Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 4/27/2012

(Sung to the tune of Louis Armstrongs "Wonderful World")

Hornhead beats on AIM, Spidey does too
Pissed off Frank will blast them to goo
Should you read it yourself?
Check it on Donist World

Events come and go...another?! No!
"Omega" ain't bad, you should check it yo.
You should read for yourself
Hey thank you Donist World

Andrew Bennett has risen and flown up to the sky
Sportin' magic and powers, Cain now go bye-bye
Enough events, JLD I bid you adieu.
Deadly, blue-skin Mary, I love you

Obie...clear my schedule this week. We have a lot of work to do and we can't be bothered with all these distractions and obligations trying to soak up our time, money, and energy. What do you mean the calendar is too full to reschedule? Arrgh. Events, events, events? I tell ya, Obie, I can't take it no more, no how, now way. I...
Oh, hi there faithful Donist World readers. I'm Donist and I'm here with Donist World CFO, Obie, my friends' Boston terrier and my most trusted advisor. You see, folks, it seems all around me I have events planned in my life: weddings (no more, please), baby showers (whoever thought to include men in these should just...never mind), work parties (ugh...just...ugh), property meetings (seriously? Okay the termites ARE bad), parties (grrr...yes, these will be fun) and the occasional scheduled things that I might enjoy all add up to commitments. Even Obie has events that he must go to like the vet, parties and indictment hearings for his financial misconduct concerning the Donist World coffers. As time crunched as we all are these days events not only happen in our lives, they happen in our comic books and those can be brutally expensive if you try to follow them and most in the past have left this Donist none too thrilled. But every once in a while, some good ones come out...

Friday Slice of Heaven

Daredevil 11
Daredevil #11 - Written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Marco Checchetto, published by Marvel Comics. Hold on a moment, please. Let me do the math. Issue 10 + Issue 10.1 + issue 11 = 31.1 divided by...forget it. I think this issue of Daredevil makes the third book in the series that I have bought in the past four weeks. Now, according to various release notices, the next installment comes out next week. Fancy that. I'll be darned. Anyways, I'm usually less-than-thrilled whenever crossover books popup, but thank goodness this "Omega Effect" mini-event only went across three issues...that and it was also pretty good.
Daredevil, Spider-Man and the Punisher have teamed up in an effort to stop Megacrime (Hydra, AIM, Agence Byzantine and the Secret Empire...all possibly funded by the Koch Dominion, but that's neither her nor there) from obtaining the Omega Drive a hard drive made from the Fantastic Four's unstable molecules and that contains damning secret information about the group. The three "heroes" have a strained relationship to say the least and the fact that Cole, a female ally of the Punisher, has shot Daredevil with rubber bullets and taken the Omega Drive doesn't help matters. Cole finds that the Omega Drive has a problem...the information stored on it can only be accessed with special equipment found in the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building. Hornhead confronts Punisherette and gets through to her, reclaiming the drive, but Megacrime still needs a beating and the three "heroes" are only too happy to oblige.
Confession time. I did not read part one and two. This is not a knock against Spider-Man or the Punisher--I've heard great things about both--but I buy the books I buy and of the three that's currently only Daredevil, although there's a good chance I will get those titles in trade. As I mentioned above, I'm not one for crossovers that typically span around one hundred issues to get the entire story--that's cash-grab malarky. However, a story over three different titles over only three issues is not a hard pill to swallow and although I would have enjoyed "The Omega Effect" better had I read the other titles, Daredevil was still enjoyable on its own and easy to follow...although I still don't know who the hell Cole is. Checchetto filled in on art for this issue and did a great job of it even though I'm not sure how Daredevil can swing on a line that is strewn all over the place. For an "event" book, this one was not a painful (or expensive) venture and Daredevil continues to be a joy to read. RECOMMENDED!

