Friday, 20 September 2013

#11: ON YER BIKE!


Well I hope you liked the first StreetHogs installment I put up (it's the post before this one), you've got some brilliant strips to look forward to but for me it's all over.  This issue sees the last part of the 'Hogs first story and the comic celebrated with a biking theme and a wraparound cover poster - which you'll see soon in the porky threesome's final update.  As ever, their artwork above is by J.T. Dogg and just wait until you see your special "free" motorbike below!

So we start with Uncle Pigg not welcoming us on page 2 again, but instead a riff on a very popular kids' favourite who is still going strong today, albeit he hasn't quite grown up in the way Oink! predicted:


"Ena Blighty" would have her creations pop up again, with the Famous Five being a particular target of the comic but here, just like the Disney comics last issue, the Noddy children's titles were recreated perfectly... and ripped to pieces!  Now where's that Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends spoof...!

The first few pages have got nothing but motorbikes, with Uncle Pigg running over Mark Lighthouse who'd been on the street campaigning against the comic not mentioning road safetly... after which our esteemed editor reminds the viewers to never "stand in the middle of the road waving your arms about!".  Zootown, Hugo the Hungry Hippo, the Golden Trough Awards, even the Plops and a new superhero Hedgehog Boy would all mark the theme of biking and road travel brilliantly.  I'm sure it doesn't take a genius to work out how that final strip ends.

Before you finish this blog and head out on the road yourself today, Oink! takes a brief break to get all serious about safety for its younger readers, so make sure you're up to speed on the new Highway Code before your travels:

Writer/artist unknown

Marc Riley - you'll probably know him as the BBC DJ and presenter on 6Music.  But don't let the Daily Mail see this blog!  They'll have it on the front page before you know it - "BBC Presenter's Criminal Past".  Yes, that very same Marc Riley was Oink!'s very own Snatcher Sam!

A regular character in joke photo stories, Sam was a rubbish thief.  Okay, yes, anybody reading the comics along with the blog will know we've seen him triumphant on one occasion but that was only because he'd beaten another criminal to the "loot".  Inevitably Sam's schemes always failed and he'd get his comeuppance at the end of the strip.  Although his antics didn't stop him garnering a legion of fans and even female admirers - in this particular issue on the Grunts letters page we hear how "Fay Solman from Surrey recently told us of her feelings for the famous filching fiend!"

So here's Marc, in all his striped jumper glory:


There'll be much, much more from Snatcher Sam as we go along, including some crossovers with a certain papier-mache-headed superstar!

The StreetHogs are definitely the highlight of this issue, with a 3-page finale that takes over the middle pages, Rubbish Man teams up with Snail Man, and Ian Nasalcavity Visits His Grand-Parents is another delightfully surreal highlight from Banx.  So why am I leaving them out?  I told you, this is so tough trying to decide what to include - to make sure you see all the various artists, characters and the general randomness of Oink! does mean some brilliant strips etc. have to be left to the side.  Otherwise, let's face it, it could very easily become the Mr Big Nose show!

So yes, on to that "free cut-out motorbike".  You've got your glue, your card, your safety scissors and parental supervision.  All you need to do is follow the instructions:


Simple enough?

On to a couple of brief one-gag strips.  Part of the fun of Oink! was never knowing what to expect in layout as much as stories!  Roger Rental gets a full page this issue, and no one regular is on the page you'd expect at any time.  Whereas the Dandy in its later stages did introduce more 3-panel comics they were always neatly collected together on their own pages but with Oink! there were no rules.  You just don't get this in kids' comics.

Our first quick strip here takes us back to Marc Riley.  As well as starring as Sam above he also had his own strips and we've seen one of his creations already - Harry the Head.  Another regular of his was When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, which usually involved the prehistoric beasts in some form of off-the-wall contemporary situation, such as:


Right below this the ever-superb Ian Jackson takes on a thrilling sci-fi monster movie... of sorts:


Oink! attracted some amazing talent and surely Andy Roper has to rank right up there.  When I read this issue I instantly thought I recognised his work until I realised he contributed quite a bit to issue 1, but actually it was my young brain associating him with IPC's action titles which he so brilliantly mocks in his Oink! work.  He appears with this excellent one-off Scruff of the Track, written by the ever brill Mark Rodgers and check out his label in Stuff in the Sty on the left there to see his many wonderful contributions to the comic, including the classic Spectacles of Doom! serials:


Great stuff.  Looks very traditional, something which wouldn't look out of place in an 80s action comic as I mentioned above, that is until you read it.  Andy must've relished drawing this script, with the intricate level of detail IPC (and later Fleetway) fans had become accustomed to.  Looks lovely on the glossy paper too, though you'll just have to trust me on that one.  Giving over two full pages to a one-off strip like this really drew attention to it - you knew it was going to be something really special.

And we're at our inside back page yet again, page 31 and remember the introduction to the G.B.H. mail order company back in #9's small quarter-page madvertisement?  Two issues later and they've already made enough money off those poor suckers... um, loyal customers, that they've got the marketing budget for a full page, full colour ad for their latest cycling gear:


These catalogues would never cease to crease me up I remember and from the ones I can recall there'll be plenty more like this to come on the blog!

So yup, that's another issue all done but at least you know you don't have to wait another full fortnight as the 'Hogs will be back before then.  On a quick side note this has been a brilliant week for me as an Oink! fan - not only has this blog surpassed a remarkable 5,500 views but the Facebook Group also passed a milestone of 600 members!  Uncle Pigg's Pig Pack is back in force it'd seem!

Next issue on sale Friday 4th October.

2 comments:

Graham Exton said...

I think Clarkson and co. must have read this one, as one of them ended up wearing a similar helmet (to the GBH BMX hat) in the wonderful VietNam Top Gear.

Ross Murdoch said...

It is no way bike related but the strip in this issue that hit me hardest was Horace. How brave that it doesn't end with a joke - just Horace's Dad finally sticking up for his son. Quite emotional actually.