Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 4/19/2013

(Sung to the tune of Def Leppard's "Photograph")

I'm outta luck, got the shaft
Missed my comic book, Black Beetle yeah
That kinda sucks, we got more
Stuff you need to read, stuff I adore

The Sixth Gun should fulfill your needs
Chew rocks the roost, fulfills your dreams
Daredevil see? You heard from me
It's all you want, your fantasy

Oh, just one quick peek you can't put it down
Oh Oh, look what you've done

Comic Book
You know you want this comic book
You know you need this comic book
If all you got's a comic book, you know it's enough

Hello there Donist World readers! I would usually say that I am joined by Obie, my friends' Boston terrier (Donist World CFO) and my dog, Tulip (Obie's sister and Donist World marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/hunter of crows), but they have both called in sick today in light of Obie's alleged Playdawg Magazine photo spread. I first learned of the news when my mom a reliable source informed me that she had been chatting on the Facemeet interwebs about how bundt cakes are lascivious and should be banned, when nosey-Mildred informed her that she had heard from her mail carrier that the Donist World CFO had appeared in a pictorial featured in Playdawg Magazine and that supposedly there was a pictorial featuring some sinful nudes. The group organized to ban the magazine, Apple supposedly refused to publish the issue, and Obie went on a tirade against censorship to which I joined--I was under the impression Obie's appearance in the magazine was a biopic about his rise to prominence as the first canine executive of a Fortune 230,000 company. I got mad. Obie and Tulip got mad. Mildred and her crew got mad. Everyone got mad. Then after a little looking, I discovered that Obie's nude pics were actually part of a Fumblr account that he had set up and sent specifically to Mildred. Apple was not involved, there was no censorship and the only foible of the situation was that Obie had violated Fumblr's rules of conduct clause and that Obie had lied to me again. When I asked Obie about the uproar and if he wished to apologize to Mildred, all he said before taking a personal day was, "To quote Robert Palmer, 'I didn't mean to turn you on." Okay...anyhow, in light of no perceived scandalous revelations in the comic book world this week, it's...

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Sixth Gun #30
The Sixth Gun #30 - Written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt, published by Oni Press. I've said it before and I'll say it again, The Sixth Gun is a darn fine series. Before I picked up the first trade, I had heard about how great this supernatural Western is and that it is one all comic book lovers should be reading. So I read it. Midway through the first issue of the first trade I was hooked. By the second issue, I knew trade waiting was out of the question, but the series was already on the ninth issue, so I ordered all missing issues from my LCS, added the title to my pull and waited for the books to come in so I could continue reading in order. With 30 installments in my collection and the end of the series in sight, my enthusiasm for this amazing series has only increased. If any aspect of a phenomenal cowboy comic fraught with monsters and men of ill intentions sounds appealing, you owe it to yourself to give the tremendous The Sixth Gun a read. There's a reason why I consider this book one of my top three series currently being published, why an NBC pilot for a television show was ordered, and why I hope that a hardcover omnibus (or two) sees release so I can proudly display this book alongside my all-time favorite comics.
At the behest of her mother-in-law, the murderous Missy Hume seeks to locate the five sibling guns to the one that keeps her eternally young and healed. Meanwhile, the holders of five of the six guns, Becky Montcrief (one gun) and Drake Sinclair (four guns), along with their eclectic fellow riders (Kirby Hale, Gord Cantrell and the mummy Asher Cobb) have involuntarily joined an Indian war party. Unfortunately, Drake is not doing so well after his dealings with a wendigo, but he is tiptop compared to Becky, who recently used the terrible abilities of her gun inadvertently trapping part of her soul in the spirit world. Becky, unconscious and in the care of their new "allies," walks the spirit world where she encounters her spirit guide who briefly tells her about the guns before being shot dead by mystic invaders. Becky is not alone.
I thought I loved last issue when Becky used her gun's terrible powers to confront Missy Hume, but this month's offering managed to surpass even those stunning events with much less action. Bunn has stepped up the story by revealing and clarifying a bit more information about the purpose and nature of the six guns, cleverly hiding the exposition within the wonderful narrative that has been used since the beginning of the series. We also have some great and humorous (brief though they might be) character moments with Kirby Hale, and the last panel cliffhanger is somewhat terrifying. "Something's wrong. I can't wake up, Drake. I can't wake up, and I'm not alone," sent chills down down spine and desperate for the next issue. It's great to see Becky and Drake, two people forced together by perilous circumstances, become friends who rely on one another, while at the same time not becoming romantically involved. In fact, the only romance within Becky and Drake's group is the understandably ruined one between the scoundrel Kirby and Becky, who wants Kirby dead .
Hurtt manages to outdo himself again with this issue as can be seen in character acting scenes with Kirby Hale and also with the exhausted/dying Becky. The sequentials tell the reader everything they need to know about the story and lead the reader quickly from one panel to the next. Bill Crabtree, the colorist who gives this book its distinct look, gives us a bleak, dreary red and grey spirit world that pushes the creepy isolation of the plane to great effect.
What are you waiting for? If you are not reading this book, do something to change that. The Sixth Gun has it all: a great premise, great characterization, and a beautifully crafted story that keeps me anxiously coming back for more. Not enough people are reading this book! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Chew #33
Chew #33 - Written by John Layman and illustrated by Rob Guillory, published by Image comics. Speaking of comics I love...we got Chew, babe. Reading an issue of Chew is like those magical days of the '70s when you would pore over the box of a Libbyland Safari Supper (two links here, folks) frozen dinner trying to find the hidden animals and the elusive hunter. Yes, the box art was kind of scary, probably drawn by someone registering in the "altered" range, but you just couldn't help yourself. Then comes the dinner, piping hot from the oven. You're excited. You're hungry. You dig in. Once you stop crying from the scalding the buttered corn gives you, you cautiously take bite after bite of the tasty chicken, savor the alphabet spaghetti and meatballs, ever-so-cautiously resample the napalm corn, and ponder the hows and whys of tater tots. But there's more. Beneath each delectable food-like product is a cartoon character embossed in the aluminum tray awaiting further magical discovery. Oh me, oh my, but hark the chocolate pudding product still awaits and it's cooled enough to both avoid the ICU and slide down your throat as a solitary, unified scrumptious mass. Now, you're full. You're done. You've done a good job. You've cleaned your metal tray and although you are passing out from either the joy of overeating or quite possibly the excessive amounts of "natural flavoring," one treasure awaits: you still have the Milk Magic! So, yes, reading an issue of Chew is exactly like that.
Applebee's making the most of his quality time with Agent Colby. Wine, hors d'oeuvres, and a mortified shoulder to cry on about the verbal lashing Applebee received from Tony Chu. It's a nice little evening, but after a reveal that Tony has been sent on assignment with the Navy--a rough and tumble yet impeccably fashionable bunch--the director of the USDA shows up and has the gall to call Applebee's Colby a two-timer. The situation gets real real. Meanwhile, Tony and his trusty seamen companions are tasked with the delicate task of bringing in the second-in-command of the terrorist egg worshipping cult known as the Immaculate Ova. There's one problem. They have to get through the terrorists's bodyguard, a ciboinvalescor, or rather someone who gains immense strength after eating. This looks like a job for the killer chicken Poyo! Too bad Poyo's on assignment elsewhere.
Dang if this issue was not a total hoot! Layman and Guillory continue to surprise with some great and amusingly touching moments between Colby and Applebee on the first page splash and each following page only gets better. The action scenes with Tony versus the bodyguard left me whipping through to see what happens next. I especially liked that abrupt halt in pacing to quickly tell the story of the superpowered bodyguard only to return after Tony has vanquished his foe. The Lettering on this issue--something I rarely mention--is phenomenal as it vanishes within the art only to leap out at the reader to become a grand component of the artwork.
I always love Chew, but something was goin' on this month as this issue was especially funny and riveting. But if you follow this book, you know this already. If you're not reading Chew because it's "too disgusting" or "too weird"--well, okay, you're right on both counts, but you're really missing out on the most unique and fun book currently being released. Chew is one of the reasons why I sitll love comics. It's Milk Magic! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Other Heavenly Items:
The Sixth Gun:
Sons of the Gun #3
The Sixth Gun: Sons of the Gun - Written by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, illustrated by Brian Churilla and published by Oni Press. "The second gun spreads the very fires of Perdition."Drake Sinclair currently possesses the second gun, a gun he had to pry from the cold dead hands of the diabolical General Oliander Bedford Hume's loyal rider, Will Arcene. In the days of Hume's first death, Will took leave of his brothers in demonic arms to deal with some family matters, namely to visit his mother. Will believed he was the son of a wandering demon, which explained his never-ending hunger and thirst for foul doings. When he arrives home, he learns his mother has been busy while he was away at war and he now has many twisted siblings to share his mother's affection. But there's a problem: Bill wants to be the only one of import in his mother's life and he's unwilling to share with his monstrous kin.
Bunn and Hurtt give us yet another heck of a messed up individual, who managed to saddle up with Hume's group to the point of being trusted enough to own one of the six. Like the other two previous installments we follow one of Hume's lieutenants from the point after Hume's death and before their own in the pages of the first The Sixth Gun TPB. Bunn and Hurtt continue to provide a glimpse into the cruel nature and damaged lives of Hume's four men. We have not yet seen when they each received their guns or how they first came across Hume, but I hope that moment is coming soon as that is what I have been wondering since we first met these interesting characters. Churilla continues to provide art that fits wonderfully with The Sixth Gun look and style, and Bill Crabtree's colors (I'm a huge fan) only enhance Churilla's beautiful illustrations.
I neglected to mention issue 2 last month, but I will mention that I very much enjoyed its look at "Filthy" Ben Kinney, the once owner of the Third Gun which spreads a flesh-rotting disease. If you are a The Sixth Gun fan this mini-series should not be missed. If you are new to this series, then I must recommend that you start with the first four trades of the series proper and by then pick up the trade for the Sons of the Gun chapter, as this mini will hold less impact without knowing what happened in the main story. For fans I will say this book is RECOMMENDED!

