MERRY CHRISTMAS PIG PALS!
29 years ago today this cheery face greeted so many of us on Christmas morning and brought with it so many laughs and fond memories it's remained my favourite childhood book of any kind to this day. More than that though it reads just as well as an adult, not only ageing well but always appealing to readers of all ages, young and old (of which I'm unfortunately in the latter category these days). I've covered it before across three posts back in 2014 and you can still access them by clicking on the back cover at the bottom (no pun intended) of this post. But to celebrate the festive season and the very, very best time of the year I decided to delve back in one more time and bring you eight strips to chuckle at while the rest of the family watch the Queen.
There's some characters here we haven't heard from in a long time on the blog and I've deliberately picked out some of those you may have been missing. So below we've got fan-favourites Roger Rental, He's Completely Mental (written by Mark Rodgers, drawn by Ian Knox), Horace [Ugly Face] Watkins (from Tony Husband), Mr. Big Nose (Banx) and Hugo the Hungry Hippo (Haldane).
Oink! also took the hand out of the traditional comics, but always lovingly so as the team had grown up as fans obviously. The Oink! Book 1988 had a very funny mini-comic inside called The Deano which lampooned the fact the Beano and Dandy had reached their 50th anniversary milestone. I included some of these before in the second post from the annual two Christmases ago, but here now is Desperate Old Man by Tony Husband and drawn very authentically by Ed McHenry when compared to the original comic!
We loved our photo stories and spoofs, so below is the Mark Rodgers-scripted At the Library which was the comic's own version of such educational stories that would've been found in much younger children's magazines and comics. With photos taken by James Gallagher, it was included in another of the annual's pitch-perfect comedy takes on the mini-comic, Fun-hour.
I've also thrown in The Zits from Dave Fellows, a strip which only ever appeared in this book and which I included the first of in the third part of my previous write-up. Both were by Dave, who only contributed to some early editions of Oink!, so they were possibly meant as regular characters originally. Perhaps the decision was made not to include them, or perhaps Dave moved on. Either way, they made for perfect annual-fodder. Plus, later in the regular comic's run we'd a certain Pete & his Pimple to take on the mantle of spotty favourite.
Finally at the bottom of the post is Ena Blighty's Five Go Adventuring Yet Again. These strips (written by Mark with the artwork of Chas Sinclair) spoofed how outdated the Famous Five books actually were and this strip in particular hits a great comedic note at the end of 2016! I'm sure you'll catch my drift given some of the bigger events of the year!
I hope you've a fantastic day and indeed an awesome Christmas altogether! I'll be back in the New Year and remember you can click on the back cover of this annual below to be taken right back to my original post of highlights. There, each of the three write-ups are linked together sequentially too.
Have a good one everyone!