Sunday, July 31, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 7/29/2011

(Sung to the tune of The Cure's "Fascination Street")

Oh it's about dang time
Down on ol' Donist World
So where the hell has he been
Let's give this thang a whirl
Because Mom and Obie need to know
And they're begging
To read about what's great
Something to sink their teeth in
Yeah, I loved The Sixth Gun
Detective Comics will make you scream
But if you do not plan ahead
Then I can't be responsible
You can't just jump in
Buy the rest before they sell out
So make sure you have cash
You have no reason to doubt
So go to your LCS
And hope they have stock over
Did they order books under?
They might have to place an order
Be sure to buy Criminal
Let Red Wing, Xombi unfurl
Oh it's about dang time
Down on ol' Donist World

This week's Donist World "FSoH/SitW" has been postponed a few days as a result of Donist being on vacation and off the grid.  Mom and my friends' Boston Terrier, Obie, I'm talking about a complete breakdown of civilization as we know it.  I'm talking about a darkness that can only be found in the most rural of locations where the nearest comic book shop was over an hour away.  Wireless internet was a spotty creature at best and as I moved from the pool, to the lounge chair, to the hot tub and back again, a trusty Tecate in my hand at all points and time, I lamented my break from the outside world and my lack of new comic books...for all of five minutes.  But now I am back from lovely Guerneville, a calm, quite city that skirts the Russian River--which I swam in with Amy, and Tulip--and with my newfound sense or relaxation I found some fantastic comics waiting for me at my LCS.

Let me know if you have any comments to the books I talk about or recommendations for other books that I should be reading.  I would love to hear it!

Friday Slice of Heaven...the Sunday Edition

***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Sixth Gun #13
The Sixth Gun #13 - Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press.  Will wonders never cease...for the first time in I cannot remember how long, I received The Sixth Gun the week it was actually released.  I am half waiting to see if Asthon Kutcher is hanging around to let me know I've been Punk'd or something, but I'm going to count my lucky stars on this one and just be grateful.
This issue picks up where last issue's train heist in progress left off.  Drake and Becky come face to face with a mummy, one who has been sent by the evil necromancer, Eli Barlow, to retrieve the five guns and the body of General Hume. The problem is that the mummy recognizes Drake and apparently the memories shared between the two are not fond ones.  In an effort to not spoil anything, I'll be vague and say that something startling, ouch-that-must-have-hurt and bad goes down that left me fearful for the fates of these great characters.  The cover of the next issue gives a spoiler that someone is okay, but not the character that I am most worried about.
Bunn continues to ratchet up both the tension and my love of Drake and Becky, and Hurtt delivers some tremendous page-turning sequentials.  I should also mention the lovely color palette of Bill Crabtree that beautifully complements Hurtt's artwork.  Exciting, nonstop thrills make the wait for the next installment all the more torturous, but so very worth it...I'm counting the days to issue 14.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
*Side note* I am thrilled to hear that SyFy has picked up The Sixth Gun to be a six episode television mini-series that could become a regular show depending on how well it is received.  I am very much looking forward to this show.  You should catch up on this wonderful series by buying the first two trade paperbacks here...if not, you are missing out.

