Tag Archives: Dave Huxley


With the latest issue of OiNK comes the return of Hieronymous Van Hellsong in a prequel mini-series by Jeremy Banx. We’d been introduced to the character in the first half dozen weeklies as he tracked down his ultimate target, Jimmy ‘The Cleaver’ Smith. It all ended in tragedy as our hero was made into sausage links and used by the butcher to escape the pig police. (Jeremy is nothing if not original.) This prequel tale is the last story for Hellsong, introduced by a sobbing Uncle Pigg on the Grunts page.

I remember part of this story revolving around him being in the nude, but it doesn’t happen this week so the cover is rather confusing. But nevertheless it’s good to have him back. The same can also be said of The Kingdom of Trump, a name which conjures different images today. At the time it referred to a family with a name that meant nothing more than flatulence. Hmm, maybe some things haven’t changed.

As good as this is, the characters only appeared three times in OiNK, back here for the first time since #43 and as a full-colour page instead of a mini strip. As ever with his pages Davey Jones gives himself a silly name in the credits and fills the strip with lots of funny little details, like the doctor’s tools hidden behind his desk and what looks like a cameo by Smiffy of Bash Street Kids at the public flogging. It wouldn’t be a Davey strip without some awful puns too, and this has one of his best in that final panel.

Beginning in Whizzer and Chips of all places and then continuing into last week’s OiNK, Lew Stringer’s Tom Thug and his Crude Crew reaches its midway point, starting with Tom and a baby, finishing with the complete gang. Surely everyone in OiNKtown will now be quaking in their shoes? Well, not quite. From Tom’s misogyny backfiring (as it should) and the cliché of needing a punk compared to what he ends up with, to a mention of one of my favourite TV shows at the time of OiNK (I can remember laughing at that bit in particular), this one had it all.

I always like it when a character acknowledges they’re living in the pages of a comic, so ending with Tom not only looking directly at us but also acknowledging that his pathetic little gang won’t be able to cause bovver for a whole week, I find particularly funny. That juxtaposition between the panel of the completed gang which catches your eye as soon as you turn the page, and the penultimate one where they all have their excuses is brilliant. It emphasises the difference between how bullies present themselves and how they really are. Classic stuff.

Last week saw a rare thing occur in the history of OiNK when a whole issue went by without a trip to David Haldane’s Zootown. A staple from the very beginning, skipping only occasional issues, I’m very glad to see the loveable, human-esque animals haven’t become a casualty of the page count since going weekly, returning with another quick gag in mini-strip form. Just the one panel this week actually, but that’s all David needed to deliver a good laugh.

Such a shame their continued inclusion can’t be said of some of David’s other creations. In #52 we were told Rubbish Man would be back in a mini series soon (which ends up contained in one of the bigger monthlies) but sadly Hugo the Hungry Hippo seems to have had his fill of chowing down on cities around the world, Godzilla-style. Last seen in The OiNK! Book 1988, his last appearance in the regular comic was way back in #35! We’ll eventually get one more laugh from his insatiable appetite in the third Holiday Special next year, but for now it would seem he’s taking a much earned rest between meals.

Thankfully there are a handful of Laffie (or whatever they’ll be called) strips coming up on a weekly basis very soon

Back to the issue at trotter and Hieronymous Van Hellsong’s prequel begins with a few Beatles gags during the assassination that starts his adventure, and then in Burp’s strip is surely one of the best names created for a funny comic! Lew decided to end his Pete and his Pimple strip with a random little image that, as you can see, had nothing at all to do with the page. However, according to Lew, OiNK’s editors decided to have a little joke themselves and added that cheeky little arrow to it before publication!

The final panel below is from the end of the Billy the Pig serial which comes to a conclusion this week. I haven’t included any of it before now because sadly I just didn’t like it, which is a shock when I think of all those hilarious Laffie the Wonder Pig strips Tony and Chas brought us. But unfortunately Billy reads like any other children’s western adventure story but with pigs in the lead roles, with only the occasional joke added in, rather than being a humour strip.

