August 6, 2013

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Oily Comics April 2013

No Foolin' April's Oily Batch Was Good.
It's time to continue reviewing the Oily comics I've received so far, taking a brief tour of the five comics I received at the end of April.

If you didn't see the prior posts, Oily is a mini-comics publisher that specializes in short, quarter-sized comics.  They run a subscription program, and I got a six-month sub to see what it was all about.  I enjoy finding new creators and since I'm going to less cons this year, I thought taking advantage of subscriptions like these would be a good way to do it. I liked what I'd read so far enough to re-subscribe, so you'll be seeing these reviews until the end of the year.

Here's a few thoughts on each of the comics for April.  Lou continues again this month, moving into its second year. The only other returning comic was Word & Voice, which I was a bit iffy on last time I got it a few months ago.

Dumpling King 2 by Alex Kim finds a delivery boy bringing dumplings to an old man in his expansive hot tub, where he makes an uncomfortable connection to a friend. The issue ends on a cliffhanger as this friend may or may not be dragging the boy into a bad situation. Kim's work is angular, and reminds me of Jarod Rosello. I'm curious to see where this one goes.

Elizabeth of Canada 2 continues a series by Michael DeForge. Set in the 1880s, it follows a girl who works for a butcher, which has the perk of getting free meat, so I'm a bit envious. This one's also in its early stages, so it's hard to tell where the story is going (DeForge doesn't even know 100%, marking it #2 of ?). The characters are definitely quirky, which is a plus. The art is primitive in terms of the figures, but DeForge takes time to draw all the lines in the wooden backgrounds, which is a neat reversal of the usual. This one also bears watching.

Lou 13 is now the signature series for Oily, I guess, with Forsman's End of the Fucking World ending. It's the only one that's been in every shipment. I really dig the work that Melissa Mendes is doing, so I'm more than happy to have her comic appear every month in the mail. In this issue, there's babysitter trouble, as the parents leave Eddie in charge and he promptly loses one of the kids! The interplay with the siblings is great and Mendes's simple art lines do just what they need to do in order to get across the sense of tension and eventual panic.

Word & Voice 5 still didn't grab me, but I at least was able to better understand the story, thanks to a brief intro on the cover (very useful) and a bit more text. Set on what I think is meant to be the moon, the explorers build a transmission tower that brings the virus to them. The art was much clearer this time as well, and I had no problem following the story. Hopefully it will pick up from here when I see it next.

Jo Derry in Conversation with Melissa Mendes was an interview comic!  I was quite surprised to find this, but I liked it a lot. Derry, also a cartoonist, talked about a range of things with Mendes, such as moving, teaching, and art. I'd definitely like to see more of this with other artists in the Oily stable.

This was a very good month of comics. Next in this irregular series will be the May issues.