Last week in the post for #43, 1987's superb Christmas feast of an issue, a GBH Madvertisement for the Hamformers toys was a definite highlight from Dave Huxley. As I mentioned at the time Dave is now Dr David Huxley at the Manchester School of Art and you can click here to be taken to his section of their website, which also includes his Mona Lisow painting from Oink! Now, as promised here's an article written by Dave himself for Crikey! magazine back in 2008.
Crickey! was a British fanzine in magazine form, dedicated to nostalgic British comics, edited by dedicated fans and put together on a quarterly basis to begin with. Despite errors slipping into a few of the early articles (very unfortunate when you're meant to be telling the history of these titles) sales were generally good and it improved as it went along. Then with #8 it went full colour and with #11 it increased its 52 pages to a whopping 84, becoming bi-monthly in the process and was available in high street stores and everything. It all looked rosy.
Unfortunately Borders distributors ceased to exist just two issues after this new distribution started and, three years after its premiere issue, #16 was the last Crikey! to be published. Roughly a year later it made a comeback in digital form but it appears to have disappeared since then again. Such a shame.
But for this post let's concentrate on #5 and that Oink! article written by Dave Huxley. It includes how he got involved in the title in the first place, a look at the Lisow poster (although in black and white and the scans weren't great - the cover of #43 has patchwork style patterns on it for example) and his own views on Oink! While saying #7's Janice and John strip destroyed the comic's sales is, as we know, not quite true it is the story that appears to be out there so that's hardly Dave's fault. Shame Crikey! didn't do more research into the comic, it's sales and the real reasons it was eventually cancelled though, before publishing.
It's a wonderfully insightful article and an interesting read into the artist's own experience with the Oink! team:
For those new to the blog you can read the 'story so far' of the Janice and John strip here:
- Their first appearance - #7: COOL AS ICE IN THE SUMMER HEAT
- The Press Complaints Commission verdict - #28: IS IT A BIRD? IS IT A PIG? OH... YES. YES, IT IS.
- An interview with editors Tony Husband, Patrick Gallagher and Mark Rodgers - CRASH: SPECIAL OINK! ISSUE & PULL-OUT COMIC!
- Janice & John's triumphant return to Oink! - #41: IN SICKNESS AND IN BELCH
Then, for another 'story so far' kind of thing, this time for the reason behind Oink!'s unfortunate demise in the end, you could read these. If you want:
- Fleetwood takes over - #35: TRAVELLING TO THE OTHER SIDE
- The first changes - #36: A CHANGE IS AS GOOD AS A REST
- Stablemate cancelled - #39: PUZZLING PARODY
Issues of Crikey! do appear from time to time on eBay and if you see any on there, or at a local fare or car boot sale, you could do a lot worse than snapping one or two up to try them.