Tag Archives: David Leach

OiNK! #42: FASHiONABLY FUNNY

The always brilliant J.T. Dogg kicks off the latest issue of OiNK, issue 42 the Fantastic Fashion Issue. This was one of the most memorable covers for me as a kid. While I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about Michael Jackson my siblings were, but I did love Weird Al Jankovic’s parody and OiNK’s tribute was right up there in my opinion, as you’ll see in just a little bit. Just a couple of quick notes about the issue first though.

OiNK seems to have settled into a set title banner, making it more visible on the newsagent shelves and inside on page three there’s a slight mistake in the copyright banner, the bit where it says OiNK was devised by OiNK! Publishing Ltd and published by Fleetway, can’t be sold for more than the cover price etc., that sort of thing. Instead of the usual “Published every fortnight” it says “every Friday”, which I remember spotting as a kid and getting so excited for the new year and the promise of twice as much OiNK!

Let’s get straight to the headline act then and Mark Rodgers’ rewording of one of Michael Jackson’s earliest hits, Bad. Change Jackson to Jaxham and ‘Bad’ to ‘Mad’ and you’ve got a sure-fire hit on your trotters. To enjoy this fully is to read it to the original tune, so make sure you have that firmly in your head before you start. The lyrics are just as mad as the titular character and to go alongside them is his new hit music video, drawn just like the cover by J.T. Dogg.

As you read, the daftest parts of the song are hilariously brought to life by Malcolm’s beautiful, colourful art and I remember showing this off to lots of my friends at school at the time, due to many being huge fans of the real singer. As a child I thought it was brilliant that OiNK was taking on a real worldwide megastar and he wouldn’t be the last, especially when the comic became a monthly aimed at an older audience later in the run. For now though, this is a perfectly judged piece loved by everyone in that original (and best) target audience.

Never underestimate OiNK’s ability to pull the rug out from under the reader.

Despite being the cover star, Michael Jaxham isn’t the biggest thing to appear in this issue, not by a long shot actually. That honour goes to the spectacular five-page(!) conclusion to The Spectacles of Doom vs The Monocle of Mayhem, Tony Husband’s take on all those hugely enjoyable but completely ridiculous 80s fantasy films, drawn in exquisite detail by Andy Roper. After two pages of black and white strip we’re treated to this simply stunning, and of course very funny, spread of the battle we’ve been promised for weeks.

There’s so much going on here it benefits from taking your time to really look at the small details. The tiny, sweet looking bird with the flame breath, the tickly hand creature, the jet being stopped by a giant cactus and in turn its flame engines taking out one of its colleagues. There’s even a plop in the midst of it all. I love the way Endor seems to have called upon his friends from other pages of the issue including Mr Big Nose and the two Franks, little and large.

According to co-editor Patrick Gallagher the person on the right with the glasses is most likely one of Andy’s colleagues from Cosgrove Hall called Clint Priest (also an animator on the OiNK team’s Round the Bend series). Clint is just gingerly waving hello to the reader and not getting directly involved. Smart move. The strip carries on for another colour page but how could they top that to finish? With something you’d never have seen coming (much like our hero doesn’t). Never underestimate OiNK’s ability to pull the rug out from under the reader.

Despite the ending Endor would be back once more in The OiNK! Book 1989 in an even more impressive spectacle (no pun intended, honest). I can’t remember how they brought him back, or even if they addressed how, but I’ll find out eventually in just over a year. Beginning in January the weekly OiNKs are quite partial to ongoing serials so watch out for a selection of them starting in #45’s review.

Both of the above highlights are in the first handful of pages of this issue. Talk about a strong start. But how can the rest hope to follow? Well, how about the promise of a new prize for Grunts page contributions in the shape of a piggy pink OiNK binder for your precious comics, Horace (Ugly Face) Watkins making the goal that would win over reluctant footy fans, Harry the Head realising he’s not cut out for going for a dip and Roger Rental he’s Completely Mental giving himself a ‘pat on the head in the fashion stakes.

