All posts by Philip Boyce

SO WHAT iS THE OiNK! BLOG?

In 1986 I was introduced to the world of collecting comics thanks to piggy publication OiNK! From there it took off for several years before magazines for my Commodore 64 took over. Then, in 2010 the sad passing of Chris ‘Frank Sidebottom‘ Sievey on the news left me wanting to relive some of those childhood memories. By 2013 I had an almost complete collection and OiNK! cartoonist Lew Stringer suggested I read them in real time. Soon I was blogging about them, every fortnight on their original release dates and I loved every single minute of it.

When I neared the end of the run I started writing about the other comics I’d collected in the late 80s/early 90s and soon I was also covering them one at a time in real time. But last year the Blogger site started to crash. I’d wanted to turn my linear blog into a website with many different sections, all easily navigated. It required reworking some of the code operating the blog and I don’t think Blogger took too kindly to that. So I figured the time was right to move to a better provider. Hence I’m now on WordPress.

When I started the original blog I couldn’t have known how it would grow and retrospectively trying to change it into something more complex clearly wasn’t going to work. So here I am, starting from scratch. Why from scratch? Well, why not? It’s OiNK!‘s 35th anniversary this year, I’ve got better technology with my equipment at home for scans and photos and a better website provider to build the site I’ve wanted.

So with all the tools I’ll need I’ve decided to go right back to the start and relive those comics all over again and yes, I’m doing it all in real time. I won’t be waiting until the piggy pink publication is over before the others join the fray though, they’ll be appearing alongside it. OiNK! itself will enjoy a brand new set of reviews, the other titles will be getting a kind of ‘Director’s Cut’ of their original reviews, while I’ll also be adding in one ‘new’ classic comic at a time over the coming years.

It’s already starting out as a bigger project than I had in mind back in 2013 so I’m excited to see where this one leads. It also comes complete with social media accounts on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, where I’ve found people also like to comment and converse about the blog’s posts.

So come on in and join the fun pig pals!

ViSiONARiES FOR THE FUTURE

Last year the latest comic to join the fray at The Oink! Blog and Beyond was Marvel UK‘s Visionaries, the first story of which was titled ‘The End… The Beginning‘. It turned out to be quite the prophetic name to start off the final real time read through of the old blog. For some time I’d been considering a sort of fresh start, but had been struggling with the mechanics of that on a linear blog I’d built up over seven years when there hadn’t been a plan for the future. For the final two months of 2020 the old site also started to crash on an almost daily basis (2020 obviously hadn’t finished with me yet).

The temperamental Blogger ended up giving me my answer; to move to a new site provider and just start again from scratch.

The original fresh start idea came about initially because 2021 is the 35th anniversary of the blog’s namesake, OiNK!. I’d thought of going back and replacing the old scans for a while because they now looked so blurry and grainy compared to the newer ones, simply because the technology I was using had moved on. Plus I liked to think my writing had improved! Although maybe that’s wishful thinking. I’d definitely found out a lot more about the making of the comic, so I was going to go back and add these things to the original posts, but now something better is on the cards.

These two disparate things, Blogger’s crashing and OiNK!’s anniversary have come together and the end result is a brand new site, with a brand new provider (WordPress) and even its own domain. The spine of the new site will be the new read through of OiNK! itself, in its ‘Director’s Cut’ form, with all of the other classic 80s/90s comics being read alongside it, rather than waiting until after the piggy publication has been covered. It’s all going to come together in a much more cohesive site, with an actual plan and you’ll get to see the beginnings of this over the next few weeks as logos and menus start to appear etc.

Basically, to use the vernacular of the modern world, this is going to be OiNK! Blog+ (plus) and it’s going to be a great ride. Hopefully you’ll join me.