Saturday, June 16, 2018

Comics Lust 6/16/2018

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/graduation-hater Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It’s that dreaded time of year, Denizens. It’s graduation weekend at UCSB, which means old people in Winnebegos driving the wrong way up a one-way street, it means trying to go out to eat anywhere is an act of futility, and it means we are effectively trapped in the confines of the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement). At least we have leftover pizza that I made last night, as well as some delectable beers to quench our thirst as we hunt for some new cartoons to watch. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. It’s freakin’ great! Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks 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.

Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust

Toys 2 Comics (Part 2)

It always felt great when my brother and I discovered a favorite toy had jumped platforms from the toy store shelves to the comic book spinner rack. Of course, we had our active imaginations that allowed us to build our own worlds for our toys, but when those worlds became more fleshed out and immortalized through the comic book page we found a more focused and coherent foundation to build upon. Our tiny sliver of worldly experience grew with every great comic we read, as did how we played with our action figures. Writers and artists gave us the idea of new monstrous foes, of impenetrable snowy mountains containing treasures within, or of a diabolically evil cult that threatened the world and needed to be brought to justice. It was through the ideas of others that we learned to have even bigger ideas of our own. Comics made our toys even more exciting way back when, and today we’re continuing our look at the toys that inspired some amazing (and perhaps some not so amazing) comics.

Shogun Warriors

(Written by Doug Moench, illustrated by Herb Trimpe, published in 1979 by Marvel Comics)
My brother and I had many different types of Shogun Warriors toys: we had a die-cast metal and plastic Dangard Ace that could launch off its fists and head with a touch of a button; we had a three-inch-tall Combatra made of metal and plastic; and we had a five-inch Raydeen, who could semi transform into a bird. We also had the big two-foot-tall plastic Great Mazinga with its soon-to-be-lost multitude of missiles, and also the equally sized Dragun with his spring-loaded, flinging axes. These were just the tip of the iceberg, but of the many different robots that filled our closets, it was Raydeen, Combatra, and Dangard Ace that actually succeeded in making it into their own comic series. And what a comic it was, Denizens. You had good guy giant robots, bad guy giant robots, giant monsters and costumed villains that controlled them, a giant monster shaped like a hand with five heads at the fingertips, and even guest appearances by some of Marvel’s heroes. It was everything a nine-year-old boy could ever hope to have in a comic book. Now, more than anything, I want to read all 20 issues of the series; unfortunately, my dogs and time ravaged the handful of issues that we had and because of licensing issues Shogun Warriors has never been collected. I guess I’ll be joining you in scanning the bargain bins as we scrounge for these scarce beauties.

Godzilla, King of the Monsters

(Written by Doug Moench, illustrated by Herb Trimpe, published in 1977 by Marvel Comics)
Back when I was just a wee-little Donist and discovering comic books for the first time, I was also discovering the glory that is Godzilla. What is there not to like about an enormous, irradiated dinosaur that would inevitably end up fighting all sorts of funky, equally enormous monsters from earth, sea, and outer space. Heck, Godzilla even befriended a freakin’ robot named Jet Jaguar in the movie Godzilla vs Megalon. It was my absolute love of everything Godzilla that made me a happy camper the day I found my five-inch tall rubber bendy toy and the two-foot-tall Shogun Warrior branded Godzilla toy that had wheels on its feet, a lever on the back of his head that made a pretend flame tongue stick out, and a clawed hand that could shoot off at the touch of a button! You might ask, “Why does Godzilla’s hand launch off?” And I would have to say that I have no worldly idea, but let’s just say that I absolutely loved the fact that it did; the tail that always fell off, though, not so much. Anyhow, when the comic came out, I was coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs for the thing. Despite the first two issues being a tad on the slower side, the action ramped up with Godzilla tackling such forces as The Champions, giant monsters, giant yeti-things, giant alien-things, The Avengers, a rat (after Godzilla was shrunk down), and even some cowboys at one point. These adversaries were cool enough, but nothing got my heart beating faster than the introduction of the giant robot Red Ronin who had a shield that produced an energy blade. Let that sink in for a moment. He had a damn shield sword, son! Alas, I have nary a single issue in my collection and because of licensing issues—much like Shogun Warriors—outside of the black and white and out of print collection floating around, you have a bit of a search ahead of you to get the 24 issues in this rare series.


(Written by Louise Simonson, illustrated by Michael Chen, published in 1984 by Marvel Comics)
I barely remember even having this toy, but after scrounging up some images of them, I had one of those oh, yeeeeeaaaahhhhh moments. But it was the toys that brought about the Starriors four-issue limited series, which is about…yeah, your guess is as good as mine. I did have these issues at one point in my teens, it’s just that I can’t remember a dang thing about any of it other than the fact that the Bill Sienkiewicz covers are gorgeous. It looks likes the bargain bins for me.


(Written by Bill Mantlo, illustrated by Mark Texeira, published in 1985 by Marvel Comics)
Jeff had the good guy and his mountable beetle-like creature. I had the bad guy and his mountable spider-like creature. These toys were actually pretty dang cool. They had decent articulation, great sculpts and paint jobs, and best of all were the beasts they rode. The beetle and spider creatures were actually puppets that you wore on your hand with your middle finger used to open and close their mouths, and your other four fingers to act as legs; our dog Tippy HATED these things. Anyhow, I might actually still have the bad guy out in the storage, which is a scary place I don’t really like to visit, but I might have to venture out to see if I can find him. As for the was an eight-issue limited series that I once owned and enjoyed, then sold, and now I don’t remember a thing about it. The covers look nice and now that I know Mantlo wrote the series, I’ll be darned if I don’t want to repurchase the issues to see what it was all about. Man, these were cool toys and the comics sound pretty groovy, too.

I still have two biggie comic book series to talk about, but these will have to wait until next time: one concerns a movie that spawned toys that spawned a comic, and another that consisted of many comics that spawned a toy line that spawned a comic. There’s probably a couple of oddball toys/comics out there yet to be dug up as well. Happy hunting.

This Week’s Reading List

It’s Beer O’Clock, Denizens, so the puppies and I need to roll on out. However, here are some fantastic comics we loved:

  • Mister Miracle #9 (Written by Tom King, illustrated by Mitch Gerads, lettered by Clayton Cowles, published by DC Comics) Mister Miracle, Kalibak, and their respective sides meet to discuss a truce. One party offers the best of all worlds, but for a steep price. Still one of the best comics out there. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  • Mage: The Hero Denied #9 (Everythinged by Matt Wagner, colored by Brennan Wagner, lettered by Dave Lanphear, consulting editor Diana Schutz, design and production by Steven Birch, published by Image Comics) Kevin continues to search for his family and no measly red caps will stop him. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  • Venom #2 (Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Ryan Stegman, inked by JP Meyer, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics) My goodness, I love Venom. I love the character. I love this comic. Cates and Stegman are slaying it, and have made me a believer. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
See you next time.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Comics Lust 6/9/2018

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/sleep-deprived Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Okay, Tulip’s already passed out on the bed, and Reverse Obie is doing the head bob as a six-inch strand of drool connects his mouth to a pool of puppy spit on the table in front of him. I think it's time for a little R&R and some sweet dreams about comics, beer, and french fries looks to be next up on our agenda. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. Oh, and go see Deadpool 2, by golly. It’s freakin’ great! Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks 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.

Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust

The Whole Story (Part 2)

We’re all busy. Too busy, at times. Which is why I suspect many people are hesitant to dive into many of the more mainstream comic books. If you pick up a copy of that comic starring that Spider guy, you might have no idea of who various characters are, why they are acting the way they are acting, or what exactly happened to the smoldering building he’s so upset about. Sure, there’s the obligatory exposition to “bring you up to speed” but it’s just not the same as experiencing things organically. Say you wanted to be fully caught up, you would need to read the previous 12 issues, the annual from last year, three issues of another series to cover a crossover, and possibly a side book or two. might then need to go to the 10-issue event book from a year and a half ago...and then some of the side stories that round out that experience, and then… Nah. Enough of that noise. Today, we’re going in, admiring the sights, and coming out clean. Here are some more comics that end in 12 issues or less and that require no prior knowledge, only a desire to experience new characters and to enjoy a story with a dang beginning, a middle, and an end.

Ghost Fleet: The Whole Damned Thing

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Daniel Warren Johnson, published by Image Comics) are certain types of cargo you don’t hand over to UPS or a normal freight carrier. Some merchandise is too rare, too dangerous, or too secretive to trust to just anyone; you call the Ghost Fleet. Trace and Ward are highly-skilled, deadly, and reliable truckers who have been close friends for quite some time, but that friendship is destroyed when their rig is forced off the road by those seeking the mysterious cargo under their care. What follows is an action-packed tale of revenge and proof that no one messes with the Ghost Fleet. Oh, Denizens, how I love this series, which went through quite a journey before being published in this must-read collection. Ghost Fleet started at Dark Horse and was supposed to be a 12-issue series, but poor sales saw only four issues making it to print, issues five and six being released online, and issues seven through twelve being condensed into issues seven and eight, which were also only released digitally. The fact that it was canceled is a devastating error on the part of comic book fans everywhere—myself included—but it is one everyone can remedy by picking up this treasure. Other than feeling a tad rushed towards the end—and one plot element that upset me surrounding an animal, but whatevs—you get a solid, early Cates story and some amazing Johnson artwork as well. The sad thing is that with both creators growing in popularity for their current works, had Ghost Fleet been released today, they would definitely have had the readership they needed to have the story run its anticipated course. Oh well, if our only consolation is having this great collection, then that totally works for me. Speaking of Johnson…

Extremity Vol. 1 and 2

(Everythinged by Daniel Warren Johnson, colored by Mike Spicer, published by Image Comics)
The good thing about coming to a series late is that you can binge read a good chunk of it in one fell swoop. Which is what I did with this Donist World Darling of a comic. Originally a twelve-issue series that began in 2017 and ended in 2018, I bought the first trade earlier this year and completely fell in love with this beautiful-yet-harsh comic book. The absolute worst part of finishing this trade was the painful two-month wait for the final volume to drop. If you take a pinch of Mad Max: Fury Road and a pinch of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and mix it with the brilliance of Johnson’s pacing, characterization, storytelling, character acting, and monster design, you have one of the best damn comics I have read so far this year. Extremity follows Thea of the Roto after her clan is viciously attacked by the Paznina who kill Thea’s mother and brutally destroy Thea’s reason for living; they also steal the Roto’s floating home, leaving what’s left of the tribe to wander for survival. There are monsters, robots, intense battle scenes, and perfectly timed flashbacks that eventually fill all the gaps intentionally placed within this captivating tale. The first trade left me thrilled and desperate to see how it all ends, the second volume did not disappoint in the least. Kinship, survival, horror, tragedy, revenge, and the oppressive weight of escaping a never-ending cycle, Extremity is one the best things I have ever read and is one that will forever be on my annual reread list.

V for Vendetta

(Written by Alan Moore, illustrated by David Lloyd, published by Vertigo Comics, an imprint of DC Comics)
When you hear Alan Moore’s name, the comic that first comes to mind is usually the industry-defining Watchmen, but fans of the influential author will be quick to point out that you should quickly follow that great work with V for Vendetta…and Saga of the Swamp Thing…and Miracleman…and a whole mess of other books as well. In V for Vendetta, Britain’s citizenry is under the constant watchful eye of the ruling, fascist regime, but when all hope seems lost, a stranger in a Guy Fawkes mask blows up Parliament and starts to bring about the change Britain so desperately needs. Moore’s thorough storytelling and intense mood coupled with Lloyd’s haunting illustrations made this a terrifying cautionary tale back when I first read it in the ‘80s. This is Moore’s version of the novel 1984 and is—sadly—all too relevant today given what is currently happening in our own country. You absolutely need to read this masterwork, but I’m going to warn you: you won’t be smiling for much of it.

