There is something deeply satisfying about receiving post. Indeed, this series exists to pay testament to the fact. Whether it be the pleasant interruption of the working day or a nice surprise upon returning home, there’s always pleasure to be taken from tearing a package open and gazing upon its contents. This is true even when you know exactly what it contains; it’s even more exciting when the contents are a mystery.
That’s one of the reasons the monthly subscription offered by Oily Comics is such a great idea. The second is the quality of the material. Having signed up for three months through to December, my first month’s package dropped through the mail slot the other day. It contained the following six mini-comics:
- Noise #3
- Real Rap #5
- Teen Creeps #4
- Tell God To Blow The Wind From The West
- Word and Voice #8
The standout is Teen Creeps #4, by Oily Comics publisher Charles Forsman. It offers a window into the life of Dawn, one of the teens of the title, and her attempts to navigate the complications of adolescence. Forsman has received a lot of praise for The End of the Fucking World, and Teen Creeps is of a similarly high standard. His simple linework emphasises emotion, and his sparse panels ensure the characters are always the focus. He does a great job capturing the language of teens too; Dawn’s attempts at profundity are clumsy but earnest, while a phrase like “get your dick wet” highlights how burgeoning sexuality and immaturity are inextricably linked at that age. It’s enough to send me scurrying off to buy the first three issues, whilst eagerly awaiting the fifth.
The other five mini-comics suggest that the American underground comics scene is in rude health. In particular, Tell God To Blow The Wind From The West – based on 9/11 victim Kevin Cosgrove’s final moments – marks Nick Drnaso out as one to watch, with the heart-wrenching desperation of Cosgrove’s last words set against images of an empty cityscape. The symbolism is obvious, but that doesn’t make it any less effective.
Comics Alliance recently recommended an Oily Comics subscription as a gift. If you can bear to sign up a friend rather than yourself, you’re more generous than I could ever hope to be.