Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 2/25/2011

Hi Mom.  Hi Obie the Boston Terrier.  Welcome back to Donist World, the number one blog written about Donist World, by Donist World.  This week happened to be jam packed with exciting comics, some old, some new and one that has me scrambling to find missing issues.  So, let's do this thing...

Friday Slice of Heaven

The Sixth Gun #7 - Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press.  The main issue I have with this book is that immediately after reading the first TPB of The Sixth Gun Volume 1, I had to scramble to find the following floppies of issue number seven and eight in time before issue nine was released.  This week, I found issue seven waiting for me at my LCS, but no eight and no nine.
Along with The Stuff of Legend, Sweet Tooth, and Morning Glories, The Sixth Gun continues to be one of my favorite books on the stand. This issue picks up after the Battle of the Maw and the defeat of General Hume and his ghastly followers.  Drake Sinclair is struggling with the weight of possessing four of the six magic guns, the untimely death of his friend (now a mud me on this) and the burden of hiding General Humes's now twice-dead body.  Becky Montcrief and Drake have a disagreement when Drake refuses to discuss the past battle, and she ends up meeting a handsome, sharp-shooting cowboy after Drake storms off to search a haunted bayou.
Compelling, well-paced, beautifully illustrated and damn entertaining, The Sixth Gun is unlike anything I have ever read.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
*Note-Cullen Bunn recently announced that he had quit his day job to focus 100% on writing.  I hope this means that The Sixth Gun goes weekly, because waiting between issues is a painful prospect.  C'mon Brian Hurtt, four issues a month?  That's doable right?

The Sixth Gun #7

Sweet Tooth #17 and 18 - Written and illustrated by Jeff Lemire, published by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint.  My LCS pulled through again by securing a copy of issue number seventeen, which I had missed after my switch from trade waiting to floppies.  I have been sitting on issue eighteen for a month now and the wait to read it was killing me, but I heard that seventeen saw some crazy shit go down.  I heard right.  Oh man, what a gut punch of an issue.
I'm not going to spoil this other than to say that the two-way assault on the compound was insane, Jepperd hears what he does not want to hear and everyone sees something that they don't want to see.  How's that for vague.  Dang.  The reveal was unexpected, what happens is terrifying, the emotional reaction is saddening and the implications for future issues is...horrific.  Lemire does an incredible job of portraying emotion and shock while pulling the reader right into the mess with the characters.  Great issue.
Also great was issue number eighteen, which had a horizontal layout and seemed like a children's book at times, but where seventeen was beyond heavy, eighteen succeeded in lightening the mood...slightly.
I cannot wait to see where Sweet Tooth is going and I am happy, and a tad scared, of where Lemire's tale is headed.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Sweeth Tooth 17
Sweet Tooth 18

Morning Glories #7 - Written by Nick Spencer and illustrated by Joe Eisma, published by Image Comics.  This time around, Zoe, the mean-spirtited and beautiful student, takes most of the spotlight with reveals of her messed up past.  There is also the small matter of something screwed up happening at the academy that will hopefully be explained later.  True to the original series's elevator pitch of "Lost meets The Runaways (Marvel's Brian K. Vaughan series)" this issue goes into Lost territory by revealing little and adding on heaps more questions.  But I do not mind.  Morning Glories is highly entertaining despite my not knowing what the hell is going on, which is half the fun.  My one criticism of this issue is that the art seemed a little rushed, but not to the point of annoyance.  I'm about due to reread this wonderful series from the beginning.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Morning Glories #7

Echoes #3 - Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrated by Rahsan Ekedal, published by Minotaur, a Top Cow imprint.  Issue three continues Brian Cohn's uncertainty over the concern that he might be a serial killer just like his recently deceased father.  Brian continues to grapple with his schizophrenia and his doubts as to whether or not he is responsible for a missing girl; a girl he noticed the previous day.  This issue focuses on Brian's decision to call Detective Robert Neville and turn himself in for some recent possible murders that he may or may not have committed.  
A highly entertaining and equally disturbing book that is well worth picking up.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Echoes #3

