I'm going to be contacting Rebellion but I've also decided that even if I don't hear back I'm going to go ahead with this book anyway. It's a labour of love and just look at the other examples of fan-produced products such as the documentaries Future Shock (about 2000AD, which was floated about film festivals before the rights were eventually obtained to release it commercially), The Shark is Still Working (fan-produced making-of Jaws documentary, made without official backing but eventually purchased by Universal and now on the Jaws Blu-Ray) and Being Frank, the Frank Sidebottom film still awaiting release. All great examples of what can be achieved if the passion and determination is there and they all worked out in the end. They produced fantastic work which then caught the attention of the rights-holders.
THE OLD BOOK
The book I'm now going to be working on is somewhat different to the previous idea and in this regard I think it not coming to fruition will actually have been for the best! Originally it was simply a book written by a fan telling the story of the greatest comic ever crafted. That's not to sell it short, of course. It was going to include contributions from as many of the original team as possible, plus it wasn't going to have chapters as such. Rather, it'd have told the story in one long form but separated into sections based on characters, the comic itself, the brand etc. with plenty of reprints and interviews along the way.
When I write that now it all sounds very unoriginal and uninspiring and I'm glad to say the focus has changed dramatically. I'll come back soon with more details on this but there's a sneak preview of what I mean at the bottom of this post, after the upcoming images.
First up though, I thought you might be interested in seeing the original pitch document I put together at the time to summarise the original idea and show it to others for feedback. Oink! editor Patrick Gallagher in particular helped with editing this too and I was very pleased with it, but I never showed it to anyone other than some close friends and those who worked on the comic.
So here it is, the book that will never be. But that's only because something even better is coming (in my humble opinion, of course), which I'll get to below.
THE NEW BOOK
I'll fill you in properly soon on the new project, but I just want to give you a taster and to point out the basic difference between the ideas. This blog itself kind of became the story of Oink! from the fan's point of view. What started off as a fun sampling of each issue expanded into something far more, including my own personal memories of the comic and the times I had with it. Some of the people responsible contributed with some lovely insights and knowledge too, but it was really about a pig pal reliving it all over again, reminiscing while experiencing it with fresh, adult eyes.
The book above was really just going to redo all of that. But there's no point in rehashing what's come before, that's not very Oink!-like. No, an original and fresh approach was needed.
The new book (which I'll keep the working title for, at least for the time being) is going to be the story of Oink! from the perspective of those who created it. When the blog took off I had the chance to chat to the likes of Patrick and cartoonist Davy Francis on the phone, as well as lengthy conversations online with Lew Stringer (who I still chat to frequently I'm happy to say), David Leach, Helen Jones and others who have become good Facebook friends since. These led me to discover some truly hilarious stories which have never been shared before and as a fan I know these are clearly what we'd like to hear about! Even if some of these stories may not be quite as kiddie-friendly as the comic!
That's all I'm saying for now, but you can take it from me it's going to be a fun experience writing this and I'll be documenting it all every step of the way right here on The Oink! Blog.