Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 7/22/2016

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 / splinter hater Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Okay, the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) is still under siege as new carpet is set to be put in today, thus I am moving heavy items and furniture around the room as Tulip and Reverse Obie enjoy free rides as I drag a couch here and push a cabinet there. I keep telling them to get off — they’re a combined 45 pounds — but after Tulip’s trying day yesterday, I’m kind of okay with them goofing off a bit. So, while I lament not being at the SDCC, and frantically shuffle large objects around, you should pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee, cook up some delicious waffles, 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***

Lazarus #23
Lazarus #23 - Written by Greg Rucka, pencilled by Michael Lark, inked by Michael Lark and Tyler Boss, colored by Santi Arcas, lettered by Jodi Wynne, publication design by Eric Trautmann, published by Image Comics. It’s Lazari versus Lazari as Sonja confronts the dreaded Mueller in Switzerland. Meanwhile, Forever’s physical therapy is…problematic, and Johanna speaks with her father about the state of the Family.

Okay, after the day I had today, let’s just say that I’m glad I read this stress-inducing issue on Wednesday. <phew> Geez, Denizens…even after taking a second look at the first page of this issue a day later, my blood starts pumping. Rucka and Lark left us dangling last month with Sonja preparing to battle the imposing Mueller, but here there’s few words before the action begins. There are no humorous quips. There is no witty banter. Only four five-panel pages of silent, brutal combat. Yes, the fight is thrilling — every bit as the spectacular ones we’ve seen in the past — but since her introduction, I have become as charmed by the deadly Sonja as I have been by Forever. With each panel, I practically muttered, “Don’t die, Sonja. Don’t Die,” especially given this incredibly horrific world. There were also a few expletives in my thoughts, especially when the story abruptly cut to a few of the other characters whose stories — although paced diametrically opposite that of the fight — were exhilarating in their own right. I’m not going to spoil what happens, just know that I had to watch some upbeat cartoons before going to bed after reading this nerve wracking issue.

As intense and bloody and unsettling as the fight is in this issue, Lark still manages to turn it into a crowning achievement of choreography and storytelling. Every five panel page is a thing of great beauty. The same can be said for the rest of the pages, only for completely different reasons. When we cut to Forever, or Michael, or Johanna the emphasis switches to character acting and drama, where you can practically feel the hate-filled stare Forever gives her power-hungry sister. Chilling. The colors rarely resemble anything in the warm spectrum, but opting instead to reflect the cold, dismal tones of this fractured world. In other words: the color schemes fit the story perfectly.

I’ve told you before that Lazarus is a troubling book, but I’ve also said that it is one of the best books on the stands. The most terrifying thing about this exceptional comic book is that I can totally see this nightmare of a world coming to pass given current events, yet as scary as it is to read this series at times, I eagerly come back for more. And you should, too. You can catch up with the four available trades, or the two hardcovers, which I strongly encourage you to do. Dang! I’m a mess after reading this issue, Denizens. I’m actually rattled, and you want to know somethin’? I wouldn’t have it any other way. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Chew #56
Chew #56 - Written and lettered by John Layman, illustrated and colored by Rob Guillory, color assists by Taylor Wells, published by Image Comics. The end is nigh! And we’re not just talking about this final chapter of the entire series!

Oh man. I can’t believe that after reading this great issue of Chew there are only four issues remaining. This means that by October, this Donist World Darling will be done. Finished. Caput. Oh me, oh my, this is kind of hard to process. Stiff upper lip there, Ol’ boy, stiff upper lip.

All kidding aside (I’m not completely kidding about being upset, mind you), this issue is as enjoyable as one can expect from these crazy creators despite the fact that much of the written and visual jokes make way for the serious business of Tony finally discovering the truth about chicken, the avian flu, and the fire writing in the sky. Although Mason didn’t make life easier for Tony — Mason had always been two or three steps ahead of our hero — it all seems to be by design to push Tony onward to solve the big mystery. At risk of spoiling anything, let’s leave it at that.

One interesting thing is to compare Guillory’s Tony Chu design from issue one to the Tony Chu of today. Don’t get me wrong, I like the earlier look — heck, it gave me a taste for favor of the fever of Chew — but both the characters and the book itself quickly settled into the more certain and recognizable style we see today. It was awesome then, and has been nothing but spectacular ever since. One thing I will say is that I have noticed a drop in the number of sight gags for the past couple arcs, but there is a good one aimed toward a certain racist, sexist, lying, orange-skinned, small-handed moron that made me laugh. Let’s face it…this comic is a hoot.

I’m not ready for a world without Chew, Denizens, but it is a comin’. But who knows…Layman and Guillory have created such a rich, insane world that there will always be room for another Poyo special, or a mini-series following one of the many characters in the Chewiverse, that the legend might go on. Then again, it might not. Way back in the first two arcs the creators told us the series would be done in 60 issues — they even gave us a panel from the final issue, by golly — and I am just tickled that they were able to tell the story they wanted, as they wanted to tell it, with no interference from anyone; few comic book creators can say that these days. If you held off reading the most unique comic on the stands, then you can catch up with the trades, the Omnivore Edition (I need to double-dip number five still), or the immense (and pricey) Smorgasbord Edition. Whatever you do, just read Chew. It’s finger-lickin’ good. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

We Had to Rush Tulip to the Vet Yesterday - In addition to all the other stressful nonsense I’m being forced to deal with, we had to rush Tulip off to the vet yesterday. We were out throwing the ball, when all of a sudden she paused, limped back and was panting excessively. We immediately called the vet, set up an emergency appointment, and rushed downtown. Thankfully, nothing was broken or torn, but the doctor did pull something out of her back leg with the tweezers. I’m guessing it was a splinter or a stinger or something, but I’m glad that’s all it was. The $150 bill hurts (visit and a shot in case it was a venomous sting), but at least my pal is doing just fine now.


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