Thankfully there are a handful of Laffie (or whatever they’ll be called) strips coming up on a weekly basis very soon to redeem this wonderful pairing of writer and artist.

For a strip that would be one of only three to survive beyond the final issue (becoming part of the merge with Buster) recently Weedy Willy has only been popping up occasionally and even then as a mini-strip. Back at the beginning he was mainly seen in full pages and, because of his move into Buster, my memory thought this was how it always was. Written by a variety of talent over the past couple of years, new writer Keith Forrest and regular Willy artist Mike Green have brought him back to full strength again.

Well, as full strength as the character could ever possibly be.

Only appearing in roughy half of the issues in total, Weedy Willy wouldn’t even be part of the final one before the merge, strangely enough. But when he did pop up he was always a highlight. Yes, he could be the butt of the jokes but it was never in a cruel way, it was just exaggerated silliness. Willy had accepted his lack of any form of strength, and the things he’d do to compensate (such as above) were always very funny. Sometimes he’d even get the upper hand over bullies thanks to not being able to do certain things and having to think his way out of situations. He was simply a brilliant character.

In the middle pages is the first poster we’ve seen in quite a while (Simon Thorp’s spoof movie posters were only ever one page in size, meant to be read rather than put on our walls). This is Dave Huxley’s third and final contribution to OiNK, the first being a poster of the Mona Li-sow, then he returned with The Hamformers in the previous Christmas issue. His final piece takes an icon of liberty, of the end of slavery and of welcoming immigrants… and turns her into a cheeky-faced butcher-cooking colossus.

I always felt the name ‘The Statue of Piggery’ didn’t read quite right. While that is an actual word meaning either “a farm where pigs are bred or kept” or “behaviour seen as characteristic of pigs in greed or unpleasantness” so it might make some sense, this is OiNK and its piggy puns don’t have to make sense. So I always thought ‘Piggerty’ was right there to use and would’ve sounded better, but oh well. Given the look on her face I’m not about to argue the point.

Such a shame Dave wouldn’t contribute to any of the remaining issues. In a later interview with Crikey! magazine he says he thinks he was hoping to make a career out of historical pig parodies, but attributes his lack of further posters or Madvertisements to the comic being cancelled. We’re still a long way off from that though, so I don’t know why this was it for his time with Uncle Pigg, but it’s been a blast anyway.

This has to be one of my favourites just because of how stupid it is!

Elsewhere in this issue is a cut-out mask of our aforementioned esteemed editor, Uncle Pigg. This was actually the last in a series which began on the back pages after the weekly calendar had been completed between #45 and #50. Why have I not shown any of them? I thought I’d wait and show you them all in a post of their own, so watch out for that later in the year when we’ve got some time to fill between the monthly OiNKs.

This has to be one of my favourites of co-editor Patrick Gallagher’s coupons, just because of how stupid it is! Next week there’s much more OiNK to enjoy. Three times as much actually. Alongside the regular 24 pages of the weekly comic pig pals would find the second 48-page Holiday Special on the shelves too. So watch out for the full reviews of both next weekend. First up, #56’s will be here on Friday 24th March 2023, the special on Sunday 25th. See you then!


I have so many happy memories associated with OiNK, none more so than in and around Christmas 1987 when the comic was at its height. First up was this superb second festive issue, followed 13 days later on Christmas Day with The OiNK! Book 1988. The double whammy of these two editions can’t be understated as far as I’m concerned. This issue ended up being my favourite regular issue of the comic and the book my very favourite edition of all! Do they live up to the memories? Let’s start with #43.

Just like all the best issues it begins with an Ian Jackson cover, possibly my favourite of his, with apparently obscene words for us kiddies to guess at the time. I always looked forward to the festive issues of my comics and seeing the snow covered logos always made them feel extra special. There may be no multi-page Uncle Pigg strip like last year’s (by this point he and Mary Lighthouse seemed to be limited to the Grunts page and promotions) but it still manages to outdo even that issue with its plethora of Christmassy contents.

