Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 8/3/2012

(Sung to the tune of Tears for Fears "Everybody Wants to Rule the World")

Welcome to your site
Donist World's got your back
Want some books to read?
Best go find you
Sweet Tooth's a book you should savor
Super science resets nature
Read about it here on Donist World

Swamp Thing's so divine
Animal Man's the source
Of trouble for Arcane
Alec and Buddy go
Pound on Rot goons for your pleasure
Seal up Rotworld for good measure
Read about it here on Donist World

¡Viva la Fiesta! It's Fiesta time again here in lovely...errr...foggy Santa Barbara, which means that Obie, my friends' Boston terrier and Donist World CFO, has once again raided the petty cash box and is hiding down at De La Guerra plaza until the food booths open for tri-tip tacos, chicken burritos, sopes and churros. Tomorrow, he'll be at the children's parade where he will literally be stealing candy from babies as the people in the parade toss candy to the viewers. He'll probably also buy some of those confetti eggs to smash on my head throughout the weekend as I toil away here at the Donist World secret lair working on comics and books and all manner of other projects. So, before you head downtown for margaritas and tequila shots, have a look at the comics we loved this week (and also the comic we unfortunately missed). It's like my good friend used to always say, "Tu perro es una piscina en mi estómago," which translates to "Your dog is a pool in my stomach," never mind, he was never any good at Spanish anyways. ¡Viva la Fiesta! On to...

