MAY 2013

Rip Van Winkle   

I return, rubbing my eyes like Rip Van Winkle with just a few things to report.

Keith Howden, a retired lecturer in English (speciality Russian Formalism - no, me neither) came across a couple of Oiks in a Preston Charity shop. The horror! Who could have done it? There are only two names in the frame. However, a stroke of luck really so thanks a million PT or AD. Keith was mildly entertained by this discovery - issues 13 and 14, and dug out a comic masterpiece, The Gospels of St Belgrano from a bottom drawer where it had been mouldering for 20 years. Keith a published poet with several collections to his credit feels more like a frustrated novelist and has more gems languishing in obscurity. He'd happily agree he is in the great tradition of East Lancs comics - eg Frank Randle and Al Reid and the "Uncensored and wholly politically incorrect conversations and speculations of James Bird Horobin" are hilarious. I have published this under the Penniless Press Publications imprint and it can be yours for the ridiculously low price of 4.99 at http://www.pennilesspress.co.uk/books/gospels_of_saint_belgrano.htm I am also in the process of doing his novel Self-Dissolve and will keep Oiklet readers posted on that.

Nigel Ford, the Swedish based translator and editor of Worldscribe http://www.worldscribe.nu/ has twisted my arm and got me to lash up a collection of Oik writers which he intends to have translated into many languages. He's been promising a translation of a few of my own stories - in Swedish for a kick-off - and I was keen to get even a single page of this in case Britt Ekland dropped in. I remonstrated that my own stories from Nietzsche's Birthday should not be included but he insisted. The other contributors can be read from the image of the cover. They don't know what they're in for, nor have they given permission, but that's how the Oik and PPP work, freely ignoring copyright and anarchically distributing stuff all over the world. For example Tanner's great work The Ism Prison, is now in Alaska thanks to Fred Whitehead who sent it a pal who is of the Anarchist persuasion. If Tanner would care to get in touch I owe him 15. Howling Brits is not yet published but when it does come out the contributors will get a copy. And if it does go big in China (Yep Nige has contacts even there - his son is at Beijing University and his girlfriend is Chinese).

Tom Kilcourse has published his autobiography It's Only Me, sections of which have and will appear in the Oik. This can be got from Amazon at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Its-Only-Me-Tom-Kilcourse/dp/1482733978/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1367571831&sr=1-1 This too is at the bargain price of 4.99. Tom is currently working on a book on Management Consultancy (his old job) - the kind of thing you'd find in Waterstones under Mysticism. This too may well be pitched at 4.99 but I'd need to be paid more than that to read it. Nevertheless - good luck Tom - send a copy to UKIP.

Finally - who says you never find bargains at Eddy's? Grubbing about on his paperback table I come across this great book by Eric Hobsbawn (almost posthumous since it was published in 2011). It's a collection of essays and introductions to the Marxist classics. Published by Abacus at 12.99 I blagged it off Eddy for 3. He squinted at it and probably couldn't read it without his eyeglass. Or he may be disinclined to keep it on the stall after his recent experiences in the Commie paradise of Cuba. He went fishing in the sea, got bitten by some weird creature, and then found someone had pinched his pants back in the lodging house. His next fishing trip will be to India. Yes, he's been before and likes the place - and never had a bad gut because of the grub.

I also draw Oiklet reader's attention to The Archive. I plan, ultimately, to put up the entire contents of the extant Crazy Oiks in the form they appeared in print. This uses Adobe Reader which most PCs have installed. Give it a go. If the page is too big adjust it to suit. Alan Dent and I had a discussion on this on the now defunct Penniless Press. He thought getting stuff free deterred subscriptions. The Penniless Press website is vast and gets up to 10,000 visitors a month. His replacement magazine MQB has no web presence. He may well be right - who knows but the Oik just seeks to make contact. Nevertheless we probably won't put up issues more recent than a year old.