The Comics Experience and Some Bragging - I have to do this as both a plug for the Comics Experience Comic Creators Workshop and for my excitement about my latest comic short script being chosen to be critiqued by phenomenal comics writer Jim McCann (Return of the Dapper Men and Hawkeye and Mockingbird).  For this past Tuesday's meeting, we were joined by Jim McCann--an incredibly good-natured and open person--to listen to him tell of his work as a marketer and a comic book writer.  The opportunities available through this online class are second to none and have helped me not only as a comic book writer, but as a writer on a whole.  
Here's to hoping Mr. McCann tears me and my script a new can only help.

Slice Into the Woods

Chloe Being Hit By a Car - Fuck.  This absolutely kills me and I did not even know the dog that well other than our two brief meetings, but Tulip's mother was hit by a car and died this past week.  I know Tulip has no idea about what happened to her mother, since we took her as an eight-week-old puppy almost two years ago, but I had hoped that maybe she could meet her mother again one day.  That won't happen now.  It's shocking and terrifying how much a pet can become part of the family and how much joy they can bring to your life and then something like this happens.  Chloe was a sweet dog, and I am thankful that she gave life to my sweet little Tulip.  So very sad.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 2/18/2011

Man, it has been about a week and a half of illness, and my head still feels like it weighs double what it should.  I'm finally able to do complex mathematical equations like five times five equals...ummm....wait, I got this...NO, hold on...I can do it.  Twenty...oh, great!  Thanks my best friends' Boston Terrier, Obie.  I would have said twenty five if you had let me.  You jerk.  At least I have opposable thumbs and can pick up a chew toy with something other than my mouth.  What?!  Okay, you're right.  That was too far.  I'm sorry, Obie, you just...look, you just hurt my feelings by not letting me answer the question on my own.  I mean a dog should not beat me at simple times tables.  Look, let me say I'm sorry by telling you about...

Slice of Heaven

Secret Six: Cats in the Cradle - Written by Gail Simone (and a story by John Ostrander) and illustrated by J. Calafiore, published by DC Comics.  At a time when I am considering discontinuing all of the Big Two superhero books--with the exception of Heroes for Hire--in marches Gail Simone's always excellent Secret Six.  This latest volume takes the character of Thomas Blake and escalates his violent tendencies to the point of cruelty and torture, but that is not the harshest part of this TPB.  That moment is reserved for the beginning of the second issue where Catman makes an incredibly fucked up decision for a terrible situation.  I'm not going to give this one away, just know that it is dire and you will be sucked in.  Also included is an okay story by John Ostrander and an odd little "Elseworldsesque" tale placing the Secret Six in the old west, which was an odd choice, but Simone pulls the story off and I enjoyed it; needless to say it too was fucked up.  Every single TPB in this fun and disturbing series--even the ones that get wrapped up in events--are well worth the price of admission and I am considering going to floppies.  Recommended.  

Secret Six: Cats in the Cradle
Secret Six: Cats in the Cradle

The Goon Volume 10: Death's Greedy Comeuppance - Written and illustrated by Eric Powell, published by Dark Horse comics.  Oh man, here we go again.  This volume boasts hobo gods, rape gorillas (you have to read it), a silent issue told with rebus rhymes, the entire Buzzard mini series and an appearance by Eric Powell, a morality spewing Mr. T robot and director/writer Frank Darabont.  No.  I am not kidding, but if you have read the ever clever The Goon, than you are no stranger to the odd, wonderfully imaginative stories of Eric Powell and his gorgeous art.  Would I recommend this book as a good jumping on point?  Sure, but why would you do that.  Go back and and start at volume 1 if you can find's being reissued later this year.  Highly recommended, now go and buy it ya handsome lugs.

Goon Volume 10: Death's Greedy Comeuppance (Goon (Graphic Novels))
The Goon Volume 10: Death's Greedy Comeuppance

The Ghost Rider by Jason Aaron Omnibus - Written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Roland Boschi, Tan Eng Huat and Tony Moore, published by Marvel Comics.  I bought this book for many reasons: my deep admiration for Jason Aaron, nostalgia over my obsession with this character in the 70's when I was a kid, a Borders credit that was burning a hole in my pocket (and a worry that Borders would not be there tomorrow) and some positive reviews that I had read along the way.  Overall a lot of fun and a good decision to buy.  
Basically, someone is killing the Ghost Riders around the world and a rogue angel has set his sights on the kingdom of heaven and Johnny Blaze will do whatever it takes to stop him.  A long overarching story with a few great one-offs thrown in for good measure, this was an enjoyable read.  Tailor made for those who are suckers for The Ghost Rider like me.

Ghost Rider by Jason Aaron Omnibus
Ghost Rider by Jason Aaron Omnibus

How to Train Your Dragon Blu-Ray - I cannot give this movie enough praise.  Visually stunning, engaging characters, beautiful character designs and a believable story containing understandable conflicts with real repercussions. This movie had it all.  The dragon "Toothless" is adorable while still maintaining a degree of menace and his movement simultaneously pulls from that of cats and dogs yet he remains a separate and distinct creature in its own right.  The humorous bits were not too over the top and where I was usually yawning through past Dreamworks films that was never the case here.  I am already anticipating returning to this amazing world of dragons and vikings.  A must own blu-ray and I very highly recommend this movie.  Great family fare, but some parts could be scary for some youngsters who can't handle such things but then again, they should probably stick with Dora the Explorer, and The Pokemans or play in the mud.  

How to Train Your Dragon (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Dragon Double Pack) [Blu-ray]
How to Train Your Dragon

Slice Into the Woods

This Wicked Illness - Land's sake alive.  When the fuck will I be better?  


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To All the Concerts I Loved Before - Part 11

Damn.  Almost near the end of this lengthy Donist World concert history extravaganza.  I'm guessing about one or two more entries after this then I will have to delve into something else.  Maybe the intricacies of competitive goat herding, the heated debates surrounding alternative shoe-tying techniques and reported sharktopus sightings.  The sky's the limit here at Donist World and we're here to bring my mom and my best friends' dog the news they want, when they want it.

*I'm still floored sick, so let's hope I make sense...hell, the illness will probably have the unintended effect of making my writing better than usual; here's to hoping.

Brazilian Girls at The Fillmore, July 9, 2005 - Amy and I went to this concert that just happened to coincide with our in state vacation of traveling up the California coast for ten days and staying in places like Santa Cruz, Monterey and Big Sur.  The Brazilian Girls were gaining a lot of attention around this time and after my brother and my failed attempt to see them in Santa Monica earlier that year I was proactive and bought the tickets in advance after a search on a whim for concerts during our vacation.
We were joined by Amy's good friend, Tara, who I adore, and we bought our drinks and set in for a great show.  The girls were more interested in catching up than watching the band so they went to the balcony area and I stayed on the packed floor for a great, although, short performance.  I can't really complain about the length of the show as they were touring for their eponymous debut album Brazilian Girls.  They performed great dance numbers and the crowd loved them as did I.  Overall a very fun show.

Hot Hot Heat at the Ventura Theatre, July 30, 2005 - I went to this show for Amy's sake and although I was not overly familiar with the band, Hot Hot Heat kicked out an energetic set in support of their Elevator album.  My main problem was that the sound system sucked ass and was crackling, popping and buzzing for the entire set.  Again, a good show, and not my usual cup of tea, but then again I won't skip the album when it pops up on shuffle in iTunes.

Bright Eyes at the Santa Barbara Bowl, October 22, 2005 - Okay, I realize that I might be putting my life in jeopardy by enraging young girls that love this guy with what I'm about to say.  I do not enjoy Bright Eyes.  There, I said it.  Maybe that's a little bit harsh.  I like some Bright Eyes music, but most of it is not for me.  Maybe it's the vocal style or the majority of the songs themselves, but again it's just not for me.  My wife and all of our friends who went to the show disagree with me on this point.
Something I should point out to those unfamiliar with the Santa Barbara Bowl is that it is an open air venue and all the shows are "Rain or Shine."  As luck would have it, it was fucking freezing and drizzling throughout the night, but that was not my main complaint.  *Hold on a second, let me make sure the rabid teenage girls are not lurking outside yet...Okay, we're clear*  The biggest problem was the god damn teens screaming their bloody guts out for the entire show.  "I love you Connor...AAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!" is what I heard the entire time even though Mr. Oberst had the damn amps cranked to eleven.  The girls wailed the lyrics at the tops of their lungs and just screamed through much of the honestly great set.  If only Oberst knew that he could have commanded the throngs of teens to take to the streets and pillage and burn Santa Barbara in his name.  It would probably go a little something like this:
"I...I...I...hello, Santa Barbara."
"Um...I...I...I...I am happy to be here..."
"Th-thank you very much.  Um...I...I have a request.  Would you like to hear it?"
"Oh.  Th-that's nice.  Um...I could really use some economy destroying gold bullion from your banks downtown.  Would you be as to...g-get some for me.  If...if you do, I'll write a song just especially for you.  P-please."
If he had done this, the Bowl would have emptied out and within an hour Santa Barbara would have been burning and Bright Eyes himself would need an extra trailer to haul away all of his gold.
Joking aside, it was a good show and would have been better if the teens would have kept their yappers shut long enough to actually hear the songs.  The performance, however, did not have the perception-changing effect that Built to Spill had on me, but I definitely have a respect for the man and the band, even if the music is not my favorite.

Oh shit...did you hear that?  It's the teens.  They've already heard that I have insulted their god.  I...I got to get out of here.  Oh no.  They have the joint surrounded.  You'll never take me alive teenage girls!  NEVER!  ...huh...not all of you are teenagers anymore.  Makes sense since the show was five and a half years ago, so I'll just apologize and be on my way...  Wait, you're an attorney now and you're still mad that I don't like Bright Eyes?  Put the pitchforks and torches down...please...

Now, at least I didn't knock Mr. Justin Biebs, even I am not that crazy.  Although I will say that I am proud to be a non-Beleeber and think that the only good Biebs song is the one that was slowed down 200x.  Oh no, now I've offended the pre-teens.  RUN!

More next time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 2/11/2011

Hello all you happy people.  I've been pretty damn sick this week, so forgive me if I start talking crazy radishes about grunion hoarding dog parks when I actually mean to be discussing meat pots that cook snowy plovers.  You know what I mean?  Man...I love you Thera-Flu, you're my favorite gladiator jello!

Friday Slice of Heaven

The Sixth Gun Volume 1 TP - Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press.  Last week I said that I wished I had called in sick to work so that I could read this immensely entertaining book straight through.  When a newly risen General Oleander Hume is drug from a well by his four warped minions and his psychotic bride, the dark group seeks to find the sixth gun, the most powerful of the six and key to releasing unspeakable horror.  Luckily the sixth gun falls into the hands of Becky Montcrief, a farm girl, who is now permanently linked to the weapon that gives her the gift/curse of seeing into the future.  Throw in the enigmatic Drake Sinclair, who is anything but a hero, and you have a fast-paced, exciting and intricately woven book.  Brian Hurtt's art is equally magnificent and perfectly sets the mood of the story.
I have gone to floppies from here on out, and I am in the process of tracking down issues seven and eight before issue nine is released; there is no way I am waiting for the second volume to be released in July.
The Sixth Gun is the future of comics and it is now one of my most anticipated books, up there with The Stuff of Legend, Morning Glories and Sweet Tooth.  Highly recommended!

