Tag Archives: Ian Jackson

OiNK! #63: NEW PiG ON THE BLOCK

That looks a bit different, doesn’t it? While OiNK did change a little for the weeklies, this was a complete transformation. As I said previously I liked the funky new logo as a kid but nowadays I already miss the original. Note how it promotes itself as a “magazine” now too. It’s thicker, glossy (again) and monthly, but its contents is that of a pure comic. Mad and Cracked were marketed as magazines and you may spot a little in-joke there on the cover, but this was a rebranding based solely on its new physical form. There was no such thing as monthly children’s humour comics at the time.

Lew Stringer made a good point about the younger audience not having the patience to wait a month between issues

Inside, it was our OiNK but ramped up to Holiday Special levels. 48 pages in total and back to the paper it was printed on for its first 35 editions. As such it feels very special when you first get your trotters on it. Later monthlies would benefit from content created specifically for the format (just like the weeklies eventually did), for now it feels a bit like two weeklies stapled together and with good reason, the change had come suddenly. Over the next six months you’ll spot a shift, not only in the size of some of the strips but also their tone, as OiNK repositioned itself into the teen market, which I feel was a mistake as I mentioned back in #61‘s review.

When discussing these last six issues with Lew Stringer he made a good point about the younger audience not having the patience to wait a month between issues. I did because I had a regular order and other comics to fill the gaps by this stage. However, at such a young age that long wait was the reason I never collected new comics such as Death’s Head even though I enjoyed the first issue, because by the time the next one came along my attention span had forgotten all about it! This could’ve contributed to OiNK’s sales falling. But we’ll get to that later, there are six big porkers to enjoy first. Let’s begin this one with Cowpat County.

Davy Francis’ strip of “The Everyday Lives of Country Folk” was the very first to appear in OiNK, in the preview issue no less. A fan favourite, it was strange to learn it was only a regular for 14 issues before appearing sporadically from then on. This is actually the penultimate outing for this daft lot. They’ll be missed but Davy’s contributions will continue in different forms, no fear.

This was possibly intended to sit comfortably both on the regular comics shelves and those higher ones W.H.Smith had banished it to

Elsewhere Grunts is renamed as simply ‘OiNK’s Piggin’ Crazy Readers’ where Uncle Pigg introduces us to the ‘new’ publication and the characters within, even though many are long-established strips. This was clearly intended as a kind of reboot for the comic for a different audience than originally intended, possibly to sit comfortably both on the regular comics shelves (as it did in my newsagent) and those higher ones W.H.Smith had already banished it to.

Something the teen audience would definitely have appreciated (or rather, not appreciated) was acne. Pete and his Pimple had always been a popular addition ever since he first ‘popped’ up in #15. Here, we’re treated to two strips for Lew’s character, originally intended for #63 and #64 if OiNK had continued in its previous format. We kick off (no pun intended) with this memorable one about the flying naked rugby players. It’s silly and immature fun and we loved it! Heck, I still do, it’s just so ludicrous (or Lewdicrous I should say).

Did you spot (again, no pun intended, I swear) the little mention of Cowpat County’s cartoonist there?

As you can see in the second strip the ongoing tale of Pete and Spotless Suzie comes to an early close. While she was perfectly fine with his huge zit (due to her Y.T.S. course on compost analysis) she also understood Pete’s desire to see the back of it and would help out with the reader suggestions coming in thick and fast. After all of the elaborate suggestions comes a very simple one from Glasgow’s Stephen Donnelly. Bribery. We even end up with a brand new strip.

I was surprised to see just how much of a thug Pete turned into so quickly, but I did enjoy seeing Lew depict himself throughout, and what pig pal doesn’t want to get their hands on some Uncle Pigg notes? Of course Pete gets his comeuppance and loses everything in the end. A harsh lesson for young Mr. Throb but a necessary and ultimately funny one. There’s a lesson for the readers here too, about hubris when we overcome challenges in our lives that others still face, of not pulling the ladder up behind us so to speak, told through humour and it’s just as relevant today.

Written by Charlie Brooker and (I’m going to assume) assembled by co-editor Patrick Gallagher, this GBH Video Madvertisement not only fits their usual M.O. perfectly, it also reminds me of all the ludicrous low-budget knock-off movies that pop up when big blockbusters are released. I’ve seen some of those horrible Transformers and War of the Worlds copies on the SciFi Channel and these GBH ones sound better than all of them! Speaking of Transformers, The Transformoids make another appearance in this issue but it’s not a sequel to the brilliant strip in #3, it is the strip from #3.

