Cold Cut Distribution's Feature Spotlight #25 - July 1997

Castle Waiting

Publisher:	Olio
Story & Art:	Linda Medley
Cover Price:	$2.95
Frequency:	quarterly  (2 issues & a graphic novel currently available)


Once upon a time, there was a beautiful baby princess who was cursed by an evil, jealous witch to one day prick her finger and fall into an enchanted sleep, never to awaken until a handsome prince could kiss her. Think you've heard the story of Sleeping Beauty? Then think again: what effects did this enchantment have on the dozens and hundreds of folks around the poor princess? Her handmaidens, the castle steward, the cook -- all of them caught in the enchantment to sleep forever.

But once the handsome prince comes to waken his beautiful bride, they leave the castle together to start a new life, leaving the rest of the castle's denizens simply waiting for a new royal family to take up residence -- so the castle has come to be known as Castle Waiting.

Over the years which the castle was under the spell, it has come to be known as a spooky place, a place to be avoided by the neighbors - and has come to be regarded as only a fairy tale by much of the rest of the world. But when a lady from across the continent encounters trouble at home which she just can't handle, she begins her trek to the legendary place of refuge: Castle Waiting.

Writing Review:

Fabulous idea that holds up well with Linda's spritely writing and witty dialogue. Each issue so far, including the Graphic Novel which tells the origin of the Castle, has told a relatively standalone story while still remaining part of an ongoing plot, and each issue is sprinkled with plenty of fairy-tale references for those with sharp eyes, as when the travelling woman stops for a spell in the town in Bremen during their music festival. Sharp writing combined with true pathos and wonderful pacing, Castle Waiting is a bona fide treasure.

Art Review:

Linda's spent a number of years illustrating children's books, as well as doing her turn in mainstream comics, coloring books like Batman and pencilling the Justice League. Her art in Castle Waiting is simply marvelous - harkening back to classic illustration from fairy-tale days. Straightforward panel layout, visual variety, great expressions, and visually interesting characters add up to a fabulous art job.


Castle Waiting should appeal to all fans of humorous fantasy adventure and fairy tales. With simply excellent art and top-notch writing, CW should be one of your best-selling fantasy books. Readers of Bone will snap this up, as will fans of Thieves & Kings, Replacement God, Sheba, and Pakkins' Land. People who loved the movie "Time Bandits", the funny folklore novels of Tim Holt, or the humorous fantasy of Terry Pratchett should also definitely try it - Castle Waiting is a clear-cut gem!

If you like Castle Waiting, take a look at:

Odd Adventure-Zine

Publisher:	Zamboni Press
Story & Art:	Ty & Ian Smith
Cover Price:	$2.95
Frequency:	quarterly  (3 issues currently available)


Got a problem with a giant rampaging armadillo trashing the town? Maybe a mad scientist with an invisibility formula and a valuable Etch-A-Sketch? Or a guy who loses his cool and begins blasting the townspeople with a taxidermy ray? Then you know who's got to be on the case: Moe, Investigator of the Odd!

First it's an angry man with a taxidermy gun who's turning the citizens of Spiral City into stuffed statues - just whatever you do, don't make fun of the moose antlers on his head. Only one man can figure out how to stop this reign of terror -- Moe! Lucky for the citizens of Spiral City they have their own "Investigator of the Odd."

Writing Review:

Quirky, offbeat storylines and idiosyncratic characters combine with an overall sense of fun to produce a sort of "Dr. Radium & Madman work on the X-Files" book. Each issue is a complete story, sometimes with more than one major plotline. Although the main characters don't really have "origin stories" yet, none are really needed - the fact that Moe is the Investigator of the Odd is about all you need to know to jump right in to any particular issue. Tightly plotted with wacky plot bits, clever twists and colorful characters, the only complaint from this corner is the editing - a few typos are still creeping in. Overall, a well-done package that's a hugely fun read.

Art Review:

Lively, clean artwork, with generally thick lines and heavy shadows provides a distinct "deep" appearance to the art. Characters are rendered more iconically, with thick swashes of ink denoting eyebrows and such, and are limited in the range of emotions expressed. But with a book full of deadpan humor and characters dealing with absurd situations in mundane ways, the deadpan feel of the art melds with the story to produce a unified, low-key approach.

Meanwhile, some obvious care is taken to add fun little details on occasion into the art, ranging from a panel presenting a "true binocular effect" to having a short professor use a stack of phone books as steps to get into his chair.


One of the most fun small-press comedy-adventures on the market today, OAZ should delight readers of Dr. Radium and Madman, while readers of the popular X-Files may be interested in an offbeat, lighthearted look at those same "supernatural" situations played with a comedic bent. Similarly, fans of The Tick may want to sample a more regularly-appearing dose of offbeat adventuring, though OAZ is not offbeat superheroes - it's offbeat detectives. Readers of Gold Digger, Wolff & Byrd, and Antarctic's recent Amazing Adventures of Professor Jones may want to sample OAZ for its similarly lighthearted irreverence.
[ panels from Odd Adventure-Zine ]

If you like Odd Adventure Zine, take a look at:

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