Let’s begin with The Night Before Christmas, a Yuletide Tale from David Haldane. Sounds nice and traditional, doesn’t it? It does and it’s right there at the very beginning of the comic, setting the anarchic tone for all that follows. OiNK was always great at taking traditional comic elements and turning them on their head. Surely nothing could be more traditional than Christmas comics, and upon reading this issue the feeling you come away with is one of the whole team having a blast at poking fun the season and everything we loved about it.

Haldane’s naughty child was the epitome of an OiNK reader wrapped up in one quick half-page strip. No, we didn’t really steal all the other children’s gifts from Santa but this cheeky, irreverent nature of the comic was what we lapped up, encapsulated here in the first strip of the issue. Things are looking good. A few pages later Horace (Ugly Face) Watkins gave readers a chance to appear as themselves and show just how irreverent they could be with letters to his headmaster.

After being banned from playing for Melchester United, Horace asked readers to send in letters begging his headmaster to change his mind. Well, the word “begging” was replaced with “telling” by those who wrote in, including one Stu Perrins, an OiNK fan who in recent years has written comics series such as Megatomic Battle Rabbit and Chrono-Cat. All of these readers won a Horace t-shirt which is something I’ve yet to see.

Way back in the mists of time when I reviewed #3 of OiNK I loved a particular spoof of favourite comic and movie stars of mine, the Transformers. Named The Transformoids and drawn by Ralph Shephard, the go-to guy for such stories at the time, it made fun of the characters and their abilities. This issue the target is the Hasbro toy line itself, in the very capable hands of Dave Huxley. This reminds me of my parents’ attempts at following the instructions of my Transformers toys when I got into them about a year later.

I remember my dad in particular treating my Head Master Slapdash like some kind of elaborate Rubik’s Cube puzzle on Christmas Day, following the instructions step-by-step and still not being completely sure he’d got it right in the end. Similarly, the above was based on Dave’s own struggles with his sons Alan’s and John’s Transformers toys which he described as “near lethal” in an article in Crickey! magazine some years later. He even drew his sons into the madvertisement, although apparently they weren’t too impressed.

This next page is so clearly the work of the mind behind Screen Wipe and Black Mirror

Dave’s work would only appear in three issues altogether and he went on to become Dr. David Huxley at the Manchester School of Art and for a while had a page of his work, including one or two OiNK pieces, on their website. Unfortunately he no longer appears on there so must have moved on. However, look out for a post about that Crickey! article at a future date on the blog.

After that hilarious cover, thankfully the OiNK team weren’t done with spicing up our favourite Christmas Carols and who better to write some than Charlie Brooker? As we all know he was still at school at the time of contributing to the comic but this next page is so clearly the work of the mind behind Screen Wipe and Black Mirror. These are great fun and next to the carols is a Christmas pop song, the Jackson 5 version of which I have on my Christmas playlist every year, but now I can’t help but replace the words in my head when it comes on!

Alongside Charlie’s words are some crazy illustrations by Steve Gibson, whose tiny drawings always added so much to the text-based pages of OiNK. If social media is anything to go by these carols are fondly remembered and recited to this day by many pig pals. Oh, and in case you’re wondering ‘James Lost’ is a reference to the ‘happy music’ of James Last, who wasn’t a stranger to releasing some top-selling Christmas ditties.

If like me you make a bit of an occasion out of wrapping your Christmas presents, you might have a TV show (usually Channel Five) counting down favourite Christmas songs and music videos on in the background while you wrap. At some point during it you’re very likely to hear the inspiration behind our next strip, just as you’re guaranteed to see the animation itself on Channel Four. Every. Single. Year. Raymond Briggs’ name is easily changed into a piggy pun and Davy Francis doesn’t disappoint with that and the quick gag of his The Snowbloke.

Despite only sat down and watched the original The Snowman once when I was a kid, seeing even small parts of it on the TV and hearing that song never fails to make me smile because it reminds me my favourite time of the year is here, and hearing something we hear every year at Christmas reminds me of all the things I like to do every festive season. Even seeing this small spoof brings those same feels. I’m really enjoying this issue.