Yes, the dreaded reprints have begun. By 1989 and into the early 90s some of my other comics would also begin doing this, although OiNK was the first as far as I was concerned. At the time I wasn’t aware until a later monthly issue, as the ones used were from before I discovered the comic, but unfortunately the much hyped ‘bigger’ OiNK wasn’t all new material, despite it being just two-years-old. It’s only six pages (Transformoids and the first two Superstar Posters) this time but you can’t help feel a bit cheated. Within the next year or so reprints became a regular thing across the UK comics market.

Fleetway published two very lucrative fortnightly comics based solely around the idea of reprints

As the UK market became saturated sales of individual titles fell, much like the videogame crash earlier in the decade, so cutbacks had to be made and “classic” tales would return to fill out page counts for cheap. Fleetway even published two very lucrative fortnightly comics based solely around the idea, namely Big Comic Fortnightly and Funny Fortnightly, which Marvel UK then copied with its Marvel Bumper Comic. While reprints were great for newer readers (I personally liked catching up on older Transformers stories I’d missed, for example) it was a sticking point for long-time fans and I could see why.

OiNK had always been a little more expensive than its contemporaries, a result of the earlier gloss paper, its fortnightly schedule (thus less issues to make money on) and being produced independently. Now, with the return of higher quality paper and a much higher page count a few reprints would help keep costs manageable without increasing the cover price even higher. It still contained 42 pages of all new material, including many choice highlights such as these below.

Dallasenders Motel had been a story in #23 made up of six photo-mini-strips, but the one here (renamed ‘Neighbours of the Dallasenders Motel’) was brand new, made up of seven full-page episodes originally intended to run across multiple weekly issues. Elsewhere, Tom Thug’s constant truancy comes to an end and he faces a reading and comprehension test, Batbottom and Bobbins continue their takeover of Frank’s page and cover star Arnold Schwarzenhogger gave us his Guide to [Ham] Acting.

Back in 1988 I was so excited to see the next strip, the return at last of The Sekret Diary ov Hadrian Vile Aged 8 5/8 (yearƨ). The last entry of his diary was back in #50, then his mini-series about television took over the back pages from #56 to #61. As a child I’d always assumed the diary would return and this appeared to be the case here. Unfortunately not, though. No more diaries would appear in the regular comic, just the one in The OiNK! Book 1989 released later in the year. Despite this, this issue’s strip shows the potential for future storylines involving his baby sister who we first met in #37.

While Ian Jackson‘s art is as brilliantly funny as ever (so is Mark Rodgers‘ script), the typed sentences aren’t as chaotic as usual, making me think this part of the page was finished in a bit of a hurry. I’d guess this strip was originally planned for the weeklies when the diary was due to return after the aforementioned Vidiots series, but as previously mentioned by Patrick Gallagher, “Ian Jackson and Jeremy Banx were also very busy on their other work outside of OiNK and since we had a healthy stockpile of other artists’ material building up, we were never short to allow them a break.”

This suggests the diary wasn’t coming back for quite some time, so instead of holding this completed page of artwork back indefinitely it may have been quickly finished off for inclusion here to help make up the larger page count. That next book appearance would’ve been completed a long time before this, making the Vidiots series the final Hadrian Vile work produced. It’s still a delight to have him back even if it is a one-off. It just makes this issue that little bit more special.

Ed McHenry’s gorgeous full-page mini-strips (as I called them) were a delight in the later weekly issues and we’ve two here. One is actually a Wally of the West but I found this one funnier. As someone who used to jog in Saturday morning Park Runs where there were always those in the crowd who took the fun activity far too seriously, I found this particularly funny.

Kev F Sutherland’s first published comics work was in OiNK #38, returning later as a regular contributor. In the monthlies, in particular the later issues, he’s one of the comic’s most prolific cartoonists. His Meanwhile… series was always a highlight and this issue’s entries are no exception. Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas, the silliest little strips, the best puns that stick in our memories the most. Meanwhile, At The Fishmarket… checks all of those boxes.