Punk Rock Jesus

(Everythinged by Sean Murphy, published by Vertigo Comics, an imprint of DC Comics)
I’m sure this one has ticked off some of the more…sensitive…types. Heck, the name of the book alone is enough to have some calling for a ban, if not a full-fledged book burning. But they should read the work first, before...uhhhh...before...actually, that will tick them off even more. Screw ‘em, they need a hobby. Money talks when an insanely rich television network, Ophis, strikes a deal with the Catholic Church to obtain DNA from Jesus Christ so they can clone him and air a reality show called J2. J2 star Chris and his bodyguard, ex-IRA member Thomas McKael, as well as Chris's ever-troubled mother, are all in the public eye, and J2 is, in fact, the most-watched show of all time, although it is not without its detractors. Once Chris catches a glimpse of the real world—poverty, war, consumerism, fanaticism—the world Ophis wishes to keep hidden from him, he discovers his true purpose and the best way to deliver his message: punk rock music. A great, powerful, black and white story that is certain to entertain as well as make you think about where our world might be headed.

Midnight Nation

(Written by J. Micheal Straczynski, illustrated by Gary Frank, published by Top Cow)
To be honest...I don’t really remember what this one is about as it has been over ten years since I last read it, which means it’s about time for a reread. What I do know is that I absolutely loved it at the time. I remember there is a police detective who investigates a murder and he stumbles across some evil, creepy-as-hell, vampire-looking creatures, but unfortunately, that’s about all I remember. This one has fast-forwarded up my “to read” pile, especially after I was reminded that Frank is the one providing the art. I’m excited to see if it stands up to the test of time, but considering my love of Straczynski and Frank’s Supreme Power, I’m pretty sure it will.

This Week’s Reading List

We’re plum tuckered out, Denizens, so the puppies and I are calling it quits for the day and are planning to take a much-needed, team-building nap. I will say, that of the five new comics I picked up this week, The Immortal Hulk #1 (written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Joe Bennett, published by Marvel Comics) was pretty different…different, but cool. Until next week!


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Comics Lust 6/2/2018

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/Frisbee freak Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Wow...I totally passed out there for like half an hour…maybe longer. Tulip and Reverse Obie are still sacked out, but I’m sure they’ll begin to stir when I crack open a nice, cold, hazy IPA from Modern Times. Before I do that, however, I got more comic book goodness to tell you about, so please have a look. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. Oh, and go see Deadpool 2, by golly. It’s freakin’ great! Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks 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.

Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust

For the Love of OGN: The ’80s (Part 4)

Going back and digging up all of my old graphic novels from the ’80s has been a blast. Taking them out of the foreboding closet of doom not only reminded me of many that I had forgotten I ever owned, but also sparked a need to read some that I was never able to buy at the time, while my research uncovered a bunch I never knew even existed. Today, we’re looking at two more I have read and highly recommend, as well as creating a quick-fire hit list of some I desperately need to track down.

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills

(Written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by Brent Anderson, colored by Steve Oliff, lettered by Tom Orzechowski, published in 1982 by Marvel Comics)
Sometimes you come very late to the party. Still, you get there, have a great time, and really solidify the event in your memory, but even though you might think thank goodness I made it there, you will always have that nagging afterthought of I wish had been there right when it all started. Such is the case with X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills; I read it for the first time last week. The book explores many of the themes for which X-Men comics, animated television shows, and movies have long been known: the persecution of mutants because they are different. After two mutant children are murdered by members of Reverend William Stryker’s secret militaristic group of religious extremists, Magneto investigates what happened. Meanwhile, the X-Men are out on the town and encounter some anti-mutant douchebaggery that sets them all on edge. It isn’t until Professor Xavier, Storm, and Cyclops are seemingly killed in a car accident that Magneto arrives to tell Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler that all might not be as it seems. This is a fantastic, iconic story and one that all fans of the X-Men must read at least once in their lifetime. Anderson’s art is beautiful and fittingly dark to reflect the mood of the story, and Claremont gives us a powerful, allegorical tale about the regressive wrongness of racism/sexism/homophobia/xenophobia/you name it and of the perils of religious zealotry and hypocrisy. Given the current political climate in our country, it is even more troubling that three and a half decades after its release this book continues to be a reflection of the worst parts of our society, which makes X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills an even more important read for the times.

Grendel: Devil by the Deed

(Everythinged by Matt Wager, inked by Rich Rankin, published in 1986 by Comico The Comic Company)
I cannot properly tell you how thrilled 16-year-old me was to get this graphic novel for Xmas. I remember seeing it on the shelves of my LCS and in various ads within Comico’s amazing Elementals (Everythinged by Bill Willingham) comic, but I finally owned it and fell in love with Wagner’s work right then and there. Now, I realize that this graphic novel is not an “original” graphic novel and was actually serialized as a backup story within the pages of the must-read Mage: The Hero Discovered #6–14, I still count this as part of the group because of the 8 ½ in. x 11 in. format and the 48 pages that allowed the collection to be featured prominently alongside the best that Marvel and DC had to offer. The book tells the story of Hunter Rose, a hugely successful author who, unbeknownst to the world is also the masked crime boss Grendel. The fearsome Argent, or “The Wolf” as he is known because of his startling appearance, is tasked with bringing Grendel down. What continues to make this book so near and dear to my heart is the gorgeous Art Deco style that inspires Wagner on every page and the lack of word balloons and captions that have been replaced by lengthy blocks of text that are in no way cumbersome and that succeed in making my beat-up, much-loved copy of this masterpiece one of my most prized possessions; I also adore the unique air-brush-style coloring Wagner painstakingly uses throughout. There are many ways to read this story: 1) within the original pages of Mage: The Hero Discovered #6–14; 2) in this gorgeous graphic novel (my choice!); 3) in the 1993 Darkhorse reprint that was recolored by Bernie Mireault; 4) the 2007 Darkhorse hardcover that was recolored again only this time in black, white, and red; 5) finally, in the smaller form factor Grendel: Omnibus Vol. 1 that features the black, white, and red coloring. Regardless of how you acquire this story, just be sure you read it!

Ones I Have Not Yet Read but Want to Read…

Killraven: Warrior of the Worlds

(Written by Don McGregor, illustrated by P. Craig Russell, published in 1983 by Marvel)
I own this one, and I am excited to read it, I just want to get fully caught up on the character of Killraven in the pages of Amazing Adventures before cracking into what is certain to be a visually stunning experience. I read a bunch of Killraven stories back in the day and this sword-wielding, futuristic hero has me once again excited to dive back in.


(Everythinged by Jim Starlin, published in 1983 by Marvel Comics)
Okay, this one has a complicated publishing history if you want to get the whole story but it is one I desperately need to read as soon as possible; Starlin, baby, I just gotta read it. Okay, this graphic novel is part three of the “Metamorphosis Odyssey.” Part one occurred in the pages of the sorely missed Epic Illustrated magazine. Part two jumped over to publisher Eclipse Comics for The Price. The third volume, this graphic novel, occurs at the same time as The Price and the final pages supposedly bring the two stories together before Vanth Dreadstar appears in a short story for Epic Illustrated #15, which leads into Starlin’s run on the ongoing Dreadstar series, which I thankfully have read. I need to go back and check out the entire “Metamorphosis Odyssey” which I hope to do soon in the easy to obtain Dynamite collection.

Star Slammers

(Everythinged by Walter Simonson, published in 1983 by Marvel Comics)
What is this about? I have no idea. What I do know is that it is sci-fi Simonson and that I can get the graphic novel, the first four issues, and the concluding special all in one hardcover edition.

The Incredible Hulk and the Thing: The Big Change

(Written by Jim Starlin, illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, published in 1987 by Marvel Comics)
Starlin. Wrightson. They had me with either of those names. I don’t think this has been reprinted in any other format, which kind of bums me out as this one might be a bit pricey to obtain.

Silver Surfer: Judgement Day

(Written by Stan Lee, illustrated by John Buscema, published in 1988 by Marvel Comics)
I still kick myself for not picking this one up back when I first saw it. Seriously. Why did I not buy this? Surely, I was flush with cash from my KFC job...who knows. The Silver Surfer and Mephisto?! All I know is that I need to somehow get ahold of this ASAP.


(Written by Pat Mills, illustrated by Kevin O’Neill, published in 1986 by DC Comics)
I am a HUGE Marshal Law fan and I also have a bunch of Nemesis the Warlock books just waiting to be reread. Metalzoic is one of those big regret-I-didn’t-buy books that I hope finally get in my hands someday in the future. That said, I also hope to read ALL of the other DC graphic novels that came out in the ’80s, as the company was taking a huge risk by embracing original sci-fi and fantasy stories that had nothing to do with their huge stable of superhero properties. These are the DC graphic novels I hope to find someday:

  • Star Raiders (Written by Elliot’s S. Maggin, illustrated by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, 1983)
  • Nightwings (Written by Robert Silverberg, adapted by Carey Bates, illustrated by Gene Colan and Neal McPheeters, 1983)
  • Warlords (Written by Steve Skeates, illustrated by David Wenzel, 1983)
  • Medusa Chain (Everythinged by Ernie Colon, 1984)
  • Me and Joe Priest (Written by Greg Potter, illustrated by Ron Randall, 1985)
  • Space Clusters (Written by Arthur Byron Cover, illustrated by Alex Niño, 1986)

I’m sure there are plenty more ’80s graphic novels out there that I need to read, but after four installments of “For the Love of OGN: The ’80s,” I have given all of us plenty to either revisit and even more great books to track down. Happy reading and hunting! Now, I wonder what all came out in this format in the ’90s? Hmmmmm...

This Week’s Reading List

Denizens, I’m fried. Not only did I slip into a taco and beer induced sleep after lunch, I just never really fully woke up. No regrets, though, the Norteño taco (steak, beans, guacamole) and the Chorizo con Papas (chorizo, potatoes, blue corn tortilla) and chips and guacamole with at Corazon Cocina are the best things on the planet. Anyhow, what I’m trying to say is that I’m going to keep this short. All three books listed below come VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

  • Doomsday Clock #5 (Written by Geoff Johns, illustrated by Gary Frank, colored by Brad Anderson, lettered by Rob Leigh, published by DC Comics) Man, I am still completely loving this Watchmen follow up that hits all the right buttons. If only the wait between issues wasn't as long. Oh well, I can’t wait to read it all in one go once the series wraps with issue 12. Thankfully, we have a ways to go.
  • Descender #30 (Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics) Descender continues to be a thrilling space opera journey across the cosmos as a meeting I’ve been hoping for since the first arc finally happens; I’m pretty sure the robot war might serve to ruin everything. Lovely, tense, heartfelt, Descender remains one of my favorite books on the stands. Nguyen’s watercolored art is otherworldly.
  • Saga #52 (Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples, lettered and designed by Fonografiks, published by Image Comics) A weak issue of Saga is merely very good compared to other comic books. But when an issue is great—which it usually is—you are left laughing out loud, devastated, grossed out, emotionally elevated, or some combination thereof. This is a dang fine issue that reminds me of how great this series is. I do, however, expect us to go into the “devastated” range of emotion in the next issue or two. Oh, boy, things are going to get rough.


