Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 1/29/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Saga, Southern Bastards, Deadly Class, Chew, East of West, and The Twilight Children

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 / ULE (User Life Experience) designer Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). The intro’s gonna be a tad short (again) as we picked up six heavenly new releases this week and we wanna get to them all. We were also slammed with MANY staff meetings at our corporate headquarters (Mom’s basement) where we have been laboring over the next steps for the followup to my all-ages novel Kibbles ’N’ Bots; I just finished the second draft yesterday. Now, between the racket of the washing machine, dryer, leaf blowers, and lawn mowers, we are narrowing down a title, cover designs, and how to best approach the third draft to get the next book out as soon as possible. All this, a bag of chips (Sriracha style, baby!), and some fantastic comic books to boot! So, order up some tasty tacos, get yourself a nice ginger brew, put on some music by David Bowie, and most of all read some great comics. Take care. Thank you for reading!

*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.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Saga #33
Saga # 33 - Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples, lettered and designed by Fonografiks, coordinated by Eric Stephenson, published by Image Comics. With The Brand having left the realm of the living, Upsher and Doff are back to investigating the largest news story of the…well…the universe!

It has been a while since we last checked in with Upsher and Doff, the aquatic alien, writer / photographer, gay couple, journalistic team, since their efforts to find Marko and Alana were greatly discouraged (i.e. threatened with being killed to death by The Brand), but this issue belongs to them; as well as a couple of other characters who have been absent for far too long. The creators perfectly reestablish the importance of these two likable characters, bringing them back from the void and into prominence in a way I should have anticipated…but didn’t. They also bring back Ginny (the cute, purple, bat-featured dance instructor) and introduce her husband, who is only too perfect in his look, style, and demeanor; I couldn’t help but laugh.

As much as I want to talk about the characters at the end I won’t. I will say that my spirits elevated (actually, the issue just kept getting better and better from the page one “golden triangle” Parliament reference) upon turning the page to a key reveal. I was then confused, and ultimately was left cracking up. But more than anything, I am completely amped to see what happens next, especially now that seemingly-minor aspects of the story from many issues past have returned and are clearly no longer minor story points.

A mediocre issue of Saga is always great when compared to most all other books on the stand, and this current arc has been nothing but awesome. If you are not, you need to be reading this series. Sci-fi, fantasy, humor, adventure, drama, romance, the occasional shock-your-socks-off image, ALWAYS stunning art, and a compelling as hell story, Saga has everything you need from a great comic book. You can get the single issues…ummm…actually, you probably can’t anymore as those early issues will break the bizzank. Never fret. You can pick up the gorgeous over-sized hardcover of the first three arcs, or dive in with the first five trades, which you should do immediately on this “mature readers” Donist World Darling. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Southern Bastards #13
Southern Bastards #13 - Written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Jason Latour, lettered by Jared K. Fletcher, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. It’s the most important day of Craw County’s year. Of it’s life, actually. It’s Game Day. It’s Homecoming. It’s the Craw County Runnin’ Rebs versus the Wetumpka County Warriors!

Yup. I still hate football. This issue doesn’t help in that regard at all, and to be honest it kind makes me hate the sport all the more. That said, I L-O-V-E this comic. Love it. The crazy thing is that I am usually turned off when most of the characters are so thoroughly wicked, and the Jasons have crafted some truly despicable characters. However, these characters practically live and breathe on the page, and some have very good reasons for being so thoroughly evil. As I have said before, I hate Coach Boss, but past issues shined such a light on the character’s past and motivations, that there were times that I actually sympathized with the coldblooded killer.

The sentiment didn’t last long.

I’m not only back to despising him, but I am just waiting for him and his cronies to finally get what what’s coming to them. This is by design. The creators even go so far as to remind us of five sets of individuals looking for some payback, and this is before Earl Tubb’s daughter is set to arrive next issue. Holy moly, I can’t wait to see what’s next. The dialogue is amazing and thoroughly develops characters and setting and motivation, while Latour’s art continues to be raw, stunning. Again…this issue focuses on a football game…and I absolutely love it. Football!

