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Toonhound presents...






British Comic Strips
     Uncle Pigg - editor of 'Oink!'

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     start date:
3rd May 1986 
     end date: October 1988
                     68 issues

   "Disgusting! Torture and a bare belly button on the
    front cover... I dread to think what's inside!!..."

 Oink! was a creative swill of cartoons, satire, toilet humour and subversion aimed
    at young adults and described by one of its creators, Graham Exton, as a sort
    of 'Junior Viz'. Which is the perfect description. Here was a bold step on from the
    likes of Buster and Whizzer & Chips. Gone was the tight lined panelwork of those
    weekly titles, the uniform speech bubbles, the clean-living characters from safe
    middle-class households. Instead, we had acne-ridden Pete And His Pimple,
    malicious Tom Thugg, the noxious alien Burp, Harry the disembodied head and
    a sty-load of grunting, snorting, farting pigs. Many strips appeared to have been
    scrawled 'on the hoof' by new comic talent giving the title a vibrant, anarchic
    feel. The leader of this teenage Animal Farm was Uncle Pigg, who encouraged
    us to revel in the filth on display in each issue. He also consistently poked fun at
    those who sought to censure such material from impressionable minds. This
    manifested itself in the form of Mary Lighthouse - a take on conservative
    campaigner Mary Whitehouse. Ironically though, it was that very same
    conservative campaign that contributed to Oink!'s demise. After several
    complaints from 'concerned' parents, the title was moved to W H Smiths'
    top shelf, cutting sales dramatically. Add to that the takeover of IPC/Fleetway
    by Robert Maxwell and - well - the slaughterhouse loomed large. Oink! was
    hamstrung (sorry) by indecisive publishing. Over its eighteen month run it
    switched from fortnightly to weekly to monthly issues, from glossy paper
    to cheap newsprint. Readers didn't know what to expect each issue, or indeed,
    when to expect it!...
    Oink! was the brainchild of cartoonists Mark Rodgers, Tony Husband amd
    Patrick Gallagher. They took the idea of an alternative to the overly-familiar
    Fleetway titles to then editor Bob Paynter. Cartoonist Graham Exton also
    tossed some ideas into the swill of creation, which appeared to be featuring
    a number of pig-related strips and - lo - Uncle Pigg was born, and a comic
    title revealed itself. Graham talks about his particular contribution in our
    Toonhound Q&A. Other Oink! creatives included Lew Stringer, Jeremy
    Banx, Mark Riley, Ian Jackson and Haldane - all shaking off the restrictions
    of their regular weekly strips and letting their pens run free. Some of it worked
    splendidly, some of it was wide of the mark, sometimes it felt a little too
    hurried, a little too loose, but it was always a stimulating read...

      Oink! - The preview issue...    Whizzer & Chips stars , and Buster, meet Uncle Pigg...

    On the left there above is a scan of Oink!'s preview issue, given away free
    in copies of Buster, May 3rd 1986. Oink! was also previewed on the cover
    of Whizzer & Chips in a strip which had the comic's stars and guest star
    Buster encountering a half-drawn Uncle Pigg in a fictional Comic Characters
    Club. How ironic that, after Oink! folded, three of its stars were taken under
    the wing of Buster - Oink!'s anarchy thus well-and-truly tamed and shamed..

    Well, not quite. Because Oink! was able to break out of its comic confines
    before departing. The title was changed and its star character transformed
    into a crocodile called Doc Crock, but tv's Round The Bend was just as
    anarchic, off the wall, and irreverant as its printed parent. Oink!'s Tony
    Husband wrote the scripts too...


    See also

     Toddzilla Q&A

     Toonhound talks to Graham Exton...


      On the web

      Tony Husband
      Tony's tidy site profiles his cartoon output and his shift into script-writing
      too now, plus cartoon samples, contact details and more...

      Lew Stringer
      Lew was a regular contributor too...

      Round The Bend
      Now here's a treat. Thomas' site looks at Oink!'s tv spin-off, with pics
      and info on Doc Crock and the gang...      


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