Saturday, March 24, 2018

Comics Lust 3/24/2018

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/recovering from trauma Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). I know that since the beginning of December it seems like things have been tough around the Donist World office and they have been. Yesterday (Friday) was the worst of all. Tulip was attacked by three dogs while I was walking her in the neighborhood before I was to head off to work. We were almost home when suddenly, from behind, two dogs charged up to us: a large black and white pit bull-mix and a little dog that mostly stayed back. As I yelled at the big dog to go away and was bending to pick Tulip up, a tan and white pit bull came out of nowhere, knocked her onto her back and went for her throat. Screaming the whole time for someone to call their dogs—no one ever came—I grabbed the tan and white one by the haunches and lifted it upside down into the air—it instantly let go—and I flung it toward the yard it came from. The black and white dog just circled us, but I was able to scoop up my panicking Tulip and headed down the street. I was still screaming for someone to call their damn dogs as the black and white one followed us for half a block until I had to turn, stand our ground, and yell at the dog to go home. The entire ordeal was terrifying. Once safe, I put Tulip down and was thankful she wasn't limping and didn't seem to be in pain. When we got home, however, I noticed two bleeding holes where the pit bull's teeth had punctured the skin on her left breast; the jacket she was wearing probably saved her life as it took the extent of the physical damage. Long story longer, the vet checked her out and gave her antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, painkillers, put in a drain tube (the wound had pierced all the way through), and added a few stitches to seal the wounds and to hold the tube in place; we have to go back Monday to have the tube removed and I am giving her mild painkillers until then. I have since called animal control on the house the dogs came from, and I’m about to head over to tell the dog owner(s)—who I never once saw—what happened and to ask them to pay the $360 vet bill. Fuck March. It cannot end soon enough, but I am thankful my girl is doing fine and I realize it could have been so very much worse. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, and read some great comics. 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

Five Furious and Fast: Jeff Lemire

Across the many “Comics Lust” entries, Jeff Lemire has come up once or twice or twenty times. It might be because of his writing. It might be because of his art. It might be because of the genre. Heck, it might even be because of his Big Two work. Regardless of the reasoning, I mention Lemire often and with the highest of praise, not because he is currently the most prolific creator in comics, or because his business is diversified across MANY different publishers, but because his books are so damn good. Let’s take a look at five series that you simply MUST check out.


(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, published by Image Comics beginning in 2015)
I’ll never tire of exalting the wonders of this beautiful series where robots have been hunted to near extinction after the devastation caused by the Harvesters, monstrous robots who appeared out of nowhere to eradicate untold lives only to simply vanish as quickly as they had appeared. But when a companion robot named TIM-21 awakens alone, ten years later, on an abandoned mining colony, he becomes hunted by both the government and deadly “Scrappers,” but TIM-21 just might hold the key to learning more about the mysterious Harvesters. With Descender you get a large cast of characters set in an expansive sci-fi space opera with tremendous stakes and a clear understanding of what most everyone wants, Typical of Lemire’s writing, you can’t help but fall in love with many, if not all, of the main characters, cheering them on their successes and fretting over the mistakes. Nguyen’s artwork has to be seen to be believed. Bringing an ‘80s look, feel, and mood to the series, Nguyen gives complete life and emotion to the page through his gorgeous watercolors whether detailing lush spacescapes, bizarre alien races, intricate backgrounds, or robotic tech. You can catch up via the floppies, the trades (I double-dip on these), or the hardcover...which sadly is not oversized and offers no bonus material whatsoever. Descender has been my favorite comic on the stands for three years running and with good reason: it’s compelling, it’s lovely, and I’m fully invested in the wellbeing of all the characters.

Black Hammer

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dean Ormstom with some David Rubin, colored by Dave Stewart, published by Dark Horse beginning in 2016)
Black Hammer is what you get when you combine the love of Silver Age comic books from the Big Two and amalgamate some of the heroes and villains into something new. But it is so much more. You have a tragic death and the mystery of where and why the surviving heroes are trapped in a strange rural town where something is just…not…right. No one is safe, which quickly becomes apparent in this riveting series. There are currently two trades available for the main book, a spin-off miniseries trade of Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil coming out in May (my stars and garters, I cannot wait!), and a forthcoming miniseries titled Doctor Starr and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows which just started coming out. I’m excited for new issues of the main series and anything that expands upon this awesome universe and everything within it! There’s a reason why most everyone was talking about Black Hammer in 2017. Best get on it.