Huddle up and listen, Denizens. Read this series. I want you to give 110% and get out there and read read read. The game ain’t over yet, and there’s two trades (a third drops in May) or a beautiful hardcover for you to check out, which I strongly encourage you all to do. Now get out there and let’s see some readin’! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Deadly Class #18
Deadly Class #18 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Wes Craig, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. It’s finals time at Kings Dominion Atelier, and in order to pass the “haves” need to kill the “have nots,” and the “have nots” just need to survive.

Talk about riveting, white-knuckle excitement! Man, if you’re on heart medication, then you should probably steer clear of the current story arc as it is pretty intense. The creators have the bad-by-situation scrambling to stay alive and the bad-by-choice acting downright vicious; it is awesome to behold. Now, remember back in the first issue when we saw exactly what a badass Saya is? Well…yeah, more of that here, and we also gets twists and insights into other characters (that Shabnam…dang) to such a degree that I had to give a hearty “Awwwwww shucks” when I reached the last page of the issue — it was over much too soon.

Now, I’ve praised Craig’s artwork in the past, and I vaguely remember saying how his work gets better and better with each passing issue. That thought hasn’t changed. Man, oh, man. This issue is beautiful. Craig’s storytelling is phenomenal as we go through the higher panel count dramatic moments, only to have him crank the dial up to 11 as he speeds up a scene with fewer panels that each succeed in packing a helluva punch. Couple the art with Boyd’s strongest mood-setting color schemes to date, and you have one heck of an exquisitely written, paced, illustrated, and colored triumph of a comic.

I think I mentioned last issue that I had been considering going to trades (of which there are three), but after reading this fantastic issue, I am firmly definitely sticking with the issues. Not only that, I think I’m about ready for a reread of yet another brilliant creator-owned book by Remender. Man, this is a great series. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Chew #54
Chew #54 - Written and lettered by John Layman, illustrated and colored by Rob Guillory, color assists by Taylor Wells, published by Image Comics. Mason Savoy has had it with trying to get FDA agent Tony Chu to do what he wants. Time for drastic measures.

Crud. We are rapidly approaching the end of the series with only a Poyo special (YAY!) and six more issues to go.  After the events of this issue, I need to repeat myself by saying crud. I didn’t see what happens in this issue coming — although I should have; needless to say I was pretty shocked. That’s the thing about Chew: you smile from issue to issue as you laugh at the ridiculous situations and sight gags, but then the creators suckerpunch you with something fairly devastating, which is exactly what happens this month. The funny thing is that you will still end up laughing and smiling up until ________ happens. Dang.

I love this series; I have for quite sometime. But if you have never read what is easily the most unique book on the stands, then do not start here with the floppies. Nah, son. We’re at the end of this joint, and you need to do the creators a solid by starting from the first trade (10 trades available!), or, better yet, you can sit at the big boy table with the awesome Omnivore Edition volumes (five hardcovers available to date) that I am gleefully collecting. However you wish to consume (see what I did there?) the fantastic Chew, just be sure you give this important comic a shot. You’ll be glad you did. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

East of West #24
East of West #24 - Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Nick Dragotta, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics. The Prophet Orion sends a new version of The Message to each of the seven of The Chosen.

As I like to remind current and potential new readers of the great post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, Western, adventure, political drama, fantasy series East of West, you best be prepared for a complex story, set in a complicated world, with a whole host of different characters. You can’t really do this series justice if you attempt to read it while tired, or without warming up with some jumping jacks or some other form of cardio. It’s quite rich. So much so that previous issues tend to focus on one or two characters, but for the first time in quite a while, we check in with practically all of the major players, wherever they may be.

We have one issue left in the story arc, so we probably won’t be seeing an issue for a few months after early March. This is fine and actually gives everyone who has been reading East of West a chance to reflect on what has happened in the past, what transpires in this issue, and what might be in store for the future. It is also a great time to reread the series from the beginning, so we can find more of the clever clues Hickman and Dragotta have hidden along the way and to clarify plot lines that might not have made much sense the first time around. If you have not previously been reading this dang fine series, then reading everything in one or two sittings via the four available trades or the beautiful hardcover is a great way to experience this deep, rich series. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Twilight Children #4
The Twilight Children #4 - Written by Gilbert Hernandez, illustrated and lettered by Darwyn Cooke, colored by Dave Stewart, published by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint. The magical realism, supernatural tale of a sleepy seaside town besieged by strange occurrences comes to a conclusion.

Well…that sure wrapped up quickly. After so much had happened with the story and the characters and we were left with such a major cliffhanger last issue, this final installment seemed like a rush to the finish line. It almost seemed as if The Twilight Children was originally slated to be six issues, with the first three issues having been completed, only to have the final three issues condensed down into the fourth. Relationships and proclamations of love come out of nowhere — although to be fair, Tito jumping from one person to the next on the turn of a dime makes sense — two characters are revealed to be…alien ghost thingy imposters(?), and people become happier for some reason. It all goes down waaaaaaaayyy faster than I would have liked.

All that said, I still enjoyed reading the issue, and I still love the series as a whole, but the dramatic shift in pacing is jarring and seemed out of place given the first three issues. Hernandez’s words are still lovely, Cooke and Stewart’s art breathtaking, and the book is something fans of either creator should seek out…if you can wait for the hardcover edition that releases in May. I’m sorry to say that the individual issues (priced at $4.99) are so riddled with ads that the experience of reading this beautiful story in issues was nowhere near as enjoyable as it could have been. I guess what it all comes down to is me wanting a few more issues to allow the ending the space it needed to breathe, as well as giving every character their time to shine or to slowly flicker and fade as the case may be. This series is still very much worth checking out, and I would say that the series comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, but this final issue, because of its change in pacing, is RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

No Song this Week - “Two weeks in a row?!?!” Yeah, sorry, Denizens. I’m already way late delivering this post as I was at an interview this morning and I was tutoring a Publication Design course yesterday. With six comics to talk about in addition to those things, I just plum ran out of time. So, with that, I will let you know that I have been jamming to some “retro” “’80s” synth bands lately that are just phenomenal, that you can and should check out on Amazon Prime: Mitch Murder, Miami Nights 1984, and Lazerhawk are all worth giving a listen.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 1/22/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Rachel Rising, Tokyo Ghost, and Kaptara

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 / Space Oddity 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. I gotta keep the intro short this week as my puppy executive team and I are buried under a bunch of different projects. We’re also still bummed about a bunch of personal heroes dying recently, and…look, I know we’re all upset about Bowie, Lemmy, Rickman, and Frey, but don’t dwell on the negative. Instead, honor them by continuing to experience and enjoy their art — whether music or film or both — and celebrate the lives and contributions these artists made as opposed to focusing on their passings. So, order up some tasty tacos, get yourself a nice ginger brew, put on some “Heroes” by Bowie, and most of all read some great comics. Take care. Thank you for reading!

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Rachel Rising #39
Rachel Rising #39 - Everythinged by Terry Moore, published by Abstract Studio. Earl and Aunt Johnny discuss Earl’s love interest as well as what awaits them in the morgue. Rachel arrives in time to “read” a couple of corpses…she won’t like what she finds.

The pacing of this issue slows once again, but this is to be expected, and even anticipated, for a Moore book. With Moore’s work, it is predominantly about his characters who readers learn to love — usually by the first issue. With less-seasoned creators, I would usually be calling for them to keep things moving. But not here. I am fine taking a moment with Earl and Aunt Johnny as they discuss love and protecting one's heart, and also the matter of the hit and run victim that has Earl so unnerved. Moore puts the characters into a situation that is completely outside of the current storyline, but the depth of each character’s emotions, their subtle changes in posture or expressions, and Rachel’s arrival — who is pissed about Aunt Johnny’s smoking — all contribute to the character building moments that warm the heart and have, on a few occasions, nearly brought this Donist to tears. Don’t believe me? Just read Rachel’s page six, panel five dialogue. Okay? Now stare at the sixth panel and tell me you didn’t get a little misty. Criminy…it’s still messing with me, even after the fourth viewing. <sigh>

If you only read the dialogue or only saw the art, Moore’s solid grasp on each succeed in pulling you into his world. But combine the two into the comic book format, and you, too, will care deeply for Rachel, Aunt Johnny, Earl, Jet, and even Lilith. Earl’s crooked smile, Rachel crying, Aunt Johnny solemnly staring over the rim of her glasses…ack…let’s just say nothing bad better happen to anyone in this book! Yeah, I’m certain I’m in for some massive heartache down the road, but for this charming and scary book I will gladly set myself up for the pain time and time again.

Rachel Rising is a freakin’ fantastic comic. Every issue not only draws you into this bizarre, fictional world of resurrections and witches and demons, it makes you feel as if you know each of the characters as if they were your closest of friends and family. If you are not reading this tremendous series in floppy form, then you can easily find the six available trades and quickly catch up, which I encourage you to do at your earliest convenience. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Tokyo Ghost #5
Tokyo Ghost #5 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Sean Murphy, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. The love of Debbie Decay’s life is dead. In his place stands Led Dent and now Tokyo will burn.

The action and mayhem continues from last month into this issue as Led — now spurred on my Davey Trauma — takes on all of Tokyo in an effort to hand it over to the Isles of Los Angeles. After last issue’s intense fighting and violence, I was kind of hoping to see more of the repercussions of Kazumi’s fall before Led’s inevitable one-man assault showed up; at least we get a page of Kazumi’s backstory. From page four on, it’s all about explosions, arrows, stabbing, shooting, fighting, gettin' all blowed up, and dying ugly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m cool with all that stuff, I just found Kazumi and the world she had created quite fascinating; I wasn’t ready to leave quite yet. That said, I realize the title of the book is Tokyo Ghost and not The Garden Nation of Tokyo. Breakneck pacing aside, Murphy and Hollingsworth’s art and storytelling is gorgeous, and the story is still a heck of a lot of fun…stressful, but fun.

This issue wraps the first arc, and the first trade looks to be available sometime in March. If you have been holding off on picking up this futuristic, dystopian adventure about the perils of too much connectivity, then you know what you need to do to right this wrong. This goes doubly so if you are a fan of Remender’s other recent work: Low, Black Science, Deadly Class, Fear Agent. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Kaptara Vol 1:
Fear Not, Tiny Alien
Kaptara Vol 1: Fear Not, Tiny Alien - Written by Chip Zdarsky, illustrated by Kagan McLeod, color assists by Becka Kinzie, edited by Tommy K., production by Drew Gill, published by Image Comics. Keith Kanga never expected to be stranded on an impossibly bizarre world, but here he is. Weird aliens, naked and bearded wizards, dart-shooting princes, and all sorts of terrifying monsters inhabit the planet…Keith kind of loves it. But when the Earth is threatened by an evil alien warlord, Keith might not have a choice but to get involved.

I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect from Kaptara, but given my love of Zdarsky’s hilarious-yet-beautiful illustrations on the Donist World Darling Sex Criminals and his humorous writing on Jughead, I knew I couldn’t go wrong with this bargain priced trade. Pip pip, cheerio, good call on my part.

Kaptara is…how to explain this…a sci-fi, fantasy tale that is a mix of Lost in Space with the old He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon with an added dash of The Lord of the Rings. The key ingredient, the secret sauce as it were, is the addition of Zdarsky’s crack-up dialogue and situations combined with a McLeod’s vibrant and hilarious art. She-La and her mount. The battle cat tank things. The weird proclivity to the art of dart blowing(?). A naked Gandalf-type character who wears his impressive beard as a loin cloth(?!?)…sometimes. The wealth of background gags mixed with amazing creature and character designs. Kaptara has it all, and I could not put the dang thing down because I had to see what oddball things these mad creators had in store for me next. Let’s just say that they never failed to surprise and that you just need to see it all for yourself.

I thoroughly enjoyed the five issues contained in this collection. Not only was I cracking up throughout the entire book, I also connected with Keith and easily sympathized with his belief that life on Earth sucked, and he never wanted to go back. Dang. Who hasn’t felt like going off-world on a scientific expedition and getting stranded on a strange new planet? A new start and all that, but of course the new home unfortunately has to have its own form of evil — much like Trump or the Koch Bros. — to ruin things there, too. So, yeah, Kaptara is a blast for which I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’m sure I will revisit this one often. *pssst…hey, you. Yeah, you. You can get Kaptara digitally as part of the awesome Image Comics offerings over at Humble Bundle. There’s only a few days left, so hurry over and help them out. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

I Didn’t Get the Job - <sigh> After three and half months of multiple interviews, introductions, and skills testing, I did not get the job I was in the running for — it went to the other candidate. I’m happy I made it so much farther than everyone else, but I am still disappointed. Everyone I met was cool, and it was for an institution I wholeheartedly believe in, but whatchagonna do. Oh, well…wasn’t meant to be. Back to the drawing board.

No Song this Week - I know, I know. If anything ever has to be cut as a result of time issues, then it is usually the weekly song. BUT now that I have my Graphic Design certification and there is no homework coming due, I have been cranking through the second draft of the followup to Kibbles ’N’ Bots, and I am having a blast experiencing the story through the revision process. I hope to be done with this draft by the end of next week, which is quite doable. Then it will be on to draft three, and then to beta readers. I can’t wait to share it with the world. Still no title as of yet…it’ll come to me.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 01/15/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Descender, Secret Wars, and more from the previous two weeks

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 / Space Oddity 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. My puppy executive team and I are still trying to determine our course for maintaining our Fortune 320,000 Company status, while seeking to implement a cooperative company culture conducive to creativity, comics, craft beer, and cranial consoling credos. Cool? Cool. To sum it up: we’re ready to do all the stuffs! 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 tacos, or perhaps a nice ginger brew, and rewatch the real three Star Wars movies, and most of all read some great comics. Take care. Thank you for reading!

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Descender #9
Descender #9 - Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. TIM-21, Telsa, and a newly-armed Dr. Quon are about to learn the location of The Hardwire’s secret base as they journey to meet the rest of the robot resistance.

Yup. Descender is not only my favorite new comic series of 2015, it’s my favorite comic series of 2015 period. Now in the new year, it continues to be one heck of a captivating read that still flips all my sci-fi command console switches. This is despite the slowed down pacing of this issue after the crazy revelations and sequencing of issues 8 and 9. The creators primarily focus on TIM-21, Telsa, and Dr. Quon as they bicker amongst themselves, and on TIM-21 and TIM-22, who discuss who they are and why they are so special; their growing friendship succeeds in being one of the most touching moments of the series to date.

The book also (finally!) catches us up with Tullis, Driller, and Bandit, who were left behind on the planet Gnish while the other characters made their hasty escape. This set of characters has a chance encounter with a pair of prominent Scrappers, thus setting everyone on a course for a reunion, while leaving me utterly desperate to read issue 10. With any luck, we’ll soon see some of Tullis’s backstory, as well as additional glimpses into Telsa’s past.

Nguyen’s art continues to be a stunning display of utter beauty. I have no idea if the man actually paints each page on watercolor paper, or if all of the painting is done digitally, but you can see the texture of the paper through both Telsa’s skin and the shading of her clothes, while the fierce reds of her hair and eyebrows completely saturate the page. The end effect is gorgeous, but so too is Nguyen’s attention to character acting, storytelling, and the setting of mood — especially during the TIM-21 and TIM-22 scene. The double-page layout of Driller fighting the robots in the arena made me want to shout aloud, “Driller is a killer! Driller a real Killer!!!” Every page is a visual treat.

Descender is a lovely book in both what is written and what is drawn. My only gripe about this issue is that I constantly forget Tullis’s name, which is not mentioned anywhere in the comic. With each new issue, I usually have had to do a bit of digging in order to remind me of this mysterious character’s name. Maybe mentioning his name and UGC rank on the “Previously…” page would serve to remind readers of who he is. Other than that, Descender can do no wrong in this Donist’s mind. I love this series. I’ve honestly lost track of how many copies of the amazing (and amazingly cheap!) first trade I have given away as gifts, as well as how many friends I have directly influenced into reading this thrilling book. It will indeed be a most painful wait for issue 10 to show up in my eager mitts. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Secret Wars #9
Secret Wars #9 - Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Esad Ribic, colored by Ive Svorcina, production by Idette Winecoor, published by Marvel Comics. This is it, true believers! Doom’s world comes crashing down around him as the remaining heroes mount one last desperate attempt to free what remains of the universe from his grasp.

Discounting the many delays, the multitudes of story flow-crushing ads seeded throughout each issue, and the glossing over of what might have been some really cool moments, this Marvel event series ended up being quite enjoyable. The story essentially plays out as an homage to the adversarial relationship between Victor Von Doom and Reed Richards that has been waged for over half a century. The Black Panther, the Molecule Man, and, to a lesser degree, Namor all have their time to shine, but in the end it all comes back to Reed and Doom. This is fine, and the conclusion succeeds in renewing my interest in the Fantastic Four comics…just in time to have that comic shelved until some unspecified date (huh?!).

As someone who has been reading fewer Big Two titles over the past couple of years, I was able to follow along with the Secret Wars tale, with the exception of the Black Panther epilogue scene — which I believe has something to do with New Avengers, although I am not certain. What I am certain of is how gorgeous Ribic and Svorcina’s art is in this issue. The fight scene between Reed and Doom in the Molecule Man’s chamber makes it seem as if the stark-white background is pulsing with power and energy as warm color tones wash across both characters. The dramatic cooler scheme of the Richards family and their allies is equally beautiful as we get the slightest taste of what a Ribic and Svorcina cosmic comic could do. (Please please please do a Warlock / Thanos / Silver Surfer book!)

Secret Wars succeeded in delivering an event that was entertaining, although confusing at times, and which actually told a mostly complete story. Given my past experience with these companywide initiatives, I’m pleased to say I’m for the most part satisfied with how everything played out. Would I have preferred a more self-contained nine-issue mini-series? Yes, of course, and although I’m not aligned with all the booming praise being heaped upon the series, I did enjoy it nonetheless. If you waited to see if Secret Wars stuck the landing before diving in, and you are a Marvel Zombie, then tracking down the floppies should not be too difficult a task, or just wait until March when you can get the hardcover version of issues 0–9. RECOMMENDED!

Rapid Fire Look at the Past Two Weeks!

The Fade Out #12 - Written by Ed Brubaker, illustrated by Sean Phillips, Colored by Elizabeth Breitweiser, published by Image Comics. <sigh> This is the final issue in the 12-issue series, and MAN did this crime noir comic deliver. I won’t spoil a thing, but will say that I was most pleased with the ending. You need to read this comic ASAP if you are a fan of crime comics, as Brubaker and Phillips are masters of the genre. If you missed the floppies, then, by golly, get those three trades! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Black Science # 19 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Matteo Scalera, colored by Moreno Dinisio, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. This issue is a triumph, an emotional, one-two gut punch look into Grant McKay’s past and the baggage that has weighed him down for most of his life. Scalera’s art is even more impressive than ever — especially on the gorgeous double-page spread, and Disisio’s colors are breathtaking. If you are behind, you can pick up the three trades or the soon-to-be-released hardcover. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Lazarus #21 - Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated and inked by Michael Lark, ink assists by Tyler Boss, colored by Santi Arcas, lettered by Jodi Wynne, published by Image Comics. Most of the “Poison” storyline dragged a bit until this issue brought some downright intense military action, and some compelling family dealings. The first ending of the issue had me cheering for more. The second ending made me gasp and even more eager for what comes next. Four trades will soon be available, and a second hardcover arrives around May. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Paper Girls #4 - Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matt Wilson, lettered and designed by Jared K. Fletcher, published by Image Comics. The weirdness continues as three of the girls — and the two teenage weirdos from the future — rush to save Erin’s life. There’s a cool monster and an amazing four-page sequence that hits waaaaaay to close to home (i.e. video games). There won’t be a trade out until April, but why wait to read something that is so very good? VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Archie #4 - Written by Mark Waid, illustrated by Veronica Fish, colored by Andre Szymanowicz with Jen Vaughn, lettered by Jack Morelli, published by Archie Comic Publications, Inc. Fish steps in without missing a beat as the new artist for a story that continues to be great. Things heat up in Betty and Jughead’s quest to free Archie from the clutches of Veronica as they bring Reggie Mantle in on their schemes. This reboot continues to be a hit. A trade debuts in mid-March. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Bitch Planet #6 - Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Taki Soma, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, lettered by Clayton Cowles, published by Image Comics. Yeah, it has been awhile between issues, but at least the latest issue is finally here! Soma steps in beautifully on art duties for this one-shot look at the events that brought Meiko Maki to Bitch Planet. At once hopeful when looking at Meiko’s parents, then utterly crushing by the end, Bitch Planet continues to be a fantastic comic. This issue and the first trade will bring you up to speed. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Weirdworld #2 - Written by Sam Humphries, illustrated by Mike Del Mundo with Marco D’Alfonso, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics. We already know that the Weirdworld mini-series was the best part of Secret Wars, and the new series looks to continue the insanity with Becca (girl lost) and Goleta (killer of wizards). Visuals are completely stunning with some fantastic monsters, humorous-yet-exciting action sequences, and a story that’ll have you cracking up as the art leaves you weeping in awe at the beauty before you. Volume 0 trade available. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Jughead #3 - Written by Chip Zdarsky, illustrated by Erica Henderson, lettered by Jack Morelli, published by Archie Comic Publications, Inc. His name is Jones. Jughead Jones. The laughs continue as Jughead matches wits against the new Principal of Riverdale High, Mr. Stanger. I love seeing Jughead blur the lines of fantasy and reality. I will say that I prefer the more zen version of the character, but the brilliant goofball envisioned by Zdarsky is still hella fun. RECOMMENDED!

East of West #23 - Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Nick Dragotta, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics. After the spectacular mostly-silent issue from last month, the action slows as the political intrigue ramps up as we focus on John Freeman. An interesting issue, but I’m looking forward to checking in with Death and Babylon. A fifth trade will be available soon, and there is a gorgeous hardcover covering the first year of the story as well. RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

David Bowie and Alan Rickman - Shit. In less than a week we lost two exceptionally talented and influential people, each of whom has entertained, thrilled, and affected not just me, but the world as a whole. I have attended two life-changing Bowie concerts over the years, and have loved his music most of my life. Rickman’s work has kept me enthralled for nearly 30 years. Both will be missed.

Happier thoughts…

(Sung to the tune of Kansas’s “Carry On Wayward Son”)

Dang these books are so much fun
I don’t want them to be done
This Descender is the best
I can’t wait for more


Surely Nguyen’s art must be an illusion
Watercolors, feast your eyes and go cruisin’
Such beauty ain’t none higher, so good makes me high

Wowzers, geez Louise, this book is the tops, man
The stellar words can charm any comics fan
Sci-fi goodness, must be dreaming
Must reiterate

Dang these books are so much fun


Friday, January 8, 2016

Donist World 2015 Year-End Roundup - Part 2!

(Sung to the tune of Enigma’s “Sadeness”)

Chanting (Ummm…yeah, uh…a bunch of Latin sounding stuff that I don’t understand.)

