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Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-in #95

Greetings, losers. My name is Nick Gazin, and I am VICE's comics expert. In this column I write about comics, zines, art books, fan culture, and events related to those things. Mostly I just review comics though.

Greetings Losers,

My name is Nick Gazin, and I am VICE's comics expert. In this column I write about comics, zines, art books, fan culture, and events related to those things. Mostly I just review comics though. If you would like me to review something of yours mail it to me care of VICE's Brooklyn office.

If you didn't see it yet, check out my photo blog about this year's New York Comic Con.

I have since found out more thoroughly what Whoopi Goldberg was doing hanging out on the floor of NYCC chatting with the head of Marvel Comics. I'd like to say that it takes major balls for a celebrity of her caliber to walk around in public. Most famous folks avoid the floor at all costs for fear of being mobbed, but it seemed like everyone kept a respectful distance from Whoopi.


Also, I sat in a roundtable interview with Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick at NYCC that didn't run in my coverage of the con. You can see that above. I am the only one who asked not-boring questions.

As I've announced before, I want to have reviewed all of the books that are piling up in my house by the time I reach my hundredth comic book column on this site. So here are 20 reviews rated roughly from what I think is the best to what I think is the least best.

Blobby Boys
Alex Schubert

I've been shoving the Blobby Boys down your throat for a while now. In fact, VICE's involvement with the Blobby Boys is so deep that when Past reviewed this book they referred to VICE numerous times and quoted shit that I said about it.

I wrote the introduction for the book, am quoted on the back, and am also thanked. So that's neat. I love the Blobby Boys and am its biggest cheerleader, I think. I endorse this comic with all the weight of my soul. Buy it, buy it, buy it.

Buy it here.

The Weirdo Years
R. Crumb
Last Gasp


R. Crumb is the end-all be-all of alternative comics. He basically birthed the modern incarnation of grown-up comic booklets and he can draw really well and every asshole in the world who likes big butts thinks he's so cool.

In the 80s Crumb created an anthology magazine called Weirdo, to which he also contributed comics, fumettis, and cover art. All of his stuff for the mag was brilliant. Everything else they ran sucked dick. That's an exaggeration, but I can't remember a single thing from Weirdo that I liked that wasn't by Crumb. Now you can own just the Crumb stuff and none of the garbage you don't want.


Buy it here.

The Best of Milligan & McCarthy
Peter Milligan and Brendan McCarthy
Dark Horse 

Peter Milligan and Brendan McCarthy are two English comics guys. Milligan is a writer and McCarthy is the artist. This book collects the best of their work together, but the writing isn’t the big draw here.

Brendan McCarthy's work is really special. It's very English and reminds me a lot of looking at early Tank Girl in the linework and the way he draws interiors lovingly cluttered with garbage. He gets excited by drawing as much detail as possible. But his work sets itself apart from the product of just Some English Guy with his amazing psychedelic colors and patterns and ideas.

Highly recommended for fans of Tang Girl, Geof Darrow, Peter Max, Moebius, Frank Quietly, and anything good that ever came out of England.

Buy it here.

Brandon Graham

I love Brandon Graham so much. I remember when his early stuff was appearing in Meathaus and it kinda blew. Then he got better. Then he turned into a genius who made the funnest drawings you could ever imagine.

This book collects sketchbook pages, things that haven’t been published before, and lots of pretty girls with really round butts and visual puns.

Buy it here.

Shaolin Cowboy #1
Geof Darrow
Dark Horse

A few years back Geof Darrow, the most hyper detail-oriented guy in comics, was doing this great series called Shaolin Cowboy. It was a comic in which a wordless old Asian man in a cowboy outfit fought and killed thousands of enemies in the desert with the help of his talking mule. Sadly, the series ended, but now it has returned. This issue has the wordless protagonist killing more monsters in the desert. I'm less crazy about this new issue than some of the past ones but I still recommend it because Geof Darrow produces so few comics and everything he does is at the very least worth owning and looking at repeatedly until your life ends.


Buy it here.

The Love and Rockets Companion
Edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti

Love and Rocketsis a great comic that has been around for 30 years now and the characters in the book have aged in time with us. We've seen characters born and die and we've become very confused by their ever-expanding family trees. This book’s dust jacket, which unfolds into a family tree, will help sort you out if you're like me and can't keep the characters straight.

Inside the book there are multiple interviews with the Hernandez Brothers, a list of all the characters, and various stories. Love and Rockets is a big story and it can be confusing, but that's OK with me. I don't need to understand everything.

Buy it here.

Major Issues
Mike Jones and Dennis Chow

Mike Jones and Dennis are two of the most main artists from Mishka. This is a neat little zine featuring some of their cool little designs and drawings. There are 50 of these. Get it if you can.