There are many common misconceptions about OiNK. Two of the most prolific being it was a children’s version of Viz and that it was cancelled because of the Janice & John strip, which was actually published all the way back in #7. Another is that it went monthly because it was on its way out, that it was an admission from Fleetway the comic was failing. Co-editor Patrick previously confirmed for the blog, “I think it was Fleetway‘s intention to go monthly as it had been to go weekly, from what I can remember, which I didn’t mind – though I can’t remember at the time thinking the writing was on the wall. I think sales were down across the board but OiNK’s figures weren’t the worst – it was the other comic’s figures that dragged it down.

There was definitely no intention to cancel the comic at this stage

The survey in #54 which asked readers if they wanted it to go monthly was a genuine question, to see if the majority were behind the idea, and as it turned out they were. “I think it was more a case of Fleetway considering going monthly and in the meantime checking the audiences’ opinions, which may have had some sway,” elaborates Patrick when I asked him about the decision. “However, if something else financially detrimental occurred within Fleetway, unconnected to OiNK, that alone may have forced the decision to go monthly if it saved money – so that’s the only scenario I could imagine where OiNK might have gone monthly ‘regardless’. Hope that makes sense – it wasn’t always exactly black and white!

Over the course of the years since some fans have written off the monthlies in the same way some complained about the weeklies. (Some people just don’t like change, which can be understandable.) I hope I’ve been able to correct these assumptions and show the weekly comic settled into its format and became the excellent OiNK we’d all known and loved. Let’s see what the monthlies have in store for us over the next five months. There was definitely no intention to cancel the comic at this stage, merely reboot it as I mentioned above. It’ll be interesting to see it develop and settle into its third format now. The next issue’s review isn’t until Sunday 18th June 2023, we’ll find out then if it’s worth the wait!

OiNK! #62: BEGiNNiNG THE GOODBYES

For the last time in the regular comic let’s take a look at that classic logo as big, big changes are afoot.

Looking a lot like the cover to Shoot! magazine or Roy of the Rovers comic, probably deliberately spoofing them, comes our last weekly OiNK and this front page starring Horace (Ugly Face) Watkins by Tony Husband. Inside, Horace’s strip would run to a whopping four pages in our final 24-page issue, rounding up his football drama with a happy ending and the promise of “Great new adventures of the ugly boy wonder in OiNK! Monthly”. Yep, we’ve reached that time of OiNK’s real time read through.

There’s no indication on the cover of any “great news for all readers” inside, although Uncle Pigg does hint that there’s something big, fat and glossy coming up and, if readers hadn’t already scanned through the comic to the back page they’d have assumed he just meant something along the lines of another Holiday Special. In fact, if readers did read the comic from beginning to end without looking at the rear page that final panel in Horace’s strip may have made for quite the shock!

Back to the rest of the issue for now though and our final regular Burp (sounds like something we’d see our doctors about.)

As good as ever and that rat-like creature in the final panel had me in stitches reading this today, however as the final Burp I think last week’s reads better, what with it being a double-page strip and leaving him (and all of us!) stranded in the 50s and having to live life out to the 80s again. (Maybe it was created as the last one?) Yes, Burp and his cartoonist Jeremy Banx do return with a mammoth story in The OiNK! Book 1989 but that would’ve been created long before this point, so as far as Jeremy was concerned this was his final OiNK page.

As a child it sounded like we were going to essentially get a huge Holiday Special every single month!

I asked co-editor Patrick Gallagher about Jeremy’s absence from the monthlies and Ian Jackson’s reduced contributions by this stage too. “Ian and Jeremy were also very busy on their other work outside of OiNK and since we had a healthy stockpile of other artists’ material building up, we were never short to allow them a break,” he told me. “Also, at that time, we had no idea that OiNK was going to fold, so always expected [Jeremy’s characters] might return later on.”

So long Burp and thank you for all of the laughs Jeremy! As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, his Burp strip in the second annual ended up teaching me a thing or two about growing up as I headed towards my teen years. You’ll have to wait until Christmas to find out what! For now, from one long-term regular bidding adieu to one of the newer characters also making her final appearance, and she’s saved her best for last. It’s Charlie Brooker’s Transmogrifying Tracey.

What’s so brilliant about this for me are the reader voices, especially when one of them questions the gaping plot hole I’d spotted too. This may be Tracey’s final appearance but it wasn’t Charlie’s. Mr. Brooker’s OiNK career would go from strength-to-strength in the months to come, his name popping up on more pages than ever. We definitely have that to look forward to. Being able to transform into anything may sound like Tracey’s strip had limitless potential but Charlie brings her time to an end, and I think that reader’s question points out how it could’ve become a rather repetitive strip, so instead we’re left with fond memories of her time in the comic.

