And lo did the minstrels sing of a long-ago time when the great 'comic books' did flood the shops with a veritable boom of product, that savvy investors might blow their allowance. And thus were many strange and ill-considered ventures brought forth upon the racks, and it is of one such that we sing today!

Sing? Hell, I can't even PRONOUNCE "Zolastraya." But who cares? Lusty wenches with crimped hair and stirrup pants battling it out amidst one of our nation's more bucolic national forests? I'm in! Surely the comic inside will deliver all the cover promises. Comic book covers can't lie!

It isn't every lusty sword-wench comic that leads with dialog you could answer by shouting "KROQ - HOME OF THE HITS!" In fact this lusty sword-wench comic isn't like any other comic, lusty, swordy, wenchy, or otherwise.

For one thing it stars Medieval Times' number-one Stevie Nicks impersonator (as "Zolastraya") and that guy you always see hanging out at the dumpster behind the Arbys near the bus station (as "The Bard"). And another thing, it has a positive obsession with slow, deliberate, one might say stilted panel-to-panel transitions, like the one here.

As the great sage Scott McCloud taught us, comics can bend time to their will, taking the reader forward or back hundreds or thousands of years or expressing the passage of hours with a mere "Later that same day..." But ZORUSTRAYAY AND THE BIRD here pares the narrative down to its bare essence, making damn sure we know that Zee here took one step, then another step, and then told us we have no time to waste. Unlike, say, this comic.

One gets the distinct impression that SOMETHING is happening in these panels - our human brains can't help but try and connect the images into some sort of coherent narrative. And logically I know that something happening here involves swords, but beyond that... I got nothin'.

The action speeds up and slows down abruptly between panels - the sword is three-quarters of the way up, the sword is at the top of its swing, and then suddenly it's all the way down again, cutting a troll's head off. Meanwhile feet are doing something. Dancing, I guess. Sure, why not.

And hey, look, another three-panel transition! Hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it!

Must have been a big sale on pages featuring 3 vertical panels down at Home Comic Page Depot, I guess. Okay comic book, that photo cover promised me lusty sword-wench fighting, and now it's time to deliver!

Thank you, comic! Thanks for making me wade through 26 pages of ONE, TWO, THREE panels before giving me your photo-referenced sketches. Seriously though, that's the whole comic book- moustache man and Stevie Nicks walk through a forest, kill a troll, beat up a guy, and then come to a tavern where the ladies swordfight and call each other names. Nowadays, of course, this is just a typical evening playing 'World Of Warcraft.'

Hey, I still have some film left on this roll. Go to it ladies!