Sunday, October 6, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 10/4/2019

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/pumpkin-spice-is-nice Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday dear Donist. Happy birthday to me. Care to take a guess as to whose birthday it is? Yup, you guessed it, it’s mine. Once again, I have turned 29 years old. I think I’ve had like five, or ten, or twenty 29 year old birthdays, but who’s counting. Last night, Amy the intern (my wife), Tulip, and Reverse Obie and I celebrated with some fancy-pants sushi and a barrel-aged pumpkin ale from Bottle Logic which was kind of mind-blowing. All in all, it was a pretty dang good day…until I received a fraud alert that someone was trying to order $53 worth of food with my credit card number from a place called The Shake Shack in New York. <sigh> F_ those D_bags. Anyhow, I won’t let that stop me from living it up. So, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing beer (or 15+ beer samples) and some tacos, sit back, and afterward 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



House of X #6

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Pepe Lara’s, colored by Marte Garcia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, designs by Tom Muller, published by Marvel Comics)
Dang, it feels like this event only just began and after reading this penultimate issue (the final issue of House of X with this week’s final issue of Powers of X being the conclusion of both that series and the event) I can already say I’m going to miss it. Hickman’s story has not only been compelling enough to make me buy a weekly comic but one that brought me back into the X-Men fold while making me want to continue along the journey for at least one or two of the many titles to come in the aftermath of whatever happens this Wednesday. And I CANNOT WAIT to be there for it all. Here, Xavier, with Magneto and Moira at his side, tells the world’s humans of the wondrous offerings he has for them…and the price humanity must pay to attain them. It’s not a great price, but it is a price none-the-less. We also see the first meeting of the Quiet Council of Krakoa, with all but one member—the mysterious “Red King”—in attendance, as they draw up their first laws and pass down their first judgment for a grievous crime. Then, the mutants celebrate. Not a single punch is thrown, not one mutant power is fired against another mutant or human. It is almost all talking and revelry and because of Hickman’s masterful pacing and characterizations, senseless brawling would have greatly diminished the impact of this issue. During Xavier’s address to the world, I could not help but mutter aloud “Oh my god, what?!” as I could not believe what was actually going down and that Xavier was the one actually leading the charge. I can’t remember the last time a Marvel comic has left me pondering the transpirings within its pages and, man, do I have questions: Who is the Red King? Why has Moira been so utterly quiet for the past few issues after being such a major component of the first quarter of the event? What happened in Moira’s 6th timeline? Why do we continue to not see Xavier’s face? Has Doug Ramsey somehow infected Krakoa with technology? What about Krakoa’s sibling and the original Four Horsemen? I’m sure I will have other questions come to mind and ideas as to what has happened and what is going to happen as I go about the days leading up to new comic Wednesday, and that is where the true power of this series lies; it remains with you long after setting the book down. I can already imagine December’s hardcover collection sitting upon my favorite shelf.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Immortal Hulk #24

(Written by Al Ewing; illustrated by Joe Bennett; inked by Ruy Jose, Belardino Brabo, Marc Deering, and Roberto Poggi; colored by Paul Mounts, published by Marvel Comics)
The Immortal Hulk is still my favorite current Marvel series. If you had told me I would be saying that a few years ago, I would have laughed in your face. “Ha ha ha, look at me, I’m laughing in your face!” In fact, a few years ago, I wasn’t buying any Marvel comics. None. Now, I’m grooving with The Hulk, The X-Men, Venom, The Guardians of the Galaxy, The Silver Surfer and I am loving them all. The Immortal Hulk is everything and more that Ewing promised before the first issue debuted: a supernatural, horror-tinged comic about a former “superhero.” This title is unnerving from one moment to the next as it embraces legitimate scares and even body horror as The Hulk combats General Fortean who has been fused into the body of The Abomination to form an acid-spewing, hands-for-a-face…well, Abomination. The fight is as brutal as it is disgusting as The Hulk tears away his melting flesh and flings the caustic bits at the hapless enemy soldiers. That said, this isn’t usually the type of thing I like or enjoy seeing despite my love of good horror, but Ewing perfectly fits these gross-out moments into various scenes and does not linger or go overboard on them. Something shocking happens. You gasp. The story moves on before you have time to dwell. And nothing gives these sequences more intensity than Bennett’s oh-so-gorgeous art. Not even four inkers—yes, I noticed variations in the slightly different look of the pages—can detract from the beauty (even during the more grotesque imagery) of his storytelling, designs, and character acting. One word of warning: When you get to the page with the credits, this is not the ending. You still have a few pages of disturbing visuals and moments leading into the next chapter of this amazing comic that I still cannot believe Marvel allowed to come into being. Thank goodness they did. You can and should catch up with the four available trades or the soon-to-be-released hardcover.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Green Lantern #12

