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.


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