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posted September 25, 2013
Oily Comics, mini-comic, eight pages, $1, 2013.
It's fun to see how various comic artists negotiate the low rewards, reduced size and limited page count of doing something through the Oily Comics outfit. In the case of Sam Gaskin's Goblins
, the reader gets a number of single-page stories that makes the work seem more dense, the artwork looks very loose and expressive as opposed to super-tight and finished, and the style employed looks crude and kind of tossed off in its figure drawing in a way that gives the whole thing a little extra energy while be perfectly clear being held in one's hands. These things unite the mini, as does an overarching, easily graspable idea: that goblins are horrible creatures that like to eat people while not being individually formidable in any single way. They are extras in the monster movie of life.
In my favorite comic in this tiny collection, called "Traveler," a man encounters a group of goblins that forced him to the ground and eat him. He retains the hat that is his primary distinction between man and his oppressors. The end. The humor comes from the exaggerated actions of the victim and the knowing, grim inevitability of it all. The Oily Comics milieu seems perfect for the pursuit of single ideas, even an extended riff. Gaskin shows the format can entertain slightly more complicated notions by walking through them eyes open.