Daredevil #25
Daredevil #25 - Written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Chris Samnee, published by Marvel Comics. 25 issues already?! Didn't this book come out a year and a half ago? Whatever, it just means we get more Waid Daredevil and how can that possibly be a bad thing? Sure there were a couple of "crossover" "events," but they were mercifully short and in all honesty...they were pretty good. Left to his own devices, Waid's take on this loved character has been fun, exciting, tragic and triumphant and this issue continues the trend with the introduction of a cool new villain.
While at his friend and business partner's hospital bedside, Matt Murdoch is approached by a man claiming to have information on experimentation on inmates in an effort to reproduce the accident that gave Matt his extraordinary senses. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially of the trojan variety, Matt knowingly follows the man into a trap. What he finds is someone who knows all about his life: the toxic waste, his father's boxing robe, even his father's shaving cream. Ikari (Japanese for "fury") makes his presence known and appears dressed in an outfit reminiscent of Daredevil's first costume. This new villain also has most of Daredevil's fighting skills and abilities without any of the weaknesses. Ikari is also not the one who has been upending Matt's life, but a puppet working for mysterious master. Full Spoiler...Daredevil loses this one, folks.
Man, this was a fantastic action packed issue. Fight scenes are not easy to write, but Waid and Samnee have zero problem making this issue a page turner. With the final panel and Ikari's last word balloon, this Donist can't wait to see what happens next and to finally learn the identity of the one calling the shots. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Age of Ultron #6
Age of Ultron #6 - Written by Brian Michael Bendis, illustrated by Brandon Peterson (present) and Carlos Pacheco (past), and published by Marvel Comics. Yup. I'm still here and will be for the next issue. Hey, I'm as shocked as you.
Wolverine has gone back to the past to terminate Hank Pym before he can create the murderous artificial intelligence, Ultron. He quickly learns that he was followed by Susan Storm (Invisible Woman), the last remaining member of the Fantastic Four. She seeks to sway Wolverine from his dark mission, but as she discovers, even she is leaning toward removing Pym from the equation that doomed their world years in the future. Meanwhile, Captain America and his band make their futuristic move on Ultron to disastrous effect. Whether in the past or in the future, life is going to be very different for all.
All past comments about the decompressed storytelling of the previous issues is not a concern here. This issue kicks into high gear...almost too much so, especially with the scenes in the Ultron future. Losing Bryan Hitch is a bit jarring, and there was one clunky piece of dialogue that I had to reread a few times to kind of understand what was being said. Still, I enjoyed this issue and there were two particularly shocking moments that will bring me back to see how this story plays out. For an "event" book, I'm pretty darn happy with how this is turning out. RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

What the Hell Is Wrong With This Week? - I have really tried to keep my language on Donist World clean--just compare recent posts to some of my earlier sometimes you gotta cut loose. To quote a fictionalized piece from The New Yorker a while back, "Shit's some fucked up shit." If there is a better sentence to describe the past five days (not even five FULL days), I've not yet found one. Premeditated bombings at the Boston Marathon by a couple of psychopaths allegedly with a "cause" of some sort? A police officer shot and killed? Corporate greed loyalists in the Senate shooting down (deliberate word choice here) gun control measures wanted by a majority of Americans? It's all so ridiculous and shameful. I'm honestly stunned. Then I hear about even more corporate nonsense as loyal employees get kicked in the teeth this week and then I hear about businesses lowering employee hours to avoid paying them health insurance AFTER executives give themselves massive pay increases (Fuck you, Regal Cinemas). So, yeah, it's been an all around shitty week thus far and Friday has barely even started. Blah.

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