Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 8/24/2012

(Sung to the tune of Madonna's "Get Into the Groove")

Hey, take a chance
No perspiration, come on

Comics can be such a revelation
Rachel Rising's such an inspiration
Dead girl seeks blondie all through the night
Demons and witches'll give you a fright

Crossovers? A Donist World menace oh gee
Alright, I Vampire actually got it right you see
Andrew gets all the power for himself
Stormwatch best help out poor Mary or else

Get into the groove
Donist World approves
Great books you see

Howdy there all you shiny, happy people holding hands. I'm Donist and I am flying solo today and I am not joined by Donist World CFO, Obie, who is also my friends' Boston terrier. Just this past Wednesday, Obie and I fled the Donist World Corporate Office to visit the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Luckily for Obie, he weighs only 22 pounds and I was able to smuggle him in a backpack on the tram to the premises. You see, even dogs can have a healthy appreciation of art and since Obie loves comic books so much he decided to go to where it all started...fine art. With his miniature top hat and monocle in place, we first hit the Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line exhibition, where, regrettably, he was caught trying to pinch Klimt's striking Fish Blood piece, and is now being detained by the museum police. I guess where he hates the piracy of comic books and stealing from creators in a struggling industry, the same thought does not apply to ganking works of art from long deceased masters. Oops...there's the doorbell. He must have been released. While I sign the nice policeman's release form, have a gander at...

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

I, Vampire #12
I, Vampire #12 - Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, published by DC Comics. On occasion, I have to be a big boy and admit when I have been wrong. I, Vampire is a book that I loved after reading the first issue and I have enjoyed--for the most part--each installment as it was released, but there were a couple things that bugged me: the guest appearances and the crossovers. Hell, for a while the book was above 60% of the issues released involving characters from other books and it had only just started. The multitude of outside characters gracing the book was worrisome, suggesting that Fialkov was not being allowed to tell the story he originally set out to tell. One year later we are at 50% crossovers and when I saw the cover with members of Stormwatch (Apollo, Midnighter, and Jack Hawksmoor), I let out a long sigh and shook my head. Then I read the comic.
When an entire town goes missing, Jack Hawksmoor of Stormwatch notices. Deciding to investigate, he brings Midnighter and Apollo to Utah to find a chaotic war being waged among zombie vampire killers, vampires, zombie vampire vampire killers, and a couple humans. Stormwatch decides to wipe them all out, but after Apollo and Andrew have a little chat involving lasers and magic, the misunderstanding of who's good and who's bad gets straightened out. Something terrible happens, something good happens, someone gets very disappointed, and the situation becomes really bad. How's that for cryptic.
That was a damn fine crossover. There, I said it. Where past guest appearances felt disjointed and not organic to the story, Fialkov took the appearance of three Stormwatch members and fit them perfectly to the story. The funny thing is that this team up should not work, but it does. The dialogue of the Stormwatch characters was great, each having their own distinct voice, as was that of the main cast, and the reader is left wishing Fialkov and Sorrentino were working on Stormwatch in addition to I, Vampire. This issue also raises the stakes, then allows you to relax before sucker punching you in the face. Speaking of Sorrentino...he provides his best, most striking work to date; just wait until you reach the last splash page. Colorist Marcelo Maiolo provides some of my favorite colors of any comic book on the stands and it seems as if he was born to add the sun sphere and glows to Apollo. Art and colors combined, the effect is beautiful. Can you tell I loved this issue? This is how you do a crossover right. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Rachel Rising #10
Rachel Rising #10 - Everythinged by Terry Moore, published by Abstract Studio. Okay, "two dead chicks walk into a hospital..." sounds like the beginning to a joke you'd hear in grade school, but that's not the case with Moore's fantastic Rachel Rising. After ten issues of this slow-burn horror story this comic refuses to allow the reader an opportunity to jump off the series as Moore pulls you in deeper with each secret revealed.
Two dead chicks walk into a hospital to see their Aunt Johnny, who, despite being grumpy as hell about healthcare costs, is stuck there for the long haul after a terrible car accident. In fact, she's lucky to be alive, just like her friends, Rachel and Jet, only Rachel died weeks ago despite running around all of Manson, and Jet died in the same car accident that put Aunt Johnny in the hospital to begin with. Times are weird. Rachel and Jet--who is not completely herself--need to find the mysterious blonde woman, and to do that they have to scour the city to find the little girl linked to her. Or not, as the little girl is in the same hospital as AJ. Rachel learns where to find the blonde after she touches the comatose Zoe and more secrets are uncovered.
In case you can't tell, I'm a huge Terry Moore fan. Strangers In Paradise was unlike anything I had ever read (or like anything I usually read) and one of the best comic series period, Echo was addictive as hell and great sci-fi, and now Rachel Rising is covering the horror/mystery genre wonderfully. The key to Moore's methods lie in his characters who draw the reader in leaving them feeling as if they were close acquaintances. You want them to succeed. You want them to pull themselves together and not make the mistakes they're destined to make. You gasp when they are injured or die. Moore's gorgeous art only makes the connection with his characters that much deeper. This comic is one you must read to see what happens next, but not in a cliffhanger-at-the-end-of-every-issue sort of way, but in a nagging desire to know more, more, more after each released piece of information. My only complaint with this issue, as well as the last few, is that there's only 18 pages of material, but since Moore does everything on this book, that's understandable and as long as the story continues to be this engaging I'm along for the entire ride. Don't trade wait this one and support one of the best indie creators in the field. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Other Heavenly Items:
Gustav Klimt Exhibition
I Actually Did Go to the Getty Museum - Every once in a while the day job pulls through. Every year we do a department outing, so this year we boarded a Santa Barbara Airbus Shuttle at 8:00 AM and headed down to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California. From 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM we had the freedom to explore the exhibition halls, gardens and the grounds as we saw fit. The Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line was my personal favorite, with a glimpse into Klimt's processes leading up to his most famous paintings. Also of interest, especially to artists, was the eerily realistic sculpted heads of Franz Xaver me, do a Google image search and you'll see. The Herb Ritts photography exhibition was great as well. If you ever find yourself in Los Angeles and have never been to the Getty, then you owe it to yourself to get there by whatever means possible. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time to experience it all and allow time to visit the garden and enjoy the architecture. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

TPB Backlog...I Can't Wait! - Man. I have four TPBs waiting to be read and I need to find the time. Prophet (by Brandon's only $9.99, you have to be nuts to pass this one up), Creepy Presents: Richard Corben (These stories are huge part of my disturbed childhood), Blacksad: A Silent Hell (The second HC. You MUST read the first book that I gushed over last week), and Drops of God V. 4 (who doesn't love Manga about wine?).

Slice Into the Woods

Hey...I'm Missing the Shade #11 From Last Week - Oh, man! Dang it!

Billionaire Koch Brother Builds Horsey Town Near Aspen - Article here. Far be it from me to say how a millionaire billionaire (let's write that out >$1,000,000,000) spends their money, but a private, 50-building frontier town located near said billionaire's private ranch seems to be a bit much. I have no problem with the rich being eccentric, but when the rich (Koch Brothers) lobby to change campaign laws (Citizen's United), and create and fund political parties (Tea Party) all to allow them to pay a much lower tax rate than I pay, there's a problem. For people claiming that they only want America to be great and free, they sure spend a lot of time and money on making themselves more wealthy (including illegal sales to Iran), while ensuring people like all of us pick up the slack for their tax breaks that allow them to buy a horsey town as opposed to actually making America great by...I don't know...supporting our schools or wiping out poverty or not sending our jobs overseas.
When I finally add those five extra $0s to my net worth, I look forward to constructing a miniature city so I can dress up as Godzilla or Gamera and crush it beneath my feet to my heart's content. Actually, let's make that miniature city a frontier town located in Aspen.

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