As you can see this issue of OiNK is chock full of what we’ve all come to expect by now and it continues with one of the most popular characters, Pete Throb whose strip gets renamed this issue to Pete and That Trendy ol’ Pimple of His! Lew Stringer takes aim at the ridiculousness of ever-changing fashions and, let’s face it, the 80s kind of deserved it. From the very first panel I was laughing at the shoulder pads, the dress sense and the “easier to draw” new hairdo.

This is the perfect example of this issue’s subject. Really, do kids care about fashion? So Lew swipes at the way people can jump on bandwagons so easily and yet be so fickle as to jump to the next shiny thing that comes along, no matter how dedicated they were to what had come before. It reminds me not only of my own older siblings at the time but also an episode of Knight Rider when K.I.T.T. got rather confused at the idea of new fashion seasons. (“Did last year’s clothes not perform their function?”)

It’s this that I found particularly funny as a kid because Lew, and the issue as a whole, was a way for us readers to have a good laugh at the older kids, as well as our own brothers and sisters and the way they’d act and dress. Of course, later in all our teen years we were just as guilty. Also, it’s always fun to see an example of an OiNK cartoonist drawing another’s character for their own strips. Little cameos like Rubbish Man’s here always felt a bit special, no matter how fleeting.

Surely no one screams stardom, sets trends or could be accused of being a fashionista quite like Frank Sidebottom. A hip and happening photographer couldn’t ask for a better model (is this Chris Sievey’s depiction of his own official photographer John Barry?), although it appears Frank’s most defining features aren’t the reason he was hired. Even in black and white Chris’s work is lovely, the pencil work on the fabric of his shirt textured just right.

When I was young there were certain things I didn’t like to do, just like any other child and the more I was told to do them properly the more I wanted to skip around them somehow. Brushing my teeth was one of those things. I don’t know why, I think it may have bored me, but it was just something I hated doing back then. In the mornings before school I had no choice, but I always did them as quickly as possible and never brushed them before bed if I could get away with it. (This is obviously not something any young readers of this blog should copy, or course!)

That all changed with this issue of OiNK and this next strip, Trendy Wendy. Written by the master of comic lyrics, Lew Stringer and drawn by fellow Northern Ireland resident Ian Knox I can remember clear as a bell reading this in my Aunt May’s house (who I’ve mentioned before during these issues making up OiNK’s Golden Age). I was casually enjoying it, giggling away to myself as I had done for the previous 21 pages until the final panel.

This might sound silly to you, that a silly strip like this could hit me quite hard but it certainly did. Getting a point across with comedy is a tried and tested formula in many things I’ve read and watched as an adult, but it was a surprise a month before my tenth birthday. I can’t remember the exact thought process that went through my head but from that moment on I brushed my teeth at least twice a day, every day.

OiNK taught its young readers a thing or two along the way, things which we actually listened to thanks to the method of its messages

What I do distinctly remember is once in my early 20s coming home from a night out, a little worse for wear and just wanting to collapse into bed and hope the room didn’t start to spin. But Wendy popped up in my head and I found myself trying (and possibly failing) to drunkenly brush my teeth before retiring, even though it had been years since I’d read any of these comics! I’ve said before OiNK helped form my sense of humour but it also taught its young readers a thing or two along the way, things which we actually listened to thanks to the method of its messages.

Before we move on you’ll want to warm up your printer. We’ve had some cut out figures before in OiNK but this is by far the best of the bunch. David Leach’s Psycho Gran appearance in the fashion issue had a little bit of crafting for the young readers to attempt. Of course, these are very intricate drawings for youngsters to cut around so I wonder if anyone actually did? I particularly like the Judge Dredd option which seems to suit her perfectly, given the form of justice she’d dish out.

In 2018 David would reprint this page in his Psycho Gran Versus #2 comic. The whole issue was dedicated to Charlotte as this page above was. Charlotte was David’s sister, Charlotte Claire Gurtler (Leach) who sadly passed away in 2018. Preferring to go by the name Dot, David said she would’ve made a great Psycho Gran herself. Maybe there’s a little of Charlotte in Psycho’s new comics to this day.