(Written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Liam Sharp, colored by Steve Oliff, lettered by Tom Orzechowski, published by DC Comics)
Yup. I’m not completely certain of what the hell is going on in this comic. I’m still really liking it, though. As far as I can tell, this “Qwa-Man” monstrosity is an anti-matter universe version of Hal Jordan and the only reason our Hal Jordan doesn’t explode upon contact with this adversary is because of his power ring’s shield. There’s an anti-matter, good guy Sinestro (who’s still kind of a dick), imposter Green Lanterns, and a giant guy roaming around killing alternate universe heroes…or something. Oh, then Hal Jordan gets rescued by the Blackstars but, unfortunately, Hal is dying because of his injuries and his only hope of survival is to embrace the wish of Controller Mu. Ummm, okay, sure. Sharp’s tremendous art continues to be the main draw of the comic, as the vast amount of detail in both foreground and background is stunning and reminds me of the best times of ’80s-era Heavy Metal Magazine art. Anyhow, I’m still digging whatever is going on in this comic and will be there for the six-issue Blackstars miniseries and for the second season of The Green Lantern whenever it returns. If you are down with some truly senses-shattering art and a mind-bending story to boot, then you should pick up the first of two hardcover collections and see if you can grock what is going on better than I do.


That’s all for this week, Denizens. I have a month of birthday festivities ahead of me and they simply will not wait. See you next time!




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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 9/28/2019

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/brewpuppy Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It was a fairly slim new release week at the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) this week, but what we lacked in quantity of comics, we more than made up for with quality and what quality there was! We’re also excited for our favorite month of the year. Not only because next week is my birthday, but it is the month of pumpkin-flavored everything (thank you, Trader Joes!) including pumpkin ales/porters/stouts, scary comics and movies and television shows, and (hopefully) a cooling off of the weather. It also means that it’s time for me to bust out the House of Mystery Bronze Age Omnibus I have been patiently waiting to read for this very season. Do you have a special Halloween-time comic you are waiting to read? If so, which one(s)? Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing beer (or 15+ beer samples) and some BBQ, sit back, and afterward 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



Powers of X #5

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, written by R.B. Silva, colored by Marte Garcia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, designs by Tom Muller, published by Marvel Comics)
I can’t believe there are only two issues remaining of this amazing Marvel event that looks to not only restart the X-verse, but also bring this Donist back into the fold on at least a couple of titles that drop before the dust has a chance to settle. I’m still on shaky ground with the X3 moments (that’s 1000 years in the future from the time the story takes place), but the other time periods—X0, X1, X2, or rather year one, year 10, year 100—continue to rock my world. As I keep mentioning, the revelations of Moira MacTaggert’s mutant ability have been playing through my mind for well over a month now, and last week’s revelation behind Professor Xavier’s project involving the “Five” also sent my mind on a trip of wonderment that I haven’t yet had time to recover from. Now, here, Hickman hits us with the Cerebro/Xavier system of backing up mutant minds and although it is bonkers insane, it is somewhat steeped in reality in regard to how data files are backed up incrementally and as a whole. Here Xavier works with Forge to hammer out a system to back up the minds of every mutant in the world and it is fascinating in what is necessary to pull off such a venture. The twists don’t stop there as Xavier, Magneto, and Emma Frost devise a distribution system to distribute Krakoa-created pharmaceuticals that the non-mutant populace will forever need, as the trio, more importantly, devise a council of 12 mutants who will be the first government of Krakoa; we learn of four of the mutants who will have a seat while gaining a glimpse at one or two other possible future members. Everything is painstakingly thought out by Hickman and expertly brought to life by Silva and Gracia is both compelling storytelling and dramatic scenes. One thing you do not see much of in HoXPoX is mutants punching mutants/villains/heroes/etc., which is certain to turn off some readers as will the complexity of the mutliple storylines and timelines and mysteries as to what has happened, what is happening, what will happen in the future, and where it will all lead, but for readers like myself, I am loving every moment of it all. If you aren’t buying the 12 issues and are waiting to purchase the oversized hardcover (I will be double-dipping) come December, just know that eight X-Books are set to release upon completion of HoXPoX and it’s looking like having a handle on these events in this maxiseries will be helpful before diving into what is to come. Plus, it’s really damn good.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Black Science #43

(Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Mateo Scalera, colored by Moreno Dinisio, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Briah Skelly, published by Image Comics)
And with that, Black Science comes to its conclusion. The series first appeared in November 2013 (or thereabouts) and was one that instantly pulled me in with the promise of travel to strange, parallel worlds, but it quickly morphed to be about family and the baggage we carry with us that we allow to harm ourselves and our relationships as we rinse, recycle, and repeat, seemingly unable to break the negative cycles that plague us. Never fear, though, there are plenty of death cult millipedes, trolls, monsters, and time travelers with rayguns to keep things exciting. I’ve enjoyed the series from beginning to end and although some issues and arcs had greater high points than others, the journey was worth it. Scalera’s art took me one issue to get used to—Grant’s super-pointy nose—but I was in love by the time issue I had issue two in my hand and now worship ground/page the man’s pencils/inks touch. If you never read this thrilling series from Remender and Scalera, then you can easily read the entire shebang through the nine trades (ninth drops near the beginning of November) or wait until you can find a copy of the hardcovers).
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!


Deadly Class #40

(Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Wes Craig, colored by Justin Boyd, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Briah Skelly, production by Erika Schnatz, published by Image Comics)
Maria and Saya reunited! Master Lin knows Saya lives! That alone is reason enough for Deadly Class fans to pick up this issue, but that’s only the first seven pages. The rest of the issue follows metal-head Helmut and skate-rat Tosahwi as they go to find Helmut’s deceased girlfriend Petra’s parents in hopes of discovering what it is they did to her to cause her so much emotional damage. Spoiler alert: the pair kind of find out and it isn’t pretty. This issue kicks off a new and exciting story arc that Helmut fans like myself will love, especially given the insanity of what Helmut and Tosahwi find out in the quiet suburbs of Petra’s hometown. Deadly Class continues to be a blast and if you are as devastated by the cancelation of the television show after one season as I am, then there is no better remedy than reading this always great comic. You can, as of this writing, pick up the eight available trades or supersize on the two hardcovers, just be sure you read this series in one form or another.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s if for this week, Denizens, my puppy executive team and I are off to hit up the California Brew and BBQ Festival today before coming back to dive into some great comics. See you next time and thanks for reading!


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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 9/20/2019

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/snapping out of the bummers Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). We’re going to keep today’s intro short as it was kind of a weird week. Nothing bad happened, but nothing good happened either. It was mostly a thing of feeling overwhelmed and reading too much into things that weren't a real thing both in home life and work life. Who knows, maybe it was the flu shot I received or maybe it’s that I haven’t had more than a couple of days off this year where I could totally relax mentally and physically. I think my puppy executive team and I deserve a vacation…someday…soon. Anyhow, get out of your head, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing water (or a beer or two) and some kale chips (or delicious tortilla chips and salsa), sit back, and afterward 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



House of X #5

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Pepe Lara’s, colored by Marte Garcia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, designs by Tom Muller, published by Marvel Comics)
This one was promised to be a major turning point in the House of X / Powers of X event and boy howdy is it ever. We already had the revelations stemming from Moira MacTaggert’s newly revealed mutant power—a mutant power that still has my thoughts whirring with what would I do if I had this ability?—and now we finally understand what we first viewed back in House of X #1 when Professor Xavier (if it actually is him) stands amongst a group of naked mutants newly hatched from golden eggs. Boom. Bop. Pow. My mind is blown yet again and I absolutely love this new revelation. Now, I’m not going to spoil exactly what is going on with this major plot point—it seems every comic site on the internet is all too eager to do that—but I will say that seeing Apocalypse come into the fold was both shocking and exciting and succeeded in raising my interest in continuing with the X-Men after this fantastic event concludes. I’m also somewhat traumatized by the supplemental material (which you absolutely should NOT skip) regarding Proteus and what it costs him to be part of Professor Xavier’s plan; it’s kind of messed up. Only three issues are left and I am dying with anticipation of how this is all going conclude, and that House of X/Powers of X hardcover that drops in December is looking to be a must-have for the ol’ favorite bookshelf. Can I be any clearer on how much I am loving this event comic, Denizens? If you are a Jonathan Hickman fan and are excited by a complex, intense, and thought-provoking X-Men comic, then you simply must read this excellent series.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Absolute Carnage #3

