Saturday, 10 December 2016

PSYCHO GRAN #2: SELL YOUR SOUL FOR A COPY

(Something going wrong with Blogger today so the images below temporarily link to a Photobucket folder wher you can see scrutinize the originals.  Once I'm able to upload directly here again I'll update the post.)

'Ello Duckies!  Can there be any Oink! reader who wasn't a fan of the psychotic-yet-lovable geriatric rouge that was Psycho Gran?  If you're new to the blog please take the time to click on her label on the left there (under Stuff in the Sty) and enjoy a selection of some of her very best mis-adventures.  Back in March 2014 I covered the brilliant news that her creator David Leach (whose birthday is also today, so remember to go on the Oink! Facebook group and wish him well) had decided to bring the little dear back in a brand new comic series.

Well, a mere two-and-a-half years later #2 is finally with us!


That is a long time to wait between issues, that's true but when you consider just how long it takes David to create these magnificently drawn and coloured masterpieces, and that there's a full comic's worth of them, you'll begin to understand.  Always advertised as an occasional series, basically as soon as he can complete it the next issue will be ready, it's a delight to welcome the second issue at last.

Also, remember in the time in between David has put together the equally brilliant Psycho Gran Vs... which I covered here too, as well as working on all the individual strips for digital comic Aces Weekly which are the subject of this issue.  That's right, anyone who subscribes to Aces may be disappointed to know this is a collection of reprints from that weekly title, but for the rest of her fans there's page-after-page of delights here for you, all for a measly amount of money.


Dark delights, though.  Don't be expecting exactly the same tone as her previous comics or her antics in Oink!  This is a much more adult take on 'Gran and you can tell David is relishing the opportunity to take her to places he simply couldn't before.  Psycho Gran suited Oink! perfectly yet was always a little bit more surreal and darkly comic than most of the other characters (with the exception of Jimmy 'The Cleaver' Smith obviously... now there's a mash up fans would adore if David and Jeremy Banx are reading!!) but here the twist endings can sometimes actually shock.  But obviously shock you and make you laugh at the same time!

You're laughing while thinking "I can't believe he's written this!" and you're loving every single minute.


This little dear hates rudeness and on the surface that's no different than any sweet little old lady.  That's the beauty of the character though, as things usually start out innocently and you're just waiting for that panel when you can see the true granny begin to emerge.  Sometimes this can be a sudden joke or a slow build, this latter option definitely being my own personal favourite.  In these you'll either find yourself trying to guess what's coming next, or simply enjoying the darker and darker plot twists with ever widening shocked eyes and roaring laughter.  You soon realise you'll never be able to guess where Mr. Leach's imagination will take you next.

So whether it's a footpath-owning cyclist, moaning train passengers or religious personal space invaders you'll always be pleasantly surprised at the results of their interactions with Psycho Gran and I can guarantee you'll be cheering her on by the end of each one.  There's seven stories of varying length and all presented in landscape format as above inside this 33-page digital-only comic and every single one is an art masterpiece.  There's only one question left and that's what are you still doing here?  At only £1.49 it's a steal, but you'll also be supporting UK comics and as a result you'll hopefully be able to look forward to a third issue plus more in Aces too in the future.  Just click on the ComiXology logo below:

Click here to purchase #2 and #1 is still
available too!

Brilliant stuff and it's fantastic to see this Oink! original still going strong.  After you've devoured the new issue make sure you come back here next Saturday, the 17th December for the latest physical comic from Tom Thug, Pete & his Pimple and Pigswilla creator Lew Stringer, called Derek the Troll!  The Happy Holidays continue...

Monday, 5 December 2016

OINK!S CHRISTMAS SHOPPING GUIDE: PART TWO


Burp, Frank Sidebottom and GBH are back in the second of my Twelve Posts of Christmas, which is taking in both of my blogs, The Oink! Blog and Recovering From a Scratch, my equally-retro Commodore 64 site.  It's been a while (about a year!) since I last scanned in pages from this classic comic for you and there's more to come!  For now though, here's another three pages from across Oink!'s two Christmas issues to help you prepare for the 25th.

As we get closer to Christmas Day you'll see the shops reduce their prices on decorations and even their gifts more and more.  I have to say on the decorations side of things I usually lose out on this as I like to have my place all Christmassy on the 1st December at the latest.  On the gift side of things though places like Debenhams are great for sales etc. throughout December that I can enjoy instead of braving the jungle that is Boxing Day.  Oink!'s own spoof mail order company, GBH was always known for poor-quality (to say the least) products and sky-high prices and if you haven't seen any of their Madvertisements before you should check out the previous Christmas Catalogues I've featured before here and here first.  Trust me, they're a hoot.

But here, one of the pages I never included last time is the GBH Christmas Clear-Out from #43 and while we don't get those imaginative homemade props and silly photographs, the spirit of the dodgy company is still clearly there.  So as part of my shopping guide, if you're still looking for those last-minute stocking ideas or haven't yet bought that new tree you've been promising your loved ones since last year, look no further.

Well, look for your credit card first and then look no further:


One TV channel I hadn't seen in many, many years until recently was QVC.  In fact I think the last time I saw it before this week was when I still lived at home and my mother was somewhat addicted to such channels.  You'll just have to trust me when I say that was a while back.  However, this week my better half turned on said channel one night.  I was less surprised that it still existed in pretty much the exact format as it had all those years ago, and more surprised that she knew exactly when the Yankee Candle hour was on!

But anyway, the reason I bring this up is because Oink! wasn't above taking the hand out of such enterprises and has done so previously.  But it didn't stop there.  To this day if you turn on some channels late at night (or indeed early in the morning) you'll find an endless stream of infomercials and QVC-like adverts filled with the same kind of over-confidence in the products.  I remember watching some of these infomercials as a teen when we were first subjected to them, as they could be so unintentionally hilarious!  Below is an Oink! take on the same phenomenon from Banx and his creation Burp the Smelly Alien from Outer Space.

Now I will admit from the hour of QVC I was subjected to the other night it does seem to be a lot calmer than the one my mum used to watch.  I should just get that in there before my girlfriend reads this all.  But also, I should point out I do think she'll read the first two story panels of this next strip and instantly think of me!  (Just the first two panels after the title one, just to be clear!)


Finally for this two-part shopping guide (the first part is available here) it's yet another cut-out Christmas card but this time from the hands of none other than Frank Sidebottom (or rather the man behind the mask, the late, great Chris Sievey).  Get this downloaded, printed off and then have your felt-tip pens at the ready and either a steady hand or a ruler to bring it to life in his colouring style:


That's it folks, but I'll be back here this Saturday, the 10th December with information on the latest comic from David Leach featuring Psycho Gran!  Before then my Twelve Posts of Christmas continues over on my Recovering From a Scratch blog with a review of a rather fine Commodore 64 coffee table book which also happens to feature myself on one page.  Obviously that page won't count towards the review (or else I'd have to mark it down!), so see you soon.

In the meantime you can read more about the two Christmas issues of Oink! by clicking on either of their covers below.


Saturday, 3 December 2016

OINK!S CHRISTMAS SHOPPING GUIDE: PART ONE


Welcome to the first of my Twelve Posts of Christmas taking part across my two completely different blogs.  You can read more about this and what I'm covering by clicking here and also on my Recovering From a Scratch blog here too.

I must admit it feels good to be back on here, scanning in a few pages of the best comic ever crafted and sharing them with fellow pig pals both old and new.  You'll also be glad to hear in this post and the next I'm keeping my waffling to a minimum and letting these few pages do the talking!  I've covered the Christmas issues before in depth and you can read all about them and see many more pages by clicking on the two covers at the bottom of this post.

First up from #17 let's get all those "Bah Humbug" people out of the way first, shall we?  Do they not realise it takes so much more effort to be a Scrooge than it does to just relax and enjoy the season?  To hammer the point home, while we're hanging up our decorations that have been in the loft for eleven months, or popping out to buy some more merriment for our living rooms, the people who can't stand Christmas will have to make do with printing out the back page below, cutting it up and assembling their own anti-festive decoration themselves.  An unknown artist unfortunately but here's Oink's Xmas Mobile for People who hate Xmas:


At this point in the comic's life the late and great Chris Sievey, the man behind the famous papier-mache head of Frank Sidebottom had only just joined one issue previous, but he'd already made a big impression upon the readers.  Chris would write, draw and colour all of his own work throughout the rest of the entire run and his comic strips must've taken so long to complete, being intricately drawn and then coloured with felt-tip!  When you see some of the full-page strips you can't help but think they must've taken an age to complete and you'd be right.  For the first Christmas issue however we instead had his 3 fantastic xmas gifts page.  It may not be a strip but it still contains some beautiful hand-drawn artwork in his inimitable style.  Coming across as loose, free and rough, Chris spent hours on his pieces for Oink! to achieve that very look, while treating us kids to such vivid colours and unique and original images.  Double-sided sticky tape at the ready:


Finally for today another artist whose style was, and is, deliberately loose and freeform is Oink! co-creator and co-editor Tony Husband.  This time around though he left his own creations of the likes of Horace Ugly-Face Watkins and Kid Gangster at home and instead crafted some fun cut-out Christmas Cards from Lew Stringer's Tom Thug, Marc Riley's Harry the Head and Banx's Burp the Smelly Alien from Outer Space.  Thrown in for good measure is a snowman of our esteemed editor Uncle Pigg, who we were used to seeing drawn by Ian Jackson, though he'd be redrawn by almost every artist at one stage or another.  Another excuse to fire up your printers:


I'll be back on Monday 5th December with the second part of Oink!'s Christmas Shopping Guide, but new readers could see these few pages as a quick preview of the fun Christmas issues below.  Click on either of the covers to be treated to a whole world of frivolities including Ham Dare Pig of the Future, Mr Big Nose, spoof Christmas TV listings, The Hamformers, The Snowbloke and another cut-out in the form of a Tom Thug Christmas angel for the top of your tree.



See you Monday!