This column is my almost-weekly column in which I, Nick Gazin, share news and reviews and photos and links related to comics, illustration, fine art, and nerd things. I hope everyone has fun at San Diego Comic Con without me. I am almost 30 and have been dreaming of going to SDCC my whole life. Will I ever go? I hope so. This year I'll be staying home though and feeling depressed about how uncostumed all the people around me are.
Ines Estrada made this great little drawing.
David Lapham, creator of the as-yet finished masterwork Stray Bullets has been selling cheap commissioned art of his beloved characters. It's not the same as having the story of the abandoned comic continue, but it's great to see him make these characters live again, if only for an image at a time.
Here's a good portrait David Lapham did of a teenaged Virginia Applejack.
Here's his Last Supper peopled with the cast of Stray Bullets.
Johnny Ryan keeps being awesome, Joe Matt keeps on being a whiner and a wiener.
ALSO! On Wednesday I was in a Secret Walls mural competition at the MLB Fan Cave. Lamour Supreme and I teamed up to do a nine-foot-by-seven-foot mural against two other guys, and we won. It was totally awesome and we were on the news.
They made us these official All-Star Games jerseys with our names on them and everything. I think the Mets colors are colossally ugly, but I was still psyched.
Here's Lamour Supreme and me doing our mural. The painting will be at the Fan Cave art gallery, which is at the MLB Fan Cave I guess until the end of July, and then it will be tossed into a landfill somewhere.
Check out Lamour's site here.
Here's the piece by the guys we were competing against, Rimix and Seeone.
ANYWAY! Here are some reviews of books!
Bazooka Joe and His Gang
If you've been either living under a rock or just busy living your life, you might not be aware that Abrams Books teamed up with Topps to release fun little books collecting and telling the stories of their best trading-card series. They've already released books for the Mars Attacks cards and the Garbage Pail Kids cards, which were both great. Bazooka Joe is the Mickey Mouse of Topps, and while this book is very good it's not as interesting to me as the previous two.
The Mars Attacks and Garbage Pail Kids cards books were presenting art that was familiar and, at one time in most kids’ lives, contraband. When I turned seven a kid named John Marco gave me the birthday present that his mom had bought for me, and then he sneakily handed me a stack of Garbage Pail Kids cards held together with a rubber band. That was my present from him.
Trading cards are currency for kids. Comics are too, but trading cards more closely resemble paper currency. When you're little they're some of the few objects you can own and carry around with you and trade because they're so cheap that you're parents don't care what the hell you do with them.
The thing is, though, that no one I knew ever kept Bazooka Joe comics. You read them and then tossed them out. I have no nostalgia for these comics. That said, this is a great book if you have even a passing interest in Bazooka Joe, the one-eyed little boy and his stupid-ass friends.
The best thing about this book is that it shows you what the prizes that they advertised actually looked like. They would seriously mail children giant hunting knives.
I got too far away from the focus of this review. If you like books about pop culture from a long time ago, you should get this book right now. It's a lot of fun to look at.
Oog. I thought this was by Julie Doucet at first because the cartoonist's name is similar and the cover looks like it could be by Doucet. It's not by Julie Doucet, not even hardly.
This is an illustrated diary that's drawn with colored pencils. There are a couple of good drawings in here, but most are not that great. I think the point of view is overly sentimental and self-adoring. I don't think that the person who made this is very interesting—or at least not interesting enough to publish.
I did a lot of drawings similar to this when I was a teenager, but the problem is that I was an idiot when I was a teenager, and I'm really glad that my super involved sketchbooks were never published. This is a great diary but a bad book.
Willliam Shakespeare's Star Wars
Do you think the author's name is pronounced "doucher"? I can guarantee you that everyone calls him that and has for his entire life, and that is what drove him to making the only Star Wars book I turned my nose up at.
Previously - Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #91