Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 2/26/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Saga, Chew, and Rachel Rising

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 / Deadpool Historian Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). <shhhhhhhhhhhhh> Be very, very quiet, Denizens. Tulip and Reverse Obie are both crashed out on the couch here at the corporate office (Mom’s basement), and I don’t want to wake them. You see, they have both been pulling double duty with Donist World and maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company since I started a new job this week (for which I am very excited). They’ve made coffee, discussed business plans, and also took out the trash per the landlord’s (Mom’s) request. They even had breakfast burritos brought in so I could start the day out right at Donist World before heading out for the second part of the morning at the new job. So, grab a breakfast burrito (hint…go for the one with bacon) and a nice cup of coffee, put on some ’80s retro synth music, 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 #34
Saga #34 - Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples, lettered and designed by Fonografiks, coordinated by Eric Stephenson, published by Image Comics. Young Hazel would be in a world of trouble if not for friends in low and not-so-low places. Marko and Alana ask some old “friends” for some help finding their child. Meanwhile, The Will might have the will to succeed, but he might no longer be playing with a full deck. Finally…Friendo!!!

Holy guacamole! That was only 22 pages? For some reason this issue felt about double that. This is not a slam against the creators, and I do not mean to imply that the book was a chore to read. Quite the opposite. Multiple storylines move forward this issue, as we follow three of the four groups of characters whom the creators have endeared to us over the course of this fantastic series. We have watched Marko, Alana, and Hazel grow, love, make mistakes, drift, make some really bad mistakes, and reconnect with renewed purpose as the myriad other characters — all fully rounded out in their own rights — do the same. All the characters of Saga are so well developed, so fascinating that I’m uncertain whether their importance to the story should be reduced by referring to them as “secondary.” They’re all important, and I care deeply about each of them…even the “bad” guys.

On the subject of loving things, check out the cover with Ghüs the seal boy fishing from off of Friendo’s (a pet walrus-like thing) back. Beautiful, cute, stunning. Staples’s gorgeous work only gets better with every issue, and although the interior pages of Saga don’t necessarily have the level of painterly detail as this striking cover, they are equally powerful in their storytelling and drama; I dare you to not smile when Alana sees Friendo after being gone for so long, or when Hazel’s mind is blown by some all-too-true advice from her teacher. Dang, what I’m trying to say, Denizens, is that this book is as pretty as it is beautifully written.

If you have not been reading the book (the thought of which, I dare say, gives me the vapors) that helped lead the deluge of great Image titles a few years back, then what you need to know is that Saga is essentially Romeo and Juliet in space with differing alien species at the forefront, robot princes, Lying Cats, bounty hunters, seal boys, love, heartbreak, family, and the difficulties of trying to make your own way in life. You will laugh (some DEFINITE not for kids moments in this series…you’ve been warned), you will laugh even harder, you will gasp at things you will never be able to un-see (Fard! and also that goofy dragon), you will be shocked, you will be appalled, you will cry. But then you will laugh again and want to start all over from the very beginning. So, yeah, I still very much love this series, and recommend you either pick up the stunning hardcover, or take the easy road with the almost-as-cool trades. Regardless, check out the epic Saga, you’ll be glad you did. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Chew #55
Chew #55 - Written and lettered by John Layman, illustrated and colored by Rob Guillory, color assists by Taylor Wells, published by Image Comics. Mason Savoy has done a bad, bad thing, and it’s all in an effort to get Tony Chu to finally open his eyes to the truth.

Wow. Chew is many things: funny, disgusting, disturbing, hilarious, weird, intriguing, compelling, sad, and occasionally heartwarming. It has also been a Donist World Darling since around issue three and is a book I eagerly await each month(ish). It is the most unique comic to hit the stands in decades in both concept (food-based powers, FDA the most powerful government agency, cyborg luchador chicken murder machines, chogs, etc.) and highly-stylized art.