Looking over some of the other highlights of the issue and you can see how Uncle Pigg’s announcement in Grunts on page two may have had readers thinking something other than what was ahead. GBH takes the marketing slogan of Allison’s bread adverts in the 80s to the extreme and after all the drama of memory loss, stalkers and nuclear monsters Horace (Ugly face) Watkins‘ football serial comes to its conclusion with something even more horrific. Then, Lew Stringer answers a question we really should’ve asked by now.

Pete and his Pimple has been with us since #15 but not once have we considered the ramifications of his existence on the wider world.  Sounds very serious, doesn’t it?  Who cares about the clean up, the putrid mess left behind on the streets of Oinktown and the health hazard of having large amounts of greasy, slimy pus all over the pavements? As it turns out Albert Piles cares. He follows Pete around, shovelling up all the pus as Pete dances away spot-free without a care in the world, then he takes it to become glue for holding pages together at… well, I’m sure you can work it out.

There’s no Frank Sidebottom strip or showbiz gossip column this issue, but what we get instead is a very memorable page indeed, one which I can remember seeing for the very first time 35 years ago. This superb full-page mini-poster of Batbottom and Bobbins (the later being his go-to phrase for anything he found to be a bit rubbish) is completely charming and completed using Chris Sievey’s usual felt-tip pens. Oh, I mean, it’s not Chris at all, nor is it Frank and Little Frank, the identity of those responsible for this page are clearly a secret.

Lovely stuff. I love the sheer silliness on display here and not just the main picture. The fact the pin-up being on Page 17 is deemed important to mention, making sure the reader knows they’re not from Timperley, and the knowingness of the captions on the bottom-left that we’ll never see them again. Frank would of course continue with his crazy, random OiNK pages all the way to the very end. In fact, he’d be the cover star of that fateful, final issue! 

One of my favourite additions to the weeklies has been the inclusion of some lovely full-page strips containing no dialogue and very few panels, like large mini-strips if you’ll pardon the contradiction. These started off with co-editor Tony Husband’s very funny series of such pages, but as the Horace Watkins strip started to take up more space and more of Tony’s time another cartoonist began creating his own. Up stepped Ed McHenry with such creations as Ringo Pig in #50 and of course the return of Eric Plinge seven days ago in #61.

This one has got to be my favourite of Ed’s. It’s a gorgeous page too and beautifully coloured, especially when you see it on the printed page. It has such character in every panel and a genuinely funny surprise. These simple full-page strips became a fixture in the weeklies and I think being in a slightly smaller comic made them stand out all the more. No other humour comic would’ve dedicated such space to what is essentially a quick gag in a 24-page comic.

Of course, with double the amount of pages from next issue onwards will we see a plethora of these? Or will we be treated to new and exciting variations of OiNK content that we haven’t seen before? Some of the OiNK team really do take advantage of the larger canvas, as you’ll see in the months ahead. Let’s wrap up this issue first though with a Madvertisement from Kev F Sutherland, featuring a jingle that’s used to this day for Fairy Liquid, although not quite with these words.

Well here we are at page 24 and the shape of things to come. You’ll remember in #54 Uncle Pigg ran a reader’s survey and the change from next issue came off the back of that. As co-editor Patrick Gallagher told me in that issue’s review, Fleetway were making enquiries about turning OiNK monthly already and the aim of the survey was to see if the readers liked the idea. Clearly they did. As a child this back page did excite me, but then again I always liked ‘new looks’ in my comics and it sounded like we were going to essentially get a huge Holiday Special every single month!

At the time I liked the new logo (just like the original it was also designed by Patrick) but as an adult I do wish they’d kept the one we’d had since the beginning, it had more character to it and felt like it summed up the feel of OiNK more than the new one. But that’s just a bit of a quibble, I’ll leave my opinions about the monthlies until I actually read and review them. I do remember from childhood that after a couple of issues they’d really take advantage of the page count, a bit like how it took a little while for the team to settle into the weeklies, in fact.

So Uncle Pigg gets the final word in the final weekly. It’s all change next issue but at least we haven’t got a full month to wait for that huge porker of an issue. Each of the following OiNKs would go on sale on the third Saturday of every month in 1988, beginning in May. This means we’ve only 16 days to wait for a month’s worth of fun! I’ll see you back here for OiNK #63 on Sunday 21st may 2023 for all of those “sophisticated” smelly jokes.

