Good-natured rivalries...blah,blah, blah! There is nothing good-natured about the genuine rivalry between Martyn and myself when it comes to Whizzer and Chips.
He started this, so he has to be prepared for my wrath. MY WRATH!
The idea of Whizzer and Chips was brilliant. Two comics in one. Or rather one good comic within another.
Here are the reasons my distinguished podcasting companion is talking out of his poop hoop.
1. The nickname
Martyn is right, we do all know what a Whizz-kid is. One of two things, a massive nerd or a kid that has pissed his knickers. Chip-ite is admittedly a bit odd, but I have done some research. "Ite" is a suffix of nouns denoting persons associated with a place, tribe, leader, doctrine, system, etc. Chip-ite gives you a sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself. Whizz-kid makes you expect to get a wedgie from the bigger boys.
2. The flagship character
Sid's Snake is a lazy concept. Oh look, another alliterative child and pet combo. Shiner on the other hand, a character that is determined to succeed despite his shortcomings in the sport he has adopted. That my friends is a role model. He may lose, but he gets back up to have another try. That is a powerful lesson to any young reader. Or you could just get a giant shape-shifting snake to solve all of your problems. Oh wait you can't because that is ridiculous.
3. Creepy Comix
Whizzer might have had Store Wars (which was admittedly very good) but Chips had Creepy Comix. Davey Doom had a gruesome collection of comics he acquired from a wheezing, spooky newsagent, stuffed with grisly creatures and creations which would come to life at will and wreak freaky havoc on the folk he encountered.
This strip followed a similar thread to many other strips of the time. A child has an item that can bring things to life, Chalky being another example. What kid wouldn't have wanted a comic that could make monsters come to life to deal with bullies? I want one now. Stupid bullies taking my dinner money. I'll show them...how to steal my dinner money.
4. Chips was in the middle
Whizzer might have been the cover star but Chips was the prize in the middle. Like unwrapping a gift on Christmas morning. But one that had been wrapped in used chip shop newspaper. Chips was the reward for reading through the first Whizzer section. The reward for reading through the second section was the relief that you had finished the second section.
5. Chips was its own comic
Chips didn't want you to destroy your comics. It wanted you to expand your collection. The 'two comics in one' was a genius idea. I personally wasn't bothered about separating the two comics. I never did, but have told Martyn I did just to annoy him.
Chips wasn't a jealous, lower standard comic. It was a comic of its own standing. It didn't need to be listed first to make itself feel more important. It knew what it was.
In summary, CHIP-ITES FOREVER!
Disclaimer: Actually, Whizzer had far better characters. I loved Store Wars. I can't agree with Martyn though. It would ruin our dynamic.
Written by Mark