Batman Detective
Comics #880
Batman Detective Comics #880 - Written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Jock, published by DC Comics.  Oh my goodness.  The latest installment of Batman Detective Comics ups the creepiness factor even more than last issue and that is saying a lot.
This issue opens with Jim Gordon calling his ex-wife Barbara to warn her that the Joker is loose once again and that she should take every precaution available to protect herself until he can get her to safety.  What Jim finds when he arrives at Barbara's hotel room is simply chilling.  Batman (Dick Grayson) heads out to locate the Joker before he can commit ever more atrocities, but when he locates the the deranged killer a startling realization comes to light that leads to the terrifying cliffhanger ending.  The next issue cannot come soon enough.
Snyder had me racing through this book to see what happened next, but simultaneously left me scared to turn the page and actually see what happened next.  This is NOT one to read right before you go to bed.  Then there is the art of Jock--just look at the amazing cover--with the fast-paced, dark dynamics that make an already scary story that much more terrifying.
At a time when I was ready to throw in the towel on all of the "Big Two" superhero titles, along comes Scott Snyder and his wonderful, twisted take on Batman that pulls me right back in.  Now if I could only find issue number 873 I would be a happy camper.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Criminal: The Last
Of the Innocent #2
Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #2 - Written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by Sean Phillips, published by Icon, a Marvel Comics imprint.  Brubaker and Phillips continue to wow with their second issue in the latest and best storyline in the Criminal series to date.
Riley Richards has decided that the only escape from his miserable life is to murder his lying, cheating, and emotionally abusive wife, Felix.  To do this he is going to have to set many events in motion, including betraying those he loves and studying a crime from the past down to the finest detail.
Where I was initially able to understand Riley's plight, he crosses far too many uncomfortable boundaries in this issue, but I will be damned if I don't want to see how this ends for the man.  Brubaker takes an in-depth look at the road not traveled and a nostalgia for the simpler times that drives this brilliant, slow-burn tale that keeps getting better.  Phillips continues to deliver the dark look into Riley's current world seamlessly intermixed with the bright, cartoonish reflections of his past.  His covers for The Last of the Innocent alone are gorgeous--the cover for issue #1 has been on my computer's wallpaper for months now--and reason enough for picking up this fine book.  If you are in anyway a fan of crime/noir comics and you are not reading Criminal then it is criminal that you have not bought this book.  Criminal: The Last of the Innocent is also a perfect jumping on point.  Buy it!  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Xombi #5
Xombi #5 - Written by John Rozum and illustrated by Frazer Irving, published by DC Comics.  Alrighty Donist World fans, if you are looking for action, excitement and heart-pounding fisticuffs, then...this is not the book for you.  Sorry.  But, if you are looking for a bizarre, yet fun and twisted tale then you need to be buying this book.
David "Xombi" Kim and his companions prepare to take the fight to Roland Finch, the man who has wrested control of the "Ninth Stronghold" a castle built on the floating skull of a Nephilim giant.  David has some troubles about revealing his abilities to his girlfriend (wife?), but is quickly relieved when he realizes that he will get to ride a pterodactyl while flying alongside an airship with demon wings.  Plus a cliffhanger ending that promises those darn fisticuffs the kids are so obsessed with in the next issue.
Rozum's Xombi continues to be a mind-stretching head trip that is begging to be read in one sitting, yet is still beyond enjoyable to read on an issue-by-issue basis even though it takes me a minute to figure out what is going on.  At risk of sounding repetitive, I will only briefly mention that Frazer Irving's art and colors are some of the most beautifully rendered work currently available.
I'm still waiting to see Catholic Girl really cut loose with her power and whup some butt.  September looms ever nearer and still no mention of Xombi #7 so I really, really, really, really hope that there has been some sort of mistake and that this crazy comic that I have loved from day one continues to see print for some time to come.  RECOMMENDED!

The Red Wing #1
The Red Wing #1 - Written by Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by Nick Pitarra, published by Image Comics.  It took me a while to get ahold of this book, but luckily I found it at the awesome Lee's Comics in Mountain View, CA; if you're in the neighborhood stop by.
The Red Wing is Hickman's first creator-owned work in years and it has been well worth the wait.  Dominic is the pilot of a TAC II fighter (Mark II Temporal Attack Craft), an airship designed to fight not just in the skies, but across multiple timelines.  But when Dominic's father does not return from a mission and is assumed to be a casualty of accelerated aging as a result of hitting a chronal wall without shielding, Dominic resolves to prove everyone wrong and find his father.
Hickman has released an immensely interesting book that looks to become quite intense with the next issue and should develop the characters further now that we have seen and understand the world that he has created.  As for the art, I LOVE Nick Pitarra, especially the way he depicts the TAC fighters crossing from one time period to another and I am excited to see more from him in the future.  The Red Wing #1  is a good start to a series that looks to be great.  RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Still Bummed About Not Going to SDCC - Let it go, Donist.  Let it go.  There is always next year, or better yet, plenty of other cons around the country.  Hmmm...NYCC....hmmmm.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 7/22/2011

(Sung to the tune of The Smiths "Half a Person")

Call me obsessive, but I don't want to wail
I've spent three weeks on The Sixth Gun's trail
Three long weeks on The Sixth Gun's trail

Call me obsessive, but I don't want to wail
I've spent three weeks on The Sixth Gun's trail
Three full weeks of my life on The Sixth Gun's trail

And if you have ten minutes to spare
Then Donist will tell you 'bout some sweet comics this week
A hopeful, nervous, cheerful guy
I went to my LCS and I

I walked in and asked to spy what was in my pull
I said, "I'd like to have my Frankenstein?
I like to have my Frankenstein?
Do you have a copy of Batman Gates of Gotham?" Ohhhhhh...

He grabbed the box and asked me my last name
I replied, "For the past seventeen years it's been the same"
He said, "Oh...whatever dude here's your
Sixth Gun, is that the one by that guy Bunn?"

Call me obsessive, but I don't want to wail
I've spent too long on The Sixth Gun's tail
Far too long, chasing The Sixth Gun's tail

So, this week is the San Diego Comic Con of 2011 and for the third year in a row I am not in attendance.  The feelings started with a general forget the stupid SDCC, I don't need it mentality, but as the weeks drew closer my attitude began to change.  Now I'm in the middle of stupid, stupid, stupid...stupid, stupid, should have just bought a damn badge when you had the chance.  I have gone through a few panicked instances of seeing if any more badges were being offered, and checking to see if there were any hotels in the area available, then on to sadness, to resentment and ultimately to acceptance.
This year in particular is difficult as I have scoured all of the programming and there is much that is promising to the new comic book writer.  Not only that, but many of the fine people from The Comics Experience are in attendance and they will be meeting up in many of the panels and afterwards for dinner and general nuttiness.  Two such individuals are my friends from The Brutal Circle (we promise to post soon), Rob Anderson and Frederick Kim.  It would be nice to meet in person some of the hyper-talented people who I have grown to know online and whose amazing work I have seen come into existence and evolve over the past year; you will be hearing from MANY of these people in the years to come, trust ol' Donist on this one.  Oh well, NYCC?  Thinking really hard about that one, but if I go there I would like to have something of my own to show, so time to wrap up one of my own projects; it's going to be tight.
In good news, especially to my mom and my best friends' dog Obie, I finally got a hold of The Sixth Gun #12.  Was it worth the wait?  Well, if I didn't like it I would not mention it, but read on and see in...


Friday Slice of Heaven

The Sixth Gun #12
The Sixth Gun #12 - Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press.  Well it's about damn time.  I have been waiting for three weeks to get my hands on one of the best books on the shelves and it finally showed up at my LCS.  It was most assuredly worth the wait.
The new storyline kicks off with Drake Sinclair and Becky Montcriefe, accompanied by Brother Roberto and an assembly of monks called the Sword of Abraham traveling by train with the body of the once-again-dead General Oliander Bedford Hume in an attempt to secure his evil-marred corpse on holy ground.  Hume's wife, Missy, a woman who should have perished of old age years prior and a holder of the only other supernatural gun not in Becky and Drake's possession, wants her husband back and unleashes an undead gang of killers against our heroes as well as something infinitely more terrifying.
The supernatural and horror swirled with the old-timey west is done so well and seamlessly that a fan of either genre will enjoy this book.  Missy Hume is scary not so much as when she appears as an evil, withered crone, but in the attitude and flippancy she shows when taking others' lives.  On the western side of the equation, this issue is predominantly a train heist...a train heist performed by super zombies in an attempt to steal not gold or cash, but the dead body of a monster.  The action sequentials of this installment, beautifully illustrated by Brian Hurtt, are spectacular and flow by at a mercurial rate and left me hungry for the next exciting issue; this book keeps getting better and better.
I've made no secret of my love of this title and it is one that all fans of comic books looking for something different from the norm should be reading.  One positive of getting issue 12 so late is that issue 13 comes out next week...that is unless my LCS/Diamond messes up again.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Frankenstein and the
Creatures of the
Unknown #2
Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #2 - Written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Ibraim Roberson and Alex Massacci, published by DC Comics.  Here's another title that I did not get on release day, but thankfully it was waiting for me this week; I am glad that it was.
The story opens with the gill-woman, Nina and a brief Lemire-style glimpse into her past before joining the Creatures of the Unknown awake and lost, years in the future from when they were locked away in 1945.  Monster hunter, Miranda Shrieve, and the G.I. Robot are on the hunt for Frankenstein and his crew, and nothing will stop her from eradicating any and all monsters that walk the earth.  Problems for all involved parties escalate at the arrival of an unexpected family member who looks to make the third and final issue very interesting before Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE debutes in the DC reboot this September.
If there is one thing that has always put a smile on my face, it has been the classic monster characters: Dracula, Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Wolfman.  Lemire does a great job of reviving slightly altered versions of my favorite childhood monsters and inserting them into the DC Universe in a way that is new and exciting.  One thing that struck me as odd and was a little jarring was the decision to split the artistic duties half and half, but I am guessing that this was done to finish the current storyline in time for the relaunch.  Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown is what all comics strive to be; a hell of a lot of fun.  Now all we need is a mummy and I will be a happy camper.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! 

Batman Gates of
Gotham #3
Batman Gates of Gotham #3 - Written by Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins and illustrated by Trevor McCarthy, published by DC Comics.  I am loving everything Batman related from Scott Snyder, and Batman Gates of Gotham is no exception.  
This issue finds Batman (Dick Grayson), Red Robin (Tim Drake), Robin (Damian Wayne), and Black Bat (Casandra Cain) frantically struggling to find the mysterious man in the steampunk suit who continues to terrorize Gotham's founding families.  Can the heroes stop the madman from destroying everything related to the Cobblepotts, the Waynes and the Elliots before Gotham has been razed to the ground?  Thus far, the situation is not looking good.
Equal parts Bat Family tale and a history lesson of Gotham's rise as a major industrial city, what this issue lacks in action it more than compensates for with intrigue and a glimpse into the battle that is to come.  
I need to mention that I am enjoying McCarthy's differing takes of the bright past and the dark, grim present of Gotham City and his character designs are unique, working well for the story.  I believe the final two issues are to arrive before September and that is fabulous news indeed.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Witch Doctor #2
Witch Doctor #2 - Written by Brandon Seifert and illustrated by Lukas Ketner, published by Skybound, an Image Comics imprint.  Seifert and Ketner return with their disgusting, horrific and ultimately enjoyable foray into the world of supernatural medicine.  This issue finds Dr. Vincent Morrow, Eric Gast and the creepy-cool Penny Dreadful arriving to check on a baby whose parents suspect something is terribly wrong; they are correct in this assumption.  Their baby has been replaced with a cuckoo faerie, but getting rid of the grotesque little monster is not so easy when the faerie mother is roaming free and snatching human babies around the city.  If that wasn't enough, the arrival of some guests have the good Doctor ill at ease.
Witch Doctor continues to shine as book unlike any other on the shelves, and if you are a fan of horror movies, House M.D., or better yet BOTH, then this book is for you.  Worthy of mention are the nightmarish creations that Ketner has developed and I never knew a baby, or a mother for that matter, could be rendered to such a chilling degree.  So very much fun.  RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

I'm Not at SDCC - I pretty much whined all I can whine about this at the beginning, so let's not dwell on the past, okay.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 7/15/2011

(sung to the tune of Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun")
I don't have The Sixth Gun
I don't have The Sixth Gun
Donist World's come undone
No latest book by Cullen Bunn
What did my LCS do?
Jilted me on Frankenstein too
They said when Owner placed the order
He musta skipped those titles on me
But man, it's been three weeks I don't have The Sixth Gun
Donist World ain't never gonna be the same.

Seriously, what the hell?  How can it be so difficult to get this book in stock the day it is released?  If not on the release day, then how about the following week...or the one after that?  Okay, then, the week after, the week after, the week after the original release date?
"Alright, deep breaths, Donist.  Deep breaths...just like you practiced.  You're bigger than this, maintain your calm."  I'm alright folks, just a tad disappointed is all.  Not getting one of the best books on the stands the day of its release is like getting tighty whities for Christmas from your Aunt Helen.  But let's not dwell on the negative.  That's not what we do here at Donist least not until Slice Into the Woods down below.  No, no, no.  We focus on the good and the positive.  You know what I'm saying...we focus on the uber-rare Micronaut action figure deceptively wrapped by Uncle Beuford in a pair of tighty whities, just to mess with you, on your birthday.  So, although the spectacular The Sixth Gun is STILL not here, fret not my mom and my friends' Boston Terrier Obie, Christmas does come in July with these awesome comics...