Just before we finish off, this issue saw the introduction of what has possibly gone on to be the most sought after piece of OiNK merchandise today. It’s rather fitting it would be announced in the fashion issue, given that it was a super trendy sweatshirt with the OiNK logo emblazoned on the front. The slogan down the left side of the hip hog (drawn by Mike Taylor) is just as well remembered as the sweatshirt itself.

Unfortunately I never ordered it and to this day I’ve yet to see so much as a photo of it. After finally being able to get a hold of my beloved OiNK mug and a mint condition OiNK 45 record (the only two pieces of merch I owned originally) this is surely the one I have to get next! However, the chances of finding one are next to none, never mind one in wearable condition. But a pig pal can dream. Are you listening, Santa?

Speaking of the jolly red-suited man with a bag the next issue of OiNK is our second (and final) Christmas issue. It has a lot to live up to because from memory this is my very favourite (definitely my most memorable) regular issue of OiNK. From its classic Ian Jackson cover to its Tom Thug Christmas Angel it’s a festive treat not to be missed. Speaking of Tom, watch out for a special Christmas preview post in a couple of days.

The jolliest issue of the funniest comic ever will be up for review right here on Monday 12th December 2022.

OiNK! #41: POP-OUT COMiC

It’s been a long time since we’ve had the pleasure of a Jeremy Banx cover, the last one was way back in #19 at the beginning of last year. His covers hold a special place in my piggy heart since his was the first one I ever saw in #14. For this issue’s front page Burp the Smelly Alien is giving himself an all-over body workout, quite literally. But despite Burp’s starring role, the biggest headline is given to Pete Throb of Pete and his Pimple.

Inside this issue is an eight-page pull-out comic all about one of OiNK’s most popular characters, Lew Stringer’s creation who had really captured the imaginations of the young readers. He certainly had when I was in the target audience, he quickly became one of my favourites and I was hugely excited by this issue. We’ll come back to him in a bit, first up Burp earns his front page stardom with another unique double-page spread.

It’s a delightfully written tale of our smelly friend simply enjoying himself while on holiday. It just so happens that holiday is on a distant, desolate planet made entirely of sand. The first page alone would’ve made for a great strip, with its atmospheric captions and imaginative representations of this wonder of the universe, only for it to house Burp’s holiday ranch! Naturally. But we also have him enjoying his unique vacation before, as always, he inadvertently causes a bit of chaos.

Just try to explain this one and why it’s so funny to anyone who has never read OiNK!

If there was an ongoing theme to Burp’s strips it would be how his good natured intentions always produce the opposite results. Whether it’s his never-ending quest to ingratiate himself with us humans or annoying the large god-like beings of the universe while doing a deep space tour. Here, even on a lifeless planet he still somehow ruin things, even if only for himself this time. This is one of my favourite Burps. It’s just such a unique strip, but then again most of Jeremy’s are; just try to explain this one and why it’s so funny to anyone who has never read OiNK!

At the beginning of the latest Psycho Gran it appears David Leach has decided not to follow the issue’s theme of health and fitness, unless you go down the route of saying an explosion does affect people’s wellbeing. But if we’ve learned anything since her debut in #15, it’s that we should never try to predict or assume with Psycho.

Nice to see another little cameo from Albert, the long-suffering life partner of our little old dear. Also, did you pick up on the gag of what’s really on those papers held by newsreaders? In case you’re wondering what the shout out in the title panel is all about, no David hadn’t finally been let go from a prisoner of war camp. David tells me he’d had an emergency appendix operation in the Prince of Wales hospital in Bridgend in Wales and had ended up in for a week, so wanted to give a big thanks to everyone there.

