REMEMBERiNG ANDY ROPER

This month the very sad news reached me of the passing of OiNK cartoonist Andy Roper. Andy’s intricately detailed strips were always a highlight of any issue he was involved with. While he only contributed a handful of different stories they’re fondly remembered to this day, a testament to his unique art style.

He first appeared in the pages of #11 with Scruff of the Track, written by OiNK co-creator/editor Mark Rodgers who is also sadly no longer with us. On the surface it’s drawn in a style that wouldn’t have looked out of place in action adventure comics of the day, at least until you start reading it that is. Upon closer inspection it’s so jam-packed with background detail and visual gags that it pays to take your time and relish every single panel.

Over the course of OiNK’s run Andy’s artwork graced the cover twice, such as with this brilliant parody of King Kong for #31. For me personally, having only collected the comic since #14 the first time I saw his art was when I went to the newsagent to pick up #22. It was wrapped up in a fittingly spectacular poster cover to mark part one of a special two-part story called The Spectacles of Doom!

Prince Endor and his amazing eyewear returned two more times, for a much longer story in the regular fortnightly comic and then in the second (and final) annual, The Oink! Book 1989. While Scruff of the Track was gorgeous to look at in its own right, when Andy applied colour the result was nothing short of amazing. Just take a look at this double page spread from the aforementioned annual to see what I mean.

Just like the late, great J.T. Dogg, Andy may not have appeared in every issue but when he did he made a huge impact on the readers, there’s no doubt about that. Given the intricacy of his work these epic strips must’ve taken so long to complete that I doubt he ever stopped working between his appearances.

The fact my memory, which isn’t great at the best of times, had held on to Andy’s pages for decades shows how much of a highlight they were of OiNK for me. I hope this little website can do its part in holding on to the memory of his stunning creations for future readers.

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