March 31, 2013

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Oily Comics: January 2013

Stare into the soul of Oily Comics
So Oily Comics had a sale on its subscriptions and I opted for one, because I enjoy mini-comics, I enjoy variety, and I support things that bring both to my door at an affordable rate.  (Sadly, I missed the one for Retrofit, because I'm an idiot.)

I figured it might be fun to do a review for each month's worth of comics, to see what my thoughts are and whether I am leaning towards re-subscribing.

Of course, I'm already behind in doing this, but what else is new?  So, better late than never, here's my thoughts on the first back, which I got roughly in January.

I'll do this in order of title, with a few words on each story, anthology-style.

The End of the Fucking World Part Fifteen by Chuck Forsman is the Oily Comics publisher's ongoing series that reaches its penultimate issue with this comic.  Having not read the others, it was a bit difficult for me to pick up the narrative mid-stream.  What I saw of the story was that two characters who are involved in a major event have their final struggle together.  I'm very curious what the struggle was.  Forsman's lines are simple and thin, not unlike a daily newspaper strip, and the action is clear, crisp, and quick.  It should make for good reading as a complete collection, which I assume Forsman will do at some point.

Foreground by Andy Burkholder got off to a bad start with me when I had to go to the website to figure out the title of the comic and who wrote it.  While I am a fan of the experimental, this one just made no sense to me, with characters changing shapes randomly and seeming non-sequitur moments.  It was my least favorite in this month's batch.

Gnomes by Sam Gasken is a cute joke comic where everyone's favorite lawn ornaments frolic together and do mischievous things, like tricking trolls or having a tickle fight.  Each vignette is short and drawn with thick sharpie pen lines, giving it a bit of a blocky feel.  It's not technically brilliant, but it was a lot of fun to read.

Lou #10 by Melissa Mendes is the only comic from a female creator for this month.  It's another continuing story, but was a bit easier for me to digest because the plot in this case is pretty self-contained.  The story involves a group of young people who look like they're in for some trouble.  The art reminded me a bit of Forsman in its simplicity, using short, direct lines to give us the characters without a lot extra.  I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of this one.

The Virgin by Scott Longo is another more experimental piece, but it was easier for me to follow.  A narrator randomly expresses his (sometimes unpleasant) thoughts and the artwork wanders in structure to match the feelings, going from clear pictures to abstractions.  It's an interesting idea, though definitely not for everyone.

I walked into this subscription with no real idea of what I might get.  Overall, I was happy with the comics, especially since I was buying this blind.  Liking two of the five and being okay with two of the others is a pretty good ratio.  My only thought at this point is that it might be better if only one comic out of the five was a continuation, since not everyone subscribes from the same point.  (This is why I never understood having a subscription to Shonen Jump.)

Next time, we'll check in on February's comics!