Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 12/23/2016

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 / secret Santa Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). We’re keeping the intro short this week as it’s almost Christmas and my puppy executive team still has some Christmas shopping to do. Me? I think I might have a hot chocolate, read some comics, and watch the rain. Ahhhhh…the good life. Also, we need to prepare for the arrival of our temporary Donist World intern, Jeff, the brother of the Donist. Our major stakeholder (Mom) said we had to include Jeff in our reindeer games — talk about history repeating itself — so I guess it’s what we gotta do. Just kidding, Jeff. Since we have a few days off, we’ll probably have some beers, and play some Talisman, just like in the old days. Anyhow, we wish you all the best of holidays, and to look for the first part of the Year-End Roundup next week. So grab some cocoa or pour yourself a coffee, have some gingerbread cookies (mmmmmm), and check out 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

Cage #3

Written and illustrated by Genndy Tartakovsky, inked by Stephan DeStefano, colored by Scott Wills, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics. Dang, Denizens, I am loving this comic. For those of you who made the devastating mistake of not picking up the first issue of this four-issue mini-series, it’s about the time Luke Cage (from his yellow shirt, chain belt, jeans, and steel tiara days) went on a date with Misty Knight. When Misty doesn’t show, Cage sets out to find her leading to battles with weirdos, tiger and lion men, hallucinogenic trips, all for…actually, I have ZERO idea why all of the bonkers stuff that is happening to Cage is happening, but what the heck…it is a blast! Cage is not mired by anything going on in the current Marvel U, which greatly works to its benefit, with the story harkening back to the weirdness of the bronze age, a time Tartakovsky clearly adores. Alone, the story is fun, but it’s the creator’s unique and outlandish style that makes this comic such a treasure. Action sequences, expressions, and character acting are all exaggerated in this fight-fest issue where we see Misty Knight punch a kung-fu tigerman in the snoot to a beautiful “BONK!” sound effect (thanks to letterer extraordinaire and fine gentleman Cowles), to Iron Fist fighting monkey style with a karate monkey only to take a “DOOF!” to the face, and the thrills go on from there. But as lovely and glorious as this comic would be in black and white, Wills’s colors loft this issue to all things heavenly with vibrant, stunning sequences that make it all the more difficult to decide whether to linger on a page or to see what happens next; the turquoise and crimson sequences especially must be seen to be believed. Criminy! I love this comic, but there is one huge negative working against it: there’s only one more issue left. Sweet Christmas, Denizens, whether you are a fan of Luke Cage or the animated Samurai Jack or not, you need to run out and buy these three issues before the fourth drops next month, as the trade does not come out until May 2017, and that is too long a time to wait for a comic book this fantastic. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Thanos #2

Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Mike Deodato, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics. If I had to choose one type of comic that I love more than anything else it would have to be the space opera. Yes, yes, I know, Denizens, even more than superhero comics. But before you come at me with the pitchforks, the burning torches, and cries of “Monster!,” there’s no reason a space opera can’t have superheroes in it. Hey, if you’ve been following Donist World for any length of time, then you know if I were to be stranded on a dessert island (that’s a desert island stocked with desserts) I would have The Micronauts by my side as well as any and all things Thanos and Warlock (especially those issues by my hero Jim Starlin). I would also have to bring along Descender, which is written by Jeff Lemire, the writer on the new — bring it back home, Donist — Thanos comic. Admittedly, I’m a tad behind on whatever is going on in the Marvel U at the moment, but when you mix one of my favorite creators with one of my favorite characters, and it is currently outside of any events, there’s no way I would skip out on reading this series. At only two issues in, the story is quite simple: Thanos is dying and he will take everyone with him if he cannot discover a cure for his condition. There are various factions seeking to put him down ahead of schedule, but you will just have to read this title to learn more about them. Needless to say I am digging the story so far, and I am also very much enjoying Deodatos art, with the coolest sequence being the one of Nebula breaking into a spaceship, which looks like something out of an old Warren Magazine sci-fi story. It’s beautiful. But what I enjoyed most about this issue is the coloring and design. I am unsure whether Deodato or Martin is responsible for the stunning halftone dots found on every page, but the colors…oh my stars and garters, Denizens…the colors are amazing on this comic. Martin knows how to make a great and peaceful world appear truly magical, and it’s his use of analogous and complementary colors at just the right time to really ramp up the emotion of a scene — again, the Nebula sequence takes the cake. So, yes, it is possible to have someone other than Starlin deliver a great look into the complex character of Thanos, and I am thrilled to see what happens next. You need to check this out. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Hands of Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu, Omnibus Volume 1

Mostly written by Steve Englehart and Doug Moench, mostly illustrated by Jim Starlin and Paul Gulacy, lots of other writers and artists, lots of inkers, lots of letterers, lots of colorists, published by Marvel Comics. This is going to be a brief look at what I could easily disect over a year’s worth of FSoH/SitW posts, but there’s so many comics and so little time. Honestly, when it comes down to it, you’re either a fan of the bronze age, or of kung fu comics, or of spy intrigue, or you have always wanted to delve into those worlds, or you’re not. This collection was practically made for me. Flat out, I love this tremendous omnibus. Not only is it filled with 28 comics — many of which are “Giant-Size” issues — it is a joy to read both from the perspective of the oft crazy story and the killer art. Shang-Chi, a master of kung fu (duh) seeks to stop the diabolical machinations of his father, Fu Manchu. There’s plenty of exciting fight sequences and plenty of ridiculous villains — with Razor-Fist reigning supreme — and many long musings about the world, humanity, business, the environment, and so much more, but everything fits together wonderfully in this truly special collectors item. And when I say “collectors item,” I mean that you kind of have to be a collector to buy this lovely beast of a book as it retails for $125. Not only that, but there are two more volumes in the series, and there’re two volumes of the sister series called The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, which also retail for $125 each. Even with steep discounts, getting each of these books will cost you some decent coin, and I challenge anyone to carry around all five books at once; there might still be another volume or two to go as well. The thing is…despite the money and the shear weight of all the volumes, it might all be kind of worth it to bring these little puppies on home. For most of my comic-book-loving life I have regretted not picking up these issues when they were coming out (I only had so much allowance money) and coupled with the whole legality of using the Fu Manchu character, it looked like I might never be able to check out these awesome comics; I’m so glad things have since changed. Just one of these volumes will keep you busy for a good, long while, and now that I’ve finished the first omnibus, I’m looking at my current allowance to see when I can get the next. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

Donald Trump Continues to Ruin America

<sigh> I know it’s the holidays, but we cannot forget that the keys to our country will soon be handed over to an orange-skinned sociopath with a shitty hairdo. Now more than ever we need to come together as a country to stand-up to this monster and his multi-millionaire / billionaire squad of goons and sycophant losers. We need to obstruct every initiative Trump seeks to enact that damages our people, our institutions, or the ideals upon which our country was founded. Not only should every move this amateur makes be scrutinized, those in positions of authority and knowhow need to be digging and digging and digging to find the litany of past crimes and impeachable offenses this buffoon has committed over the years so he can rightfully be removed from office in the near future, if not preferably before he even begins his first day. Fuck that guy.


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