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solid writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Oracle Comix #1 _  
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Only Printing / 1980 / 24 pages / Thru Black Holes Comix
In the late 1970s, Mike Roden contributed artwork to a pair of fanzines (Mike Banks' Co-Ax and Arthur Metzger's Laughing Osiris) before launching his own fanzine, Thru Black Holes Magazine, in 1978. He followed that up by producing Nemesis Horror Art-zine in '79. Pleased with the feedback he got from the fanzines, Roden published the first issue of Oracle Comix in 1980 with a print run of 800 copies.

Oracle Comix #1 leads off with an archetypal Roden comic, "Psychedelic Graphics," a three-page cosmic odyssey featuring a pagan God, Death, a Rick Griffin palindrome (OXO), lemniscates (infinity symbols) and an Egyptian pyramid with the Sphinx. The narrative vaguely alludes to the evolution of the human mind and the complexity of life, but only with obscure verses like "Time came as a bird" and "Men drew strength from the bizarre." Only Roden could craft a passage like "Skulls flick red. And why not? With hot wire in the soul..."

The two pages that follow "Psychedelic Graphics" seem to pick up on the theme of infinity, as they depict mirror images of a gooey sea serpent with multiple eyes, with the second image reversing the black and white values. On the next page we learn that the serpent is named Gabo-Gabo the Mighty, who dwells in the deep waters of an island where "the land is rich in magic, but an evil underlies it all."

Oracle Comix #1 features several other illustrated vignettes (I hesitate to call them stories) about insects, a blimp and a graveyard, as well as "Amon Duul II," loosely based on one of Roden's favorite German rock bands in the '70s. Though only 24 pages, Oracle Comix #1 delivers an intriguing voyage through the inner sanctum of Roden's eccentric world.
Thru Black Holes Comix printed approximately 800 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted. As was typical of Mike Roden, he signed each copy of the book by hand as "Michael R. Roden."
Michael Roden - 1-15, 16-18 (collaboration), 19-23, 24 (color)

Frodo (a pseudonym presumably inspired by Tolkien's Frodo) - 16-18 (collaboration)
Steven Fox - 24