Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 1/17/2014

(Sung to the tune of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing In the Dark")

I wake up in the mornin'
Hot dawg it's new comic book day
I best get a move on
Don't want to wait, by golly, no way
I been checking my pull list
Man, I already know what's waitin' for me
Hey there baby, Daredevil and Thor are top shelf

Bunn and Hurtt're on fire
With a great story and kickace art
My need for The Sixth Gun's dire
Denizens, it's a great place to start.

Howdy and welcome to...hold on a sec. Where is Obie? Tulip, where's Obie? I see... Okay, let's start over. Howdy, denizens, and welcome back to Donist World. I am joined by Donist World marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/exercise tracker Tulip (my Boston terrier). Today we are missing our CFO Obie (my friends' dog, Tulip's brother) who I am now being told has left to go on a company retreat and has emailed me a photo of himself sitting on a beach somewhere with what looks to be a pineapple-based, frozen drink of some sort. There are a few things wrong with this picture (both the actual emailed image and this particular situation):

  • Company retreats are supposed to include your team members to promote beneficial synergies and promote creative "outside of the box" thinking.
  • There's $22.15 missing from the petty cash box.
  • The tropical image is clearly Photoshopped, but I think the pineapple drink is legit, though.
  • Obie recently took some online courses on Adobe products so he could tamper with adjust Donist World PDF contracts and documents.
  • Now that I'm standing on the washing machine to peer out my mom's basement window I'm looking out my corporate office window, I can see Obie (with what appears to be a frozen pineapple drink) at the park across the way.

Okay, while I head over to the park and allow my CFO an opportunity to "retreat" his butt back to the office, that the pizza delivery guy bringing him a pizza?! Ugh...anyhow, please take a gander at...

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Sixth Gun #37
The Sixth Gun #37 - Written by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Brian Hurtt, colored by Bill Crabtree, lettered by Crank!, designed by Keith Wood, edited by Charlie Chu, published by Oni Press. It's always exciting to find a new issue of The Sixth Gun waiting for me in my pull on release day. If you've been following me for the past couple years, then you might remember that for whatever reason, I always had a rough time getting my copy of this compelling supernatural Western. For some reason, Diamond tended to often omit this book (same with the fantastic Rachel Rising) in the shipment to my LCS, meaning I would be waiting a couple more weeks for them to to "fix the glitch." Thankfully, something has changed over the past year, and I have received every issue on time (knock on wood). This is important, denizens, as The Sixth Gun is a heck of a darn-fine book that only gets better--and creepier--as we close in on the end. We don't suffer no misships around these parts, and you shouldn't either for comic books this good.
Becky and Drake aren't the only ones on the hunt for Missy Hume, the Knights of Solomon also want her for her gun, but with Griselda the Grey Witch in Missy's troupe the Knights best tread lightly. Unfortunately, what they don't know is that Griselda does not care about the Knights; Becky and Drake, and, more importantly, the five mystic guns in their possession are all that matter to the monster. Becky is also about to discover the hard way that Missy Hume is no longer among the living and that the Sixth Gun is now in the hands of Drake's rival, Jesup. As Griselda's snake men attack, Becky, Drake, and Nidawei (in possession of the sentient--and powerful--shrunken head of Screaming Crow) discover that one of their own has turned against them.
Holy cow, this issue is intense! I zipped through my first reading in no time and I had to immediately go back and experience the more shocking imagery. Bunn and Hurtt give us even more gasp-inducing moments than usual. They hold fast to their decision to put an end to Missy Hume--in a gnarly way--moving Griselda to the forefront as the supreme enemy--until General Hume steps forth once again, but who knows how he will react to his mama snakeploding his wife.
Hurtt delivers some of his creepiest best work with this issue with some beautiful nightmare-inducing stuff. His sequentials of "Missy" looking over her shoulder (page 5) at Becky while a snake steadily pushes its way through her eye socket in panels 3, 5 and 6 is pure insanity, and I wish I could see Bunn's script for that page and the level of detail provided. Regardless, Hurtt gave me some tremendous visuals to really mess with my dreams for some time to come; that goes double for the aforementioned "snakeplosion" panel. The action scenes of Griselda's cronies running ramshackle on Brimstone (the town) are riveting, and watching Nidawei/Screaming Crow represent on the snake men left me cheering--the touch with the bow was dang groovy as well.
Although most of the pages are exploding with action, the two dramatic pages between Drake and Kirby are beautifully tense with Bunn's dialogue added to Hurtt's character acting. Each character's voice remains unique, reflecting how each would act during the dire situation assaulting them. I love Kirby's laid-back attitude, and Drake's menace, but watching and hearing Becky's confidence grow throughout the series is a triumph; these characters are my pardners, through and through.
So, yes, we all know I love Bunn and Hurtt's The Sixth Gun, but this issue just took that feeling to a whole 'nother level. The series as a whole is terrific and if there is anything to be dismayed about with this installment it is that we now have to wait six weeks to see what happens next. You can catch up on this awesome supernatural Western with the trades, but be aware that there is an oh-so-sweet hardcover available--that I desperately want to own--for those who want to add even more style their life. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Other Heavenly Items:
Thor God of
Thunder #17
Thor God of Thunder #17 - Written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Emanuela Lupacchino and Ron Garney, colored by Ive Svorcina and Lee Loughridge, lettered by VC's Joe Sabino, published by Marvel Comics. Thus "The Accursed" story arc comes to an end as Thor and the League of Realms appear to be doomed. Unfortunately for Malekith, he has failed to consider the lessons a certain thunder god might have learned growing up with a trickster god as a brother. Victory may be at hand-with the exception of one character...ooooohhh, ouch--but "winning" might not be what everyone hoped it would be.
After Aaron's scary-yet-tremendous "God Butcher" arc, "The Accursed" has added more humor, and vibrancy over the course of the past five issues, which has made for a fun read. I will admit I enjoyed those first eleven issues quite a bit, but this run still has an enjoyable story worth checking out. Garney's art has been beautiful throughout, although I will say that some of the panels in this issue seemed a bit rushed. Svorcina's colors are incredible and push the storytelling and emotions of every panel on to greatness.
After a substantial hiatus from Marvel's Thor following the fantastic Simonson run, Aaron's take on the character was all I needed to bring me back. Thor God of Thunder drew me in, especially on those first 11 issues, and reminded me of just how much I have loved this character throughout my life. Aaron's grand telling is exactly what new, current, and lapsed Thor readers have been hoping for. RECOMMENDED!

Daredevil #35
Daredevil #35 - Written by Mark Waid, illustrated by Chris Samnee, colored by Javier Rodriguez, lettered by VC's Joe Caramagna, published by Marvel Comics. "This is the end(ish), my only friend." Well, not exactly, denizens, but sort of...I--I'm confusing myself. Let's see...Daredevil #36--next issue--marks the end of the excellent Daredevil series by Waid and Samnee. This is a bummer, as we at Donist World have been enjoying the comic for some time, but fear not, Daredevil will be back! When will it be back? Who are on the creative team? you ask. Well, the all new Daredevil--complete with a brand, spankin' new number one issue--will be out the month following issue 36 and brought to you by the new creative team of...uh...ahem...Waid and Samnee. Basically, it's a changing of the numbering scheme back to issue one for new readers and with a name like New 52 Marvel Now .X to Astonish or something. In Summary, Daredevil ain't goin' nowhere. Oh yeah, this issue...
The Serpent Society has upped its game and made things personal by taking the fight from Daredevil to Matt Murdoch. With Foggy's health deteriorating every day, and the Serpent Society threatening to use the healthcare system against him, it's time for Matt to seek some advice. Elektra drops by to encourage Matt to think outside the box and to NOT do what the Serpent Society would expect...after he beats the bejesus out of Constrictor and Mamba, of course.
Waid, as is usual with this writer, got me. He got me good and mad at these Serpent Society white supremacists, d_bagging, Jerky McJerkfacing, chumpified, @#$%ers! Man, I want to kick every one of these fools in ol' twig and berries. Promising to save Foggy with new treatments while threatening to have Matt disbarred and exposed and dropping Foggy's platnium-level, comprehensive health insurance coverage down to what us "normal" 'Mericans get? How could I not get pissed? That is some cold-hearted stuff. But Waid doesn't wallow in the misery for long and brings the fun, exciting elements back with an Elektra appearance. He also ends the issue hinting that the day will be won through brains and not punches in the face--which might happen, but it is the brains that seal the deal.
Samnee's storytelling is in top form, as always, and succeeds in taking my Waid induced rage at the Serpent Society to new levels--especially the panel where the jerk with the grey/white hair admits to using drugs and serums on an "expert witness" and we see Matt look down at the comatose Foggy. <grrrrrr> The emotional drama of that talking scenes show you everything you need to know, while the action panels are intense with the sequentials flowing beautifully. This is especially true of the pages where Daredevil and Elektra are running across the rooftops--he can also draw the heck out of some HVAC units. As always, the art and style of this book are stunning.
Regardless of what Marvel is up to with the addition of the "All New Marvel Now" banner and the renumbering back to issue one, keeping Waid and Samnee on this title ensures that you can expect more great tales with ol' Hornhead. Daredevil has been one of the most consistently good titles from Marvel, but that should come as no surprise from these two talented creators. I am biting my nails to see how this series wraps up next month. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Hansel and Gretel:
Witch Hunters Blu-Ray
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters - Okay, okay, simmer down. Geez, Louise, can't a fella mention something that he enjoyed without everyone gettin' all bent out of shape? Okay, first off a disclaimer: the linked item will direct you to an "unrated cut" of the theatrical cut of the movie that I watched this week on Netflix. That said, I now want to check out this "unrated cut." Anyhow, the day before I watched the culty, campy, awesomeness of this ridiculous movie, I made the poor decision to watch it's bastard sibling of a fairytale Snow White and the Huntsman. SWatH, although visually gorgeous, left me more interested in washing dishes than dozing through the mess of a film. Trust me on this, if I would rather wash dishes (something akin to the 4th and 7th rings of hell combined) than watch a movie, then something is terribly wrong with said movie.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, on the other hand, knows not to take itself too seriously from the get go. You can tell that everyone involved actually enjoyed poking subtle fun at the whole thing; Hansel having to give himself daily injections after eating too much of the witch's candy as a child? Classic! Not to mention the insane weaponry that should in no way be available to people in that time period, but let's just give that a pass since there are witches and trolls roaming the woods, as well as aspiring, young witch hunters who talk like they're from the Valley or somethin'. Plus, any world where Famke Janssen, even with her witchy-poo makeup, is believed to be an ugly monster, is just to wacky of a world to be taken seriously. Renner and Arterton had me laughing and cheering throughout, but I will admit some confusion as to how the producers actually managed to attach Renner to this film...I'm glad they did, though, he was great.
As far a synopsis goes, what do you want? Hansel + Gretel + adulthood + icky witches + missing children + troll comrade + ridonkulous action + Famke (thank goodness) - good witch's clothes - tons of icky, evil witches = HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Too Big to...Let Us Buy a Fitness Band - I've been thinking of buying one of those health monitoring band/dongle doohickeys for some time now. You know, one of those deals that tracks how many steps you have taken and that can monitor workouts and such. I also like the idea of monitoring my sleep and whether or not the quality of my sleep is up to par or not. Luckily, Amy the intern (my wife) received a Jawbone UP band for Christmas, which is great, but she felt the fit was a bit small and called customer service to see if she could swap for a medium. Jawbone, to their great credit, shipped out a medium-sized band with instructions to return the small once Amy received the replacement. Long story short, the medium was too large and she wanted to keep the small.
Since we had two of the things, I tried the medium and surprise-surprise, my slender, girlish wrist provided the perfect fit. I tested out the unit for a few days and found that I actually liked the thing. I was tracking my steps (averaging the 10,000 recommended) and paying attention to my sleeping patterns and it was all pretty nifty. With a renewed interest in my health and dreams of someday looking like Stephen Amell from the hit television series Arrow, we decided to bite the bullet and buy the band. Amy called Jawbone and found out that...well, we can't do that. They had no process in place to charge us for the additional band already in our possession. Huh? They suggested returning the extra band, going to the Apple store, buying a new one, and restarting the setup process. This was a bit discouraging, but having just recently quit an enterprise-level corporation, I am painfully aware that changes not affecting stock price can take forever, or not happen at all. The problem is that Jawbone is not that large of a company at only 500 employees and is, luckily for most of its workers, privately held. I also took the opportunity to actually research the particular band and saw that it has a close to 50%/50% positive and negative reviews with the predominant problem aimed at a two-month unit lifespan. Oh...maybe it's best that I hold off.
Now, I don't want to slam Jawbone, and I'm sure the unit lifespan problems will be ironed out in the near future. I also don't want to knock the customer service reps for not having the processes in place to allow them to facilitate a purchase on the fly. In all honesty, maybe our situation was so unique that it simply had never come up before. Who knows. Maybe by the time UP2 is released and Amy's use of her band proves those two-month lifespan reviews are wrong, I will be ready to take the plunge again...but not if it means having to walk alllllllll the way to the store without having those steps tracked on the way there.



  1. The Jawbone is working pretty well. Too bad they wouldn't let you have that one.

    1. True dat. I liked the unit and it was there...constantly guilting me to get up off my butt and move. Move, Donist, move dang you! Oh Well, had the FitBit One for $75 and I had $72 in credit, brainer. It should be here next week.

  2. Obie sounds like a cool dog.

  3. He is, and he brings a lot to the Donist World team, but I already pay him his weight in kibble on a semi-monthly basis, and taking into account the 50% matching on his 401K... He should really stop raiding the petty cash drawer, and stop trying to bring in shady outside investors all the time.