Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 12/4/2015

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Prez, Paper Girls, East of West, Black Science, Plutona, and Where is Jake Ellis?

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / getting-a-full-night’s-sleep consultant Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). As I’ve explained over the past couple FSoH/SitW posts, Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap. It’s been a brutally tumultuous past month and a half, but thanks to Tulip and the Reverse Obie’s love and support, I think things are finally going to settle down and be for the better. With six books I need to tell you about, the pups and I are keeping the intro short and cutting out early today for an off-site lunch of various sorts of tacos and other refreshments. So, set yourself up for some tasty treats — how about a great beer? — watch the phenomenal Jessica Jones, and most of all read some great comics. Take care. Thank you for reading!

Also, check out the video at the bottom of the post for an under-the-hood look at how we at Donist World operate!

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Prez #6
Prez #6 - Written by Mark Russell, illustrated by Ben Caldwell, inked by Mark Morales, colored by Jeremy Lawson, lettered by Travis Lanham, published by DC Comics. As deaths from the “Cat Flu” approach six figures, PotUS Beth Ross is under fire not only by Congress, but by Big Corp, Big Ag, and Big Pharma. Whatever is a girl to do…other than beat them at their own game.

Sweet Christmas, Denizens, I love this comic! It is timely, exaggerating-yet-spot-on honest, horrific, maddening, and hopeful. It is also hilarious in a gut punch sort of way as Russell brilliantly showcases multiple problems in our current political system, while bringing in a true “Washington Outsider” to fix those problems. As with the previous five issues, I wiped away tears of laughter — or was it frustration at the all-too-real truths exposed by Prez? — and yet again found myself wishing Ms. Ross was our President.

Caldwell’s art brings Russell’s razor-sharp script to humorous life with the focus on drama and the great character acting raising smiles, especially when the Prez plays dirty on the Washington ne’er do wells; the look on the face of her head of science as he gleefully snacks on some potato chips is positively priceless. Caldwell’s cartooning is simply fantastic, with Morales’s fine lines letting every detail shine through, as Lawson’s vibrant colors add a sunny, jovial tone to the otherwise dark commentary on the world today.

This book is sure to offend plenty of people, primarily those it targets, but then again, I don’t exactly think those people are what you’d call “big readers” anyways; they’re also a huge part of the problem, so screw ’em. I can also tell you that Prez Rozz doesn’t give a shiz. If you have not been reading the best book DC is currently publishing, then you have done missed out, son, but never fear. You can (probably) track down the first six issues of the first half of this tale — yes, another six glorious issues release in 2016 — but if that is a problem, then the first trade releases in February so you can hammer through this Donist World Darling in one fell swoop. Please do buy Prez, though, as boosted sales might mean annuals, spin-offs, minis, or please please please a continuation past the slotted 12 issues. Dang this book is a winner. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Paper Girls #3
Paper Girls #3 - Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matt Wilson, lettered and designed by Jared K. Fletcher, published by Image Comics. Great pink storms, tuning fork knights, monstrous beasts, fugly weirdos, the Gipper, guns, and all around weirdness abounds.

We are on the third exciting issue of the awesome Paper Girls series, and we have learned enough to brings up to speed with Erin, KJ, Mac, and Tiffany. Translation: None of us have a freakin’ clue as to what is going on. The thing is that we the readers are all the better for it. Vaughan and Chiang are in no hurry to clue us in as to what exactly is happening, opting instead to add even more oddities to the mix as they draw us closer to the awesome characters at the center of this bizarre tale.

The story involving four paper girls in Cleveland, OH in the ’80s as they deal with sci-fi end-of-the-world(?) happenings is fantastic in and of itself, but when you have Chiang providing the gorgeous visuals with Wilson ratcheting up the mood with his analogous purple coloring schemes, you get a book that looks as beautiful as it reads. On that note, Paper Girls is one of those comics you should probably read thrice to get the whole experience: Once as you rip through the story, a second time to fully experience the art, and a third time for the combined effect. Doing this is what we at Donist World call time well spent.

<sigh> C’mon. You are reading Paper Girls, right? Sure, there’re no superheroes with capes and incorrectly worn underwear (DC did remedy this…didn’t they?), just a fun-filled, sci-fi adventure with a cast of foul-mouthed, teenage girls just trying to get you your dang newspaper on time (please tell me you know what a newspaper is). I already know I will be buying the collected hardcover of this series in late-2016 / early-2017, as reading this comic is a blast. Don’t wait though, seek out the issues so you can suffer the painful wait for issue #4 to drop. You’ll be glad you did. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

East of West #22
East of West #22 - Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Nick Dragotta, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics. The march to war heats up as an assassination attempt looks to kick it off in full.

Okay, new issues of East of West tend to fall within the range of good to mind-blowing, but the past couple issues have been a bit slow moving; not the case here. This issue is nearly silent and serves as a vehicle to remind everyone of Dragotta’s immense storytelling prowess, and boy howdy does it come across with this issue. Dang. Not only does the action of this issue remind me of the end scenes in Kill Bill Vol. 1, Dragotta also delivers yet more cool character designs and costuming on the assassins. With Martin’s colors making the sequences even more exhilarating, you can’t help but whip through the issue and immediately return to the beginning for another read.

East of West is an exquisitely-written, beautifully illustrated, sci-fi, political epic with an enormous cast of characters that is worth the time of all willing to put that ol’ brain of theirs through a bit of a workout. Yes, at times the pacing of the story slows for a few issues, but then we get a must-read treasure like this exciting issue. If you are not reading this fantastic series, then you can easily catch up with the four available trades, or the lovely hardcover. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Black Science #18
Black Science #18 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Matteo Scalera, colored by Moreno Dinisio, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Come take a trip through the mind of anarchist scientist Grant McKay, and gain some insight into how the past shaped the man.

I ain’t gonna lie to you, Denizens, this jumps into the dreamy reaches of the mind. This is something that tends to drive Amy the Intern bonkers, but is something I am generally fine with. And it’s easy to be fine with an issue that is essentially a dream sequence, when you allow Scalera to get crazy with the visuals, which include anthropomorphic animals, monsters, and some gosh-darn puppets to top off some tremendous storytelling.

For much of Black Science, Grant McKay has been the protagonist we have loved to hate, but now that we actually get a view into the guy’s past, and although we might not be able to quite forgive him for his recent transgressions, we sure as heck now understand why he is the way he is. Whether he changes or not — now that he fully realizes the course of his life — remains to be seen, but I will be there to see it all unfold in this fantastic sci-fi, monster mash, roller coaster of an adventure. You should be there, too. If you are not reading Black Science in floppies, then you can jump in the deep end with the three trades, or the awesome hardcover. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Plutona #3
Plutona #3 - Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Emi Lenox and Jeff Lemire, colored by Jordie Bellaire, lettered by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Things get weird for the kids as they head into the woods to bury the body of the dead superhero they found.

The past three issues of Plutona have pretty much revolved around five young kids hanging out in the woods discussing what to do about the dead body of a beloved superhero named Plutona. That about sums it up. Usually, I would be out the door at that point, but Lemire and Lenox have created some compelling characters, whose backstories and personalities ring so true that I very much care about all of them and what is going to happen next. This goes double after seeing the last page of the main story.

If you’ve been reading Donist World for any length of time, then you know I’m a big fan of Lemire’s work, and Plutona does not disappoint. If you, too, like other works by these creators, then you cannot go wrong picking up this five-issue mini, or you can wait it out for the trade that releases in March 2016. Either way, things look to get interesting next month, so be sure you read this fine comic. RECOMMENDED!

Where is Jake Ellis?
Where is Jake Ellis?#5 - Written by Nathan Edmondson, illustrated and lettered by Tonci Zonjic with assists by Jordan Gibson, published by Image Comics. After whatever it was that happened last issue (I honestly don’t remember), Jon and Jake have an ally to protect and a score to settle.

Sorry, I could not help but take a jab at the gnarly delay in getting us the final issue of second part of Edmondson and Zonjic’s Jake Ellis spy thriller. In fact, it’s been over a year since issue four released and issue one came out back in November of 2012, which makes for a rather long wait to see this second chapter finally conclude (the first chapter is the awesome Who is Jake Ellis?), but in the end the wait was definitely worth it. The story is as engaging as ever, and the art is great, although different in that the style is somewhat looser than on previous issues, which might be the addition of Gibson, but I am not sure.

If you like spy thrillers with an added twist, then you definitely need to read the Jake Ellis comics, especially since you can hammer through the first volume and you can now read the second volume in its entirety — a trade collecting Where is Jake Ellis? is certain to see print at some point in early 2016. Once I reread each chapter, I’m sure I would give this issue a higher rating, but since I remember little of what happened previously, this issue comes RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

More Guns Killing People - No. No one needs the type of guns these terrorists and psychopaths continue to use to murder people on a regular basis. This bullshit needs to end.


No song this week, Denizens - I know, I know. Sorry. It’s been nearly two years, but I finished up a degree / certificate in Graphic Design this week, and I’m frankly exhausted.

In the meantime, please watch this video to fully understand the methodologies and the creative processes involved in the creation of each Donist World post. Essentially, I read the week’s comics, and then…

Nick Offerman Sips Scotch Whisky, by the Fire, for 45 Minutes


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