April 25, 2014

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Oily Comics November 2013

With the new set of Oily Comics showing up at my door just before I moved to Portland, I realized that I wanted to finish up my look at the original, monthly works.

For those who might come to this new, Oily was a monthly subscription service that provided 5 small, quarter-sized mini-comics each month. Run by Chuck Forsman, who is keeping the imprint but revising how he puts it together, it was a great way to get a small dose of comics in your life every month.

So in the penultimate batch, what did we have? A brief review is below. Most of these comics are still available from Oily directly, or wherever finer mini-comics are sold:

Blood Visions 3 by Zach Worton features a rather familiar couple on the front cover. On the inside, the story of strange, blood-related occurrences continue, with a pair of image-sensitive cops not understanding the scope of the problem. A new scene starts at a party, and I bet the next edition will feature some blood there. This one, honestly, while well-drawn, has a problem with abrupt endings based on the small page count, making it a bit hard to follow month to month.

The Desk by Leslie Stein, is a cute one-and-done about a little girl who walls herself up into her room in order to try to gain attention from busy family members by turning it into "Lorry's Room." The plan fails when nature calls, leading to some great comedic work by Stein. Featuring thin, crisp lines with a lot of detail, this one was a highlight in this month's batch.

Dumpling King 4 from Alex Kim ramps us the action as the old man is revealed for his true nature in some strong, angular work from Kim, packing as much illustrative power as possible into such a small space. With the secrets out in the open and ordinary young men caught in the middle, it's going to be a lot of fun to see where this goes next. Kim's art is very distinctive, with almost no soft or round lines to be found. He varies shades and makes everything that's going on quite clear. I'm worried I'll never see the end to this story, which would be a shame.

Outside 3 finishes the run from Marc Geddes and Warren Craighead. This one never did anything for me, unfortunately, and the final installment was no exception. The work is just too abstract. I'm not the target person for this style of comic.

Teen Creeps 5 is a nearly wordless issue, as Dawn's plans for the illegal drugs she purchased are not what you might have expected. It's a clever idea, but I expect the consequences won't work out in the way Dawn is thinking. Each step is clearly outlined by Forsman, and the final line is note-perfect. Unfortunately, Forsman seems to disagree, as this is an aborted story now.

That was November. I'll try to do December as quickly as I can, closing the book on the old Oily, so I can talk about the new issues that came at the end of March. Tune in then, won't you?