Comics Time: Olde Tales Vol. II

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Olde Tales Vol. II

Lane Milburn, writer/artist

Closed Caption Comics, 2007

38 pages

$5.00

Buy it from Atomic Books

This effective little minicomic draws strength from combining a satisfyingly crude pair of short, silly stories with a surprisingly sophisticated visual approach. There’s no doubt that the CCC collective is indebted to Fort Thunder and related artists, but like the best of that crew, Milburn isn’t just throwing marks on a page, he’s building something out of them, describing an inhabitable physical space. Loose figurework that suggests a rock-solid skeletal structure beneath the surface, deftly chosen camera angles–particularly in the second story, “Wasteland”–and a willingness to fill the panels with information from top to bottom, even if just with thick blacks or hatching (this is the kind of comic that makes you realize how frequently artists waste the top third of a panel) give the book the oomph it needs. The two stories play different gross-out notes, one just cute and goofy and the other sexualized and violent–and god help me, I just realized that the common link is, in a sense, sausage-eating. You can connect the dots, I’m sure. They’re unassuming little things to be sure, but the basic ideas–an old Yoda-like lady-creature telling the younglings about the time she won a competitive eating contest against a bunch of other monsters, and three fratboys whose drunken perambulations lead one into coitus with a hag-thing and the other to be literally skullfucked to death by a minotaur–are rolled out with minimal fuss or pretension and a great deal of self-evident enjoyment. Funny punchlines for both, too. Not for everyone, then, but certainly for me.

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