Here’s something I never even knew existed until a few years ago. If you have a look back at the marketing leaflets distributed to newsagents across the UK before OiNK‘s launch, you’ll find reference is made to ‘Major Publicity’ in the shape of four-page ‘Blockbuster Advertisements’, whatever they were. Well, I’ve finally been able to get my hands on one and can now show it off for you.
These adverts took the form of four extra pages within Buster, Eagle, Whizzer and Chips, Roy of the Rovers, Battle and 2000AD comics, specifically the issues that went on sale on 3rd May 1986, the day #1 of OiNK hit the shelves. Since we’ve already seen examples of Buster and Whizzer and Chips in the marketing for OiNK, I thought I’d use an issue of 2000AD this time.
What’s strange is the lack of any promotion on the cover for the additional content which took the comic up to 36 pages that week. But then again, it’s not like it was easily missed when readers turned the page.
It all kicks off with an introduction drawn by Ian Jackson. It may only be four panels long, but in taking up a full page it makes a big impact, just as Ian’s work had in the preview issue. Unlike 2000AD, some of the comics had given away the free edition as well as including this a week later. Few IPC comics fans would’ve been unaware of OiNK’s arrival.
The advert opens up into the following double page spread, which lays out exactly what readers could expect from the mad new fortnightly.
Of course, with this being printed on newsprint the wonderful colour and grayscale shading of OiNK’s glossy paper are missing, but there’s still plenty to show off with the array of new characters and strips. The art is miles apart from the restrained feel of humour comics of the time and it must’ve been exciting to see such original contents.
Tom Thug, The Street-Hogs, Horace (Ugly Face) Watkins and Burp the Smelly Alien are among those included here, even if Burp is out of view. Although, I think the panel included is even funnier when used out of context here.
It’s a loud, proud announcement indeed.
The back page concentrates on the free gifts in the first two issues, in particular that flexidisc, surely the most surprising free gift to be given away with a comic. Also nice to see the beginnings of the ongoing joke about Uncle Pigg doing everything for his readers when in actual fact he’s raking in the dough, even at this early stage.
It’s a little strange to promote the posters like they’re free gifts though. The OiNK Superstar Posters were absolutely incredible pieces by J.T. Dogg but they were very much part of the comic, taking up the middle pages every issue for the first few months. Oh well, it’s something a lot of comics did at the time to promote such things.
IPC may have decided not to go down the TV advertising route with OiNK, but I think this past month or so has shown just how much better the promotional push for it was as a result. You can check out several posts all about that on the blog already.