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Animal Man #12
Animal Man #12 - Written by Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder, illustrated by Steve Pugh, published by DC Comics. The moment hinted at since the beginning of the series a year ago is finally here. Animal Man and Swamp Thing--the Red and the Green--finally join forces to take on the menace of Arcane, the Avatar of the Rot, but was the year-long setup worth bringing us to this prologue? Hells yes. If you've been following Donist World for any length of time, you already knew the answer to that question.
Buddy's son, Cliff, is infected with the Rot and if Buddy is to cure him, he's going to have to tackle the disease at the source by confronting the Rot itself. Unfortunately, he needs the help of the Swamp Thing. The Baker clan, minus Cliff but including Socks, succeed in finding the Green's champion, Swamp thing, as well as Abigail Arcane, a woman with the power of the Rot flowing through her who is sympathetic to the cause of the Red and the Green. A history lesson follows and Alec (Swamp Thing) and Buddy head into Rotworld, while Maxine, Ellen, Abby, and socks are left to guard the portal and fight a host of Rotworld's inhabitants as they attempt to claw their way into our world.
As much as I have thoroughly enjoyed Animal Man for the past year, I will say that I am amped for this crossover event, and the fact that I am excited for a crossover is not something I usually say...ever. Sure there is a bring-everyone-up-to-speed moment, but it feels organic and does not come across as too expositiony, which makes this issue somewhat of a jumping on point, but why do that when you can catch up easily enough. Both Lemire and Snyder are credited as writers on this issue, but it flows as if it were a natural continuation of the Animal Man comic. I will admit to being a little confused as to whether or not Buddy Baker is now, like his daughter Maxine, considered an Avatar of the Red since his rebirth, as that has not been made clear, but this does not overly detract from the story. Steve Pugh (art) and Lovern Kinderzierski's (colors) work is more beutiful than ever and I love the look of Pugh's regal yet menacing Swamp Thing. This issue is part one of the prologue to "Rotworld" with part two found in this month's Swamp Thing. We are finally at the beginning of the much-anticipated "Rotworld" storyline and even after a year of setup on one of my three favorite New 52 titles I could not be happier and I'm more excited than ever. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Swamp Thing #12
Swamp Thing #12 - Written by Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Marco Rudy, published by DC comics. This is the second part of the "Rotworld" prologue begun in the excellent Animal Man #12, but does this followup continue the excitingly tense story or does it fall flat? The answer should be clear, since if it's on Donist World that means I definitely loved it and this highly anticipated crossover event running through my favorite New 52 title is exactly the intro to the Rotworld I was hoping for.
Alec and Buddy have just touched down at the entryway into the Rot, but before they can devise their next move, they are attacked by un-men. Abby, Ellen, Maxine and Socks guard both the portal to the Rot and Alec's lifeline root tether, but they too are assaulted by revolting monsters seeking to enter our world. As the two heroes make their way down a bone ladder, Arcane--in an incredibly creepy page--confronts Swamp Thing and the powerless Animal Man, severing Alec's tether to leave them trapped in the Rot with no connection to the real world, the Green or the Red. Finally, Arcane reveals that Animal Man and Swamp Thing have been gone for much longer than they thought and the world has moved on without them in the worst of ways.
Oh my goodness gracious, what a fantastic issue and what a painful wait for the story to continue as next month brings the "0" issues with the full return to Rotworld in October; with any luck the Swamp Thing Annual #1 will be in there as well. Whereas the Animal Man first part of the prologue essentially brought the reader up to speed with what happened as well as introduced the champions of the Green and Red to one another, this issue was all about the descent into the Rot, the hope and determination of the heroes both below and topside, and the crushing realization of failure. In short, I loved this issue. Snyder and Lemire create a believable quick camaraderie between Alec and Buddy and the stakes escalate the further they progress down the bone ladder until the horrifying image of Arcane climbing down head-first and shredding Alec's tether with his gruesome, orthodontist-nightmare teeth gives the reader a shocking jab to the gut. Marco Rudy's art is an improvement over some of the muddy imagery found in the last issue and despite having three different inkers on this book he was a fantastic fill-in for Yanick Paquette. Val Staples provided some beautiful colors that fit well with the theme of the book, and combined with Rudy they delivered a hell of a good looking issue. Aside from wondering what happened to Buddy's boots from the first part to the second, the prologue did it's job making this event one of my most anticipated comics for October. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Sweet Tooth #36
Sweet Tooth #36 - Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, published by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint. Criminy...only four more issues to go of one of Vertigo's best comics on the stand and I already know I'm going to be sad to see it go. But does this issue leave you with hope that the book will finish up satisfactorily? It did for me.
Gus is dreaming again. He dreams of the past and possibly of what is yet to come as he rides with his friends on a course for Alaska where everyone hopes to find answers as to what happened to the world. Meanwhile, Bobby runs for his life from Abbot's pack of dog boys and is forced to say where Gus, Jepperd and the rest have gone. Jepperd finds Singh, who is not in the best state of mind but in possession of a dire revelation, and Gus finds other animal children who are very much like him.
I'm pretty hopeful we can rule out a Lost-style ending that leaves far more questions than answers as Lemire reveals what caused the plague a century ago and how humanity inadvertently renewed the plague to bring about its own demise. Lemire's art, especially the dream sequence, continues to be beautiful and unique as he drives emotion in not just his characters, but in his readers; have a look at Bobby's forced betrayal scene (no one should mess with poor little Bobby). Although the first 34 issues flowed at a slower pace than the rapidly approaching end of this series, I expected the story to haphazardly attempt to wrap up all of the loose ends, but with this issue, I was able to give a sigh of relief; Lemire has everything under control. Even with four issues left, it's still not too late to catch up to this wonderfully tragic story. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Other Heavenly Items:
Daredevil #16
Daredevil #16 - Written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Chris Samnee, published by Marvel Comics. Is it any surprise that the latest issue of Daredevil is another great example of how a superhero comic book is done? In this issue we have guest stars Giant-Man, Tony Stark and Dr. Strange working together and trying to help restore Matt Murdoch to his senses--literally--but it's no easy feat to counter Doom's nanodroids. But even the help of the Avengers won't be enough to save Matt from the fallout of Foggy Nelson and the discovery of what he found in Matt's desk. Mark Waid consistently delivers fantastic issues of Daredevil each month--three times in one month back in April or May--and after this issue I would gladly buy an issue of Giant-Man if he were writing it as well. Samnee's art continues to be the perfect fit for Waid's HornHead and "The Man Without Fear" continues to be one of two or possibly three Marvel titles that I am following and with good reason. RECOMMENDED!

Indie Comics Magazine #6
Indie Comics Magazine #6 - Written by a bunch of folks--one of which is me--and illustrated by a bunch of folks as well, published by Aazurn Publishing. Indie Comics Magazine is a 64-page, black and white, comic-sized magazine consisting of eight stories of eight pages by eight different writers and artists. For this issue, I'm joined by four of my immensely talented Comics Experience friends (Rob Anderson, Frederick Kim, Glenn Moane, and Joe Sergi) and three other exceptional writers. My story is titled "Timber Tom" and is the second comic script (of many... more coming soon) that I have written and one that I am immensely proud of seeing come to life through the lovely art of the wonderfully gifted Juan Romera who provided the illustrations for my story. This is also my first published work (I have a self-published story called "Pools of Flame" in the Out of Our Minds: Tales from the Comics Experience anthology). I cannot begin to express how nice it is to have a box full of comics arrive containing something that I have written and lettered. I hope you give it a try. Of course I'm going to say VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Dang...I Should Have Put Hawkeye on My Pull List - Grrrrrr...this would have been my third Marvel title after Daredevil and Captain Marvel. Oh well, I have it on order and will hopefully have it in the next week or two. Matt Fraction back with David Aja?!? I was an idiot to not plan ahead.

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