This issue, which rounds up the penultimate chapter of the entire series <sob>, “The Last Supper,” succeeded in not just throwing me for a loop once, but twice in a single issue. I totally did not see either of the twists coming (I also ain’t spoilin’), and actually gasped with each reveal. To be honest, this is one of the best issues of Chew to date, which is saying a lot as while the weakest issues in the series have been really, really good, with the best being quite heavenly.

Although I’m always happy to say how thrilled I am by Guillory’s cartooning, this issue is something else entirely. The storytelling and excitement built into every panel is tremendous in what is primarily a dramatic issue this month versus one of action. Even as the series takes a few steps closer to its end, Guillory continues to up his game on the visuals, which should come as no surprise to Chew fans.

Dang, Denizens, I love Chew. As much as I don’t want it to end, I have to admit that I am already biting my nails in anticipation of the Demon Chicken Poyo one-shot, and the final five-issue story arc. <sigh> Dang. Anyhow, at this point if you jump in on the issues, then you are insane. I appreciate the enthusiasm — really, I do — but we’re in the home touchdown stretch push (or whatever sport metaphor is appropriate), and jumping in here will deprive you of all the awesomeness that came before. So, ignore the floppies and jump in with the first trade and progress from there, OR even better, pick up the oversized hardcover (the Omnivore Edition), which reminds me I need to double dip and pick up the fifth hardcover to go on my bookshelf of treasures, where Chew definitely belongs. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Rachel Rising #40
Rachel Rising #40 - Everythinged by Terry Moore, published by Abstract Studio. Rachel and Lilith chat as the murderous Zoe takes a trip.

Rachel Rising is one of my favorite horror comics currently seeing release. Part Twin Peaks, part ghost story, part emotional and illustrated beauty (much like what we fell in love with in Moore’s masterpiece Strangers in Paradise), Rachel Rising is a delightful, funny, scary, creepy, unnerving ride. I love it. That said, this is not my favorite issue of the series. Simmer down, Denizens, simmer down. Let me explain.

The art is everything you would expect from Moore: it is stunning, it is beauty. When talking about Moore’s art, you would be hard pressed to find anyone better at conveying a character’s story solely through their facial gestures and body language. The art is fantastic as always. I was mostly a bit lost by much of the issue being a hallucinogen-induced vision quest, which isn’t usually my thing. Still, although this isn’t my favorite issue to date, it is still damn well worth reading as part of the greater narrative…speaking of which, I feel a reread of the series coming on…

Take my tiny quibble about this issue with a grain of salt and be sure to check out this great series. You can easily catch up with the trades, and be confident that not only are you getting a fantastic, creator-owned horror comic by a master writer-artist, you are also ensuring we get more Rachel Rising (and hopefully a television series as well) in the future. RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

It Has Been a Good Week…For Me, But Not For Others - I finally had a good week, but the same cannot be said for the people killed or injured or touched by wackadoos with guns this week. NO ONE NEEDS OR SHOULD HAVE ACCESS TO A SEMI- OR FULLY-AUTOMATIC WEAPON. There is no need for anyone to have one. The only reason to own one is to for the purpose of killing or harming others.

I know, I know, again no song this week, but I have to finish up my week at the new job and my schedule is all out of whack. I’ll get it under control in the coming weeks.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 2/19/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Archie, Bitch Planet, and Power Man and Iron Fist

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 / Deadpool Historian Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). <kaff> <kaff> <sniffle> <cough> Yup, I’m sick. No meetings about maintaining our Fortune 320,000 status at the ol’ corporate office (Mom’s basement) today. Nope. It’s all about the chillaxin’. Reverse Obie has ordered in some wonton soup, and Tulip has queued up some Young Justice Season 2 (which is a really good cartoon, btw). Yup, it’s all about a quick recovery and no better way to do that than reclined on the couch with my two-puppy executive team by my side, watchin’ our stories. So, order up some tasty tacos and a nice ginger brew, put on some ’80s retro synth music, 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***

Bitch Planet #7 - Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, lettered by Clayton Cowles, design and logo by Rian Hughes, published by Image Comics. Kamau tightens her grip on the guard who might be able to help her find her sister. Meiko Maki’s father arrives on “Bitch Plant” to build a new stadium unaware that his daughter was recently killed in an inmates versus guards scrimmage.

I am so glad to see Bitch Planet coming out on a regular(ish) schedule. Last year we only got about three or four issues, and thus far in 2016 we have two. Nice. This issue successfully steers many moving parts forward as we see some additional world building, we check in with one of the “fathers,” and Kamau works toward locating her sister despite getting some shocking news, but there is so much more going on over the course of these packed 24 pages. We also have the buildup to Meiko’s father learning the truth, Kamau’s roommate, and a touching scene between inmates over the loss of their friend that all succeed in making what should feel like a cramped issue actually flow quite beautifully.

We have not seen De Landro on the book for a few months, but criminy was it worth the wait. Great character acting — especially in the heartbreaking scene between Kamau and Penny — and his storytelling prowess keeps your eye gliding from panel to panel, page to page. Fitzpatrick’s mostly flat coloring brings about a pulpy life to every panel with deliberately utilized halftone dots on the virtual environments, which set the perfect scene. This is a beautiful comic in word and line and color, and even if this issue had been 100 pages long it would not be enough for this Donist.

There is something for everyone in Bitch Planet…provided you are mature and smart enough to handle the subject matter. If you have been reading this book since issue one, then you are already aware of how great a comic this is. If you are new to Bitch Planet (or my new employer raising an eyebrow at the title of the book) what you need to know is that this series is about a dystopian version of Earth under a male patriarchal system, and where “noncompliant” women are shipped off to a prison planet coined “Bitch Planet.” What constitutes as “noncompliance?” Well, basically anything: talking back to male superiors, husbands, boyfriends; not staying in shape; being too old; being too smart for your own good; the list goes on and on. This series is about what happens when women begin to try to regain the control that was systematically taken from them. See? Crazy cool, right? And you’d be crazy not to pick up the ridiculously inexpensive first trade. I can’t wait to see what happens next. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Archie #6
Archie #6 - 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. When you enlist Reggie Mantle stir things up, you get exactly what you asked for: Reggie Mantle. Once you take that genie out of the bottle, it won’t be easy putting him back.

Yup, I’m still very much loving the new Archie comic. Waid continues to weave an engaging and hilarious tale with the Riverdale gang who has charmed us for decades. The great thing is that Waid not only stays true to each of the characters, but he succeeds in bringing them all into the modern world in an organic way. We have laptops and sports cars, cell phones and modern business practices, and all the while I smile and laugh from beginning to end, even as Waid has me completely sympathizing with the “bad guys.” Veronica and Reggie have fairly messed up lives and they have definite wants and vulnerabilities, just as Archie, Betty, and Jughead; it’s how they deal with those needs and weaknesses that define them.

With the art, I wasn’t certain how I would handle Fiona Staples’s departure after the third issue, but Fish is the perfect successor. Her style fits well with the book, which is no surprise given her grasp of storytelling, character acting, and her superpower of keeping the reader at the least smiling and at the most laughing aloud. Then she shows us Reggie at home, alone, and you can’t help but think, that poor guy. Szymanowicz’s vibrant colors bring an upbeat and positive tone to the book that to be honest is something we don’t see in all that many comics these days. 

