Category Archives: OiNK Contributor News

KEV F SUTHERLAND CUTS COMiCS: NEW PODCAST

Appearing mainly in later issues of OiNK, Scottish cartoonist Kev F Sutherland (known simply as ‘Kev F’ in the comic) made quite the impression with his first published work. He went on to contribute to everything from Beano to Doctor Who Adventures via Toxic and Red Dwarf Magazine, and today performs as The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre and teaches masterclasses on creating comics in schools across the country.

In OiNK he drew some brilliant Rotten Rhymes as well as a selection of pun-filled one-offs such as The March of the Killer Breakfasts. But the strips he’s probably most fondly remembered for are the Meanwhile series, a random selection of stories of varying length with mundane titles such as Meanwhile in the Kitchen, Meanwhile at the Party, Meanwhile at the Ball or even Meanwhile at the Fish Market.

As you can see the end result was guaranteed to be anything but mundane. Each story would be set up in a similar way; a simple, quite plain setting which soon spirals out of control towards a hilarious final panel. Always energetic and containing a great gag Kev himself mirrors his work, and its this enthusiasm that’s at the heart of his brand new podcast, the recently launched Comic Cuts: The Panel Show.


“Every episode, the guests reveal a panel from a comic, we try and guess where it’s from, then we chat about it. Half an hour later hopefully we’ve learned something, or just shown off and had fun along the way.”

Kev F Sutherland

The premise is both original and wonderful. In each episode two guests bring along a favourite panel from a comic. It could be any comic from any genre, any publisher, any title and from any year. The other guest has to describe it to the listener, who then tries to work out if they can identify the comic it came from. Kev and the guest describing the panel are trying to work it out too and the banter along the way is always funny.

At the time of writing three episodes are available and all are as enjoyable as each other, whether you’re familiar with the contributors or not. Episode one has Kev discussing panels chosen by writer, comedian and historian Iszi Lawrence (Netflix‘s The Lost Pirate Kingdom, BBC Radio 4‘s Making History) and comedian Doug Segal.

In episode two the guests are Manga artist Sonia Leong (Marie Curie: A Graphic History of the World’s Most Famous Female Scientist, Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived) and Beano artist Nigel Parkinson (Dennis, Bash Street Kids, as well as Thunderbirds The Comic and Stingray). Then Resident Alien co-creator Peter Hogan (also 2000AD and The Sandman Presents) and comedian & actor Bethany Black round the current crop of episodes off nicely.

Kev brings an unbridled sense of joy to the proceedings

Kev has also released details of the forthcoming schedule (the man has been recording like mad, clearly) and guests I’m particularly looking forward to hearing include Beano‘s Nigel Auchterlounie (far too many Beano and The Dandy strips to count, including Dennis) and Laura Howell (Minnie the Minx, Beano Manga, The Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert & Sullivan).

But surely the biggest news for pig pals is that Psycho Gran‘s very own David Leach (OiNK and everything from Dinner Ladies From Hell to Spongebob Squarepants) has already taken part and I personally can’t wait to hear these two OiNK behemoths in action together. I’ve heard both in podcast form and they’re equally entertaining to listen to, so having them both together should make for quite the show! David will be appearing alongside anime artist and founding member of Sweatdrop Studios, Laura Watton in an episode due in early July.

Kev brings an unbridled sense of joy to the proceedings and to say things can get rather crazy at times may sound like a cliché but that doesn’t make it any less true. I mean, are you expecting anything less from this man below?

To quote Kev, “Happiness is lining up guests for my new comics-based podcast. Tomorrow I start recording with guests you won’t believe. I’m looking at their CVs and we’ve got everything from Beano to Netflix, from Radio 4 to Channel 4. One guest drew the cover of a Kaiser Chiefs record and another was in a Fairy Liquid advert directed by Ken Loach. When they were five. I’ve got a mixture of comic creators and comedians (and RSVPs from a couple of invitees I thought would never say yes, and I’m blown away that they have). I hope this podcast works and I can get round to getting all these guests on it, cos they’re amazing.”

From the initial few episodes I’d say it’s working very well indeed Kev. The format lends itself to a long-running series and I hope this will be the case. It certainly deserves to be a success. Kev seemed to announce it and then have the first episodes up within days, then to have so many more people recorded and their episodes in the bag so quickly just shows the professionalism and dedication he’s putting in to his new project.

Comic Cuts: The Panel Show is available now on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts and you can also check out Kev’s official website right here.

DEREK THE TROLL: A ROCK SOLiD RERELEASE

Lew Stringer is synonymous with OiNK thanks to his creations Tom Thug, Pete and his Pimple and Pigswilla alongside a multitude of one-off strips and the scripts for Ham Dare, Pig of the Future. But I remember Lew being everywhere back in the 80s, popping up in my Transformers and The Real Ghostbusters comics as well as a slew of other titles. But before all this he’d created a certain smelly little troll by the name of Derek whose comic collection is available to buy again thanks to a second printing.

