“What?!”, I hear you exclaim. “Why didn’t I hear of this before now?” Indeed, a crossover between two comics is always a big deal, but between an action and a humour comic and between two different publishers? That’s unheard of. Well, while pig pals were enjoying IPC Magazine‘s OiNK #18, the first Hogmanay issue at the end of 1986, over in Marvel UK‘s The Transformers #94 was hitting shelves.
Back in the 80s it seemed like every comic I picked up had a Lew Stringer humour strip inside. Whether that was in funny comics themselves or in the likes of Transformers, Action Force (G.I. Joe), Marvel Secret Wars or early issues of The Real Ghostbusters. When Action Force folded into the pages of Transformers Lew’s Combat Colin character would come along for the ride but before that Robo-Capers gave readers a good giggle every week.
While there were some regular characters, for the most part Robo-Capers were random little gags about the future of automation and robotics, a hot topic in the 80s. (In fact, early issues had news articles about the topic.) In this issue a suitably New Year-themed strip quite literally rang in 1987 to finish off the issue. Enjoy, but take your time and savour the little details.
Did you spot him? In the last panel, below the big reveal, on top of the letterbox, have a look. Yep, that’s Satan the Cat, none other than Tom Thug‘s little kitty! So does this mean this strip was set in OiNKtown to keep it canon? No, it’s just a daft comic strip, silly! You didn’t really expect a full blown crossover with the Robots in Disguise did you? This is OiNK! You should know better by now.
Lew has shared this post on his own blog and adds, “Making an unofficial guest appearance in the strip is Tom Thug’s cat Satan from IPC’s OiNK comic (sitting on the postbox) and in the corner, it’s Loose Brayne, Brickman himself holding the sign. All part of the Lewniverse! The shop sign refers to Marvel editors Richard Starkings and John Tomlinson who sometimes did the colour separations for the strip. (All of my Marvel strips were coloured by the staff.) I’ve forgotten who ‘Hindmarsh’ was, so apologies for that.”
Tom himself would even make a cameo in a later issue which you’ll see when I get to that one in the Transformers’ real time read through over on the blog’s Instagram. For now, I just wanted to share this little bit of fun to kick off 2023, I think it’s going to be a good one. Happy New Year everyone.