12 already? Where has the time gone? Recently a lot of people have been commenting on it being October and while I don't usually take part in such conversations I have to agree this time, the past few months have flown in! But for me probably due in no small part to this blog and the Facebook group. I never expected (though I'd hoped) the comic would be as popular today, and the amount of interaction with truly legendary creators continues to thrill! And now here we are (again, already!) a full dozen issues in, or a baker's dozen if you count the preview issue and going strong, with some "fantastic" new additions due soon.
But enough of that for now, let's concentrate on Uncle Pigg's movie special and while the first 16 pages includes content such as Rubbish Man The Movie, the Pignocchio poster and Swindler Sid meets E.T. (Extremely Thick), it's after the staples that this issue kicks into high gear and we start off with a Flash Gordon spoof which, not unlike the Street-Hogs, takes its cue from those Saturday morning serials. Oink! presents, Flashy Gordon:
|Writer/artist unknown at this time|
Maybe the joke would've worn thin but I'd love to have seen this come back a few more times but alas it was not to be. To be truthful even as a kid I wondered how anybody could take Flash Gordon seriously and this kind of shows why!
With so much random content in each issue and different strips taking up different amounts of space from one fortnight to the next I have no idea how Oink! was ever organised enough to get it to the printers on time. It must've taken a lot of serious skills to turn out something which seemed so naturally unorganised, for example a three-quarter page Hollywood news section over there, or a little random half-page strip from Banx over here:
We had the best toys in the 80s didn't we? I'm sitting here writing a blog about an 80s comic, listening to Absolute 80s radio and about to put up a Madvertisement about an extremely popular 80s toy range. Feeling a bit nostalgic. Transformers, The Real Ghostbusters, Ring Raiders, Visionaries, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Knight Rider and I do remember some of my female friends having those "ugly" Cabbage Patch things, Barbie/Sindy and "silly" multi-coloured My Little Pony things. My young brain never understood why girls weren't always bored!
Most of the above got the Oink! treatment at some stage (Transformers and He-Man have already featured for example), and those ponies are renamed here too as My Little Horsies:
The night before this post went up I was going to post that last panel on my own personal Facebook page to lure some of my friends this way, but it's such a good final gag I couldn't separate it from the Madvertisement, so instead I shared this little caption below to show off the issue's humour; question 5 in Oink!'s special movie quiz by Ed McHenry:
If that doesn't lure them nothing will!
Back to the issue and I've moved on from toys back to movies again, and now this next piece will remind you of just how good 80s movies were too, though to be fair I'm a huge movie fan of any era. Mary Lighthouse on the other hand isn't such a fan. You'd expect her to hate anything with a smidgen of violence, no matter how comic book it is, but E.T.? Sleeping Beauty? The Sound of Music?!:
Cinderella's "review" has got to be my favourite there! In a later interview with Patrick Gallagher, Tony Husband and Mark Rodgers in Crash! magazine we'd find out the real Mary Whitehouse's people were checking Oink! regularly for libel. I know of no point when they complained about it, but I do wonder if at times those that worked with her ever raised even a little grin at things like this.
My word! There's a voucher here for 2p off a Milky Way!
Anyway, moving on swiftly before I dwell on that for too long, The Golden Trough Awards return to the blog. A favourite amongst some of you judging by comments and correspondence I've received, this issue we'd a double feature. Well it is a movie special after all. Most of these were drawn by Ian Jackson (he responsible for Mary above there), but occasionally Oink! creator/editor Tony Husband would take the director's chair and he did this issue too. We'd two stories as I said, the first being a western called Howdy, Stranger, Bang Bang! but I've chosen the second, Death by Murder starring Basil Ratbone as the great Sherlock Gnomes. Enjoy:
On the left of the desktop version of the blog you'll find at the bottom of the column a list of Pig Pals. These are blogs/sites run by some online friends of mine, whose work I'm following but which aren't directly linked to Oink! and you'll notice one there dedicated to another IPC comic, Whizzer and Chips. The blog is run by George Shiers and, when I was collecing Oink! as a kid and would be going somewhere with my parents one of the 'back-up' comics of mine (when there wasn't a new edition of the comics I was getting every week/fortnight) was Whizzer and Chips. It felt like two comics in one, which appealed and made it just that little bit different.
Not 'Oink!' different mind you. It was still a very traditional comic but was certainly good fun and I heartily recommend George's blog. However as we all know Oink! was anything but traditional and at times it'd poke some harmless fun at its stablemates, but none were quite so obvious as this one, Tom's Toe. Written by Tony Husband and drawn, amazingly, by John Geering. John's work on traditional comics is (to put it mildly) well known! Not only did he draw such stalwarts at DC Thomson as Dennis the Menace but he's also the creator of none other than Bananaman!
As such it's absolutely brilliant that he contributed his signature artwork for this strip which was a joke on all those traditional ones he'd drawn. And unlike his work on The Beano, Dandy etc. he was given full on-the-page credit for his work:
Unfortunately John is no longer with us, having passed away in 1999. He worked on The Beano right up to the end and below is a link to an obituary to this great talent at The Independent:
A lovely surprise strip there which rounds off this issue nicely.
As the curtain draws and the soda-soaked popcorn gets stuck on our shoes on the way out of the movie theatre what coming attractions can we look forward to? Well we've got part three of the Street-Hogs coming up so keep your porky peelers open for them over the next week or so, and after that the horrific #13 will pounce on Friday 17th October.
See you then!