Pitched as a 'Junior Viz' or 'anti-Beano', Oink! was so much more. Following the preview issue (given away free with Whizzer & Chips, Eagle and 2000AD), the fortnightly Oink! launched the next week. Issue one had a free gift vinyl flexi-disc with two exclusive Oink! related songs.
Oink! had an eclectic cast of characters including porcine editor Uncle Pigg and his arch-nemesis Mary Lighthouse, Harry the Head, Horace (ugly-face) Watkins and Lew Stringer's creations - Tom Thug and Pete Throb (both went on to star in Buster comic, when Oink! folded after 68 issues).
Famous creators include Charlie Brooker and BBC radio presenter Marc (Snatcher Sam) Riley.
Originally fortnightly, Oink! went weekly following popular demand (starting with issue 45), then finally monthly as sales dipped.
Oink! ran for 68 issues between 1986 and 1988. There were many spin-offs including four Holiday Specials, two Yearbooks, one Winter Special, a series of paperback reprints (Uncle Pigg's Crackling Tales), an anti-smoking special for distribution to schools and a 16-page computer comic given away free with CRASH magazine to promote the Oink! computer game in 1987. When it folded, a half-hearted merger with Buster saw Weedy Willy and Pete & his Pimple survive briefly, and Tom Thug more lastingly. The central team went on to create the TV show Round the Bend, which spun-off a comic special.
A true unique, Oink's creators were mostly UK cartoonists from the world of newspaper and magazine giving it a distinct style, very different to other British humour comics of the time. It was also ahead of its time in allowing (and expecting) artists to sign their work, a rarity in British comics at the time.