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Ryan Stegman, inked by JP Mayer, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
I’m a bit confused by the turn of events when someone amidst the group of gathered superheroes turns out to be Carnage in disguise. Maybe I missed a clue from a previous panel or maybe a hint was dropped last issue, but, hey, you sometimes just have to go with the gooey symbiote flow. Anyhow, Absolute Carnage is still a blast and I’m eager to see how the final two issues wrap things up. Stegman’s art continues to be heavenly with pulse-raising action, tense dramatic sequences, and legitimate moments of horror. I also have to make a correction to an earlier post where I mentioned that Sleeper is a new character. It turns out that he appeared a few years ago and was actually fairly heroic; that said, I have no idea how he became a cat in the three panels in which he actually appears. So, yes, I am still enjoying this fun event book and if you have been loving Cates and Stegman’s Venom then you definitely should be reading this five-issue miniseries.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Guardians of the Galaxy #9

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Cory Smith, inked by Victor Olazaba, colored by David Curial, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics)
What do you know…I only bought three books this week and all three were Marvel and I liked them all. Prior to the past two years, months would go by with no new Marvel comics gracing my pull list. Now, nary a week goes by without one. And for good reason. Cates’s Guardians of the Galaxy has been a groovy ride since the first issue and I am currently loving the return of the Universal Church of Truth and Rocket Raccoon’s plight but I do have some reservations concerning what is about to happen now that Kid Magus has made his appearance. I’m never a fan of when characters become kidicized, and I was really hoping to see Adam Warlock/Magus (the adult version) make an appearance, but we all know I ain’t gonna leave this book anytime soon; I trust Cates to deliver a dang fine GotG book. There’s also a huge final page reveal regarding who is in the main cocoon that was being raised by the Church of Universal Truth…I’m also not certain about this either but, again, In Cates We Trust. If you are a lapsed Guardians fan or are interested in the current state of Marvel’s cosmic comics, then you can and should catch up with the first trade.
RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for now, Denizens. This slug is heading out to go for a run and shake off the doldrums of the past week. Heck, I might even set aside a few hours today to continue my reread of the tremendous Chew series from Image. Thank you for reading.



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Monday, September 16, 2019

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 9/13/2019

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/three-day-weekend thriller Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). We are a bit late, later than usual that is. Not only are we nowhere near Friday, it’s past Saturday and Sunday even. The truth is that my puppy executive team and I are taking a three-day weekend and closing the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) this Monday so a handy can come and fix three doors and do some of the much-needed maintenance that we would definitely bollocks up if we attempted to do the upkeep ourselves. We are corporate masterminds, Denizens, the idea-men (and woman). Our strengths lie not in the practicalities of real-life situations that could potentially keep us alive—like being able to actually make the damn stuck door close—we traverse in the worlds of the mind and of corporate strategy…yeah, I’m not buying that nonsense either, in a zompacalypse we would be toast. Anyhow, take a breath, let your shoulders relax, grab a refreshing water (or a beer or two) and some kale chips (or delicious tortilla chips and salsa), sit back, and afterward 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




