Burp, Frank Sidebottom and GBH are back in the second of my Twelve Posts of Christmas, which is taking in both of my blogs, The Oink! Blog and Recovering From a Scratch, my equally-retro Commodore 64 site. It's been a while (about a year!) since I last scanned in pages from this classic comic for you and there's more to come! For now though, here's another three pages from across Oink!'s two Christmas issues to help you prepare for the 25th.
As we get closer to Christmas Day you'll see the shops reduce their prices on decorations and even their gifts more and more. I have to say on the decorations side of things I usually lose out on this as I like to have my place all Christmassy on the 1st December at the latest. On the gift side of things though places like Debenhams are great for sales etc. throughout December that I can enjoy instead of braving the jungle that is Boxing Day. Oink!'s own spoof mail order company, GBH was always known for poor-quality (to say the least) products and sky-high prices and if you haven't seen any of their Madvertisements before you should check out the previous Christmas Catalogues I've featured before here and here first. Trust me, they're a hoot.
But here, one of the pages I never included last time is the GBH Christmas Clear-Out from #43 and while we don't get those imaginative homemade props and silly photographs, the spirit of the dodgy company is still clearly there. So as part of my shopping guide, if you're still looking for those last-minute stocking ideas or haven't yet bought that new tree you've been promising your loved ones since last year, look no further.
Well, look for your credit card first and then look no further:
One TV channel I hadn't seen in many, many years until recently was QVC. In fact I think the last time I saw it before this week was when I still lived at home and my mother was somewhat addicted to such channels. You'll just have to trust me when I say that was a while back. However, this week my better half turned on said channel one night. I was less surprised that it still existed in pretty much the exact format as it had all those years ago, and more surprised that she knew exactly when the Yankee Candle hour was on!
But anyway, the reason I bring this up is because Oink! wasn't above taking the hand out of such enterprises and has done so previously. But it didn't stop there. To this day if you turn on some channels late at night (or indeed early in the morning) you'll find an endless stream of infomercials and QVC-like adverts filled with the same kind of over-confidence in the products. I remember watching some of these infomercials as a teen when we were first subjected to them, as they could be so unintentionally hilarious! Below is an Oink! take on the same phenomenon from Banx and his creation Burp the Smelly Alien from Outer Space.
Now I will admit from the hour of QVC I was subjected to the other night it does seem to be a lot calmer than the one my mum used to watch. I should just get that in there before my girlfriend reads this all. But also, I should point out I do think she'll read the first two story panels of this next strip and instantly think of me! (Just the first two panels after the title one, just to be clear!)
Finally for this two-part shopping guide (the first part is available here) it's yet another cut-out Christmas card but this time from the hands of none other than Frank Sidebottom (or rather the man behind the mask, the late, great Chris Sievey). Get this downloaded, printed off and then have your felt-tip pens at the ready and either a steady hand or a ruler to bring it to life in his colouring style:
That's it folks, but I'll be back here this Saturday, the 10th December with information on the latest comic from David Leach featuring Psycho Gran! Before then my Twelve Posts of Christmas continues over on my Recovering From a Scratch blog with a review of a rather fine Commodore 64 coffee table book which also happens to feature myself on one page. Obviously that page won't count towards the review (or else I'd have to mark it down!), so see you soon.
In the meantime you can read more about the two Christmas issues of Oink! by clicking on either of their covers below.