Sweet Tooth

(Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, a few issues illustrated by Matt Kindt, published by DC/Vertigo beginning from 2009–2013)
Okay, you should probably be warned about this one; it’s going to be a rough ride, but it will be very much worth it. You should eat a healthy breakfast, do some stretches, perhaps go for a run. Or maybe you should go for a run after you read a few issues, you know, to work off the unease and tension you will definitely be feeling, because, like I mentioned, this won’t be an emotionally easy ride. Sweet Tooth is a post-apocalyptic survival tale of a world ravaged by a plague that has wiped out most of humanity with only strange, hybrid animal-human children being born. Gus is one of those children and has deer antlers projecting from his head. He also has troops of roving men out to get him and any animal children they can find. Think The Road meets Mad Max: Fury Road with trace amounts of The Island of Doctor Moreau as you journey with Gus and his human guardian Jepperd as they struggle to find a rumored safe place known as The Preserve as well as possible answers as to what happened to the world. There are both trades and hardcovers, either of which MUST be in your collection.


(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by many, published by Valiant beginning in 2015)
This is one I talked about at length quite recently, but I want to again stress how thrilling and fun Lemire’s run has been and continues to be. Again, you don’t have to start with The Valiant (co-created with Matt Kindt) miniseries—but it helps—where Bloodshot and the other heroes of the Valiant Universe fight the menace of The Immortal Enemy. This will help explain the starting events of Bloodshot: Reborn, which flows into Bloodshot: USA, and into the currently running Bloodshot: Salvation which I cannot wait to read. Essentially, Bloodshot, originally created in Valiant’s first incarnation in 1993, is a nigh-unkillable soldier with nanites coursing through his blood who kills everyone the government sets him upon. You have a man with a past he can’t remember and a present he can’t escape, secret governmental organizations, superhero allies, monstrous villains, and finding a path to redemption. Once you start this ride, you won’t want to get off. Available in hardcover deluxe editions and trades.

Essex County

(Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, originally published by Top Cow from 2007–2008)
The series that put Lemire on the map and with good reason. Again, you are going to have to prepare for this one. At the least have a box of tissues handy, because you are going to need them. Now, understand, this is definitely NOT the type of comic I generally read. I gravitate towards comics that take me away from reality, as opposed to immersing you deep into the pool of the real world. Here’s the thing: a masterwork is a masterwork. After hearing over and over how amazing Essex County is, I finally broke down and bought The Complete Essex County collection and fell in love as my heart broke in each of the three chapters. Instead of robots, you get a boy on a farm. In place of kaiju, you have a down-on-his-luck hockey player. There are no superheroes, but there is a traveling nurse. What’s important is that you get beautifully told and illustrated, emotional tales that are interwoven in a powerful narrative that not even someone constantly looking for an escape, like me, can avoid. A must read.

This Week’s Reading List

Dang, it’s late. I’m exhausted. Gonna spend time with my Tulip. Just know that the following are all freakin’ fantastic:

See you next time.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Comics Lust 3/17/2018

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/dinner demander Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Okay. After a grueling day of maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company, my puppy executive team is demanding we leave the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) and get something to eat. So, we’re cutting the intro short while we try to scout out the best dang tacos in town. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health, drink plenty of water (maybe a beer or two), cherish the ones you love, and read some great comics. 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 Twisted Worlds of Bruce Jones (Part 1)

As a kid, my mom would park my brother and me in the magazine and book section of the local Click store (later to become Acme) while she shopped—hey, it was the ‘70s, a different time…although Jeffrey Dahmer did two miles away from us, but whatever. Our routine was to entertain ourselves with the magazines, then head to the toy department, before hitting the upstairs pet section to check out the lizards, tarantulas, the occasional scorpion, and to stare at a large bag of “monkey chow” and wonder who the hell in Akron, Ohio actually owned a monkey and why. The important thing was what we found in the L-shaped magazine aisle.

Here we found the magazines Famous Monsters of Filmland and Starlog about movies and characters we adored, and also found Fangoria which revealed the movies and characters we absolutely were not allowed to see. Being huge comic book fans, we also gravitated to the comic magazines, the ones that were risqué and magical and terrifying all at the same time. How could I resist not sneaking a peek at the ever-scantily-clad vampiress in Vampirella or stare wide-eyed at the sci-fi wonder—and R-rated nudity—found in Heavy Metal? But the magazines we gravitated toward the most were Eerie, and Creepy which featured phenomenal artists like my favorite Bernie Wrightson. It was at Click that I first discovered Richard Corben’s art, but it was also there that I unknowingly, at the time, experienced my first Bruce Jones stories.

My exposure to Jones’s work didn’t stop there.

From the moment I walked into my first comic book specialty shop and all the way through to today, I not only found Jones’s stories in Eerie and Creepy but in actual comic books from publishers like Pacific and Eclipse and even in various Marvel and DC titles. But the stories that thrill me the most are the ones that you read at night when you’re home alone when the wind drags a branch across the roof, and the house creaks in a way that can’t be someone walking upstairs but must be the house settling. Or is it?

