Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 11/25/2016

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 / head turkey-taster-in-charge Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It’s Thanksgiving time again, and in light of the awfulness that is Trump, we have closed the Donist World corporate headquarters (Mom’s basement) for the week to reflect on the things we are thankful for. The funny thing is that even though the office was closed, we still spent a whole bunch of time hanging out, going for walks, and sharing some turkey together. And let’s not forget the pumpkin pie and Ballast Point “Victory at Sea” beers…mmmmmm, never forget those. So, pour yourself a pumpkin drink, or a “Victory at Sea” (or a coffee, if beer ain’t your thang), go see Doctor Strange (it’s really good!), and definitely 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***

Friday Slice of Heaven

Chew #60

Written and lettered by John Layman, illustrated and colored by Rob Guillory, color assists by Taylor Wells, published by Image Comics. Well…dang, Denizens. Here we are at the end of a Donist World Darling, and although I have been lamenting the impending conclusion to what will forever be one of the most unique comics to ever grace the stands, I have to admit I still wasn’t ready for this issue. <sigh> That said, this is the perfect end to a fantastic series, and I’m not going to spoil a thing. Sorry, you just need to pick up the trades, or the beautiful hardcovers (my personal recommendation) and go with the flow. What I will give you is that we catch a glimpse of the future — as indicated by the three older fellows on the cover — where the repercussions of the penultimate issue finally play out. We see Tony, Applebee, Cesar, Chow, Olive, and Ginny (I forgot who she was for a brief moment, but the creators remind us quickly enough), as well as the egg-worshipping nutbags. This isn’t the final episode of Lost, where we are left with more mysteries than answers, and few satisfying character arcs. I say the nay, Denizens. Yes, there are some unanswered questions — namely where do we go from the final startling moment — but everything makes sense, all characters act appropriately, there are some stellar action sequences, and, most important of all, longtime Chew fans will be happy with the end result. Goodbye, Chew. It was a pleasure getting to know you, and I’ll look back upon our time together with great fondness. You will forever be on my every-other-year reread list. I look forward to Layman and Guillory’s next adventure. This conclusion and the series as a whole are VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Empress #7

Written by Mark Millar, illustrated by Stuart Immonen, inked by Wade von Grawbadger, colored by Ive Svorcina and Sunny Gho, lettered by Peter Doherty, edited by Rachael Fulton, published by Icon, a Marvel Comics imprint. Holy cow! The conclusion to Empress is a freakin’ blast! There are multiple twists in this issue that I did not see coming despite various hints sprinkled throughout the first six issues. Again, wow! This issue is oversized, yet I was so riveted as the stakes escalated again and again and again and again, that the pages flew by; I was so pumped by the time I reached the last page, I immediately reread it from the beginning. Most of our heroes have a moment to shine with this issue and shine they do up until the final panel of the final page that reveals this to be the “End of Book One.” Millar and Immonen give us many satisfying answers, and they introduce a few new questions to carry us into Book Two…whenever that shows up in my eager mitts. Empress is an exceptional sci-fi story, with gorgeous art and vibrant colors, that is certain to please. If you did yourself a disservice by not reading this comic as it came out, then you can breathe easy knowing that a hardcover collection will be available come February 2017, or you can scramble to find the floppies and avoid the long wait. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Cage #2

Written and illustrated by Genndy Tartakovsky, inked by Stephen DeStefano, colored by Bill Wray and Genndy Tartakovsky, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics. Well alrighty, Denizens. You know how much I enjoyed the first issue of Cage (check out my thoughts on it here), and you know that I am a HUGE fan of the animated television series Samurai Jack, so knowing I would love this second issue was a no-brainer; I just didn’t realize how much I would love this issue. I don’t care that I finished my initial read in record time because of very few captions and word balloons, two double-page spreads, and four splash pages. The art and colors, and what little story there is are fantastic and demand several rereads and some long pauses over every panel / page of Tartakovsky’s gorgeous and psychedelic work. Let’s face it, Denizens, thus far this comic is about equal parts love of the character and love of the art; the positively nutballs story is just gravy. Also, this book is unmired by events or crossovers of any sort making it a completely self-contained story. The most important thing to know is that this issue makes me want to reread the first while making me equally hungry for the next. You want to know what would make for a “Sweet Christman?” Some sweet posters from this sweet series. So much fun. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Wonder Woman #11

Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Liam Sharp, colored by Laura Martin, lettered by Jodi Wynne, published by DC Comics. I need to keep it real, Denizens. I completely thought I had missed an issue or something. Yes, as I say each time, even-numbered issues are “Year One” books set in the past, and odd-numbered ones are set in the present. What I’m saying is that there is a gap in events — I think — from issue 9 to this one. It wasn’t until about halfway through the story that Steve Trevor states,  “None of this seems wrong to you?” that I relaxed enough to realize that I was not crazy, that I had not missed a key issue. Dialogue and art are solid as ever, but much of the vibrant colors of previous issues have transitioned into darker hues, which I suppose is an indication of dark times ahead. Here’s the thing. I read this issue feeling as confused as Diana, which I assume is the point, but the confusion and doubt mostly served to pull me out of the story. Still, I love Steve and Diana’s relationship, and the b-story with Etta and Sasha is creepy cool. I will definitely be there for issue 13 to see what happens next. RECOMMENDED!

Future Quest #7

Written by Jeff Parker; illustrated by Ron Randall, Steve Lieber, and Evan “Doc” Shaner, colored by Veronica Gandini, lettered by ALW Studios’s Dave Lanphear, published by DC Comics. I greatly enjoyed reading the first three issues of Future Quest, and the rest of the series has thus far been highly entertaining, but I feel that possibly too many groups of heroes have been introduced to deal with the cosmic threat of the evil Omnikron. Thus far, we have characters from Jonny Quest, the Herculoids, Space Ghost, Birdman, The Impossibles, Frankenstein Jr., The Galaxy Trio, Mightor, and Spanky all making an appearance and requiring introductions. Now, I grew up knowing some of these characters, but others I had never even heard of, which I suppose will be the case for most readers. Honestly, how many of you knew every one of the groups listed above? Or noticed that I added a non-existent character, “Spanky,” to the list to exaggerate just how jam-packed this series is? It’s kind of hard to keep it all straight. But all poking fun aside, Future Quest is highly enjoyable, and now that everyone is on the board (dang, I hope there aren’t any other characters, we still haven’t even been properly introduced to The Galaxy Trio yet), this grand, ambitious story can begin to move forward at a quicker pace. You can catch up on this book with the February 2017 trade release of the first six issues. You definitely need to check this one out. RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Sharon Jones

Fuck! Another creative genius lost their life in 2016. Criminy, this year just needs to end and ease up on the bad news for a while. I came late to Sharon Jones and her music with the Dap-Kings, but it hit me with the force of a tornado and has been a staple at Donist World for quite some time now…and will ever remain so. <sigh> You will be sorely missed, Miss Jones. RIP.

Donald Trump’s Continued Strides to Ruin America

The negative and truly awful things this inexperienced, morally bankrupt, orange blowhard has done over the last week — not to mention the past year — are simply too numerous to recount here. I’ll just focus on a couple:
  1. Betsy DeVos was picked as head of the Department of Education. She’s a billionaire donor to the Republican party. She has no experience in public education. She has spent no time in the classroom. DeVos is a proponent of the common core and “school choice,” which means our tax dollars going to charter schools, for-profit schools, and worst of all religious schools. Her appointment is an insulting blow to our public education system. For a real look at charter schools and what she is so gung-ho for, check out this piece by John Oliver from “Last Week Tonight.”
  2. The Trump University fraud case reached a $25,000,000 settlement. I am sad this happened to people, but I’m glad Trump, not his Foundation, has to pay for it. This should be all over the news.
  3. Steve Bannon, a white supremacist, is still slated to be President-elect Trump’s chief strategist. This wasn’t from last week but needs repeating for as long as Trump and his new supervillain sidekick are in the picture.
Again, these are just a few of the terrible things Trump has been involved with this week. Truly deplorable.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 11/18/2016

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 / chief officer of equality for all Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). We’re trying to stay positive in light of the grand mistake our country made by electing (electoral only) an entitled, orange, sociopath to be our next President. Yeah…that happened. <sigh> Anyhow, looks like not only do we have to fight to maintain our Fortune 320,000 status, but we’re also going to have to prepare to fight for the rights of the non-bigoted, our climate, our economy, free speech, and general decency as well. Again…<sigh>. So, pour yourself a pumpkin drink, or a Stone Brewing Xocoveza (or a coffee, if beer ain’t your thang), go see Doctor Strange (it’s really good!), read some great comics, and most all be ready to fight through what looks to be some dark times ahead. 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***

Friday Slice of Heaven

Reborn #2

Written by Mark Millar, illustrated by Greg Capullo, inked by Jonathan Glapion, colored by FCO Placencia, lettered and designed by Nate Piekos of Blambot, edited by Rachael Fulton, published by Image Comic. Oh whoa is me, Denizens. I didn’t talk about the first issue of Millar’s fantastic new series Reborn. Well, consider everything I say here about issue two to equally apply to the premier, both of which you need to rush out and get ASAP. Millar and Capullo tap into the universal mystery of what happens after death, giving us a spectacular sci-fantasy world inhabited by characters I immediately like. At times touching, at others uneasy, Reborn does what all good comics should: it leaves you thinking about it for days afterward; the smile on your face is an added bonus. The story alone is strong, but with Capullo’s masterful storytelling and his fantastic creatures, costumes, and character acting combined with Placencia’s vibrant colors the world of Adystria comes to glorious life. If you’re a fan of Empress or of the Donist World Darling Starlight, then Reborn will leave you thinking you’ve died and gone to Adystria. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Thanos #1

Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Mike Deodato, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics. Okay, if you’ve been reading Donist World for any length of time, then you know my love for Thanos (and Adam Warlock!) runs deep; especially if my man Jim Starlin is at the helm. In fact, it’s sure to be an uphill battle to convince me that anyone other than my favorite cosmic creator can do justice to this particular character. But then Marvel had to go and put Lemire on the book. As you well know, Lemire is the writer of my current favorite comic hitting the stands, Descender, so there was no way I could pass up giving this book a read…I’m glad I did. If you read Jonathan Hickman’s Infinity — a dang fine Thanos book in its own right — then you are aware of who Corvus Glaive is and why his sitting upon the throne of the Black Order is a problem for Thanos. Alas poor Corvus Glaive, we knew him…sorta. We also see what Thanos’s brother, Starfox, has been up to (risque!), and The Champion and Thane make an appearance before a shocker leaves us desperate for the next installment. Deodato’s linework and storytelling are solid, but it’s his use of half-tone dots and crosshatching during the “inking” process that make the visuals of this comic simply stunning. Martin’s colors bring an otherworldly look to the art that is perfectly fitting to the dark and dire nature of the story. If this first issue is any indication of what is to come, then the creators look to give us a grand cosmic tale worth checking out. I will definitely be continuing with this comic…at least until it starts getting mired by marketing events and nonsensical crossovers. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Kill or be Killed #4

Written by Ed Brubaker, illustrated by Sean Phillips, colored by Elizabeth Breitweiser, editorial supervision by Eric Stephenson, published by Image Comics. The first chapter comes to its conclusion as Dylan descends further into his new persona as a vigilante, but Brubaker and Phillips are not going to make the transition easy on him. Like many of the creators’ past great projects (such as Criminal and The Fade Out…both must-read comics) Kill or be Killed’s characters are not exactly good people. They are deeply flawed, damaged individuals on paths of self-destruction, but as uncomfortable as watching these characters might be, it’s all but impossible to turn away. The writing and characterization are compelling, the artist’s storytelling flawless, and when the series returns — probably early 2017 — I will be there wincing with each eager page turn as Dylan’s life continues to crumble around him. This is a heck of a good start to Brubaker and Phillips’s latest noir / crime series. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Leonard Cohen

