Category Archives: OiNK Pre-Release

WHEN CARTOONiSTS GO BERSERK: OiNK PROMOTiONAL FOLDER

As part of the marketing push for the first issue of OiNK, IPC Magazines sent out a lot of “blurb” (as co-editor Tony Husband put it) and one particular piece of this caught my eye recently. Thanks to a friendly pig pal I can now show it to you too.

I spotted a wonderful photograph of Steve Fitch‘s OiNK collection online and on top of the comics was a special folder wrapped around his copy of the first issue. While the inclusion of issue one means this isn’t technically a pre-release piece of marketing, for whoever it was intended for it was to be their first taste of the comic; it was being used to promote the launch and so that’s the section of the site I’m placing this under.

Lucky enough to find it on eBay, Steve had stumbled upon something sent out by IPC as part of the publicity campaign for their new comic. Titled “What do you get when three cartoonists in Manchester go berserk and decide to create their own comic?”, it contained the complete issue one and its free flexidisc and further cemented their commitment to OiNK’s launch.

Although Steve isn’t sure how its previous owner originally obtained it, it’s a rare and special piece of OiNK history indeed. So special in fact, Steve sent it off to both Tony and Patrick Gallagher who were kind enough to sign it for him.

On the back of the folder was a little drawing of Uncle Pigg and IPC’s telephone number for enquires, perhaps for additional distributors, independent shops, the media etc.

The main highlight for me though is the included information on OiNK’s three creators, Tony, Patrick and Mark Rodgers. With their serious business faces on, the three share secrets about themselves such as Mark reading other comics to steal ideas, Patrick’s new book and Tony’s complete lack of free time.

Mainly nonsense of course, but the actual facts included here are really interesting. The pedigree behind OiNK’s editorial team was second to none, reassuring anyone unsure of this barmy new comic which was so different to anything else on the market.

I also love the idea of them hiring Uncle Pigg, only for him to take over and force them to work for him!

Thanks again to Steve for sharing this. I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at another part of OiNK’s launch and don’t forget to check out all of the other pre-release posts which include everything from contemporary interviews and articles to advertisements and comic crossovers.

CAN i HAVE A P(iG) PLEASE BOB: BLOCKBUSTER ADVERT

Here’s something I never even knew existed until a few years ago. If you have a look back at the marketing leaflets distributed to newsagents across the UK before OiNK‘s launch, you’ll find reference is made to ‘Major Publicity’ in the shape of four-page ‘Blockbuster Advertisements’. Well, I’ve finally been able to get my hands on one and can show it off for you now.

These adverts took the form of four extra pages within Buster, Eagle, Whizzer and Chips, Roy of the Rovers, Battle and 2000AD comics, specifically the issues that went on sale on 3rd May 1986, the day issue one of OiNK hit the shelves. Since we’ve already seen examples of Buster and Whizzer and Chips in the marketing for OiNK, I thought I’d use an issue of 2000AD this time.

What’s strange is the lack of any promotion on the cover for the additional content which took the comic up to 36 pages that week. But then again, it’s not like it was easily missed when readers turned the page.

It all kicks off with an introduction drawn by Ian Jackson. It may only be four panels long, but in taking up a full page it makes a big impact, just as Ian’s work did with both the preview issue and #1. Unlike 2000AD, some of the comics had given away the free edition as well as including this a week later. Few IPC comics fans would’ve been unaware of OiNK’s arrival.

The advert opens up into the following double page spread, which lays out exactly what readers could expect from the new, mad fortnightly.

Of course, with this being printed on newsprint the wonderful colour and grayscale shading of OiNK’s glossy paper are missing, but there’s still plenty to show off with the array of new characters and strips. The art is miles apart from the restrained feel of humour comics of the time and it must’ve been exciting to see such original contents.

Tom Thug, The Street-Hogs, Horace (Ugly Face) Watkins and Burp the Smelly Alien are among those included here, even if Burp is out of view. Although, I think the panel included is even funnier when used out of context here!

It’s a loud, proud announcement indeed.

The back page concentrates on the free gifts in the first two issues, in particular that flexidisc, surely the most surprising free gift to be given away with a comic. Also nice to see the ongoing joke about Uncle Pigg doing everything for his readers when in actual fact he’s raking in the dough, even at this early stage.

It’s a little strange to promote the posters like they’re free gifts. The OiNK Superstar Posters were absolutely incredible pieces by J.T. Dogg but they were very much part of the comic, taking up the middle pages every issue for the first few months. Oh well, it’s something a lot of comics did at the time to promote such things.

IPC may have decided not to go down the TV advertising route with OiNK, but I think this past month or so has shown just how much better the promotional push for it was as a result. If you’ve missed out on any of it, just navigate your way to the ‘Pre-Release’ section of the ‘OiNK’ menu to find all the goodies.

OiNK PREViEW iSSUE: A COUPLE OF COVERS

The preview issue of OiNK was reviewed last week here on the blog and the first issue will be popping up tomorrow. But before then I thought I’d share a couple of little extra tidbits about that free promotional edition.

The first thing I want to show you is a little photo I discovered on the OiNK Comic Facebook group when trawling through years of images from fans and cartoonists alike. One of OiNK’s three creators, Patrick Gallagher shared this a good few years ago now so the quality isn’t great (in fact this is the full size of the image so it won’t enlarge if clicked on) but what it shows is the original cover of the dummy issue.

You can see how the logo is a separate piece of paper stuck on there. This was the mock up given to IPC Magazines to see if they’d give it the green light for development and most of its contents would eventually make its way into the preview issue itself. The cover would be redrawn by the superlative Ian Jackson. In an amazing exclusive, Patrick was also able to get the following quote from none other than OiNK editor, Uncle Pigg:

“Undoubtedly the Holy Grail of OiNK artifacts, worth its weight in swill and lovingly cobbled together in the last century AD by a hodge-podge army of scribes and scribblers for the joy of piglets and children alike… the OiNK dummy issue! The one-off mock-up that secured the commission for the subsequent 68 published issues and spin-offs. But what’s inside?… Ah! Maybe one day all will be revealed! Anyone interested to know?” – Uncle Pigg x

Yes, Uncle Pigg, we’d be very interested!

Next up is this cover to the issue of Whizzer and Chips which the preview issue came bagged with. The same week’s Buster comic also gave it away but made no mention of OiNK inside, but here it makes the front page strip. Shiner, Sid’s Snake and Sammy Shrink welcome Buster to the Comics Characters Club and an unfinished drawing of Uncle Pigg joins them!

A few times in the OiNK preview Uncle Pigg is shown drawn by various artists and some chose to have him surrounded by flies and a seemingly strong odour, things that were dropped for the comic proper. I’m assuming when Tom Paterson drew this cover strip the final look of our esteemed editor hadn’t been locked down yet. This might also explain his braces and going topless!

Okay, so that’s us all ready for the start of the OiNK real time read through. Starting tomorrow and continuing all the way through to the end of 2023, whether you’re eager to relive some cherished memories or discover the world’s funniest comic for the first time, I hope you’ll enjoy the ride.