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Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #34

I realized the other day that I've been too nice for too long.
Nick Gazin
Κείμενο Nick Gazin

Dear Everyone,

The other day I realized that I've been too nice for too long. The VICE editors asked me if I could be a dick like I used to be, and I complied. Here are seven reviews. One's nice and the rest are just me razzing retards for being hacks and whores.

Here's the comic book news:
Check out the trailer for new Star Wars-themed Moleskine books. I know I'm buying at least one even if it is probably going to make people take me less seriously.

Check out how good the theme song for the Prime videogame was. If you don't remember Prime, it was a terrible comic that I never read that looked stupid but Wizard magazine would occasionally mention.

China is building a comic museum shaped like word balloons.

In news of the hilarious, some retard robbed a mentally handicapped man of his entire Superman collection in a ruse that would astound the Oceans 11 people. The suspected robber is now in jail and Superman artists have been doing drawings and sending them to the victim.

Enjoy the reviews,

Blobby Boys #1
Alex Schubert
Team Fortress

I found out about this guy on Meathaus's awesome website. This comic starts off with a guy named Aging Hipster, a guy who's really into the Arcade Fire, buying pot from a weird snob who doesn't like him. Later the weird weed dealer is approached by one of the Blobby Boys who announces, “Gimmie all your money or you're getting slimed!” Then the Blobby Boys have band practice where they decide that the best way for them to win the battle of the bands is to just kill the other bands competing. Then there's a page about Alex Schubert being unhappy with himself. Then a page about a possibly real bar musician known as the Spoiler. Then there's a letters page. All in all it's only 12 pages and thoroughly worth $7. It shares a lot of good qualities that a Dan Clowes comic might have as far as design and consideration goes. Everything is beautiful and on purpose. The rhythm of the comic and panel-to-panel flow is hilarious. This comic might make you want to start a band or maybe just kill other bands. I had to know more so I interviewed Alex Schubert about one of my favorite new comics. Also, check out this drawing he included with my copy! And the guy's wearing a Fag Cop shirt! Nobody talks about Fag Cop but their 7” called “I'm Fucking Dead” is one of the best punk singles you can know about.

VICE: How old are you? Where are you from? Did you study art in school? How long have you been making comics for? Tell me about your art career up to this point.
Alex Schubert: I'm 27. I'm from Mascoutah, Illinois. I went to the Kansas City Art Institute, and I've been making comics for about three years. I was doing fine art for a long time, and I was an art critic for a long time. I just quit all that stuff.

Where were you art criticking?
I worked for the Kansas City Star. Right when I started doing it, every newspaper in the world went out of business.

How are you making money?
Writing. I just wrote the script for a workout video. It's a video you would watch if you were learning to be a personal trainer. It shows you how to do the exercises. I’ve written a bunch of weird stuff. One time, a magazine had me rank all the hotels in Kansas City, but they didn’t give me any money to stay in the rooms or anything. So, I just walked around the lobbies, and I was like, “4.5” or whatever.

I dig the Blobby Boys as an angry evil rock band of drug stealing, rival band murdering, slime monsters. Are you in any bands?
I'm in a Flintstones-themed punk band called the Freds.

What do you think it would feel like to touch the Blobby Boys?
Pretty blobby.

When's the next one coming out?
I draw really slowly, so early 2012.

You should get faster. What takes you so long?
I always change everything around. I take one line out or redraw an eyeball fifty times. Stuff like that.

How can people find your work online and/or purchase their own copy of Blobby Boys? Do you toss in bonuses for purchasers like you did with mine?
People can visit Lots of free stuff!!

Who were your favorite cartoonists growing up? Who do you like now?
When I was 15, I found Eightball #20. That was the turning point.
Right now, I'm really into Robert Crumb's Weirdo covers and this Wacky Packages book. I know they're both Mad magazine ripoffs, but I can't stand Mad magazine.

