Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 7/24/2015

Friday Slice of Heaven

Welcome back, Donist World denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO Obie (my friends’ Boston terrier) and by our marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / morale booster specialist Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). This week, Obie has regrettably caught wind of the fairly-new holacracy movement utilized by companies such as Zappos and has decided — without including Tulip or I in the discussion — that Donist World will maintain its Fortune 320,000 status through his new management style known as “wholacracy” or “WholeEnchiladacracy.” Under Obie’s wholacracy, he tells both of us what to do, and we are to do his will without question; he should probably reread what holacracy actually is. Anyways, Tulip and I are cutting out of the office early, while Obie writes out his list of rules for his “Obie Talks, Lackeys Listen” newsletter…I doubt he’ll notice we’re gone for at least four hours. In the meantime, grab some killer tacos, and a strong ginger ale — or perhaps an iced tea, iced tea is nice — and settle in to enjoy this week’s post. Thank you for reading.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Prez #2
Prez #2 - Written by Mark Russell, written by Ben Caldwell, inked by Mark Morales with Sean Parsons, colored by Jeremy Lawson, lettered by Travis Lanham, published by DC Comics. Corndog girl, Beth Ross, is getting crushed in her unintended run for the President of the US of A. Beth couldn’t care less, not with her ailing father withering away because of the lack of decent healthcare available to the poor. Meanwhile, it is a feeding frenzy of the brattiest of brats, state representatives wheel and deal to get whatever their hearts desire in order to get their “man” in the White House. Don’t count Beth out yet, though…

Criminy! The most un-DC comic on the stands is back, and I am in love on every level from the story, to the characters, to the illustrations, to the coloring; I love it all. Russell and Caldwell continue their satyrical look at politics from the view point of those (attempting to) pull the strings and those who suffer in the wake of our leaders’ greed and arrogance. This issue is equally devoted to the behind the scenes moments of politics as it is to Beth Ross and the mess that is her life. We see her world fall apart in the wake of a morally-bankrupt healthcare system, all while those in power use the “Taco Drone” program to supply their lunch. As I mentioned above, I enjoyed every bit of this issue, but the moments that truly slayed me were when we watched the predominantly-male state representatives chatting with one another like giddy fifteen-year-olds squeeing about the brand-new sports car they would be receiving for their sweet sixteen. “Global Warming Village” is just gravy.

Caldwell’s cartooning is immensely effective in its character acting (both exaggerated and serious), while his design work on things like Carl, the Taco Drone bot, and the bug plane are inventive and cool. His work would serve this comic well even if it were restricted to black and white, but Lawson’s colors elevate much of the dark subject matter into a disarmingly vibrant, cheerful realm that leaves the reader blissfully off balance. Art and story are in perfect harmony on this title that at times seems like it would be more at home with Vertigo than DC proper.

Reading Prez is as frustrating as it is enjoyable, as every page read is one less page waiting to be experienced. Throughout this issue, I could not help but think I do not want this to end, which caused me to linger on each page to fully take in everything that is happening within the art and between the lines of the word balloons. Oftentimes, I was torn between cracking up at various gags (Carl the End-of-Life-Bear), and recoiling at the obvious jab at the very real problems lurking in the healthcare industry. Whether we are focusing on the criminally-out-of-touch-or-is-it-selfish-or-is-it-both state reps left me rolling and smiling ear-to-ear…until it sunk in that this type of douchebaggery isn’t anything new and is steeped in reality. The moments with Beth’s father are touching and painful to experience, the wormology (capitalization intentionally removed, much like its non-profit status should be) morons are a crackup, and the ending that introduces Beth to a new character has me chomping at the bit for more more more. Prez is a smartly written, beautifully illustrated comic that will leave you laughing at its absurdity, while cringing at the bleak truths it gleefully reveals. Beth "Corndog Girl" Ross for President!!! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

*I heard a dreadful rumor that DC has slashed the planned 12-issue run down to a paltry six issues, which is a terrible decision (shareholder interest over taking a slight risk on an additional six issues on a title that can potentially do even better in trades?) for what is the only DC book I am currently buying. If this is true, I am DEEPLY disappointed.

Weirdworld #2
Weirdworld #2 - Written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Mike Del Mundo, colored by Mike Del Mundo and Marco D’Alfonso, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics. Arkon is a warrior, a lord of Polemachus, and a rider of dragons. He had it all…now all he wants is to go home. Trapped by the Apelantis slavers and separated from his dragon, Arkon makes his first ally since becoming stranded. Things finally begin to look up for the barbarian, but one should never allow hope to rise when one walks the plains of Weirdworld.

