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Comics!

Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #63

Here's some stuff I saw that I thought was awesome.

by Nick Gazin
Jun 29 2012, 7:50pm

Hey comic bookers,

How are you? I am fine.

Here's some stuff I saw that I thought was awesome. 

I drew a t-shirt for my friend Matt's band, Heavy Hawaii. You can buy it from them on their West Coast tour that is happening now.

I know it's old news but I love these Uncle Dolan comics. If you haven't seen them yet, they're comics that anyone can make by copying and pasting or drawing these gross versions of Disney characters who all speak in poor typing language. There's Dolan Duck, Gooby, Bogs, Daisu, and my favorite, Spoder Man. They should take away Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize and give it to the Uncle Dolan comics by just hurling it at a computer monitor. 

Look at this picture by Wasuke Abe.

Check out this horrifying Archie comic in which Archie and Betty go camping and Archie believes that he kills Betty. Her death and his grief are overwhelmingly real for an Archie comic. Then it turns out that Betty's not dead but she has forgotten her memory and is picked up by two menacing hillbillies in a scene that seems reminiscent of Deliverance or 10,000 Maniacs

Marlo Meekins, the caricaturist and animator has started making comics. After years of me begging her to make one for VICE, she finally gave in. You can check out her amazing art, beautiful lines, and hilarious comedic sense over at her Tumblr.

Here are some reviews of things I was sent in the mail. 

Baltic Comics Magazine #9

This is a little chunky book anthology of comics made by females, featuring a cover by VICE darling, Ines Estrada. There's also Lala Albert, Kris Mukai, Mickey Zacchilli, Angie Wang, Zejian Shen, and a bunch of other greats. Most anthologies suck, but this one is 80 percent great. 

Playboy June 2012

I got nostalgic for finding my dad's Playboys when I was nine and subscribed to the magazine. Then this boring ass thing showed up in my mail box and thoroughly bummed me out. I guess I was hoping all the women would look like it was 1992 and the articles would be about mysterious adult things beyond my understanding, like when I looked at the magazine as an 11-year-old. Maybe I'll make a zine where I draw Playboy for adults and I somehow make the women extra sexy and alluring but also a little frightening. All the articles and jokes won't make sense, recreating what it's like when you find daddy's porn as a little boy.

If you haven't looked at Playboy in awhile, here's a rundown of the experience. There's a buncha ads. Then there's photos of parties at the Playboy Mansion. The celebrities seem extra unhip or old and the girls don't seem fly. Hugh Hefner is more of a party mummy then ever. When he dies, are they just gonna bring his taxidermic corpse out for photo ops at these Playboy Mansion events? There's a puff piece about leather jackets. Then there are more ads for alcohol, tobacco, and stuff. I don't understand why Playboy is clinging to this old format of having paragraph long articles about topical things. Why write a paragraph long article about Prometheus? "Yeah it's a Ridley Scott directed prequel to Alien, OK gotta go." 

Playboy should do what Spin did and concentrate on bigger pieces and more in-depth stuff. I really like what Spin magazine's new format. Instead of going smaller like Rolling Stone, they maximized what makes a magazine great as a physical object. Playboy should be following that model. Get rid of any topical bullshit and focus on more short stories, interviews, and pictures of naked ladies. They made Best Coast the record of the month, which is nice. There's some stuff on cars, knives, and the military, a comedy article by Lisa Lampanelli and then the Playboy Advisor. There's a pretty good illustration by Tomer Hanuka on the Playboy Advisor page. I guess he succeeded Istvan Banyai who used to do them. Good for Tomer. Most of the questions for the Playboy Advisor are about sex, although one guy asked about how to grill a fish.

The Playboy interview of the issue is with Tom Cruise, a guy I never had any interest in. He just seems so blank and without personality. He doesn't seem vacant, just empty. There's a strong illustration by Tavis Coburn. All the illustrations in Playboy are good and all their comics have become awful. I guess the talented gag cartoonists all died. Then there are photos of naked women in the desert which are OK, but not that interesting. Most of the poses seem goofy. 

There's a piece about fine art inspired by Playboy.They show paintings by John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage that seem to be pointing out how weird the bodies of women in Playboy look, so it's odd that they reprinted them. Miss June is a pretty lady, but the photos lack any evidence of personality. In the intro it says that she's got a tattoo of a Pokeball on the back of her neck, but we don't get to see it. The intro also talks about how much she loves video games because all nude models just want to play video games these days. The party jokes are kind of a bummer. There's an article about a combat wounded veteran with robot legs. And there's a nice illustration by Nathan Fox. 

The playmate of the year is featured in this issue as well. She kinda looks like Alexis Beadle or Sasha Grey. The pictures are totally dull. She seems kinda bored and the poses aren't very pretty or sexy or anything. At the back of the magazine it mentions that they will be showing new photos of Jenny McCarthy in the next issue. It's hard for me to think of her as anything but that lady who convinced people that vaccines cause mental disabilities in kids. She's 40 now.

Altogether, Playboy is kind of a bummer these days with good illustrations. It would be neat if someone tried to reinvigorate the magazine by reformatting it, focusing on less dated content, sexier pictures of ladies, and maybe a different paper stock. Look at how sexy the ladies in issues from the 70s were. They looked awesome. The 80s are kind interesting. By the 90s, it seems like they were all blonde with implants. But some of them looked like they had personality in the photos. These bitches look zonked. Get some un-zonked bitches please, Playboy.

PS Magazine
Will Eisner
Abrams Comicarts

This is a collection of the best comics that Will Eisner made between 1951 and 1971 that were given to military personnel. Every comic is about how to properly care for and maintain mechanical equipment. It's not the most gripping work that Eisner ever made. It actually might be the most boring example of Will Eisner's work that you could ever find. The pinups and cover art is okay and the comics are still drawn by Will Eisner, so if you like Will Eisner a lot then you might dig it. Trying to read through stories in which characters explain what qualifies as a tight seal on some part of a tank engine is a far cry from reading the Spirit.

Violence Valley
Jesse McManus
Floating World Comic

Jesse's got great lines and an elastic sense of volume. Everything looks like it's John K drawing Jimmy the Idiot Boy. He doesn't do much with it though. The lines are pretty, but the compositions are kinda cluttered in a way that makes it hard to know where to look and I don't really care about what happens in this book.

1999
Noah Van Sciver
Retrofit Comics

This is a comic with too much dialogue about a white guy with long hair and a goatee. Noah gives people these noses that make most of his characters look like monkeys.The main monkey man has a job making sandwiches that sucks and he is interested in some bitch at his job and then he punches out another guy who looks like a monkey version of Wes Bordland, who was already pretty monkey-ish. 1999 was a really, really ugly year as I recall—the lowest moment of the 90s as far as beauty and culture goes. This comic will remind you of everything that sucks about the 90s. Goatees, spoiled anger, and alternative cinema and comics about listless boring white guys in shitty jobs who have existential issues. The 90s are gone forever and this comic makes me extra glad. 

And here's the Moebius image of the week.

Previously - #62

@nicholasgazin