Hey there, denizens, and Happy New Year! I am joined as ever by CFO Reverse Obie (my friends’ Boston terrier,  whose surly attitude changed for the better after his fur colors swapped when a corrupt businessman’s curse backfired) and by marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / cartographer of life Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). Last week’s post took a while to put together, and seeing as how we didn’t even start writing until that very Friday, I did not have the time to include the “Heavenly Things” portion of the Year-End Roundup. So, please have a look at my top 30 heavenly things of 2015, while the Reverse Obie, Tulip, and I take our past-due “long winter’s nap” before we begin to map the course of our lives for the coming year.

Friday Slice of Heaven For the Year - Part 2!

***Probably NOT Spoilers Below***

If you have a moment, check out our past FSoH/SitW Year-End Roundups for 2015 (Part 1), 2014 (Part 1), 2014 (Part 2)20132012, and 2011 to see all things heavenly from the past. Now, keep in mind that some of the items listed below came out before 2015, but 2015 was the year that we read, watched, drank, or ate them, thus their inclusion here. We at Donist World, thank you for reading and hope you enjoy these things as much as we do.

Donist World 15 (Times Two) Heavenly Things (In Alphabetical Order)


Friday, January 1, 2016

Donist World 2015 Year-End Roundup - Part 1!

(Sung to the tune of The Sound of Music's “My Favorite Things”)

Robotic youngsters evading scrappers
Hollywood murders drag lives into crappers
Archie and Betty’s “Lipstick Incident” stings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cibopath chompings soon will be ending
Hornhead and winger marriages mending
’80s girl paper boys live where weirdness is king
These are a few of my favorite things

Bad Southern a_holes and below water missions
Teen POTUS hopefuls and dead ladies risen
Tech-free utopias and glow-sticky peens
These are a few of my favorite things

Diamond misships
Then my beer spills
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Friday Slice of Heaven For the Year!

Happy Holidays, denizens! Y’know, come to think of it, this year’s holiday season wasn’t all that bad. Uncle Billy Joe Jim Bob (or UB-J2B as I like to call him…yeah, I just saw Star Wars!) and his brand-new, red sports car retreated to the woods so he could “find himself” once his and Aunt Bea’s divorce finalized. So, the liquor cabinet was thankfully spared, and I wasn’t forced to endure any of UB-J2B’s predictable “Dang, Donist, I can’t just pinch an inch on that ol’ brisket of yours…I can pinch a dagburned football field!” jokes. Don’t ask. I don’t want to go there. Anyhow, holiday horrors were mild, and the Reverse Obie (my friends’ Boston terrier, whose surly attitude changed for the better after his fur colors swapped when a corrupt businessman’s curse backfired) and Tulip (my dog, and Donist World marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / gingerbread house connoisseur) and I are having our own little holiday party at the corporate office (Mom’s basement).

Not only have we been having a blast putting this post together, we’ve been spreading the cheer with some winter warmer beers, gingerbread cookies, and whiskeys and ryes by the fire as we reminisced about the comics that captured our hearts over the course of 2015. So, if you have your own UB-J2B making things unbearable, then by all means you owe it to yourself to swipe a beverage to warm your innards and abscond to your place of peace to enjoy some fantabulous comic books. Oh yeah, grab some of them there Christmas cookies on your way out, especially the ones with the crunchy frosting, as you check out the list.

***Probably NOT Spoilers Below***

If you have a moment, check out our past FSoH/SitW Year-End Roundups for 201420132012, and 2011 to see all things heavenly from the past. For the comic series listed below, I provide an image of the best way to experience the comic if you have not yet read it. Basically, I will try to show an omnibus, then a hardcover, then a trade, and finally, if no trade is yet available, the first issue of the series. We at Donist World thank you for reading and hope you enjoy these comics as much as we do.

Donist World 15 (+1) Favorite Comic Series of 2015 (In no particular order)

Read More!