Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 3/25/2011

The power was out last night.  From the moment I walked through the door until sometime around 11:00PM when the lights that we had forgotten to turn off popped on.  We had no TV, no computer, no music.  I fully intended to take care of the goddamn property taxes, finish up a friend's taxes, and possibly get a head-start on the ol' FSoH/SItH (which sounds like something out of Star Wars), but it was not in the cards.  And you want to know something, mom and my best friends' dog, Obie, it was all right.  We cooked dinner on the gas stove by candlelight, ate at the kitchen table like grownups, and afterwards had a couple of beers and just talked.  Talked.  I had almost forgotten what that is like.
"As charming as that is, Donist, I didn't come here for some kind of treehuggin', Kenny-G-inspired romance fest, I came here for Friday Slice of Heaven by golly."
Well a good frickin', gosh-darned wakey-wakey, can't-wait-to-embrace-the-day-with-pasted-on-grin-as-opposed-to-a-grimace to you too, Obie the Boston Terrier.  So here you go you impatient little mongrel, it's...

Friday Slice of Heaven

The Stonekeeper's Curse (Amulet, Book 2)The Amulet Vol. 2 "The Stonekeeper's Curse" - Written and illustrated by Kazu Kibuishi, published by Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic.  Last week I began with the first volume of the wonderful The Amulet series, and sure enough I had to immediately have more.  I ran to the closest Borders to pick it up--no where else in town had it in stock--and rushed home to read.  The book continues where the first left off, only with even more beautiful artwork and a driving story that had me plowing through the pages.  Emi, Navin and their entourage of robots continue the search for a cure to the poison that threatens to kill the children's mother who was poisoned by a monster that looked like a cross between a squid and a frog or yak or something along those lines.  The group takes their robotic house (you just have to see it) for aid and meet new character Leon Redbone Redbeard (couldn't resist, that would be too weird though) an anthropomorphic, sword-weilding fox who mentors Emi in the use of the powerful amulet that threatens to take control of her.  This chapter also sees the group splitting, Navin finding his strength, assassin elves and deadly battles.  The art is even lovelier than the first installment and the story continues to enchant.  I already bought the third volume.  If you are a fan of Bone, you really cannot go wrong with this all-ages tale.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

The Sixth Gun #8 - Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press.  Okay...FINALLY I get this issue in hand and I am so thrilled to finally catch up.  We find Drake Sinclair, the mysterious gunman, in the middle of the swamp and finally finding the home of Henri Fournier, a wicked man who might hold the key to breaking the curse of the guns that afflicts Drake.  Becky Montcrief has another encounter with the all-too-charming Kirby Hale and a butler goes bad...really bad.  The Sixth Gun continues to be one of my top three comic books being published along with Sweet Tooth and The Stuff of Legend.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  Thankfully, I also was able to read...

The Sixth Gun #9 - Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press.  Good things come to those who wait, or at least to those who were forced to involuntarily wait longer than necessary, but at least I finally got the copy due to me.  Drake Sinclair and Gord Cantrell discuss the cursed guns and the vault that they naively attempted to open during the Battle of the Maw.  Kirby and Becky get better acquainted, and Woodmael the bad, bad butler gets...errr...badder and unleashes a hosts of wicked animals on the group.  The evil of the guns threatens to destroy the lives of everyone in their path as the allure of these most powerful weapons in existence draws all manner of people seeking to possess them.  Brian Hurtt's illustrations in this issue seem even tighter than what he has already expertly crafted in previous installments and Cullen Bunn continues to leave me immediately wanting more.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and not enough people are reading one of the best books being released.  Just try it won't be sorry that you did.

Who Is Jake Ellis? #2 - Written by Nathan Edmondson and illustrated by Tonci Zonjic, published by Image Comics.  Alright, just say it already.  "Why are you reviewing this now?  Doesn't number three come out next week?"  The answer is yes, it does, but my LCS hosed me on this issue and I am just now reading last month's installment of this great series.
This issue offers a squinted-eye glimpse into Jon Moore's past and his first encounter with Jake Ellis, who helps him escape from some manner of testing site.  In the present Jon escapes from the French and has a chance to interrogate one of the Americans with Jake's help.  Other than that, I'm not completely certain what the hell is going on, but I know that Edmondson has a definite end in mind and that when the series completes the readers will be left happy...this isn't the third season of Lost after all.  I am also excited to eventually read the entire five issue run in one sitting.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Echoes #4 - Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrated by Rahsan Ekedal, published by Minotaur, an imprint of Top Cow.  The penultimate issue in this dark, rich tale of a man plagued with schizophrenia and the knowledge that his father was a serial killer of children continues to unfold.  This installment offers a reveal that I suspected, but with roots that came from out of the blue and that made me gasp in shock and now I am questioning everything.  Expertly told and beautifully drawn by Ekedal, I cannot wait for the final issue of this mini-series that is unlike anything else that I have read before.  If you are fine with frantic levels of suspense mixed with small doses of terror, then this is the book for you.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Slice Into the Woods

A Whole Lotta Nuthin' - Oddly enough, there wasn't really anything that hacked me off this week.  "What?!  Are kiddin' me?" said Obie, Donist's friends' Boston Terrier and only other reader of his blog other than Donist's mother.  "Cripes man!  You're always whinin' and cryin' and complainin' about somethin' or other.  You're kind of known for that.  Now fetch me my cigar, ya ignoramus."  Uh...yeah, thanks Obie, everyone knows that Boston Terriers love cigars, so let me get you one.  My only complaint is that I don't have the latest The Sixth Gun #10 in my eager mitts because my LCS shorted me again, but besides that let's just leave happy for a change.
Wait a minute...what's that?!  A religinut is attempting to ban a book they have never even read and convince a child's parents that comic books are an instrument of the devil?  Quick, to the Donist Mobile.
RRRRKKKKKK, this just in.  This just in.  A complaint that I just remembered...

Borders To Close Its Doors In Goleta - Within the past six months, a Borders and a Barnes & Noble (they were directly across the street from each other) closed their doors and now the Borders in Goleta will be shuttering in May.  This will leave only Metro Comics (my LCS), a smattering of used book stores and the wonderful locally-owned Chaucers as the only bookstores in Santa Barbara and Goleta.  Please believe that I have no love of Borders as its arrival many years ago chased out the once-great Earthling Bookstore and harmed many local businesses, but anything that brings books and graphic novels to current and potential new readers is a positive.  With any luck, a new and locally-owned business will rise to take its place and bring some of Santa Barbara/Goleta's charm and soul back to stand  before any sort of big business interest.  Lack of accessibility to literature whether through a store or library is a detriment to our city, state and country.  Sad.

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