Tag Archives: Jeremy Banx


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.


Another Burp cover only two issues after his previous one? Indeed, and who’s complaining? Not I. This one relates to a special two-page story inside but it’s also notable for another reason. This is both Burp’s and cartoonist Jeremy Banx’s final OiNK cover. Okay, so there are only seven issues left but because it goes monthly we’ve still got OiNKs all the way to October and Jeremy makes his final regular strip contribution next week! So let’s enjoy this one while we can.

If it had stayed as that 32-page fortnightly children’s comic I think it could’ve lasted longer

At the bottom you can see OiNK is officially now a teen comic and I don’t know how I feel about that. As a kid I remember the monthlies felt different, more subversive (not that I knew that word back then) and as an adult I feel a little sad about the fact it was no longer being aimed at those kids still inside the original target range in 1988 (as I was). Maybe a bit of that original OiNK uniqueness and innocence has been lost because of this decision. We’ll see as the remaining issues play out.

Of course, the change in the general age of the audience happened naturally. The team aimed their comic at the eight-to-thirteen-year-old children who weren’t satisfied with other humour comics and it just happened to attract a wider range of people. But personally I think it should’ve stayed as it was, it was already being enjoyed by older readers anyway, it didn’t need to make changes to try to appeal to them. If it had stayed as that 32-page fortnightly children’s comic I think it could’ve lasted longer. Let’s enjoy what we have though, beginning with a Pete and his Pimple strip I promised to include.

A couple of issues ago I mentioned a particularly icky pimple solution proposed by a reader which involved a plop. As a child they were always funny little things to have around the comic, however as an adult I can’t help but focus on what they actually are(!), especially when they’re sweating all over Pete’s pimple. I remember this one the most for the plops’ social club and how all of the little piles of poo on our streets (no one lifted them back then) were just friends hanging out. Strangely, the plops seemed to be one aspect of OiNK the comic’s overactive critics never mentioned. 

Anyway, from one memorable strip to a very memorable Madvertisement from GBH and possibly Simon Thorp’s best spoof movie poster, although it’s a close call between this and his Butcher Busters from #40. Back in 1988 only the first ’18’-certificate RoboCop movie had been released in the franchise so the young readers technically couldn’t have seen it (we did) but that didn’t stop Simon from creating RoboChop. Not only is it a brilliant depiction but I’ve never seen so many imaginative piggy puns on one page.

During the time of the previous blog site a pig pal showed everyone on the OiNK Comic Facebook group a photo of this framed and up on the wall in their home. Apparently their dad had known it was their favourite and tracked down a copy of the issue in order to surprise them with the framed page. Unfortunately it appears that person has left the social media platform because the image is no longer there. But the story shows how highly regarded Simon’s work for OiNK was, and still is.

OiNK’s multinational corporation also takes over the middle pages with The GBH Desert Island Survival Kit and OiNK has gone on location to the Bahamas to shoot it, so Uncle Pigg must be doing very well indeed. In reality, writer Graham Exton lived there (still does), sending scripts by fax I would assume and co-editor Mark Rodgers and his partner Helen Jones were out visiting him when they decided Helen would take a bunch of silly photographs. The end result is hilarious.

Watch where you’re going on that GBH Emergency Portable Bulldozer, Mark! That poor dog! Over on the other page you’ll see Ron “Machete” McHetty. A few years back I asked Graham who that was; I didn’t yet know what he looked like and wanted to be sure. He told me they were very lucky to have got the dashingly handsome good looks of Michael Fassbender to pose for that photo. I think it’s safe to say we now know what the “dashingly handsome” Graham Exton looks like.

Imagine having this amount of fun in the Bahamas as your job!

Imagine having this amount of fun as your job. Actually, I’ll reword that. Imagine having this amount of fun in the Bahamas as your job! This translates into a Madvertisement that’s a lot of fun to read, my favourites bits being the non-camouflage gear and the ‘10% discount’ banner which reminds me of many offers we can come across online these days. Always read the small print. This is by far my favourite part of this issue, but there are a lot of other highlights backing it up.

Horace (Ugly Face) Watkins’ spoof football drama ends on a romantic cliffhanger, and Rotten Rhymes’ take on Goosey Goose Gander has the character of the title meeting a different kind of old man than the original, with a somewhat different ending to boot. There’s only one Sekret Diary of Hadrian Vile strip in the monthlies, which was possibly made for the weeklies but left out due to space, then one more in The OiNK! Book 1989 which would’ve been finished months before publication too. As such, this issue’s final instalment of Vidiots – or Hadrian Vile’s Interleckshual guide to Tellyvision was actually the last page of Hadrian’s to be created.

As you can see he can’t even face looking at us for fear of shedding a tear.

