Category Archives: OiNK Media Coverage


As we approach Monday 26th April 2021, the 35th anniversary of the preview issue of OiNK, let’s take a look at an article from the time written by Tom Thug and Pete and his Pimple creator Lew Stringer for Fantasy Advertiser. An introduction to the new comic just before its release, it was the first time readers of the fanzine heard about OiNK.

Fantasy Advertiser was the creation of Frank Dobson and had been printed since 1965 as an “Ad Zine”, being handed off to a series of editors over time. It featured listings of British and American comics for sale in the UK long before the internet made this a lot easier, alongside features like the one you’ll see below. Lew was a regular contributor with a column in every issue.

Lew would cover news of new comics, discuss classic titles and interview creators such as Mike Higgs, Kevin O’Neill etc. It sounds very much like his later Blimey! blog which, while it’s been closed, is still a treasure trove of British comics information.

The OiNK article featured in #96 of Fantasy Advertiser, dated May 1986 and you can read it in full below. I think the first paragraph perfectly sums up why Mark Rodgers, Tony Husband and Patrick Gallagher created OiNK in the first place. There’s also an interesting reference to the specific things other children’s comics required of their cartoonists and the rules they had to follow, which this new team would gleefully abandon. There are some details about the two dummy issues created to sell the concept to IPC Magazines, their positive reaction and how it was Bob Paynter, the Group Editor of Humour who approached Lew to join the comic. (When I’ve spoken with Patrick and Tony over the years they’ve often referred to Bob as “OiNK’s champion at IPC”.)

“The humour is the kind we like. Violent, anarchic, weird, generally lunatic and very modern.”

Mark Rodgers, OiNK co-creator/co-editor

There’s a great description of Lew’s Tom Thug and how he was a new, different kind of comics character, an interesting look at the independent nature of OiNK and how it was put together in a way unlike any other children’s title of the time. You’ll also see a few select panels from the early issues, including Tom Paterson‘s excellent Wet Blanket who is returning to print in a special collected book later this year.

Thanks to Lew for the kind permission to share this with you all. Just click on it below and have a read for yourselves.

Also note the correct influences for OiNK here and the absence of any mention of Viz. OiNK was never a children’s version of that (admittedly very funny) comic and was never intended to be, despite what is usually erroneously mentioned elsewhere online or in magazines.

David Hathaway-Price has, with permission, archived many of those Fantasy Advertiser issues digitally, at his Classic UK Comics Zines website, including the issue featured here. The fanzine continued until #115 in 1991, eventually relaunching as an online resource in 2010 by one of its previous editors, Martin Skidmore.

Don’t forgot to come back on Monday 26th April for the review of that preview issue of the world’s funniest comic, the whole reason this website exists. An amazing two-and-a-half years is about to begin. Not to be missed, pig pals.


The latest issue of Spaceship Away includes a feature which will appeal to fans of a certain OiNK sci-fi spoof strip. Writer of Ham Dare: Pig of the Future, Lew Stringer talks about the creation of the strip and the stellar (pun intended) artwork of J.T. Dogg that brought his creation to life.

On his own blog, Lew states, “The interview is part of a six page feature called The Fake Dan Dare Syndrome by Andrew Darlington which also includes other Dan Dare spoofs and related strips such as Danny Dare from Wham!. The article mentions that my Ham Dare plot bears a passing resemblance to the 1957 novel Wolfbane by Frederik Pohl…. which came as a surprise to me because I’d never even heard of that book until now!”

Lew discusses his working relationship with Malcolm, how they only met once at the OiNK launch party and communicated mainly by phone. Full scripts were sent to Malcolm and it was co-editor Mark Rodgers‘ idea to have him as the artist, lending a more direct homage to Dan Dare to the strip than the cartoonish art Lew had envisioned. He also talks about that dinosaur extinction scene and the emotions he felt writing it, which many pig pals felt when reading the surprisingly touching moment.

If you haven’t heard of Spaceship Away, it’s a fanzine concentrating on publishing brand new Dan Dare strips and new science fiction illustrated tales and prose stories, alongside factual articles on everything from the classic Eagle comic of the 1950s to modern day space exploration and science news.

This issue is #53 and is available for £8.95 or you can take out a year’s subscription for £25.50 (prices for Europe and worldwide readers are £11.50 and £31.00 respectively) and you can order it through their website now.

You can also read more information about the interview on Lew’s own personal blog, Lew Stringer Comics.


IPC’s Youth Group is trying to change the face of children’s comics with its launch next month of a new-style, fortnightly comic into the eight-to-12-year-olds market.

John Sanders

So began a piece in CTN, an industry magazine covering the world of magazines and comics on this day back in 1986, a month before OiNK‘s release from the sty. Comics sales had been in heavy decline for a few years with television seen as the cause, although perhaps so was the ever-growing presence of computer games. While other sources of children’s entertainment were evolving, comics hadn’t and they had to do something new and fresh in order to remain competitive.

You should know where this is going. That something was, of course, OiNK. Edited by the “three liberated pigs” of Mark Rodgers, Tony Husband and Patrick Gallagher, IPC saw in them the chance to reinvigorate the marketplace.

The article in CTN (which you can read in full at the bottom of this post) takes the form of an interview with IPC Magazine’s Youth Group Managing Director John Sanders. A wish to move away from the “custard pie humour” is cited and the publishers were certainly putting their weight behind this anarchic comic, independently put together for them in Manchester. Hundreds of thousands of copies of the preview issue would be bagged with some of their biggest titles and an eye-watering (for the time) £55,000 was being spent on “Blockbuster Adverts“. More on these below.

“Their [children] humour is a lot more sophisticated than it was 25 years ago. It is a lot more outrageous, the butt of their humour has changed.”

John Sanders

It’s interesting to note having a preview issue wasn’t something generally used at the time, the usual strategy was television advertising such as with Marvel‘s The Transformers in 1984, the (very) brief advert for which you can see below. This was news to me when I found out because I remember several preview issues of my comics but nothing on TV, but then again those previews came after OiNK. However, even OiNK’s would be different from those that followed, it was a full-sized issue.

The article states the new comic is “aimed very directly at youngsters”. The whole point was to grab the attention of the eight to 13-year-old age group. But yet, here we are over three decades later with a website all about this classic comic and how well it holds up for both adults and their children reading it all these years later.

IPC’s target audience weren’t just readers of comics by the competition either, such as The Dandy and Beano, but also those of their own humour comics who they were worried were leaving.

Thanks to Lew Stringer for sharing this scan on his Blimey blog and for the kind permission to show it to you all here. That particular blog is no longer being updated but is chock full of interesting comics tidbits so give it a look. While you’re at it, make sure to bookmark Lew’s ongoing Lew Stringer Comics blog too, detailing all of his own work both past and present.

At the time of writing John Sanders has just released his brand new book, King’s Reach: John Sanders’ Twenty-Five Years at the Top of Comics which chronicles the business side of the industry.