OiNK! HOLiDAY SPECiAL #2: BEACH READY

This gorgeous cover by renowned illustrator Paul Sample is sadly his only contribution to OiNK but what a contribution it is. There are a lot of intricate details my young eyes loved pouring over when this came with me on an Easter family trip to the Scottish highlands in 1988, whiling away the long train journey from the Stranraer ferry. Among the sea and adoring OiNK fans look harder and there’s a ‘Porkman’ instead of a Walkman, Crackling Oil and a rather dark strip on the OiNK Uncle Pigg is reading. It looks extra gorgeous on the large, glossy paper after the comic moved to matt with #36 last autumn.

This is also a wraparound cover poster and I’ll show you rest of it, complete with another comical shark, Icarus and even the sun itself getting in on the OiNK sensation, at the end of the review. The way the crowds are swarming the comic’s logo adds to the feeling of a Holiday Special crammed full to bursting. Inside, the first half in particular is stuffed full of reading material, really giving us superb value for money for a measly 70p. This would actually be the last special of any type with no reprints, so let’s enjoy it!

We get introduced to the comic with a big Uncle Pigg panel written by co-editor Mark Rodgers and drawn as ever by Ian Jackson. While it’s nice to see such an introduction again I can’t help but be disappointed that there’s no strip featuring him and Mary Lighthouse (critic) like we had last year, but then again they stopped a while back in the regular comic. Beneath this is a funny little one-off strip written by Howard Osborn and drawn by Mike Green and thus the tone is set for the special.

I was very happy to see Hadrian Vile’s Hollydaye Albumm here

I’m going to dedicate a full post to one of the main highlights of this issue soon. There are lots of little artists’ profiles, each taking up a quarter of a page. They’re all created by each individual cartoonist and the information in them isn’t exactly reliable, let’s just put it that way and it’s also fun to see how they draw themselves. There are ten altogether and I simply couldn’t have choosen which ones to leave out if I was going to select some for this review, so watch out for that additional post containing them all.

In the previous regular OiNK review (#56) I lamented the fact Hadrian Vile’s diary had more or less come to an end by this point in the comic’s lifetime so I was very happy to see his Hollydaye Albumm here. It’s not a full diary, however it’s a special version for the holiday issue and a fun read. His long suffering dad is front and centre and again is Hadrian’s unintended victim over and over as they set off on their trip to France. A trip we end up seeing nothing of in the whole strip. As always he’s written by Mark Rodgers and drawn by Ian Jackson.

The best thing about this is there’ll be aspects of it that’ll feel familiar to most readers, even if it’s exaggerated somewhat. Although I’m not sure how many families would’ve taken photos of these incidents back in the 1980s. Not when we had a limited number of photographs we could take on our cameras, paying to get them developed. Today though, it’d be much more likely, with the photos likely ending up on social media. Maybe Hadrian was just a trailblazer.

Weedy Willy began life in OiNK as a regular character in the earliest issues, however after several months he would only pop up every few issues or so and even then as mini-strips most of the time. You wouldn’t know he’d been reduced to semi-regular status in this Holiday Special though, with two strips only a few pages apart. The first is a full page while the second, funnier one is this half-page, the winning joke coming from a cowpat!

Written by Keith Forrest and drawn by the master of the thin ink nib, Mike Green, this issue really brings Willy back to his former glory. In the first strip (written by Vaughan Brunt) we even find out Mandy and Willy are now a couple! In that first story he gets the upper hand thanks to his weediness while above the joke is on him, but just in a silly way, not a cruel way. That cowpat being so particularly chuffed in the third panel genuinely made me laugh out loud too. 

The biggest highlight of this issue has to be Frank Sidebottom’s board game, Frank’s Timperley Bike Racing Game. The board takes up the centre pages but several pages earlier up pops two pages rammed with rules, player pieces and cut out cards. As always Chris Sievey has clearly put a lot of thought and work into his latest creation. The game is well thought out, unlike a lot of comics games which usually feel like filler. This one feels suitably special.

I actually like the sound of the game, with the players speeding back and forth across the board trying to hit a specific selection of squares given to them by the random shuffling of the shopping list cards. There’s a good bit of strategy to go along with the luck of the dice rolls, with players choosing the order in which they’ll attend to your list and the routes they’ll take. Chris’ attention to detail even stretches to telling the kids plain card backs should be used to ensure there can be no cheating.