I was so dismayed by the election (electoral only) of Donald “Drumpf” Trump to be our next President, that I failed to mention the death of the great singer / songwriter / poet Leonard Cohen. If you haven’t heard of him before, then do yourself a favor and check out his many fantastic albums, or start with this compilation that although great, fails to include much of his important later work such as songs from the beautiful album released this past October. Let’s face it, Denizens, it’s already been a shitty year because of the loss of many creative greats, and the loss of Cohen only makes 2016 that much worse. RIP.

America Totally Failed America Last Week

Yeah, not letting this go. Our country chose a racist, sexist, sociopath to be our next leader, and he is currently building a team of equally psychotic and power-mad elites to help him not make America great, but rather make it truly awful. I really want to be wrong about this, but I kinda doubt that I am. For those who helped put this monster in power (Trump supporters, Trump voters, non-voters, and even the third-party protest voters) please remember that as your standard of living diminishes, and the world becomes a scarier place, that this is what you said you wanted. Such a shame.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 11/11/2016

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 / chief officer of worrying about the future of our country Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). We’re keeping the intro short this week as we mourn the death of decency, intelligence, and compassion in our country, but more on that at the end of the post. So, pour yourself a pumpkin drink, or a Stone Brewing Xocoveza (or a coffee, if beer ain’t your thang), go see Doctor Strange (we’re finally seeing it today), read some great comics, and most all be ready to fight for what’s right through what looks to be some dark times ahead. 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***

Friday Slice of Heaven

Wonder Woman #10

Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Nicola Scott, colored Romulo Fajardo Jr., lettered by Jodi Wynne, published by DC Comics. Dang, now this is a “Washington outsider” I would like to see running our country. Strong, smart, decisive, looking out for everyone — and I mean everyone, but whatchagonnado? Anyhow, we are once again gazing into Wonder Woman’s past — even-numbered issues are flashbacks, remember — as Barbara Ann, Steve Trevor, and Etta Candy take Diana to the mall to give the Amazonian a sense of what people are about. It is utterly charming to see Diana marvel at the people, the children, the stores, the food…and sadly the more negative aspects of civilization. Needless to say, it is a time of learning for everyone. Rucka and Scott brilliantly show Wonder Woman’s wonder at this strange, new world while revealing to all, including herself, the hero she is meant to be. I smiled, laughed, gasped, and cheered with this issue. If you haven’t been reading this exciting yet charming series, then you can catch up with the present-day events come February 2017 with the first trade; the second trade looking at her past should follow soon after. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

All Star Batman #4

Written by Scott Snyder, illustrated by John Romita Jr. and Declan Shalvey, inked by Danny Miki, colored by Dean White and Jordie Bellaire, lettered by Steve Wands, published by DC Comics. All Star Batman continues to be a thrilling roller coaster ride of an adventure as he battles not just Two-Face but what looks to be a fair chunk of the caped crusader’s rogues gallery as well. Snyder, of course, depicts Two-Face as an insane villain every bit as big of a threat as the Joker, and this “The Beast” character is kind of terrifying, too. Romita Jr. and White’s art is positively stunning, with grand storytelling and exciting sequences. The one thing that leaves me scratching my head, however, is the backup story, which although beautifully illustrated is somewhat confusing, almost as if each installment needed a handful of extra pages to give the story a bit more room to breath. That said, I still enjoyed reading the book as a whole, and if you’re a Batman bat-fan, then I suspect you will, too. RECOMMENDED!

The Barrier #2

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Marcos Martin, colored by Muntsa Vicente, published by Panel Syndicate. Crud, Denizens. I don’t believe I talked about the first issue of the digital-only-yet-completely-creator-owned Barrier. That is a huge mistake on my part. At its core, Barrier is about an English-speaking woman and a Spanish-speaking man being abducted by aliens and having to work through the language barrier in order to survive. This is a Vaughan-written comic, so I’m sure there are multiple levels of thematic barriers in the story, but we’re only two issues in — and what fantastic issues they are. The art is beautiful, and you simply have to see Martin’s depiction of the aliens and their ship to fully understand the heavenly reaches this artist is taking us toward. Also, the best part about Panel Syndicate comics is that they have a pay-what-you-want-including-nothing for each issue price structure. That’s right, Denizens, you can get everything offered on their site for free, but don’t do that. The groovy thing about Panel Syndicate is that outside of website fees and data storage, the creators keep all of the money they receive. No middlemen, no advertising, no shareholders, no corporate interests. Your donations go straight to them so they can continue bringing us phenomenal stories. I suggest downloading the first issue for free, reading it, loving it, and retroactively giving them money for that issue and giving them what you can going forward. I gave them $3. On that note…You read The Private Eye, right? It, too, is amazing (you can get it digitally or in lovely hardcover), and it is also by Vaughan and Martin and very much worthy of your time. Dang, I can’t wait to see what happens in the next exciting issue of Barrier! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Universe! #5

Everythinged by Albert Monteys, published by Panel Syndicate. Okay, the wait between issues of this fantastic sci-fi, digital-only series is kind of lengthy, but what do you expect when each issue is created by only one person; it’s also 48-pages long. For comics books of this caliber, I am happy to wait, just so long as they keep ’em a comin’. The cool thing about Universe! is that each issue can be read as a standalone, but they are also interconnected in subtle ways. For instance, the events of this issue start before the events of the first issue…that is unless you count the leaps back and forward through time, at which point my brain begins to hurt; just go with the flow. You also never know what sort of mental state you will be in by the time you finish each glorious issue. You might still be smiling from laughing through the whole read, you might be a little angry with certain situations, you might be awestruck, you might be heartbroken. Without spoiling anything, this is one of the “heavier” stories, but regardless of how tense situations get, there’s no way you’ll be able to set the story down (assuming you’re reading on a tablet like me). <sigh> Whoa, Denizens, just whoa. If you are a fan of sci-fi, then you cannot live a day longer without Montey’s brilliant series. A rock-solid story, gorgeous cartooning, vibrant and lively colors, there is absolutely nothing negative for me to say about this great series other than I wish it came out weekly; time travel might help with this. Again, this is Panel Syndicate, so pay what you want. I gave Monteys $4, and sincerely hope everyone kicks down as much as they are able so we can continue to get truly beautiful stories such as this for a long time to come. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

America Totally Failed America This Week

America lost this week. Donald “Trump” Drumpf won the electoral vote and as such is our next president, which is devastating news for this country. Here we have a man with no experience in politics, no experience in running a country, and a history of failed businesses. He is a confirmed misogynist, a confirmed racist, a confirmed anti-Semite, a confirmed opponent of immigration. He is a man who has repeatedly failed to meet agreed-upon conditions of his business contracts, he does not believe in global warming and as such does not believe in science, he wants to dismantle the EPA and the affordable care act—anti-nature, anti-healthcare for all. He championed the completely false “Birther” movement, he has been caught in countless lies, he advocates for violence against both journalists and free speech — just watch the videos, they’re not hard to find — a violation of the first amendment. He instructed his adoring masses to intimidate voters, which is a violation of the 15th amendment, and subsequently received court orders forbidding such behavior, he instigated violence against those who disagree with him on numerous occasions. He criticized the family of a slain US soldier who happened to be Muslim, he has some shady dealings with Russia, he sexually assaulted and belittled numerous women and boasted about it. He has used the “N-word” repeatedly, and by “N-word” I mean nukes, and the list goes on. So, this is the type of person some people — not a majority, mind you — wanted to run our country. It boggles my mind as to the extremes some people are willing to go to in order to vote against their own best interests.

I, of course, went through all the stages of grief before taking a moment to really think about what might have brought people to this point; surely there must be some sort of common ground between us. I, too, hate modern politics. I lean left but see corruption on both parties. I want big business out of politics. I want to stop sending jobs overseas. I’m sick of paying high taxes. And thus ends my common ground with Trump voters. That said, I would not hire a doctor of philosophy to be my medical doctor for an appendectomy, and as such would never vote for someone whose only proposed qualification for being President of the United States is that he’s been president of many companies…many, many failed ones at that. Sadly, many Trump supporters, the Deplorables, voted for him because he “thinks like they do,” which leads back to anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-black, anti-criticism, anti-free speech, misogynistic, etc. lines of thinking.

The thing is, Trump voters, he’s not like you. Not at all. Did you start the rat race born already across the finish line? He did. He inherited his father’s business and an undetermined amount of wealth. Unfortunately, we all have to scramble and claw our way to the starting point to even start the ol’ rat race, let alone hope to finish it. Also, if you truly believe he is so much like you, show up at one of his many residences to talk with him. Do you think you’ll be welcomed into his home? Seriously? I’ll bet you get “roughed up” like those protestors and journalists. For fuck’s sake, Deplorables, he actually said, “I love the poorly-educated,” is that reassuring to you? Think about it. You served your purpose. He doesn’t need you anymore. See how he looks out for you now.

I could go on for days about this, but I’m starting to get depressed again. I wanted Bernie. That didn’t happen. I wanted the second best choice, the one with actual fucking experience handling the affairs of the country — even when considering Benghazi and private email servers — but thanks to the electoral college and protest / third party voters the one who received the most votes lost. The lunatic is not just running the asylum, he, with his exceptionally tiny hands, will soon be running our country.


Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 11/4/2016

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 / pumpkin chocolate chip cookie administrator (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Although my puppy executive team cannot eat chocolate, that doesn’t stop them from baking some dang-fine pumpkin chocolate chip cookies…my personal weakness. Beer is probably my second weakness, but it’s a work day, and we need to focus on maintaining our Fortune 320,000 company status. This week, we look at four new comics and prepare to take a company outing to the back porch of our office (Mom’s basement) where we’ll enjoy the cooling weather, read some old and new comics, and maybe make a pumpkin chai latte (it’s a Trader Joe’s powdery thing). So, pour yourself a pumpkin drink, or a Stone Brewing Xocoveza (or a coffee, if beer ain’t your thang), go see Doctor Strange, vote for Clinton on Tuesday, 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***

Friday Slice of Heaven

The Flintstones #5

Written by Mark Russell, illustrated by Steve Pugh, colored by Chris Chuckry, lettered by Dave Sharpe, published by DC Comics. How the heck can a single comic be hilarious, heartbreaking, uplifting, and heartwarming all while being set way way way in the past, yet deeply relevant to today? Trust me, Denizens, it ain’t easy, but the tremendous The Flintstones succeeds on all fronts while being entertaining to boot. In this lone issue, Russell and Pugh tackle family, war, being tricked into going to war, elections, bullies (schoolyard and political), standing up not just for yourself but for the “little guy,” disappointing those you love, horror, and triumph. Pugh’s art is gorgeous — especially when it comes to Wilma and Betty — and the site gags mixed with the designs of dinosaurs and characters brings it all to life in a way that needs to be seen to be believed. I love this series, Denizens. Everyone with a sense of humor and an appreciation of satire needs to give it a chance. Although I am still quite bummed about Russell’s fantastic Prez being cancelled (right before a huge election, no less!), The Flintstones is a great follow up…and if anyone says otherwise, I’ll punch ’em in the beef. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Southern Bastards #15

