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Comics!

Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #57

You don't need to collect memes into books. If you want to profit off of them, put them onto T-shirts.
May 2, 2012, 3:20pm

Comic book supergenius and sometimes VICE contributor Rick Altergott sent me a penciled drawing of his character Ms. Juniper to ink.

Here's the penciled image.

Here's his attached note.

Here's my final version.

If you're a fan of hand-done text check out this [gallery of Jack Kirby teaser panels](http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/04/26/captain-america-jack-kirby-teasers/ ).

The Garbage Island that VICE did a Toxic video about years ago now has its own comic.

That's the comic news. Here are the reviews. This week I picked through a pile of things I found under some unfinished drawings and pencil shavings next to my desk.

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#1
Star Trek Vault
Scott Tipton
Abrams

I've been having a lot of conversations about how great Star Trek is with people in bars ever since all of the TV series were put on Netflix instant, especially The Next Generation. What a show. This book isn't too unlike the other "vault books" where they reproduce paper items related to the thing so it feels like you're looking at a scrap book. It doesn't compare to the Star Wars Vault that was released a couple of years ago but that thing cost twice as much. If you like Star Trek then you'll like this book. It's not full of fun details about how Roddenberry boned Uhura or who hated Shatner the most or things like that, but it's pretty much ideal if you like da Trek.

#2
Kill Pretty, Magazine of Death 
Premiere Issue. 2009.
Tyler Nacho

This is a full-color graffiti magazine that was made now but harkens back to the vibe of the great era of graff mags like Mass Appeal, Beautiful Decay, and especially Life Sucks Die. A lot of those grafitti mags put out five to ten normal issues and then decided to turn into VICE-ish lifestyle magazines and chase those advertising dollars. Pretty much every one of them ran a story on black metal with Peter Beste's photos. It was a real corny move.

This is still great and captures the misanthropic, horny, hyper energy that graffiti kids have between the age of 15 and 20. Perfect fucking thing.

#3
Free Ice Cream and Other Cartoons You Could Have Drawn
Sam Henderson

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I love Sam Henderson. I have loved Sam Henderson since before I got paid to be cynical on the internet. And then Sam Henderson started taking the positive things I say about his humorous cartoonings and put them on the back of his comics. On the back of this one I was quoted as saying, "You either like Sam Henderson or you're an asshole."

Here's my attempt at getting on the back of another one of his comics: Sam Henderson makes gag comics that score instant chuckles as well as deconstructing single-panel gag strips, humor, and human interaction. Sam is a weird genius and in 20 years maybe everyone else will finally get it. Until then he will just be appreciated by other geniuses.

#4
It's Brick, Windy…
Lizz Hickey

This is just one piece of paper, xeroxed on both sides and folded over. I picked it up off a comic convention table that was covered mostly in free promotional postcards. On the front cover is Lizz enjoying having hairy legs, which continues onto page two. Page three is more gags in which Danny, a crazy magical gay Korean guy, tries to woo Jeremy. There's more on the back cover. Great comic.

#5
Sketchbook Zine
Patrick Kyle 

This teeny little zine collects a buncha random drawings by Patrick Kyle. No title or anything, just good drawings.

#6
Adventure Time #1
Various
Kaboom!

Adventure Time isn't quite as sophisticated as Spongebob as far as children's cartoons that also appeal to adults go, but it's still great as hell. The genius of the show lies in its visual concepts. A lot of the best new-ish cartoonists work on this show and some of those cartoonists also worked on this comic. The lead story introduces the characters of Finn, a goofy kid who lives in a fantasy setting, and Jake his talking magic dog. They have an adventure and stuff happens. The backup story is by Aaron Renier and is pretty great and cute/gross. It's about some party and making people drink the sweat that is collected from an anthropomorphic cinnamon bun and serving it as a drink to people.

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#7
The Animal Builder
Kate Schruth
Big Animal Books

My childhood classmate Kate Schruth made a children's book which she illustrated with construction-paper collages. In each page she talks about how this giant space anteater, who is also "the Animal Builder," has designed animals inspired by the plants and landscapes of nature. It is hard not to immediately see this as some sort of quasi-religious statement of beliefs. It's a nice-looking book and I'm sure children will like it. My only concern is that the character I'm most interested in is the Animal Builder himself. In a way this book feels like a first act and the second act might get more into the philosophic issues of the Animal Builder himself. Maybe the children of America will be clamoring for a sequel where these story issues will finally be resolved.

#8
Occupants
Henry Rollins
Chicago Review Press

This most-new book by Henry Rollins is a collection of photos and essays about third-world countries that Rollins traveled to. The photos are mostly nice. Some are well taken, some are a little dull, some are corny—like a few with Ronald McDonald statues in war-torn countries as symbols of American imperialism. It's a nice collection of photos anyway.

The writing is done in Rollins's political rant/noir/slam-poetry style which overshadows any information he might try to communicate to us. This is something that people have a tendency to do when making documentaries, they shove too much of themselves into the documentation. Is this a book about suffering or is it a book about Henry Rollins telling people about suffering?

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The bad poetry writing style is self-indulgent and the photos of other people in poor places combine to make something positively icky. "Look at these skills. Now look at my feelings. These other people are like a metaphor for my intense, internal world." It's like when you meet people who claim to hate war and injustice but they wear T-shirts and tattoos covered in violent imagery. Although they might be angry about social and political issues, people wearing an MDC shirt with a tank crushing a mountain of skulls were probably angry about other things before becoming politically aware.

#9
Hungover Owls
J. Patrick Brown
Abrams

Just because a Tumblr is popular doesn't mean it should be turned into a book. Memes are popular partially because they arrive to people when they're not necessarily seeking them out. Also, they're free. You don't need to collect memes into books. If you want to profit off of them, put them onto T-shirts.

See you next week!

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Previously - #56