Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Sporting Swine joins ROK Comics

The Sporting Swine by Barney Farmer and Lee Healey, which first appeared in top men's magazine Maxim, is the latest professional strip to join the many others on ROK Comics from some of the UK's top comic creators.

The Sporting Swine has appeared in Maxim since around June 2005, initially in the UK only, then various European editions - including the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

At the moment it appears, sporadically, in the US edition.

Barney and Lee are the team behind the critically acclaimed Drunken Bakers which appears in Viz magazine, which leading comic creator Alan Moore once described as "horrible" but "really funny" and Roberta Smith of the New York Times praised for "the aesthetic compression of Mr Farmer's dialogue and Mr Healey's Iine," which she said "convey an oppressive sense of the
drinker's irresistable drive for oblivion."

"The characters came along January 2003 in an ill-fated strip called ‘Meat, the Wife’ Lee and I pitched at Viz," explains writer Barney Farmer. "It was sort of a dig at that anthropomorphistic comedy which has hung around like a bad smell ever since it was both made popular then mined to completion by Gary Larson in The Far Side.

"By 2003 this concept had reached a point where a tedious stand-up or sit-com character could say 'I saw a dog sharpening some pencils today' or 'What if monkeys opened bank accounts?' and expect, at worst, a reflex snigger.

"Anyhow, this non-Viz strip was about one man’s futile and infuriating attempts to drum human ways into his sow of a wife. The first (and only) strip had him slowly, surely bursting a spleen as she failed to comprehend the telephone. Wouldn’t even pick it up."

Neither did Viz, and the pair only came to mind again early 2005 when Greg Gutfeld, then editor of Maxim, asked us to come up with a more light-hearted strip for the magazine to go alongside their other strip Adventures of a Widower.

"I'm not sure how many we've done so far," says Barney, "But the best is the baseball one."

You can view a free sample of The Sporting Swine on ROK Comics below.

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