Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #58

By Nick Gazin

Hey Friendsters,
Here are some pieces of comic book news:

Kevin Eastman has put up some of the most important pieces of TMNT art and artifacts for sale for some reason. 

Look at this guy! Gross!

Look at this awesome building!

IDW is reprinting the original TMNT comics in newly recolored versions. 

According to Stan Lee, Michael Jackson wanted to buy Marvel Comics and play Spiderman in a movie. I miss MJ.

This week all the reviews are of comics I was given at MoCCA last weekend. Thanks to everyone who gave me their stuff.

#1
The Professor and the Paperboy
John Malta

Oh shit, this shit is great. This is a giant oversize comic about a long-haired dirtbag who hangs out with some sort of wizardy ass scientist. The scientist gives him some things to help him on his quest and then the kid goes off into another dimension and has adventures which seem like an excuse for John Malta to draw cool things. This is a must-have thing. You gotta get it. It's great. He's an up-and-comer but also a here-and-nower. If you like Matt Furie, Alex Schubert, Michael Deforge, or guys like that then you'll be jizzing all over this thing. As a warning the cover is made of really soft paper and mine got super torn up on the way home. 

#2
Space Ducks No. 1
Daniel Johnston
Boom! Town

Daniel Johnston wanted to be a comic book artist for a long time and traveled to meet P. Craig Russell for advice about 30 years ago. If you've seen his drawings you've noticed how often familiar comic characters appear. This is the culmination of his dream from before he was a star. It's great. 

The plot is that a duck is riding on a plane when he takes some pills and the man behind him implants a vision in his mind of the Space Ducks saving the world. The Space Ducks are ducks with bodies like men and heads like ducks. They travel to a vampire planet where Satan lives and some of them are captured. Those who escape return and attack the planet and save the girls. Then the main duck whose dream this is wakes up and realizes that Space Ducks are the secret to saving humanity. The book is the same dimensions and length as a lot of French comics. The whole comic is beautifully drawn and colored with markers. The dialogue is funny and poetic. The last page is a series of cardboard cutout images of the ducks and their spaceships. The idea is that you download the Space Ducks iPad app and then play it by putting the cardboard pieces on top. I don't know how it works but it's pretty cute. 

#3
Universal Slime
Edited by John Malta

This is a great little anthology of comics and drawings by some of the best people in comics and illustration right now. I'm in it too. Alex Schubert contributed a comic about a big talking coward. Katie Turner did a comic about a make-out sesh where the lady gets naked and the guy doesn't. Michael Deforge delivered his standard geniusness. Rand Renfrow drew something pretty and strange. Matthew Volz, the guy who does all the art for the Beets handed in some cool flyers. Ted McGrath handed in some cool stuff. My pages are just two rough sketchbook images. I should have handed in some better work. Why do I always fuck away all my opportunities!? Another thing that's cool about it is that it's bound with a rubber band that's been cut into a strand and tied together in the center of the book. I like when people find their own ways to construct a book. It's like when Basquiat would stretch his own canvases in those weird ways that made the paintings also count as sculpture. We're in innovative times and people are rewriting the laws of zining.

#4
Killer Acid shirt
Rob Corradetti 
Killer Acid

Rob gave me this shirt on a pink shirt but it was a small and when I wear it it makes me look like a sausage. I'm glad to get it in black and at the right size for a guy who doesn't exercise. His obsessive details are so rad that it can be overlooked that skulls are way overdone. He made skulls his own. 

#5
Woe Is Me: The Tragic Life of Baron Von Badtooth
Nichole Senter

This is a funny little comic about a sad and lonely man who is also a Dracula. He tries to be happy and make friends but it doesn't work.

The part where he's a Dracula-looking man is almost incidental since the comic deals with human issues. Baron Von Badtooth hears about a beard contest so he grows a beard and comes in last place. Baron goes to the pool but is scared to go in the deep end. Later he Skypes about it but the video freezes. Baron goes to the roller skating rink by himself on hip-hop night. Baron goes on a date but his cape keeps catching the wind and it makes him take twice as long and when he gets there she's not around. He cries and dries his tears with his cape.

The construction of this book is also worth pointing out. It's 8 1/2 by 11 inches and bound with staples and gaff tape. The title on the cover appears to be colored by hand and the back of each page is a series of drawings of candles in tea cups. I've never seen anyone do that before. 

