MORE noble intentions from editor Nat Carmichael with his brave local anthology, but this is yet another hit’n’miss issue.
Inside, the best contribution by a country mile is a fun colour sci-fi piece written by Mark Hobby and drawn by Ben Michael Byrne (creator of the underrated Kranburn).
The other strips are pretty forgettable – a couple of them commit the worst sin of all, being serials in a quarterly publication. Ain’t nobody got time to follow a quarterly serial, yo.
Again, I question who Oi Oi Oi! is aiming for? It’s a relatively literate, adult comic being sold among the kids’ comics in newsagencies. It’s mostly B&W. Some of the strips are throwaway one-panel gags (the kind you’d find in old men’s mags); others are just mediocre page-fillers.
A new issue is due in April and I hope it comes out. But unless something happens to shake up the present format, I don’t see Oi Oi Oi! having a long-term future in what is an extremely difficult marketplace.
Especially as Nat himself writes on his blog that sales on the first issue "came to 552 copies (of a 5000 print run). You don't need me to do the maths for you. That's 11% sold. Totally disappointing. But one I resolved to share with you."
Yep, unless something dramatic happens, I foresee a grim future for this anthology. And that's a real shame.