The main takeaway from Archie is that it is a heck of a lot of fun. With so much darkness and gloominess in the majority of comics these days, the lighter, happier fare found in Archie is quite refreshing. That said, don’t assume that just because the comic is lighthearted means that the story doesn’t carry any weight. It does. There’s plenty to think about regarding relationships, socioeconomic differences, the nature of friendship, acceptance, and more, but at no time is the book preachy. It’s just people trying to live their lives how they see best fit. If you are new to Archie, whether this incarnation or historically, you can catch up on this fantastic all-ages comic through the floppies, or through the first trade that releases near the end of March. Being able to see my hero Jughead again can’t come soon enough. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Power Man and
Iron Fist #1
Power Man and Iron Fist #1 - Written by David Walker, Illustrated by Sanford Greene, colored by Lee Loughridge, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics. Power Man and Iron Fist are back! Well, not really. Definitely not back, back. They’re only doing a ONE-time thing to help out a friend. Seriously, just this once…

So, I guess I have two Marvel comics that I’m now going to be buying (Weirdworld being the other). Now, I’ve been an Iron Fist fan for ages — I’ve been a Luke Cage fan for almost as long — but what made me completely flip for the martial arts master from K’un-Lun was the Matt Fraction / Ed Brubaker / David Aja The Immortal Iron Fist run that had me scrambling to find action figures of the character and hoping for a decent t-shirt to be released (dark green, gold dragon…still waiting). I love that series.

That said, I saw the solicit for this book and thought, Nah, son. New number one that will reboot again in nine months anyways…no way. Yeah, way to stick to your guns, Donist! Anyhow, I’m thrilled I took the plunge. The great thing about this issue is that you don’t really need to know all that much about the heroes’ epic pasts. Walker and Green let you know just enough about these two and their previous heroic adventures together, as well as the character (who I don’t remember ever seeing at all, prior to this issue) who brings the duo back together again to get you up and running fast. No lengthy origin stories for either man, just a sentence here or there to bring both new and longtime readers up to speed on where we are and a glimpse into where we’re going. Fine by me.

The dynamic between Luke and Danny is great, as are the brief moments with Jessica Jones, where she and Luke have some spot-on husband / wife conversations; I couldn’t help but laugh. Speaking of laughing, I was surprised to realize that I was laughing throughout quite a bit of this issue, whether because of the dialogue, the various situations, Greene’s phenomenal art, or the overall tone of the book. Hold on to your seats, Denizens, I’m about to drop the “F-Bomb”…this kickoff issue was a heck of a lot of…here it comes, wait for it…FUN. Wait, what “F-Bomb” were you thinking of?

Anyways, I enjoyed the story, and Green’s unique take on the duo pulled me in completely, and with such a strong last page reveal…well, that left me going “Awwwwwww,” as I definitely was not ready for the issue to be over. For the first time in quite a while, I’m fully on board and excited about a Big Two superhero book, and I can’t wait to see where the series goes. Let’s just hope all the reboots, refreshes, events, and crossovers stay away long enough for the creators to tell the story they wish to tell; it looks to be an exciting one. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! 

Slice into the Woods

Keeping it Positive this Week - Of course. Sick. Dagnabbit. Feelin’ pretty cruddy, but I guess that’s what happens when loads and loads of stress are suddenly removed from one’s shoulders. Anyhow, let’s stay positive. Go see Deadpool. Definitely see that movie. It’s a blast and I’ve never really been a fan of the character, but after seeing it this past weekend, I guess I’m a fan now. Peace, Denizens.

I know, I know, but I’m sick and trying to get some needed rest, so again no song this week, but enjoy this video game fighting scene from Danger 5 (which you can stream on Netflix!!!).


Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 2/12/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Descender, Low, Black Science, and Weirdworld

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 / bagel specialist Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). With the long weekend ahead of us, I’ve decided to close up the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) early so we can enjoy the rest of this unnaturally lovely February day. Reverse Obie has gone off to fetch a melon baller (not sure why, as I don’t think melons are even in season), and Tulip was talking about adding a touch of mint and some cucumber slices to the dog water so we could stay refreshed before ending our symposium on maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company. Me…I’m off to get a bucket of French fries, because fries were born to be served out of a bucket; we all know this to be true.  So, order up some tasty tacos and a nice ginger brew, put on some ’80s retro synth music, 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***

Descender #10
Descender #10 - Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Telsa and Dr. Quon worry about their hosts, as TIM-21 and TIM-22 connect. Andy’s wife makes her debut, and the UGC’s precognitive division has a terrifying vision.

<singing> I got a brand new issue of Descender! Donist World Darlin’ ain’t no other contender! <end singing> Okay, enough of that…I will say that seeing a new issue of this Lemire / Nguyen masterpiece in my pull is always enough to make my cold, dark, winter-hardened heart see double rainbows of joy. The funny thing is that this amazing sci-fi series is by no means a happy tale. It’s a story of death, loss, growing up, fear, hate, reestablishing previously lost relationships. Come to think of it there have been very few laughs. Still, with such an interesting premise of a futuristic galaxy decimated by impossibly monstrous robots, Descender’s charm comes from the drama, intrigue, and the ever-expanding list of fascinating characters who all have their secrets as well as their part to play in this impressive space opera. Descender is my favorite comic currently hitting the shelves, which is saying a lot given the many heavenly titles out there. It manages to spark that feeling I had when I first discovered sci-fi movies and television shows as a kid, while simultaneously feeding my adult mind the mysteries and complexities of an epic story told well. Dang, I love this comic.

Descender’s story hooked me within the first couple of pages of the first issue, and the perfect introduction of TIM-21, Bandit, Dr. Quon, and Telsa, all of whom I instantly fell in love with, left me desperate to know more about them. The same is true of Tullis, Driller, Andy, Blugger, and I expect Psius, TIM-22, and the sure-to-be-amazing Queen Between, who has to be seen to be believed (which you can do by feasting your peepers on the cover).

As I’ve said with previous issues, the writing and story alone are enough to make me love this book, but Nguyen’s gorgeous watercolored art takes it all to a new level of heavenliness. Every page of this comic demands you give it your full attention, and you can rest easy knowing that the quality of the work seen on Nguyen’s covers is fully reflected in the interiors. Standout moments in this issue are the video game sequence, the splash of Queen Between, and that damn final page that made me want to shout, “More more more.” But as striking as moments like these pages are, there’s also minor details that are certain to astonish if you take the time to appreciate them such as the crack on the right side of Psius’s face, the ethereal Robot City, Telsa’s beautiful scowl, and so much more. This is a gorgeous book.

You get it, right? I love this comic. I want spinoffs, annuals, a Trinket Tocket and his Toy Rocket children’s book, and anything else the creators want to throw at us just so long as I get more from the great world of Descender. Buy it, denizens. You can easily find the first ridiculously inexpensive trade and then pick up the floppies of issues 7–10, because I can guarantee you will be as hungry for more of this fantastic series as I am. Descender…so shiny, so chrome, so VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Low #11
Low #11 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini, colored by Dave McCaig, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. After so much time apart, twin sisters Tajo and Della have finally been reunited. So much has changed, but some things have stayed the same — mainly the need to join their mother on her quest to the surface.

Low is probably my favorite among Remender’s creator owned work currently hitting the shelves, which is not a knock against Black ScienceDeadly Classor Tokyo Ghost, which are all fantastic in their own right. But this series manages to press all of the Donist buttons: sci-fi, post-apocalyptic world, underwater adventure, monsters, compelling characters, unique and carefully thought out design, hopeless odds, and a strong will to survive. Oh, yeah, it also has Tocchini drawing the Caine women…bonus.

With this issue, we briefly get more of Tocchini’s lush cityscapes and backgrounds and cool mech suits (the robo-polar bear transformation just has to be seen), but most of the issue centers on the dramatic reunion between the sisters as they struggle to accept their pasts and move forward. This is fine by me. As much as I love the sea monsters and the intense action, it was time to slow things down and focus on the characters and the story, which the creators did beautifully. McCaig on colors continues to impress, but golly gee willikers, Denizens, the blues and reds on page two and three manage to pull you into the scene as if you were traveling in a mini-sub alongside Tajo and Della; so very beautiful.

