Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 4/13/2012

(Sung to the tune of Asia's "Heat of the Moment")

Alana and Marko know where it's at
Too bad The Stalk wants to kidnap their brat
Scary, gross assassins from outer space
Kick-butt Saga has storytelling grace

Maggie Sawyer wants to give love a chance
Kate Kane's not the best at prolonged romance
Batwoman smirks she thinks it's all a gas
Falchion and his crew? Yeah, she'll kick their ass

You need to read some cool comics
Donist World's got you covered
Read these cool comics, they'll open your eyes.

Obie? OBIE?! Fine. Sit there with your back to me. I don't care. No, I really don't. Oh, what? You're giving me the silent treatment now? If that's how it's going to be then--.
Oh...hi folks. Don't mind us. Obie, my friends' Boston terrier and Donist World chief operating officer, and I are in a tiff. He's just in a foul mood and blaming me for it, which he loooooooves to do. You see, I was shorted this week's The Shade #7 at my LCS and poor little prickly-pants, Obie just can't wrap his puppy brain around the fact that I was shorted and there's nothing I can do about it except wait. He just needs to let it drop. Never mind that I have two damn-fine comics to talk about, noooooo. Let's not focus on what I did do right. Let's concentrate on the negative. How's that sound to you, Obie? Huh? Still not talking? Fine. Mother was right about you, I should have listened, but nooooooo. You can be mad at me all you want, but let's see you stay mad after...

Friday Slice of Heaven

Saga #2
Saga #2 - Written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples, published by Image comics. The first issue of Saga was a great read the first time through that only improved with an additional read, but with the arrival of the second issue any fears of the story diminishing were negated. Sci-Fi, fantasy and horror meld wonderfully in this love story set on a weird world and the introduction of a terrifying new adversary keeps the tension high. One thing is clear about Saga...everyone should be reading this book.
The Will is hot on the trail of former rival soldiers turned family members, Alana and Marko, in the hope of capturing their forbidden child, Hazel. But when The Will hears a new "free lancer" known as The Stalk has also been called in, he decides it is best to let this job go; no one survives The Stalk. Assassins aside, the forbidden-love couple and their child may not last long enough to be killed by a hired hand given the treacherous woods might be able to finish the job for free. The Stalk makes her terrifically horrendous appearance and confirms why she is someone to be feared, but even hardened killers can be scared of The Horrors of the woods. As The Stalk flees, the young family's situation looks to have gone from worse to dreadful.
I love this book. Vaughan and Staples have created an intriguing world with characters who I wish to know more about and who have me worried for their safety. I want to know more of how Marko and Alana met and how they escaped their former roles in life to begin a new one. However, my interests in the characters does not stop with the protagonists. Even the "villains" are fascinating whether it is the robot prince, an assassin lacking confidence, or a killer who is one of the scariest creatures ever seen, the reader finishes the comic wanting more. Staples manages to provide artwork that is even more striking than the already beautiful first issue and the colors work to force the eye to the creators' whim, especially in the scenes with The Stalk in the haunted woods. Saga is exactly the type of vaccine that an ailing comics market needs. If I had one criticism of this issue it would be...umm...hold on...yeah...I got nuthin'. I am so on board for this exciting ride. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Batwoman #8
Batwoman #8 - Written by J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman, illustrated by Amy Reeder and published by DC Comics. The different and slightly experimental storytelling of the latest Batwoman arc continues and although the leaps forward and backward in time are a bit jarring, there is still plenty to enjoy.
Batwoman continues her quest to free the missing children from the clutches of the mysterious Falchion and his minions: Killer Croc, Bloody Marry, The Hook and The Weeping Woman. Luckily Kate Kane has the help of some new and interesting technology provided by her more-enemy-than-frenemy, Cameron Chase. The Hook and its host gain a brief origin story that is disgusting in a cool way and Falchion is much more than he seems. Chase continues to poke and prod Kate by instilling doubt about Kate and Maggie's relationship and by pointing out the problems involved in sleeping with a detective when you are a masked vigilante. Finally, just when Batwoman looks to have lost, she receives an unexpected reprieve, but whether this person is an ally or a worse enemy remains to be seen.
Another exciting installment in the "To Drown the World" storyline has come and gone, and as interesting as some of the backstories on the villains have been, the main arc with Batwoman squaring off against Falchion and his mythical warriors has only progressed up a stair or two. Thus far this is okay and I'm curious to see how Williams III and Blackman bring the many past threads together over the next couple of issues to wrap up this chapter. Pulling this off won't be easy. The art was beautiful as ever and I am disappointed to hear that Amy Reeder will be leaving the series. Following Williams III's gorgeous art and stunning layouts was no easy task and Reeder has done an excellent job of it. As odd as the storytelling choice might be, Batwoman continues to be a good read with one of the strongest female characters outside of Wonder Woman. RECOMMENDED!

Other Heavenly Items:
King City TPB
King City TPB - Everythinged by Brandon Graham, published by Image Comics. Disclaimer: I'm only about halfway through this hefty 400+ page tome, but I can tell you with certainty that I am loving what I see. Now, exactly what it is that I see, well, I don't know that I can properly put it all into words.  Joe, an assassin, has returned to King City as a cat master. "What is a cat master?" you say. Well, a cat master has a cat that can transform into a multitude of tools and weapons depending on the contents of the syringe injected into the cat, appropriately named Earthling J.J. Cattingworth the Third. Earthling can transform into a periscope, a parachute, lock pick...just about anything. Joe's friend, Pete, is a ski masked, doughy guy who happens to be in love with a beautiful aquatic alien who he is forced to sell into slavery. Joe's ex-girlfried is now in love with a Xombie War vet, who is transforming into the very drug he is addicted to. Then there are the gang of weirdos called the owls. Aside from that, I don't know what the hell is going on, but I do know that I like it. Thus far, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! <--and teetering on a "VERY" being added to the front of that. This book retails for $20, so just pull the trigger and give it a shot...just like you would a cat if you were a cat master.

Justified Season Three - Amy and I just watched the season finale of Justified Season Three and the show keeps to the same high standard of the previous two seasons. Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) is confronted with a man who makes the many other bad guys in town quiver in fear and its up to him to stop the insane killer before the body count gets too high; unless of course the body count includes some of Lexington's other less savory characters. Justified is a great series on FX that not enough people are watching. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for ALL three seasons.

Another Short Comic Lettered - I finished lettering the art for the third comic script I ever wrote and it turned out wonderfully. Look for it in print before the end of the year, if not sooner. Now to letter another script I had illustrated and find some artists to illustrate a few others. Of course I'm also working on expanding my original five-page script for "Down by the Pond" out to a full 22-page comic after the most amazing critique I received from Scott Snyder last month. Busy, busy, busy.

Saturday and Sunday at the Park - Is there a better way to spend the weekend than at the park--which we had to ourselves--with wine, bread, cheese, The Invention of Hugo Cabret and our Boston terrier (Obie's sister) Tulip. No, I think not.

Slice Into the Woods

Tired and Run Down this Whole Week - I'm not sure what the deal is, but I've been exhausted all week, but did that stop me from getting up at 5:15 AM each morning and writing? No, siree, Bob. I would have felt worse if I didn't get up and write.

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