Creepy Presents…Bernie Wrightson

(Written by Bruce Jones and many others, illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, published by Dark Horse)
When I bought this book a few years back, it is what got me thinking about Jones after I was completely creeped out by his story “Jenifer.” It doesn’t hurt to have a master of illustration who also happens to be the person made me a fan of comic book art as the focus on the collection. As the title suggests, this slim but must-own hardcover focuses on the late Bernie Wrightson's work from Creepy and also from Eerie. Jones writes three additional spooky stories: “Clarice,” “Country Pie,” and “The Laughing Man.” Now, if the idea of picking up the numerous hardcover Creepy reprint collections fills your wallet and your bursting bookshelf with horror, and since there is unfortunately not yet a Creepy Presents...The Stories of Bruce Jones (you listening, Dark Horse!), then a quick, easy, no-risk way to gain exposure to Jones is in this beautiful collection.

Creepy Presents…Richard Corben

(Written by Bruce Jones and many others, illustrated by Richard Corben, published by Dark Horse)
I could not not own this book, which is about two and a half times the length of the beautiful Creepy Presents…Bernie Wrightson hardcover. Corben’s work—especially when it came to women—was one of the main draws to the Click magazine aisle in the first place, and although there are some truly amazing stories in the volume, Jones’s tales rank among the best. If you want weird science, dinosaurs, scantily-clad/naked people, and strange worlds, then you’ve come to the right place with the stories “Within You…Without You Part 1,” “Within You…Without You Part 2,” “You’re a Big Girl Now,” “Within You…Without You Part 3,” and “A Woman Scorned.” Again, we definitely need an “Eerie Presents…The Stories of Bruce Jones” collection as I believe he wrote enough stories to warrant a book for each magazine. This book needs to be on your favorite bookshelf.

Somerset Holmes #1–6

(Written by Bruce Jones and April Campbell, illustrated by Brent Anderson, published by Pacific Comics and then by Eclipse Comics from 1983–1984)
If you are thinking, didn’t you recently talk about this series already? then you are indeed correct. I did (see here). The cool thing about horror stories is that they don’t have to have werewolves or aliens or dinosaurs, but they can actually accompany a grand mystery based in reality where people are the true monsters. Such is the case with Somerset Holmes. When a woman wakes up on the side of a desolate country road with no recollection of who she is or how she got there, she quickly learns someone is out to kill her and all who cross her path and the only clue as to what is going on rests on what she finds hidden on her belt. A slow build, creepy as heck story that I will be rereading starting tonight. Unfortunately, this one is out of print, but you can hit the bargain bins or the online stores for the issues, the trade, or the hardcover and soon be settling in for a most unnerving evening.

Twisted Tales of Bruce Jones #1–4

(Everythinged by Bruce Jones, published by Eclipse in 1986)
It should be apparent from the first two books that I am a HUGE fan of the horror anthology format, but when you add sci-fi to the equation and the occasional dash of dark humor along with Bruce Jones handling both story and art, then you have a must-read series. Having just acquired and read these books over the past year, I’m happy to say they are well worth the effort to track down.

Twisted Tales #1–10

(Mostly written by Bruce Jones, illustrated by many artists, published by Pacific in 1982)
I have a couple of these issues, but like Pokemon, I gotta catch them all…eventually! If any book title was screaming hardcover collected collection, Twisted Tales is it! You also get some amazing artists on these pull-the-covers-over-your-head tales.

Twisted Tales #1

(Written by Bruce Jones, illustrated by many artists, published by Eclipse in 1988)
It bugs me that I don’t have this solitary issue that features Jones on writing with a different artist on each story. I will find this. I will own this. When is someone going to reprint these amazing Pacific and Eclipse comics? The world needs them!

Tales of Terror #1–13

(Written by Bruce Jones, Tim Truman, Scott Hampton, and many others; illustrated by Scott Hampton, John Bolton, Lee Weeks, and many others; published by Eclipse from 1985–1987)
Another horror anthology, but one I have not yet had a chance to read. Jones’s work appears in roughly a third of the series, but given the names attached to some of the stories, this is one I will be looking to get ahold of in the near future in its entirety.

Alien Worlds #1–9

(Mostly written by Bruce Jones, art by many, published by Pacific from 1982–1985)
You know what? I’m also a sucker for the weird science anthologies as well, and here we have a short-lived series that I remember seeing on the shelves and checking out, but ultimately never bought because of the dreaded “out of allowance money” syndrome. We need this reprinted, by golly!

Alien Worlds #1

(Written by Bruce Jones, illustrated by many, published by Eclipse in 1988)
This revival also only made it one issue over the transition from Pacific to Eclipse, but that doesn’t make this any less necessary to everyone’s collection.

Bruce Jones’ Razor’s Edge

(Everythinged by Bruce Jones, published by Innovation 1993)
I have this sitting right next to me. It’s up after I finish rereading Somerset Holmes.

Bruce Jones’ Outer Edge

(Everythinged by Bruce Jones, published by Innovation 1993)
I just found out about this one and need to get it! Looks to be another sci-fi anthology comic. All Jones, all the time!

Silverheels #1–3

(Written by Bruce Jones, illustrated by Scott Hampton, published by Pacific from 1983–1984)
Okay, I have issues one through three of the comics, but no fourth issue ever came out. There is, however, a trade and a hardcover that collects the three issues and that contains the never-before-printed conclusion. That…I do not have. I’ve mentioned a few times that I am in love with Scott Hampton‘s graphic novella The Upturned Stone, so when you mix his art with Jones’s story, you have something I must own. Now, if only I could find out how it all ends. The brutal part is that I remember seeing the trade on the shelf at my LCS back in the day; I should have picked it up then.

Rip in Time #1–5

(Written by Bruce Jones, illustrated by Richard Corben, published by Fantagor from 1986–1987)
I want this. I want this. I want this! I love Jones’s story with Richard Corben in the Creepy Presents…Richard Corben titled “Within You…Without You Part 1, 2, and 3.” That story deals with time travel, nudity, and dinosaurs. Rip in Time deals with time travel, dinosaurs, and possibly nudity–I will know for sure on the nudity front when my order of this series gets here. The main difference is that a cop, a robber, and their girlfriends are the ones traveling through time. I prefer to see Corben’s mind-bending colors, but even in black and white, this series is certain to be magic.

House of Mystery

(Written by Bruce Jones and many, illustrated by many, published by DC Comics beginning in 1981)
Okay, an inexpensive collection of this amazing series needs to be released and I am 100% fine with it being done on cheap newsprint; that’s how it was done back in the day, and it is perfectly fine for today. Growing up, I had the odd issue or twenty of House of Mystery and its sister book House of Secrets floating around my collection and I simply adored them. Jones looks to have appeared in roughly 15 issues and it’s safe to say we need them.


(Everythinged by Bruce Jones, published by Marvel Comics in 1989)
To wrap up the Jones spooky-love-fest, I give you a treasure from the Marvel Graphic Novel line that ran from 1982–1992 and is a comic that I would NEVER expect Marvel to even consider publishing today or even in the last twenty years, for that matter. I just read this fantastic 64-page graphic novel a couple of days ago, and have to say I was completely riveted by the story which…I cannot tell you about without spoiling the completely out-there premise. What I can tell you is that it deals with a mother and daughter at odds with each other and their coming across some not-so-nice country folk. Brrrrr...I still get a case of the willies thinking about this fun, unnerving comic, and it is still very much on my mind days after putting it down. This one from back when Marvel was willing to take a risk is well worth seeking out.

Over the past year and a half, I have specifically been seeking out and rereading Jones’s work and falling in love with it all over again. Hopefully, whether you remember this writer-artist’s work as fondly as I do, or if you have never been exposed to him before today, you will start to hunt down some of his spine-tingling goodness; you owe it to yourself to do so.

This Week’s Reading List

Dang, it’s late. Gotta run. Just know that Mister Miracle #7, Mage #7, and Deadly Class #32 are all freakin’ fantastic. See you next time.


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Comics Lust 3/9/2018

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/consolation commander Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). And here I thought last week was bad. Oh, my stars and garters. Oh well, I won’t let it get me down! And how could I, when I have my puppy executive team to back me up and…guys? Guys? Tulip? Reverse Obie? Okay…it’s a crummy, rainy day—which I actually kind of love—and as I sit here organizing odds and ends, the dogs are upstairs, cozy in bed, drinking coffee, and watching some Jessica Jones Season 2. Come to think of it, that sounds like a pretty good idea to me. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health, drink plenty of water (maybe a beer or two), cherish the ones you love, and read some great comics. 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

Generation-Specific Tragedy-Ridden Martial-Arts-Trained Critters (Part 1)

The ‘80s were a magical time to be a comic book fan. Those lucky enough to grace comic book specialty shops during this glorious decade—now affectionately known as the Local Comic Shop (LCS)—got to experience such monumental new books as Watchmen, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and Crisis on Infinite Earths while a shift in ongoing books such as The Uncanny X-Men (with its increasingly-popular character Wolverine), Daredevil, and The New Teen Titans gave comic readers much to be excited about. But the Big Two weren’t the only players in town. Publishers like Comico, First Comics, Eclipse Comics, and Pacific Comics saw huge success with their offerings, as did many even smaller publishers, but somewhere, in the midst of it all, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rocked not just the black and white indie comics scene, but the comic book industry as well. The deluge of books attempting to mimic that success, however, didn’t do the comics industry any favors as comics caught the eye of the dreaded speculators.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

