Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 11/28/2014

(Sung to the tune of Prince’s “1999”)

I was travelin’ when I read these
Forgive me if I go astray
But when I finished ’em this morning
These books made me sit up, what the hey!

This Trees gets all gnarly
And Sabrina’s filled with tons of scares
To your store run and buy Nowhere Men
I tell you ’cause I really care

Donist says you gotta read these books
Game over, good, they’re sublime
So tonight we gonna read good books, and have us a swell time

Happy Thanksgiving, denizens, and welcome back to Donist World! I'm here with marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / lead turkey taster Tulip (my Boston terrier). CFO Obie (my friends’ Boston terrier, Tulip’s brother) is nowhere to be found today, and I suspect that his absense has something to do with my missing chair, iPad, keyboard, phone, Miracleman statue, and I am guessing a whole host of other items I do not yet know are missing. I tried to ask Tulip where Obie and my stuff are, but — HEY! Where’s my framed Adventure Time poster?! — but she is too frustrated in her inability to get ahold of a “Black Friday” copy of The Lego Movie on Blu-ray for $3.99 to care, which kind of ticks me off as well. Anyways…Hey! Wait a minute! There’s Obie and he’s got my stuff. He’s out on the sidewalk in front of the corporate office (my mom’s basement) with a sign saying “Donist World Black Friday Door Busters!” Ugh.

I need to put a stop to this, but before I do, check out the Official Donist World Black Friday Special, which is actually a “Black & White” Friday special. Well…actually…it’s not a special at all, but it is black and white, because it concerns Boston terriers, namely Tulip and Obie. I am of course talking about my all-ages ebook, Kibbles ’N’ Bots, available exclusively at for the Kindle platform (Kindle readers, Smartphones, tablets, computers). Please help support this site, and my writing by picking up my book about a superpowered puppy (Tulip) and her know-it-all brother (Obie) as they battle robots and try to thwart the mysterious Bad Boss’s nefarious secret plan. It’s a lot of fun for the ridiculously low price of $2.99 (free for Kindle Unlimited and Lending Library programs. If you like the book, please rate it, and tell a friend, or better yet, gift it to someone. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend. As for now, look, denizens, it’s…

Friday Slice of Heaven

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Trees #7
Trees #1 - Written by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Jason Howard, lettered by Fonografiks, published by Image Comics. An artist awakens, as does a scientist in a more literal sense. A president gets exactly what he wanted, a woman and an old man plot. In the wake of the Trees’ arrival, the world was stunned into a unified silence. After years of apparent inactivity, humanity is pretty much back to normal. Only the Trees have not been inactive, and Dr. Marsh has an idea of what they have been up to.

Trees continues to be a fascinating look at humanity with all its promise as well as its tendency toward destruction, intentional or otherwise. Ellis has taken his time in telling us what the Trees have been doing, but for those patient enough to get to know the main characters over the course of the past seven issues and to understand the fragile nature of this world, the answer as to what the aliens and their mysterious flowers hold in store is finally being revealed. Like everything in this series, this revelation is considered an emergency by some, and an event worthy of seeing unfold to others. I would have to say that I am in the “extremely worried” camp — although my curiosity is beginning to get the better of me.

Howard’s art has been stunning over the course of the series and remains so. This issue focuses primarily on the character acting, and Howard’s storytelling prowess, but when the action does arrive, those handful of panels come as a tremendous shock, playing expertly into the flow of the story. He also uses colors to add drama to a scene, tending toward a complementary yellow to leap past the blues, emphasizing a key moment. Howard then uses the red of wine as an eye-catching moment to pause, but later uses a more saturated flash of blood in what can only be considered the opposite of a “cliffhanger” (sorry, you’ll just have to read the final page).

If you are looking for crazy, action-packed visuals of humans battling monstrous aliens, with spaceships, guns, and what have you, then you should probably look elsewhere. Trees has many sci-fi elements (aliens, robots, murder, war, the unknown, etc.), but it is geared more toward readers interested in Ellis’s message, and unraveling the answers as to why the Trees came to Earth to begin with. If that sounds interesting — it is for me, denizens! — then you should pick up the first trade when it releases in February of 2015 and allow yourself to get wrapped up in the mystery of this fascinating comic. Trees is a great, slow-burn, sci-fi look at the nature of humanity when faced with the unknown. RECOMMENDED!

Nowhere Men TPB
Nowhere Men TPB - Written by Eric Stephenson, illustrated by Nate Bellegarde, Colored by Jordie Bellaire, lettered and designed by Fonografiks, published by Image Comics. Forget musicians. Forget radio personalities and overly-vocal actors. Forget rich celebrity a_holes. No. The true rock stars are scientists like Dade, Emerson, Simon, and Thomas, all scientists who furthered the world with with scientific advancements through their research company World Corp. Unfortunately, there were also some setbacks…substantial ones. Then the group fragmented: one vanished, one became ill, and the other two rarely speak. What about the mysterious, and highly illegal, space station secretly orbiting the planet with a crew of super scientists who have slowly begun to change?

Right off the bat…I freaking loved this series! Stephenson (Publisher at Image Comics) and Bellegarde beautifully intertwine comic book storytelling with realistic media pieces (magazine articles, newspaper articles, interviews, novels, films, websites) while maintaining the look of each media piece relative to the decade in question. They also strategically add clean-yet-striking design elements throughout — have a look at the cover — delivering on heck of a smartly-written, beautifully illustrated, vibrantly colored, and fascinating read. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is also the matter of the secret, quarantined space station, but I will not give away the whys or whats involved with that. Nope. You will just have to read this book and find out the same way I did: page after page.

Bellegarde’s illlustrations are amazing throughout, with most of the impact coming from the intense character acting, but that said, there are some visually stunning space station shots, not to mention some impressive designs involved during the more…fantastical…moments of the series in the latter half. Complementing Bellegarde’s cartooning is Bellaire’s vibrant coloring, that steers clear of the drab and dreary look seen in many of today’s comics. Instead environments and characters come to life through her cool blues, fiery reds, and everything in between. Combined, the two artists create a look representative of the hope and wonderment to be found in a world where scientific advancement and the superstars that brought it all about are celebrated. This stands true for the more sinister moments of the book as well.

Again, I loved this series. Dang, denizens, I liked it so much that I am actually going to reread it all right now, just to see if I missed anything important — not to mention enjoy it all over again. I do have to let you know that this is not the end of the series, though. You indeed get a great story in this trade, but there are quite a few plot points left open for the second act, which has been delayed for an unspecified length of time. This bums me out, as I would have immediately picked up the next trade/issues, but if we have to wait a while to get the rest of this story, delivered as the creators see fit, then I will gladly wait. Now, the other negative that may or may not be true: this trade might be out of print. I’m not sure about this, but both and are out of stock, so check your LCS to see if this $9.99 bundle of sci-fi goodness is there waiting for you to experience and say “Science is the new rock ’n’ roll” followed by a decisive “More please!” VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Sabrina #1
Sabrina #1 - Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, art by Robert Hack, Lettered by Jack Morelli, published by Archie Comics Productions, Inc. Good things come to those who wait, denizens. This is still true when you had no intention of waiting, and a monopolistic distributor decided for you and your LCS that you had no say in the matter. Anyhow, Sabrina, came out a while ago — six weeks ago? — and for some reason my store did not get their copies. Given my intense love for the amazing Afterlife With Archie series, I desperately wanted to read this revamp of everyone’s favorite teenage witch into a world of horror. Thankfully, my store finally received their order, and I was there to grab a copy…now I need issue two to come out.

Edward Theodore Spellman promised his firstborn, Sabrina, to his sisters, true witches in every sense of the word. His wife, Diana, was not yet ready to let her daughter go, and pays a terrible price for going back on her promise. Then, years later, Edward, too, pays a terrible price, and Sabrina is left in the care of her aunts. Sabrina grows to be a powerful, young witch, gains a familiar, meets her cousin, and discovers boys upon entering high school. For such an abnormal childhood, life looks to become partially normal, but not for long given what has risen from the woods.

If you like/love Afterlife With Archie like I do, then you need to buy this book. Not only do you get 28 pages of story, some bonus materials (sketches, letters page, pin-ups), a cool die-cut cover, but you get a great horror story as well. Aguirre-Sacasa quickly ties this book to the world of Afterlife With Archie, only Sabrina is set years before the zombie apocalypse. This is a history lesson of how Sabrina came to be with her Aunts, and the awful — and self-inflicted — fates of her parents. Aguirre-Sacasa pulls in elements fans of the teenage witch are already familiar: her cat Salem, and her cousin Ambrose. The similarities pretty much end there. The mischief, the high-jinks, the comedy are all pretty much gone, barring a couple of funny moments, as the tale shifts to become a more chilling and dark-toned comic. The writer sends a steady supply of the creeps our way: Sabrina’s parents’ fates are pretty unsettling, her creepy aunts choose to raise her in a funeral home and are thankful for the “…endless supply of food,” and what comes out of the woods at the end of the issue is the stuff of nightmares. This is not your typical Archie comic, yet Aguirre-Sacasa has a keen sense of when to keep connections to what is known, and when to change things altogether.

Hack’s art leans toward the dark with a muted color palette, but his depiction of Sabrina — whether a child or a teenager — always brings a light to the mix, so much so that even the character’s hair changes from blonde to white. There is little action in this issue, but the strength of Hack’s art comes from his grasp of character facial expressions and body language. Sabrina, Ambrose, and the other teens in the book are all cute, but Hack also shows his skill in showing his grasp of depicting the truly horrifying by the end of the issue.

Sabrina is great with or without its ties to Afterlife With Archie. For $3.99 you get your money’s worth with this issue and it is safe to say that it did its job and got its hooks into me. One good thing about getting this book so late is that my wait for the next issue is that much shorter. If you are a fan of horror comics, yet know little about Sabrina the Teenage Witch, there is still plenty here for you to enjoy. If you already know the character and loved seeing Sabrina’s dabblings with Cthulu in the pages of Afterlife With Archie, then this comic is definitely for you. The second issue can’t come soon enough…let’s hope it arrives to my LCS on time. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Stay Positive, Stay Thankful - I am incredibly thankful to all of you for reading my goofy blog, which I have been writing since March of 2010. I am also thankful to those who have clicked one of my links to and bought something(s), which in turn gives me store credit that I use to buy more great comics to tell you about here on Donist World. I am ridiculously thankful for everyone who has bought my ebook Kibbles ’N’ Bots, and spread the word about my little labor of love.

I’m also thankful to the awesome Hypno Comics in Ventura, CA for having my missing copies of God Hates Astronauts #1 (VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!…I’m still cracking up over this comic) and Lazarus #10 (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!). Not to mention for selling me — at a 10% discount no less! — copies of the first trades for Deadly Class, Nailbiter, and The Wicked and the Divine. If you are ever in the area, stop by and check out this fantastic store.

I wish you all the best, and I am off to begin thinking about my yearend roundup, and to begin Tulip’s second adventure. Cheers, my friends.


No comments:

Post a Comment