5 reasons being a Whizz-Kid was better than being a Chip-ite
Good-natured rivalries are a huge part of comic book culture. Some say “Make Mine Marvel” and others prefer the Distinguished Competition.
If you read British humour comics in the 80s however, you will probably have identified as either a Whizz-Kid or a Chip-ite. Whizzer and Chips was one of the best British comics on the shelves, with a simple but brilliant premise - two comics in one, double the fun!
But if you thought Chips was the best thing since actual chips, I’m here to tell you why you’re wrong.
1. The nicknames
We all know what a Whizz-Kid is - someone smart, outstandingly skilful or successful. What does “Chip-ite” even mean? Nothing to nobody. It sounds like something Gripper Stebson would call Roland in Grange Hill. It’s a rubbish nickname and it’s the dog dirt at the centre of this snowballing argument.
2. The flagship characters
Sid’s Snake is a great idea, despite sounding like a low-budget gonzo porn series. Sid was the owner of a giant snake called Slippy, who could shape-shift into useful and awesome things. A giant bloody snake mind you.
Compare that to Shiner, leader of the Chip-ites - a wannabe boxer named after the eternal bruises he sported on his badly beaten eyes. You know what kind of boxers end up bruised and battered Shiner? Shit ones.
Also, Shiner only appeared from issue 2 onwards, meaning Sid’s Snake appeared on the front of Chips in issue 1. Suck on that Chip-ites! Suck on Sid’s Snake!
3. Store Wars
There were a lot of memorable comic strips in Whizzer, but by far the best one was Store Wars. It’s the story of a small family-run general store owned by a kindly old gentleman called Mr Bloggs, and his ambitious, verging-on-evil neighbour Mr Superstore. Every week Mr Superstore would try to steal the customers from Mr Bloggs in a variety of Dick Dastardly-style schemes, and every week he would fail.
It’s classic British comic gold, and it proudly sat amongst the pages of Whizzer.
4. Whizzer was on the front
Chips was a centre pages pullout, with Whizzer wrapped around the outside to form the front and back cover. Whizzer was logically the first thing you read and the last thing you read. Whizzer was literally the beginning and end of Whizzer and Chips. Yes you had to struggle through Chips in the middle, but Whizzer was always there to take away the bad taste.
5. Chips wanted you to destroy your comics
The “two comics in one” premise of Whizzer and Chips was a good one, but Chips’ very existence was a source of consternation to my small comic-reading brain. I like my comics, I like to keep reading my comics, therefore I like to keep my comics in good condition. I don’t naturally feel like pulling a load of pages out of the middle of my comics to satisfy the jealousy of a lower standard comic that has infiltrated a good one. But that’s what Shiner wanted me to do.
Introducing a false front page in the middle to tempt me into ripping up my precious comics? No thanks you stupid Chip-ite scum! Chips hated the very medium of comics, and by extension hated its readers too.
In summary, Whizz-Kids forever!
Written by Martyn