Friday, 18 October 2013


"Chamber of Horrors".  A brilliant pun in typical Oink! style and it welcomes us to a whoppingly good issue!  I've had to leave some true gems out but as you can see below this update is still jam packed this time, testimony to the comic really flexing its creative (and comedy) muscles.  Ben Turner is a name I'm not familiar with, either with Oink! or any other comic but this cover is superb.  Especially at a time when most other humour comics simply had a strip on the front Oink!'s pieces of art really stood out.

Now, way back in the mists of time (#7 to be precise) we saw a brief cameo from Hugo the Hungry Hippo in a Rubbish Man strip and I told of a future issue where we'd see two main characters come together in a very unique way.  Well here it is, the crossover to end all crossovers.  Doctor Who and Torchwood.  The Transformers and Action Force (G.I. Joe to you young 'uns).  The money-printing franchise The Avengers.  None could compare to the time Weedy Willy met Tom Thug.

Both Tom and Willy would have half-page strips near the beginning of this issue, with their joint venture later in the second half.  With their individual stories drawn as per usual by Lew Stringer and Mike Green respectively, both artists would come together to draw the same strip together!  Brilliant.  Add in the talents of Graham Exton and Mark Rodgers and you've got a superb showcase of these two favourites, who would both go on to be stablemates in Buster after Oink! finished.

For now though, a true Clash of the Titans.  Well.  Sort of:

But that wasn't enough for Tom!  He even appeared in Cowpat County as part of a mob, perhaps on his way to bash Weedy Willy, but here drawn (in blood apparently) by Davy Francis:

Certainly one of the scariest images in this issue must be Marc Riley as Snatcher Sam, wearing an Oink! t-shirt and bow tie and not just in regular full colour, but an overly coloured strip which gives him blue eyes to make even Daniel Craig think "what the hell?!".  Add in assorted horror spoofs and even the dead rising from the grave (to read a discarded Oink! to remind you to place an order with your newsagents of course) and the theme is here on nearly every single page.

The team take real advantage of the nice coincidence of #13 also turning out to be the issue on sale for Halloween.

The kids today like to say things like "lol" and "lmao" instead of simply telling people they found something funny, or even instead of using a good old fashioned "haha".  Another one is "rofl", which I always misread as "Rolf" and that's about as tenuous an introduction to a strip as you're likely to get:

But surely nothing could be more frightening, more bone-tinglingly terrifying as the special one-off poster featuring Tony Husband's very own Frankenstein creation:

It's okay, calm down, it's only a picture on your screen.  But surely we should have something a little more light-hearted after such a fright?  That task falls to Dave Jones:

Calm again?

Good, good.  Then time to move on to a quick ad break again with some delightful teddy bears.  Cute and cuddly, nothing strange here at all, something every little girl would love to cuddle up with during the deepest and darkest of Halloween nights.  Plus a certain member of the Facebook group wouldn't forgive me if I didn't include these adorable little critters, naming no names {cough}Caroline{cough}, but they were going to be included anyway.  Always fun to hear of the wide variety of fondly remembered strips and so on from Oink! amongst the fans and I can see why this particular Madvertisement may have made such an impact to a young girl's mind:

This surely is a Lew Stringer special!  Not only did we get extra helpings of Tom Thug and a collaboration with another artist, but we also had the first appearance of a character who only appeared a handful of times in Oink!'s run but is very fondly remembered by readers.

I don't know about you but I was a huge fan of the Japanese Godzilla monster movies.  Yes they were daft but my young mind adored the destruction and the huge amount of imagination on show.  Such is also true of our very own piggy version, Pigswilla!  Written by Mark Rodgers and brought to life by Lew so brilliantly, Pigswilla was a gigantic robotic pig monster on the side of us humans.  Of course, he was also a lot more and had his own personality traits and while this particular strip below is new to me, I'm looking forward to the adventures to come that I can remember, especially from the first annual if my memory serves me correctly.

His irregular appearances made it feel like an event when he popped up and battling a monster made of discarded school dinners is surely as good a place to start as any:

Anyone else wishing for an action figure?  Anyone?  Just me?  Okay moving on.

Over the past couple of issues Jeremy Banx has been supplying some half-page randomness, accompanied by some equally bizarre names for the characters involved, such as Ian Nasalcavity and here on the blog we've also seen Mrs. Warsaw-Pact.  This issue we've not only got the usual Burp and Mr. Big Nose but also these gems, who I'll leave to introduce themselves:

How can you not love names like that?  Also having an Egyptian-themed strip came as a great surprise for me as that's something else I'm really into.  So that's me now partial to Oink! comedy sharks and comedy curses, though I can see more of the former than the latter being in future issues.  That "hi hi hi" laugh always had me puzzled as a kid though, then I grew up and saw Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop for the first time!

But yes I can't remember any of these random Banx cartoons at all and I'm absolutely loving them and it makes you think isn't it a real shame we've no longer a comic like this which could appeal so much to the adults?  As much as the Beano and Dandy are classics (well, "were" in the case of the Dandy) they're very much for children, albeit it of extremely high quality.  Oink! was suitable for children and was very definitely a comic marketed at them, but by bringing in so many talented artists who'd never done anything really for kids before it brought with it an energy and sense of humour that definitely appealed to all.  Even those who had previously worked on children's comics, their work on Oink! comes across very different, more universal, though that's not to take away from their work on the other more traditional comics of the day.  But as I've said on here before, after reading this I found even as a kid other humour comics just didn't do it for me after all.  And now as an adult I doubt they'd hold the same appeal as Uncle Pigg's creation.

But for now it's time to sign off.  The final part of Street-Hogs will be up next week and after that the special crime edition which, according to this issue, will "disappear from the shelves, you'll find it arresting and it'll be judged to be excellent!"  We shall see.

Just a Roger Rental He's Completely Mental quickie to end with, drawn as ever by Ian Knox:

Next issue on sale Friday 1st November.


Lew Stringer said...

I really enjoyed doing that Pigswilla strip. I'd come up with a character named Pigzilla but Mark Rogers brilliantly suggested Pigswilla as a more appropriate name. Mark's original script was called 'The School Dinner Monster' or something like that, but I changed it to 'Monster Mash'. The final script was a joint effort as I recall. I must have Mark's original notes somewhere.

Phil Boyce said...

Definitely a highlight of the run so far, so thanks for the insight Lew! Looking forward to the start of another of your creations in a couple of issues I have to say!

Graham Exton said...

Some of Lew's finest in this one. Also, hang on to Mark's words, Lew. Even his handwriting brings a smile to my face. It's like he's in the room with you. (Sob!)

Carol said...

Another nice name - Gordon 'Eggyfried'?

Phil Boyce said...

Hi Lew, did you ever find Mark's notes? Would be fascinating to see how an Oink! script came together like that.