The Sixth Gun Volume 1 TP
The Sixth Gun

Freakangels, Vol. 3 - Written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield, published by Avatar Press.  This book just keeps getting better and better.  From the back, "25 years ago, twelve strange children were born in England at exactly the same time.  6 years ago, the world ended.  Today, eleven strange 23-year-olds are living in and defending Whitechapel, maybe the last real settlement in flooded London.  This is the story of what happened next."  This volume focuses on a very bad thing that Luke, one of the Freakangles, has done, and the horrific murder that has occurred within the borders of Whitechapel and Kaitlyn is determined to find the culprit.  The book also ends on a cliffhanger that has me scrambling to get the fourth volume.  Ellis has set up a wonderful world that continues to suck me in.  The only thing that bothers me--and this might be a web thing--is the four panel layout on every single page.  Probably just me, but the layout is just too organized, mixing it up some might help, but like I said this might be a web formatting issue as a new page is posted free every week at   Regardless, this is a great read.  Check it out online and then support the creators by buying the book and some gear!  Recommended!

Freakangels, Vol. 3
Freakangels, Vol. 3

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents - Written by Nick Spencer and illustrated by Cafu with George Perez, published by DC Comics.  Nick Spencer's awesome revamping of the THUNDER Agents book continues with an issue focusing on Eric Lindahl, codenamed Dynamo and introduces (maybe) the traitor in the midst working for SPIDER.  Fantastic dialogue and deliberate pacing that matches Spencer's other great book Morning Glories, THUNDER Agents continues to be a fun read every month that I suspect not enough people are reading.  Pick it up for a superhero story set outside of the regular DC Universe.  Recommended.


Heroes For Hire # 3 - Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and illustrated by Brad Walker, published by Marvel Comics.  At a time when I am about ready to drop two more mainstream superhero books, which would bring the count almost to zero, this gem comes along to keep me in the game.  Misty Knight continues to put superheroes on the street and thwarting the baddies, but as Paladin--a not quite a hero character--discovers, Misty may not actually be the one pulling the strings.  Keeping his calm, Paladin begins tailing those most closely associated with Misty until he gains the unhappy attention of Iron Fist.  This issue also sees Moon Knight losing trust in Misty, strippers from the Savage Land and dinosaurs.  Sounds hokey, I know, but trust me, this is a book to be reading.  Recommended!

Heroes For Hire #3

Slice Into the Woods

The Hemorrhaging of Cash Just Does Not End - Okay, goddammit!  What the hell is going on?!?  Not only do we have the supposed $3200 tax bill, $300 plumbing bill that the Housing Association SHOULD be responsible for, the $250 portion I have to pay for the cracked bumper that was not my fault, $325 bucks tax preparation fee, etc, etc.  Then, after an annoying Tuesday in general, my car will not start and the battery is toast.  A quick call to Geico, my third in as many months, got me going and I dropped the car off at the repair place, which informs me that I am long overdue for the major maintenance.  I knew the maintenance had to happen, but now was not the time, but fuck it, I pulled the trigger on it and a new battery to the tune of $475.00.  When it rains it pours.  Karma-wise I am due for a major lottery winning right about now.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 2/4/2011

Here at Donist World, our loyal staff of writers, finance department, marketing division, sales, and shipping-receiving, as well as a sizable intern pool--oh, the yummy, yummy interns--we strive to bring you (my mom and my friends' dog) the best in the odd twisted thoughts of Donist proportions on comic books, writing, the future, the present and the dark, dank, murky waters of the past for your reading entertainment. As such, Donist World will begin marketing our own unique Donist brand of product to help our two faithful readers through the rough times that are our current economic conundrum.  We will be selling these can't-live-without products starting...soon.  Preorders for the Donist World Topsy Tail, Donist World Commemorative Gold-Plated Dollar, and Donist World Freeze-Dried Chicken Snack Product will soon become available for the blog reader with a more discerning taste.  Wait for it!  Love it!  Worship it!  Donist World, the new fresh maker.

In the meantime, let's check out a mournfully brief...

Friday Slice of Heaven

Echoes #2 - Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrated by Rahsan Ekedal, published by Minotaur, a Top Cow imprint.  Echoes is the tale of Brian Cohn, a schizophrenic, struggling to cope with his disease and whose life takes a turn for the worst when his alzheimer's suffering father instructs Brian to find a box hidden in his home.  His father then dies leaving Brian questioning the importance of his father's dying wish and curious to answer the questions coming to mind.  
In issue one, Brian found the box, the contents of which contained things he rather would not have discovered.  The remains of missing children constructed into tiny little doll mementos lay within the box of a serial killer and Brian is left questioning his own unreliable mind and his memory of the man his father was.  Issue two sees a young girl go missing and the lead character's desperate attempt to keep his wits about him and questioning his own actions.  Painfully well paced, hauntingly illustrated and a mood that is perfect for those nights that you cannot sleep and wish not to sleep.  I cannot wait for the next issue. 

