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posted October 29, 2008
Okay Studios, comic book, 24 pages, 2008
Surprises have become increasingly rare in a comics industry dominated by blogs, podcasts and more decent-sized conventions than there are months in a calendar year, but this one was a pleasant thrill right down to the moment I held it in my hands. Rather than opening the cover above to pages of less-attractive black and white work as is all too typical with self-published efforts, I opened Kate Allen's new 24-page comic book to find it boasted color throughout and unless I'm wrong every single story page and illustration was more attractive than that still-nice cover.
I want to be careful not to overpraise the book, mostly because I think not accepting it on its own terms might damage someone's reception of the work. It's comprised entirely of short vignettes that begin in media res and end in blackouts. Each story is introduced by a related illustration. Milk-Teeth
doesn't build, nor can I say that it's greater than the sum of its parts. It's good, though. Each story contains a morbid or otherwise slightly sinister twist on fairy tale tropes, such as the relationship between the virgin and the unicorn or what the Tooth Fairy does, a medium-cool variation of what Nick Gurewitch might do without the release of humor. They're nicely delineated little stories, humorous in their own, restrained fashion and always economically told. The skill brought to bear in making them is obvious, in that way where you want to know more about the artist even if you don't necessarily want another 200 pages for the kind of comic you just read. I quite like the use of color, for instance in the way the hues selected for the final story suggest both temperature and, I think, gender correlatives. I'd look for this one at conventions.