Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 5/19/2017

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 / poolside sweetheart Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). I’m beat, Denizens. Totally exhausted. You see, this week I spent Sunday–Wednesday on a work trip with today being my first full day back at the office; this doesn’t even factor in time at the Donist World corporate headquarters (Mom’s basement) which was spent in some epic meetings with my puppy executive team devising strategies for maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company. Thankfully, I only had two comics in my pull, and despite having plenty of older books and trades I wanted to talk about, I just don’t have the time or mental clarity to effectively go into anything other than the two. Because of this, I'm including a letter I wrote to my father in response to a rightwing article he sent to me on the topic of diversity efforts bringing about the demise of Marvel Comics. I hope you enjoy what I had to say. So, while I go grab some desperately needed shut-eye, sit back, have a tasty beer or a strong ginger ale, take care of yourself, and while you’re at it check out some great comics. 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


Low #18

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini, colored by Dave McCaig, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Sweet baby Bejebus, Denizens, I am loving all of Remender’s current work. I can’t even give you an “I especially like…” as everything he’s producing at Image is heavenly. I will say that Low is my favorite underwater, sci-fi, dystopian adventure comic, though.
Although this arc has not shown us the fates of either Stel Caine or of Della and her stolen Helm Suit (a vastly deadly weapon), the story of Tajo Caine and her friends is more than enough to keep me glued to each page. Tajo is hunting for Lena, the daughter of the man who abducted her when she was but a little girl. With this issue, we are led on a rollercoaster of a chase, much in the same vein as Remender’s amazing Black Science, through the seedy underworld of the dying submerged city of Salus. Roachtown, the place where fatalists and degenerates go to indulge their every pleasure before they die, is the flipside of the beauty that the creators have previously shown us of doomed Salus. Here there is violence, sex, drugs, you name it, and we catch a glimpse of it all, which is why this series is 100% for adults only; no kiddos allowed, NSFW, and I wouldn’t go gifting it to your momma or your boss. <phew> Sorry, gotta cool off after that Lena scene. Geez, Louise.
Anyhow, Tocchini’s art is gorgeous on every page — not just the lascivious Lena moments — and the storytelling of the chase scenes will keep you whipping through the issue. McCaig’s color tones change wonderfully depending on the city district: the purples of the drug bar, the reds of Lena’s room (oh my), the cooler blue-greens of the upper regions, to the chaos of oranges and yellows toward the end. Every aspect of this comic works beautifully as an example of what happens when all those involved are perfectly in sync.
Provided you are mature enough to handle the content, you need to be reading this fantastic comic, and catching up is an easy thing to do. You can start with the first three trades today — a fourth comes out in August — or you can wait until October for the oversized hardcover, which I have been hoping for ever since I read the very first issue. Man, I love this comic.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Royal City #3

Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, lettered by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Alrighty, Denizens, this review is going to be a drastic shift from that of the previous comic. Actually, it’s going to be a drastic shift from most of what Lemire has been producing for quite some time now. With Royal City, you won’t find any superheroes or villains, spacemen or mutated children, or anything of the like. No. This brutally honest series is more in line with Lemire’s masterwork Essex County (one of the few comics that’s ever made me cry) in that we have a beautifully scripted and intricately illustrated tale of a family as it collapses in upon itself after a tragic event. Of course, I’m not going to spoil what that event is, and in fact, we, the reader, don’t fully know what happened yet anyways. The Pike family — comprised of three brothers, a sister, a mother, and a father — has so much history, such painful memories, that they can barely manage to interact with one another or those close to them in a civil manner. If it wasn’t for the one common thread to which each clings (I’m not saying what), I suspect this family would fall to ruin.
If you are familiar with Lemire’s art, then you can expect the looks of pain and hopelessness in his characters’ eyes, or the resentment and disappoint in the lines of their faces, and the weariness that burdens their frame. In other words, you’re not going to be smiling by the time you finish reading an issue of Royal City, and even though there doesn’t appear to be any bright spots in the near future, the  emotions on display, the character development, and the heartbreaking honesty of the story will keep you coming back for more. Lemire looks to have yet another masterpiece on his hands.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Slice into the Woods


The Traitorous #45 - Here is hoping that #45 and all those involved in destabilizing our country, including Pence, get what is coming to them: impeachment, disgrace, and severe prison sentences. Heck, let #45 get those high ratings he’s so preoccupied with. I’m more than fine with #45’s arrest having the highest ratings ever seen.

