Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 2/14/2014

(Sung to the tune of Queen's "We Are the Champions")

I give you truths, time after time
Of great things to read, books completely sublime
Like Rachel Rising, you need to peruse
A book of witches and demons
That freaks me out, I'm telling you
And I want more, and more, and more, and more

Must read The Sixth Gun, denizens
We're gonna stick with Becky to the end
Must read The Sixth Gun
Must read The Sixth Gun
Also, Burn the Orphanage
But you must read The Sixth Gun, give it a whirl!

Hello and welcome back, denizens. I'm Donist, and I am joined only by Donist World CFO Obie (my friend's Boston Terrier) this week. Donist World marketing director/administrative assistant/party planner/dental hygienist Tulip (my Boston terrier, Obie's sister) is out today as she recovers from having two of her bottom incisors extracted (more on that at the end of the post). It is Valentine's Day and Amy, the lovely Donist World intern ( wife) had left me a lovely box of chocolates, while she is out of town on Donist World related business to strategize our position as a Fortune 320,000 company... that or she's at teacher conference, I forget which. The problem is that I am at my mom's basement the Donist World corporate headquarters with Obie who had stolen the box of chocolates, laid them in the dirt, and peed on them. Usually, I would be outraged, but the note he left me on the pee-soaked chocolates is a rare instance of him caring for my wellbeing. What does the note say? In his ever-shakey penmanship, he writes, "What are you trying to do? Kill yourself?!?!" I had forgotten that chocolate is poison to dogs, so I suppose I should be touched by his concern, but man I do love me some chocolate. So, while I go to the kitchen to treat myself to a yummy carrot instead of dark chocolate with dried raspberries, please enjoy this week's...

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

The Sixth Gun #38
The Sixth Gun #38 - 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. The Sixth Gun has been a Donist World favorite since I picked up the first trade and went straight to monthly(ish) floppies upon finishing the first issue in the collection. Bridging the gap of about four or five installments between the end of the trade and the current issue of the time was no easy feat, but through working with my LCS, and ordering a couple missing issues from various online retailers, I finally caught up. Then came the months where Diamond billed my LCS for goods that they had not yet shipped, and for the span of a year I was having longer waits than I should have, or received two issues back to back. Thankfully, things have been on track for the past year and a half, which means I have been getting my issues on the day of release. After this week's gnarly events, I'm glad I didn't have to wait to see the insane happenings...of which I will try to steer clear of spoiling. As the series winds down, I am more worried than ever for the characters' fates, and I eagerly await each subsequent issue, which by golly better not see any shipping delays!
Griselda the Grey Witch's snake men have taken over the town of Brimstone and they have set their sights on reclaiming the five mystical guns in Drake and Becky's possession. What's even worse is that our heroes have been separated, one of them is a traitor to the cause, and the snake men are about to find the very books that detail how to destroy the six once and for all. One will fall, one will be taken, another will set off alone, and a showdown with an old friend goes badly.
Holy guacamole! This issue is a blast to more ways than one. The creators have been developing many of these characters over the course of the series, and I've grown quite attached to them. So much so, that when the bad thing(s) go(es) down, I was completely taken aback. On one page in particular, I stopped reading, blinked, and flipped back to the beginning of the scene to be sure that I actually saw what I saw. I had to confirm that I wasn't misreading the events clearly laid out before me, and no just kidding moment was coming; there isn't one. The very next page, Bunn and Hurtt had me worried for a different character, then they jump to another person whose situation is also turning grim, and all I can think is no, no, no as I sped through the rest of the book. A day has now gone by, I've been incredibly busy, but I just can't stop thinking about what went down in this issue. Not only that, we are left with brutal, nail-biting cliffhangers on many different fronts, and the wait for next month's release is going to seem like an eternity. I love this feeling.
Where the past couple issues have showcased Hurtt's talent for conveying drama and emotion, this issue shows he's equally adept with action and sequential storytelling. The four pages of Asher fighting hordes of golems are simply stunning and by far my favorite sequences in the book. Add Crabtree's turquoise lights and the molten mud effect, and it's all but impossible to tear your attention away from the page.
The Sixth Gun was already a fantastic series, but as the stakes become more dire the closer we get to the final issue, it's safe to say the series has never been better. If you're suffering from an overdose of capes and tights, or double/triple shipping, or "events" that spill across multiple titles, then you cannot go wrong with this supernatural Western tale. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Rachel Rising #23
Rachel Rising # 23 - Everythinged by Terry Moore, published by Abstract Studio. Rachel Rising is a wonderful series that immediately grabbed me from the moment I brought home the first issue. It's a fine mixture of the classic horror dramas—none of that Saw torture pr0n crap—and the finer moments of the Twin Peaks television show. What you get is an underlying mystery with wonderful characters dealing with increasingly bizarre, demonic situations. I absolutely love it. So please understand that it breaks my Donist heart to hear Mr. Moore say that sales are not where they need to be. I also have seen mention of a Rachel Rising television series in the works (yes, please, but on cable only, not broadcast) for which the book would be perfect. This Donist World darling needs more eyeballs on it to be sure that Moore can continue releasing this book for as long long as...well, how about forever? Okay, maybe not forever, but I want Moore to keep things running for as long as he needs to tell the story he wishes to tell. Trust me on this one, denizens, this, like Moore's other creator-owned work, is an important book.
The unnatural snowstorm plaguing Manson is quickly shutting everything down, but not for two very determined dead girls--one of those girl's bodies, Jet's, is also occupied by the mind of a young's complicated. Rachel (Bryn Erin) and Jet (James) find themselves at the Manson Historical Society where the Bryn Erin portion of Rachel hopes to find some much needed spell components to help restore Rachel's Aunt Johnny back to normal...again, it's complicated. The situation becomes weirder when Rachel and Jet notice a little girl--inhabited by the spirit of a serial killer--parked in a van on the side of the snow-covered road. The power goes out, Earl finds the dog, Dr. Siemen gets really—and I mean really—creepy, and Rachel, Jet and Zoe see something shocking.
If you need to have some kind of problem with Rachel Rising there is one and it is a doozy: each issue ends in the most frustrating of ways. Goodness gracious, denizens, the end of this issue is going to torture me until the next release in six weeks. C-R-E-E-P-Y! As I have mentioned before, Moore is in this tale for the long haul, but this is not the Lost television show that dangles mysteries, then adds another, and another without providing anything in the way of answers. Moore carefully dishes out answers with the introduction of each new plot point, and Rachel's world continues to be fascinating and fresh.
Moore is a master storyteller, in both the written word and through the progression of his gorgeous imagry. In contrast to the other supernatural title I read this week (The Sixth Gun #38 above), Rachel Rising is all about the character acting and drama this month(ish)—although there is a beautifully laid out panel of Rachel kicking in a door. The expressions on each person's face tells everything you need to know about the tone of a scene, particularly on the pages with Zoe in the van. The final, nearly silent page, however, is the one that left me wishing there was more to follow. Seeing that there was not, I gave strong consideration to hibernating until issue 24 sees release. The wait is going to be painful, but this is one of the reasons I am drawn to the comic book medium, for that pang of desperation to know what comes next; Moore has that aspect of the craft down to perfection.
If you are not reading Rachel Rising, then I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, but you've messed up. You blew it. But ol' Donist is here to set you straight. You also need to read this one from the beginning, and getting the individual issues at this point might be a tad difficult and costly. That's where the inexpensive, and binge-worthy, trades come in. You can get the first three trades easily enough here, and experience for yourself this delightfully chilling series. Do the right thing. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Other Heavenly Items:
Burn the Orphanage #2
Burn the Orphanage #2 - Written by Sina Grace and Daniel Freedman, illustrated by Sina Grace, colored by John Rauch, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics. If I had a dime for every time I saw a blond-haired fighter with a one-syllable name tear the junk off of a ram-headed luchador with his teeth, then I would have exactly one dime. Sweet bejesus, denizens, what the heck did I just read? Whatever it is, I can tell you I absolutely loved it! Holy moly. It's also a story of boy meets lady with horns, boy gets in the sack with horned lady against his will, boy gets suckered into horned lady's open marriage, boy gets abducted into horned lady's birthday fighting tournament; how many times have we heard that story?...yeah, never.
I also noticed that I never talked about the phenomenal first issue—huge error on my part—which I picked up at a comic store while out of town. All you need to know is that issue #1 is an homage to 8-bit fighting games, and this issue pays clear tribute to 16-bit fighting games, most notably Mortal Kombat. The star of the show is the orphan Rock, a fighter who learned his trade on the cold hard streets of the first issue where he met his fighting buddies Bear (a big hairy guy who likes to where shorts and pummel the heck out of bad guys) and Lex (a tough chick in fishnets and fingerless gloves, who whups ass and could care less about names). Rock, Bear, and Lex proceed to beat up lots of unsavory characters, lots of 'em. In issue 2, Rock is abducted and forced to level up his fighting skills to take on the odd assortment of characters in the wicked Elyse's birthday tournament. That's all you need to know.
Each issue is over-sized and worth the slight bump in price if you are a fan of the old retro 8-bit and 16-bit video games of the past. The story in each issue is wonderfully crafted to bring back the nostalgic feeling of playing the games and reliving the oftentimes ludicrous stories found within them. Grace's sequentials are tremendous and keep the rip-roaring action flowing throughout. This one took me completely by surprise, and the third and final issue cannot come soon enough—I shudder to think what could possibly come next. So very fun. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Tulip Had Two Teeth Extracted on Thursday - Poor little puppy. I had to take Tulip in to have two of her bottom incisors removed yesterday morning. She had four little crooked bottom teeth that were so crammed in her mouth that two had become loose. The vet suggested extracting the two loose teeth to give the other two enough room to fully set and to prevent Tulip loosing all four down the road. It was a necessary procedure, but that did not make dropping her off for six hours at the place she hates more than anything any easier. $420 later—she also had a teeth cleaning—she was groggy, but home. This morning, she woke up at 1:00 a.m. making little chirping noises that I thought was the result of pain from the stitches, but come to think of it, once I put the covers back on her she was totally fine. She's eating normally, wanting to play, and I we'll probably head out to the nature preserve for a walk...she's doing just fine.


No comments:

Post a Comment