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Comics Lust 5/26/2018

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/operation Deadpool v2.0 Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Dagnabbit. I fully intended to see Deadpool 2 last weekend, but things didn’t quite go as planned, so it didn’t happen. That said, I have three full days to get my act together, have some tacos, have a couple beers, and then check out this follow-up to one my favorite movies of 2016. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. Oh, and go see Deadpool 2, by golly! Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks 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.

Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust

For the Love of OGN: The ’80s (Part 3)

It’s kind of amazing how many OGNs were released in the 8 ¼ -inch by 11-inch format throughout the ‘80s. They were a big deal back then, and they should still—mostly—be a big deal now as well. They were larger than regular comics, they had a higher quality paper, they had two to three times the number of pages, and they mostly told done-in-one stories that existed outside of regular comic books superhero continuity. However, if you didn’t care about capes-and-tights tales, there was much to be excited about from this new graphic novel format. You had horror, fantasy, science fiction, crime, war, and even romance, none of which had anything to do with men bitten by spiders or men utilizing a bat as their fashion muse; there was something for everyone. These books were a reflection of a time when comic companies were willing to take risks in hopes of achieving great rewards, which leads me to the first book of the day…

The New Mutants

(Written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by Bob McLeod, published in 1982 by Marvel Comics)
Here we have a graphic novel that expands upon the explosive popularity of Claremont’s The Uncanny X-Men, where we are introduced to a new group of mutants, youngsters with incredible powers who Professor Xavier hesitantly agrees to mentor and train after an old foe sets out to kill the kids. Part of Xavier’s reluctance is that he believes his X-Men to be dead—they are actually at the far ends of outer space fighting the alien Brood in one of my all-time favorite X-Men chapters!—and thus Cannonball, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Karma, and Danielle Moonstar become The New Mutants. This fourth release in the Marvel Graphic Novel line not only told a complete and thrilling story, it also ushered in a new series that ran parallel to The Uncanny X-Men. The two series would oftentimes see characters crossing over from one book to the other, but The New Mutants had its own heft, its own fan base, that with or without the regular X-Men characters continues to captivate audiences today regardless of who happens to be on the team at any particular moment. I will admit that as much as I wanted to delve into the world of The New Mutants back in the day, it wasn’t until late 2017 that I first read this graphic novel, which is contained in the must-read Marvel Epic The New Mutants: Renewal. In this wonderful collection, you not only get the graphic novel, but the first 12 issues of the series, an issue of The Uncanny X-Men, the miniseries that expands on that issue called Magic #1–4, as well as a bunch of other goodies; “Epic” is the perfect word to describe this monster of a book. The best thing about being this late to the game is that I have lots and lots of catching up to do.

Dracula: A Symphony in Moonlight and Nightmares

(Everythinged by Jon J. Muth, published in 1986 by Marvel Comics)
Remember how I keep droning on about how wonderful it was that the Big Two were so willing to take risks and experiment back in the day? Well, Dracula: A Symphony in Moonlight and Nightmares is a shining example of this. Not quite an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and not at all like any of the Marvel Graphic Novels that came before or after it—there are no panels, no word balloons—this book is more a poem adapted from the great work set to a backdrop of the haunting, sensual, watercolored art of master painter Jon J. Muth. I remember seeing this on the shelves of my LCS back when I was a kid, and I definitely flipped through it, but it would be three decades before I actually got to read it. The poetry is a bit hard to follow, but it is lyrical, beautiful, but the main draw is Muth’s art which has to be seen to be believed. If you are as big a fan of painting as a means of graphic storytelling, then this is one you must seek out.

The Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe

(Written by Marc Gruenwald, art by Paul Ryan and Al Williamson, published in 1989 by Marvel Comics)
The Squadron Supreme 12-issue maxiseries was a book I absolutely loved as it was coming out; it also totally messed me up. I knew of Marvel’s analogs to DC’s Justice League characters who at the time were called the Squadron Sinister from their various mentions in the pages of The Avengers, but my brother and I never read those comics—actually, I still haven’t read those issues…hmmm. But when the first issue of the maxiseries appeared, I pounced on it and fell in love with the large cast of characters. Through the course of this series, I became acquainted with the ideas of cancer, irreconcilable differences within a team, politics, the criminal justice system, and the weight of balancing safety versus freedom. It’s a heavy book where heroes cross lines they never should have crossed and people die; things are not tied up in a pretty bow when all is said and done. It’s powerful stuff and although the book ended with the twelfth issue, I desperately wanted more, and unbeknownst to me, more came in 1989 with a new Marvel Graphic Novel that I did not learn about until 15 years later. In this follow-up, the Squadron Supreme has picked up the pieces of the fallout from the events of the maxiseries and they are forced to come together to thwart an extinction-level threat to Earth. Again, don’t expect this to a cakewalk through the daisies. It’s harsh. It’s brutal. It’s moving up to the top of my reread pile. Absolutely DO NOT read this graphic novel until you have read the amazing 12-issue series (there is a trade!). A somewhat-rare Omnibus collects it all, or you’ll just have to pick them up separately.

Void Indigo

(Written by Steve Gerber, illustrated by Val Mayerik, published in 1984 by Marvel Comics)
Okay. Here you go. This is what I’m talking about in regard to taking chances. Void Indigo seems more likely to have appeared in old issues of Heavy Metal Magazine as opposed to a book published by a company renowned for its superhero comics. This fantasy/sci-fi tale of revenge features some fairly psychedelic, lovely, painted artwork from Mayerik, and has its fair share of nudity, violence, and trippy goodness. It’s also one of the few Marvel Graphic Novels that doesn’t quite tell a full story, rather it is a setup to the Void Indigo series from Epic that quickly followed and was quickly canceled after two issues because of something scandalous within the comic book series. What was it that was so scandalous that the publisher decided to cancel the series before it could finish up by the sixth issue? What exactly pissed people off so bad that the book had to be tossed? I am not sure, but after reading and loving this Graphic Novel, I fully intend to find out. This book concerns a barbarian warrior and his lady love who are tortured and murdered by four Atlantan sorcerers in an effort to prolong their own wretched lives. The power of revenge reincarnates the barbarian as an alien warrior who finds himself stranded on Earth and filled with the need to extinguish the light of the four sorcerers’ lives. If you are familiar with Gerber, you know you’re in for a crazy ride, and that is exactly what you get. Check out this mind-bending series if you think you can handle the experience.

Iron Man: Crash

(Everythinged by Mike Saenz, published in 1988 by Marvel Comics)
I had this book…once upon a time. What happened to it I don’t remember, but what I do remember is being excited about the first ever computer generated graphic novel to ever hit the stands. What was this book about? I don’t remember in the slightest. Not a lick of it. I almost completely forgot this came out until something sparked a memory of its existence earlier this morning. Now, this one might have the whippersnappers scratching their heads every bit as much as handing them a cassette of your favorite disco mixtape, but y’all are just gonna have to trust me when I say the pixelated line work was an impressive feat for the time. From what I could find, this book is about Tony Stark creating some sort of weapon that everyone wants, including a certain evil group called the Digital Dreadnoughts. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine as to what all is going on, but now I have a need to hunt it down and check it out with a fresh set of eyes. One thing to note is that this book is not part of the Marvel Graphic Novel line and appears to be its own thing. Weird, experimental, groovy. I can dig it.

This Week’s Reading List

After two weeks, I only had three books in my pull which I hope to get to later this afternoon. So, nothing new to report.