Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 5/16/2014

(sung to the tune of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”)
*for some big laughs, check out this literal version of the video!

Afterlife, every now and then it gets a little bit scary with these dead kids hangin’ ’round.
Afterlife, every now and then Ging gets a little bit tired of her girlfriend’s boyfriend‘s leers.
Afterlife, every now and then Vern gets a little bit nervous as Betty makes a play for that Archie boy
Afterlife, every now and then I get a little bit terrified that these cool cats might horribly die
Afterlife With Archie. Hey! Look this book has got a lot of heart.
Afterlife With Archie. While your at it give Undertow a start.

Howdy, denizens. This week’s post is going to be a bit abbreviated for a few reasons: just finished two major school projects, only two comics in my pull, I want to go see Godzilla. If anything seems off, then that’s probably because this ol’ Donist has not had a full night of sleep in over a week. I’m joined as ever by our CFO Obie (my friend’s Boston terrier) and our marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / hater-of-heat Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). Typically, the dogs would be getting their hearts crushed over the fact that they are not allowed into the theater to see Godzilla, but with this stoooooopid heatwave, they only want to lie in front of the fan and curse at the heat. I kind of feel bad for them, since, as everyone knows, Boston terriers thrive in a 68–72 degree Fahrenheit environment, as they lounge by a swimming pool with an endless pitcher of mojitos. That’s the kind of environment we don’t currently have at our disposal. What’s even worse is they spent last week building a city out of shoeboxes with little, green, plastic army men scattered about (I know Obie was the one who put Post-It Notes with “Donist” on all of them…not nice) just so they could destroy their readymade city  in honor of Godzilla day. Sad. Anyhow, while I sneak out of the office (my mom’s basement), have a quick look at…

Friday Slice of Heaven

Afterlife With Archie #5
Afterlife With Archie #5 - Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, artwork by Francesco Francavilla, lettering by Jesse Goldwater, published by Archie Comic Publications. It seems like forever since the last issue was released, but then again, if I had my way, Afterlife With Archie would be on a weekly schedule. Come to think of it, issues released daily would be even better, but I think that might be a bit…taxing…on the creators of this fine comic. I love this series, denizens, and although finding back issues might be a bit of an expensive chore, a trade of the first five issues will be released next month.

Who hasn’t grown up with someone watching over you, protecting you, serving you meals, driving you where you wanted to go, polishing the silver, and serving you tea? Well, most people, actually. In fact, very few of us had a butler to call our own, but the Lodge family got doubly lucky with one Hubert H. Smithers. You see, Smithers is the quintessential observer. For a butler, he is rather worldly, and now that Lodge Manor is under siege by the zombified Jughead and his army of undead, Smithers might be the one who holds the answers to what Archie and his pals do next.

Afterlife With Archie continues to be a phenomenal comic from each issue to the next. The beautiful characterization, both through writing and art, succeeds in maintaining the personalities of the long-established characters, while also adding to them in new and fascinating ways. This issue had plenty of great moments, whether we see Smithers consoling Veronica after she witnesses a tender moment between Archie and Betty, or as we see an angry and hurt Ginger as the love of her life, Nancy, retreats back to her boyfriend (“C’mon, Ginger, there are more than one of “the ones” out there. Even as the world ends around her, Nancy still refuses to admit she’s gay. Stop putting yourself through this!”). <ahem> Anyhow…The scene between Ginger, Nancy, and Chuck is pretty painful to watch unfold, but the creators capture every single harsh moment of it, whether through the alternating veiled/blunt dialogue, or through the glare in Ginger’s eyes in a gorgeous panel of pink, purple and yellow. Those are just two moments, but we also see Kevin and Reggie have a great interaction, as well as the super-creepy Cheryl and Jason. This issue has few zombie moments. Instead, it opts to spend most of the time with the characters, and that’s fine. I’m here for the characters anyways, which is something my 10, 20, or even 30-year-old self would never have imagined saying, but Aguirre-Sacasa’s enthralling story and Francavilla’s wonderful illustrations and killer coloring make this comic book a definite Donist World Darling. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Undertow #3
Undertow #3 - Written by Steve Orlando, illustrated by Artyom Trakhanov, lettered / designed by Thomas Mauer, published by Image Comics. Finally! <Grrrrr> My LCS was shorted on both issue two and three, which meant I had a three week wait to get each. Here’s hoping issue four shows up on time, but regardless, the wait was worth it. Undertow is about a faction of scientifically advanced Atlanteans rising from the ocean in suits filled with water to explore the land above, which was previously beyond their reach as they search for a being known as the Amphibian. This is also a premise that I wish I came up with, but hey, whatchagonnado?

As the inhabitants of Redum Anshargal’s ship prepare to mutiny over their leader’s extended absence, what they fail to realize is that Anshargal still lives…but not for long if the primitive human barbarians have anything to say about the matter. In fact the battle is not going well, until a mysterious being joins the fray and changes the dynamics of the battle in a way that Anshargal and what remains of his team of explorers never could have anticipated.

I desperately want to spoil the surprise guest , but I’m not going to…you’ll just have to read the issue for yourself. I will say that this character’s arrival was unanticipated and shocking once they made themselves know. I’m not yet hooked by any of the characters yet, but the story and the dialogue are great and both of this issue’s cliffhangers ensure I will be back next month. The art still reminds me, in tone, of a colored version of the old Warren Magazines that I love so much; it is something to behold. It is still early in for this series, so you should be able to find all three issues without too big of a search, and from what I have read thus far, you should definitely give Undertow a try. RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

No Sleep For the Donist - It’s been about a week since I have had a decent night’s sleep. All the projects, exercises, portfolios and such that I have been working on for my three graphic design courses have been having a slight effect, but this @#$%ing heatwave has been brutal. Now that I only have two online finals and an easy-peasy exercise left in the semester, and the temperature is supposed to drop in the next day or two, I might be able to finally get some sleep. Here’s hoping I can stay awake during Godzilla later this afternoon.


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