Derek the Troll was originally created in 1984 for a competition in the role-playing magazine Warlock. He may not have been the winning entry but the editors liked him so much he became a regular strip in every issue. When it folded Derek made the transition to White Dwarf for a few issues before he was retired in 1987. He made a return for the book You Are the Hero in 2013 and then most recently in digital comic Goof, the last issue of which was never released so hopefully we’ll get to see the conclusion to that story in the future.

So who is Derek? Well, in the world of role-playing games the trolls are a breed of character generally overlooked as grunts in bigger battles, cannon fodder for the enemy. Think vile, smelly, disgusting versions of pawns in chess. To quote Lew, Derek is “a likeable troll with obnoxious habits”, which sounds like a character OiNK fans can get behind. The strips are highly imaginative, given the almost limitless scope of the tabletop games universes he’s meant to be set in.

Sometimes Derek is downtrodden, sometimes he gets the upper hand, so you never know where each tale is headed. There are more fun monster designs, plenty of puns, a rhyming strip, a make-your-own-adventure strip and loads of genuine laughs. Included are all of Derek’s stories from the aforementioned magazines, the 2013 book and even the original story sent in as part of that competition, which sees print here for the first time.

But that’s not all. As noted on the cover the complete run of a character called Rock Solid is also included and right at the back of the comic you’ll even find a little bit of Combat Colin.

Rock Solid is an egotistical, self-centred space hero whose ego is a lot more evident than any actual talent. Lew explains how Rock was difficult to write as he was deliberately created to be unlikeable, yet the readers had to enjoy the strip and want to see more. It’s a delicate balancing job and I think it works, even if by the end you’re hoping he’ll get his comeuppance. Does he? You’ll have to buy the comic to find out.

Rock Solid was created for early 80s independent comic Swift Sure and all five chapters of the story are present here, fifteen pages in total. Just as we’d later see with Combat Colin every week in the pages of Transformers, Lew’s ability to create enjoyable villains has always been strong. The gross Lucas Mucus is the highlight here and you can see him channelling his inner Tom Thug above. He’s a mutated human ruling over the gross alien race, the Grots. On this following page we’re introduced to their very alien language and the need for reader translations.

Rounding off the package are two half-page Combat Colin strips. This was originally released before Colin’s own series began, four issues of which have already been published. Unfortunately, the website host of Lew’s online shop closed down a while back and his comics have been unavailable. But he’s now selling again through his own eBay seller’s page, starting with Derek’s comic.

Derek the Troll has 32 pages in total on very high quality paper with card covers, and two pictures cards of Derek and Colin are also included. There’s an interesting editorial and under each strip you’ll find the original dates of publication and little snippets of information from Lew about each. All of this is only £6.00 including postage. It comes bagged and boarded, posted in a card-backed envelope to keep it safe in the post and every issue will be signed on the inside. So if you haven’t bought any of Lew’s independent comic releases yet make sure you start now with your own copy of Derek the Troll, then keep an eye on the blog for reviews of the other titles as they become available again.

To finish with, here’s a brilliant little sequence from the top of Derek’s final appearance in White Dwarf magazine. The magazine’s editors loved him but apparently opinion amongst readers was divided, so Lew decided to concentrate on his OiNK and Transformers work instead. I think this is a hilarious response!

iAN JACKSON: DOWN THE TUBES SPOTLiGHT

While OiNK‘s creators Tony Husband, Patrick Gallagher and Mark Rodgers assembled an insanely great mixture of various art styles from the best cartoonists and illustrators around, many would agree Ian Jackson‘s work is considered the seminal OiNK look. His main strips were Uncle Pigg, Mary Lighthouse and The Sekret Diary ov Hadrian Vile and his covers always elicited an excited reaction when I picked up the latest issue.

As well as his jagged, animated and highly original drawings he was also the person behind the covers which featured actual model work. Who can ever forget the famous OiNK Book 1988‘s pig face (and tail) and the first Holiday Special of plasticine and cardboard, which you should be able to see at the top of this post.

To mark OiNK’s 35th anniversary, John Freeman has written a fascinating post all about Ian for his Down the Tubes website. When I was writing the previous version of the blog Ian was one contributor to the comic who remained an enigma, so I’m very happy to see this could be rectified this time around, starting with John’s research.

Above, you can see Ian with his brother, John Jackson a family law barrister in Leeds, who shared on Twitter this photo and a recent piece by Ian of the Sandsend valley where his shop, Wild Hart resides. It’s a gorgeous illustration and it reminded me of a certain other map of Ian’s I remember enjoying somewhat.

John’s post goes into more depth on Ian’s catalogue of work, such as his work for Punch magazine, which fellow OiNK cartoonist Jeremy Banx also contributed to. I wasn’t aware of a children’s cartoon co-created by Ian called Minuscule Milton, the art style of which is clearly recognisable and it’s a lovely looking thing indeed.

Created for CBBC and broadcast between 1997 and 1999 it tells the tale of a very, very tiny little boy who lives in a clock on a mantlepiece, with only his canine friend aware of his existence.

John has plenty of information on Ian’s further work in illustration, model building, cartoons and more on the Down the Tubes post. For any fans of OiNK it’s an essential read and you can even watch an episode of Milton’s show while you’re there.