Friday Slice of Heaven

Detective Comics #879
Detective Comics #879 - Written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Francesco Francavilla, published by DC Comics.  I'm sad to say that I am a little late to the whole Scott Snyder, Detective Comics run, but that did not stop me from getting up to date on this killer series.  
This issue of Batman Detective Comics does not feature a single panel of Batman--unless you count the Converse shoe ad--and he was not even needed in this comic.  Instead, the story focuses on Jim Gordon's hesitation at accepting that his son, James, is indeed the disturbed individual that Gordon suspects him to be.  From what I gathered in previous issues, James was the type of kid that gave everyone the willies, including his own parents to the point of Jim Gordon suspecting him for years in a missing girl case.  After being sent away from Gotham at a young age, James has returned to town and he is supposedly taking Diaxamene, a pill designed to treat psychopathy.  Gordon's instincts still tell him not to trust his son and he instead steals one of the pills to have his daughter, Barbara (aka Oracle), who also does not trust James, to examine the pill leading them to a terrifying discovery.  Also in this issue is the nightmarish return of one of Batman's deadliest adversaries in a way that has me eager to read the rest of the issues before the DC reboot.
Issue 879 is the third story arc in Snyder's run and although this is somewhat of a jumping on point, certain "key" elements will not make sense to the new reader who has not read issue 875 that provides much of James and Jim's backstory.  Don't let this stop you as I'm certain Snyder will clarify some of the details in the next issue, but pick up issue 875 anyways, it's equally fantastic.  
Also, it would be criminal to not mention the breathtaking artwork and storytelling of Francesco Francavilla.  His dark line work is complemented by an intense color palette that directs your eye where it needs to go while evoking an emotional response through imagery and color.  Oddly enough, the colors and imagery reminded me of the older, trippier episodes of the late '60s Spider-Man cartoon; stark, contrasting and captivating.  I hope to see more of Francavilla.
If you love superhero comics and/or Batman, then you owe it to yourself to track down ALL of Snyder's run on Detective Comics; you will be glad that you did.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Superboy #9
Superboy #9 - Written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Pier Gallo, published by DC Comics.  Okay, this is what I'm talking about.  Remove the requirement to adhere to an "event" and that is when Lemire's Superboy shines.  This issue is absolute creepsville with a closeup look at the Hollow Men, golems constructed from the earth and made to live out a disturbing reenactment of life far underground.  Superboy, Simon, Krypto and the possibly-traitorous Psionic Lad, led by the Phantom Stranger, seek to stop the evil that lurks in Hollowsville while also trying to save Lori Luther from the twisted town's clutches.  The situation becomes dire when Superboy comes face to face with Eben Took, a man who should have died decades ago yet is alive and well and running a startling experiment that threatens not only Conner Kent's resolve but the lives of everyone in Smallville.  Betrayal, fear and powerful magics drive this fast-paced and twisted tale.  
I cannot wait to see what happens next issue and I pray that Lemire has enough time--and issues--to wrap up this exciting tale before the DC reboot moves him to other book--which I will be buying in September (Animal Man and Frankenstein).  Too bad about this iteration of Superboy coming to an end, it was starting to turn into something dark and spectacular.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Batman Gates of
Gotham #1
Batman Gates of Gotham #1 & 2 Written by Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins and illustrated by Trevor McCarthy, published by DC Comics.   When the Gotham Press receives notice that "The families will fall by the Gates of Gotham" three Gotham bridges explode causing death and turmoil.  Batman, Red Robin and Commissioner Gordon are left to pick up the pieces and discover who is behind the attack directed at the founding members of the city: the Waynes (Batman), the Cobblepots(The Penguin) and the Elliots (Hush).  Robin and Cassandra, the Black Bat, also join in the hunt for the man responsible for the death and destruction as the Bat Family uncovers the history of Gotham before the killer can commit any further atrocities.  
I need to state again that before Scott Snyder came along to take up writing Detective Comics and Batman Gates of Gotham, I honestly did not really care about the world of Batman, but after picking up all of his issues--except for the elusive BDC #873--I am completely hooked on these books and cannot wait to see what happens next.  At times nerve-wracking and at others engrossing, Batman Gates of Gotham never fails to be what comics are supposed to be: intelligent, exciting, fun.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Detective Comics
Detective Comics #871, 872, 874-878 - Written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Francesco Francavilla and Jock, published by DC Comics.  I know, I hate having to lump all of these into one little area, but writing a little review for each of these books at this point is just redundant after mentioning 879 at the beginning of this post and then following that with Batman Gates of Gotham.  
I had to order most of these issues and basically absorbed them in the span of a couple of days when they all delivered.  They are that fantastic.
871 - 873 Deal with "The Black Mirror" story arc illustrated brilliantly by Jock, with a back up story concerning Jim Gordon and his possibly psychopathic son, James, titled "Skeleton Cases" and illustrated by Francesco Francavilla.  
874 Contains the final part of "Skeleton Cases" with additional pages concerning Batman and a lead in to issue 876.
875 Almost exclusively follows Commissioner Gordon and his quest for the truth about his son, while offering essential backstory on their relationship and history in a story titled "Lost Boys".
876 878  Follows the storyline "Hungry City" with Batman facing off against a new (?) enemy by the name of Tiger Shark in an effort to protect an ex-Mob Boss's daughter, who is supposedly a much loved banker on the straight and narrow.  Also featured is the truth behind who James really won't be prepared for this.
I need to stress that if you are at all interested in Batman--and even if you are not--pick these books up if you can find them.  I have not followed any Batman book for years and I am completely on board after reading this awesome series.  While you're at it, if you happen to find a copy of 873 lying around, please send it my way...I'm dying to find out how the "The Black Mirror" arc ends.  I will also be rereading all of these in the next week or two.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

