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Nick Gazin's Comic Book Love-In #112

VICE art editor Nick Gazin sorts the comics and collectibles wheat from the chaff, from zine fairs to Matt Furie, to Dragon Ball Z figures.

by Nick Gazin
Jul 1 2016, 2:00pm

All photos by the author

Hello Comic Readers,

I'm Nicholas Gazin, VICE's art editor. This is my weekly comic column in which I discuss comics, art, zines and, oh... everything.

8-Ball had a zine fair on Sunday. There are too many zine fairs and not enough good zines right now. Boo-Hooray, Toilet Paper, and Printed Matter were there and they're all integral but for the most part the zines on display showed no spark or urgency. For decades small press was necessary and now it's a novelty. The majority of the garbage on display at Space Billiards was pointless and uninspired and wouldn't even be worth posting on social media. Being punk doesn't mean you don't try. Cometbus kept on improving and trying. Chunklet was great. Answer Me was incredible. Punk Planet, MRR, etc. It's sort of like how when you go to rock shows and all the kids seem to be slam-dancing because they think they're supposed to but they do it limply and without basic pit etiquette. It's like they're imitating what they saw in the "Teen Spirit" video on YouTube. Serious limp-dick shit.

That said, Devin Troy Strother was there displaying his art and zines, and I bought all his shit. This is my Devin Troy brag bag.

I have an art show up at World Money Gallery and the closing night party is tonight, June 30, from 6–10 PM.

I went to MoCCA a while back. I've gone every year since its inception. At one point you went to MoCCA Fest to meet the rising and established stars of comics. Increasingly it feels like an abandoned strip mall. It's not MoCCA's fault—the world of alternative comics has changed immensely. There are too many small-press events and not enough talented artists in comics. The good ones keep on moving to LA and getting into animation.

Tyler Boss, who I first met at the previous year's MoCCA Fest, ended up drawing a lot of art for this year's festival. I take full credit for hiring him to do so much shit on VICE.

Pat Dorian won an award after I reviewed his comic. I took the little award since I felt like I was owed it.

This is VICE intern Matt James-Wilson with Kendra Yee, showing off his art magazine, Forge. I don't take credit for his success but I'm sure I will very, very soon. Check back next week to see if Matt did something that I am taking credit for.

This is Dean Haspiel. The only person I've seen consistently at MoCCA since 2002. Dean is consistent, and I appreciate his reliability.

Here are reviews of some things.

#1. Last Man 5: The Order by Balak, Michaël Sanlaville, and Bastien Vivès (First Second)

I've been eagerly awaiting this book since I finished reading the fourth Last Man book in December. When I pulled it out of the envelope, I said, "Oh, YEAH" aloud. I read it in about an hour and immediately began fiending for volume six, which isn't due out until November.

The Last Man books are the best action adventure comics being made right now. The art is beautiful, and the story is fun. It's like Stephen King's Dark Tower series and Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball were filtered through European comics sensibilities. Next time you're at the comic store buy all five volumes at once.

Buy Last Man 5.

#2. Shigeru Mizuki's Kitaro: The Birth of Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)

This book collects early Kitaro comics from 1967–68. Kitaro is a yokai child raised by humans. Yokai are Japanese forest monsters and they've been part of Japan's myths for centuries. Kitaro helps solve yokai-related problems, often caused by his rodent yokai-friendly enemy, Nezumi Otoko. The comics in this book are some awesome, fun, and morbid Japanese greatness. Art made about Japanese ghosts and demons is some of the best stuff ever made, and this book is the best of the best.

Buy Kitaro.

#3. Dragon Ball Full Color Freeza Arc 1 and 2 by Akira Toriyama (Viz Media)

Viz has been coloring and reprinting DBZ manga in color and at standard American comic-book size, and I am not mad at it at all. These two books contain the part of the long, long DBZ story in which Goku, Bulma, Kuririn, Vegeta, and Gohan all end up on Planet Namek and try to fight a really strong guy named Freeza who looks like a creepy little devil lizard guy. If you like Dragon Ball, it's fun to read it bigger and in color. These particular books have some prime Vegeta fight scenes. I love how much Vegeta loves being an evil shitty person. I can't wait for volume three.

Buy Dragon Ball: Freeza Arc.

#4. X-Plus Goku (Bandai)

I got sent a cardboard box big enough to bury a dog in full of Dragon Ball toys from Bandai. Thank you Bandai. My job is really cool.

This is an 18" plastic statue of Goku being all Super Saiyan. I keep it next to my regular Goku who is just happy to be around. Together they keep my fridge free of beings with high power levels.

Buy big Goku.

#5. Dragon Ball Sound Scouter (Bandai)

This is a toy that looks like the Scouters that Saiyans use to read people's power levels. It makes a beep-boop sound when you press a button on the side. I try to wear this in public whenever I remember to. People assume it's Google Glass.

Buy this Scouter.

#6. Dragon Ball 66 action trading figures (Bandai)

These are little hyper posable guys that come with multiple hands and stands so you can pose them. Pretty fun. They're small so they're good work toys for your desk. Put them on your desk and arrange a teeny epic battle instead of doing your job.

Buy tiny Goku.

#7. Boy's Club by Matt Furie (Fantagraphics)

Matt Furie's Boy's Club was the first major stoner animal buddy comic that came out after Ben Jones pioneered this genre. Now everybody does it. We've run a lot of slacker animal comics on this site. I know it might seem repetitive to some people, but so many of them are great.

A couple of the comics in this book first appeared on VICE. I would like to personally take credit for Matt Furie's success.

This book reprints the contents of the previously published Boy's Club comics without the cover art and no additional contents. If you have those, you don't need this. If you don't have those, then you need this.

Buy Boy's Club.

That's it for this week. See you next time and follow me on Instagram until then.