With next week’s OiNK being Jeremy Banx’s last regular issue I will of course be showing you the Burp strip, so I hadn’t intended to do so this week. That is, until I read it. It was so good there was no way I could leave it out. As you can gather from the cover Burp travels back to the 1950s à la Marty McFly because in his research into pleasing us humans he’s discovered many would like to go back to that time. There’s a strong hint about what’s to come when he names his time travelling device ‘The Fools’-Paradise-O-Tron’.

Cue the usual classic cars on the roads and the classic films showing in the cinemas, the kind of representation we were used to in movies such as Back to the Future. But then things take a turn. Yes, it’s a silly strip in a children’s comic but it actually makes a great point about nostalgia and people’s rose-tinted glasses colouring their memories of “the good old days”. This reads particularly well (and is particularly funny) today when it seems more folks than ever are impetuously clamouring for some mythical time gone by. 

You know you’re in for a special treat when you see Burp taking up two pages, so imagine my glee when I opened the second OiNK annual on Christmas Day 1988 and found an eight-page Burp inside. Yes, eight pages! If you’re reading this at the time of writing you’ve got eight months to wait to see it, but then again so do I. I have complete faith it’ll be worth the wait. For now we’ve only the one Jeremy Banx strip to fill that gap and that’ll be in seven days. So we’d better make sure we don’t miss the next issue, hadn’t we?

Indeed. So, in steps co-editor Patrick Gallagher with his final newsagent reservation coupon. I remember the next issue would finish with a back page promotion for the first monthly in much the same way as #44 did when OiNK went weekly. So The Absent-Minded Pistol Packer is the last of these. Who’d have thought a book of Victorian illustrations and the necessity to have a reservation coupon in your comic could’ve come together to produce such a fun series? Only in OiNK.

I usually end on these coupons but this week I’m doing something different. First though, as we prepare to wrap things up for another seven days (the last time I’ll be able to say such a thing) just a quick reminder that you can pop back here on Friday 5th May 2023 for #62, the end of another era in OiNK’s lifetime. As always I haven’t read it yet but I do know we’ll be saying goodbye to Burp and Jeremy Banx and I’m sure they’ll do it in style. There’s also a Horace Watkins cover and of course news of the final evolution of OiNK. I’ll see you then.

Just to finish on a bit of silliness, The Amazing Eric Plinge was a one-off mini-strip by Ed McHenry way back in #9. Eric was a young kid whose neck took over when his bat and ball stopped working. Later in #27 Davy Francis, a good friend of Ed’s, brought us Derek Blinge – The boy with no brain, clearly a play on Ed’s character. Now the ball is back in Ed’s court (no pun intended). Below is that original strip from #9, then the full colour page from this issue takes it to another level. See you in seven.


This issue of OiNK attempts to mark a celebratory milestone too early, while marking a sad one that we weren’t aware of at the time. For the former, Uncle Pigg tells us OiNK is two-years-old this week. However, not only is there nothing else in the issue to celebrate this but he’s also got his dates wrong. The first birthday issue (#26) marked the end of the first year after the release of the preview issue, rather than the beginning of the second year and the anniversary of #1, as traditionally celebrated in other comics.

This issue we’re now reading went on sale today 35 years ago, 14th April 1988. #1 wasn’t on sale until 3rd May. Even the preview issue wasn’t bundled inside other IPC Magazines comics until 26th April. #60 will be on sale five days before even that anniversary. I’ve no idea why this happened. Anyway, as I said it also marks a sad milestone, namely the last ten regular issues. Of course, because it goes monthly those final ten will stretch all the way to October but still, it’s sad to know we’re inching closer to the end. Better show some comedy to lighten things up then, hadn’t I?

Ed McHenry’s mini-strips hit the giggle factor every time, which makes it all the more surprising that it’s taken so long to give him the chance to have regular characters, although his semi-regular puzzles were always a highlight. For example, check out the double-page spread in the recently released (in respect to this issue and the real time read through) second Holiday Special. Saying all this, Igor and the Doctor only appeared in eight issues, and just the one monthly after this one, so here’s a look at what they had to offer.

On the next page is the penultimate chapter to Hieronymous Van Hellsong’s prequel tale in which he finds himself in the pits of hell looking for the lost soul of pop singer Raoul McCurtney, who is putting on a concert for the demons. Given this outlandish set up I loved how the solution to getting inside is something so clichéd and simple.  But it’s when they make their escape in the final panels which really stands out here. I’m not going to say a word about it yet, you have to read it for yourselves.

Well now, there we go. After this many issues of OiNK it’s become something of another cliché to say here’s something else you wouldn’t see in other humour comics, but I think it just has to be said again here. Jeremy Banx in particular liked to push his strips beyond what we’d expect even in OiNK. They were never unsuitable for children but their humour always felt more grown up when I was a kid, when in actual fact looking back now it was just that his sense of humour really spoke to the new generation of more savvy, cheeky children of the 1980s.

I can’t remember how this story ends and if it were anyone else I’d struggle to believe they could top this final cliffhanger, but Van Hellsong is in great hands and I for one can’t wait to see his final showdown and final farewell. At the top of the review I looked forward and mentioned we’re now within the final ten regular editions of the comic, what’s even worse than that is we’ve only three more with Jeremy in them! We’ll come back to that but for now let’s keep things cheerful with a quick glance at other highlights of the issue.

“Sorry about the nose drips, but the artist has a cold!”

Lew Stringer (Tom Thug)

The aforementioned message from Uncle Pigg is actually drawn by a reader, the one and only time this happened, so kudos to Craig Els of Liverpool. Nigel and Skrat the Two-Headed Rat makes a sudden reappearance, keeping to their regular schedule of popping up every dozen issues or so(!), the age of competition winners was definitely on the increase when you compare who met Frank Sidebottom in this issue to #26 and Horace (Ugly Face) Watkins’ spoof football drama continues with its ridiculously far-fetched kidnapping plot.

The life of a freelance cartoonist isn’t as glamorous as some may think, especially when it comes to sick leave, or rather the lack of it. So let’s spare a thought for one of OiNK’s own this week. At the beginning of Tom Thug’s strip there appears to be a green blob randomly drawn on the page with a teaser of “What’s this? Find out later” alongside it. As his page comes to an end it’s revealed his cartoonist, Lew Stringer, was feeling rather poorly at the time, something he slips into the credit at the end of his Pete and his Pimple strip too in an equally funny manner, having a little laugh at his own expense.

Isn’t that just the happiest little shit you ever did see?

Last week Pete met Spotless Suzie, who was the target of a misogynistic idiot harassing her into giving him a snog. Through a series of events this idiot ended up the worse for wear thanks to Pete’s pimple, and when Suzie thanked Pete by giving him a kiss his zit burst all over her. But here’s the twist, Suzie is on a Y.T.S. course (do your 80s research, kids) about ‘compost analysis’ so pimple pus was a doddle to handle. Thus, Pete now has his first girlfriend, aww.

However, in previous issues Lovely Lucy was the object of Pete’s unrequited affection. Even though she made it abundantly clear she had no interest in our unlikely hero, ridiculing him in front of people, it becomes clear she’s not the type to take being passed over for anyone else either. Add in Suzie’s own nemesis Harrison and you’ve got the makings of a pair of recurring villains. Well, let’s hope so anyway.

Isn’t that just the happiest little shit you ever did see in the fifth panel? Another of the plops takes on a starring role in a future Pete and his Pimple strip and from memory it’s because of a somewhat icky pimple solution sent in by a reader! I’m sure you can draw your own ghastly conclusions to what that may be. It’s one of my faves though, so there’s a good chance you’ll see it in a future review.

Jeremy Banx and Lew have both been rather prolific with the OiNK covers during the weekly stage of the comic, with this issue’s from Jeremy even featuring a cameo from one of Lew’s characters. Better than that, it reunited readers with some of Burp’s internal organ characters we’ve come to know and love, even Kid Kidney. This issue’s Burp strip features some of that glorious wonders-of-the-universe storytelling Jeremy likes to include, beginning with some well-meaning educational moments from the smelly one before it all descends into utter chaos as per usual.

We even get another cameo in the final panel! If you’re not a regular blog reader (why not?) you should scoot off and read #32’s review, followed by #46 and you might understand why that teddy bear popping up makes my day every time. As mentioned above though, we’re approaching the end of Jeremy Banx’s time with OiNK and that’s just heartbreaking. I don’t think I realised he wasn’t part of the make up of the monthlies, he or Ian Jackson!

This isn’t a slight against either of them; I was very young and being bombarded with so much from others in each bumper monthly, and Burp came back for an epic story in the second annual later in the year, one which I have very personal, very formative memories of. That’s all I’m saying about that one for now though. Just wait and see.

We’re racing towards the back of this edition of OiNK and a lot of the mini-strips converge on the final few pages including another of Ed McHenry’s, the always lovable, always funny Wally of the West

Even when OiNK’s strips aren’t being rude or surreal or satirical, even when they could be deemed more ‘traditional’ they hit the funny bone more than any other comic’s strips did for me. Wally’s are the perfect example of this.

We arrive at the end of another issue, the apparent second birthday one at that, although arguably that could be either of the next two issue, but still, we’ve covered two years of the world’s funniest comic on the blog. OiNK has come a long way in this time (as has the blog!), it’s constantly evolved and grown, going from strength-to-strength and yet it feels like no time at all since this all began. We may be only a handful of issues from the end, but they are packed with content! It’s going to be a great summer and autumn, believe me.

So with your coupon filled out and handed in you’ll not miss out on any of the fun over the coming months. Just a few weeklies to go and then we’ll take a look at the change in format and preview what pig pals could expect. Ultimately those changes would lead to the end of an era, but I really enjoyed them as a kid. Will I enjoy them as much now as an adult?

The next issue’s review will be here from Friday 21st April 2023, see you then.