Category Archives: Obituaries


The Slugs may have only made their first appearance in #33 of OiNK but they made a huge impact, in no small way thanks to the artwork of Les ‘Lezz’ Barton. His unique, busy and highly energetic style was perfect for this strip but he also contributed much more to the pages of OiNK and other publications such as Punch, Private Eye, The Daily Sketch, Daily Mirror, Whizzer and Chips and so much more.

Born on 8 December 1923 in Wareham, Dorset, Lezz was a self-taught artist. When a motorcycle accident made him rethink his career options he retrained as a draughtsman while using his spare time to create cartoons for submission to publications. He succeeded while stationed in Lagos, Nigeria during World War II where he had his first regular cartoons published.

His first work for Uncle Pigg came in #10 with this Ode to Teachers, a poem that’s just as much fun to look at thanks to the way Lezz has handwritten it on the page as it is to read. Complete with ink blots and memorable caricatures it’s quite the introduction to his anarchic style and really stands out in a comic already known for different art styles. Lezz would go on to produce work for 32 issues altogether, culminating in the final annual.

After the war he worked for the Associated-Iliffe Press as a process artist while also producing anything around 20 cartoons a week! Lezz was also a founding member of the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain in 1960. Around this time he was best known for his regular strip I-Spy in Sparky comic about a secret agent whose face was always hidden but whose cloak was full of a seemingly never-ending array of gadgets, all used in the artist’s usual animated fashion.

While his art is distinctive and easily identified, Les was also able to adjust it to perfectly suit the script he was illustrating. For example, while we were most used to his full-on style for The Slugs he was also able to turn his hand to this fantastic spoof of Bunty comic, Bumty Comic presents Wanda with the Wooden Leg. We can clearly see it’s Lezz’s work but it’s different, he’s tailored it in such a way that on the surface it wouldn’t look out of place in the pages of the comic it’s poking fun at. That was the whole idea of course.

It’s a classic strip and a genius piece of penmanship. Contrast this with The Slugs, which was always written by co-editor Tony Husband. Here’s their second appearance in OiNK from #34 to show you just how Lezz brought these unique characters to life. Each and every panel is packed full of movement and detail, full of a real feeling of crazy fun and full of, well, punk!

Sadly Lezz died in Hayes, Middlesex aged 84 on 20th October 2008. He had continued working into his 80th decade, turning his attention to greetings cards in his final years. Whether drawing for adults or children his work was, to sum it up in one word, fun.

Lezz’s contribution to OiNK and his impact on young pig pals can not be underestimated, and he is rightly fondly remembered to this day by so many of us.


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 gorgeously 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 with #14 the ‘Next Issue’ section had a small monochrome drawing of a character called Ham Dare: Pig of the Future, a new multi-part story written by Lew Stringer and brought to life by Malcolm. Knowing of Dan Dare from friends’ comics I was looking forward to seeing a joke version of the character. It would be my first encounter with Malcom’s work. I knew it was going to be funny, I didn’t expect it to be so lush!

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 book! I wonder if Rebellion are imagining it too?

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.


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/co-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 picked up #22. It was wrapped up in a fittingly spectacular wraparound cover poster 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, has 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.