Recommendations and rants from the underground comix, and related worlds of the strange and beautiful
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Nerd Art!!! Daniel Clowes
If you have never read Daniel Clowes then I feel sorry for you and wonder if you’re friends care about you at all. Don’t worry, it’s never too late! Pick any one of these these titles and you’re in for a sureal trip into a trip of Comix masterworks, mixing elements of Pulp, Noir, Resentment, Murder and occasionally delicate romance. He is the best of our time
Nerd Alert!!! Julie Doucet
My favorite female artist and one of my top 3 of any gender in any time, Julie’s work is irrestitble. The world she draws isn’t a pleasent one full of anixety and fear but she illustrates in such a charming combination of quirk and grundge, I could read her versions of events any time and fall in love. My favorite is My NY Diary, but it might be more rewarding to read after you’ve introduced yourself to her reality in short story works in collections such as My Most Secret Desire and Lève Ta Jambe Mon, Poisson Est Mort! (Lift Your Leg, My Fish Is Dead!)
Nerd Alert!!! Zines
Boy we sure love independently produced Comix! Here are some of our all time favorites in our collection. 😎😎 …OK so Jack Handey’s DEEP THOUGHTS isn’t a Zine but boy it sure still in funny
Nerd Alert! Minoru Furuya
If you were looking to find the Daniel Clowes of Japan, Minoru Furuya would be your best bet. Insanely prolific and brilliant, his work started in demented absurd comedies and gradually transformed into Horror. His artwork, sense of storytelling, harsh examination of society is always on point. He’s the rare Manga artist who draws Japanese Ppl who look Japanese.
I know his most famous title, PING PONG CLUB has been subtitled, pretty sure you can find some of his other titles translated online. I recommend GREEN HILL, my personal fav.
Read more at http://websta.me//p/1213124045352015561_2466923140#JsAiXXIKeeXpI8yL.99
Nerd Alert!! Alan Moore
Stopped reading mainstream comics a long time ago (why my mom keeps sending me Spider-Man stuff on my birthdays I could not tell you) but Alan Moore makes the exception. I don’t know what category he’d be filed under, not underground but definitely unique. Always interesting, emotionally layered and full of twists. I love me some SWAMP THING!!
Nerd Alert!!! Peter Bagge
I love HATE comics!! Peter Bagge rules!! I had always seen his stuff around but never got into reading until a few years ago. Boy what a fool I was. Reading Buddy Bradley’s life is like reading an epic life of extreme highs and lows. I almost relate to it all little too much..
Everything else Mr. Bagge has put out is equally as dense and human in their exploration of living in this crazy world. Even his brief gig at Marvel Comics making Spiderman and Hulk stories are Hi-Fucking-Hilarious!
Nerd Alert! PULP/HORROR
I Pulp Horror! The comix and art that came out of the 50s and 60s are in particular divine, can’t get enough of them. Wish I had enough money to buy all those collections that hv been put out. I’ve seen modern comic companies try to replicate the anthology format but it always seem to lack the charm and pop/grit not to mention skill of the work they pay homage to…
With the exception of that Urban Legend book, if you hv Daniel Clowes drawing the cover it’s probably pretty cool.
My own work (the editor) is heavily inspired by Pulp (few examples on the bottom of photo)
Nerd Alert!! DERF
I’m really into this guy, DERF right now.
My friend (who looks exactly like guy on center of book 1) lent me My Friend Dahmer and I ploughed right through it. What am amazing story teller! Haunting and terrifying but sympathetic as well. The makings of a mad man are evident and one might wonder what would hv been different for him if somebody just reached out to him with more effort. My only criticism would be that the author as a teen seemed to take advantage of Dahmers oddities to ridicule but made no effort to be an actual friend. Odd that he wouldn’t reflect “what lives I might have saved?”
But moving onto Punk Rock and Trailer Parks, I was quickly endeared to the “Baron’s” passion for life and unique ability to connect to Hero’s of punk rock like Clash, Ramones, Lester Bangs and many more.
