1990: Gin and Comix

Gin and Comix (1990) #1 edited by Philippe Lardy and José Ortega.

Now, this is a weird one. Eclipse listed this book in one of their “on the stands” columns, so I bought it, naturally. The listing said that it was a collection of student works from the School of Visual Arts.

And the indicia seems to agree with that. I mean, it doesn’t mention that this is studentey work, but it does mention the SVA.

But there’s no mention of Eclipse Comics at all. Did Eclipse just distribute it? Just list it on the “on the stands” column to be nice? I can find no trace on the interwebs about Eclipse being involved with this book at all, so perhaps they weren’t?

Anyway, I’ve got the book now, so let’s just read it. If this offends your Eclipse-only sensibilities, avert your eyes now!

This books is the exact format of the first series of Raw Magazine: It’s almost-tabloid size, is on thick, white paper and is saddle-stitched. It’s almost all comics, but there’s a few photo pieces, and one text piece.

Most of the artists are completely unknown to me, which gives credence to the “student” bit. It’s also quite punk, so that points to the SVA.

Some of the pieces are really good! Not just from a design perspective, but has emotional impact, like this page from co-editor Ortega.

The best bit here are the pages by Jerry Moriarty. He was a teacher at the SVA, I think, and I can’t recall seeing these pieces before. There’s four of these huge two-page spreads and they’re all totes spiffy.

The other co-editor, Philippe Lardy does an 11 page story that’s extremely stylish.

And here’s a name I know! David Sandlin does the centrepiece, complete with a stitched-in booklet, just like Raw Magazine.

This one folds out into a panorama, though. Trey cool.

Apart from the students and teachers at the SVA, and the editors themselves, there’s a few pieces that seem to be translated imports from Europe, like this thing by Jan Smet…

And the longest piece in the book, a great strip by Mokeït, who’s French. It, and perhaps the Jerry Moriarty pages, are probably the only ones that would have been accepted into Raw Magazine. While many of the pieces are good reads and look nice, they don’t feel that… urgent? Yeah, perhaps that’s the right word.

I’ve been googling some more, and this just doesn’t seem to be a well-known book. Did it have very limited distribution? I don’t know. And I still don’t know what the Eclipse connection is, but it was nice to get a break from the usual Eclipse fare, anyway.

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