Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Oink Smokebusters!

Following on from the anti-smoking theme of the previous blog post, here's a rarely seen item from 1987. The Oink! Smokebuster Special was a joint (pardon the pun) effort between Oink! Publishing Ltd (who normally packaged Oink! comic for Fleetway) and the North West Regional Health Authority. It was published by Project Smoke Free and, I think, given away in schools in the North of England.

It was in the same glossy format as the standard Oink! comic, albeit with half the number of pages (16). Edited by the usual team of Mark Rogers, Patrick Gallagher and Tony Husband, it combined the usual Oink! humour with some hard-hitting messages. (Particularly the Addict strip by Rogers, Gibson and Matthews shown here.) This was material that would be considered too strong for the standard fortnightly Oink! where Tom Thug would never have been depicted smoking, even though it was obviously an anti-smoking story. (Those sixties anti-smoking strips shown in the previous blog entry were my inspiration for this story.) As you can see, subtlety wasn't our intention.

As this special had limited distribution I imagine most Oink! fans out there would never have seen it. We only ever did the one issue, but I hope it had some effect, however small.

1 comment:

Davy Francis said...

In one of the Oink issues, they had a photo of the late great Frank Sidebottom with some unknown woman called Edwina Currie , promoting 'Smokebusters'. Mark Rodgers showed me the issue at a book launch for Comic Aid once.Mark was laughing, because Frank was a chain smoker, and you could actually see the nicotine stains on his fingers.Priceless!Mark and Frank-two massive talents taken away far too soon.

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