I do have one complaint though. Surely buying a copy of that week’s OiNK should’ve been on every list? Oh well, you can always make more or make that part of the rules yourselves. It might just be me, but some of these (rather random) shopping list items also bring back some happy childhood memories! No, I never had to phone Paul McCartney but bike clips, puncture kits and returning videos? Yes. Just remember to rewind those tapes first. The board itself has had just as much attention paid to it.

From the train to the sunbather on the barge, from people hanging their washing up to the roads having drains, Chris has clearly poured over every inch of these pages as he usually does, adding in as many tiny little details to capture the imaginations of the young readers as possible. Also, you just know that lots of things on this board will have been based on actual buildings Chris knew from his real life. You can see why I think this is the ‘fantastic’ headline feature of this OiNK.

Let’s take a quick snack break, shall we? The snacks this next Madvert is aiming its sights at were a childhood favourite, but it’s been proven that our tastebuds change over time and mine appear to have turned against these little pillows of… well, I’ll let this next highlight describe them to you.

Honestly, I don’t know what I ever saw in them! (Nothing apparently, according to Kev F Sutherland.)

Jimmy Flynn (the boy who “Jumps Out of his Skin”), who had a mini-series at one point in the comic, gets an origin story taking up a few separate pages, yet main character Horace (Ugly Face) Watkins only gets one page and it’s a simple three-panel gag strip rather than what we’re used to. Other highlights (below) are better, such as Moth Person in Hijack at 2000 Feet, 13 1/2 Inches taking pot shots at people I’m sure a lot of us really can’t stand on public transport, followed by Tom Thug living up to the clichéd English holiday maker I’m sure we all can’t stand either.

Charlie Brooker brings us the multi-part Sam Mackay Private Eye, the first part of which is full of visual gags based on typical private eye story wordplay, but unfortunately the other chapters don’t match this first page. Billy Bang gets his one and only full-page strip and his one and only in full colour. Finally, David Haldane’s regular look at the strange world we live in takes on Strange, Bizarre Folks Customs of our Funny Old World and it’s some of his funniest yet.

When we went on long family trips there were always puzzle magazines brought along to kill time on various planes, trains and automobiles. At such a young age very few of them kept my attention for long, unlike OiNK. Luckily, OiNK had its own puzzle master in the form of Ed McHenry, who’d contributed many a puzzle to the regular comic by this stage. However, here we get a larger than normal selection with a full double-page spread of impossible conundrums. 

As ever, everything looks incredibly easy on the surface. The reality of course is that the actual answers are not what you’d expect. The fun with these became trying to work out what the completely ridiculous correct solution actually was. I don’t think I ever got one of them right. This particular spread starts off strong with The Sea Wall conundrum, while my favourite is number seven because given time you might just be able to work it out, depending on how loony you are I guess!

There have been a few occasions over the past year when Jeremy Banx has taken the random and often surreal nature of his Burp strips and given us more wordy, narrated instalments. These heightened the alienness of his existence and the unpredictability of his pages, while also adding in the vast unknowable universe and the apparently untamed imagination of the OiNK cartoonist! Told solely through elaborate narrative captions rather than speech bubbles and slapstick (along with unique out-there visuals), check out Burp’s vacation planet from #41 as the perfect example. 

The strip in this edition gives us the best of both worlds, the first page playing out like a typical Burp strip for the most part. Well, not that there’s anything like a ‘typical Burp strip’ but you know what I mean. Then from the final panel on that page we see it change into something else entirely, somewhat like the creatures at the heart of the tale. Just like the example I gave above, the wonders of the universe are laid out and then suddenly juxtaposed against the silly alien we’ve come to know and love.

While this issue isn’t quite as full of classic strips as the first Holiday Special, this is a very worthy follow-up and I can remember being very entertained by it on that family trip all those years ago. It feels extra special now we’re used to reading the 24-page matt paper weeklies. Although, in a couple of months the regular comic basically becomes a monthly Holiday Special so I wonder if these extra editions would’ve become bigger too if the comic had continued. As it stands, the two Holiday Specials so far are among the best examples of OiNK the comic had to offer.

To round off I just have to show you that wonderful wraparound cover poster by Paul Sample. My copy has curled a little at the spine over the years since it was first printed but you can still get a sense of the lovely image as it continues over the staples and on to the back page, where you can see those extra details I mentioned at the top.

That blurb on the rear perfectly sums things up.