Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 4/22/2016

Friday Slice of Heaven

This week: Chew: Demon Chicken Poyo, Tokyo Ghost, East of West, 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 / “Sign O’ the Times” Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). <sigh> Forget it. All meetings to discuss maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company are canceled. I even think we’re going to cut out early to day so that my puppy executive team and I can mourn in our own ways the loss of the Purple One, Prince. Ugh. Losing Bowie was a huge blow, but now Prince? It’s all a bit too heavy to think about. Again, I must…<sigh>. Anyhow, be sure to dress up in somethin’ nice, somethin’ purple, put on some “Purple Rain,” and contemplate what it sounds like when the doves cry. After you mourn the loss of this tremendous artist, then rejoice in the legacy the man gave us, and then, only then, 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***

Chew: Demon
Chicken Poyo #1
Chew: Demon Chicken Poyo #1 - Written and lettered by John Layman, illustrated and colored by Rob Guillory, color assists by Taylor Wells, published by Image Comics. A sick child’s health worsens as she catches a bad case of demon possession! The only surefire way to put the demon behind her ain’t through the word of the Good Book, but rather through the power of an even better one.

Boy howdy, Denizens, we’re about to head into the final five-issue arc of the Donist World Darling Chew, and what better way to kick things off than with a third special issue surrounded by everyone’s favorite luchador / murder machine / chicken badass, Poyo. But we need to get something out of the way first. If you have not been reading Chew, then you will certainly miss out on much of what the creators have carefully built over the course of 55 issues, two specials, and a crossover. That said, the casual reader could pick up this issue, and enjoy Guillory’s vibrant, hilarious, crazy cartooning, as well as Layman’s witty, hilarious, biting writing, but reading this book without first experiencing the rich history of the awesomeness that came before will do you a disservice. It’s that very history that makes this issue such a treasure.

If you have already been reading Chew, then you surely know why this chicken is so feared, why he wears a luchador mask, why he has cybernetic limbs, and why he now has a flaming head. You’ve already got the tools to maximize your enjoyment of this issue. Although this special one-shot is not vital to the main Chew narrative, it further expands the crazy world we’ve all come to love over these past few years, and is something no true fan can afford to miss. I mean, c’mon, Poyo fighting all kinds of crazy evil foes? Including Dick Cheney and his teeny-tiny, wee heart? Dang…how could you not love this.

<sigh> I’m preparing myself, Denizens. I’m preparing myself for a world without Chew, once the final five issues release. That looming, final issue is something I don’t want to see arrive, yet I can’t help but be excited to see how it all ends. It’s a dang conundrum is what it is, but it’s a dang good place to be. If you have not read this bizarre, gross, laugh-out-loud, cry-your-eyes out, enthralling series, then you can easily catch up via the trades, or the even better Omnivore Edition hardcovers. What matters most is that you are reading the most unique comic to hit the stands in a very long time. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Tokyo Ghost #6
Tokyo Ghost #6 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Sean Murphy, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Now that Flak corporation has taken what is left of Tokyo, humanity looks to descend even deeper into the tech-addicted nightmare of its own creation. Things must be doubly bad if Davey Trauma stands as a voice of reason. Thankfully, the ghost of Tokyo lingers on…

You need to be reading all of Remender’s recent creator-owned work (Low, Deadly Class, Black Science, and heck go back and read the amazing Fear Agent, while you’re at it), and that definitely includes the sci-fi, dystopian thrill ride that is Tokyo Ghost. What you have is a world where a tech-addicted society that is almost always “logged in” has willingly enslaved itself to a corrupt corporation’s every whim. This all hits a tad too close to home as I look at the multiple phones, desktops, MP3 players, game systems, television, and tablets littering the Donist household. <brrrrrrrr>…freaky.

It’s been a couple months since the first arc wrapped and left us with one doozy of a cliffhanger, but the series picks up right where it left off as the terrorists Miss Muffet and Jack Horner — dang, this comic is NOT for kiddos — wreck havoc as Led Dent returns to his old job at Flak in the most brutal of ways. Thankfully, the creators have a fairly kick-ace surprise waiting for us loyal readers towards the end, one that will not resonate at all unless you have read the first arc.

Did I mention this series is not for kids?

