Monday, June 24, 2013

Oak Linden Issue #1

You know, I don't usually talk about the cost of the things I review on this site, in large part because I either get them through trade or people send them to me for free. (They also pretty much all get given away, either to friends, to zine libraries, or to the #UBCnoox, in case you're thinking I'm sitting on a dragon-sized horde of zines.)

But this is a regular sized comic, with 24 pages (plus cover), and only 11 of those are in colour, for $6. I know that small print runs can be expensive, and I kind of doubt Barrett was making any/much money off of this, but at the same time I think creators should maybe think a bit more about the formats they're using.

Okay! But that's enough about prices (and holy shit, I've been writing a lot about stuff that isn't the actual content of zines recently), what's inside the comic? Well, as you might have surmised, the contents of this comic is made up of a number of different stories. There's a bizarre sort of pulp sci-fi Abraham Lincoln time travelling space hero comic that was kind of fun. It's retro in style and even uses the old weird dot style colouring that used to exist because of the way things were printed. My favourite part of this one was when Lincoln turned off his "audio receptors" while the villain (in the future) is talking to him because "no man may know his own destiny!".

The next comic is a sort of "behind the music" expose about a rapping robot. It's pretty fun, though I can't say that I enjoyed the colouring that much, and Barrett's characters all have this bizarre bendyness to them that I find kind of horrifying. The characters don't have elbows or knees, but instead seem to be able to stretch like Mr. Fantastic (or any of the many other stretchy characters, I personally like the Elongated Man). While this worked fine in the Lincoln comic, it just looks weird to me in the more realistic setting.

There's also a kind of depressing and creepy comic about a guy and his girlfriend (who also lack elbow joints), and the bizarre baseball-related nightmare of a guy who has a film projector for a head.  Overall I enjoyed three of the four comics in here, and I'm curious about seeing other work that Barrett creates (well, not if they're like that girlfriend comic).

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