Tell me about Eightball #20. What was that one about again? David Boring? Talk about why it's so great.
Yeah, it's the second part of the David Boring story. It was the first alternative comic I'd ever seen. I remember thinking it was way too personal, and it had this handmade quality that made the effect even more intense. I remember rereading it a lot, because I didn't quite realize I was missing the first issue. I just thought it was deep.

I saw a clear, but not overbearing, Clowes influence immediately. Everything looks pretty in your strips and feels purposeful as well. I see some Panter in your lines as well.
Yeah, I like both those guys.

How did you come up with the Blobby Boys? Talk about the Blobby Boys as much as you can.
Three or four years ago, I was looking at my girlfriend’s sketchbook and she had written a list of things she liked to draw – cats, bats, plants, squirrels. Stuff like that. At the very bottom of the list, it just said The Blobby Boys. That’s where the name came from.

Later, when I started the band, I was thinking about 80’s LA punk. How movies and TV shows used that look, but dropped all the rest of it. So, in a weird way, the Ninja Turtles are based on the Germs. The Blobby Boys is like that, but with the punk stuff added back in.

I don’t know. There’s a bunch of things going on….

What's up with those Vimeo cartoons you made?
I was watching the 60’s Spider-Man cartoon on Netflix. You can tell it’s a really cheap show, because only the mouths move, but the drawings are so strong that it doesn’t matter. They made it look easy, so I thought I could just bone a couple cartoons out by myself. Then I realized you need about a million people to do something halfway decent, so I might not finish those.

Do you have rivalries with any bands?

Black Eye 1: Graphic Transmissions To Cause Ocular Hypertension
Edited by Ryan Standfest
Rotland Press Comic Works
This is a very well designed book and it looks beautiful but there's just not enough meat to make it an anthology you need to buy or own. There's some Kaz strips, a Brecht Evans comic, and a few good Danny Hellman drawings, but in the end its content isn't enough to make me care.

Comics' Comics
Compiled by Erich Beasley
This is one of those books that didn't need to be more than a Tumblr page. Famous comedians did some bad drawings which were compiled in any aggressively ugly book and now a bunch of shitty forces have come together and cut down trees so you can pay fifteen dollars to see that Rob Schneider can't draw anything interesting and neither can almost anyone else in this piece of shit. Trees died for this fifteen-dollar piece of garbage! Fuck you, Erich Beasley! Fuck your wife, Kristen Marie, also!

The Wolf
Tom Neely
I Will Destroy You
I watched this guy win awards and talk on panels at SPX. Then this book showed up in the mail and I was like, “What is this high school-grade goth shit? Why are people giving this guy awards and listening to him when he speaks like he has wisdom to impart? This is some ugly boringness.” That's pretty much what I thought.

Evelyn Evelyn: A Tragic Tale of Two Tomes
Amanda Palmer, Jason Webley, Cynthia von Buhler
Dark Horse
That rotten bitch from the Dresden Dolls made a comic as corny and stupid as her fucking awful band. There's something about gypsy punks and stupider goths that make me want to puke. This book combines elements of both. Freaks and circus sideshows are endlessly fascinating. Exploitation and deformity are awesome. Poorly researched stories made by uncurious people who don't actually seem to be interested in the aesthetic they build their lives around are fucking wretched. If I still burned the bad comics I would be burning this one.

Gay Genius
Edited By Annie Murphy
I think this won an Ignatz award. How is that possible? The cover looks great but there isn't one good-looking page in here. I showed it to my friend Thomas who doesn't draw at all and he exclaimed, “These all look like when I try to draw!” Anyone can make comics but that doesn't mean that everyone should or that they need to be published. These drawings have all the quality and passion of something far lower than a hack or an amateur. It is baffling that this thing could exist.

Record Collecting For Girls
Courtney E. Smith
Hey! Hey you stupid bitches! Courtney E. Smith thinks you need a fucking book to tell you how to own some records! Let me save all you dizzy cunts some time and money. Here's my record-collecting guide, exclusively for girls:

1. Buy at least two records.
2. Now you have a collection.
3. Maybe get a record player too.
4. Don't buy this book. It's not a record. Also, don't let people who try to intellectualize pop music ruin your enjoyment of things.