Hey, comic book lovers!
You've probably noticed a lack of comic columns on VICE lately. I'm sorry about that; my computer broke, and I got bronchitis. Anyways, here is my weekly column about comics, art, nerd stuff, and paper goods.
The old newsstand at the Lorimer subway stop has been taken over by a store that sells zines, comics, prints, and other stuff. This is a cool, weird thing that somewhat makes up for the great stuff that's disappeared from the city in recent years.
Keep on trekin'...
Check out this old Scientist records' album art.
I love these.
Check out this great panel from an old Batman Adventures, where Batman tells Catwoman he hates her forever. In this story, Batman gets amnesia, and then Catwoman convinces him to be her partner and wear a cat costume. As you can see, when he gets his memory back, he is very mad.
The Adventures of Jodelle
Guy Peelaert and Pierre Bartier
The Adventures of Jodelle is a 60s pop art comic about a sexy lady spy. It's set in both the Roman Empire in the year 14 and Las Vegas in the 60s.
But the story's not really the star of this comic, though. The best part is the way the comic looks. Every page is a mind blowing work of 60s poster art that reminds me of Tom Wesselmann's nude pop art paintings and Andy Warhol's portraits.
Recently, Fantagraphics published the entire comic. (Fantagraphics is basically the affordable Taschen; you can't really compare other comic publishers to them.) The comic only takes up the first half of the book. The second half is about Guy Peellaet's illustration and art career—it's as compelling as the first half of the thing.
People who fetishize the glamour of Paris in the 60s should buy this book. Also, Maeybe Fünke bought the book, which is another good reason to purchase it. (I always thought every actor on Arrested Development seemed like they were really smart and had good taste, and this is proof.)
It's often hard to describe why something is good; a good thing is usually good because it's unique. Klaus isn't like other comics. It's a new mini-comic by Richard Short, and it's fucking great. The comic features a bunch of talking animals saying deep things about existentialism, and Richard draws pretty pictures with elegant lines—unlike most other comics in this field, Klaus is both well made and interesting. At times, the philosophic shit gets a little thick, but there's a decent amount of humor to cut through the deep themes.
You can read Richard's comics on his blog.
Don't Go Where I Can't Follow
Anders Nilsen (With Cheryl Weaver)
Drawn & Quarterly
I don't know how anyone can discuss this book like it's just another book without becoming sad and uncomfortable. This is the true documentation of how Anders's fiance got sick and died. I bought it's earlier, more limited printing and found it hard to read, because I think Anders is very nice, and it was hard for me to deal with him losing his partner. I can't talk about this book.
But you should buy this book if you think you can handle it.
E.Z. Wolf's Astral Outhouse
Last Gasp sent me a huge stack of old hippy comics, many of which I didn't know about. Astral House is one of those.
E.Z. Wolf is charging all these pig people a dollar to get into his astral outhouse, which makes them disappear into a drug euphemism. The pig sheriff makes E.Z. take the journey himself, and E.Z. sees a bunch of weird characters in an outer space hippy version of Gulliver's Travels. It's so great. Get it here.
Cyber Surfer #2
Alex Schubert made another full color mini-comic with a cardstock cover, color art, and minimal story. I really love Alex Schubert's sensibilities, but it's hard to call this a comic. Most of the popular work in the alt comics world doesn't technically qualify as comics. Lisa Hanawalt's work is great, but she mosty writes funny lists and then draws pretty pictures—I'm not saying that they're not great. They're just not comics. It's strange to me that Understanding Comics exists, yet people don't get that a drawing with some text near it isn't a comic.
I really like this zine, and it's like a comic, but if it were really a well told story it would probably be just one page. It feels like Alex is deconstructing the medium to the point where he's making as little happen as possible and just focusing on making very beautiful compositions—this is still great. But now comic artists are more often making little art zines with text instead of actual comics.
In this comic available on Fantagraphics's site, a lonely private detective sees a poster for a lost cat. He finds the cat and then goes to return the cat to it's owner, which is when the detective and the cat's owner seem to fall in love. The detective tries to meet her again, but she's gone and nobody knows where she is. In retrospect, the story reminds me of Lost Highway.
I have always liked Jason's comics very, very much—they are really well made—but I never love them. For whatever reason, I never connect to Jason's characters. Everyone in them always remain strangers from the beginning to the end.
The Someday Funnies
Edited by Michel Choquette
Way back in the 70s, Michel Choquette asked all these great artists and cartoonists to make comics about what the 60s were like for them; he got a giant roster of legends, including Frank Zappa, Tom Wolfe, Jack Kirby, Moebius, Harvey Kurtzman, Wally Wood, and pretty much every other big name alive at the time.
The book was recently released for the first time, and it seems like it was bungled. The biggest problem is that Michel thinks that people want this book, because they want to know about him—for some reason thare are crude drawings of him dropped into the comics. Another problem is that the art appears to have been colored digitally and was printed on super glossy paper which conflicts with the 70s drawing styles.
There are a lot of good comics in here, but for $55 you want something that's a beautiful object, and this book isn't a beautiful object.
Also, they didn't use the original cover art. Look at how much better this is than what they went with. If you still want to buy the book, it's for sale on the Abrams Books site.
This is so much like a Yuichi Yokoyama parody, it's hard to take it seriously. I don't know what Gabriel Corrbera actually draws like, but I don't see how Gabriel and Yuichi both came to drawing comics in such a similarly far-out style. You can buy it at Space Face Books.
As You Were: A Punk Comix Anthology Issue One
Compiled by Mitch Clem
Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club
This is an anthology of amateurish comics about shows at punk houses. Some of the comics are corny tales about drama with drunk jerks. Some are over-idealized tales about finding yourself in the punk community—I guess two major elements of punk are people inventing drama and feeling at home. But the anthology doesn't spend enough time addressing how badly punk houses smell. Anyways, this is a definite thing to get if you're friends with any of the punks who contributed or if you live in a punk house. Otherwise you will probably not like this very much.
It's time for y'all to leave. See you next week!
Previously - Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #93