Comics

Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #90

By Nick Gazin

Dear Comic Bookies,

Alex Schubert made a Killer Driller cartoon for Fox's ADHD programming. You can watch the whole thing above.

Rock 'n' rollers who resent digital music have been losing it over this panel from an old Archie comic in which he seems to predict the future. 

Last Gasp, publishers of neato books, are selling sets of their classic underground hippie comix for cheap starting June 26. Check it out if you want some of them. 

Look at this old photo of a Vampirella model. For a long time, Vampirella models were just about the only girls you would see at comic conventions. There have been several official Vampirella models, and the width of the strips of fabric that make up their costumes has changed with the attitudes of the times.

Here are some great Sesame Street posters that Jack Davis drew some time in the 70s.

Eye of the Majestic Creature Volume 2
Leslie Stein
Fantagraphics

Frequent VICE contributor Leslie Stein has a new book of comics out from Fantagraphics, and it's a really good one. 

Eye of the Majestic Creature Volume 2 continues Leslie’s tradition of telling self-contained stories about a thinly veiled stand-in for herself named Larrybear. Larry's eyes are these big white wafers that sit on top of her face and make it hard for the reader to ever really feel like they are the character. Most of the other characters’ eyes are also pupil-less, making every interaction Larry has feel potentially threatening. The core of this series seems to be about how uncomfortable it is to interact with other people and how lonely it can be in New York. I was quoted saying something similar in the book's press release.

The first story in EOTMCV.2 starts with Larry waking up naked and hungover, which has happened before in this series. She lives with three sentient instruments that have arms and legs, but no faces. She has a shitty time but finds solace in her new hobby of Victorian sand counting, which seems to be a metaphor for how fruitless and time consuming making comics can be.

The next story is a terrifying one from Leslie's childhood in which her mother takes her and her siblings to Disneyland and then invites a drifter to come with them. It does a very good job of communicating the horror that children of alcoholics feel—the scariness of parents who aren't protecting you. We published this comic in two parts on VICE. 

There are two more comics about Larry experiencing severe joys and discomfort as a child and visiting a boyfriend's alcoholic father. The book ends with Larry finding a Booji Boy mask (google it if you don't know) in a secondhand shop and wearing it around for the remainder of the book. 

What Leslie does with her work is special. She seems largely influenced by newspaper comics, but her stories are subtle. There's not always an obvious storyline, but you can tell something's happening although you might not be able to tell what the hell it is.

Get Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2 here.

Legends of the Blues
William Stout
Abrams

Comic artists loooove drawing blues musicians. There's just something about a world-weary black man with straight hair holding a guitar in a neighborly fashion that seems to satisfy illustrators. This reminds me of various trading-card sets that Kitchen Sink Press put out in the 90s, except that it's a book. Both R. Crumb and his son Jesse Crumb have done a lot of drawings like this. If this wasn't by someone as great as Bill Stout I might not care. It is by Bill Stout, though, so I care a lot. He's got a mastery of delicate details and bold use of black. His stuff is great every time and I would be happy to look at a book of anything he drew. 

Get Legends of the Blues here.

I Love Your Butt
Sabrina Elliot
Self Published

This is one of those zines made by taking one piece of printer paper, putting a slit in the middle, and giving it an accordion fold so that it's a teeny little eight-page booklet. This one is full of cute lady butts. They are all good drawings of varied butt types and they're not crazy idealized. When you unfold the zine and lay it out flat, the other side of the paper is a print of one large butt in a heart that is signed and numbered. This is a really cool zine. 

Get I Love Your Butt here.

Sketchbook
Kate Beaton
Desert Island

Sketchbook collections are like the live albums of the comics world. If you're super popular, at some point your fans will love your creative product so much that they'll want to see work that's less polished. Just like musicians and live albums—Frank Zappa's live records, for example, were carefully cut together from many different shows and went through lots of studio work and intense editing—some illustrators aren't comfortable delivering a raw product. A lot of the sketchbook collections out there are kinda like Zappa’s live albums. 

Kate Beaton's seems to be for real, though. It's not full of finished illustrations and it's still very entertaining. Many of the pages in this book will make you laugh if you're a Beaton lover.

Get Kate Beaton's Sketchbook here

Dream It
Ronald McDonald
McDonald's

This is a great little activity book that kept me entertained for a very long bus ride.

Get a McDonald's activity book here.

@NicholasGazin

Previously - Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #89

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