Friday, September 9, 2016

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

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 / bad news slayer Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). The Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) continues to be in a state of constant upheaval since beginning the recent bout of home improvements. Now, after the trials of having new flooring and carpeting installed and a complete interior paint job, the Donist World bathroom now smells like a campground porta-potty briefly every morning around 5:00 AM. Not cool. I’ll mention the exact / costly remedy down in “Slice in the Woods” so we can get right to the reviews. So, appreciate your own bathroom for not being like ours, read some of the awesome Prez, check-in on an episode or two of the exceptional Stranger Things on Netflix, and most of all read some great comics…like Prez. 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***

The Flintstones #3
The Flintstones #3 - Written by Mark Russell, illustrated by Steve Pugh, colored by Chris Chuckry, lettered by Dave Sharpe, published by DC Comics. Science in the prehistoric age? War veterans getting kicked to the curb? Alien bro invaders? Just another day in stoney ol’ Bedrock. All this plus the origin of a certain catchphrase we all know and love.

I will just have to take The Flintstones as a consolation for not getting the final half of Russell’s brilliant Prez — Hey, DC, c’mon what’s a measly six additional issues of a critical darling? — but what a consolation this fantastic new series is. Much like Prez, this comic deals in satire and offers a cold, hard look at life for our fave Stone Age family, all while turning the microscope back onto our present-day selves. Now, this would all be utterly depressing if not for these creators making the particulars of the story so dang hilarious and at times touching.

The situations and dialogue alone are enough to turn my ever-resistant frown upside down, but when combined with Pugh’s comical art, sight gags, and callbacks to the original The Flintstones cartoons you get a double whammy of fun that’s sure to wipe away any of the grumpies that might be ailing you…at least until you pause to ponder aspects of the comic’s subject matter. Still, the space launch, the David Bowie nod, and the alien bros on “Galactic Break!!!” will keep you laughing between bouts of nervous fidgeting.

Where else are you going to find a rich business man pleading for power from a foreign / alien force …okay, don’t answer that depressing question, but what I’m saying is that The Flintstones is a heck of a lot of fun. Although, it’s probably not as enjoyable for the kiddos as it is for the parents who were tuned into the cartoon for a good chunk of their childhood. The social commentary in this series is as relevant as it is in Prez (is there a petition out there somewhere to convince DC to allow its creators to finish the series? Six. Issues. That’s all we need) and the creators successfully integrate it into the nostalgic mainstay so many of us grew up with. Here’s hoping this series sticks around for some time to come. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Paper Girls #9
Paper Girls #9 - Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matt Wilson, lettered and designed by Jared K. Fletcher, color flats by Dee Cunniffe, published by Image Comics. Erin, Tiffany, and Mac are reunited along with “Old” Erin and “Techno” Erin. What could possibly go wrong? Other than a giant-sized, microscopic critter, of course.

Dang, this comic is a blast, but given the creators, how could it not be a total hoot? Not only do Vaughan and Chiang provide answers as to who / what “Techno” Erin is (or is she actually “Other” Erin…hmmmmmm), we get some insight into where next month’s second arc conclusion is going to be taking us, and it looks to be mighty weird, indeed. But with this sensational ’80s-based, sci-fi, fantasy, adventure comic about a group of friends thrust into some extreme circumstances, weird is the name of the game, which is part of what makes this series so great.

Not only are the story and characters compelling, but Chiang and Wilson bring this story to life with their glorious visuals. I have praised Chiang’s grasp of character acting and storytelling with each issue, as I have Wilson’s mix of eerie pinks and blues, but this issue really stands out, especially with the gorgeous double-page spread of the airship and Wilson’s vibrant reds and blues on “Techno” Erin. But writing about the art of Paper Girls can by no means do it any justice. It has to be seen to be believed, as this is one dang, fine, purty funny book.

I’m really not surprised the tremendous Paper Girls took home Eisner Awards for Best New Series and Best Artist — I kind of figured it was headed for greatness after the first issue completely blew me away. If you are a fan of the phenomenal Netflix original series Stranger Things (one of my top five favorite shows of all time), then you MUST check out this extraordinary comic book series, which you can do with the first trade today, and the second trade in December. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Exciting, yo! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Kill or be Killed #2
Kill or be Killed #2 - Written by Ed Brubaker, illustrated by Sean Phillips, colored by Elizabeth Breitweiser, editorial supervision by Eric Stephenson, published by Image comics. Dylan remembers certain childhood events that led him to choose his first victim.

With a Brubaker and Phillips book, you can always expect a well-paced, beautifully told, gorgeously illustrated tale that oftentimes leans toward less than savory characters who behave in questionable ways, and that remains true for Kill or be Killed. With this book’s protagonist, Dylan does horrible, repugnant things in an effort to calm his inner demons (see what I did there?), but when you listen to the why he chose who he chose, as he goes deep into a long buried childhood memory and recalls a discussion with his father right before the man’s suicide, it’s easier to sympathize with Dylan, to better understand him. This is a bit unsettling.

But as uncomfortable as this comic might make readers, there’s no mistaking the strength of both Dylan’s inner dialogue, or the exceptional visuals. I often praise Phillips’s mastery of storytelling and character acting, so no big shocker that this issue is yet another showcase of the man’s talent. One cool thing, however, is that amidst this dreary world we see one beautiful and vibrant image depicting a magazine cover that is said to be painted by Dylan’s dad. It’s one of the few non-bleak (no knock on Breitweizer’s great coloring, this is a depressing and drab world after all) moments and the electric reds and blues make me kind of leave me wanting to see more risque ’70s-style sci-fi paintings from the two (future art book? Please?).

Now, I have to admit I was somewhat taken aback by the reveal from the first issue of what sets Dylan on his course to become a vigilante, but I’m rolling with it and enjoying the ride thus far. If you are new to Brubaker and Phillips work, and are looking for a comic with a little hope, then this probably isn’t the comic for you. But, if you are a fan of crime comics and you love Criminal and The Fade Out as much as I do, then jumping in early on Kill or be Killed is definitely the right move. RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Dang, Son, Our Bathroom Reeks! - If the Reverse Obie is ever to regain his “Fortress of Peace and Quiet and Solitude” then we will have to have the old toilet (a Swedish model that is no longer made and that has different plumbing than US standards) removed, the flooring we just put in removed, the floor cut into, the plumbing redone to US standards, the baseboard put back, the flooring redone, and a new US toilet installed. And Voila! No more early morning methane blasts. Crap…and I mean that literally. CRAP!


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