Roger Ailes - Speaking of vile human beings…good riddance to a sexual harassing fearmonger.


The Letter I Sent to My Dad


Hey Dad,

Comics are definitely one of my most favorite things on the planet. I’ve been reading them for 40+ years, I’m a comic book creator, and I pay attention to the industry as a whole. I’m kind of a fanatic, but I’ll try not to go full on War and Peace here.

Anyhow…

Bleeding Cool (online site about the stuff I love) points out quite nicely why Marvel is hurting. https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/04/01/axel-alonso-david-gabriel-say-marvel-changed-many-characters-publisher-not-politics/

Being PC and trying to be more inclusive—whether via artists or writers, or via comic book characters—is NOT killing Marvel Comics. Short-sighted, short-term money grabs, high cover prices, accellerated shipping schedules, multiple books for a group (9 X-Men comics per month for example) and an adversity to risk taking in an effort to appease shareholders as opposed to building their fanbase, is what’s hurting Marvel Comics. To be fair, Marvel receives mixed feedback from fans: “We want more heroes like me,” “We want things to stay exactly the same, “We want something new,” ”We want skimpy outfits and huge knockers so we can have boners,” “You are being sexist.” The thing is, most of Marvel’s readership falls predominantly on white dudes in their 40s. Translation: me. Marvel says they want to bring in new readers, but they predominantly only cater to older, white dudes. This blows my mind as women make up 51% of the population, there are tons of youngsters which most of their offerings are not geared toward, and they fail at every turn to capitalize off of their kickass movies. I never see free, promotional comics being handed out to moviegoers at every film, or collectible posters with links to Marvel Unlimited (digital comic book service), or to Comixology (digital comics purchases). These things are generally looked at as too big a risk, or too costly, yet these movies make 100s of millions of dollars.

*Note: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is a FANTASTIC history of Marvel Comics and its creators and the multiple near deaths Marvel has suffered over the decades. I’ve listened to the audio version twice and will definitely listen to it again as it is a fascinating history about the carousel of egotistical, ignorant, and abusive head honcho moneymen hellbent on destroying an industry. Also, selling off The Fantastic Four and X-Men rights to FOX, and selling off the Spider-Man rights to SONY didn’t do them any favors either.

Where I stand…I am now reading ONE Marvel Comic. I used to read a ton, but dropped series after series primarily because of Marvel’s decision to constantly run “Event” books, which are special storylines that start as a separate new comic book series (Secret Invasion comes to mind) that sprawls out into every other series they publish, interrupting storylines, and requiring readers to buy dozens of titles in order to get the complete story. This is a money grab, and the sad thing is it works…at least in the extreme short-term. The first issues of event books usually sell quite well, but then flounder as the series suffers through delays, art changes, and, frankly, erratic stories that only serve to lead into yet another “Event.”

This has little to do with diversity. Diversity does not hurt comics and has actually saved Marvel’s ass on a few occasions with the huge popularity of Ms. Marvel (a teenage, Muslim hero written by a Muslim woman) among teen girls, or of the character Thor recently being replaced by a woman (I love this book btw). 

Oh, and that one book I currently read…the creator is leaving Marvel to focus on his creator-owned work, so I will be reading zero Marvel books in the near future. I’m hopeful this will change.

Marvel’s other huge problem is the hemorrhaging of creative talent, which also applies to DC Comics. Unstable working conditions (most everyone is an outside contractor with no health benefits), disparate pay, demands to accommodate “Events,” exclusivity contracts, unexpected ramps in shipping schedules (rushed work), and creators having little to no ownership of their creations that can potentially go on to make 100s of millions of dollars if those characters end up in a movie, all contribute to creative talent leaving. The old model to break into comics was to create your own work, pray you were noticed, and that Marvel or DC hired you. Now, creators look to make a name at Marvel or DC so they can leave with an established fanbase and work on their creator-owned books where they own the property and are rewarded for their efforts. I GREATLY prefer these creator-owned works as I follow the writers and artists versus blindly following characters I might have once historically loved.

