Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 9/28/2012

(Sung to the tune of OMD's "Dreaming")
So you want to find heaven child
C'mon now, what the hell?
Have you read Rachel Rising, Cuz?
Moore does the scary well
Another kickass comic? 
You got it with The Sixth Gun
Its a bag of spooky awesomeness
By Hurtt and Cullen Bunn
No you are not dreaming
There's great comics to catch your eye
Morrison's got a sweet one called Happy!
Donist would never lie
If I had some party hats, I'd be putting one on me and one on Obie, my friends' Boston terrier and Donist World CFO. You see, it's that special time of year when pumpkin flavored everything comes out for a "seasonal" two to three month span of taste sensation--don't get me started on the institutional evil known as the seasonal pumpkin surge and don't you worry your pretty little face, if the bills Obie drafted up pass through Congress pumpkin will be evergreen soon enough. Anyways, we have pumpkin soup, pumpkin waffle and pancake mix and the most holiest of holy, pumpkin beer (thank you Brutal Circle chum, Bill Yurkas for the tip to put cinnamon on the rim of a frosted pint glass...mind blowing!). Obie and I have brought in an '80s bomb shelter's worth of the orange boxed products and he's right now manning (dogging?) the forklift to load it into the Donist World storage unit and...DAMMIT! Obie! Who taught you to drive a forklift? Okay, I did, but I told you that lever is for reverse...REVERSE! <sigh> While I fill out the insurance paperwork, have a look at the comics that rocked our Donist World world.
Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***
Rachel Rising #11
Rachel Rising #11 - Everythinged by Terry Moore, published by Abstract Studio. " good is going to come of this..." is what you will say after taking a gander at the first page of the new Rachel Rising. Turn the page and you'll be 100% correct in your statement. Now that you are adequately freaked out, or at the very least put ill at ease, you're ready for the rest of the book as it answers (maybe) many of the questions building since the beginning of the series. This issue has plenty to sink your teeth into..."Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!" Sorry. I couldn't resist. Brrrrrrrr.
Okay, that image is disturbing. Anyways, Lilith tells Rachel a little of Mason's rich and vibrant history. 300 years ago, the men of Mason dragged single women and girls from their homes on charges of witchcraft and put them all to death in horrifying ways. Rachel is shocked, stunned actually, but she begins to notice discrepancies in Lilith's story, but regardless of what is true and what is exaggerated, the witch's plans for Mason are all too real. Meanwhile, the newly-resurrected and newly-possessed Jet stands over the comatose Zoe when a social worker comes calling. Talk about your bad timing. A police detective begins to connect the dots...literally, and Rachel finds herself in some VERY bad company.
Why are more people not reading this exceptional horror book? Yes, I understand there are no capes, no tights, no nearly-exposed boobs, no overabundance of booty shots, no gore for the sake of gore, but come on. You have one of the best comic creators ever writing/drawing/inking/lettering his own book, amazing characters you can't help but but care about, and a mysterious story that builds upon itself, drawing the reader deeper into Moore's world. Oh yeah, it's also quite scary and you can't put the darn thing down. What more do you need to know other than this comic is in my top five books on the shelf? I will say that there is only 18 pages of actual content, and the book is priced at $3.99, but the content that you receive with each issue more than makes up for the missing pages. Plus, Rachel Rising is available on Comixology where you can eventually buy each issue for $1.99 each. There's also the tpb containing issues 1-6 so you can get partially up to speed. No matter how you read your comics (unless it's illegally, in which case you can suck it) Rachel Rising is a thoughtful, slow-build horror comic that will leave you desperate for the next issue and slightly hesitant to turn the light off at night. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
The Sixth Gun #25
The Sixth Gun #25 - Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press. Speaking of comics that do not sell as well as they should, the tremendous The Sixth Gun is another one all fans of comics should at least check out (the first issue is free at Comixology and the first trade is also available there for $8.99). I will admit to having a bit of a history with this series. When I finally read the first tpb, I scrambled to find all of the individual issues so I could follow month-to-month. After that, for whatever reason, my LCS has gotten the shaft on this title nearly every three issues, with Diamond invoicing the store, billing them, and not shipping the books until two weeks later. Annoying as hell, especially when this is one of my most anticipated books. My LCS's owner even said this week, "Wow...I can't believe you actually got this book on time." What the hell is that? Doesn't matter, what counts is that I got my copy of The Sixth Gun and thank goodness as this issue was wonderful.
As a snow simulacrum of BillJohn stands sentry, Becky and Drake are stuck freezing in a rickety cabin in the middle of an errant snowstorm that cannot possibly be natural. Everything around them is dead, and the two have no idea of how long they have been stranded there. Days, weeks...possibly only hours have passed, but the topic Drake seeks to avoid, aside from frostbite, is what they found back below Penance. During Drake's rescue, the pair saw an image of a man who looked suspiciously like Drake reshaping the world with the aid of the Six. Far from the frozen death realm, Gord Cantrell finds Kirby Hale exactly where his new and terrifying partner Asher Cobb (I'm not going to tell you what he is) said he would be. The three all wish to find Becky Montcrief, but their interest in her might not be for the betterment of her health. The winter wolves make a renewed attack and Drake determines that he and Becky are being hunted by a wendigo.
Month(ish) in and month(ish) out, The Sixth Gun continues to be in my top five three books on the stand. What's not to love about a unique, supernatural Western, with compelling characters on a multi tiered quest. With this issue, Bunn leads the reader into a false sense of calm as he sets plans in motion to bring Drake, Beck, Gord, Kirby and Asher all together for one heck of a meeting. Although most of the comic involves characters talking and planning, Hurtt's sequentials reveal the emotion of the characters beautifully and when the action scenes come they are tense and driving. Bill Crabtree continues to display lovely coloring, especially in scenes depicting the frozen dead and the chilled wasteland. The Sixth Gun has not missed a beat and when the worst issue in this series's current 25 issue run can be considered "very good" there's no way to lose with this fantastic comic book. Buy it. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Happy #1
Happy #1 - Written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Darick Robertson, published by Image Comics. It looks like Grant Morrison's pulling the plug on the whole Big 2 superhero scene--although the plug has a very long cord and might take some time to actually pop completely out of the wall. This looks to be great news for fans of the writer's amazing non-capes and tights books We3 and Joe the Barbarian. Unfortunately fans of his stellar All-Star Superman and New X-Men comics are going to be bummed out. But then if you take a gander at the earlier entries for this post, you'll notice an absence of Marvel and DC books. Creator-owned comics rule this week and the good news is that Grant is not leaving comics at all, only the ones that limit his storytelling. Heck, you get Happy, and who's not going to be happy about that?
Nick Sax is a no good, filthy word I can't write. At least that's what the Fratelli Brothers who were hired to kill Nick say. I mean, the guy used to be a cop for god's sake, and now he's some sort of hit-man. He's also a drunk with a skin problem that--just know that he sucks, okay. Anyways, when the hit goes bad, things get worse when Nick takes a bullet. To go another shade of terrible, someone named Mister Blue believes Nick is in possession of password that unlocks a lot of money. Barely alive and soon to be tortured, the only one capable of pulling his ass out of the fire is a miniature, blue, flying, Pegasus, unicorn named Happy.
I know, right? I had no idea what I was in for when I bought this book. When it was announced, I was successful in avoiding all of the spoiler articles about this title and was pleasantly a disturbing way. First you have the surly ex-cop, bizarre sex stuff featuring a serial killer with a claw hammer, a stash of cash, really bad guys seeking the cash, and your typical run-of-the-mill Happy the Horse. What comic doesn't have those things now a days? None, and there you have the first issue of Morrison's Happy. Robertson lays out some gorgeously harsh imagery that leaves the reader feeling like they are living in the polluted city alongside Nick and the rest of the corruption. Colorist Richard P. Clark provides a dull, muted palette for almost all of the scenes, but then brings a sharp snap of color with his lights and glows and especially when making Happy burst from the pages. The entire book is grotesquely beautiful and one that I am on board with until the series end. Welcome to the world of creator-owned books Mr. Morrison, we're more than happy to have you. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Other Heavenly Items:
Mercury Lounge Beer School: Monk Brews - Oh my goodness gracious. This was my third beer school this year, so I think I'm about ready to head into my doctorate. Anyhow, beer school was presented by the ever-knowledgeable Zach Rosen on the monk brews. Here's the lineup:
  1. Reutberger - Export Hell - This one is actually made by nuns, but it was a great warm up
  2. Paulaner - Salvator (doppelbock) - This is what the monks drank during times of fasting. It is a meal in a bottle and mighty tasty.
  3. Westmalle - Trappist Ale Tripel - Strong taste, seemed carbonated. Amy's favorite.
  4. Chimay - Chimay Red Ales (dubbel bock) - served with honey sesame sticks and wasabi peas.
  5. Orval - Orval Trappist Ale - My favorite of the night. Served with liverwurst with French baguette and honey-sage walnuts.
  6. Rochefort - Trappistes Rochefort 8 (dubbel bock) - This brewery opened in 1595.
  7. Rochefort - Trappistes Rochefort 10 (quadrupel bock) - Served with Chimay grand cru cheese.
  8. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Ovila Abbey Dubbel - Another great one. Served with drunken goat cheese from Spain.
  9. St. Bernardus - St. Bernardus Abt 12 (quadrupel bock) - Fantastic taste and served with amazing figs, fennel & almonds in dark chocolate.
We were also treated to $2.00 off a pint of our choice--I went with the Orval--although I should have probably passed. Overall a heck of a fun evening.
Slice Into the Woods
Well, It's Been Exactly a Year Ago Today... - ...that I went in for a hernia surgery and really drove home what was the worst year of my life. I wrote all of the gory details in late October of 2011 at the post here, if you are brave enough to read about my misfortune. Basically, 2011 was food poisonings, illnesses, a shoulder injury that recurred four times, and then September and October. Brrrrrrrr...I get chills just thinking about that shit. I'll write a follow-up possibly on the anniversary of the post, I hope you're not squeamish, if so, skip it.

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