Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 1/27/2012

(Sung to the tune of Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills")

Laughing Ghost he sailed the sea
Stealing from Boogie Man with glee
He sunk some ships, the toys did bleed
Then Jester came, to right the deed.

There's Drake Sinclair, his life is hell
Becky Montcrief the Sixth Gun's belle
Evil weapons, possessed by three
Will Becks and Drake ever be set free?

Andrew Bennett loves Mary Queen of Blood
She's evil son, aint it a shame.
Even with Batman, beating some vamps
They can't stop her wicked game.

The Stuff of Legend, The Sixth Gun both rule
I, Vampire's the most, these comics are cool!

Run to your store - read all these books
Run to your store - read all these books

Alright folks, we're going to have to make this quick. Obie--my friends' Boston terrier and main Donist World reader after my mom--and I are back in our secret cave and working on a task of huge import. A task that demonstrates that there is a HUGE injustice in this world and as comic book readers and lovers, we are looking for a hero of super proportions to save us from the evil that has been wrought against us. Yes my friends, we are compiling the tax "return" information for the Donist. We keep gazing into the sky to see if a blue and red blur that is faster than a speeding bullet is on its way to stop the evil's of Rex Ruffor and his sub-15% tax rate and offshore accounts. There is nothing. Where is a Dusk Knight who will right the wrongs of a Donist tax rate that is double that of Rex's rat?  Hmmm, Obie...get back in the house, The Quick isn't gonna pull our bacon out of the fire, so we might as well just fill these forms out and hope for the best. At least there is some good in the world, at least we have...

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Stuff of Legend Vol. III
A Jester's Tale #4
The Stuff of Legend Vol. III: A Jester's Tale #4 - Written by Mike Raicht & Brian Smith and illustrated by Charles Paul Wilson III, published by Th3rd World Studios. Who hasn't wished their toys came to life when they left the room? I'm certain Ironman and Batman teamed with Stretch Monster to take on the evil Baron Karza while I sat in class practicing my cursive. Epic adventures and great battles occurred during the time I was away at church (bored out of my gourd) or being made to shop for clothes (the horror) or stuck in solitary confinement until I ate all my peas (the trick is to just swallow the vile things like pills). I always felt I missed out on taking an active roll in my toys struggles. If Stuff of Legend was available to me back then, I might not have thought twice about joining the escapades of my, come to think of it, I would have wanted to help fight against the "The Dark," especially if Jester was there to protect me.
Artic, the Princess's abductor and one of the Indian Nation, lies dead as a result of his own actions against Jester, and Princess wants the clown off of her land. Unfortunately, Jester's lost brother appears at the gates of the Indian Nation and he is none other than the Laughing Ghost, pirate scourge of the sea.  Jester is not one to be taken lightly in any battle, but his dark brother is something different entirely. The Ghost is fueled by anger with a touch of insanity and instills terror in those who oppose him. Jester shares a touching moment with his traveling companion Filmore, as the boy and his friend are stowaways on a train headed straight into the chaos of battle. The Ghost takes sibling rivalry to an uncomfortable level and a traitor is revealed along with the discovery of a mysterious weapon.
Holy cow, this issue was intense. Beautiful and dramatic action scenes make up the majority of this issue, but there is still plenty of room to further the story and provide hints--and warnings--of what is to come. Raicht, Smith and Wilson III continue to provide a well-told and visually striking tale that only improves as the story progresses. I also need to draw attention to the design, coloring and production work done by Jon Conkling and Michael DeVito who give the book its unique and lovely look. With incredible battle scenes, emotional farewells and the fates of many characters who I have come to love in peril, I'm not really sure how I'm going to suffer the wait for volume IV in summer 2012...maybe a few repeat readings of the wonderful The Stuff of Legend Vol. III: A Jester's Tale chapter. This book is something that everyone should be reading and with the first two volumes already collected and this third volume being released at the end of February, getting caught up with this Donist World favorite is strongly advised.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Sixth Gun #18
The Sixth Gun #18 - Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press. The exceptional The Sixth Gun continues to come out on a regular basis despite the fact that Bunn is working on an ever growing list of Marvel titles and he and Hurtt have this book soon to be a Sci-Fi channel mini-series and another title, The Damned, set to appear on Showtime in the near future. These guys are busy beavers to say the least, but as stretched thin as they might be, it does not show in this great issue.
Flashback. We finally get to see what happened to Drake Sinclair the night he faced a giant mummy and fell from a moving train into the lake below. He is greeted on the shore by a man named Gabriel, an agent of the Knights of Solomon, and his cohorts, who whisk the exhausted man away with the aid of a disembodied hand that burns like a candle at the fingertips. There is some definite history between Drake and the group, and anticipating their desire for the guns, Drake enlists the help of Billjohn. Speaking of BillJohn, the poor guy never gets a moment--or an eternity's chance--to rest as he skulks away with four dire weapons. Becky arrives at a plague ridden town with a new-found bravado and finds herself dealing with the unsavory folks who run the place. Meanwhile, Drake might just have received a job offer from the Knights of Solomon.
As much I have enjoyed the past couple of issues, I will say it's nice to have Drake back in the picture along with all of the mystery and weirdness that follows him. Then there's Becky Montcrief, whose determination and newly acquired confidence make her much more interesting than she has been for most of the series. I'm not saying that I did not like her in the beginning, but seeing Becky finally come into her own by accepting the task of ridding the world of the evil guns made me care all the more. Bunn's storytelling is better than ever and Hurtt delivers some truly beautiful pages, especially the quick glimpse of the the Knights of Solomon's underworld, which has me very curious about this new group. Also worthy of mention is Bill Crabtree's striking colors that give this fantastic comic the distinct look and tone that sets it apart from other titles on the shelf. The Sixth Gun is another Donist World favorite that everyone should be reading. Three trades are readily available, so I reckon you should be a orderin' 'em. I can't wait to see what happens next. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

