Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 5/19/2017

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / poolside sweetheart Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). I’m beat, Denizens. Totally exhausted. You see, this week I spent Sunday–Wednesday on a work trip with today being my first full day back at the office; this doesn’t even factor in time at the Donist World corporate headquarters (Mom’s basement) which was spent in some epic meetings with my puppy executive team devising strategies for maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company. Thankfully, I only had two comics in my pull, and despite having plenty of older books and trades I wanted to talk about, I just don’t have the time or mental clarity to effectively go into anything other than the two. Because of this, I'm including a letter I wrote to my father in response to a rightwing article he sent to me on the topic of diversity efforts bringing about the demise of Marvel Comics. I hope you enjoy what I had to say. So, while I go grab some desperately needed shut-eye, sit back, have a tasty beer or a strong ginger ale, take care of yourself, and while you’re at it check out some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Friday Slice of Heaven


Low #18

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini, colored by Dave McCaig, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Sweet baby Bejebus, Denizens, I am loving all of Remender’s current work. I can’t even give you an “I especially like…” as everything he’s producing at Image is heavenly. I will say that Low is my favorite underwater, sci-fi, dystopian adventure comic, though.
Although this arc has not shown us the fates of either Stel Caine or of Della and her stolen Helm Suit (a vastly deadly weapon), the story of Tajo Caine and her friends is more than enough to keep me glued to each page. Tajo is hunting for Lena, the daughter of the man who abducted her when she was but a little girl. With this issue, we are led on a rollercoaster of a chase, much in the same vein as Remender’s amazing Black Science, through the seedy underworld of the dying submerged city of Salus. Roachtown, the place where fatalists and degenerates go to indulge their every pleasure before they die, is the flipside of the beauty that the creators have previously shown us of doomed Salus. Here there is violence, sex, drugs, you name it, and we catch a glimpse of it all, which is why this series is 100% for adults only; no kiddos allowed, NSFW, and I wouldn’t go gifting it to your momma or your boss. <phew> Sorry, gotta cool off after that Lena scene. Geez, Louise.
Anyhow, Tocchini’s art is gorgeous on every page — not just the lascivious Lena moments — and the storytelling of the chase scenes will keep you whipping through the issue. McCaig’s color tones change wonderfully depending on the city district: the purples of the drug bar, the reds of Lena’s room (oh my), the cooler blue-greens of the upper regions, to the chaos of oranges and yellows toward the end. Every aspect of this comic works beautifully as an example of what happens when all those involved are perfectly in sync.
Provided you are mature enough to handle the content, you need to be reading this fantastic comic, and catching up is an easy thing to do. You can start with the first three trades today — a fourth comes out in August — or you can wait until October for the oversized hardcover, which I have been hoping for ever since I read the very first issue. Man, I love this comic.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Royal City #3

Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, lettered by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Alrighty, Denizens, this review is going to be a drastic shift from that of the previous comic. Actually, it’s going to be a drastic shift from most of what Lemire has been producing for quite some time now. With Royal City, you won’t find any superheroes or villains, spacemen or mutated children, or anything of the like. No. This brutally honest series is more in line with Lemire’s masterwork Essex County (one of the few comics that’s ever made me cry) in that we have a beautifully scripted and intricately illustrated tale of a family as it collapses in upon itself after a tragic event. Of course, I’m not going to spoil what that event is, and in fact, we, the reader, don’t fully know what happened yet anyways. The Pike family — comprised of three brothers, a sister, a mother, and a father — has so much history, such painful memories, that they can barely manage to interact with one another or those close to them in a civil manner. If it wasn’t for the one common thread to which each clings (I’m not saying what), I suspect this family would fall to ruin.
If you are familiar with Lemire’s art, then you can expect the looks of pain and hopelessness in his characters’ eyes, or the resentment and disappoint in the lines of their faces, and the weariness that burdens their frame. In other words, you’re not going to be smiling by the time you finish reading an issue of Royal City, and even though there doesn’t appear to be any bright spots in the near future, the  emotions on display, the character development, and the heartbreaking honesty of the story will keep you coming back for more. Lemire looks to have yet another masterpiece on his hands.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Slice into the Woods


The Traitorous #45 - Here is hoping that #45 and all those involved in destabilizing our country, including Pence, get what is coming to them: impeachment, disgrace, and severe prison sentences. Heck, let #45 get those high ratings he’s so preoccupied with. I’m more than fine with #45’s arrest having the highest ratings ever seen.

Roger Ailes - Speaking of vile human beings…good riddance to a sexual harassing fearmonger.


The Letter I Sent to My Dad


Hey Dad,

Comics are definitely one of my most favorite things on the planet. I’ve been reading them for 40+ years, I’m a comic book creator, and I pay attention to the industry as a whole. I’m kind of a fanatic, but I’ll try not to go full on War and Peace here.

Anyhow…

Bleeding Cool (online site about the stuff I love) points out quite nicely why Marvel is hurting. https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/04/01/axel-alonso-david-gabriel-say-marvel-changed-many-characters-publisher-not-politics/

Being PC and trying to be more inclusive—whether via artists or writers, or via comic book characters—is NOT killing Marvel Comics. Short-sighted, short-term money grabs, high cover prices, accellerated shipping schedules, multiple books for a group (9 X-Men comics per month for example) and an adversity to risk taking in an effort to appease shareholders as opposed to building their fanbase, is what’s hurting Marvel Comics. To be fair, Marvel receives mixed feedback from fans: “We want more heroes like me,” “We want things to stay exactly the same, “We want something new,” ”We want skimpy outfits and huge knockers so we can have boners,” “You are being sexist.” The thing is, most of Marvel’s readership falls predominantly on white dudes in their 40s. Translation: me. Marvel says they want to bring in new readers, but they predominantly only cater to older, white dudes. This blows my mind as women make up 51% of the population, there are tons of youngsters which most of their offerings are not geared toward, and they fail at every turn to capitalize off of their kickass movies. I never see free, promotional comics being handed out to moviegoers at every film, or collectible posters with links to Marvel Unlimited (digital comic book service), or to Comixology (digital comics purchases). These things are generally looked at as too big a risk, or too costly, yet these movies make 100s of millions of dollars.

*Note: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is a FANTASTIC history of Marvel Comics and its creators and the multiple near deaths Marvel has suffered over the decades. I’ve listened to the audio version twice and will definitely listen to it again as it is a fascinating history about the carousel of egotistical, ignorant, and abusive head honcho moneymen hellbent on destroying an industry. Also, selling off The Fantastic Four and X-Men rights to FOX, and selling off the Spider-Man rights to SONY didn’t do them any favors either.

Where I stand…I am now reading ONE Marvel Comic. I used to read a ton, but dropped series after series primarily because of Marvel’s decision to constantly run “Event” books, which are special storylines that start as a separate new comic book series (Secret Invasion comes to mind) that sprawls out into every other series they publish, interrupting storylines, and requiring readers to buy dozens of titles in order to get the complete story. This is a money grab, and the sad thing is it works…at least in the extreme short-term. The first issues of event books usually sell quite well, but then flounder as the series suffers through delays, art changes, and, frankly, erratic stories that only serve to lead into yet another “Event.”

This has little to do with diversity. Diversity does not hurt comics and has actually saved Marvel’s ass on a few occasions with the huge popularity of Ms. Marvel (a teenage, Muslim hero written by a Muslim woman) among teen girls, or of the character Thor recently being replaced by a woman (I love this book btw). 

Oh, and that one book I currently read…the creator is leaving Marvel to focus on his creator-owned work, so I will be reading zero Marvel books in the near future. I’m hopeful this will change.

Marvel’s other huge problem is the hemorrhaging of creative talent, which also applies to DC Comics. Unstable working conditions (most everyone is an outside contractor with no health benefits), disparate pay, demands to accommodate “Events,” exclusivity contracts, unexpected ramps in shipping schedules (rushed work), and creators having little to no ownership of their creations that can potentially go on to make 100s of millions of dollars if those characters end up in a movie, all contribute to creative talent leaving. The old model to break into comics was to create your own work, pray you were noticed, and that Marvel or DC hired you. Now, creators look to make a name at Marvel or DC so they can leave with an established fanbase and work on their creator-owned books where they own the property and are rewarded for their efforts. I GREATLY prefer these creator-owned works as I follow the writers and artists versus blindly following characters I might have once historically loved.

Alright, already at War and Peace length here. So I’ll wrap up. The guy who wrote that article is an idiot. He is more interested in spreading ultra-rightwing nonsense about an industry he does not fully understand. He’s also a white male commenting on something he has no comprehension of: being LGBTQ, a woman, black, hispanic, etc. He’s more interested in slamming an admittedly left-leaning creator like Nick Spencer (who regularly gets death threats on Twitter for recently having the black superhero The Falcon, step into the role of Captain America) or Brian Michael Bendis for being liberal (I never noticed this being a big thing with Bendis, but the article author slams him for making a new version of Spider-Man who is half Puerto Rican and half black and loved by most comic readers while an overly vocal minority send Bendis death threats). The article author is bolstering a narrative that mostly isn’t true. Yes, some of the books come off as ringing false as they attempt to be more inclusive, but at least Marvel has made some attempts to be inclusive. Diversity is not hurting Marvel, an inability to retain talent, to release consistent quality products, high cover prices, over-saturation of properties in the market (too many X-Men and Avengers titles), failure to reach broader markets, and short-term money grabs are what is hurting them.

Donist



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Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 5/12/2017

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / lost treasure comic book hunter Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). First off, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is a fantastic movie. (pssst…don’t tell Tulip or Reverse Obie, but I saw it twice this weekend and loved it both times). Now, I’m looking forward to Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming and most of all The Defenders, which debuts in August, all of which means I should probably rewatch Daredevil Season 2 asap. Hmmmmm…anyhow, what are we doin’? Oh yeah, comic books. It has been a crazy work week, and next week looks to be even more so. That said, of the four new comics I bought on Wednesday, I only had a chance to read two of them — Future Quest and Bug are both fantastic, btw! So, I thought we would again do something a little different and take a look at some comics I sadly missed the first time around, yet hope to remedy by reading in the near future. So, pour yourself a refreshing drink, sit down, strap in, and think about those comics you might have skipped all those years ago. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.


***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Ones That Got Away (Part 1)


“What the heck kind of doggone title is that, Donist?! Do we need to be worried about you?! Are you okay?!” Never fear, Denizens, all is well with the Donist and Donist World. I just happened to be sitting in our conference room — the area roped off by hanging sheets in Mom’s basement — and thinking about all of the comics I wanted to read throughout the years that I had missed for one reason or another. As I thought about them, I realized there were tons of series I missed out on that I wanted to read, and I’m not even considering any comics from the past two decades. So, let’s have a look and see what can be done about this now that we are in the age of the internet where online shopping and digital services can help remedy this dire situation. If you have any regrets about comics that you happened to have missed out on over the years, then please let me know by posting a comment. I’m happy to lend an ear, to commiserate, to help you work through the emotions and try to find a way to move on and hopefully help you find a way to set things right.

The New Teen Titans

Written by Marv Wolfman, illustrated by George Perez, published by DC Comics. Okay, I have to admit I’m deeply ashamed of this one. I guess I should start with “Forgive me, father, for I have sinned,” as I have never read The New Teen Titans. I know, I know, I’m as shocked as you are. Actually, nay, Denizens, I am more shocked than you, but please allow me to explain. I very much knew of this series when it was coming out, but being a young Donist with but a limited allowance, I had to make some exceedingly difficult choices back in the day.

Before I had learned of the existence of the local comic shop (RIP Andromeda Book Store) I was forced to buy my comics at the grocery store, or the 7-11, or the K-Mart; I was a slave to the whims of the ol’ spinner rack. Compounding the problem was that I was limited by my allowance and whatever extra books I could guilt my mother into buying for me. There were also soooooo many amazing books to choose from back then. If there was a new The Micronauts or a The Saga of the Swamp Thing or a The Uncanny X-Men, then that is where my money was destined to go. We went to the grocery store often and there was always something that beat out DC’s teen heroes, including the mind-melting The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans comic which made having to skip the Titan’s own book all the more painful. Every time I saw a new issue with Robin, Changeling, Raven, Cyborg, Starfire, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl squaring off against Brother Blood, Deathstroke, or Trigon I wanted to shed a tear because I knew glory awaited within those pages. Not only that, Crisis on Infinite Earths made the decision not to dive into this much-loved series all the more painful with the amazing Wolfman story and stunning Perez art. I guess when it comes down to it, it was just not meant to be.

Thankfully things change.

Fast forward a couple decades, and I have been eyeing the groovy Omnibus editions with their steep price, and was then thrilled to see the trade compilations appear at my LCS, but when Comixology had a sale for $5.99 per trade I decided the time had finally come. I bought the first three volumes and having read the first one, my newest regret is not having bought the six that were available at that low price. Crud. Oh well. At least I have two more 8+ issue trades to read through, and with any luck, this amazing series will go on sale again so I can see what all the fuss is about for the much lauded “The Messiah Complex” set to appear in volume seven. The New Teen Titans is definitely a better-late-than-never series, and the best thing about having waited so long to finally read it is that I have a ton of heavenly comics waiting for me to discover for the very first time.


Rom

Written by Billy Mantlo, illustrated by various, published by Marvel Comics. Not all of the books I write about for this feature will have a happy ending. The tale of my sorrow should thus begin with Rom. If you have been following Donist World for at least the two years, then you already know that I am cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs for The Micronauts, which is the comic series that turned me into a comic book collector in the first place.

Both Rom and The Micronauts came out in 1979, and I was, as always, under financial limitations as to what I could and could not buy. There was also Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, and a host of other comics competing for my spare change, and those usually won out over this awesome looking comic. I guess it didn’t help that I had seen the Rom action figure and it just couldn’t stand up to the amazing The Micronauts toyline.

Now, don’t get me wrong, my brother and I bought a handful of issues and annuals over the years, but it was never enough to figure out what the heck was going on. At 75 issues and four annuals, Rom was a tough series to jump into, but the interest was always there. Now for the sad part: because of licensing issues, we might never see Rom collected in any sort of shape or form, which is monumentally sad, as I would gladly throw down some cash for a fairly priced collection or two. Here’s to hoping I don’t have to bargain bin this one over the next decade or two.


Vigalante

Written by Marv Wolfman, illustrated by various, published by DC Comics. What do you know…two Wolfman books top the list of my greatest regrets. The cool thing is that each of these highly-praised series is starting to become available for all to read. The difference between The New Teen Titans and Vigilante, however, is that where I had a fairly good idea of who the Titans are, I have almost no background info on Vigilante.

I do know that the character debuted in The New Teen Titans book, that he has a bitchin costume, that the series has 50 issues with two annuals, and that this newly released collection contains his first appearance and the first eleven issues of the comic. Currently, I have a bunch of stuff sitting in my “To Read” pile, but if a sale on Vigilante happens to come my way in the near future, I can see picking up this series becoming a top priority. I am so excited to check this out!


Slice into the Woods


Comey Fired - Yeah, because why not? In this bizarro world, why the fuck not? Seriously, how can anyone support the guy who is the main subject of an investigation into his alleged treasonous activities, who then fires the person investigating him? Word on the street is that #45 will then fill Comey’s position with yet another traitor who will then close the case. Positively repulsive.


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Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 5/5/2017

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / “We are Groot” puppy Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). I had a few more comics come to mind to include in the “Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics” series I’ve been writing, so that is what we are going to look at in this installment. Again, the idea came to me last month after listening to the audiobook of The Handmaid’s Tale, which got me thinking about my 1/27/2017 post listing the various books to read in the dark times of a #45 presidency. So, why not compile a list of post-apocalyptic and dystopian comics where bad men have taken control, or religion has been twisted to enable individuals to seize power, or biological weapons have decimated populations, or corporations have taken over, or the wealthy tread on the poor, or or OR!!! Basically, we’re going to look at what happens when sh_t becomes some f_ed up sh_t. Anyhow, I have to sneak out so Tulip and Reverse Obie don’t get wise to the fact that I’m going to be seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 this afternoon, and that dogs — even those who are executives of a Fortune 320,000 company — still are not allowed in the theater. So, pour yourself a stiff drink, sit down, strap in, and prepare to not be smiling by the time you get through these books. You will, however, be glad you read them. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.


***Possible Spoilers Below***

Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics (Part 3)


As always, these are in no particular order other than as they come to mind or as I happen to see them on the shelves. Get ready to be frightened. Be ready to be made uncomfortable. Be ready for some pretty dang great comics. If you missed them, be sure to check out Part 1, and Part 2!

Y the Last Man

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Pia Guerra, published by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint. Given that House Republicans — a group of predominantly white males — just passed their evil and inhumane healthcare bill, some might take solace by looking to the recent past for a comic book that solved the problem of corrupt males in positions of power. Unfortunately, in this highly-praised series, all decent men were factored into that fix . In the phenomenal Y the Last Man, every male mammal on Earth (those with a Y chromosome) simultaneously dies horribly…all males except for college student Yorick Brown and his pet monkey, Ampersand. The last two males on the planet are joined by a geneticist and a mysterious Federal agent as they attempt to learn what caused this catastrophe and try to find a way to save the human race. This is a phenomenal sci-fi adventure, and if you are already familiar with Vaughan’s work, then you know to expect startling cliffhangers, splendid characterization, flashes of humor, and moments that will break your heart. What I found most interesting — as mentioned in the first issue — the effect of losing the world’s men all at once varies from country to country: some countries have a robust female navy force, others are better equipped for food production, others have more robust science programs, and so on. Vaughan also touches upon religion, expectations on appearance, and how those formerly oppressed by men carry on. Dang, Denizens, you’ll flip when you see how various groups of women react when they discover that one man still roams the land. <shiver>. I desperately need to reread this great series, and if you missed it the first time around, then I STRONGLY recommend you catch up with the five available trades as soon as possible. It also appears that FX is slated to make this grand tale into a television series…fingers crossed.


The Private Eye

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Marcos Martin, colored by Muntsa Vicente, published by Panel Syndicate. Seeing as how #45 and his ilk are all about repealing net neutrality and infringing on our right to privacy, the easy pill to quell your anxiety and anger — well, at least for a moment — is yet another tremendous Vaughan comic, The Private Eye. In this not so distant futuristic tale, the internet figuratively exploded, exposing everything about everybody: the good, the bad, and the awful. Years after that tragic day, people and government have gone the other direction, the way of extreme privacy. Now, there are no longer cameras at stop lights, many people conceal their identities and physical traits behind elaborate disguises, and exposing someone’s secrets or private life is a most heinous crime. When a woman hires private investigator P.I. to uncover all the skeletons of her past, the situation becomes complicated when that same woman winds up dead. Unfortunately for P.I., the woman’s sister, Raveena, believes P.I. to be the murderer. P.I. quickly learns there’s much more going on than a simple crime of passion, and he and Raveena set out to uncover the truth. The ultra-groovy thing about this 10 issue series is that it was originally a digital-only-first series that you can download for the low-low price of whatever-the-heck-you-want at www.panelsyndicate.com…this includes FREE! That’s right, Denizens, you can read this incredible and beautiful story in its entirety for free! But you wouldn’t do that to these talented creators, right? I gave them $4 per issue, which meant that they directly and immediately reaped the rewards of their work with no printing costs and no middlemen to cut into their profits. How sweet is that!? The Private Eye is a thrilling adventure about what happens when everything, whether you want it or not, becomes public knowledge to all and the world shifts to extreme privacy.


Supergod

Written by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Garrie Gastonny, published by Avatar Press. With #45 talking trash to a country that is operating much like a cult, as he attempts to restart an arms race mostly put to rest three decades ago, why not feast your peepers on a comic where superbeings are the new form of weaponry. The superbeings are for the most part horrific, but what’s more terrifying is seeing the repercussions of the powers-that-be losing control of their weapons. Don’t expect to be smiling after finishing this one, Denizens. At worst, it’ll be difficult to shake the creeping unease Supergods will undoubtedly leave you with. At best, you will be thinking of key moments for days afterward as you draw unnerving parallels to the course #45 wishes to set us upon. Again, this ain’t no feel-good funny book, but it’s one I read every other year or so. Speaking of which, I think I’m due for a reread…the main difference this time being that some of the situations have become more thematically relevant. Egads.


Prez

Written by Mark Russell, illustrated by Ben Caldwell, published by DC Comics. Dang…after taking a look at Supergod, I think we all need something to lighten the mood a bit, and what better book to do that than the Donist World Darling Prez. For those of you currently enjoying Russell’s critically acclaimed The Flintstones, Prez is the political satire comic you need now more than ever. Basically, through political greed and manipulations and the fact that corporations are now allowed to run for office after removing the age limit, teenager Beth Ross is elected President of the United States of America. Of course, it helped to have the “Corndog Girl” video go viral as well as people being allowed to vote via Twitter. Laugh-out-loud funny, devastatingly accurate, and at times prescient, Prez pulls no punches when examining the desperation of the poor for a better life, corporate power, CEOs gone wild, armchair warfare, healthcare, entertainment, and the horrendous state of American politics. Straight up: I adore this series. If you’ve read Donist World over the past couple years, then you definitely already know this comic stands tall amongst my favorites of faves. I do have a slight disclaimer, though: there are currently only six issues (one trade) of Prez, and it’s a toss up whether the concluding six issues will be released anytime soon, if at all. Yes, DC decided to cancel the maxi-series after the first half, probably because of low numbers and despite critical acclaim and the timeliness of continuing the series during the brutal (and tragically disappointing) 2016 election. With a #45 stolen presidency, Prez issues 7–12 could have been a grand achievement for DC, and a collection of the whole shebang could have reached MANY non-traditional comic book readers. But, don’t let that discourage you from checking out the greatness of this first trade, and we’ll all cross our fingers that we someday see the conclusion that Russell and Caldwell intended for this important comic. BETH ROSS FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020!!!


Slice into the Woods


Trumpcare - #45 and the Republican members of the House can all go do something unmentionable to themselves. Whether the Senate passes this bullshit money-grab-for-the-wealthy or not, I can’t help but wish ill upon these self-congratulatory monsters for what they would see done to the people of this country, including people I know and love. Hopefully, many of these deluded GOP con artists are cut loose from their positions in 2018. May they forever suffer the repurcussions of their “victory.”


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Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 4/28/2017

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / “Non-Compliant” puppy Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It was relatively slim pickings this week, so we thought there’s no better time to continue our “Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics” post from a couple weeks ago. Again, the idea came to me last month after listening to the audiobook of The Handmaid’s Tale, which got me thinking about my 1/27/2017 post listing the various books to read in the dark times of a #45 presidency. So, why not compile a list of post-apocalyptic and dystopian comics where bad men have taken control, or religion has been twisted to enable individuals to seize power, or biological weapons have decimated populations, or corporations have taken over, or the wealthy tread on the poor, or or OR!!! Basically, we’re going to look at what happens when sh_t becomes some f_ed up sh_t. So, pour yourself a stiff drink, sit down, strap in, and prepare to not be smiling by the time you get through these books. You will, however, be glad you read them. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.


***Possible Spoilers Below***

Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics (Part 2)


As always, these are in no particular order other than as they come to mind or as I happen to see them on the shelves. Get ready to be frightened. Be ready to be made uncomfortable. Be ready for some pretty dang great comics. If you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1!

Bitch Planet

Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro and others, colored by Chris Peter, lettered by Clayton Cowles, logo and designs by Rian Hughes, published by Image Comics. As the rights of women, minorities, and LGBTQ+ Americans are increasingly under assault in today’s toxic political environment and abhorrent behavior looks to be normalized under the current administration, Bitch Planet is the perfect counter to the all too routine bullshit of old, corrupt, rich, white (and orange) men. This comic pays stylistic homage to the sexploitation films of the ’70s while adding a dash of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (which I  have read twice, and I also just finished the fantastic audiobook). The story follows Kamau Kogo who, along with thousands of other women defined as “Non-Compliant,” has been sent off to the prison world known as Bitch Plant. “Non-Compliant” can be pretty much anything a man determines to be offensive: too old, too fat, too skinny, overly vocal, non-heterosexual, or just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kamau and her fellow prisoners have decided enough is enough: it is time to resist. This series is infinitely more timely now given the horrendous changes that have occurred since the first issue’s debut. Now, if only new issues weren’t so dreadfully delayed… The second trade comes out mid-June. We remain Non-Compliant.


Wolverine: Old Man Logan

Written by Mark Millar, illustrated by Steve McNiven and others, colored by various, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics. What happens when the bad guys win? Nothing good, that’s for certain. Following the death of nearly all of its heroes, the world is a wasteland tentatively divided up among the most powerful and menacing of villains. Wolverine and his friend Hawkeye are two of the few survivors of the great attack that laid waste to their country, but a tragic event sets them on a path of redemption. Wolverine: Old Man Logan is one I definitely need to reread in the next couple of weeks, given that some very not-so-super villains are seemingly attempting to create the wasteland reflected in this book; it could not be more timely. I also love love love the Logan movie, which owes much to this thrilling series about resisting the forces of oppression.


V for Vendetta

Written by Alan Moore, illustrated by David Lloyd, published by DC Comics. You can’t really have a conversation about important dystopian comics without talking about Alan Moore’s most important work Watchmen, which I already did a couple of weeks ago. A fantastic runner-up to that industry-changing series is V for Vendetta. Granted, this series was a response to the conservative extremism of England, and Moore — as he states in the introduction to the first issue in 1988 — wrote this 1984-esque comic out of the belief that the threat of nuclear war would lead to fascism. Three decades later and a quick hop across the pond, sadly, little has changed. In this important work, the citizenry is under constant surveillance by the ruling fascist regime, and all hope is lost…until a man in a Guy Fawkes mask blows up Parliament and begins to effect change. V for Vendetta is varsity-level comics, Denizens, but there’s a reason this all-too-relevant, dreary tale is considered a masterpiece and you will need to (re)experience it for yourself. The movie wasn’t half bad but you’ll definitely want to read the comic first.


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Written and illustrated by Frank Miller, inked by Klaus Janson, colored by Lynn Varley, lettered by John Costanza, published by DC Comics. Remember how I just mentioned the “industry-changing” comic Watchmen? Well, the other massively important work and equally dark tale Batman: The Dark Knight Returns forever changed popular superhero comics. Gone were the days of Batman gleefully spanking a misbehaving Robin, or Superman spanking a misbehaving Lois, or Wonder Woman getting spanked for misbehaving — dang, the Silver Age liked spankings — the tone had shifted to more dire and desperate subject matter. Here, a much older Batman comes out of retirement to combat a new, more aggressive form of violent street gangs hellbent on turning Gotham City into their own wasteland. All of this while the superpowers of the world (countries, not heroes/villains) edge closer to nuclear war. Reading the dialogue of the US President (who bears a striking resemblance to Ronald Reagan) in this book rings all too true when compared to the nonsensical ramblings and lies of #45. If you haven’t read this comic, then you must have recently climbed out of your 1980s bomb shelter, and now’s the time to grab a copy…and then climb right back into that same bomb shelter. The DC Animated version of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Blu-ray is a dang-fine follow-up to the trade, both of which need to check out.


Slice into the Woods


This Subject Matter is Bumming Me Out… - almost as much as the loads of bullshit #45 and his supporting GOP cast of villains continue to throw our way. So let’s keep it short. The tax ”plan” is rubbish and the renewed effort to f_ with our health insurance (while keeping congress’s super-awesome health plan as super-awesome as it currently is) is un-American and corrupt. The impeachment process and subsequent jailing is taking far too long.


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