FYI.

This story is over 5 years old.

vice guide to comics

Gary Panter’s Top Ten Comics

Gary Panter is a famous artist who designed Pee-wee’s Playhouse, drew three Frank Zappa album covers, designed the Screamers’ logo, recorded music with members of the Residents, and has made many great comics about his punk everyman, Jimbo. Recently...
January 1, 2000, 12:00am

GARY PANTER’S TOP TEN COMICS

Gary Panter is a famous artist who designed Pee-wee’s Playhouse, drew three Frank Zappa album covers, designed the Screamers’ logo, recorded music with members of the Residents, and has made many great comics about his punk everyman, Jimbo. Recently there was a fancy two-volume retrospective published about him, and he just put out a new CD with Devon Flynn. Gary’s an amazing man who spurts creativity like an open artery. He’s been kind enough to rattle off his absolute favorite comics in a sweet little list.

ZAP COMIX #3

(1968)

Advertisement

R. Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Gilbert Shelton

Apex Novelties

Crumb, Wilson, Williams, Griffin, Moscoso, Shelton—the most talented hippie drawers in the same place, at the same time, often drawing on the same pieces of paper, and trying to outdo each other in experimental graphic approaches and moral compromise. The Griffin cover is a masterpiece visually; and technically, one of the most astounding handmade color separations of the 20th century. Like if the Fugs could draw real fucking good.

CAPTAIN JOHNER AND THE ALIENS

(1967)

No artist credited

Gold Key

This was a spin-off comic from Russ Manning’s

Magnus, Robot Fighter

comic and featured aliens that didn’t look human-derived and stories that actually contained speculation about interspecies diplomacy. Manning, who seems to have written and drawn the comics, was kind of stiff and kind of great.

COSMO CAT #2

(1959)

No artist credited

Norlen Magazines Inc.

Maybe because my father ran dime stores in the 50s, I am haunted by third-rate funny-animal comics and their anonymous characters executed in virtuoso thin brushwork, often by the Fago brothers; also noticed by Eduardo Paolozzi and Robert Crumb. The unevenness of the stories, usually on the terrible side, is redeemed by slipshod and very simple coloring jobs misprinted on coarse yellow newsprint.

DAFFY #10

(1957)

No artist credited

Dell

How can I say that this is what a comic book looks like to me? “Dell comics are good comics”—it said so in bold blue lettering at the bottom of the first page. In a striking scene in the Italian pop-future film

Advertisement

The 10th Victim

, Marcello Mastroianni is reading his priceless comic collection—Porky, Daffy, and Sylvester—while his baby-headed robot pet crawls nearby.

COLOR

(1971)

Victor Moscoso

Self-published

Victor Moscoso—a silent, full-color, cosmic hippie trip in maximum psychedelic metamorphic splendor. He might still sell it on his website. Metallic space birds fuck their way across a Betty Boop mirror-world continuum.

CHOICE MEATS #2

(1972)

George Hansen

AA

George Hansen made fantastic, sarcastic, bombastic, profane Chicago hippie comics that were too darn much like R. Crumb comics for his own good, but very, very lively and sassy, and I like them still in the 21st century.

FRANKENSTEIN #7

(1947)

Dick Briefer

Prize

1947—weird-ass comics featuring a Frankenstein’s monster with a tiny nose right between his eyes. Loose, carefree brushwork and goofy stories. Totally eccentric.

BLUE DEMON

(1971)

No artist credited

Coleccion Primavera

Mexican comics are produced by a sentient yellow orange fungus in the Amazon jungle that attaches itself to the bottom of moving vehicles and migrates north to Mexico City and its environs in wet hairy clumps of dry sepia that flake off near chicken feet and lime soda pop.

WALT DISNEY’S DONALD DUCK IN DISNEYLAND

(1955)

No artist credited

Dell

I love fat summer issues of late-50s and early-60s comics. Extra comics. Gouache cover paintings. Disney is in your DNA , like it or not—anyone who has taken too much acid at once will agree. And Gyro Gearloose is always worth a visit wherever he practices his malignant arts.

TARZAN #74

(year unknown)

Jesse Marsh

Dell

Jesse Marsh had a great style that was a reduced and emboldened Milt Caniff style; very expedient and clear. His comics featured racial sensitivity in an insensitive time, maybe because he was sensitive and gay and had no friends except for his comic characters, who behaved more admirably than society at large.