My LCS Skipping Out On More of My Books - I really hate to pick on my comic store.  Hell, I've been going there for over sixteen years.  I was there the day the place opened across the street from its current location, and the rush I feel every time I walk in is the same feeling I've had since I was a child and first discovered comic stores.  I have a loyalty to my LCS that no online store or digital comic can ever replace, but at the same time, I want my books the day they are released.  As you can guess from my past couple of posts, I still have not received The Sixth Gun #12 and this week saw me missing the following books: Red WingFrankenstein & the Creatures of the Unknown and Lady Mechanika.  Granted that I did not add the above three books to my pull until early this week, but come on, ordering a few extra copies of some of the more hyped and positively-reviewed books wouldn't hurt that bad; selling those should be a cinch.  *sigh*  I just want my books...dammit.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 7/8/11

(Sung to the tune of Billy Idol's "Don't Need a Gun")

My itty bitty heart, it broke last night
Yes a comic that I love got a big stop light
I miss Drake, Becky and mudman Bill John, yeah
Oh, those haunted guns will have to wait for Don

Wop Bop a lu bop Don you gotta wait
Floppy denied
Lawdy two weeks
No western supernatural story to buy
Don't need no replacements in my life
Just need my comic is that so insane?

This little Donist got none
I still don't have The Sixth Gun
Yes, my LCS didn't get one
I don't have The Sixth Gun
I Just need to read some Cullen Bunn
I don't have The Sixth Gun

Dammit!  Okay, not only was my pull shorted The Sixth Gun #12 last week, here I am shorted again.  @#$%.  Couldn't I be shorted on something for a month that isn't one of my top-three favorite comics on the stand (Sweet Tooth and The Stuff of Legend being the other two)?  C'mon!  This happens all too often, especially with this title.  I'm casting the blame at Diamond on this one, but blame does no good, I just want my book.  *sigh*.  How am I going to tell Obie (my friends' Boston Terrier and my only other reader/follower besides my mom) that I won't be able to give him the lowdown on the latest issue of one of the best comics out there?  I guess one consolation is that there will be less of a wait between #12 and #13...provided this doesn't happen again next month.  *sheesh*

Anyhow, I still read some great books this week, so let's check out...

Friday Slice of Heaven


Sweet Tooth #23
Sweet Tooth #23 - Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, published by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint.  The latest issue of Jeff Lemire's wonderfully dark, post-apocalyptic tale opens with an awkward interaction between Jepperd and the secretly ill Luce, as the animal children discuss the merits of staying at the too-good-to-be-true dam and going to Alaska.  Walter begins to act even weirder than usual.  Singh agrees with Gus that they need to go to Alaska to find the truth of what has happened to the world, but he also reveals that Gus's father's book mentions the "White Demon" which Singh concludes must be Jepperd.  The issue ends on an insane note that guarantees a painful wait for the next issue.
The "Endangered Species" storyline has been slow going over the past four issues with the main points being the group finding the dam with its current odd occupant, and having to come to a decision whether or not they will stay or go to Alaska.  This is fine.  The story does progress, but the depths that Lemire digs into each of the characters fully warrants the slight slowdown and pace.  The reader feels the pain of each character and is left hoping for better things for them, which probably are not coming.  I care for these characters.  Hell, the last few issues had me tearing up and this one left me gasping for breath.  Sweet Tooth is a book that all fans of the medium should be reading.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Superman #712
Superman #712 - Written by Kurt Busiek and illustrated by Rick Leonardi, published by DC Comics.  First off, I do not buy Superman comics.  I'm sure that there are plenty of good runs out there, and of course I love the character, but I just have not been interested enough until I heard about this "lost classic" that has taken the place of the regularly scheduled and currently late book.  
This issue was meant to follow the events of Infinite Crisis when this Earth's Superboy was killed (of course he is alive and well least until September) by Superboy Prime, an insane alternate Earth young Superman.  In the course of the battle Krypto, attempting to protect his master, was injured by Superboy Prime and this issue picks up with Krypto wondering what happened to his closest friend. 
*Sigh* I'm getting choked up thinking about this one, and while trying to explain the story to my wife last night I couldn't even finish what was saying.  I rarely find things that cause me to tear up, let alone choke up, but this comic succeeded in doing both.  Busiek brilliantly succeeded in capturing this poor dog's confusion as to the whereabouts of his master as he scours the earth while flashing back to the good times.  More to the point, Busiek tore my heart from my chest, dribbled it a few times and kicked it over the fence.  Dammit...I need to move on from this one, I can't handle it.  RECOMMENDED for the people who think animals are okay and VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for the dog lovers who wish to torture themselves.

Chew #19
Chew #19 - Written by John Layman and illustrated by Rob Guillory, published by Image Comics.  Now that we are back from the future that was issue number 27, we join Tony Chu as he is assigned by the ever-hateful Applebee to join NASA age Toni Chu, Tony's sister, on a special mission of great importance.  The mission: to stop the sale of bullets made from a special meteor that would kill the intended targets of the terrorist organization known as E.G.G.  The only problem is the sale has not yet happened and the seller has just recently thought of the idea to sell the bullets, making for some crazy Minority Report-type action.  Throw in purple, irradiated and mutated baby diapers and a new food based power and you're in for another exceptionally odd but enjoyable issue of Chew.  As I always say with this title, there is nothing else quite like it on the stands and although it is disgusting at times, it is a well-written and beautifully illustrated comic.  So much fun.  Another book that everyone should be reading.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Subway Ad in the Middle of Superman #712 - Okay, I get it.  The comic industry is going through some crazy times, and judging by the inside cover Green Lantern animated DVD ad (I want to see this), an add for Midtown Comics (who I love), a DC comics Green Lantern ad, a god-awful Superman shoe ad, a god-awful Flash shoe ad (if this is your type of thing, apologies and you should just own it!), a double-page Flashpoint ad, a War of the Green Lanterns ad, another Green Lantern ad, and yet another Green Lantern ad, and finally a back inside cover Green Lantern "got milk' ad featuring Ryan Reynolds things cannot really be all that bad at DC with all the ad revenue they are getting.  Of course most of the ads were their own, but the real coup de grace was the eight-page Justice League: Subway-Famous Fans issue #2 of 4 in the middle of the book.  Are you kidding me?!  I did not read the mini-"comic" and for all I know it kicked the main story's ass, but I kind of doubt it.  All I saw was some basketball guy and a car-driver guy cruising around while the Justice League fought some gorillas; one of which I am assuming was Grodd.  From what I saw, basketball guy hits Grodd in the face with a basketball, and Green Lantern helps the basketball guy win a game with the power of his ring.  Now I am not what you would call a sports fan, but I am pretty sure that an assist from a Green Lantern power ring falls into the "doping" realm that is so incredibly important to the news outlets lately.  The story ends with race-car guy and basketball guy eating their Subway sandwiches while Green Lantern punches the air in victory.
Okay, first of all, as I stated above, Superman# 712 was an incredibly moving story in such a way that few works of art ever elicit.  How much more of an impact would it have had if I was not treated to an obnoxious ad every other page?  Imagine how jarring it is to be ripped from the story you were completely immersed in by something that does not fit the tone of the piece in any form at all.  If the pages fell correctly in this issue, I would consider tearing all of the add nonsense out and read the story in the manner that the creators intended, as I don't believe Busiek was sitting in front of his computer going, "Well, I have all these spectacular ads, now I need to write a story to accommodate them."
C'mon DC, I recognize the need for ad revenue, but this is pushing it way beyond what is acceptable.  I doubt you want your comics to become Vogue-sized tomes of ads with a couple pages of substance, and at the very least have some consideration for the story that attracts your readership in the first place.   One positive was the story was 22 pages.

Hey Wait...Where's My New Issue of Supberboy?! - Double Dammit!  Foiled again.  Curses.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 7/1/2011

(sung to the tune of Ratt's "You're in Love")

You step inside your local comic shop
You're lookin' for somethin' hot
You flip through Xombi
You're in love

Why the heck stop at only one
The Walking Dead is all kinds of fun
You want to read 'em lyin' in bed tonight
A kick in the pants you'll love alright

You flip through Xombi
You're in love

Obie came over to the house this past Wednesday and when I explained to him that my LCS had not received their allotment of The Sixth Gun #12 (thanks Diamond Dist) he gave a vacant Boston Terrier stare of frustration and promptly upchucked all of his Acana brand dog food all over my couch.  Now, don't get me wrong, I understand his frustration completely, I was the one who made a trip downtown specifically for that title, but there is a time and place for that sort of behavior...Casa Del Donist World is not it.  All is fine though, and we are dealing with the tragedy of having to wait for only (hopefully) an additional week, but that doesn't mean there weren't some amazing things to read.