Regular readers might recall the Scare Boars from #13, the first Hallowe’en issue. They were GBH’s take on the Care Bears, one of the 80s’ biggest toy and cartoon franchises. Ingeniously created, co-creator/co-editor Patrick Gallagher still owns one of them to this day and posted a video of them together last year, which you can see in the review. A year later and GBH are back with more cuddly monstrosities, this time with the Crummi Boars, Spotti, Snotti, Potti and Scratchi.

This time it was a riff on Disney’s Gummi Bears, another toy and cartoon hit, which themselves were clearly inspired by the success of the Care Bears, although officially they were based on the chewy sweets. Of course, once something became a hit with the UK kids of the 80s OiNK was ready to pounce. With a lot of the original names ending with an ‘I’ and each one having a very specific, narrow characteristic it was the perfect franchise to rip into. Again, as with many of the props used in OiNK’s madverts recently, the little details are superb.


“See Janice and John ignore a warning sign.”

Janice and John and the thermonuclear reactor (Mark Rodgers)

The Crummi Boars may have been a spiritual sequel to a previous madvertisement, but in this issue we get an actual sequel to a much earlier strip. In fact, this issue’s story starring Janice and John was mentioned way back in #7! Why did it take 34 issues to arrive? Well, if you’ve been following along over this past year-and-a-bit you’ll know all about their original story leading two people (only two) to complain about OiNK to The Press Council, which the comic then responded to in #28!

While the complaint was rejected these things can take a while to work through, hence why there was a 21 issue gap between the two stories. The editorial team would’ve been just right not to print another until the outcome of the complaint was known. By now more than enough time had passed, even after OiNK’s cheeky rasp to the complainers, so finally here’s the long-promised second part of Uncle Pigg’s Reading Course, Janice and John and the thermonuclear reactor, written by Mark Rodgers.

Unfortunately they wouldn’t return to face the demons from hell, but the two we got were great fun. The first is my favourite, possibly because it was the first and made a bigger impression, or possibly because of the furore it created at the time (which has been wrongly attributed to OiNK’s much later cancellation). Either way, it’s a shame we won’t see any more of Trevor Johnson’s great way of spoofing classic children’s picture panel stories. In fact, we won’t see any more of Trevor at all until the second OiNK Book, which most of us didn’t read until after OiNK’s final issue!

But this isn’t the last you’ll hear of his work, specifically Janice and John, on the blog. There’s a very special post planned for next year which takes a behind-the-scenes look into the complaint made against OiNK and the process between OiNK Publishing and IPC Magazines, thanks to insider information and documents provided to me by co-creator/co-editor Mark Rodgers’ wife Helen Jones! For now though, let’s take a peak at some other highlights before our main event.

Horace (Ugly Face) Watkins’ cross-country training for his new football career takes a turn for the worse when sliding on a cowpat isn’t the worst thing to happen, Ireland represents on the Grunts page, we take a closer look at the lead singer of The Slugs (although I wouldn’t recommend getting too close) and in the penultimate chapter of The Spectacles of Doom versus The Monocle of Mayhem Andy Roper’s detailed art (right down to the monocle on the skull flags) is once again the star as the nasties assemble for battle.

With all of these highs, it’d be quite the feat to outshine them all. It might even require a character to have their very own pull-out comic to stand out. What luck! That’s exactly what Pete Throb of Pete and his Pimple fame has in this very issue, an eight-page mini-comic. According to Lew Stringer, the idea was Mark Rodgers’, who wanted to do an occasional series of such pull-outs spotlighting (no pun intended) different characters.

I never pulled the comic out, I didn’t want to destroy one of my beloved OiNKs, although I was tempted to colour in the cover. (I never did.) Inside was a five-page Pete story by Lew, made up of three strip pages and a centre-spread poster of him and his pals, including object of Tom Thug’s desire Zeta (Pete’s sister), fighting the alien Zitbusters! This was followed by Zeta’s pimply problem column, Acne Activity Time with art by Ed McHenry and a look at Pete’s Acne Ancestors written by Lew but drawn by Mike Higgs.

