Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/24/2017

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 / K’un-Lun karate connoisseur Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Wow, I really needed last week’s time by the pool reading, having a beer or two, and going for swims while visiting Palm Springs. It was nice and although too brief, I was able to recharge my batteries a bit. Tulip and I were also able to catch most of the Netflix show Iron Fist and although there’s some negativity out there about the show, I will say that we have enjoyed it thus far and we only have two more episodes to go. Reverse Obie watched the whole thing in an impressive pizza and dog water bingefest that he is just now recovering from. Thankfully, he is keeping quiet about how it all wraps up and we anticipate holding a meeting to discuss the show this weekend. So, while we check out the next episode, stay positive, tattoo your chest with a winged serpent, have a tasty beer or a strong ginger ale, take care of yourself, remember the late and exceptional Bernie Wrightson, 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


Descender #20

Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Praise be, Denizens, another glorious issue of this Donist World Darling has arrived and is set to leave you with an elevated heart rate until next month’s concluding arc arrives. Dang, I know it’s only a month, but it’s gonna be a crazy wait, especially now that the deadly imposter aboard Telsa and Quon’s ship stands revealed. The great thing about this issue is that it touches on all of the other main players as well: TIM-21 and the surviving robots of the Hardwire; Andy, Queen Between, Blugger, and Bandit; and the tough-as-nails Driller. Heck, we even check in with the United Galactic Council as they head out to make war against the Hardwire. There’s even a new character introduced, but regardless of the many plot points and characters flowing in and out of this issue, things never once feel rushed or unwieldy in the capable hands of these creators, and Descender manages to be just as riveting — if not more so — than the day I read the first issue. Nguyen’s watercolored art is more detailed this time around than the past couple of issues especially with the design of the new alien character Mizerd, the lovely UGC spaceship scene, and on the lovely backgrounds. Descender is straight up beautiful in both story and art and continues to be my favorite comic on the stands. If you are looking for an expansive, sci-fi, space opera with compelling characters, robots, and a fantastic story, then look no further. You can and should immediately catch up with the three available trades (the fourth comes out late June / early July) before the Descender event “Rise of the Robots” begins in June with issue 22. I absolutely cannot wait. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Future Quest #11

Written by Jeff Parker, illustrated by Evan “Doc” Shaner, colored by Veronica Gandini, lettered by ALW Studios’s Dave Lanphear, published by DC Comics. Holy penultimate issues, Denizens, the next month is the finale of the thrilling Future Quest. All the players, good and bad, are working together to defeat the menace of the universe-ending monster Omnikron, and after reading this issue I have no idea how our heroes — or villains, for that matter —will ever survive. The stakes are real in this comic, but the brilliant thing is that the creators still manage to make it as fun as it is accessible to all ages. Older readers, like myself, will love seeing their Saturday morning cartoon heroes come to life, and newer readers will be interested in knowing more about the likes of Space Ghost, Johny Quest, The Herculoids, and the rest. I’m not sure where Shaner has been the past couple of issues, but his phenomenal storytelling and stunning action shots are worth the wait, and Lanphear’s vibrant colors bring it all to life, especially on the glowing-menace, Omnikron. Now, I have no idea if there will be an issue 13 with a partial or complete shift of the creative team, or if the book just ends with some characters getting minis or specials or one-shots — I have no idea — but what I do know, is that I love the Hanna-Barbera comics I’ve read thus far (including The Flintstones and Scooby Apocalypse), and I am very excited to see what’s yet to come in this rich, thrilling universe. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods


Bernie Wrightson Died - Fuck. Bernie Wrightson has been a hero of mine since the day I came across his art in the life-changing Swamp Thing #10, where the Swamp Thing battles the monstrous Anton Arcane and his Un-Men; I was seven years old. I read that issue again and again until it literally fell to pieces in my hands. I was captivated by the horror that was Arcane: his creepy eye, the mismatched assortment of teeth, the disproportionate limbs, and his perverse musculature. Wrightson’s Swamp Thing was even more alluring with the branching system of roots running across his body, those piercing, haunted eyes, and the naked wildness of a plant-man who bled sap. I’m still not exactly sure how I got ahold of that issue, or if it was all that age appropriate or not, but I had it and I loved it. It was that single issue that showed me a very different style of art than what I had been used to seeing. It was his lines and shadows and attention to detail that taught me that not all art is equal; it was then that I fell completely in love with comic books. From there, I followed Wrightson through the many horror comics and magazines and even onto his superhero work like Batman: The Cult and more. Dang, I’ve been talking about Wrightson ever since I started Donist World back in 2010 with a look at Alan Moore’s take on Swamp Thing where I first mentioned issue #10 (here), or the time I talked about the must-own Creepy Presents…Bernie Wrightson in 2012 (here). I have cherished this man’s work for almost 40 years, and I can easily see enjoying it for the next 40+. He died too young, and it is vastly unfair. My heart goes out to his friends and family. Bernie Wrightson will be missed.


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Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/17/2017

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 / pool party princess Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). This is going to be a slightly different type of Donist World this week. You see, Tulip and I have joining Amy the intern (my wife) on a trip to lovely Palm Springs, where we have already been for the past couple of days of sun, freshly fried potato chips, and beer by the pool. I would like to say that we are there for a business conference on maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company, but we are just tagalongs as Amy attends a tech conference. Reverse Obie is staying behind to power through the Netflix Original Iron Fist, which he intends to view in one sitting; I could not be more proud. So, while you read this abbreviated post, we should already be on our way back and I will hopefully be reading this week’s new comics come Saturday. Until then, stay positive, tattoo your chest with a winged serpent, 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


Creepy Presents…Alex Toth HC

Written by various, illustrated by Alex Toth, published by Dark Horse Comics. If you’ve been reading Donist World over the past couple of years then you know that this Donist has a dang strong love for the Warren Publishing magazines. And what’s not to love. Oversized black and white, spine-chilling tales of horror, murder, and mayhem. Sometimes you got monsters. Sometimes you got aliens. And sometimes, if you were lucky, you got nearly naked ladies. As a youngster, the various Warren magazines were everything I could want in what was effectively an oversized comic book of glory. So imagine my joy when I discovered the Richard Corben and Bernie Wrightson Creepy Presents… spotlight hardcovers at my LCS. Needless to say, I snatched them up quick and practically devoured them with nostalgic bliss. Reading those unnerving, demented tales brought me back to my childhood journey to the store Clicks where I delighted in reading Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, Famous Monsters, Starlog, Heavy Metal, and Fangoria, but it was always the Warren mags that had the greatest pull. if you remember, I talked at length about that experience and my thoughts on the treasure that is Creepy Presents…Richard Corben (read all about it here), and I followed up with a love letter to Creepy Presents…Bernie Wrightson (chic-a-chic-a-check it out here), both of which are must-read, must-own books that demand to be part of your collection. A year or two after reading those heavenly treasures, I picked up Creepy Presents…Steve Ditko, which I briefly mentioned for this Halloween post a while ago. Now, after a small influx of amazon.com credit, I finally got ahold of the fourth volume in this great series, this time spotlighting the multifaceted work of Alex Toth, including a few stories he wrote. Here are a few gems:

  • “Grave Undertaking” - A story of a pair of undertakers who decide to drum up a little business. Great horror style to the art with deep shadows.
  • “The Stalkers” - A man sees aliens everywhere he goes, but all is not what it seems.
  • “Rude Awakening” - This one freaks me out. <brrrrr> I kinda don’t even want to think about it, which is why I love it so dang much. Not going to give away anymore on this one.
  • “Out of Time” - A man commits the ultimate crime and seeks to escape to a different time.
  • “Phantom of Pleasure Island” - A crime / mystery story where Toth adopts a ’50s advertising style to his artwork that is freaking gorgeous. The story is equally as great.
  • “Unreal!” - A seemingly ageless Buster Keaton-esque character’s secret to his success is certain to astonish.
  • “Proof Positive” - Some corrupt businessmen picked the wrong inventor to mess with. 
  • “Survival”- If you are looking for a quick post-apocalyptic tale that is sure to bum you out, then this is the story for you! I love the thicker lines of the art and the sheer malevolence in the survivor’s visage.
  • “Daddy and the Pie” - An alien crash lands on Earth and is taken in by a family. Great story but aspects of it mirror some of a story I wrote a while back…I swear, I never read “Daddy and the Pie” until a few days ago.

Those are my favorite stories of the collection and there are plenty of other great ones to be found within. What amazes me the most with Toth’s work is his ability to change his art style to best reflect the tone of the narrative, with each short work being different from the next. Creepy Presents…Alex Toth is a lovely addition to your favorite bookshelf, and although I like the actual stories of the Wrightson and Corben volumes more — nothing will beat those — this is still worth seeking out. Here’s hoping a fifth volume shows up some day in the near future, but this volume comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Ultimates: Omniversal Vol. 1: Start With the Impossible 

Written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Kenneth Rocafort and Christian Ward, colored by Dan Brown and Kenneth Rocafort, lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino, published by Marvel Comics. If you’re looking for a continuation of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s great The Ultimates comics, I have to inform you this new(ish) series shares only the name. However, I’m thrilled to let you know that this new team of heroes with its new team of creators is pretty darn compelling and beautiful to look at to boot. In this series, we join Blue Marvel (supergenius, living antimatter reactor), Captain Marvel (super-strong energy absorber), Black Panther (enhanced strength and senses, King of Wakanda), Spectrum (living electromagnetic energy, strategist), and Ms. America (multiversal teleporter, flying powerhouse) have all come together to solve the universe’s problems before they become problems, beginning with none other than Galactus! The cool thing about this eclectic team is that they don’t necessarily get along with each other, and they each bring their own baggage and agendas with them, yet they manage (mostly) to pull themselves together for the greater good. There’re monsters, shadowy organizations, legitimate threats, and high stakes all while we follow our heroes on a space opera of grand proportions. I positively love Galactus in this first collection and although I desperately want to tell you how The Ultimates decide to ultimately (see what I did there?) deal with the “problem” of Galactus, I’m going to refrain and say that you just need to read this frickin’ great offering from Marvel. Rocafort’s linework, storytelling, and character acting are outstanding, keeping you in the struggle to either linger on each beautiful page or whip through to see what happens next. Brown’s colors are vibrant and bring outer space and otherworldly dimensions to life on every page. The one issue illustrated by Ward is a slight change from the other five issues, but his trippy, psychedelic style is a perfect fit for a journey through the cosmos. To be honest, I love everything about this book thus far. If you’re a fan of Jim Starlin’s Marvel cosmic tales, then this is definitely along those lines and worth checking out. Heck, I’m most of the way through the second volume of The Ultimates already, and even though it ties in with an event, it still manages to be fantastic. Read it, read it now! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods


Keeping it Short and Positive this Week - That said, I still want #45, Sessions, and the rest to be thoroughly investigated and removed from their posts before they can cause even more damage.


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Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/10/2017

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 / Luponic Distortion lover Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). I ain’t gonna lie, Denizens. I’m still reeling from seeing the amazing Logan this past Sunday, but I’m trying to maintain my composure and keep my enthusiasm on the down low because I know how much my puppy executive team really wanted to see this fine film. Thankfully, next week, we can ALL enjoy Iron Fist on Netflix even though advance reviews of the first six episodes have not been all that great. But that’ okay, we’re psyched anyways, and I’m sure there will be plenty for us to enjoy; it’s also inspiring how both Tulip and Reverse Obie have dyed their white, furry chests with black winged serpents. It’s totally bitchin’. But until then, stay positive, tattoo your chest with a winged serpent, have a beer or a strong ginger ale, RESIST the evil of #45, 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 #16

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini, colored by Dave McCaig, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Oh, no wonder I had no idea what had happened in the previous issue; the last time we checked in with Low was the beginning of August. That’s okay, though. As long as we continue to get new issues of my favorite post-apocalyptic, underwater-sci-fi comic, then I am one happy Donist. That said, I had to check back on my issue #15 post to remind myself of what had happened, and I now see that Stel Caine was left in a dire situation. Dang, Denizens, my favorite optimist was pretty much screwed last time, but at least now we…ummmm, this issue doesn’t even touch on Stel, or her twin daughters, Deja and Tajo. Nope, instead of moving forward with those characters who are, hopefully, living, we instead take a trip back in the past to the time Marik was forced to be a gladiator for the Pirate King Roln. Admittedly, I was at first taken aback by this decision, but then I noticed the story centered on an intriguing character I had never seen before — or maybe I need to do a reread — and this cool new character looks to play an important role going forward. Yes, I was disappointed for the first third of the issue but thrilled by the time I came to the end. The art is lovely as ever, although I was confused by the double-page spread of the arena and the hovering cube / television things, but those moments are few. McCaig’s complementary colors are especially delightful during certain key moments and give Tocchini’s art an otherworldly life. So, yeah, I really wanted to catch up with what remains of the Caine family, but this new character holds much promise. We’ll just have to see what happens next month. If you aren't reading this exciting creator-owned series from Remender — boy howdy, does he have a lot of ‘em nowadays — then you can quickly catch up with the three available trades, which I strongly recommend you do. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Man-Thing #1

Written by R.L. Stine, illustrated by German Peralta, colored by Rachelle Rosenberg, lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham, published by Marvel Comics. I’m not sure if this book’s for me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, and I applaud the Big Two anytime they step outside their comfort zone and give us something groovy and weird — see Weirdworld and Cage! — but I guess I have a different idea of who exactly the Man-Thing is. Y’see, I remember Man-Thing as written by Steve Gerber, and from my sorely-missed Power Records 45, and The Micronauts #7. I guess what I am saying is that I like the near mindless, monster whose touch burns those who know fear. I might also have a touch of jealousy of Stine, who has made a healthy living scaring the bejesus out of children with his writing, which just so happens to be a dream of mine, but best not to dwell. <sigh> Anyhow, this version of the muck monster has his mind fully intact and he finds himself as a down-on-his-luck monster-movie actor struggling to get by. Huh, after writing down that brief description, I kind of like the book a bit more. The story is good, but the art is most heavenly. Holy cow the art is beautiful. I love Peralta’s take on the Man-Thing whether he’s standing around in all his teeny-tiny-headed glory with his face roots flailing about, or duking it out with another creature. Rosenberg’s colors, especially on the title character is positively gorgeous; those piercing red eyes sunk within the various tints and shades of yellows and greens are spectacular. So, yeah, I’ll give the next issue a shot to support Marvel trying something different, and if you are a Stine fan or a fan of beautifully rendered swamp creatures, then this is definitely a comic you should take for a spin. RECOMMENDED!

Logan

I’m not used to writing movie reviews so I will keep this relatively short. I love this movie. Love it! I did the usual superhero movie ritual of grabbing lunch at Hollister Brewing Company and having a couple beers with my wife before heading over to the theater. I had avoided most of the trailers for Logan and for the past couple of months, after being less than thrilled by X-Men Apocalypse, I was fairly indifferent to seeing this film. Then the praise started rolling in. It is much deserved. This is the first Wolverine movie that has an actual story, that has emotional heft, that avoids much of the zip, bop, bang nonsense and character assassination (hello first attempt at Deadpool…yuck) found in the previous solo films. There is definitely action, and lots of it, but the action is crucial to the story and not just there to wow the audience. In fact, many sequences are brutally violent, but each is so intricately choreographed that even the most extreme moments are a thing of beauty. What really pulled me in, though, were the tremendous performances by Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant, and the tremendous Dafne Keen. It is stunning what these actors can do once you remove the constraints of being “superheroes,” and they are allowed to be actual people; I felt for each of them. I was also struck by the film’s somber tone, which reminded me of a mixture of the best Western films and of my all-time favorite video game, The Last of Us. Dang, we’re going on almost a week since I saw the movie, and I cannot stop thinking about it. If anything above sounds interesting to you, then you need to immediately run out and see this movie on the big screen, but be warned that it is definitely an R-Rated film and that you most likely will not leave smiling. Logan is not just a great superhero movie, but rather a great movie in and of itself. I am counting the days until the release of the Blu-ray. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods


The GOP, Their Man #45, and Healthcare - What the GOP and their champion #45 are trying to do to the Affordable Care Act (remember, Obamacare and the ACA are the same thing) is pure evil. I wonder what changes could happen if the members of Congress had to give up their cushy health insurance for the lowest level of insurance held by their constituents. On top of that, they should also be restricted to attending only VA hospitals for any and all services they or their family members require. I’m pretty certain both insurance and the conditions of VA hospitals would drastically improve. These “public servants” need to remember who they work for.


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Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/3/2017

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 / pooch with adamantium claws Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Alright, dagnabit, now I’m getting all worked up about seeing Logan in the theater this weekend. To do that, though, I’m going to have to load up on cough drops to counter this dang cough that has been plaguing me for the past two months — bronchitis sucks, Denizens. Anyhow, as always, both Tulip and Reverse Obie have been walking around the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) muttering, “Snikt,” and nodding at each other knowingly with smiles on their faces. <sigh> They should know by now that dogs, even executives from a Fortune 320,000 company, are simply not allowed in movie theaters. Crud, I’ll probably cue up Deadpool or something to distract them and then say I’m off to go pick up more beer…we’ll all enjoy Logan together when it comes to video. Some day, after we’ve hit it big, we’ll buy our own dang theater where they will have their own plush balcony area to watch all the dang superhero movies they can handle. But until then, stay positive, have a beer or a strong ginger ale, RESIST the evil of #45, 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


The Flintstones #9

Written by Mark Russell, illustrated by Steve Pugh, colored by Chris Chuckry, lettered by Dave Sharpe, published by DC Comics. You already know I adore The Flintstones, right? I’ve even gone so far as to say it’s one of the most important comics currently being published. The Flintstones…yeah, I know, I never thought I’d ever say that. But Russell and Pugh have given us a deeper glimpse into the world of Bedrock than the animation series ever did. Although set in the Stone Age — albeit a Stone Age where dinosaurs, wooly mammoths, and cavepeople coexist — the series is a social commentary of our modern times. It’s a satire of capitalism, consumerism, religion, war, politics, bullying, tourism, homosexuality, marriage, and pretty much anything else. At no point, however, do you ever feel lectured to, mostly because the series is so dang entertaining. Pugh’s lovely art — especially on Wilma and Betty — will make you smile just as much as the oh-so-smart writing and numerous sight gags. It bums me out that we only have three more issues of The Flintstones before Russell’s run on this important and timely comic comes to an end. Thank goodness Snagglepuss will start soon after, and there’s always the hope we’ll get those final six issues of Prez we’re all so desperate to see. If you missed the first six issues, a spiffy trade comes out in the next couple of weeks. Get it! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Paper Girls #12

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matt Wilson, lettered and designed by Jared K. Fletcher, color flats by Dee Cunniffe, published by Image comics. I have to start by saying that I love this arc’s covers. They are stunningly beautiful, primarily because of Wilson’s otherworldly colors. Not a hint of black to be found, but rather deep knockouts define the necessary lines, leaving primarily flat analogous colors with a glorious accent to dazzle the eyes…<hmmmmm> Anyhow, where were we. Oh, yeah…you know the drill: Vaughan, Chiang, Wilson, paper girls from the ’80s trapped in the past after traveling back from the future, monsters, weirdos, and all sorts of madness. To tell the truth, I still don’t really know what’s going on, and you know what? I don’t really care. I’m just having a heck of a time enjoying the ride. Back in the first issue, I became attached to Erin, KJ, Mac, and Tiffany, and twelve issues in I adore them all the more. You need to read this comic if you: a) love Vaughan’s writing, b) love Chiang’s gorgeous art, c) love Wilson’s stunning analogous color schemes, d) love well-crafted and beautifully told stories, or e) all of the above. I’m sure by now you know what I choose. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Stuff of Legend, Volume V: A Call to Arms #1

Written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith, illustrated by Charles Paul Wilson III, designed and colored by Jon Conkling and Michael DeVito, published by Th3rd World Studios. Okay, I first need to let the Boogeyman out of the closet by saying that it’s been almost four years since we last saw an issue of this Donist World Darling, and I will say that The Stuff of Legend has been sorely missed. I also have to say I don’t remember much of anything that went down in the last arc, either. Now, with that out of the way, I’m happy to tell ya I still love this dang comic. The Stuff of Legend, for those of you new to the series, is a tale set in the ’40s, where the actual Boogeyman emerges from the closet to abduct a young boy. The toys left behind come to life and venture forth into the realm known as The Dark to save their boy from the clutches of the fiend. This is not a cutesy book, Denizens. It is a dire tale with real stakes. Characters die, and horrible things happen to them, but as harsh and as shocking as things can be, I can never look away from this beautifully-illustrated, highly-imaginative treasure of a comic. In case I’m not being clear, this is not a book to be read to the wee little ones at beddy-bye time…unless you actually want to scare the bejesus out of them. You also don’t want to start with this issue if you are new to the series. Instead, pick up the first two hardcovers, or go for the first four trades and start from the glorious beginning. Although I still don’t remember the entire cast of characters, and I definitely liked the thicker stock of paper used on previous issues (I know, it’s more costly), I am thrilled to see The Stuff of Legend coming out once again, and more than anything, I want to reread from the beginning to become reacquainted with one of my favorite comic series of the past ten years. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Royal City #1

Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, lettered by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Amy the intern, my wife, contacted me on New Comic Book Wednesday saying that she was downtown and wanted to know if I wanted her to pick up my comics for me. Love, Denizens, love. Then she sent me a text asking if I wanted something called Royal City, which was not on my pull. I said, “No,” thinking it was something else, but thankfully she texted to tell me it was by Jeff Lemire; my “no” changed to a definitive “yes.” Dang, I’m so glad she clarified. Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender is my favorite comic on the stands, and I have been a fan of much of Lemire’s great body of work for some time now: Essex County, The Underwater Welder, Sweet Tooth, and many other great comics. Royal City, with but one double-sized issue, already looks to join those treasured books. Now, to be fair, I can’t really say much about the book as that will spoil one of the main components of the story. What I can say is that if you are looking solely for sci-fi, fantasy, horror, superheroes, or magic, then you aren’t going to find any of that here. This story is more of a family drama / slice-of-life tale of a family with a troubled past that resurfaces after a tragic event. Sorry, but that’s all I can give you on the details. If you need a little more clarity, then if you watched the Netflix series Bloodlines, then that is a close representation of Royal City’s tone. You can expect situations to be uncomfortable, troubling, and I’m willing to bet at some point in the next few issues we might be fighting back some tears…and losing that battle. Lemire is a master of emotional storytelling whether his characters are in outer space, traipsing across a post-apocalyptic landscape, or, in Royal City’s case, firmly planted right here on planet Earth. This is a great introductory issue for a series that only looks to get better as more pieces in this troubled family’s past fall into place. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods


Jeff Sessions, The GOP, and Their Man #45 - At least Sessions recused himself from the #45 Russian ties probe, but that’s not enough. This lying, backward-thinking racist needs to be removed from his position, every bit as much as everyone compromised by Russian influence, including ol’ #45.


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