A year ago today that picture above, a photograph of some of my Oink!s spread out on my living room floor, started off my very first blog post on here. Even with all the great intentions I had I'm still amazed I'm here typing away at what has surprisingly become a very popular blog it seems! It's been great to see this comic enjoyed all over again! Previous to this I've tried several online things such as a Knight Rider episode guide, or my own personal website for my friends and I to share photos of our nights out (before the days of social media), even another blog which was based on me building my own model Aston Martin DB5.
None of these lasted very long - I wanted to write but the subjects weren't keeping my interest for whatever reason. The latter one went on for several months and held the record until now (the car is almost finished though) but a comics blog has turned out differently, as even though technology almost got in the way I'm still here with this one. But this post isn't about self-congratulation. It's not even about the popularity of Oink! all these years later (that's covered quite a bit as it is). No, this post is a thank you.
SO YES, THANK YOU!
A thank you to all those fans who read this and also to those who have contacted me either in the comments, via email or on the Facebook group sharing their own memories of Oink! and how much they're enjoying the blog (and right this very moment I've just read a member's 7-year old is enjoying the comic for the first time through this!). As a kid I was the only one of my friends to read it regularly but my mates all loved reading mine, so it's been great to interact with so many people now who grew up with it just like I did.
I also want to say a huge thanks to those who have helped shape this blog into something more than I could ever have imagined (and there's still more stuff to come). All those creators who have been wonderful for all of the same reasons above, but also for your input into the behind-the-scenes of this comic. But an especially big manly grunt and beers all round for Patrick Gallagher, Lew Stringer and David Leach. At certain stages along the way, whether it's been through the group, here on the blog, private messages or even via telephone, the personal encouragement you've given me has really given me the confidence to not only "think bigger" about the blog and how I'd like it to be left when it's all over, but also the confidence boost to think about other projects. I've got two in mind and am developing one at this time. I never thought these were things I could consider actually doing, but thanks to you all I'm going to give it a shot. At 36 years of age I'm going to give it a shot.
Finally, of course a huge thank you to my friend Andrew Bell who has been instrumental in the rescue of the blog and equipping me with what I really needed to even consider taking my writing further.
Oink! finished at the end of 1988, which in blog terms means we'll be wrapping it up at the close of 2015. There's tons to enjoy before then, we still haven't reached the halfway point after all, but on this anniversary (which the examples at the top should tell you is a bit of a milestone for me) I just wanted to say it to each and every one of you, and to Uncle Pigg too: thank you.
See you soon for the next issue!