Tooth's Fruit Flavour Drops! They came with Whizzer and Chips dated 4th October 1980, and were also avaliable to buy in the stores. There were twenty different wrappers in total - identical on the outside but each featuring a different strip on this inside.





No. 3
No. 11

The Weetabix gang often appeared on the back cover of various comics during the early '80's, as an adevrtisement for the cereal of the same name. On 12th June 1982, 5 promotional badges were given away, each for onw of the 5 characters - Dunk, Brian, Crunch, Brains and Bixie!

A magic messages notepad was given away with Whizzer and Chips dated 12th Feburary 1983. Basically, what you did was write a message using a soft pencil, and when it has been read, erase it by lifting both sheets together. The pad would be able to be used again and again!

We all know what 'playmobil' is right? Little plastic figures that you cam move around to make movies or something (no, not lego!). Anyway, they also had a promotional gift given away, which came with Whizzer and Chips dated 4th June 1983.

Sticker books were, and still are, popular and collected amonst young children! In the 80's, it was the Smurfs time to shine! Free with Whizzer and Chips you would get not just a pack of Smurfs stickers, but a Smurfs sticker book to stick them all in as well! This gift came with issue dated 8th October 1983, which was also a birthday issue - the 14th to be exact!

Now here's a curious piece - a Whizzer and Chips Jigsaw Letter. I'm assuming that you wrote or drew something on the jigsaw, scrambled it up and gave it to the other person to solve! This was given away as a prize if your letter was printed, such as the Whizzer and Chips shirts, sports bags and see-through wallets, around 1984. The prize coloum from Sid's Whizz Kids page is from issue dated 21st January 1984.
A Heinz space Invaders badge was given away with issue dated 12th May 1984. This was, obviously, to promote Heinz Invaders, which was tinned pasta from the 80’s. The advertisement for Heinz Invaders can be seen underneath. 


Crunch, one of the Weetabix gang, got his very own free gift with issue dated 16th June 1984! It was a very simple gift, just a picture of Crunch with a clip-hole in his hand, where you could thread some string or something through to make various objects, such as a badge, a key fob or a pendant.


A set of Stinky Stickers came with issue dated 3rd November 1984! As you can probably tell by the name, this was a set of stickers which you could scratch to reveal the smell behind!

The Whizzer and Chips Comic Library first came out in early 1985 and sadly lasted for only 14 issues. There were two issues out at a time - a 'Whizzer' one and a 'Chips' one.










On June 11th 1985 another Heinz promotional badge was given away, this time for Haunted House Spachetti. The badge had a picture of a haunted house with 4 spooky shapes gloating next to it (these shapes appeared in the spaghetti).
Another series of Weetabix badges were given away in 1985 (the previous set had come out in 1982), but this time there were only four badges, one for Crunch, Brian, Brains and Dunk. These came with all Buster, Eagle and Tiger, Whizzer and Chips and Roy of the Rovers comics dated 8th June 1985.
A free zoom balloon came with Whizzer and Chips on 28th September 1985. Wee've all had one of these at some point in out lives - a long, thin balloon which you blow up using a straw, then when you let it go it would whizz around the room maing a loud 'RAZZ!!" as it went!
Issue dated 25th October 1986 came with a 'Sssuper free gift; - a Whizzer and Chips Quiz Wallet! The name says it all - a piece of card which you could fold up with various questions and answers on different subjects printed on it. The wallet and the first "quiz strip" appeared in this issue, with another three coming in issues dated 1st November, 8th November and 15th November 1986.
Issue dated 7th November 1987 came with a set of Whizzer and Chips stickers. The Chips stickers were blue, and the Whizzer one's red. Intrestingly, they didn't have Sid and Shiner on them, but Phil Fitt for Chips and Sweeny Toddler for Whizzer.
Some free Snappy Stickers came with issue dated 18th March 1988.

The last issue of Whizzer and Chips was dated 27th October 1990, but came out a week before that on the 20th - 21 years 9 days after issue #1.



In 2012 Dave Gorman published a book called Dave Gorman Vs. The Rest Of The World. And who else should appear on the cover but Slippy from Sid's Snake!

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Any of the text in red above means that the facts are uncertain and I need some help to confirm them. I'm putting everything in the 'Lend a Hand!' page, which includes scans of comic strips if I am unsure of the artist etc. If you can help please comment on the 'Lend a Hand!' page or email me at: whizzerandchips@live.com

1 comment:

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