Check out Mike Jones here.

Check out Dennis Chow here.

Deva Zan
Yoshitaka Amano
Dark Horse

I didn't read the text but the pictures are pretty. It's art by the guy who did all the early Final Fantasy art.

Get it here.

Peter Madsen
Powerhouse Books

This is a pretty good little book of interviews with drug dealers. VICE has done a lot of content like this in the past. The best thing about it is definitely the cover, by Christy Karacas.


Get it here.

Fyne, with a touch of terror and scattered howlers
Matthew Caron

Matt Caron had an art show of video craziness and he made a pretty companion zine.

Get it here.

Mad Magazine  #524

It's cool that Mad magazine is still around with Al Jaffee doing the fold-in and some Sergio Aragones comics.

Get it here.

DC Comics Bombshells: Poison Ivy Statue 

I like redheaded women very much. I like this statue because it's a teeny little redheaded lady. My favorite version of Poison Ivy is from the animated series. She is kind of a subtly-played lesbian character who is friends with Harley Quinn, this dumb straight girl in an abusive relationship. This one's OK, too. It looks like all the girls I have crushes on but it will never call me a creep if I ask to comb her long red hair.

Buy it here.

Jupiter's Legacy #1 - 3
Mark Millar and Frank Quitely

This series is a really strong entry in the "what if super heroes were real genre." It seems to draw heavily on Neil Gaiman's run on Miracle Man, but it's still pretty great. So far the story is about a group of people who find some magic cave that gives them super powers and then they act like celebrity parents who have busy schedules and pump out some spoiled and fucked up kids. Then there’s a violent revolution against the guy who is a stand-in for Superman and that's where they left it at the end of issue three.

One thing that Brandon Graham pointed out is that Frank Quitely refuses to draw buttcracks. Even when someone is in a position where you would normally see a line suggesting an ass he just draws this weird dimple suggesting a mild separation of asscheeks. Do English people not have butts?


Get Jupiter's Legacy here.

Superhung Heroes
Doc Johnson

These superhero themed rubber dildos were waiting for me at the VICE office along with a poster and a friendly note. We all had fun in the office playing with them. I pulled the Hulk dick through my fly and pretended I had a big green one. Drew Millard from Noisey juggled them. It says on the boxes that they're only for novelty purposes, but you could still probably put it inside of you.

Get them here

Reggie 12
Brian Ralph
Drawn & Quarterly

Long ago Giant Robot was a company that ruled culture. They had a great magazine and stores on both coasts. Now they are just some stores in California, but when they were also a magazine they ran this great little comic called Reggie 12 about a robot boy who is a lot like Astro Boy and his cat friend and his doctor friend and his other robot friend. Short and funny one-page adventures occur in which Brian Ralph explores the comics page with a comic that is fun and light but not without edge. The book itself is a magazine-size hardcover that's a pleasure to hold and read.

Get it here.

Eugene Ionesco and Etienne Delessert
McSweeneys McMullens

There's some pretty psychedelic art in here. It's a children's book, though, and although I am very stupid, I am not a child. I definitely would have been mad at this book if I were one though.

Get it here.

Ont the Ropes
James Vance and Dan E. Burr


The cover art is so beautiful. The interiors are unimpressive.

Get it here.

The Complete Don Quixote
Miguel De Cervantes (adapted by Rob Davis)

My first reaction to this book was that I hated its design. Boring cover, ugly use of font, dull image. Once I opened it up I learned that there were some very nice images inside but ultimately I don't see why this needed to be made. Why make Don Quixote into a comic? What's being accomplished? Is this better or different in a way that is interesting enough to merit all the time and money it took to make? To me the answer is no. I still would like to see Terry Gilliam make a Don Quixote movie though.

Buy it here.

The Castle
Adapted From the Original Novel by Franz Kafka, Adapted by David Zane Mairowitz, Illustrated by Jaromir 99
Self Made Hero

Well, this is what people without ideas who don't respect the comics medium are doing now. They take a respected literary work and make it into a comic. What a fucking waste of time. What an insult to the comics medium. What an act of laziness. Fuck you guys. You're not smart and you don't know what art is. Art isn't looking smart by referencing respected works from other mediums. Comics don't need to be legitimized and people make garbage like this because they are idiots who think, What if we made a comic about this book?? Wouldn't that be crazy?? It wouldn't be and it isn't. Stop doing this garbage, losers.


Oh, and the art's boring. And Crumb famously did a Kafka book like 20 years ago. Suck a million dicks.

Buy it here.

Demongunz and Demondust mini comics
Bernie Mcgovern


Get it here.

See you next week.

Previously - Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #94