Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 9/25/2015

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Weirdworld and…wait…that's it?!?! Okay, Chew Omnivore Edition, too.

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 / Polemachus tour guide Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). Oh. My. Doom. I only had one Doomdang comic in my pull this week, as the new issue of Secret Wars looks to have been bumped. Huh? Oh well. I’ve been ridiculously busy taking written tests for a job consideration, preparing for an interview for another job later today, and there’s a ton of other stuff going on as well. Not only that, the heat has returned, and Obie is walking around the corporate office (Mom’s basement) muttering, “Get a job, deadbeat.” <sigh> Fine. Having only one book this week looks to be okay by me, and the one I did read is all kinds of awesome. Next week, though…more comics! So, while you prepare to stay cool, fire up some chillwave music (new Neon Indian album in October!), pour yourself a nice cool sweet tea, get yourself a taco basket, and settle in for this week’s post. Thank you for reading.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Weirdworld #4
Weirdworld #4 - 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 fears he might never see his home of Polemachus ever again, and whoever knows fear, burns at the touch of the Man-Things. Of course, Morgan Le Fay and Skull the Slayer aren’t making Arkon’s life any easier.

I initially started this issue off with a sense of dread. Not for the content inside, or the art, or a fear that I would be let down in any way, but because I erroneously thought this was the final issue of the mini-series. Sometimes it’s good to be wrong. This is actually a five-issue mini-series, which finally occurred to me when I read the “To Be Concluded…” on the final page. <phew> Dread diverted, or at least postponed until next month. The funny thing was the whole time reading this issue, I was thinking there’s absolutely no way they can tie up everything started since issue one, and I was right.

In this issue Aaron and Del Mundo take Arkon and Skull’s battle to a forest of Man-Things. Not just Man-Things — plural, not singular — but Man-Things carrying cool shamanic staffs. Werd, denizens. You read it. I said it. STAFFS!!! Then to top it all off, they bring in the leader of the Man-Things…wait for it…wait for it…Jennifer freakin’ Kale. That’s right, little Jenny Kale commands the gosh darn Man-Things. Ms. Jennifer Kale from… … …<crickets>… <crickets>…yeah, I had to look her up, too. Anyhow, she first appeared in 1972’s Adventures into Fear #11, has had ties to the Man-Thing, she’s a cousin to the Ghost Riders (Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch), has magic powers, and is part of Doctor Strange’s supper club or something. Regardless of who all the characters are and how they relate to the Marvel Universe at large, I don’t care. I am digging every single one of the weirdos who’ve appeared throughout the course of this exciting, bizarre, and gorgeous comic.

It’s clear that Aaron is having a heck of a time writing this series. He somehow succeeded in writing a Secret Wars tie-in that doesn’t really tie into the main event at all, with the occasional curse of “Doomdamned” thrown in the mix; this might also be Aaron’s subtle comment on events in general as well, but who knows. The awesome thing about this issue is that the reader finally discovers what Arkon’s problem is — you have to pay attention or you’ll miss it — and why his attempts to return home have all failed. To be honest, I almost missed it, but flipping back through the book, everything fell into place. Arkon’s situation definitely falls into the category of weird, very clever, but also very weird in the best of ways that I did not see coming. <sigh> Why must there be only one issue left?

Del Mundo’s art…well, you need to prepare for it. I don’t just mean mentally, but also physically and with the proper amount of time to enjoy this issue to its fullest. You should not creep into bed at night with a tiny book light to read this issue, as you are liable to miss the glory of this gorgeous — and I mean gorgeous — art. You need strong, bright lighting from indirect sources so as to reduce glare from the comic’s glossy pages. You need to have the right environment to admire the greens and reds of Arkon’s hallucinations, and to marvel at the muting effect of water as Skull attempts to drown the hero, but most of all you need to get a load of the positively stunning Man-Things and their groovy staffs. I am very curious as to how Del Mundo pulled off the lush, painted textures on these creatures that almost look as if they are made of natural vegetation viewed through a gently flowing stream. As weird as the story is, the art is simply magical.

I positively love this Doomdamned series, and I am generally bummed for poor Arkon. At this point, I want to try to help him get back home, maybe take him out to coffee and a pumpkin scone and check-in to see how he’s doing, to see how he’s holding up. I’m genuinely worried for the guy. That said, I’m sad that this fun adventure mini is nearing completion, but the good news is that it seems like the creators will be able to complete the story they set out to tell without Captain America, or Iron Man, or Doctor Doom entering the scene to mess things up. I fully expect next month’s conclusion to wrap in the most satisfying and weird manner possible. Two side notes: 1) Weird World will continue as a series, only without Arkon and with Sam Humphries writing and Mike Del Mundo returning for the art…YAY! 2) There is a Weirdworld: Warriors of the Shadow Realm trade out that has nothing to do with this mini, but it is a fantasy series from the ’70s that I am excited to pick up in the near future for the heck of it. This issue of the mini-series, though, comes VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Chew Omnivore Edition
Volume 1
Chew Omnivore Editions Written and lettered by John Layman, illustrated and colored by Rob Guillory, color assists by Taylor Wells, published by Image Comics. After the avian flu snuffed out tons of lives, the consumption of chicken has been outlawed, and the FDA has become the most powerful government agency on the planet. Tony Chu is a detective now working for the FDA. He’s also cibopathic, which means he gains a psychic impression from whatever he eats: an orange gives an impression of warm weather, pickers injured retrieving the fruit, and the pesticides used; eating a steak gives an impression he’d rather forget. His bizarre ability sees him involved in the most bizarre and grossest cases imaginable.

If you’ve been reading Donist World for any length of time, then you know how much I love this series, and I have been merrily singing Chew”s praises since I jumped in at issue four and scrambled to find the first three issues. Once I finally tracked down some difficult to find reprints of the early issues, I became a lifelong fan, and I’ve been reading the monthly(ish) issues, and snatching up the hardcover editions the moment they drop.

Now, this is not going to be a review of the series. Nope. Instead, I want to take a look at the extra-fancy, super-slick hardcover Omnivore Editions, of this fantastic series. Thus far, four volumes are available and the fifth should drop right around the time I complete my reread of the series. At that point, the countdown for the final ten issues should begin, which has me excited to see how it all ends, and sad that is ending.

Chew Omnivore Editions Vol. 1–4
I am currently midway through volume 2!
Each Omnivore Edition contains at least 10 issues, possibly a Poyo special, and a whole host of extras such as the original pitch, preliminary / test pages, photos, special covers, and probably some stuff I haven't even discovered yet. This ain’t your peepaw’s hardcover book, no siree Bob. Ain’t a Doomdang dust jacket to be found anywhere near these beauties. Instead, we have covers with spot UV (glossy) images and titles atop matte backgrounds and body text, making for a beautiful effect, especially when viewing the book at an angle from a few feet away. The inside cover is a highly-textured, heavy paper stock of a color that ties to the scheme of the cover. Also matching the color scheme is a slick ribbon bookmark that is a welcome and necessary touch.

Size comparison: comic
versus Omnivore!
Come close for a second…I don’t want any Doomdamned eavesdroppers. Okay…are you a new-book sniffer? Don’t worry, denizen. It’s cool, you’re among friends. Most of us comic collectors are book sniffers, I imagine, and much like digging that new car smell, when you tear off the shrink wrap on these pretty puppies, you gotta go in for the new book fragrance, that eau de toillete of the printed word. Unfortunately, I got a bit of a headache from doing that, but it…was…worth…it!

The great thing about these Omnivore Editions is the small-but-noticeable bump in size from the comic that gives you a much better view of Guillory’s art and a better opportunity to find the multitudes of sight gags scattered throughout the pages. Speaking of pages, they’re still the same glossy pages I love from the comics, but possibly on a slightly heavier paper.

There you go. Man, did the creators put their all into the presentation of these dang fine editions. Every aspect of these things was designed with class and and an eye for perfection. The bottom line is that you need to get these for your favorite bookcase, you know, the one that makes your friends and pets drool with envy. I have volume two by my side for reading this evening, with the other three volumes standing majestically on my bookshelf of heavenliness. I also have two empty spots set aside for the fifth and sixth volumes once they are released. Doomdamn, these Chew Omnivore Editons are true treasures of my collection, and I think they might be a prize of yours, too. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Slice into the Woods

One Comic in My Pull - Only one dang book? Okay, this week has been positively bonkers, so I guess I am okay with that. I also have some crazy and stressful stuff going on over the next few days, so I guess the timing was right on. Not only that, I got a bit of Chew I need to be rereading…

(Sung to the tune of Cat Steven’s “Wild World”)

Now that I’ve been revisiting the awesome Chew
The Omnivore Edition’s a rockin’ it’s true
It’d warm my heart if you're readin’
Baby, that’s believin’
Built with much love, such great care
I can’t wait to give them pages a good stare
But then I got another one I’d like to share

Oh, baby, baby, read Weirdworld
It’s harsh but it’s cool, Man-Things make me smile
Oh, baby, baby, read Weirdworld
Arkon’s hunt for Polemachus calls you, girl


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