Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 8/12/2011

(Sung to the tune of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline")

Comics I read
Some titles you best be heedin'
Detective Comics I'm readin' is dang strong
Here is the thing
Red Wing and Morning Glories ain't a bummer
And then Criminal: TLoI joined along
Reading Comics
freakin' out
thrillin' me
thrillin' you

Bejesus Frankenstein
good comics never seemed so good.
I've half a mind
to reread them right now, I could.
But now I - 

9 out of 10 Boston
Terriers prefer
Detective Comics
Thank you Mr. Diamond for this week's introduction and for touching upon all of the books that wowed us here at Donist World this week; there were quite a few.  Today we have yet another special guest in our recording studio.  Visiting from lovely downtown Santa Barbara, all of seven miles away, one half of my only two readers and one of my harshest critics...Obie, the Boston Terrier.  *applause* 
Thank you for coming, Obie, my man.  So tell my only other reader--Hi Mom--what comics you've enjoyed most this week.  
Okay, that's not very nice, Obie.  Maybe you'll be more amenable to speaking in something other than growls a little later on...enjoy the kibble and waffles.  I hope the plush toy meets your needs.  In the meantime it's...

Friday Slice of Heaven


Detective Comics #881
Batman Detective Comics #881 - Written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Jock and Francesco Francavilla, published by DC Comics.  It's books like Scott Snyder's excellent Detective Comics run that keep me not only reading comics as a diehard fan, but studying comics and writing them as well.  After a recent 24 issue "Event" nearly succeeded in bringing to "light" that I was going to quit all DC hero books, I bought Snyder's first issue of Detective Comics; I was hooked.  There was no kicking and screaming back to Batman for me, but rather pushing young and old aside to get at this incredibly engrossing book.
In this issue, Batman and Jim Gordon frantically try to locate Gordon's psychopathic son, James Jr., who has kidnapped Barbara Gordon (formerly Batgirl, currently Oracle) and threatens to kill her...slowly.  James has no powers, no costume, no gang of minions, yet his grip on the characters of this story is possibly tighter than that possessed by any DC villain.  James's dastardly plan is explained first hand as a dying Barbara fights for her life.
My only criticism of this book is that I would have liked to have seen it drawn out for another three or six issues.  There is so much more that Snyder could have done by keeping James Jr. either in the shadows or on the run to keep the creepiness going just a little longer and to have a little more pagetime with Jim Gordon, the most interesting character of this fantastic comic.  
I would also be remiss to not mention the beautiful art team of Jock and Francavilla whose alternating pages turned Snyder's story into a dark, sinister journey that stuck with me even after I set the book down.  Equally important was the phenomenal coloring choices that took the already established mood and ratcheted it up a few more notches.
This issue marks the end of Snyder's Detective run, but in September he will be returning with Batman #1 and I will be there to trip little kids and shove old men into the bushes to get my hands on a copy...or I could just add it to my pull and keep everyone happy.  Scott Snyder's Detective Comics run is DC proper's best series of 2010 and 2011.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
*I still can't find issue*

