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Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #113

VICE's art editor Nick Gazin reviews a collection of old romance comics, a book by Lisa Hanawalt, and more.

by Nick Gazin
Jul 8 2016, 4:00am

Hello everybody,

My name is Nick Gazin, and I am VICE's art editor. This is my weekly column in which I review comics, zines, art books, and anything that I think merits discussion.

Benjamin Marra did some animation for a video about how Elvis was into playing racquetball, and it may have contributed to his death. Go watch it.

Now, here are reviews of five things.

#1: Weird Love: That's the Way I Like It
Presented by Clizia Gussoni & Craig Yoe (Yoe Books/IDW)

Craig Yoe made a second volume collecting weird, old romance comics that were published between the 40s and 70s. I wonder how much longer he can keep doing these before he runs out of unintentionally perverse romance comics.

As usual, I love the material that Craig puts into his books, but he always puts a big bright colorful splotch around the page numbers, which seems unnecessary and distracting. Why do you do that, Craig?

Although the highlights of the second volume aren't quite as amazing as the ones from the first, there are still a lot of greats.

The first is a comic called "Too Fat to Frug" about a nightclub go-go dancer who falls in love with the Beatles-esque singer in the house band and then gets really fat from a broken heart. Later she tries to lose the weight, but a doctor tells her that her glands have been disturbed by her over-eating and that she'll be fat forever.

There's one about men you shouldn't marry.

There's "Two-Faced Woman," about a lady who gets a nose job, but her dream man is repulsed by her beauty and she somehow gets her old nose restored.

There's "A Monster's Kisses" about a woman who completely loses her mind and hates her new husband the moment he stops shaving.

There's "I Was a Child Bride" in which a lady who is immature is spanked into maturity by her new husband in front of her parents.

My favorite is "I Married a Monster," which is about a wife who hates her husband after he starts playing a goofy Ghoulardi-style werewolf on a children's show. She appreciates him after he comforts a child who's been hit by a car. It's a pretty wacky comic.

Check this book out. You won't believe the stuff that was being given to kids.

Buy Weird Love.

#2: Hot Dog Taste Test
by Lisa Hanawalt (Drawn & Quarterly)

I remember first meeting Lisa Hanawalt when she was nobody. Now she is everybody.

She did a comic for the VICE Guide to Comics I edited years back that probably nobody ever saw. Later, I interviewed her. Then she made My Dirty Dumb Eyes, and then she started working on Bojack Horseman. Then she bought a real horse with her fake horse money.

This book is the sequel to My Dirty Dumb Eyes, and I say that because they are the same size and have the same style of binding. This book is real funny, and the art is real good. Lisa Hanawalt is a major talent. Most of this book is about food.

The book is nice but seems to have less art and a lot more writing than her last book. There are almost no comics in here. It seems like Lisa is writing from a more moneyed perspective for a richer audience. The comics are increasingly less disgusting and involve buying houses and horses and eating expensive food and going on trips.

The art's still good and Lisa Hanwalt is still funny, but this feels like the book someone makes when their main focus is their TV show. It seems like a lot of the book was stuff that she did for Lucky Peach mixed with things that didn't make it into her last book. It's still good, but not as good.

Buy Hot Dog Taste Test.

#3: No Visitors
by HTML Flowers

HTML Flowers is a guy who lives with cystic fibrosis and is a really sick kid. This comic is all about sick kids. The first comic is about a KFC-sponsored art therapy session where a bunch of kids with diseases are forced to play with primitive instruments in exchange for fried chicken.

The second is about a kid getting a hard-on as a female medical professional jabs a giant wand up his nose. The third is about a kid going to a food court and spraying blood on some jocks and eating their food. The fourth involves the horrors of being constantly cut up and jabbed with tubes. The fifth is about a talking dick with a face or something.

It was printed so badly it was hard to read. In between the comics are drawings and collages done with the forms and pamphlets that are found in hospitals. This mini-comic made me feel like I was going to pass out. I do not envy HTML Flowers except for his handsome face.

Buy No Visitors.

#4: Kill Pretty Presents: New York Crimes
Issue One

The LA-based graffiti magazine Kill Pretty made a little xeroxed zine made up of photos of NY graffiti. I like it.

Buy New York Crimes.

#5: Kill Pretty
Issue 3

Kill Pretty has evolved to now having a perfect bound spine and increasingly less graffiti content.

A word of advice to Kill Pretty: Be careful. Beautiful Decay and Mass Appeal started out as great graffiti magazines and ended up becoming lame youth culture mags. Stay focused on graffiti and skateboarding.

Buy Kill Pretty Issue 3.

I'll have another column next week, but until that time, follow me on Instagram.