There is even a continuation of the Barons story online. I don’t follow online comics, just feels weird and most presented to me seem too cutsey for me, but I can’t help wonder what The Baron gets up to next.Up next, Trashed!
Nerd Alert!! R. Crumb
Uh, duh. What could be said about R. Crumb the Godfather of American Comix? Say what you will about some of his questionable antics , the man is an undeniable genius. No-one has produced as much and with as much range as Mr. Crumb. From his collaborations with Pekar & Bukowski, to Fritz the Cat, to (one of my favs) Mode O’ Day stories, he’s done it all. The only reason I don’t always list him in my top 3 is because, though brilliant, his sexual fantasy stories are pretty masturbatory and my other favorite artists can be a little more subtle with sneaking in their private sexual tastes. But then again sometimes I want to give him extra points for having the balls to be that honest.
He definitely is the one guy that got me to read a book of the Bible. His illustrated take on Genesis was AMAZING.
Nerd Alert!!! Japanese ghost art.
I lve, lve, lve Japanese art!! I could browse through them for hours, also love haunted houses in Japan.
The grand daddy master Japanese ghost illustrator would have to be Shigeru Mizuki. He sadly passed November of last year, but what a legacy he left behind! I hope to one day make it to Mizuki Shigeru Road in Sakaiminato, his hometown.
Today I’m taking some inspiration from classic Japanese Ghost prints for a tour poster for a friend…
oh what? You want to look in side? okaaay finnneee.
Nerd Alert!! Zines
More independently produced books! Do I have a healthy collection? The answer is YES
Nerd Alert!!! Otomo Katashiro
Otomo Katashiro, the genius future punk illustrator and writer of Japan. No other manga epic has ever matched up to the complexity, harshness and intense energy of his masterpiece, AKIRA. The feature was a milestone on its own right but the original source material offers so much more. Pre-Akita, Mr. Katashiro created comic shorts that were much more down to earth. Stories involving Japanese karate teachers struggling in late 70s NY, or a man slowly eating a murder victim just to get rid of the evidence. Though always dark, his writings never lose their darkly comedic touch. Brilliant reads. Not pictured here, I have a VHS of his film, MEMORIES. It’s fantastic.
Nerd Alert!! Ralph Steadman
I always thought Ralph Steadman had a sensibility similar to those found in underground comix. Very raw, brutal but humorous. A lot of the same themes as well, paranoia, fear, America explored through a twisted mind, but so brilliant. Animal Farm has always been one of my favorite books and I’ve read it twice since purchasing his take. His drawings of poor Boxer are heartbreaking… Always wanted to score a copy of his Alice through the Looking Glass…
Read more at http://websta.me//n/thegremlinquarterly#uxvEUjjLlkg4WbyH.99
Nerd Alert!!! Sam Keith
When IMAGE COMICS first broke into the scene, I remember it being supposed to be the indie comic movement of the 90s, with all the hottest artists from Marvel comics creating their very own superheros. Unfortunately most of those artists didn’t know how to write for shit and their titles quickly dribbled to boring unreadable shlop. IMO 2 people made the exception, Erik Larsen and even more so, Sam Keith. His Comics were pure magic. So complex, so human, funny, scary, surreal and beautifully illustrated. I used to marvel at Sam Keith’s artwork for hours, the line work, the colors the weird details, he seemed to transcend the borders of any other mainstream comicbook illustrator.