I, Vampire #8
I, Vampire #8 - Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, published by DC Comics. Speaking of events and crossovers...I, Vampire is a book that I instantly loved for the first three issues. Then the crossovers started. I liked the issue with Constantine (issue 4), but something changed after that. Although I am still enjoying the book, having Batman appear for a couple issues, then the Justice League Dark cats show up and pull the story into their book for a couple issues and by my count I, Vampire has been 62.5% crossover/guest-appearances. I do not blame Fialkov for this, more the readers not trying something different--and quite frankly awesome--leading DC to try to spark interest (sales) through other means. That said, it is still a good comic.
Something happened in Justice League Dark #8 that I have no idea about other than Madame Xanadu bringing Andrew Bennett back to undead life. Cain (primordial evil incarnate) get's his ass handed to him by Andrew who has a whole host of new powers that cause his old love, Mary Queen of Blood, to swoon and his old teammates to worry. With his new abilities, Andrew pushes the reset button on the events of the past few issues and he and Mary leave with Andrew's army to start a new vampire nation as Tig and John are left wondering what just happened.
As I alluded to at the beginning, I don't believe this is the story that Fialkov initially set out to tell. When I, Vampire began, it was Andrew and Mary's story, a story of a powerful love falling apart, but one that promised terrible repercussions as Mary gave into her evil vampiric nature and Andrew remained steadfastly himself. I can see the Cain storyline as something that was originally scheduled to happen about twenty issues down the line after the repercussions of Andrew and Mary's conflict had developed more and supporting characters Tig and John received more time in the spotlight as well. Then come the super heroes. Still, this book is enjoyable. What is most striking about this issue is Andrea Sorrentino's beyond beautiful artwork...just look at the first page alone. I love his design of Mary and of the various forms that Andrew takes and I want to see more, more, more. On its own, Sorrentino's art is a marvel, but add in Marcelo Maiolo's colors and the images become all the more powerful. From Mary's lovely blue tinted skin, to the night sky, to the stunning glows of the magic gliding through the sky, Maiolo delivers the mood and the mysticism of each panel. This is a beautiful comic book and with the crossovers out of the way, I,Vampire has hopefully seen a boost in sales and Fialkov can tell the story he set out to tell since the first couple of issues. RECOMMENDED!

Other Items Deserving of Heavenly Praise:

Thor Visionairies Walt Simonson Volume One - Written and illustrated by Walt Simonson, published by Marvel Comics. I found this at my LCS in the 50% off bin. Perfect condition with no creases, bends or signs of excessive readings and I'm left to wonder what the hell is wrong with the people in my city that they did not buy this before me. Their loss. I'm only about a third of the way through the book, but then this is not the first time I have read this story that had a tremendous impact on me years ago when the issues were originally released. I LOVED the horse-faced alien who could stand toe to toe with the Mighty Thor as well as the back story slowly building from issue to issue. I tried to find those much-loved comics a few months ago and found only a few of my Simonson issues, with no idea what happened to the rest. What the hell? Did I sell them decades ago out of financial desperation and stupidity? Whatever, I have the first third of them now and they more than stand up to the test of time. I will definitely be buying the other two volumes. Shhhhh...can you hear it? If you listen carefully you might just hear it...DOOM...DOOM! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Kingdom Rush iPad App Update - Yeah, yeah, what does an update to a game have to do with anything? Well now, Donist World readers, let me learn y'all somethin'. Kingdom Rush is an incredibly addictive tower defense game for the iPad and for play on the web (I have not tried this version though) and it has everything I want in a casual game: cheap price, tower defense, leveling of troops, strategy, a decent and brief story, great designs, cool effects, humorous voice tracts, hidden extras and a challenge. What's not to love? Yesterday's update added a new (and painfully hard) level with a new boss, and also added six "heroes" to aid you in your monster bashing skills. Oh yeah, and the update is free. I keep looking for a Kingdom Rush 2, but no word that I can find yet on where that stands, but as long as the developers keep kicking out updates with new levels and features, I'll happily wait until the day I can throw money at them for the next installment.

Slice Into the Woods

A Week of the Mundaes - It's funny--okay, not-- how this happens, but every time I complete a project I am working on, the self-doubt tries to creep in and claw it's way into my being. Over the past month, I have completed lettering on two comic shorts, expanded out a five-page comic story to twenty-two pages, got my first legit publishing credit (out in August) and finished the second draft on my kid's book. I've been busy. I am proud and thrilled with what I've done, yet comes the self doubt. It sucks, and I am told that every writer deals with this. "How do you get past this feeling?" you might ask. Not easily, but by not dwelling, working to improve my craft and always, always, always having new projects and ideas going and in various stages of development at all times. If you impose deadlines and goals on yourself, then you are too busy to have time to dwell on unproductive negative thoughts and you are always moving forward on your projects. Still...not easy sometimes.

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