Hello art-o-philes, I turned 29 last week. I celebrated by playing pinball and drawing a jam comic about sea punk with Matthew Caron. I also finally gave back Gary Panter's ten favorite comics that I'd borrowed for two years.
Look at this pretty Japanese Pioneer stereo ad from 1970.
Gary Panter is going to be involved with this totally bonkers sounding light show which everyone is going to want to go to. Also, I had lunch with Gary Panter and he told me about what he'd been listening to lately. Then he sent me links.
He likes this band.
And he likes this band.
And he likes this band.
James Harvey made this funny thing.
Kaz posted this on Facebook. I love that whoever advertised these dolls not only believed that Sluggo was the star of the comic but that Nancy's name doesn't even matter. Man, would I love to buy these weird looking Nancy and Sluggo dolls and realistic toy guns right now. I wonder what happens if you mail these coupons in now. I bet your envelope is delivered by a verrrrrrryyy oooold post man with a long beard and an old time uniform to a vacant lot where the Sluggo and Girlfriend doll factory once was before angry feminists burned it down.
Joe Kubert died. If you don't know who that is, then fuck you. He started a comic book school and is a legend in comics. His kids drew/draw Marvel comics and are also pretty famous.
When I die I hope that there's a drawing of me being beaten to death and robbed by stuff I liked to draw.
I turned 29 last week. I celebrated by playing pinball and drawing this jam comic about sea punk with Matthew Caron.
Here are some reviews of things I was given:
Prince Seppuku and the for Robot-X: Book One
Comic Book Factory
Karl Wills is a great cartoonist from New Zealand whose appeared in the pages of VICE and on our internet pages also. I'm not sure how steadily he's making comics but he sent me this new one that he published. Karl draws in a super beautiful Herge type of style and tells stories that seem simple but have occasional elements of extreme violence and characters doing strange things that you might not expect. In the context of Karl's comics it doesn't seem like poor storytelling. It seems like a disconcerting nightmare. It's a little hard to nail down exactly what this comic is or what kind of person Karl Wills is. From the title and subject it feels like another western take on Japanese pop culture, but the quality of the art and writing make it clear that the maker of this comic isn't some dork with no ideas.
If you don't know the work of Karl Wills then get to know the work of Karl Wills. And buy this comic from him.
I borrowed comic legend Gary Panter's ten favorite comics for going on two years before I gave them back last week. You can read the article he wrote for VICE about them here. While eating lunch he passed me this, his new mini comic. He mentioned that his relatives in Texas are going nuts over this Chick-fil-a thing and that they believe that sperm is people, and I got the sense that his mention of hillbilly relatives related to this comic.
This comic deals with Henry, the star of one of Panter's funniest comics called The Asshole. Henry has created a homemade ziggurat and is in the process of turning himself into an Aztec god while his hillbilly cousin watches on. Eventually, Henry transforms and his terrified cousin runs out of their shack and through the suburbs until he finally makes it to the city where he raves about the evil god coming to kill everyone on a crowded subway.
It's only eight pages but it's pretty great and you can probably get it from his website.
War & Penis
Johnny Ryan and Frederic Fleury
The Milan Review
Johnny Ryan doesn't really sleep a lot. That's how come he is able to do so much stuff at once. He's got a newborn baby, his VICE-related work, his Prison Pit comic, some huge projects, and then he had an internet cartoon war with some guy named Frederic Fleury who draws similarly to Johnny. They just drew the most horrifyingly gross images of each other back and forth nonstop for weeks and months. Then Tim Small, who works for VICE Italy decided to publish it in a gross little book. I don't know why, but I really find this book appallingly gross, and I've been a fan of Johnny's gross comics for years. If you like Johnny Ryan drawing gross-out shit with some French rip-off, then get this thing. I asked Tim Small, the publisher a few questions.
Why did you publish this, Tim?
Because it's hilarious, and touching. These are two grown men who spent months thinking about each other and making art for each other. Even if it's insults, there's something very delicate and sweet about it. Johnny and Fred love each other. And they express that love through drawings about one getting raped by a pie in the Caribbean ("Pie-rapes of the Caribbean") while the other is a dancing midget with platform shoes on and a micropenis.
Do you think you'll make your money back?
I already did. Almost.
Do any of the drawings in this book upset you?
Nope. I just spend my time LOLing.
The Art and Making of the Dark Knight Trilogy
Jody Duncan Jesser and Janine Pourroy
I don't like the new Batman movies so it's hard for me to care about this book too much. I'm a big Batman fan who was born in 1983. I grew up reading my dad's Batman comics that were published between 1959 and 1963, and I was six when the first Tim Burton Batman movie came out. I think that the 1989 Batman sits in a place in my brain where Star Wars is for children of the 70s. It's not a perfect movie in all regards, but Michael Keaton is compelling as hell, the sets were great, and the central themes make sense to me. I find Christian Bale totally dull as Batman, I think the villains apart from Heath Ledger's Joker were a complete nothing, and I think they're all too long. Beyond small details, I think that trying to make a story as fantastic and ridiculous as Batman into the most realistic possible movie you can is missing the point of Batman. The basic premise that Batman is founded upon is totally goofy. Trying to make it super real only makes it seem really dumb. I prefer a Batman set in a heightened reality since he's a heightened character. When anyone gets the chance to tell a Batman story in any medium they will always make him their own and use him and Gotham City to express different things. I just don't care about this rendition of Batman.
For me the best translation of Batman onto screen will always be Bruce Timm and Paul Dini's animated show. I think it captured the right balance of darkness and humor. I generally don't care for the direction that superhero movies are moving in these days. I'm excited for the new Judge Dredd movie but think everything else recent looks pretty awful. I haven't seen the new Batman yet and I don't plan on putting any energy into doing so.
Megadeth: Another Time, A Different Place
Oh my god, this fucking book. Dave Mustaine starts off his introduction to this book of photos of him by mentioning that he hates cameras. It shows! The photos in this book are terrible. If you love photographs of some long-haired guys sitting around doing nothing, or onstage playing guitar, then this is still too boring to bother with. I like Mustaine and Megadeth but if these were my photos and I was cutting down what I had for a book, I think I might include five of the ones in this book, even though not a single fucking photo in here is great. There are maybe a few that are acceptable, but most are boring. This book makes Dave Mustaine look like the most boring guy in the world. Did you ever see that photo of him crouching near the edge of a lake? That was an awesome photo. It's not in this book.
This week's Moebius image is a drawing that Joe Kubert did in 1991 of Moebius's Arzach. This year has really grabbed some of our greatest cartoonists away from us.
See you next week.
Previously - Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-in #67