Tokyo Ghost is a thrilling look where we might be headed with our tech-addicted society, and the repercussions of having our eyes firmly fixed on our phones at all points and times. So break away from the tech (I say as I write on my Mac) and pick up the first trade of this fantastic series. Not only will you find yourself laughing as you wince at certain revelations about your own relationship with tech, but you will be mesmerized by Murphy’s gorgeous storytelling and design, and Hollingsworth’s stunning colors. Given the final four pages of this issue, I can safely say I cannot wait to see what happens next. Did I mention this series is not for kids? VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Power Man and
Iron Fist #3
Power Man and Iron Fist #3 - Written by David Walker, illustrated by Sanford Greene, colored by Lee Loughridge, lettered and produced by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics. Luke Cage and Danny Rand (Power Man and Iron Fist) are still not back together as Heroes for Hire. Nope. They’re not even teaming up to right wrongs. Double nope. They’re just lending a helping hand to a friend in need. Okay…they’re teaming up.

Wait a minute…I’m still reading a mainstream superhero book from one of the Big Two. And I’m totally digging it. What’s going on?! Who cares. What matters is that I am still really liking this book. Nothing much changes from the events of last issue, but that is fine given that we see just how drastic an effect the Supersoul Stone has had on Luke and Danny’s old friend, Jennie; it’s not good. We also get to see more of Luke and Jessica Jones interacting as husband and wife, which is always good for some laughs.

Even though there’s little in the way of any sort of fighting or superheroics in this issue, Walker’s humorous dialogue and Green’s refreshingly non-standard cartooning had me smiling through to the end. This is especially true of the last three pages, which have me eager to see what happens next. I kind of have the feeling that the next two issues are probably going to have all the fight scenes you could ever want from two of my favorite “street-level” heroes.

If you are looking for a slightly-off-kilter superhero comic that successfully avoids (thus far, at least) the lackluster and financially draining trappings of ”crossovers” and “events,” while maintaining it’s own sense of individuality, then Power Man and Iron Fist is the book you’ve been waiting for. It’s fun, thoughtful, and provides just enough punch to keep this Donist coming back for more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  

East of West #25
East of West #25 - Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Nick Dragotta, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics. The Wolf reunites with his uncle. Death walks into a bar.

It’s been a while since we last saw an issue of the sci-fi / horror / fantasy / revisionist history / post-apocalyptic-yet-gunning-for-another-apocalypse / Western / drama East of West. It actually seems like ages ago, which made remembering much of what has been happening with the grand cast of characters and their intricate storylines and political machinations a bit difficult to follow. This is not a series you jump into. This also isn’t a book you casually read. You can’t be tired or distracted when you delve into this rich, complex world; if you’re not at your best it probably won’t make a whole lot of sense.

Let’s just say it was rather late last night when I finally sat down to read this kickoff to the next arc. I had forgotten about “The Message” and who was / wasn’t one of “The Chosen.” I remember being shaky even before picking up this issue on the reasoning as to why Wolf and Crow left Death at a time when he was finally making some progress in finding his son, but sometimes you have to just go with the flow…others, a solid reread from issue one might be the best thing to do. Still, the art and coloring continue to be rather lovely.

With East of West you have to start from the beginning, Denizens. Just be sure to eat your Wheaties, put on the noise-cancelling headphones with some mellow classical music, put the kids / significant other / dog to bed, and maybe do some stretches before setting in to read this series. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the book or been reading since issue one, you need to be prepared, which you can easily do with the first five trades, or the oversized hardcover. East of West is varsity level comicbooking, but if you are up to the challenge, it is well worth your time. RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Prince Dies at Age 57 - I can’t begin to say how sad I am at hearing of the musician’s passing. Prince’s music has been a timeless mainstay of the Donist household since the ’80s, and I can’t remember how many times the man’s music revived a wavering party and kept the celebration going into the wee hours of the night. Such a sad loss for such a talented and influential individual.

No The Sixth Gun? It should really come as no surprise, but in upholding the curse of The Sixth Gun, my comic shop was once again shorted on it’s shipment of this title, just as is has been on (seriously) 60% of the issues in the series to date. I don’t know what the problem is, but for some reason I can count on getting this issue two weeks after its initial release. This is especially a bummer given the lengthy delay between arcs, and the fact that we are heading into the final chapter in what is the best supernatural Western to grace the stands.


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