I, Vampire #5
I, Vampire #5 - Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, published by DC Comics.  Before I read this issue, I was worried. The first three issues were great and then the fourth came along and there was already a guest appearance. Of course that guest was John Constantine, who fit rather well into the I, Vampire world that DC has repeatedly stated is part of the general DC Universe. Here we are at issue five and we're already on to the next guest appearance, by none other that Batman. Having been disappointed with crossovers in the past, I let out a sigh and read Fialkov's latest. You know what? I should have just trusted that this issue would still be great...after all, its in good hands.
Mary's horde of vampires have arrived in Gotham City, and the Batman is not pleased with the carnage that they bring. Andrew, accompanied by his companions John and Tig, head straight into the calamity, but this leads the vampire into direct conflict with Batman after a believable misunderstanding. The motley crew agree to work together, but soon find themselves face to face with more fledgling vampires than they can count. Then, of course, there's Mary Queen of Blood to contend with and the issue ends just as the excitement is about to begin.
Again, my fears were put to rest after reading yet another great installment in this horror-love story. I will say that that although I did enjoy this issue, there was something slightly off with the introduction of Batman. This was not a problem with the previous issue, which I can only attribute to John Constantine being a better and more obvious fit for this series than the superhero Caped Crusader and his special costume. This is only a minor quibble, as the story is still engaging and the threat of Mary Queen of Blood is an ever-building stress that makes this title so enjoyable to read. Andrea Sorrentino's art is as dark and beautiful as ever and Marcelo Maiolo's colors continue to embellish the look and emotion of the book. With the cliffhanger ending, I am left to wonder how these characters are going to make it out alive, I guess I have a month of fingernail biting in anticipation. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Other Stuff to Check Out - I just need to mention that I have been reading outside of my comfort zone and have been LOVING Darkwing Duck and Best of Archie. As a kid, Archie Comics were always something that held no interest to me primarily because there were no horrific monsters, cool super heroes or gigantic robots. Now as an adult and finally giving the company a chance, I know what I have been missing for the past 30+ years. This ultra-cheap $9.99 retail tome is a brilliant look into the history of the company and the characters who have held solid for decades; I honestly want to read more. The final story from The Life or Archie Magazine really drew me in to the point that I MUST read more and will be buying Archie: The Married Life Book in the near future. Heck, I might even buy a few of the collections out there as well. As for DarkWing Duck, I'm not yet done with the first BOOM trade, but I am loving it. This is a truly all-ages comic that would appeal to the young me (after you pried a Spider-Man book out of my hands) and more-so to the current me with the painfully relatable look at cubicle life. So very well-done and another title that I will be seeking out additional volumes in trade. I cannot recommend them enough.

Slice Into the Woods

Still Fighting for My Writing Time - Not to moan about this too much, the jobby-job has been requiring much in the way of coming in early, which as all you Donist World Denizens (Hi Mom!) know is when I do my writing. But, not to be dissuaded I did a little writing from 5:45 AM to 6:45 AM and spent some additional time writing in the evening. Not my preferred method of working, since a couple of solid consecutive hours is more productive than splitting up the time, but at least I was able to continue working on my projects, which is always a good thing.

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