Criminal: The Last
of the Innocent #3

Criminal: The Last of the Innocent - Written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by Sean Phillips, published by Icon, a Marvel Comics imprint.  Another fantastic issue in Brubaker and Phillips best series to date. 
The deed is done and all Riley needs to do is a little damage control until he is finally free of the life he dug himself into, but now he has to live with himself after what he did to his childhood friend.  The man set to take the fall, falls even harder than Riley could ever hope for and things with Lizzie are looking better and better.  Unfortunately, not everyone is convinced Riley is as innocent as he proclaims to be.  
The first two issues in the latest Criminal chapter were an amazing glimpse into the character of Riley and the power of nostalgia for a better time.  This issue was just as good.  The difference is where I previously sympathized with Riley, the repercussions of his actions, primarily the treatment of his "friend" Freakout, are simply too deplorable.  And that is what makes this book so engrossing.  Brubaker succeeds in pulling the reader into his characters, getting them involved, and then shoving them away, only to later offer niceties to bring the reader back to the fold by handing them an ice pack for their blackening eye.  I might not know if I like Riley Richards, but I am damn well going to stick around to see how his story ends.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Morning Glories #11
Morning Glories #11 - Written by Nick Spencer and illustrated by Joe Eisma, published by Shadowline, an Image Comics imprint.  After the past couple of issues seemed a bit rushed in both the writing and the art, this issue returns the series to the level that I was accustomed to reading.  This is not saying the other issues were bad, it just felt as though something was missing from them; that is not the case here.
This issue delves--a little--into the story of Ike, the rich, uppity Morning Glory who betrayed his fellow students for apparent personal gain.  Here we see some of his reward (access to the the honored guests suite, "Chelsea, Rachel, Paige," among other things), but now that he has helped the headmasters once, they expect him to kill someone for them; all it takes is a little coaxing.
Although very little is revealed...okay, nothing is revealed about the Morning Glory academy this issue that I could tell, I did find myself enjoying it more than the last couple issues and I am excited for issue 12.  Hopefully some of the questions raised throughout the series begin to find answers.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Red Wing #2
The Red Wing #2 - Written by Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by Nick Pitarra, published by Image Comics.  Where the first issue in this series of four was used predominantly on world building, this issue begins to look more at the characters and the overall story.  I am hooked.
Dominic and Val continue their training to become TAC pilots, although Dom is not progressing as quickly as he would like.  Meanwhile, Dom's father, Robert, is still stranded in the ancient time of the Mayans where he has lived for over a year.  Robert's hopes build when his sensors pick up a time ship, only to realize too late that it is foe, not friend, who has found him and the reveal of the enemy is shocking.  
Although we're only at the halfway point, I'm enjoying Hickman's well-told, thought-provoking tale, but I have to mention that I am blown away by Nick Pitarra's gorgeous line art.  I hope to see more of his work in this book and others soon.  The Red Wing makes a nice jump from last month's recommended to this issue's HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Frankenstein #3
Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #3 - Written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Andy Smith, published by DC Comics.  Another final installment dropped this week...sort of.  This issue is a direct lead-in to the DC re-something-or-other 52 title Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE that will also be written by Jeff Lemire.  Although things wrap up a little too quickly and even a Flashpoint reference or two is dropped, this issue was still quite enjoyable.
Griffith the werewolf is mortally wounded and it is up to the Creatures of the Unknown to get him to safety.  Frankenstein's wife offers to provide transportation if Frankenstein agrees to join SHADE (Super Human Advanced Defense Executive) once the werewolf and the remainder of the team are secure in Romania; if only things were that easy.  Miranda Shrieve learns some harsh truths and the noble acts of one saves the day at a terrible cost.
My main problem with this issue and many other issues ending to make way for the 52 (NOT Detective Comics) is the rushed endings that are occurring.  As I mentioned above, one character gives his/her life to a resounding, "that sucks," and that's it.  Almost no time is given to the character's sacrifice and no emotional repercussions are displayed, which is a shame as Lemire is an expert at writing emotional situations.
Despite this shortcoming, this title succeeds in being weird in the best of ways, reminiscent of some of the most bizarre '70s comics that I grew up reading as a child--only with fewer pages.  I'm glad that this title made the 52 cut and with Lemire infusing his unique, empathetic characterization and adoration of the story styles of the past, this title promises to only get better, IF he is allowed to tell the story how he wants and at his own pace.  A fun read.  RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Time and the Evils of Distraction - Another short one this week folks, unless Obie would like to comment about me, my writing or my odd personal habits, but...he's asleep now.  So let's wrap this up.  This might be a better post for The Brutal Circle, which I might extend over there later, but this past week has not been as productive as I would have liked.  Yes, I'm battling a cold, I was on vacation and I'm tired as all get out, but I also began each writing session by checking emails, scoping the twitters and reading about corporate traitors ruining our country for their own personal gain.  That is not the way to get anything done.  Thankfully, for the past two days I exercised a little self-control and dove immediately into writing and surprise-surprise, I actually got stuff done.  Remember aspiring writers like myself, writing time is for writing (this includes revising).  Keep the interweb mumbo-jumbo, searches, tweets and news for non-writing downtime at the day job. 


No comments:

Post a Comment