Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 8/19/2011

(Sung to the the tune of  David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust")

Oooh yeah
Obie loves comics, he's a Boston Terrier
And he likes Donist World.  But what should he heed?
What to give a whirl?
Ol Don knows what to read, to fulfill Obie's need

Obie, Jester's Tale, The Stuff of Legend will thrill you
By those cats from Th3rdworld, you can lick your paws gladly
You can wag your stub tail.
Also buy Mystic my man, and Superboy it's a plan.

So where to find good books, while events try to break our balls
Just this little blog to guide us,
So it's Friday Slice of Heaven that helps us crank it to eleven

Oh very, very quiet.  This Donist World installment is brought to you from my mother's basement where I've secretly restored my old "room" to the glory of days gone past.  A time before adulthood, jobby-jobs, marriage, pet ownership or any sort of responsibility at all.  Now, the reason we have to be so quiet is that my mom does not know I'm down here.  Heck, she never even opens the door to the basement, not after the "big spider incident."  I should be safe, but one can never be too cautious.  My main concern is that my wife and Obie, my friends' Boston Terrier, don't sniff me out...which probably won't be too difficult seeing that there is no shower and I have been here for two days.
Wait...did you hear that?  It sounds like doggie toenails on the tile floor, and...voices.  Oh no.  My mom and Amy are talking about me--never a good thing--and Obie is sniffing at the door.  They've found me.  My minutes are numbered, folks, so here's...

Friday Slice of Heaven


The Stuff of Legend Vol. III:
A Jester's Tale, Part 1
The Stuff of Legend Vol. III: A Jester's Tale, Part 1 - Written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith and illustrated by Charles Paul Wilson III, published by Th3rdworld Studios.  One of my favorite comics of all time returns with the first issue of the third volume.  After the events of The Stuff of Legend: The Jungle in which Max confessed to partially allowing the Boogeyman access to the toys' owner, Jester sets off on his own to find the injured Princess.
This issue opens with Jester leading a high-seas raid on the Boogeyman's ships in search of a mysterious book in route to the master of The Dark.  But this is not the Jester that we have followed since the beginning of the series. Meanwhile, Artic has duped the regular Jester and absconded with the Princess.  Leaving the hero with only the Mayor as a guide, Jester sets out on a quest to find his beloved Princess not knowing that his journey will take him to the farthest reaches of The Dark. After my first read of this phenomenal book, I was confused by what I thought was an error in the timeline of the tale.  Here we have Jester raiding the ships, freeing the mayor, fighting a bunch of sailors, being blamed for the crime of raiding the ships, and then setting sail on the ocean.  I went back and checked each page and the only time caption that I found stated, "...the next day," which did not help me.  That is when I took the time to look more closely at Wilson III's art and I found the answers there.  An already amazing story clicked and became even better as a new and seemingly familiar character was introduced leaving me anxious for the next issue.
Beautifully written, gorgeously illustrated and possessing the most unique comic book production that I have ever seen, The Stuff of Legend series has something for everyone.  Raicht, Smith and Wilson III take an already incredible book and pull the reader deeper into the realm of The Dark to fight alongside their hero, Jester, as he struggles to find his Princess.  The Stuff of Legend is easily one of the best books on the stands. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Mystic #1
Mystic # 1 - Written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by David Lopez, published by CrossGen Comics, an imprint of Marvel Comics.  I didn't want to buy this.  Harsh, I know, but one of the helpful employees at my LCS talked me into the steampunk/fantasy purchase.  Thank goodness they did, or I would have missed out on highly entertaining book.
Mystic opens with two young (?) orphans girls reading up on magic in between their pre-child labor law chores in the forbidden room of Mistress Alenora's orphanage. Barely sneaking past the magical metal dogs set to guard the room, Giselle and Genevieve return to work only to suffer abuse at the hand of Mistress Alenora.  Pushed too far, the girls leave the orphanage to pursue the slight possibility of seeing the High Artisan choose ten new apprentices at the royal mansion.  Jealousies arise when one of the girls makes a statement that garners the attention of the High Artisan and the beginning of a promising new life.
If I had to choose a word to summarize my thoughts on this title it would be "charming."  I enjoyed Wilson's story of two girls wanting a better life above their station, the characters of Giselle and Genevieve are instantly likeable, dialogue flowed naturally and then there was Lopez's art, the lovely art that reminded me of a book of animation stills in the best of ways.  Also needing of praise was the gorgeous coloring by Nathan Fairbairn who for the most part stuck to flatting colors on the characters with more detailed, textured coloring on the backgrounds and scenery, giving an even more animated look to the issue.  For a book that I was hesitant to pickup, I was pleasantly surprised and I am now looking forward to the next issue.  Beautiful and fun, Mystic is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Superboy #11
Superboy #11 - Written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Pier Gallo, published by DC Comics.  The end of a comic that I have been fairly on-again, off-again (i.e. "Event" issues) comes to a close and as I stated last month, I wish there had been more time.  In my mind, I picture the events of the past three issues as three storylines that Lemire had to condense down into one (plus a fourth storyline that never gets resolved) to meet the impending onslaught of the big 52 release next month.  Did Superboy come to a satisfying close...weeeelllll, I guess so, mostly because of the final three pages that succeeded in bringing some humanity to the group of characters and was rather touching.
Superboy, Krypto and The Phantom Stranger struggle against the diabolical plans of Tannarak, the guy who appeared out of nowhere a few issues ago, and the no-longer-threatening Eben Took.  Lori and Simon hold off the Hollowmen in a cool Night of the Living Dead moment only to be harassed by The Parasite.  From there things wrap up so quickly that I am still reeling--or it might just be the wine from last night.  Again the saving grace is the character moment that Lemire adds at the very end.
Although I had problems with this book, I do not fault Lemire for the rushed nature of the story, but rather the DC call to "wrap it up," that damaged the pace Lemire had set in the first few issues.  Now I'm left dreaming about the "Hollowmen" storyline that could have been and the Superboy and Krypto stories that will never be and I am sad for that.  The book was still enjoyable, but I wish it could have been what Lemire envisioned from the beginning.  Oh well, maybe by the time DC is on their 62nd title I will be the one writing Krypto: the Super can only dream.  Barely...RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

DC's 52 Ending Good Series Prematurely - As I have been saying for a couple of weeks now, it's kind of a shame that some really good titles were pushed to completion before they were actually ready.  With rushed stories and art, it seems like DC threw in the towel on some of their fans' favorite titles in order to have a clean slate this September.  Of course this will irk some fans, which is fine because the current fanbase is small and if their move brings in the new readership that they are hoping to reach, then from a business standpoint the 52 will be worth it to them, even if they lose half their current readers.  As long as they give me well-told stories with characters who I love, I am completely on board, but let's keep the "events" on the backburner for a while please and let the writers/artists tell the story they want to tell.


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