October 27, 2013

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Oily Comics June 2013

The unrelenting June Oily Sun
More mini-comic madness here at Panel Patter as I finally get to the June Oily comics!

For those unaware, Oily is a mini-comics publisher that specializes in short, quarter-sized comics.  They run a subscription program and give readers a chance to get a variety of comics and creators in their mailbox every month. The creative rotation changes up regularly, with some folks anchoring the batches (usually Chuck Forsman or Melissa Mendes) and others swinging in and out here and there. I love exploring new creators and seeing what they do, so Oily is perfect for me.

Each month, I go through and offer a few comments on each of the comics I got that month. Let's see what the June batch was like...

Blood Visions Part 2 is a new one for me but I'm quickly hooked on the story. Zach Worton's got a creepy horror story building, as folks apparently are dying violently by coughing up blood. (I know, I'm easy to please. Just give me blood and I'm a happy vampire reviewer.) Worton's linework is very strong, with clearly defined characters who are very realistic, possibly the most life-life of all the Oily creators I've seen so far. The backgrounds nail the school setting well, and his dialogue feels natural and realistic for the situation. This could be a new favorite, and I hope to see more of it soon.
Cut-Away Comics #1 starring John James Audobon by Dan Zettwoch is an irreverent look at the life of the naturalist every child was taught to idolize when I was growing up. It's only when you get older they start teaching you how he got those great paintings, which is the focus here. Zettwoch uses a lot of the tricks of alt comix to tell the story, and they work great, from having JJA's eye bug out of his head to the square, blocky nature of the art. Another great comic in this month's batch.
Lou #15 starts steering the series towards its conclusion, as the characters find a missing man only to learn he's not their friend when the cops come calling. The situation in Melissa Mendes' long-running comic doesn't look good at all. Someone is going to end up hurt--the question is who. Will it be Lou, the name on the cover? We'll have to see. Once again, this features Mendes' solid artwork that brings a lot of emotion to the table without a lot of lines. It does pale a bit compared against Zettwoch and Worton, in terms of the art, however, instead of being the standout in a grouping of Oilys.
Mrs. Connie Dutton An Adaptation of Spam is exactly the reason mini-comics exist and hopefully always will. It wouldn't work as a webcomic or in a slick production. It's a joke based around the complimentary emails we all receive, with a woman as a face behind the name. Jessica Campbell tells her story with one-page splash pieces and a little text. It's incredibly cute and uses the quarter-sized zine form perfectly.
Word & Voice 6 from Aaron Cockle closes out this month's entries, and while this will probably never be a favorite, it's still getting better. This time we learn of a couple who were having issues just before the virus hit, and now they'll never be able to reconcile. It's very touching, with large blocks of text interspersed with the simple visuals of the pair.

That's June! Come back next time, when I look at the July comics.