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Comics!

Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-in #65

Hey Internet Lookers, I'd like to show you some neat things.

by Nick Gazin
Jul 18 2012, 5:10pm

Hey Internet Lookers,
I'd like to show you some neat things. 

My sister, Helen Penelope Gazin, made this stop-motion puppet of the Elephant Man. 

She also made this painting. 

As you've probably heard, Hasbro has begun producing a new line of JEM dolls. So far they've only shown the one above and it's $125. What a fucking bummer.

Man I wish the Comic Mobile still existed. What a great way for child molesters to meet some fresh talent. Definitely better than an ice cream truck in that you don't have to fuck around with bulky freezer units or hunt for parking.

There's a photo book of engraved Zippo lighters that American soldiers carried with them in the Vietnam War. They're scary and/or funny. They look like little tombstones. 

Old Ghostbusters toys sure were fun. My dad refused to buy me the Ghostbusters fire house and now I complain about it online, to strangers. I'm almost the same age he was when he and my mom had me. 

Look at this Olive Oyl shoe.


Look at Paul reading Jimmy Olsen.

Here's a close-up of the cover of the issue he's reading. 

Here's Paul in Help! playing an organ using comic books as sheet music. Some guy whose time is worthless figured out which comics he had

Drawing Power
Edited by Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard
Fantagraphics

I have nothing intelligent to say about this book. It's so good and that's all. I have no insight into it. It's bigger than me and I recognize that, and cannot attempt to be smart or insightful about it without studying it like a bible.

This is a great big, beautiful collection of advertisements that will blow your mind. Sometimes the images are funny, sometimes they are in poor taste by modern standards, but all of the images in this book are gorgeous. There are lots of old drawings and scans of old printed images which have pretty colors fixed onto decaying newsprint. It's very easy for dimwits to enjoy this book because they'll see images like the one on the cover of the Yellow Kid, a child, smoking and blatantly inviting other kids to smoke. There's a couple images of black people, and caricatures that are almost definitely based on the Irish. But these don't make up the majority of the content. For the most part the things inside this book are just pretty. 

I'm not exactly a nostalgia hound but I do think most people who care about visual beauty are disappointed in the state of the commercial arts, advertising, package design, and stuff like that. It's fun to think about walking around surrounded by the images in this book. Illustration just living all over your day-to-day life. I get so bummed out how every advertisement on the subway platforms looks the same. Poorly retouched headshots of actors and bland text hastily collaged together in Photoshop. Do corporate entities think that consumers don't recognize how cheap it looks? I'm not trying to be an R. Crumb here, saying that the past was better than now, because there are always good things happening. But this book will make even the trendiest fad lover wistful for the prettier times.

Look at these pictures from the book. 

Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist
Edited by Alvin Buenaventura
Abrams Comicarts

Dan Clowes is the greatest cartoonist of the past couple of decades and we are all treading in his wake. I try not to make such grandiosely objective statements but I honestly can't think of anyone who comes close. OK, the Hernandez Brothers are also great. This book is a pleasant mix of essays about Clowes and interviews with him and pictures of him and his work, many of which are new to me and will be to you too. This book feels about eight years overdue, but it's here now though and that's what's important. Fantagraphics is producing their own book about Clowes due out pretty soon. Whose will be more Clowesier? 

If you even have a passing interest in comics you owe it to have everything Dan Clowes has ever made next to your bible and complete works of Shakespeare. Add this book to that small library. It's not garbage at all!

Look at the shelf where Clowes keeps his awards.

Here's the Moebius image of the week. It's a mural done somewhere in England, I think, by people who liked Moebius. 

Previously - Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-in #64

@nicholasgazin