Pete was always one of my childhood favourites, although I wouldn’t be such a fan of pimples a few years later. I wasn’t alone, with Pete frequently climbing to the top spots (again, no pun intended, I swear) of reader polls, so he was a natural choice for the first of these little specials. Unfortunately there’d never be a second mini-comic, which could be because of the changes that would come to OiNK when it went weekly (less pages) and then monthly (some main contributors left and some strips were given multi-page stories anyway).

Just as well our only one is quite brilliant then! Below is the Pete strip and the poster which made up the main battle. A battle in a Pete and his Pimple story? Not only that, he was battling scary aliens called Clive, Trevor, Darren and Sharon on their never-ending quest to enslave all those who dare have pimply complexions throughout the cosmos. It also gives us a little look into Pete’s everyday life including his local greasy hang out and his equally spotty pals.

If you’re going to create a special comic inside an OiNK you may as well go bigger and zanier than ever with the main story, right? Lew certainly did. As always, it pays to read it slowly and pick up on all the little sight gags, such as Shaun’s t-shirt slogan, the Greasy Spoon’s menu and of course the slap up feeds at the end. My personal favourite moment is Pete’s heroic speech, a moment where for once he can be the saviour instead of the nuisance, cut short by the fact the aliens had already left.

Of course, all of that glowing praise in the final panel would be short lived and we’d be back to normal next time. I think this issue shows more than any other why OiNK should’ve stayed in this format as a fortnightly 32-page comic with subjects to tailor the contents around. As a child, the news below was exciting (and I can remember my mum giving off that she’d have to pay for it twice as much) but little were we to know the news would lead to some not-so-welcome changes too.

Still, there are another three favourite issues to come, one of which could take the crown as the best regular issue of all going from my memory of reading it as a child! Plus next month contains the greatest OiNK of all! Ooh, I’m all excited again. Next up though is the Fantastic Fashion Issue with a quite ‘Mad’ cover to match. It’ll be up for review on Monday 28th November 2022.

OiNK! #38: A FEAST OF FUNNiES

A cover that would surely stand out on the shelves, a full-page photograph of Frank Sidebottom (aka Chris Sievey) and Marc Riley as his alter ego Snatcher Sam getting into what appears to be a food fight, with a promise of a full story inside. Frank never seemed to be off our television screens at the time, so having him in OiNK was a major coup for the comic, having him on the cover even more so. Well, it would be if his face wasn’t covered with those wonderful stickers, of course.

Our third and final set includes the same ‘Stick with OiNK’ on the back as previous issues and an array of stars with Burp, Horace (Ugly Face) Watkins, Harry the Head and Frank himself on the good quality, bright yellow stickers. The butcher one in particular I remember, I think it ended up on our fridge back in 1987 but not for very long. We wouldn’t get any more free gifts until the final issue, a gift that would lead me directly to my next comic obsession.

The Story Behind the Cover strip was the first time we’d seen Frank and Sam in a photo story since #26 (something which used to be a regular occurrence for Sam in the early issues) and here it’s split up into three small chunks, with the conclusion on page 31. However, the first two parts are also split up over the opening pages, the bottom half on page two and the second at the top of page three. Why? Comic timing (no pun intended).

Have you ever turned over a page of a comic and something towards the end of the strip catches your eye? Or have you ever been reading a page and your eye happens to wonder just for a split second when something further down comes within eye level, revealing the big gag early? (Just me?) I love how this stops the strip at the point where Frank’s turn of phrase suggests something very different to what actually happens, then the gag lands when we start on the next page.

That pie thrown in the final image would be seen throughout the comic thanks to co-creator/co-editor Patrick Gallagher as it wings its way to the inner back page. The pie isn’t the only addition to some pages, there are little plops here and there with suitable puns, much like we had in the very earliest issues, in particular the preview issue. These were added to the previous two OiNKs too, adding to that feeling of newness I described during #36’s review.