Echoes #2

The Sixth Gun Volume 1 TP - written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press.  Okay, not a full endorsement yet, as I have only read the first two issues of the six within this very recent release, but thus far I will be buying issues #7 and 8 at the comic store this weekend.  Instant TPB to floppies for this book and I have only read a quarter of the issues released thus far.  Practically every "Top Ten" listing for 2010 (check out mine here) listed The Sixth Gun as one of the best and most exciting books on the stand for the past year.  Now I have an inkling why.   
Briefly, as I will be talking about this one next Friday, The Sixth Gun is about six guns of immense diabolical power with the sixth being the most powerful.  Now linked to a young girl fighting for her life from four gun holders and the recently resurrected owner of the sixth gun who wants his weapon back.  Who owns the fifth gun has not yet been revealed, but I am sure it is coming.
Drake Sinclair, a most unscrupulous cowboy with intentions of his own, seeks to aid the girl.  A mixture of a great western and the Lord of the RingsThe Sixth Gun looks to truly be one of the best books of 2010.  Damn.  I am tempted to call in sick to work so that I can finish reading this awesome book.  A proper recommendation next week.
The Sixth Gun Volume 1 TP
The Sixth Gun

Finishing Things and Stuff - It's time for me to do some bragging here, folks.  For the past month and a half, I have been pretty damn busy working on all sorts of things, but here is the list of what I have been up to: 

1)  I completed the fourth draft of my first novel.
2)  I wrote two short comic scripts.  One was well-liked overall and the other was highly praised (probably next to be illustrated).  
3)  I lettered the art for my first comic script and submitted it to be included in a soon to be self-published anthology.  The artist is the wonderful J.C. Grande, who was a pleasure to work with.
4)  I found an immensely talented artist to illustrate, ink and color my second comic script.  Upon his completion of the work, I lettered the completed art and submitted in time for the contest for the Eagle Awards Initiative.  We did have some technical difficulties uploading the pages to the site, which nearly gave me a coronary, but with the aid of the fine people at the Eagle Awards Initiative, we were entered before the deadline.  Talk about record turnaround time and win/lose a great experience overall.  Fingers crossed.  Check out Juan Romera's page and have a look at some beautiful artwork.  
5)  I Started a new kid's book that I am anxious to get back to writing now that the lettering projects have been completed.
6)  I continued posting to Donist World...oh yeah!
7)  I continued critiquing scripts for my friends at the Comics Creators Workshop.
8)  I began planning on some other steps and collaborations that I will mention when the time is right.  :)

So, for all of those wondering what the hell I have been up to, and what rock I had dropped off of, well, there you go.  

Slice Into the Woods

Any "Restaurant" That Refers to a Food Item As a Product - Maybe it's just me, but the idea of going somewhere and ordering the company's newest chicken product, does not sound right in the slightest.  This just reeks of corporate douchebaggery and growth hormones, cloned beef or what have you.  Also why I have not touched a lick of fast food in the past eight to ten years...possibly longer.  Ewwwww...gross.

Our Latest Tax Owed Estimate -   Please tell me something has gone dreadfully wrong.  $3200+ dollars owed for taxes?  I increased withholding last year on state to avoid another $700 hit; we received a Federal refund last year.  Now we see a $2400 federal and $800 State taxes owed?  Wages have gone up slightly, but nothing warranting that large an increase and appropriate taxes were withheld on the additional income.  Our deductions decreased a bit but not that much.  Aren't we in a recession?  I'm not feeling very stimulated to buy anything all of a sudden.  There has to be a mistake somewhere.  Again, fingers crossed.