What the Doom is going on?!?! I bought no Image books this week, and the only two books I did buy were from the Big Two. What the what?! To put things into perspective, neither book is really part of either universe, and both are going to be painfully short: Prez looks to be slashed from twelve to six issues, and Weirdworld is set for a mere four issues. Once again, awesomeness is slated to be cut short all too soon. <sigh> But let’s not lament the axe destined to come down on these titles and instead celebrate what we actually do have: freakin’ fun, awesome comics unlike anything we have seen come out of the Big Two in quite some time.

(I am going to spoil something below. You’ve been warned…)
It’s plain to see that Aaron is having a blast with Weirdworld, what with thunderbolt carrying barbarians, dragons, beautiful witches, underwater ape civilizations, monsters, crystal and magma warriors, maps, and quests, all while barely acknowledging the farthest reaches of the Secret Wars event. Aaron has the opportunity to get as weird as he can, and trust me when I say that he gets positively bonkers. Not only do we get the oddball barbarian-guy-extraordinaire Arkon, but with this issue Aaron brings us back to the world of Crystallium with The Saga of Crystar: Crystal Warrior characters such as Warbow, Moltar, and Crystar (sort of…yuck). Not to go too far offtrack, but I loved Crystar back in the day, and felt burned by the final issue that prematurely ended the series — which still kind of hacks me off decades later, but enough of the past…

The story is a simple tale of boy wants to go home, boy gets abducted by aquatic apes, boy is freed by a warrior of crystal, an evil queen steals the boy’s dragon, and the boy and his crystal pal are pitted against the molten neighborhood bullies. We’ve seen it all before, right? Wrong. Normally, you would breeze through this action-packed issue, were it not for Del Mundo’s gorgeous, and I mean gorgeous, art. Comics are, of course, a visual medium, and boy howdy does Del Mundo deliver the gospel of that statement. The action and wonderful storytelling will have you whipping through the pages, but when you come to the splash page of Warbow, or the double-page spread of the two versus Apelantis, and the final page spash — and every thing before and in-between for that matter — you will marvel at the beauty of the colors and characters. Dang…that is one mighty fine lookin’ dragon, denizens, wow.

At only two issues in, it is safe to say Weirdworld rules, but I have to say that limiting this type of greatness to a mere four issues is like meeting your soulmate the day before you blast into outer space on your mission to Mars. Why are we introduced to this bizzonkers comic only to have it mercilessly taken away. Marvel…please extend this trip for another year, or two. I accept that Weirdworld and I were never meant to be together for ever and ever, happily ever after, but give  us a chance to build some dang memories. Please don't leave me hollering, “I’ll never forget you, Weirdworld, I love you!!!” after issue four ends. <sigh> VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Ant-Man (The Movie) - Dang, I really am keeping things in the realm of the Big Two this week. Anyhow, I’m going to keep this very brief and say that even though I wasn’t expecting much from this movie, I left the theater smiling and dang happy I saw it. There are some pacing issues that I assume come from the change in directors partway through filming, but I enjoyed the story, all of the characters, and thought the movie was all a blast from beginning to end. Aside from a couple ridiculously minor swear words that I promise you your kids are already using around their friends, this is Marvel’s most family-friendly movie to date, and that it registers every bit as much as a comedy as it does a superhero flick. I laughed especially hard at a fight scene between Ant-Man and Yellow Jacket that included a song by a particular music group that ruled my world many years ago. Ant-Man may not be up there with Guardians of the Galaxy, or Captain America: The Winter Soldier, or The Avengers, but it is a heck of a way to spend the afternoon. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice Into the Woods

Dang, the Blows Keep on a Comin’ - I don’t think I got a job I was hoping to get. There were no calls, or emails, or letters saying I did not get the job, but the website shows it as “Closed: Filled,” and it has been quite some time since the first interview. Bummers. Oh well, right back into the thick of things. Still, dang…

Yet Another Shooting - I just saw this and had to add a comment. I am appalled — but no longer shocked — by the events in Lafayette, La. This keeps happening. Why did this fool have a gun? Not just a gun, but one capable of killing and injuring so many in so very little time? The sickening thing is it could have been so much worse. Screw the NRA and their cronies. We need sensible gun laws void of any say from the evil, profiteering criminal organization known as the NRA. We are supposedly a ”developed country,” but given the rise in mass shootings I have my doubts as to whether or not we are worthy of calling ourselves as such. My heart goes out to all those whose only goal at the time was to watch a damn movie in peace.

And on that bleak note, let’s boost some Donist spirits with…

(Sung to the tune of Billy Idol’s “Catch My Fall”)

You’ve got some time, so so you will read yeah
Sweet comic books, totes off the hook yeah
Weirdworld is bonkers, best believe it, Cuz yeah
Wow me Prez it’s awesome, out of this world

I bet they will thrill you, but read for yourself

You cannot stumble
Read ’em, y’all yeah
You cannot stumble
Read ’em, y’all yeah
Read ’em, y’all yeah


No comments:

Post a Comment