We’ll get back to that at the end of the issue, as intended. As I mentioned in the OiNK’s Golden Age post this was my very favourite time in OiNK’s run, mainly because all of my very favourite characters, writers and cartoonists were present in almost every issue. One character who’d I’d always thought was a regular from the moment she first appeared was Psycho Gran by the insanely talented (and all round decent feller) David Leach.

Old Lady Psycho appeared seemingly randomly from #15 up to this point, partly because David didn’t know she was to be a regular character until that issue was published. Her Maniacal Majesty was at her most prolific in these latter fortnightlies, in fact apart from the next issue she’ll be in every one until OiNK turns weekly, when she unfortunately disappears, only popping up in three of the regular issues after that. Although her appearance in the second annual is not to be missed! So she’s another reason to enjoy the rest of this year’s issues.

A loveable character, often the subject of body shaming his cheery demeanour would see him get one over the bullies

Also introduced in #15 and advertised as a regular was Fatty Farmer, normally written by Mark Rodgers and drawn by Mike Green. Farmer appeared in five issues, then this is only his third appearance since and he’d only have three more after this. He was a loveable character, often the subject of body shaming he’d never let it get to him and his cheery demeanour would see him get one over the bullies every time.

Here however, he’s eaten a load of cream cheese just before bedtime and, playing on the old tale of cheese giving you nightmares if you eat it late at night, he drifts into a disturbed sleep in Fatty Farmer’s Nightmare! A Blubbery Bonus. This time the script has been written by new OiNK scribe Vaughan Brunt, with Mike as ever providing the art. Written as a rhyme it starts off silly and just gets sillier.

I’m a sucker for a comical shark and Mike doesn’t disappoint here. For a start trying to strangle a shark is funny enough, never mind the giant, crazy eyes, lack of pectoral fins making it look like a long, silly sausage and the little “Dunslop” sign on the front of its rubber body! This was the only time Fatty Farmer got a full page to himself and I think it’s Mike’s art that really makes it. It could’ve been written for any character but Mike brings such ‘character‘ to the lead it feels like a perfect fit.

Other highlights of this issue include Burp making a perfect political statement three decades early, Death’s hilarious reaction to an unwelcome visitor, our dense-but-buffed Endor and his magical spectacles being woken from their apparently cuddly sleep when the Monocle of Mayhem is stolen by a ghost and Pete giving us a hint as to why he may have that pimple in the first place.

A quick note on those last two panels. This was the first appearance for new serial Jimmy Flynn, a boy who was “bathed in a weird light from a flying saucer” and ever since could make his skeleton jump out of his skin to go and investigate spooky goings-on. Each strip would hype a ‘Special Guest Star’ in the title too, only for that special guest to appear inconsequentially in one panel, as Larry Hogman (Larry Hagman, Dallas) does here.

This issue saw the very first contribution from none other than Kev F Sutherland. A prolific cartoonist in OiNK’s weekly and monthly issues (his work would make up about a sixth of the final issue!) this was the only time his art would be seen in the fortnightlies but it’s great to see him join the fray at last. A small, quarter-page three-panel Madvertisement riffing off the McDonald’s TV adverts of the time, not only is this Kev’s first OiNK strip, it’s his very first published work.

So a little bit of comics history right there. Kev went on to be a cartoonist in titles as diverse as Beano, Toxic, Doctor Who Adventures and Red Dwarf Magazine. Today he also visits schools to teach comics creation, performs with socks puppets as The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre and you can check out his 17-part podcast series Comic Cuts – The Panel Show on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

When you’re a heavy, building-sized robotic pig there’s no way you can’t make an impact

I’ve been looking forward to Kev’s time in the comic and forgot all about this little strip. Having proven himself we had to wait until #49 to see him again but it’ll be worth the wait. Some of the very best strips in the monthlies are from Kev; The March of the Killer Breakfasts and a simply brilliant strip about three scientists discovering time travel are stand outs from those final issues. Kev also had a series called simply Meanwhile… which would have a completely different scenario every time, all linked together by nothing more than his unique art style and even more unique sense of humour. You’ll see some of those next year.