Friday Slice of Heaven

The Walking Dead v.13
Too Far Gone
The Walking Dead Volume 13: Too Far Gone TPB - Written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Charlie Adlard, published by Image Comics.  I haven't talked about The Walking Dead for a long while, but that doesn't mean it is not one of the best series in publication.  Period.  This series was the one that I read issue one many months after its initial release and immediately ordered the first four graphic novels that were available.  Years later, I am still loving this gruesome, heart wrenching story that continuously leaves me feeling emotionally mugged, yet I always come back for more; read the prison issues...damn.  
I was actually two TPBs behind, but my LCS had a sale so I decided to catch up with Rick, Michonne, Carl and the rest.  This installment finds the crew adjusting to the new community and bringing their unique experiences and completely understandable paranoia to the town that has grown soft in their comfort.  This volume provides a breather for the group and allows the reader to reconnect with the characters after so many tragedies in the past, but as the reader expects with The Walking Dead, the good times rarely last and things begin to go wrong in a bad way.  In a world overrun with zombies, the biggest threat to human existence is humanity itself.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Walking Dead v.14
No Way out
The Walking Dead Volume 14: No Way Out TPB - Written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Charlie Adlard, published by Image Comics.  Okay, here it comes.  This volume ups the stakes to a heart-stopping degree and believe me when I say, "the shit goes down" in this volume.  I will do my best not to spoil this.  
Rick's walled community is completely surrounded by a massive zombie horde that threatens to break through the wall and descend upon the terrified community.   Not only that, but Andrea is trapped in a tower with no food or water leaving Glenn and a small crew to attempt a risky rescue while not becoming food themselves.  Other than that, you just need need to read this volume and then try to pick your jaw up from the floor.  Oh man, oh man, oh man.  Crap.  This is what comics strive to be: amazing, addictive, and thought provoking.  A fantastic series and a nerve-racking read.  After 80+ comic book issues, The Walking Dead continues to be one of the most important books on the stands.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Xombi #4
Xombi #4 - Written by John Rozum and illustrated by Fraser Irving, published by DC Comics.  Dear DC comics, I am totally onboard with your reboot and the 52 issues about to be unleashed on the good 'ol US of A, but I have a simple request...please do not end Xombi.  That's it.  Simple.  I don't care if you keep it in the DCU or, better yet, go full-Vertigo on this title, just keep 'em coming.  Please.
This issue finds David Kim (Xombi) and his crew listening to Annie's tale as to why she released the Maranatha into the world, and how she used to reside in the Ninth Stronghold that gave her near immortality as well as her eventual downfall with her twisted involvement with the evil Roland Finch.
Rozum continues his intricate and at times confusing tale, but more and more answers are revealed as this fascinating story progresses.  I will also continue to gush over Irving's lovely art and striking color palette, but these two creators have something special that not enough people are reading.  You need to be reading this.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Witch Doctor #1 - Written by Brandon Seifert and illustrated by Lukas Ketner, published by Skybound, an Image Comics imprint.  The prepress on this title adequately describes this miniseries as Dr. House meets the supernatural and that sums this book up quite nicely.  
Dr. Vincent Marrow is the man to call whenever someone suffers an affliction of parasitic supernatural origins, and a mixture of medicine and magic is the vaccine.  Marrow is accompanied by his human assistant Eric Gast, who seems to suffer the brunt of the otherworldly encounters, and Penny Dreadful, Marrow's anesthesiologist who is also a...I'm not certain what she is actually, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.  In this issue, the good doctor seeks to surgically remove a demonic possession from a young boy, but this particular case is not quite as "text book" as everyone believes.
Seifert and Ketner have created an odd, gross, interesting and unique series that is just what the doctor ordered for those ailing from an overdose of capes and tights.  A hell of a lot of fun.  I will definitely be picking up the rest of this series.  RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Amazon Affiliates Might Vanish For Those in California - *Sigh* I received a letter this week from Amazon saying something to the effect that if a certain law changes in regard to how Amazon and its affiliates are taxed in California, then Amazon will close the affiliate program for those individuals living in California; this includes poor little Donist.  Don't get me wrong, I haven't made a dime from all of the images or links in my posts, or anything from the Donist Amazon Store, but if this happens then all of those images and links will be broken and probably lead to nowhere, damaging the look of my site.  On the other hand, if all of my links and such remain intact, then they will be successfully sending shoppers to to earn them sales that they no longer are required to pay me a percentage for the referral that I would be more than happy to pay taxes on.   The situation is more dire for countless small businesses in California who actually make money through the affiliate program.  
Of course there are many more factors involved than what I currently understand, but I know that there are plenty of small businesses, the supposed backbone of America, that are going to take a hit that they might not recover from.  Thanks Amazon for cutting all of your affiliates on a whim because of your squabbles with California and the fact that you don't want to collect sales tax; this is why I continue to pay more to my LCS (including paying sales tax), mostly because they are not YOU.

To read more about this, check out ZDNet's article here.

For an amazing letter to Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos visit here.