Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-in #75
I'm Nick Gazin and this is my VICE column of news and reviews pertaining to comics and illustration and things that appeal to people interested in that stuff. I hope you like it.
Last week the VICE Sunday comic wasn't a comic at all! It was ten images from Devin Flynn's sketchbook. If you don't know Devin's work, he's done art for VICE in the past and is an amazing illustrator, artist, animator, and he plays in a band with Gary Panter. Check out his website to see his great and weird cartoons, which I highly recommend if you like Superjail.
Fantagraphics shared this cool one-page comic that some guy made about the Tube Bar. If you've listened to the commentaries on the Simpsons DVDs, then you know that the recordings of the prank calls to the Tube Bar are what inspired the prank calls to Moe's Tavern in the early seasons of the show.
Look at this beautiful illustration from the 70s by Ikko Tanakka. There are a bunch of other similar Japanese illustrations in this Flickr folder.
Look at this great drawing by Carly Elizabeth Schmitt. The proportions are all over the place but I think that adds to what makes it interesting and unnerving.
Spiderman wants you to vote. Lots of comic characters do. How many votes have been thrown away on Lil Abner? Did you know that not only have many comic book characters encouraged people to vote, but more than a handful have run for office themselves? Instead of reviews this column is just images of comic characters who tried to become the Commander in Chief.
Alfred E. Neuman's first major Mad magazine cover appearance was as a presidential candidate. This picture, painted by Norman Mingo, became the basic default image for Mad's mascot.
I think there's been a cover showing Alfred E. Neuman running for president during every election.
I wonder how many Alfred E. Neuman for President stickers and posters are floating around.
No one runs for president like Snoopy runs for president. I want that Snoopy for President patch. It looks more like he's going to the opera than running for president.
These aren't officially endorsed but this kind of shit makes the world more magical.
I love this image. I wonder where that lady is now. Probably dead. Part of me wonders if she's an ex-girlfriend's mom.
Also the Joker wants to be president. And this artist drew him with a chin like Dudley Do-Right.
Archie, the world's most annoying teenager, also ran for president. How did he get away with dating two girls who were best friends? I feel like Archie's portrayal of the world warped me more than any of the porn I saw as a kid.
Huckleberry Hound ran for president and his four make-believe animal friends showed up and were really into it. Then at some point between the time when comics went from ten to twelve cents Yogi Bear threw his hat in the ring and became a vicious campaigner who tried to fuck over his gorilla friend.
Pogo the talking possum also ran for president a lot. That comic was severely political at times. Can you imagine wearing that Pogo for President hat around? I think I would.
One of the most quoted lines from Pogo was "We have met the enemy and he is us." I feel like that's a very Devo statement.
Here's a Superman comic that imitated an old issue of Captain America.
Here's a Superman comic with a funny campaign button and a Captain America comic that preceded it with the same basic idea. Way to not have any original ideas, comic books.
Here's a comic where instead of getting voted in, Superman just impersonates the president. It's not illegal if Superman steals the presidency, I guess.
In 1973 DC published four issues of Prez and then cancelled it. It was about an 18-year-old who becomes president. There was an issue of Sandman in which Neil Gaiman wrote about Prez. You can see more about Prez's story here. It's very weirdly cynical and similar to the movie Riot in the Streets.
Reagan's Raiders is a comic in which Reagan and his cabinet are granted superpowers so they fight drug dealers and terrorists. Besides the humor derived from seeing a bunch of wrinkly old men with muscular bodies, this seems like a pretty earnest comic. I thought it would be more of an attack on Reagan, but nope, Reagan and his friends have superpowers and they fight evil and that's it. Somehow it only made it three issues. This reminds me a lot of something Ben Marra would make.
Bill the Cat ran for president too. I like that. For those under 30, Bill the Cat was a character who was supposed to be a charmless and unlikeable parody of Garfield. He always seemed kind of sick, on drugs or deranged, and just completely unappealing, but everyone else in the comic loved him and he would often become famous. He also couldn't speak and would just say "ACK!" and give an occasional Bronx cheer. The character was supposed to be so disgusting that it could never be merchandised, but it was anyway. Here's a poster and T-shirt encouraging you to vote for a thing that is gross on purpose.
Mighty Mouse ran for president. So did Bullwinkle and Alvin the Chipmunk. Not much for me to say about that.
I have nothing to say about Captain Marvel or Howard the Duck running for president. I hope that the images of these funny-looking creatures being the president will tickle you enough without me having to comment on it.
I hope you liked this. See you next time!
Previously - Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #74