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.


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