Powers of X #4

(Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by R.B. Silva, inked by R.B. Silva and Adriano di Benedetto, colored by Marte Gracia, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, design by Tom Miller, published by Marvel Comics)
Once again, we get a non-red timeline issue in Hickman’s tremendous Powers of X and House of X mutant event run that seems pretty dang important to the X-Men’s world to me. Which means that this coming week’s House of X #5 will most likely rock our collective worlds. Here we learn that Krakoa has a sibling locked away somewhere along with a group of guardians long since thought gone; this can’t be good. We also see Xavier and Magneto’s first meeting with Mister Sinister and how they succeeded in bringing the ethically-challenged, mutant geneticist into the fold. Years later, Xavier arrives on Krakoa with Doug Ramsey, aka Cypher, so the younger man can use his powers and converse with the living island, continuing to move Moira MacTaggert’s plans for her 10th life along while hopefully saving mutantkind. As for the X3 distant future timeline, I’m going to have to read all of that again and again and again to hopefully figure out what the heck is going on there. So, yeah, I’m still thoroughly invested in what is—shockingly enough to me—an event book I am not only enjoying but one that has me counting the days to the next new comic book day. With only four issues left and the next supposed to be a doozy, I am thrilled to say I have no idea how this is all going to wrap up and that is a fantastic place to be. If you are waiting for a collected edition of this grand epic, or if you are like me and are excited to double-dip for a hardcover edition for your favorite bookshelf, then you are going to have to wait until the end of December to make it a truly Merry X-Men X-Mas.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Silver Surfer Black #4

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Tradd Moore, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
This penultimate issue of the exciting and gorgeous Silver Surfer Black has one glaring, soul-crushing problem: it is the penultimate issue. I love this book. I love this book. I love this book. Five issues will nowhere be enough to satisfy my need for more of Marvel’s experimental, groovy, mindbending, tripadelic journey through the cosmos. The Silver Surfer still needs the help of a young Ego the Living Planet in his quest to stop Knull, the God of the Symbiotes, but he will first have to extract a certain “malady” from Ego’s core else there will be no Ego to provide any form of future aid. Unfortunately, what lies at Ego’s core will torment the Surfer with one of the direst decisions of his entire existence. I would buy this book and love its weirdness on Cates’s story alone, but oh my goodness gracious this is one of the most visually magnificent comics currently hitting the stands. Moore’s art is something that has to be seen to be believed, and once you actually see it, it will send you on an optical trip, unlike anything you’ve been on before. This is also due in no small part to Stewart’s vibrant flat color schemes which are certain to amaze. Silver Surfer Black is going to be another X-Mas time beauty that will spring to life as an oversized must-have collection that will need to be displayed front and foremost on your favorite bookshelf. That said, don’t wait, buy the issues before the collection drops, you won’t be sorry you did. And, again, we need some dang Tradd Morre Silver Surfer blacklight posters, by golly.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice #3

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Michael Walsh, lettered by Nate Piekos, published by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics)
This is 100% the book I never knew I wanted and it is 100% the book I need. Black Hammer/Justice League is so very odd and contrary to anything I can imagine DC actually allowing to happen. But the thing is, they and Dark Horse have had some equally insane intercompany crossovers in the past and in Lemire and Walsh’s very capable hands this swapped worlds superhero tale hits on every level. I especially love the moments when Golden Gale hits on the various members of the Justice League and how uncomfortable they are with it. Equally fun are John Stewart and Colonel Weird working together to try to save a JL member at risk of making a terrible, life-threatening mistake. The ending couple of pages, however, sealed the deal by eliciting an audible gasp from me and now I nervously await the next installment of this five-issue miniseries. If you’ve never read the Donist World Darling that is Black Hammer then you best get on it, as it is one of the best series to drop in the past decade. That said, this is one oddball event you should not miss.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Venom #18

(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Iban Coello, colored by Rain Beredo, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
This issue briefly dips its big toe into the pool that is the origin story of the new symbiote on the block: Sleeper. Sure, homie shows up outta nowhere from the depths of outer space to journey to Earth to meet the arrival of Knull the God of the Symbiotes and to aid in his defeat. The character is cool and expertly designed by Coello and I am not going to spoil this character’s secret identity other than to say it’s completely messed up; I would expect nothing less from yet another great Cates’s story. Anyhow, yes, this is an Absolute Carnage tie-in, but it doesn’t completely feel like it is as neither the title character nor the main adversary ever show up, not even once. But that is fine. I’m still enjoying both this comic and the event quite a bit.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


That’s it for this late installment of your friendly neighborhood Friday Slice post, but I will definitely see you next time. Thank you for reading. 




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