“Oil’s Well That Ends Well” takes place in 2010. The main character is Diane Robertson, a reporter for Channel 2. It opens as she and her co-host Bob Brunswick are announcing the death of a team of oil-drillers who lost their lives during a tunnel collapse.
Due to repeated drilling of the Armstrong Oil Basin, the drillers were forced to approach from a highly dangerous angle. Although Bob is happy to crack jokes about the incident, Diane takes issue with the writing which she views as disrespectful. After Bob says his line, “Oil’s well that ends well,” Diane ignores the teleprompter’s instruction that she laugh.
This leads to friction with her boss after the show. She states her views about the callous writing and also expresses dissatisfaction with her being forced to use the stage name “Diane.” The reader then learns that her real name is not Diane but Betty. Her boss reiterates the necessity of calling herself Diane because regional demographic studies concluded that, since her host is named Bob Brunswick, using her real name would create too many B sounds.
He then tells her that if she isn’t happy with the way things are, then he would be happy to write a letter of recommendation for her to use while pursuing another job. Diane asks him if he would write the letter for Diane or Betty and then leaves his office. The chapter closes with a splash page of Betty/Diane, sitting in the stairwell crying.
“Oil’s Well That Ends Well” is the first chapter to be published outside of Oakwood Anthology. It was printed as a one-page advertisement and distributed at Baltimore Comic Con 2009. Before the Q&A session with Robert Kirkman, a copy was left on each of the four speakers’ chairs in an attempt to gain exposure and hopefully garner a mainstream publisher. It didn’t work.
Although production on “Oakwood: Thirsty” began before “Oil’s Well,” “Oil’s Well” was finished first. It previously held the title “Oakwood: Chapter 1.”