One character who didn’t appear too often, showing up for just five regular issues and both annuals, but who made a huge impact with readers and remains a fan favourite to this day was Pigswilla. Then again, when you’re a heavy, building-sized robotic pig there’s no way you can’t make an impact. He returns this issue in Beware the Bread-Beast from Beyond. As you can see Lew Stringer’s gorgeous colour work has returned, as has his rhyming storytelling.

It’s all very funny, that exclamation by the Bread-Beast at the top of the second page along with his facial expression made me genuinely roar! You know you’re in for a treat when you turn a page and find Pigswilla is in the issue and we were never let down. The strip ends with cut-out finger puppets and by the initials it appears Mark Rodgers had a hand (boom! boom!) in those. It wasn’t the first time OiNK featured such things and Lew would do something similar to brilliant effect with his Combat Colin strip in Marvel UK’s Transformers a few years later.

The next strip takes up two pages, although it’s not a double-page spread, instead we turn over for the second half. This isn’t for comic timing this time, instead it means they can be presented as the front and back covers of a spoof comic. When I read this issue for the first time since childhood I was surprised to see it because the first annual had a superb, multi-page spoof of The Beano and The Dandy and it would’ve been on sale at this time (although most of us didn’t get it until Christmas, of course). Nevertheless, here’s the first time OiNK took a direct swipe at DC Thomson’s best-seller with The Deano.

This was all a well-meaning jest, a parody of the long established comics. As OiNK writer Graham Exton once told me parody is when you poke fun at something you admire, satire is something different, and these were always intended as parodies. For example, this was written by co-creator/co-editor Mark Rodgers who (according to Graham I should add) would always have a Beano Book next to the loo for guests in his house to read while they did their business.


“There’s a new butcher in town, gang! Let’s splat him!”

Scramble

Brought to life by Les ‘Lezz’ Barton, it emphasises the running gag that the comics were tired and had been going on too long with the volume and issue numbers, and it all goes rather dark on the second page. I’m not referring to the lights being turned off, let’s be clear Dennis has just minced and eaten his pet dog! Then again, we are reading a comic which advertised burgers made of butchers in its preview issue so the precedent was set.

Percy Piglet turning the light out will actually get mentioned in our final highlight from this issue but just before that here’s the winner of Granada TV’s Scramble competition as promised. I actually prefer runner up Ian Marshall’s Professor Foible but I wasn’t judging and when the winning strip is that of a gang of punk pigs it’s clear this was always going to be the winner. After all, co-editor Tony Husband was (and still is) a huge fan of punk music and always saw OiNK as the comic equivalent.

I’m sure Michael Spencer of Poynton was thrilled to see his work in the comic, introduced by Uncle Pigg and the plops on the previous page. You can’t fault the imagination on show and it reminds me of the comics my friend Roger and I made for each other in school, which were usually riffs on Marvel UK comics such as Transformers and The Real Ghostbusters. From memory, Roger created The Battleoids and School Busters, while mine were called War-Bots and The Real Smokebusters. Hmm, definitely not as original as Michael’s strip.

Time to round off this issue’s review with the conclusion of our photo story starring Marc Riley as Snatcher Sam and Chris Sievey as Frank Sidebottom. The custard pie has made its way through the comic to end up splattered all over Sam so the OiNK photographer finally gets their shot. In response the reluctant cover stars plot revenge and this is where the reference from earlier comes back to funny effect.

The lucky young star here who got to meet some of the OiNK team was Scott Steward, neighbour of Patrick Gallagher‘s. Thanks again to Patrick for the info and as always he’s sent along a recent photograph to show us Scott as he is now. Hello Scott!

That’s our feast of an issue at an end and it’s been a belter from start to finish. It should come as no shock that I think the same of the next one, at least from memory anyway. After that will be the Hallowe’en issue which (along with the Christmas edition later on this year) I seem to recall was one of my very favourite OiNKs of all time. So good times ahead then! The next OiNK review, of the Games and Puzzles Issue will be here on Monday 17th October 2022. See you then, pig pals!