Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/4/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Deadly Class and Ms. Marvel

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 / food consumption monitor Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). <shhhhhhhhhhhhh> Be very, very quiet, Denizens. Only this time it is not for my trusty puppy executive team, but for me. I’m done. Stick a fork in me. I’m tired, both in a good way in that the new job’s been fantastic and I am mentally exhausted (yay!), and in a bad way with this stupid alergies/cold that will not go away (boo!). I’m just going to lounge in bed a little while longer, then eat a lovely everything-bagel that Tulip brought in, and then…crud…I’ve been so out of it I haven’t been exercising like I should. Ugh. Time to go for a run, but dang…it looks really cold out there. . So, by all that is holy, get thyself a bagel with cream cheese 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***

Deadly Class #19
Deadly Class #19 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Wes Craig, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. The Kings Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts version of freshman finals is a bit different from most high schools. Unfortunately for Marcus and his pals, those known as “Rats,” or those who don’t have a family legacy with the school, are to be hunted down by their peers. To pass finals…the Rats simply have to survive.

The awesome exchange between the music store employee and the customer on the very first page of this issue is simply priceless. One page in and I knew this would be one of the best installments to date, which is saying a lot given how many great issues we have seen since the beginning. The creators go all out this month by throwing open the door (literally), grabbing the reader by the wrist, and dragging them on a whirlwind panic-stricken chase as Billy runs for his life from the homicidal Viktor and his pair of goons. My heart rate escalated with every turn of the page as each scene brings the hunter ever closer to his prey. The thing is, you know Viktor is going to catch Billy. You do. But despite knowing this, the moment when he finally corners the young punker, you are still shocked, and the creators pull no punches.

The crazy thing about this immensely stressful yet thoroughly exciting issue, Craig does not even rely on a single slanted panel to aid in ramping up the action. Instead, he uses panel counts and his phenomenal storytelling skills to keep you zipping from one brutal moment to the next. Trust me, Denizens, keeping up the frenetic pacing while refusing to allow the reader to catch their breath is a massive feat and one difficult for most artists to pull off successfully. Not a problem for Craig. With the added bonus of Boyd’s mood-enhancing colors — I still love those black line knockouts…boy howdy! — and Wooton’s lettering only helps in keeping the ol’ nerves a rattlin’. This issue of Deadly Class is what happens when all aspects of the creative process are working in perfect harmony.

Oh, yeah…I need to go on record by clarifying The B-52s are next to godliness. You will just need to read the issue for perspective.

I love this series. I’m also totally amped and need the next frickin’ issue ASAFP! If this is your first time coming to Donist World (welcome, btw), then you probably haven’t noticed just how much I have been lovin’ on Remender’s current onslaught of awesome creator-owned work. Deadly ClassBlack Science, Low, and Tokyo Ghost have all been rockin’ my world for sometime now, and although I never thought anything would ever meet the greatness of the man’s oh-so-sweet Fear Agent series, I’m very cool with being wrong. This book is harsh. It is brutal. It is beyond entertaining. It is something you should be reading. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Ms. Marvel V.2
Generation Why
Ms. Marvel Volume 2: Generation Why - Written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Jacob Wyatt and Adrian Alphona, colored by Ian Herring, lettered by V.C.’s Joe Caramagna, published by Marvel Comics. Kamala Khan’s been a superhero all of what 10 minutes? A week? A month? Let’s just say it hasn’t been all that long, and already she has her own evil nemesis out to get her. Mix that with family, her powers on the fritz, and a visit from a hairdresser’s nightmare personified named Medusa, who has time to be an ordinary high schooler? At least she had her first official superhero team-up!

First off…this is a very different book than that from the previous review. Although both comics center around a character(s) in the high school age range, that is about where the comparisons end. Ms. Marvel is a heck of a lot of fun. Wilson gives us an upbeat, positive, Muslim teen trying to juggle not only the unbearable burden of being a teenager, but that of parental pressure, religious pressure, and now the added pressure of using her abilities to make the world a better place. Kamala makes mistakes, she learns from them, and she tries to do what’s right, all while trying to act cool (while internally freaking out with joy) when a certain well-renowned superhero (I’m not spoilin’) crosses her path and treats her like an equal. I laughed often throughout this volume, but at no time did this all-ages comic seem “kiddie”; there’s truly something for everyone.

Wyatt and Alphona’s art is full of energy and excitement and I actually loved Wyatt’s stylized take on the surprise superhero. The storytelling is fantastic on the book, and Herring’s vibrant colors bring an uplifting boost to the usually dark and dreary world of today’s comics. This is a dang pretty book, Denizens.

I’ve been hearing the buzz about this series for quite some time — there are still two more volumes available — and I am glad I finally decided to take the plunge. As I say above, Ms. Marvel has something for everyone: superhero action, a strong female lead, real stakes, relatable problems, and an inspiring drive to do what’s right even when the situation is dire. Dang, is this xx-year-old man, wishing he was Ms. Marvel? Well, yeah, Kamal’s cool, although I don’t think I’d ever willingly return to my teen years, even if you paid me. Now, I need to get my grubby little paws on volumes three and four. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

What Time Is It?! Crud, Gotta Take Tulip For a Walk and Get Out the Door! - Aside from the cold / alergy nonsense that refuses to let me get back to normal, all is going well except for reconfiguring my time schedule. I also desperately miss having Tulip ever by my side, but unfortunately her surly attitude prevents me from bringing her to the office. <sniffle> Oh well, I just have to give her extra love when I get home each day. 

I know, I know, again no song this week, but I have to finish up my first full week at the new job and my schedule is totally messed up. I’ll get it under control in the coming weeks. Dang, and I still have this other…thing…I’m working on that I want to get up and running for all to enjoy.
More on that later. ;-)


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