Check out Nichole's Tumblr here

#6
RIP Shirt
Matt Furie

This is a shirt that Matt Furie drew and Jeff Bowers produced. Pretty self-explanatory. 

#7
Francis Bear 
Gregory Mackay
Corky Comics

There are plenty of comics in which stuffed animals live adult human lives and they are usually not very good. The humor is typically supposed to be derived from the dichotomy between the association of stuffed animals with childhood and the dirty adultness of their actions. The comic adventures of Francis Bear aren't quite that. They're adult but not dirty and the jokes are actually funny. Gregory Mackay really knows how to draw and pours himself into scenes involving streets, cars, cables, technology. Great comic. 

#8
Eye of the Majestic Creature
Leslie Stein

Leslie's comic book stand-in, Larry Bear, wakes up gross and hungover and wanders through the moments of her life by herself. Larry Bear lives with living instruments that have arms and legs and problems and they have their own life in her apartment. She goes to work, she goes to the bar, she has interactions with strangers and she tries to feel okay in a lonesome picaresque. Think of how watching the opening credits to SNL makes living in New York feel. Eye Of the Majestic Creature #5 feels like the opposite of that. 

#9
Slow Youth Volume 1///Summer 2012
Bridget Collins, Anthony Cudahy, Kris Mukai, Chris, Nosenzo, Garret Young

I think all the contributors to this nice art zine are recent Pratt graduates. There's Anthony Cudahy, who's a young genius, and Kris Mukai, who's also okay. The other contributing artists are good too. They took some care crafting this zine. The cover has a metallic sheen and stops just short of covering the entire book. The interior pages are printed on high-quality paper and each artist's section is printed in a different color ink. There's also a smaller zine of photos bound into the book and two loose prints as well.

#10
Daniel Johnston Postcards
Jung Kim

Jung's been documenting Daniel for the last few years and is working on a book. She gave me two postcards of him, one in his action-figure-filled room and one in the middle of the street.

#11
KO 
Roxie Vizcarra

Jesus Christ, Roxie Vizcarra can fucking draw. There's a little bit of an Ashley Wood vibe, a little bit of a Tomer Hanuka vibe, and some Egon Scheile, but it is really just her being one of the most adroit illustrators under 25 right now. This is a zine of some of her sketchbook drawings and they're all amazing. 

#12
Chubby Chasers
Box Brown

The joys of plus-size women, the woes of being a man who likes chubbos.

#13
Dark Tomato 
Sakura Maku
Domino Books

My former SVA classmate Sakura Maku made this. We were in a group show once back in 2003. This comic is a weird story about a subway train conductor named Prince Tamlin Tomato. One day she sees the flash of a round face in the darkness in front of the subway train. A lot of the text in this comic seems like song lyrics and it's not really about the narrative story so much. The main of it is pretty rad. I think it's printed a little darker than it should have been because some of the text and images aren't clear. Good anyway. 

#14
Quickie Volume 4
Roxie Vizcarra, Rebecca Mock, HamletMachine, Cathy Johnson, Maritsa Patrinos, Heather Danforth, Nick Iluzada, Michael Clayton

A bunch of people did sexy drawings in a cute little porny zine. There's some straight, gay, and lesbian stuff and just dudes and ladies drawn by themselves. Roxie Vizcarra drew an awesome 69. These are people who you don't hear a lot about in the comics scene because they all draw so well they secretly have fancy art jobs. 

#15
Adventure Time #2
By Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb, Steve Wands, Lucy Kinsely, Zac Gorman

The second issue of Adventure Tim is a pretty good time. The lead story continues from last issue and I find it difficult to follow. The second story is about our heroes dying their clothes red and having to do favors to a witch to get her to reverse them. The third looks an awful lot like it's in the style of Joann Sfar.

#16
PEEK
Elizabeth Farrel

This little zine presents a bunch of drawings of upskirt shots of Japanese schoolgirls. The underwear is always colored pink and you can't see their faces. I think this was based on looking at someone's Tumblr. Tumblr might be one of the most important tools to artists right now. It shoves inspiration right into you.

And here's your Moebius image of the week. 

See you next week!

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Previously - #57

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