If you’re a fan of Remender or Tocchini, or you like any of the subject matter mentioned above, then there is absolutely no reason to not be reading this amazing, epic comic series. You can easily catch up with the two available trades, which I highly encourage you to do. I, for one, am counting the days for an over-sized hardcover to better showcase the lovely art. I can’t wait for what remains of the Caine family to be reunited as they journey toward the Earth’s scarred surface. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Black Science #20
Black Science #20 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Matteo Scalera, colored by Moreno Dinisio, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Grant McKay has finally seen the light and knows what he has to do: get his people back as soon as possible. Unfortunately, some old enemies have expanded their reach to other dimensions and stand in the way.

I kind of want to stand up and cheer for my boy. Y’know, Grant...the insufferable prick who we’ve never really liked all that much ever since the first issue. But things have changed. We’ve gotten to know Grant a heck of a lot better over the course of this “Godworld” arc, and we’ve seen some of the horrible events of his childhood that lead him to become such a monumental dick…but like I said, “things have changed.” Now, he is determined to right the wrongs he has caused and looks to become — dare I say — a hero. I’m totally cool with that.

Scalera and Dinisio’s art on this issue is simply otherworldly. One look at the cover and you see what you’ll get with the interiors in the way of powerful imagery that would also look great as a blacklight poster hanging at home (seriously, how dope would it be to get a Black Science blacklight poster?!), but there is also so much more. Scalera’s character acting, character design, costuming, vehicles, and weaponry are phenomenal, and with Dinisio’s colors making all the exciting imagery leap from the page (especially the scenes with Grant’s helmet during the fight!), one flip through this issue is sure to amaze. Black Science has always looked great, but man oh man this issue showcases some stunning work all around.

I believe the solicits for this series said something to the effect that it was going to be like Indiana Jones in space, but they neglected to mention the thrilling roller coaster sensation that awaits you within the pages. Black Science is what good comics should be: a heck of a lot of fun. If you like Remender’s sci-fi extravaganza Fear Agent, then you are definitely already reading this fantastic comic. Right? If not, then you can catch up quickly with the beautiful, recently-released, oversized hardcover, or slightly-less-impressive trades. Whatever you do, just be sure you are reading this great series. I believe it’s about time for a reread. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Weirdworld #3
Weirdworld #3 - Written by Sam Humphries, illustrated by Mike Del Mundo, color assists by Marco D’Alfonso, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics. Lava monsters, wizard hunters, and Grand Mechanics, oh my!

Weirdworld is the best comic Marvel is currently putting out. Now now. Simmer down, Denizens. Simmer down. Weirdworld is also the only Marvel comic I am buying these days (which tells you something), so it is fair to say it is my favorite from the House of Ideas. (Oh, crud…does saying I actually love this book mean it’s now going to be cancelled? Cripes, I hope not.) Anyhow, whether you classify this comic as fantasy, humor, adventure, or whatever, all you need to know is that it’s a blast.

Humphries’s dialogue made me laugh out loud multiple times and snicker through the others. Del Mundo’s art had much the same effect, only I was also awestruck by the sheer beauty of what I was seeing. Holy schmoly! The Grand Mechanic’s machine! The dance off! The background critters running around everywhere! The BIG fight! Oh, man, the big fight is stunning. The book is unlike anything else out there. At this point, I’m kind of leaning toward Del Mundo being a Weirdworld inhabitant as he is employing some serious magicks to make his work look this phenomenal. <mmmmmm…sigh...I need a cigarette, Denizens, and I don’t smoke!>

Weirdworld is indeed weird, and I mean that as the highest of compliments. It is humorous, ridiculous, touching, and possibly a bit psychotic. But no matter how you look at the comic, it is above all a joy to read. If you have not picked up the “Volume 0” trade of the original limited series, I strongly encourage you to do so, and then you MUST check out the new ongoing. You’ll laugh, you’ll be amazed, you’ll want to see what happens next, and at only three issues in on the series proper, catching up will be a breeze. Now, excuse me while I head out to slay some wizards…it’s whatchagottado. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Keeping it Positive this Week - I finally got some much needed good news, so I want to keep it positive this week. Maybe I’ll go see Deadpool, or have a beer, or finally play some of that Lego Batman 3 game, or…I know… (d) all of the above. Peace, Denizens.

Have to cut out, so no song this week, but enjoy this clip from the second season of Danger 5 (which you can stream on Netflix!!!).


Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 2/5/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Paper Girls and Universe!

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 / It’s Saul Good consultant Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). The intro’s gonna be a tad short (again) as it has been a roller coaster of a week (again), and we don’t know if we’re coming or going. So as my puppy executive team and I take a deep breath, center ourselves, and prepare for some more nuttiness, allow us to suggest ordering up some tasty tacos and a nice ginger brew, put on some ’80s retro synth music, 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***

Paper Girls #5
Paper Girls #5 - Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matt Wilson, lettered by Jared K. Fletcher, published by Image Comics. The conclusion to the first arc is here, but is it the conclusion of Erin, Mac, Tiffany, and K.J.’s story — and possibly their lives — or just the beginning?

It’s 6:30 a.m., the sun is rising, I got Mitch Murder’s “Interceptor” album playing (’80s retro synthpop awesomeness!), and a sense of calm has pervaded my being; the paper girls have long since delivered their bounty to all homes current on their newspaper subscription payments. I’m also kind of stoked — jazzed even — after reading yet another issue of the phenomenal Paper Girls series.

As I’ve said before, Paper Girls is the story of four young girls in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio in 1988, in the early morning hours after Halloween. Each girl heads out to deliver the paper only to find the world fallen to chaos with butt-ugly weirdos, monsters, and vanishing people; it is here that they meet each other. Thanks to the immense talent of Vaughan and Chiang, it is at this first meeting where we fall in love with the characters, the setting, and the eerie situation in which they find themselves; this is roughly five or six pages into the first issue, and things only get better from there. Each issue is riddled with new and old questions as the reader only receives small bits of knowledge beyond what the girls know. We learn alongside Erin, Mac, Tiffany, and K.J. as they figure things out, and although we do get some answers, we are left with many dangling questions by the end of the first arc. This is fine because the issue does its job perfectly: it makes darn sure we’ll be back to see what happens next…in June (that long?!?).


Four months is going to be a painfully long wait, especially after the crazy cliffhanger the creators dropped in our laps, but great comics transcend time, and this Donist will gladly wait to continue getting stories and art of this caliber. And what great art it is. Chiang completely outdoes his already heavenly work with not just his beautiful storytelling,  character acting, and character design, but with the futuristic backgrounds and technology that are so bizarre you can’t help but linger on the page. Left at the black and white stage of the process, this comic series would still be great, but Wilson’s colors bring it all to an otherworldly level of life. I have cheered Wilson’s use of color knockouts on the lines of characters’ faces to soften their expressions, and I’m still nutty over the analogous color palette of blues, purples, and pinks that so throughly set the mood of this strange, altered world. It has to be seen to be believed.

You need to be reading this book. It’s Vaughan. It’s Chiang. It’s Wilson. It’s really good. Sure you won’t be getting all of the answers to the myriad questions raised over the course of the five issues, but this isn’t a done-in-one story, Denizens. Nope. If you are looking for easy reading and easy answers, then gag me with a spoon, you can find that kind of stuff easy enough. No, this is a rad story that’s set to run for a good while. It’s best that you hop on your bike and book on over to the newsstand (your local comic shop) and get to reading. Be sure to grab a cola ICEE on the way home, throw on some “Devil Inside” by INXS, and sit back and enjoy the Paper Girls ride…just be sure to lay off the Arkanoid a bit. The first trade is available around the end of March, but I’m sure you can scare up the floppies with little trouble. If you don’t give this awesome comic a chance…well…barf me out. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Universe! #4
Universe! - Everythinged by Albert Monteys, published by Panel Syndicate. “Join the New World! Join the Light! Join the Light! Join the Light!”

