Sunday, 21 January 2018

2018 OFF TO A SLOW START? DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT!


I've been saying for a while now, since changing the blog name in fact, how this site was going to expand and grow.  At that time the menu bar appeared below the logo, containing links to the new About page and the Relive Oink! section; a completely redesigned way of accessing all the posts related to the title comic.  In September Ring Raiders appeared in its own series of posts with the short-lived title getting the same treatment of on-the-day-of-release write-ups Oink! received for nearly three years, and Transformers popped up in monthly roundups of Instagram photos of my Marvel UK comic collection.


I've also covered some small press comics from Oink! cartoonists amongst others and the new Ghostbusters Answer the Call.  But if you're new to the blog you may not know this, or if you're simply looking for any of these you'll have to go through the calendar of posts (in the left-hand column on the desktop version), search labels or just scroll ad nauseam.  A couple of quick preview posts at the end of December hinted at what's to come but what exactly is this blog going to consist of and why those particular comics?  Why only one modern day mainstream title?  Where's the other sections I promised or will the blog simply keep Oink! highlighted while giving brief coverage to everything else?  All these will be answered very soon.


The reason there was such a big gap between the last two posts was because I'd been working behind the scenes on the blog.  I went back to the original Beyond Oink! series of posts and updated them with new information gathered since then, correcting some errors and adding in sub-headings to help them flow better.  The reason is these will headline the first new section of the blog.  I've also worked out exactly what comics titles will be covered in two other sections entitled Further Beyond and Small Press too (just working titles at the minute) and that was no small feat in itself!  I'll go into more detail when these sections begin.  But there remains one final stage before I begin work on those.


If you're reading this on a mobile you may have noticed the sections I've already mentioned aren't completely formatted correctly and I'm working on this too.  It's difficult to get things formatted and looking exactly how I want it across the desktop and mobile versions and so for a long time I just deactivated the mobile one.  But it must be said that when on a smaller screen it really can make all the difference for ease of use, so it's back but needs work.

So that's what I've been up to (and will be up to), as well as scanning and photographing some things for posts that I want to get up ASAP.  Now I'm at the stage where I can properly balance writing new posts and reprogramming the background stuff, so you should see content return on a regular basis again.  Thanks for your patience and I'll speak to you all real soon.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

TOXIC #300: PUSH YOUR KIDS INTO THE TOXIC SWAMP


You may have seen Toxic out on the comics shelves yourself, bagged up with various chunky gifts inside with no way of seeing what the actual reading content is and so, if you've been looking for a comic or magazine for your kids you may have passed it by.  But you should really head back to the shop and take that leap of faith, your children could really thank you for it.

The fact it's now made it to its 300th issue should be proof enough of its quality and success with the young 'uns.  It's extremely rare for any kid's periodical to make it anywhere near that far (the still ongoing Thomas & Friends being one notable exception, but purely because I was there when it all began, 742 issues ago at the time of writing) so it's all the more disappointing to see publishers Egmont completely ignore this fact.  It's left to none other than Lew Stringer to mark the occasion in his Team Toxic strip, which is obviously the whole reason Toxic has appeared here for the first time.


Lew's strip has been going since the premiere issue which is a marvellous achievement (a small amount have been reprints, but still) and he has written up an in-depth look at this 300th issue and what you can expect inside the tightly sealed pages on his Blimey! comics blog.  It's a good indicator of the reading material, this issue focussing on superheroes and Star Wars by the looks of it, which is fair enough as that's what the majority of children will be clamouring for anyway.  Plus there's more comic strip fun in the shape of Russ Carvell's Captain Gross and fellow former Oink!-ster Steve McGarry and his Ruined Ronaldo.

Fun, irreverent and full of gross-out humour in the strips it sounds like perfect fodder for young wannabe pig pals!  It's out every three weeks, which may sound like a strange schedule but it's not uncommon, I remember taking out a joke subscription for one year to Spongebob Squarepants for a friend once several years ago and it was thrice-weekly too.  Toxic is pretty much available everywhere and is a top seller so you shouldn't have any difficulties in tracking it down, but in case you do you can order it from the Newsstand website by clicking on their logo below:

Friday, 5 January 2018

300,000 AND MOST DEFINITELY STILL COUNTING

Humbled.  Thanks to everyone who has visited the blog!

I remember getting a chill of excitement when the blog received its first 1000 hits inside its first month but that pales in comparison to this latest milestone.  Given the fact for the first few months of this year the blog was for all intents and purposes dead in the water, the fact it's added 50,000 hits in the last six months amazes me.  It's been getting exponentially more popular as it's gone along and now, with the relaunch in full swing and the future looking bright with a wealth of new content and comics to come, I fully aim to hit that next milestone in record time.

I'm not putting this post up to boast, more as an affirmation that the original comic has not only proved popular in the modern world (the Facebook group also hit a milestone this year, remember) but also that the branching out has been embraced by you all.  It's like confirmation I did the right thing and I appreciate that I really do, and hopefully after the recent previews you'll have an inkling how this site will grow and grow over the next year.

The main reason for the post though is to thank you all for your support.  This amount of hits over the course of four-odd years is amazing, even more amazing to think how it's being read more and more as time goes along.  Roughly 5000 hits inside the first six months to 50,000 in the last six.  This post is my commitment to you, my readers that I won't be complacent, won't fill the blog with fillers, I've always said quality-over-quantity and I'll be sticking to that.  I think you've proved that's what you want.

Thank you everyone, pig pals and otherwise.  You've made my year and it's only 5th January!