Friday, December 25, 2015

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 12/26/2015

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Saga, Deadly Class, and Chew

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 / reindeer-in-training 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. Anywho… Yeah, we saw Star Wars…BOOM! It ruled, and Reverse Obie was able to talk his and Tulip’s way into the theater so that they too could enjoy the awesome film as well. This post is going to be a bit shorter because of…well…it’s Christmas, dagnabbit! I know that many of you don’t celebrate Christmas, which is great as the holiday is mostly one of stress stress and more stress, but let’s all avoid that noise and come together over that which unifies us all: great comic books. So, whether you are heading out to see Star Wars for the 12th time, or you have to wait a couple more days, then set yourself up for some tasty holiday tacos, or maybe one of those barfy eggnog things — how about a great ginger ale instead? — rewatch the real three movies, and most of all read some great comics. Take care. Thank you for reading!

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Saga #32
Saga #32 - Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples, lettered and designed by Fonografiks, coordinated by Eric Stephenson, published by Image Comics. After a brief check-in with Hazel last month, we learn what Marko and Alana have been up to these past few years. Hint…doing everything in their power to reunite themselves with their daughter.

There’s never been a “bad issue” of Saga. Not a one. There might have been a slower issue here or there, but each of those tend to be better than most everything else you’ll find on the stands. Some might classify this issue as one of the “slower” ones, but not this here Donist. Sure, I love to see crazy fight scenes, and groovy spaceship battles, and disturbingly hilarious (keyword: disturbingly) images of dragons and giants forever scorched into my brain, but this issue brings me back to what made me fall in love with Saga in the first place: Marko and Alana’s love for one another. The cover this month alone made me smile upon seeing my favorite couple finally together again. Yes, Denizens, Donist is an ol’ softy for this type of stuff, but having such beautifully developed characters, such stunning art, and such a grand story come together to make a comic book so thoroughly endearing I can’t imagine a world without it.

You’re reading this. You have to be reading this! I know your reading this! Right?! If not, and you’ve been following me for a length of time, then you’ve read my exceedingly positive thoughts about each and every issue of this fantastic series. It is true that The Walking Dead and Chew brought Image back into the public mind, but Saga is the comic that led the onslaught of the truly wonderful comics we’ve been seeing for the past couple of years. If you are new to Saga or my site, and you finally just said, “Alrighty then, Donist, I’ll read this dang funny book that has so thoroughly captured and warmed your cold dark heart, but where do I start?” That’s easy. Just pick up the first five trades, or jump on in with the lovely oversized hardcover, and you’ll be set right with one of the best comics of the past five years. Oh yeah, this issue also has a Friendo appearance. Friendo!!! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Deadly Class #17
Deadly Class #17 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Wes Craig, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics. Before being invited to attend Kings Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts, Marcus had a difficult life. Now it looks to become positively insane as the school headmaster gives out the final exam: kill the rats.

Okay, this is what I have been waiting for with this series. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed Deadly Class since the first issue, but at moments during the last story arc I have to admit my interest was beginning to wane a bit. I wasn’t going to stop reading the series, just take a break. Y’know, switch to trades or somethin’. But I only had three books in my pull this week, so I thought why not? I’m glad I didn’t wait.

Holy moly! This issue is intense! It is full on Battle Royale as the students turn upon one another in an effort to “kill the rats.” It is violent, bloody, disturbing, yet Remender sneaks in some humorous moments with the murderous cheerleading squad, and the deadly linebacker. Above all, this issue is a showcase of Craig’s ability to deliver amazingly tense scenes through high panel counts and angled panels — for the more insane moments — all accentuating his already phenomenal storytelling ability. Add Boyd’s equally intense color palette to Craig’s killer (get it) line work and every panel of every page succeeds in keeping the reader on edge. You really need to see the overhead view found in the first panel on page four as the carnage from the auditorium spills into the brightly-lit hall with blood and weapons and mayhem and each person’s tiny shadow paints the floor, making your heart beat that much faster.

The delirious action of this issue alone is enough to bring me back into the arms of this series, but the rise to prominence of one person in particular — no, not Marcus — made me go “Oh…I can’t wait to see how this plays out.” If, like me, you were thinking of taking a break from Deadly Class, don’t; now is definitely not the time. If you have not been reading this series, and you are cool with the more violent moments of say a Tarrantino film, then by all means dive in to this great series about a school for assassins set in the ’80s and you won’t be disappointed. There are three trades currently available. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Chew #53
Chew #53 - Written and lettered by John Layman, illustrated and colored by Rob Guillory, color assists by Taylor Wells, published by Image Comics. Tony and Mason have a sit down to discuss the avian flu and the writing in the sky. Too bad about all the bad blood between them.

Crud. It’s really happening. The end of the most unique comic on the stands is just around the corner, and that kind of bums me out…not enough to not read it, though. What can you expect from this issue besides the wackiness, the grand story, the cool characters, the beautiful art with the vibrant colors and life found in every page? More of the same. What more do you need? Seriously. It’s an amazing comic that is rapidly — much too rapidly — approaching its end, and it continues to be as great as it was in the beginning.

Yeah, it’s a bit too late to jump into this series with the floppies, unless someone sells them all to you in one fell swoop. However, it is not too late to find out what all the hubbub is about, Bub. You can catch up with the ten trades, or, better yet, with the beautiful, oversized hardcovers known as the Omnivore Editions (I have these and they are great! I gushed about them here). However you choose to read Chew, just be sure you are reading this fantastic series. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - I ain’t getting into it right now, just know that I completely LOVED this movie. Like Young Donist in the ’70s, I intend to watch this movie again and again and again and again and again… VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Ending Things Here - Hey, it’s the holidays, dagnabbit. I gots things to do! No song this weeks, just warm wishes to all the Donist World Denizens out there, and a heartfelt thanks to you for reading. Take care. All the best. –Donist


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