Every once in a while Nick Gazin rounds up all the drawings stuff people give him for free and reviews it while berating himself. Here's another one of those times...
In The Flesh
Koren Shadmi is a tall gawky Israeli with a gigantic maw that hangs open like Monstro at Disneyland. From it, no light escapes. This book, his first English release, is full of metaphysical romance stories with big metaphors and a lot of flat female characters. But lo, there is some good stuff in it. For instance, in the autiobiographical "What's Wrong With Me?," Koren switches back and forth between obsessing over some really lame girl and that really lame girl doing really dumb stuff, and eventually ends with Koren crying himself to sleep. That always makes me laugh! "Ha haw haw hee haw hack hck ck!" My laughter is always stopped short by my wheezing. I've gained a lot of weight and gone from one to two packs in the last couple of months. I don't even want to think about the possibility of diabetes. I think the final story contains the most depth and mystery. I have only looked at the pictures due to being bored and distracted but it looks like my nightmares.
Jin & Jam
This is one of the best comics I've seen in a while. A lot of it feels heavily inspired by Tekkonkinkreet but in a way that is not super prominent. It tells the story of two girls becoming friends in a crazy/boring world. Everyone in the comic looks Asian though I don't know if they're all supposed to actually be Asian. Everything in this book is drawn with loving care and is fun to look at: people smoking, people stealing each other's French fries, people fighting with conjoined twins, flurries of potato chips and Bible study flash cards flying through the air. Helen Jo is doing some exciting new things and her comics are fun as hell.
Abrams Comic Art
After the guys who created Superman got fired from their own comic and DC stole their characters, Joe Shuster (who was one of those guys) started contributing art to S & M porno booklets. The drawings feature characters who look exactly like Superman, Lois Lane, Lucy Lane, and Jimmy Olsen, but instead of standing up for justice and virtue they are sexually humiliating each other. Mae West gets in there a few times too. I relate to this book because I have stopped believing in good things and only see human interaction as a series of hurting and taking. This is a really great book.
Drawn & Quarterly
I find Seth's fetish for the old-timey to be pretty grating, though many might argue it’s simply “quaint.” In this book, he chronicles the fictional life and death of a Canadian TV show host in a docu-comics style. There's a lot of good stuff in this comic but it's hard to not be distracted by his old-timeyness. It's like how Milo Manara's comics are beautiful but it's hard to think about how good they are because there's a woman being sexually humiliated in every panel.
by Blaise Larmee
Wig Wam is a fold-over zine with accordion page construction. The handmade paper cover is stamped with patterns. Inside you’ll find pretty color drawings that don't look overly similar to each other. This is a really pretty little drawing booklet.
Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne
TOR sent me a novel based on a video game. It's not a comic but it's still pretty good. Check out this passage:
They howled again, and Loghain raised his voice even further, "Your prince is not here! But when he returns to us we shall hand to him his stolen throne! Here at the River Dane is wher the Dragon Age begins, my friends!Today they will hear us roar!"
Did I say this book was good? I meant great.
New Character Parade #2
Johnny Ryan's web comics get periodically collected into signed and numbered collections with lithographed covers. They are fun and funny and sell out pretty quickly. You know this. This one is a collection of comics about kooky characters: White Power Sluggo, Stink Saw, Heathclit, a comic about Chris Benwah murdering his family. And I got it all for free. All hail being a comic book reviewer, the job I wish I had had as a seven-year-old. Three cheers for me not getting new goals!
A Drifting Life
Drawn & Quarterly
The thing about this book is that it's 855 pages. That is a lot of comic for the money. It might seem weird to mention, but comics with high page counts seem more like "real books" to people who don’t normally buy comics and so they usually will be more likely to take a chance on a comic if it is huuuuuge. Smart business move. This mammoth book is so big that I can't totally remember what happens in it. It was good though, definitely worth the $30 price.
Car Trash Pizza #5
There's this nutty girl who works at Cakeshop and she prances around and punches me in the nuts and stomach. She doesn't really talk all that much but one day she slid this comic over to me and walked away. Car Trash Pizza #5 is a collection of drawings, gags, and t-shirt slogans. It's pretty funny.