Sunday, 23 March 2014



Originally due on the blog on Friday 7th February.

Let me see, Valentine's 1987.  Nope, nothing too embarrassing to think of, just posting a card through a girl's door then running away, then worried she wouldn't get it and someone else in her family would, so I ran back and rang the doorbell and ran away again, this time getting noticed by said girl as I made my escape.  The next day in school was dreaded.  At least I had this to go home to though, the next Oink!

We start off with this Horace (Ugly Face) Watkins cover by Tony Husband, which is also airbrushed by John Moorhouse who was an artist on the Express and worked on some of Tony's Playboy cartoons as well.  Things are nice and rosy here on the cover for Horace, posing with Mandy, but on the inside she'd be running away with her family, leaving Horace alone in the hospital recovering.  It's a long story!  Thankfully things are happier for the other characters in this issue.

Starting off with another one-off Oink! photo story, it's time to teach the young readers 'The Lesson of Love!', which obviously includes a loved up couple, a romantic walk, a shooting star and googley-eyed aliens.  Obviously:

The story is written by co-editor Mark Rodgers (who plays Bloonik) and the young lady there is Helen Jones, Mark's partner in real life.  Strangely Helen's partnered up here in the story with her brother Andy playing her boyfriend.  As for the other alien, well that'd be none other than regular Oink! artist extraordinaire Ian Jackson!  Finally, the ultra-expensive alien spacecraft interior set there is actually the boiler in Mark's house.  Thanks to those who helped piece it all together, such as Lew and Graham in the comments and Helen herself on the Facebook group.

This really must be a special issue as Psycho Gran makes her first reapperance since her debut in #15 (which you can read here) alongside her husband(!), there are cut-out cards for those with the right attitude towards the day and even Tom Thug has a date.

But of course what kind of Valentine's issue would this be without a tale of forbidden passion, of something on a par with Romeo & Juliet, a love-conquers-all epic.  In this case the task was taken on by Burp and his internal organs, brought to you by Banx:

I was always a huge fan of Burp as a kid and his attempts to simply fit in always backfiring, despite his greatest intentions.  Poor chap.  Another huge fan of the character and of Jeremy Banx is freelance cartoonist Alexander Matthews and his blog sometimes features the occasional Burp collection.  On top of that the whole blog is a good read and I'd heartily recommend it for Oink! and smelly alien fans:

The 1980s weren't exactly known for their fashions and trends.  Well, they'll certainly be remembered for them, but not exactly in an "ooh, we must revive that" kind of way.  One of the things I certainly remember were those long stickers young people (though older than me at the time obviously) had on the inside of their car windscreens.  You know the type, with the names of the male driver and their girlfriend.  I can only assume female drivers had better taste.  They looked terrible, even in the 80s!  (The stickers.  Not girlfriends.)

Still, could've been worse:

Thanks to Tony Husband for that one.  These days of course young boy racers appear to be going back to the days of these stickers, although they seem to simply have the names of the manufacturer of their stereos instead of any girl's name.  Says it all really.

Now in years past I've been on holiday and my other half at the time would bring a random selection of women's weekly magazines for when we were relaxing by the pool.  I had a glance through a few on occasion and always thought they were terrible, with their unbelievable romantic text stories, "true" stories sold for a quick profit and umpteen "celebrity news" articles.  I always thought how shallow and silly those things were as I relaxed in the sun with my Marvel Secret Wars.

But those romantic text stories, usually aimed at the singleton with unbearably high expectations, had one good outcome, that of an Oink! spoof:

And yes, I recognise one or two facial features there too, top job by Patrick Gallagher and for me the pictures there sum up those text stories perfectly; an amalgamation of every woman's ideal romance mish-mashed into one story so that they end up thinking it's actually all about them.  A bit like Bridget Jones but in a 25p magazine instead of a multi-million pound movie.

Now at the (delayed) time of writing this two new movies have been announced.  The first is a Bananaman one, who I used to enjoy on the TV and later in the pages of Dandy annuals (though he was originally created for Nutty comic), so I'm looking forward to that and hoping it's a success and to see merchandise bounding across the country.  The other is a Peanuts (or Charlie Brown) movie, which I remember boring the pants off me on the TV and not making me laugh at all in the cartoon pages of some newspaper or other.

I just didn't 'get' it maybe, but I was never a fan.  Actually Charlie Brown's voice was enough to make me jump to the TV to turn it over (before remotes, kids) such a drone that it was.  For me, the following half-page Oink! treatment is more entertaining than all of the episodes put together.  Oink! and Marc Riley - making the unbearable enjoyable:

Come on Bananaman!

Way back in #6 the excellent Watership Down spoof was, as we saw, one big set up for a great pun.  Two pages of story in a comic all for one joke was brave and I'm very happy to say Tony Husband is a brave man, for this issue takes Wuthering Heights to the same, um, heights, here with artwork by Chas Sinclair over a page-and-a-half:


We've reached the back page of another issue and I'm very happy to see another full-page Ian Jackson masterpiece of comic art, again with no captions.  Previous examples of these brilliant creations can be seen in #4 with the Jaws '86 page and in #14's The Hold-Up, which was also taking pride of place on the back page.

For this one, we've 2 three-panel strips, both going down the page and written by Tony Husband and Mark Rodgers:

There's going to be a post in a day or so about the blog itself.  I remember when a comic would have "exciting news" about its future it usually meant something bad was being hyped up as something rather good, not that we were ever fooled.  But don't worry, the blog isn't being merged with another one, it isn't being stopped, it isn't going monthly.  You'll just have to come back to see what I mean.

Then we'll finally get caught up and be back on track in a couple of weeks.  Until then, I'll leave you with this from Marc Riley's creation Doctor Mooney, He's Completely Looney.  Ta-ra:


Lew Stringer said...

The girl in the photo strip was Mark's partner Helen, but I don't recognise the chap.

Graham Exton said...

That's Helen's brother, David. Mark plays Bloonik, and judging by the daft names and the beautiful Kirbyesque Meaningless Machinery in the background, Mark wrote it too.