In fact shoot, now that I pulled these old MAXX comics out of my closet, I just might have to slowly reread them. Into the bathroom comic rack they go!! And yes they’re all there. Please don’t mk me pull them all out. They’re boarded front to back
Nerd Alert!!! Mike Judge
One of my creative heroes is Mike Judge for sure. I’m LOVING Silicon Valley, it has everything I want in a good comedy. Relatable characters, unpredictable dialogue, terrible endearing characters. Idocracy was brilliant (on the 2nd watch for me), but my fav of the 3 features was Extract which I thought think is generally underrated. I think it’s easier to parody the unlikable boss than the likable boss that deals with the circus of employment. Have you rewatched Beavis & Butthead lately, tho? Dude shit holds up, I loved it initially in 6th grde and then started to hate it when everybody caught on and started imitating them all the time. That return season was amazing tho. And you know another early cartoon stroke of genius for Mike Judge was his original Office Space cartoons. I remember seeing these on Spike & Mike and Liquid TV and was blown away. Mike Judge said of when his animated films first started getting notied. “Oh, man. This is way better than working. Why didn’t I do this earlier?” . But of course if he wasn’t a working-stiff he never would have gotten all the real life problems in which to make comedy genius from… #nerdalert #mikejudge #officespace #beavisandbutthead #siliconvlley #genius #comedicgenius #creativegenius #idiocracy #stapler #boss #coworker #employee #officehumor #spikeandmike #liquidtv #inidependentanimation #illustration #comix #undergroundcomics #Thegremlinquarterly
Nerd Alert!! Stand alone masterpieces!
You don’t need to hv a comix makers entire body of work, sometimes one good book can mk u fall in love. These are some great examples of graphic novels that both stand alone and the test of time.
I recommend Lynda Barry’s 100 Demons if you’re looking for something that will spark and nourish your own creativity. MAUZ for anyone you’re trying to introduce to mature comic art. It’s incredible each time I reread it.
Nerd Alert!?… Jeffrey Brown
Hmm… How do you guys feel about Jeffrey Brown? I have to admit I’ve had mixed feelings about his work. I do like his sense of timing and his loose drawing style. He can often capture a scene in just a few panels and his work is emotional. But something about it always rubbed me the wrong way… I always felt that he’s playing the victim in his comics, like the poor sensitive artist that gets his feelings hurt by women all the time, and it just seemed wrong to me and I always wished I could hear from the women he writes about. Also, is he the kind of guy that crushed on every single girl he met, because I find that kind of behavior questionable as well. I mean we all (ok not all obviously) have those micro crushes, or flirt-attacks but to not be able to engage with the opposite sex (or same sex) without it being a romantic thing seems kind of creepy and juvenile to me.
I used to draw a lot of autobiographical comics myself and a few times people compared me to Jeffrey Brown and sent me into a depression. Oh so I’m doing the “poor me” shtick?? Because the reason weird things were happening in my life was usually due to some chain reaction I had something to do with. So I had to rethink my approach and make my work depict myself as not some sweet hard-luck angel, cause that would be pathetic..
I wonder if Jeffrey Brown would get stuck in an endless cycle of emotion and “Should have done it differently” as he worked on these relationship comics… I personally feel more comfortable reading stuff like Peter Bagge’s Hate where it feels a little more balanced between Buddy having problems and Buddy being the problem.
I don’t know! Does anybody have any opinions on this? Do you fall in love when you read Jeffrey Brown’s world.
Nerd Alert!! Scott Pilgrim
Normally as a jaded adult, I would steer way clear of anything that resembled cute anime art, especially those produced in the US, can’t even remember what made me flip open this Scott Pilgrim, maybe I heard Edgar Wright was working on a film adaptation? But Im sure glad I did, because there was much more to this series than met the eye.
Reading Scott Pilgrim & Co’s adventure was like taking a trip back to my youth, hanging out with my friends, seeing shows, having silly dramas that seemed much bigger deals than they should have, spending a whole lot of time doing absolutely nothing, yet… but… no, it means something.
Video-game culture seem like such a youthful thing for me and it plays perfectly in this world where things like “Power Ups” and “Extra Lives” are essential for survival. The humor is often subtle and the characters are pretty much all endearing. I love this series. It’s cool.
I used to spend an awful lot of energy trying to figure out movies to watch with my ex-girlfriend that SHE would like. A couple times I would just take a chance and get her to watch a “Genre Bending” movie like the Scott Pilgrim movie or Cabin In The Woods, and see if she’d appreciate at least the fresh take on materials. The only thing I did see, however, was her falling asleep and then in the morning saying something like “Yeah, I don’t think I was getting into that movie”. Both those films are movies I dragged @h2whoah to blindly to which it almost seemed to Tk his breath afterwards, “..That… was so cool!!”. Can’t win em all! Scott Pilgrim is a winner, IMO