Other highlights here include Ponsonby Claret, the Know-It-All Parrot taking the pirates he lives with to task, Rubbish Man and Boy Blunder’s Christmas dinner has more hidden surprises than any pack of crackers, the GBH Christmas Catalogue order form has one particular addition I found very funny (the Yes/No part) and Weedy Willy finds something he’s capable to contributing to at Christmas that doesn’t strain/exhaust/scare him.

Something you’ll see on the TV every year from about October onwards are a plethora of extravagant, clearly very expensive advertisements for various brands of perfume. It always confused me how they’d spend so much on these every year and yet not one of them actually tells us anything about what the product smells like. This might be a blessing for the next piece of fragrance marketing however, because Jeremy Banx’s Burp appears to have released his own to cash in on the gift giving.

This being Burp of course this particular spray (a deodorant) isn’t straight forward. We’ve all seen how Burp interacts with his internal organs, how many of them act independently of their host, even leaving his body to go and live the lives of villains, superheroes and lovers in the outside world. So, after a suitably moral reminder that beauty is not just skin deep the following strip really takes a turn for the bizarre.

I love how Burp is interrupting each of his organs as they go about their daily lives inside his body, reading OiNK, eating dinner or simply having a nice, relaxing glass of wine. Then, just as the stupidity and weirdness ends Burp reminds the reader that all of these fragrances etc are really about inner confidence, not the glamorous models on TV. A wonderful way of poking fun at those advertisements and with a laugh in every panel.

The last page I want to show you is another of those traditions we loved as kids, writing the letter to Santa Claus and who better to type out one in OiNK than Hadrian Vile, as ever written by Mark Rodgers and drawn by Ian Jackson. I remember writing my letter several months before Christmas, my parents reading it over and over (it was as if they wanted to memorise it for some reason) before it went up the chimney fire to Santa.

“Noeboddy wud bee daft enuff to dress up in a red duffel cote and climb down chimbleys.”

Hadrian Vile

I’m glad Hadrian waited until now to write his though, it makes for a great strip near the back of the issue just as young readers were preparing for their holidays and the arrival of the man with the bag. There may only be three drawn panels to go alongside the pages of the letter but they’re packed with detail and lots of sight gags and cameos from other characters in Hadrian’s regular diary. Watch out for a special mention of Mark’s friend and OiNK writer Graham Exton too!

After this issue it was only 13 days until Christmas Day itself when that gorgeous big, floppy and ultra glossy book would be brought down “ower chimbleys”. I’d seen it on the shelves of my local newsagents for a couple of months now and marvelled at its shine and the big grinning pig face on the cover. It really stood out amongst all the other annuals and I’m so excited to almost be at the point when I’ll be reviewing it for the blog. When can you see it? That’ll be on The Big Day itself of course. While it had been in the shops for a while, we all received our annuals from Santa, didn’t we?

Of course, I’ll be breaking the rules of the real time read through a little bit and reading it a few days in advance simply because it’s Christmas, but it’ll be published first thing Christmas Morning so you’ll have a bit of OiNK to wake up to as we did 35 years ago. One more rule break; the Hogmanay issue’s date is Boxing Day so it appeared early, a few days before Christmas back in 1987. I can’t be sure of the exact date and I didn’t read my issue until Boxing Day because it just didn’t feel right back then to celebrate the New Year before Santa had even been. So I’ll be keeping to the cover date for that one. A double whammy or you, OiNK reviews two days in a row.

With all of this to look forward to back in 1987, the news of the comic turning weekly in January (drawn above by Patrick Gallagher) was just the icing and the marzipan on the cake. Of course, we weren’t to know yet of the changes to come when it went weekly but the excitement at this time was electric for pig pals; the festive season had so much to enjoy and the future looked very bright and very pink indeed. 

For now it’s time to sign off, but watch out for a little extra OiNK-related post on Christmas Eve as Psycho Gran prepares to welcome the jolly man down her chimney and in the meantime I hope you’re all having as good a holiday season as I am. The blog is jam-packed with content this month and it’s nowhere near over yet! Check out this post for more details (including a special make-your-own OiNK Christmas Angel from this issue), then the review for The OiNK! Book 1988 will be here on Christmas Day and #44 on Boxing Day.