(Everythinged by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, published by Mirage Studios beginning in 1984...originally)
I have to admit that my brother and my cousin were the ones who dragged me into the world of TMNT. I was reluctant and turned off by the ridiculous-sounding name; I was a serious comic fan. Then I read an issue, was instantly hooked, and scrambled to find whatever TMNT material I could. I initially started with the magazine-sized fourth issue and began pestering my comic shop for the ever-elusive #1 and #2. Road blocked, I then combed the mail order ads found in the pages of all the comics of the time and I was able to get a reprint of #1, the first printing of issue #3, and my prized second printing of issue #2. My brother and I loved the dark, gritty, and often violent comic that seemed to be a twisted expansion of Frank Miller’s Daredevil, which we positively loved. We madly sought everything and anything TMNT related that we could find for a few years before eventually drifting from our once favorite “heroes in a half-shell” upon the arrival of an overly-goofy animated television show. The Turtles had a roller coaster ride of a publishing history before IDW took up publication rights of old and new comics, but it’s the historical material that we are looking at today.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–4 (Everythinged by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, published by Mirage Studios beginning in 1984) It all started with these magazine-sized black and white comics. There were multiple printings, many counterfeits, and all were—and still are—highly sought after. Here we meet Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Splinter, and the rest is history.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5–62 (Story and art by MANY different people, publishing continued by Mirage Studios through 1993) Here is where the series went from magazine-size down to standard comic size. This run began with Eastman and Laird handling everything and ended with Eastman and Laird scripting with art by Jim Lawson. In between this was a flurry of creators including Richard Corben, Rick Veitch, Eric Talbot, Michael Zulli, Stan Sakai, and many others in an impressive series that launched cartoons, movies, toys, and all sorts of merchandise. The Turtles became a brand.
  • Raphael (Everythinged by Eastman and Laird, published by Mirage Studios in 1985) Part of the solo issues. This one is magazine-sized.
  • Michaelangelo (Everythinged by Eastman and Laird, published by Mirage Studios in 1985) Part of the solo issues.
  • How to Draw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Written by Allan J. Fromberg; illustrated by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, and Rich Buckler, published by Solson in 1985) Yeah...drawing is not as easy as they want you to believe.
  • Donatello (Everythinged by Eastman and Laird, published by Mirage Studios in 1986) Part of the solo issues.
  • Leonardo (Everythinged by Eastman and Laird, published by Mirage Studios in 1986) Part of the solo issues. Story continues in issue 10 of the main series.
  • Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–7 (Written by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, art by Jim Lawson, published by Mirage Studios beginning in 1987) An anthology series that saw some hefty delays during its short publication.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1–3 (Written and illustrated by ?, published by Archie Comics in 1988) A three issue mini that adapted five episodes of the animated television show.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1–72 (Written and illustrated by a whole mess of people, published by Archie Comics from 1989–1992) This initially followed the goofy animated television show, but quickly dropped pizza munching camp in favor of becoming its own thing. There were also tons of specials, one-shots, and supporting character miniseries to keep fans busy.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe Sourcebook #1–3 (published by Archie comics from 1992–1994) If you love Marvel’s OHOTMU, then these are the books for you!
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–13 (Everythinged by Jim Lawson, published by Mirage Studios beginning in 1993) This is the “Volume 2” in the Turtles saga before ending in 1995 to make the jump to the (fairly) new kid on the block publisher Image Comics.
  • Savage Dragon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (Written by Erik Larson and Michael Dooney, illustrated by Michael Dooney and Robert Jones, published by Image Comics 1993) They’re all green and they’re all mean! They later teamed up in 1995 with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Savage Dragon #1 but I’m not sure of the creators involved in this Mirage Studios publication.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Flaming Carrot #1–4 (Written and illustrated by ?, published by Mirage Studios 1993–1994) I never read The Flaming Carrot back in the day, but something tells me this miniseries is a trip and a half!
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–23 (Written by Gary Carlson, illustrated by Frank Fosco, published by Image Comics 1996–1999) Volume three allegedly did not please Laird so he snatched the property back over to Mirage. R.I.P. volume number three.
  • Creed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (Everythinged by Trent Kaniuga, published by Lightning in 1996) I have never read Creed but I know the comic had a following at one point. Someday, I should check it out.
  • Bodycount #1–4 (Written by Kevin Eastman, illustrated by Simon Bisley, published by Image Comics in 1996) Wow. I almost missed this one completely as the title says nothing about TMNT anywhere on this four-issue miniseries. Looks to be crazy, violent adventure starring Raphael and Casey Jones, and it definitely fits the "Extreme!!!" trend that drove me out of comics in the mid-'90s, but dang I’m not curious to check it out. A hardcover collection looks to come out sometime in August 2018.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–32 (Written by Peter Laird, illustrated by Jim Lawson, published by Mirage Studios from 2001–2014) This series pretty much ignores what happened during the Image years and picks up fifteen years after the end of volume 2. 32 issues over 13 years isn’t exactly the best of release schedules, but whatcha gonna do. To complicate matters, issue number 31 was never printed (it is available online), issue 32 came out four years after that with a “to be continued,” but your guess is as good as mine as to when, if ever, issue 33 ever sees the light of day…or your favorite LED screen for that matter.
  • Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–70 (Created by many, published by Mirage Studios beginning from 2004–2010) This series focused on the unknown adventures of the Turtles and served to explain what happened during the 13 lost years between the second and fourth volumes of the main series. Ouch. Laird must have really not liked that third volume from Image. I guess this can step in as the in-canon third volume as far as the creator is concerned.
  • Tales of Leonardo: Blind Sight #1–4 (Everythinged by Jim Lawson, published by Mirage Studios in 2006) I had never even heard of this, but it is miniseries focusing on one character of a larger team, and I’m a lover of the miniseries wave of the ’80s (hello, Wolverine), so this sounds like fun.
  • Raphael: Bad Moon Rising #1–4 (Created by Jim Lawson and Eric Talbot, published by Mirage Studios in 2007) Werewolves and Vampires in a four-issue miniseries starring TMNT’s main tough guy? How did I not hear about this?
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Special #1 (Written and illustrated by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, colored by Steve Lavigne, published by Mirage Studios 2009) 25th anniversary of the first issue with a colored #1.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Brain Thief #1–4 (Everythinged by Jim Lawson, published by Mirage Studios in 2009) Another four-issue miniseries? I’m totally down for this.
As you can see, the Turtles have been around the block a few dozen or 100 times and I am sure I missed a bunch of other one-shots and minis, and I haven’t even touched anything after 2002, primarily IDW, which is where you should go if you are looking for some nice collections of the early material. I also remember having a Turtles “how-to” book that supposedly taught you martial arts and how to fight with things like a bo staff, none of which saved my ass during my junior high years. Anyhow, best not to dwell on that…

Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters

Okay, you kind of had to expect this kind of thing to happen after the explosive popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brand. In looking into this comic, I was surprised to see the numerous disappearance and rebirths of this series over the years. I distinctly remember seeing my brother reading the first issue and I definitely gave him the stink eye for doing so, but I honestly never gave the book a chance. Who knows: I might be missing out something kinda cool.
After running through the various ARBBH titles, I have to say that I am rather interested in checking it out. Too bad there aren’t any trades readily available.

Pre-Teen Dirty-Gene Kung-Fu Kangaroos #1–3

(Everythinged by Lee Marrs, published by Blackthorne in 1986)
The crazy thing about this one is that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles briefly make an appearance in the comic (they are drawn by Peter Laird) and Howard the Duck is in there too…not sure if Howard’s appearance ushered in a lawsuit or not, but there you have it.

Naive Inter-Dimensional Commando Koalas #1

(Written by Sean Deming, illustrated by Dan Green, published by ICG in 1986)
Hey, the Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters make an appearance in this issue…so, cool?

Mildly Microwaved Pre-Pubescent Kung-Fu Gophers #1

(Written by George Macas, illustrated by Jim Molina and Jill Thompson, published by Just Imagine Graphix in 1986)
Jill Thompson?! This must be her first comic book work.

Cold Blooded Chameleon Commandos #1–5

(Written by William Clausen, illustrated by Michael Kelley, published by Blackthorne from 1986–1987)
Although I cannot determine the age group of the Cold Blooded Chameleon Commandos—I’m guessing they must be of enlistment age for a reptile—I decided to include them on the list because…well, because.

Geriatric Gangrene Jujitsu Gerbils #1–3

(Everythinged by Tony Basilicato, published by Planet X in 1986)
Please. Make it stop. Please make it stop!

When I revisit the subject of anthropomorphic comic book characters, I’ll be looking at bears, maybe some fish, and definitely a certain mammal from the order Tubuildentata. Until then, Turtles and Hamsters and Kangaroos, oh my!

This Week’s Reading List

Man, I gotta bow out here. I read a bunch of stuff this past couple of weeks, but this entry took forever to research and organize and write about, and every time I thought I was done, more comics and spoofs and spin-offs would pop-up to send back into digging. I will say that you should definitely check out the following amazing recent comics:

  • Gideon Falls #1 (Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, edited by Will Dennis, published by Image Comics) This one had me at "New Lemire comic," but having Sorrentino on art made this a must-read-immediately. Gideon Falls is a horror comic that is certain to instill the willies and even though I have no idea what is going on yet, I am 100% on board. Get it. Read it. Be thrilled and chilled by it. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  • The Terrifics #1 (Illustrated by Ivan Reis, written by Jeff Lemire, inked by Joe Prado, colored by Marcelo Maiolo, lettered by Tom Napolitano, published by DC Comics) Again, Lemire’s name brought me to this “fantastic” new series that definitely follows the “arrive late, leave early” style of storytelling. I was instantly drawn to the characters, wowed by the action, and loved every page of this “fantastic” book. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  • Oblivion Song #1 (Written by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Lorenzo De Felici, colored by Annalia Leoni, lettered by Rus Wooton, associate editor Arielle Basich, edited by Sean Mackiewicz, published by Image Comics) A new epic begins from Kirkman, and this time we are looking at a hard-sci-fi series where I am fairly certain no character will ever be safe. Alternate worlds, stranded humans, crazy monsters…it’s almost like this book was made for me. A heck of a great start. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  • Saga #49 (Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples, lettered and designed by Fonografiks, published by Image Comics) An issue of Saga is either really good or friggin’ great. This leans toward the latter. Still reading it. Still loving it. You should, too. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Comics Lust 3/3/2018

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/task annihilator Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Criminy, Denizens. Thursday nearly took me out as I progressed through an 11-hour workday only to have the washing machine decide to freak out at the tail-end of the day. Friday wasn’t as bad, but for some reason, I am spending my Saturday folding Reverse Obie’s laundry...not really sure how that happened, but enough of that noise; let’s sit back and chill. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health, drink plenty of water (maybe a beer or two), cherish the ones you love, and read some great comics. 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

Dig If You Will an Image: Tough Worlds (Part 1)

After reading the first trade of the first comic listed below, I knew that whatever the topic was to be for this chapter, it had to include this amazing comic. So, I started thinking of all the possible categories and themes that could possibly encapsulate this book while not retreading any recent topics and leaving enough room to have, at the least, enough other titles for one post, and, at the most, open the door to having a follow up entry at some future date. After combing through my collection for a theme, it occurred to me that most of my comic book consumption over the past few years has leaned heavily on the Image Comics side of the spectrum. I then thought of my favorite Image titles and found that many of them focus on bleak, hopeless, harsh worlds where only the strong survive and sometimes even that is not enough to make it through. After that revelation, the Image titles came raining down, enough for a part one, a part two, and possibly a part three. To start off, I give you the mindblowing…


(Everythinged by Daniel Warren Johnson, colored by Mike Spicer, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics beginning in 2017) It’s safe to say that I’m generally easily entertained. It can also be said that it’s dang difficult to absolutely blow me away, which is precisely what this series did. Equal parts Game of Thrones, Mad Max: Fury Road, and mixed with the darker Studio Ghibli masterpieces—think Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Princess MononokeExtremity follows Thea of the Roto, said to be the greatest of artists until the day the Paznina arrive and brutally murder one of her family members and steals her greatest gift. Her heart filled with revenge, Thea gives herself over to her father’s thirst for revenge as her brother, Rollo, helplessly watches the artist he thought he knew slowly vanish. My goodness, Denizens, the imagery alone on this series has it all: floating plots of land, cool flying machines, strange creatures, intricate costuming, stunning character acting and drama, epically devastating battles, and an emotional weight that you absolutely do not want to shed. Matching the intensity of the visuals step for step is the powerful story. You can’t help but feel for the main characters, but just as you are ready to take up figurative arms alongside the Roto, Johnson unveils more details from the characters’ past and not everything is as black and white as previously believed. Yes, the Paznina’s actions are abhorrent—and extremely violent, to say the least—but there is a near-unbreakable cycle that drives all of the tribes, one that threatens to swallow Thea in its wake. Extremity is slated to be a 12-issue limited series, with the final, oversized issue coming out in the next week or two, and the final trade dropping in May; I will be there eagerly awaiting what is certain to be an amazing finale. This one took me by surprise, and I am already gearing up for a reread to see everything I missed. You simply must read this fantastic series.


(Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Michael Lark, colored by Santi Arcas, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics beginning in 2013)
Whenever I start to feel the crushing weight and despair of today’s toxic political and social climate, all I need to do is read the latest issue of Lazarus to really, really bring me down. Please understand that this is not a slight against the series, but rather high praise for the creators who seem to have predicted where we have been headed over the past four years ago. In Lazarus, the world is not divided by political or religious lines, but by economic ones with sixteen families laying claim to all. Members of each Family hold the highest power, those known as “Serfs” provide services in their Family’s name, while the “Waste” struggles to survive, ever hoping to lift themselves to “Serf” status. What makes the series unique is that each family has a protector known as a “Lazarus,” alone, nearly unstoppable being to terrify enemies, inspire Serfs, and met out their Family’s will. This series follows the Lazarus Forever Carlyle as she begins to gain thoughts of independence. Yes, this book is heavy. Yes, it usually leaves me with an increased level of anxiety. But, the levels of intrigue, the family machinations, Forever’s awakening, the handful of Waste who succeed in being lifted to Serf status, the subterfuge of Family members, and the slow steady glimpse into families outside of the family Carlyle all make this devastating-yet-powerful series a must-read comic. Soon to be an Amazon Prime exclusive television series, you can get ahead of the game with either the two available hardcovers or the five trades, and supplement that with Lazarus X+66 and the Lazarus: Sourcebook Collection. You might not be smiling as you read this series, but you’ll be glad you did.

