REMEMBERiNG J.T. DOGG

With this page young eyes across the UK were exposed to the insanely talented Malcolm Douglas for the first time. To anyone unfamiliar with the name you may remember him as “J.T. Dogg”, the genius illustrator behind Street-Hogs, Ham Dare: Pig of the Future and the OiNK Superstar Posters.

Pig pals will have fond memories of his big, bold and colourful double-page spreads leaping out at them every fortnight. Within the pages of those early issues Dogg’s work included the original 11-part Street-Hogs story, written by Mark Rodgers, as well as a series of suitably piggy spoof Superstar Posters such as The P-Team, Hambo, Peter Swillton and the ilk. His work was undoubtably displayed on many a bedroom wall across the UK.

Malcolm originally became an illustrator when he volunteered to draw for a newspaper run by the Sheffield University student union. Discovering he could be paid for his work he developed his style and was published in a wide variety of comics, which after OiNK included Brain Damage and Zit, two titles heavily influenced by the one he’d been such a huge part of.

He also regularly contributed Fred the Red for Manchester United’s match programmes, but his best known work remains all of those beautiful pages found inside OiNK.

When I started collecting OiNK at #14 the ‘Next Issue’ section had a small monochrome drawing of a spoof character called Ham Dare: Pig of the Future, a new multi-part story written by Lew Stringer and to be brought to life by Malcolm. Knowing of Dan Dare from friends’ comics I was looking forward to seeing a joke version of the character. I knew it was going to be funny, I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful!

Malcolm didn’t receive any professional art training and his skills weren’t limited to drawing either. He was a musical performer and played the mandolin and fiddle among other instruments, playing with various bands he was a regular face around the Sheffield music scene. His knowledge of folk music was encyclopaedic and he contributed to two books about the subject, with a third being revised before his death.

Malcolm sadly died of cancer on 22nd March 2009 and it is on this date that we remember his stunning OiNK work.

During the two-and-a-half-year run of the comic J.T. Dogg brought us three lengthy Street-Hogs strips, a Ham Dare serial, plus more from the Pig of the Future in both OiNK Books and a Holiday Special after the comic was cancelled, and of course let’s not forget those six magnificent Superstar Posters. He even drew Harry the Head in one issue.

Just imagine if all of his work was collected together in one lovely graphic novel! I wonder if Rebellion are imagining it?

OiNK came to its conclusion in October 1988 and while the second annual was already on sale, most of us wouldn’t receive it until Christmas, a couple of months after we’d said goodbye to our favourite comic pals. J.T. Dogg returned with this glorious cover to the 1989 Book, a fitting end to the run and a fitting tribute to a man whose talents were second-to-none.

4 thoughts on “REMEMBERiNG J.T. DOGG”

  1. Hi Philip
    Just seen your tribute to OInk and Malcolm, so here’s the sequel for you.
    Jenny & I knew Malcolm well through our involvement with the Sheffield Folk Music scene. When it emerged that he was ill and not looking after himself we and others took him in hand (He was somewhat reclusive) and did what we could. It was a snowy winter and he did not drive. Jenny was able to take him to hospital appointments and we did his shopping etc We got to know his mum – lovely lady – and she came to stay during Malcolms final weeks.Also his brother..After Malcolm died, we became his unofficial executors helping his Mother to clear his house and dispose of his effects She was based in Norfolk and almost 90. In relation to his legacy, we organised a musical event which culminated in the biggest Ceilidh Band in the World with 164 local musicians playing together. We raised over £600 for Macmillan Cancer Support. With the help of other researchers, we completed and published the song book that Malcolm had been working on. Again half the profits went to Macmillan.
    Most of Malcolm’s original art work and copies of Oink etc ended up with us, and eventually we persuaded ……… the National Cartoon/Comic Museum in London to take it where it now resides.
    Cancer is a cruel disease, Malcolm’s father had already died with cancer, and since 2009 his mother and brother have also succumbed

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    1. Hi Ron, I’m so sorry it’s taken this long to reply to you, I really do have a head like a sieve at times, that’s my only excuse! You’re right about cancer being a cruel disease, I think most of us have been touched by it in some way in our lives. Malcolm was taken far too soon and it’s such a sad story to hear. Thank you so much for sharing this. Do you think I could contact you sometime to discuss Malcolm in some more depth?

      Like

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