Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 9/23/2016

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 / beachgoer Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Today, the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) is vacating the premises for an offsite day of reflection — over doughnuts and coffee, of course — and then heading to the beach for some fun in the sun and teambuilding our way to maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company. It should be good times. So, if you can’t make it to the beach, be sure to read some of the awesome Prez comic, check-in on an episode or two of the exceptional Stranger Things on Netflix, 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***

Seven to Eternity #1
Seven to Eternity #1 - Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Jerome Opeña, colored Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Garils Sulm, The God of Whispers, has conquered most of a world…but most is not all. One man, Zebadiah Osidis, heard the conqueror’s words and rejected him, and he and his kin were ultimately forced to settle to one of the most obscure regions. Unfortunately for the Osidis family, the “Mud King” has found them.

Yes to everything about this phenomenal new series from creator-owned hero Rick Remender. We’ve already experienced some fantastic sci-fi (Fear Agent, Black Science, Low, Tokyo Ghost) and great action / drama (Deadly Class), and now we are led into the glorious domain of fantasy with this exciting new series. Now, Denizens, this book has everything a Donist could ever hope for in a comic book: a determination to persevere in the face of great adversity, staying true to yourself and those you love, groovy monsters, a crazy sort of magic the rules of which I don’t yet fully understand, a fearsome evil being cloaked in mystery, and so much more. As I have said with many of Remender’s other works, this book seems like it was written for me.

The dialogue and characterization stand strong all on its lonesome, but with Opeña’s art to bring this rich world to life…boy howdy, best hold onto your knickerbockers, you’re in for a heck of a ride. Yes, the usual can be said about the tight storytelling and character acting, but the design is what’s sure to rock your world starting with page one. The character designs and costuming are stunning, the design of the monsters — especially on the spectacular double-page spread — jaw-dropping, and the seamless mix of familiar with the completely alien had me wanting to both stay on the page and whip through to see what could possibly come next. Pushing all of the incredible linework is Hollingsworth’s vibrant colors, especially when magic fully enters the scene with the confrontation between Zebadiah and a Piper (not gonna spoil this character, you just need to see him). Where most comics tend toward a muddy / muted coloring scheme, this one is not afraid to dazzle when it wants to give that extra one-two punch.

I love this first issue. You need to go out right now and get a copy of Seven to Eternity…if you can find one, that is. As far as first issues go, I could not have been more pleasantly surprised by this comic. I had high expectations going in, and the creators gave me so much more than I could have hoped for. Wowsers, Denizens, I cannot wait to see what happens next. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Empress #6
Empress #6 - Written by Mark Millar, illustrated by Stuart Immonen, inked by Wade von Grawbadger, colored by Ive Svorcina, lettered by Peter Doherty, edited by Rachel Fulton, published by Icon, a Marvel Comics imprint. Queen Emporia, along with her children and protectors, have finally arrived at their destination, but is it truly the safe haven they have been seeking?

I have been enjoying this seven-issue mini-series since issue one, but I have to admit that my interest waned a little with the past couple of issues. Don’t get me wrong, Denizens, I still really enjoyed those issues, but I think I was hoping for a little bit more insight into some of the characters. This issue does not provide any flashbacks or anything, but what it does give is a look into some of the characters’ relationships with each other, which got me square in the feels and brought me back in. It also helped that Immonen’s art is off the chain with the character acting, and Svorcina’s colors made the banking world of Euphoria a gorgeous showcase of how color can make an already great comic book even better.

<Arrrgh> There’s only one more issue left in this great series, and given the two twists I didn’t see coming, I have no idea how this story is going wrap up. What I do know is that I don’t want Empress to end; I still want more more more. If you chose not to pick up this great sci-fi roller coaster of an adventure <ugh, how could you do this to me?>, then never fear: you can pick up the hardcover sometime in February. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Chew #58
Chew #58 - Written and lettered by John Layman, illustrated and colored by Rob Guillory, color assists by Taylor Wells, published by Image Comics. Well, looks like the end of the world is tomorrow, so whatever is a cibopathic FDA agent supposed to do? Why, go on the ultimate date with his honey, of course.

At certain points in life, you just have to accept that some good things must come to an end. That monstrous mud pie you ordered, that exceptional rare beer you just popped open, the television series Firefly (oh, heck, and Stranger Things, too). It simply must be. So it goes with Chew.

What more can I say about this series that hasn’t already been said — 61 times by me to be exact (including Poyo! specials and a Revival crossover — other than I love it, and the glorious hardcover Omnivore Editions reside on my favorite bookshelf for all to see. If you’ve been reading along since the beginning, then you are exactly where I am: eagerly awaiting the next issue that puts you that much closer to the end. If you are sitting there sayin’, dang, Donist, after hearing you jaw on and on about this series 62 times now I’m finally sold. Where do I jump in? Well, let me tell ya. I’m glad you’ve finally listened to me, and you should start at issue one. Duh. Of course you start with issue one. You need to grow to love the characters, learn the world and its rules, and get sucked into the bizarre mystery of this Donist World Darling of a series. Hey, you also get the added bonus of seeing Guillory’s art evolve and Layman’s premonitions come to pass. Just know that it is never too late to dive into the most unique comic on the stands, and you can do so through the trades or the previously mentioned Omnivore Editions. Trust me. You’ll be glad you did. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Archie #12
Archie #12 - Written by Mark Waid, breakdowns by Ryan Jampole, finishes by Thomas Pitilli, colored by Andre Szymanowicz, lettered by Jack Morelli, published by Archie Comic Publications, Inc. An understandably misinterpreted hug. A mayoral race coming to a close. Current loves deciding enough is enough. It’s all chaotic business as usual for our favorite redheaded resident of Riverdale.

I’m gonna have to take Ronnie and Sayid’s side on this one, they have a right to be upset. Now, I can see being on good terms with an ex and still being friends and all, but the connection between Archie and Betty has been built into a reinforced bridge since the two were toddlers. How’re possible new romantic interests, or even possible new friends for that matter, supposed to compete with that? In short, it ain’t easy. Waid continues to take a decades long love triangle, expand upon it, and ground it in reality, all the while making the reader sympathetic and understanding toward each character’s feelings. In the end, we’re just as torn over the situations in Archie as the characters themselves.

The inconsistent look of the art from last issue is not a factor this month, as Jampole and Pitilli provide panels and pages reminiscent of the art that has come before, while keeping the reader immersed in the rather heartbreaking story. There are some lighthearted moments this issue, with some great sight gags, but the humor dips in favor of the drama this month, which is the right choice in getting this ol’ Donist’s cold heart to melt.

So that wraps another storyline, and I fully intend to be there for the next issue that reintroduces yet another well-known redhead into the mix, Cheryl Blossom. I can’t wait. If you need a break from the capes and tights, and Civil Fights of the New Less than 100, then you owe it to yourself to give the relaunch of Archie a try. Just be sure to start at the beginning with the first trade and then mosey on over to the second trade when it becomes available late December . RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Keeping it Positive This Week - I want to keep it positive this week and just reflect on the great comics I’ve read and the tons of great comics yet to be discovered. Have a great weekend and…and…Donald “Drumpf” Trump is a small-handed, lying, racist, entitled, inheritance-having chump (or is it “Chumpf?”). And John Stumpf (Wells Fargo CEO in charge of defrauding Americans, and firing loyal workers because he is a dick) should go to jail and lose everything he stole made. <ack> Be positive. Be positive. Puppies…are…cute. Burritos…beer…


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