I absolutely LOVE this humorous, cynical, serious, rich sci-fi series from Monteys. In case you are not familiar with Panel Syndicate, it was created by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin as a digital-only experiment where the creators would post their comic books on a semi-monthly basis, and charge a “whatever you want to pay, including nothing” fee for the right to download a pdf, cbr, or cbz file in either English, Spanish, or Catalan. Doing this means only the creators (discounting hosting costs and Paypal fees) receive the money for their hard work. There are no publishers, retailers, or monopoly-based distributors in the mix, and the creators have full control and ownership over their creation(s). The Private Eye (mandatory and exciting reading by the way) was the first offering, Barrier was the third, with Albert Montey’s sci-fi tales being the second. He is thus far the only other creator showcasing his work through Panel Syndicate, and after having read four amazing issues of Universe! I can see why. Honestly, I was hooked midway through the first issue.

Universe! is solicited as stand alone tales, but now that we are four issues in, it is clear that the stories are interconnected in slight and potentially major ways. This issue focuses on a pair of aliens who have a bizarre, yet mutually beneficial parasitic relationship as they struggle to remain themselves amidst a drive to “join the Light.” It is in this fourth issue that Monteys has begun to reintroduce characters and events from previous issues that have given me that “Ahhhhh…it does all tie together” realization. But here’s the thing…even if the issue were truly little islands of self-contained stories and worlds, I would love this series, but now that facets are beginning to connect, I can safely describe this lovely work as brilliant.

Each installment requires a couple readings to fully understand what is happening and to see clues that have led up to the twist of the issue. In fact, a second read through is certain to uncover little sight gags or detailed intricacies tucked away in a background. At the very least, a quick reread will give you the opportunity to simply enjoy Montey’s beautiful character designs and the intricacy and attention spent on each and every panel. The gorgeous, vibrant colors of his cartooning are worth lingering over to fully appreciate what you are seeing.

Again, I love…no, I adore Universe! I guess if I had to narrow down a specific comic genre that I gravitate toward the most, it would have to be sci-fi, and this comic knocks it outta the park. Fantastic, seemingly simple stories that offer a complete and immersive escape from reality that will at times make you laugh (not so much with this issue, though), but will definitely leave you thinking about the story for long after you shut down the computer / tablet. It’s a beautiful book and although Universe! does not come out all that regularly, each issue is well worth the wait. Please please please give this one a try. Heck, you can check out all four issues for free, and by “free” I mean “legally for free.” Do it. Grab the first issue, read it, and you will see just how great this comic is. Then go back and throw Montey’s $3 or $4 (or more if you got the scratch) so we can continue sliding into the Universe! experience for many years to come. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

I Also Picked Up the Third Trade of Manifest Destiny But Have Not Had Time to Read it!!! - Manifest Destiny is freakin’ fantastic! I have been counting the months to when this third trade would be released and I got it on Wednesday, but have had no time to read it yet. This is upsetting. This is not right. This is something I MUST remedy over the weekend. The first two trades (the first of which is $9.99 retail) are both Donist World Darlings that come VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and I have no doubt the third will impress as well. Argh…I can’t wait to pour a special beer and see what madness, mayhem, and monsters the creators have in store for poor Lewis and Clark. This series is beyond great. Check it out.

(Sung to the tune of Pet Shop Boy’s “West End Girls”)

Sometimes you need books with some cred
Not just the ushe, but somethin’ else instead
But don’t get mad, bang the table
Kick it right here and park in this stable
Check ’em out today, they won’t make you frown
They’re a blast to read, won’t let you down
Let’s run down, the best in town of these comics
They’re the best around

They’re the best around, shout to the world
Oh Universe! and Paper Girls