Written by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Jason Latour, lettered by Jared K. Fletcher, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Okay, yeah, it’s been a real long while since we last saw an issue of the great Southern Bastards comic…May to be exact. The brutal thing about issue 14 was the way that issue left us hanging with Roberta Tubb finally arriving in Craw County to kick ass and enact vengeance upon those who killed her father. Although this issue focuses primarily on Coach Boss after the humiliating loss the Running Rebs suffered at Homecoming, Roberta does appear throughout the issue to ratchet up the tension to eleven, as Boss’s world begins to unravel. If you love this crime / college football comic as much as I do, then the cover alone is enough to remind you that a five month wait is worth it for story and art of this caliber. And, hey, I’m pretty sure the delay had something to do with the creators bringing this beautifully-ugly series to television. Whether comics or TV, I can’t wait to see what happens next. Three trades and a awesome hardcover are available. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Deadly Class #23

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Wes Craig, colored by Jordon Boyd, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. The previous arc of Deadly Class was freakin’ intense. Not only was it a nerve wracking thrillride, but it threw in a curveball that I was in no way expecting (not spoilin’ either). In fact, I was kind of messed up after reading it. But life goes on, even if many of the characters through issue 21 do not. The thing about Remender and Craig that is so amazing is that they introduced a whole mess of new characters last issue and I already adore them. This issue introduces four freshmen to the still-grieving, sophomore Saya, and sees them all bond over a game of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and it is truly awesome. Craig’s art always stands out, but when he delves into the fantasy world…holy moley, Denizens, it’s glorious. Those knockouts, analogous and monochromatic color schemes, and halftone dots by Boyd are all sortsa dang fine, too. Phew, I can’t wait for the next issue, especially since it looks like Helmut and Victor are going to square off. Deadly class never fails to thrill. You can easily catch up with the four trades, or the lovely hardcover. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Bitch Planet #9

Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, lettered by Clayton Cowles, cover and logo design by Rian Hughes, backmatter designed by Laurenn McCubbin, edited by Lauren Sankovitch, published by Image Comics. Okay, speaking of long-delayed comics…Bitch Planet finally returns after last gracing our peepers in June. Oh well, I know DeConnick is doing quite a bit of stuff for her and Matt Fraction’s television show development arm, Milkfed Criminal Masterminds. Still, these delays are kind of a bummer given how insane of a cliffhanger we were left with after the amazing previous issue. In spite of the wait, Bitch Planet continues to be a great comic, especially given the current political climate a certain orange sociopath is inflicting on our country. That said, this 24-page issue (not counting essays) moves very fast. Characters we recently met all come together, which is great, but I would have liked to have seen the last two issues expanded across four or five…but maybe that’s just me. Bitch Planet is a fantastic sci-fi / dystopian tale of a patriarical society where outspoken women, women who don’t adhere to certain physical standards, lesbians, and so on are deemed “Non-Compliant,” and shipped off to a prison planet for the rest of their lives. This is the story of when they take the power back, and it’s a series us non-deplorables should love. The first trade is currently available, with the second trade dropping January 2017. RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Steve Dillon Died - I should have mentioned this last week, but I didn’t have the time to properly say how much Dillon’s work affected me throughout the years. Criminy. I just talked about the books I return to year after year, and Dillon and Garth Ennis’s Preacher is a solid on that list; I just reread it again this past summer. I also have been meaning to drag out all my Punisher Max books…looks like I know what I’ll be reading this month. Dillon was a master storyteller, and a master of character acting, and this Donist will always treasure the work he has done. He will be missed. My heart goes out to his friends and family.

Too Many of My Heroes Have Died this Year - Prince, David Bowie, Darwyn Cooke, Gene Wilder, and now Steve Dillon. <sigh> Suck it, 2016…this is not fair.

Donald Trump - Well…he can go and suck it, too. Be sure to vote this coming Tuesday, and be sure you DO NOT VOTE FOR THE ORANGE SOCIOPATH!