Seven to Eternity

(Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Matteo Scalera with a dash of James Harren, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics beginning in 2016)
Rick Remender. That’s pretty much all I need to say, right? Given the man’s phenomenal stable of books, that’s all I need to give a comic a shot, but holy moly, when you see Jerome Opeña’s stunning artwork with its intricately detailed backgrounds and masterful character designs and acting, you’d have to be crazy to pass up this rich fantasy adventure series. The story follows Adam Osidis, a man dying of a disease and trying to protect his family from the God of Whispers, who Adam calls the Mud King, a monster who has enslaved most of the kingdom of Zhal’s populace to his will. Adam joins with the remnants of a powerful sect of mystical knights to save the world by capturing the Mud King and destroying him once and for all. The Mud King, however, has something Adam might not be able to resist: a cure. Remender and Opeña have created an immense world complete with a lush history, rules of magic unlike anything I have ever seen, different races of beings, religious systems, strange alternate dimensions, and amazing heroes and villains. Only nine issues have come out over the past year and a half, but work of this caliber takes time and I am happy to wait just so long as more of this gorgeous series is on the horizon. Heck, maybe even a few side miniseries or prequels to expand upon this massive world would be a great way to ease the time, but for now, you have two beautiful trades to tide you over until the series picks up again in the next couple of months.

Bitch Planet

(Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro, colored by Chris Peter, lettered by Clayton Cowles published by Image Comics beginning in 2014)
Disclaimer time: Only 10 issues of the main series have been published over the past three years and three months. Yeah, not very much, but there is also a supplemental five-issue series of side stories titled Bitch Planet: Triple Feature to tide you over until things pick back up again…whenever that may be. That said, Bitch Planet is very much worth your time and is sadly all too relevant given today’s terrible—and oftentimes misogynistic—political climate. The series embraces the look and feel of the ‘70s most notorious sexploitation films, especially the “girls in prison” genre while having a strong, feminist, pro-LGBTQ+ message. In Bitch Planet, most of the planet is ruled by a patriarchy that determines if women adhere to the rules they set forth. If a woman does not do what is expected, or fails to smile, or talks back, or eats too much, or does not dress appropriately, or does not maintain her looks, or or or…she can be shipped off-world to an inescapable prison men jokingly call “Bitch Planet.” Kamau takes the lead in an expansive roster of women imprisoned on all sorts of ridiculous “crimes,” and we quickly learn that Kamau wanted to be taken to Bitch Planet for a very particular reason. When the patriarchy gets the idea to involve the women in a televised sporting event to keep the masses content and to enrich themselves, Kamau sees other possibilities. The series is very well done and the story and art engaging, but Peter’s mostly flat colors with their occasional halftone dots set a tone of both despair and hope in this great, progressive comic. If you’re as sick of the old white men in charge as many of us are, if you stand by the #metoo movement, if you want to see changes in this corrupt world, then Bitch Planet is a book you need to be reading. Now, if only we could get some more issues…

The Walking Dead

(Written by Robert Kirkman, illustrated Charlie Adlard with the first few issues by Tony Moore, published by Image Comics beginning in 2003)
Alright, I absolutely have to mention the leviathan in the room that is The Walking Dead. The world doesn’t get any tougher than in this series, and I don’t mean the zombies. Yes, the zombies are an ever-present threat, but the most terrifying aspect of this series is what becomes of what remains of humanity. Other people is the fear that haunts main characters such as Rick, Michonne, Carl, Maggie, Andrea, and the other main characters, and fear they should after so many of the supporting cast have died…horribly. To put it mildly, my wife almost made it to the fifty issue mark, but she had to tap out at around issue #45 because of how stressed out the comic made her—imagine how bad things would have been for her if she had made it to issue #46 and#47! Fans of the television show who have not delved into the comics really need to read the source material. It’s very different, there are new characters, there are characters killed on the show who are still around, and it is shockingly bleaker. It’s also been around for 178 issues and still going strong. You can jump in with the three compendiums, the hardcovers, or the regular ol’ trades.

I am still completely pumped about Extremity and also want to go back to Seven to Eternity in the near future, and that The Walking Dead reread I’ve been promising myself is also calling my name, so I’ll leave things here. Until next time.

This Week’s Reading List

I’m out of time, and have only read two of my comics, but they are ones I definitely hope to touch on next week! See you then.