Alright, already at War and Peace length here. So I’ll wrap up. The guy who wrote that article is an idiot. He is more interested in spreading ultra-rightwing nonsense about an industry he does not fully understand. He’s also a white male commenting on something he has no comprehension of: being LGBTQ, a woman, black, hispanic, etc. He’s more interested in slamming an admittedly left-leaning creator like Nick Spencer (who regularly gets death threats on Twitter for recently having the black superhero The Falcon, step into the role of Captain America) or Brian Michael Bendis for being liberal (I never noticed this being a big thing with Bendis, but the article author slams him for making a new version of Spider-Man who is half Puerto Rican and half black and loved by most comic readers while an overly vocal minority send Bendis death threats). The article author is bolstering a narrative that mostly isn’t true. Yes, some of the books come off as ringing false as they attempt to be more inclusive, but at least Marvel has made some attempts to be inclusive. Diversity is not hurting Marvel, an inability to retain talent, to release consistent quality products, high cover prices, over-saturation of properties in the market (too many X-Men and Avengers titles), failure to reach broader markets, and short-term money grabs are what is hurting them.

Donist



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Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 5/12/2017

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 / lost treasure comic book hunter Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). First off, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is a fantastic movie. (pssst…don’t tell Tulip or Reverse Obie, but I saw it twice this weekend and loved it both times). Now, I’m looking forward to Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming and most of all The Defenders, which debuts in August, all of which means I should probably rewatch Daredevil Season 2 asap. Hmmmmm…anyhow, what are we doin’? Oh yeah, comic books. It has been a crazy work week, and next week looks to be even more so. That said, of the four new comics I bought on Wednesday, I only had a chance to read two of them — Future Quest and Bug are both fantastic, btw! So, I thought we would again do something a little different and take a look at some comics I sadly missed the first time around, yet hope to remedy by reading in the near future. So, pour yourself a refreshing drink, sit down, strap in, and think about those comics you might have skipped all those years ago. 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 Ones That Got Away (Part 1)


“What the heck kind of doggone title is that, Donist?! Do we need to be worried about you?! Are you okay?!” Never fear, Denizens, all is well with the Donist and Donist World. I just happened to be sitting in our conference room — the area roped off by hanging sheets in Mom’s basement — and thinking about all of the comics I wanted to read throughout the years that I had missed for one reason or another. As I thought about them, I realized there were tons of series I missed out on that I wanted to read, and I’m not even considering any comics from the past two decades. So, let’s have a look and see what can be done about this now that we are in the age of the internet where online shopping and digital services can help remedy this dire situation. If you have any regrets about comics that you happened to have missed out on over the years, then please let me know by posting a comment. I’m happy to lend an ear, to commiserate, to help you work through the emotions and try to find a way to move on and hopefully help you find a way to set things right.

The New Teen Titans

Written by Marv Wolfman, illustrated by George Perez, published by DC Comics. Okay, I have to admit I’m deeply ashamed of this one. I guess I should start with “Forgive me, father, for I have sinned,” as I have never read The New Teen Titans. I know, I know, I’m as shocked as you are. Actually, nay, Denizens, I am more shocked than you, but please allow me to explain. I very much knew of this series when it was coming out, but being a young Donist with but a limited allowance, I had to make some exceedingly difficult choices back in the day.

Before I had learned of the existence of the local comic shop (RIP Andromeda Book Store) I was forced to buy my comics at the grocery store, or the 7-11, or the K-Mart; I was a slave to the whims of the ol’ spinner rack. Compounding the problem was that I was limited by my allowance and whatever extra books I could guilt my mother into buying for me. There were also soooooo many amazing books to choose from back then. If there was a new The Micronauts or a The Saga of the Swamp Thing or a The Uncanny X-Men, then that is where my money was destined to go. We went to the grocery store often and there was always something that beat out DC’s teen heroes, including the mind-melting The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans comic which made having to skip the Titan’s own book all the more painful. Every time I saw a new issue with Robin, Changeling, Raven, Cyborg, Starfire, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl squaring off against Brother Blood, Deathstroke, or Trigon I wanted to shed a tear because I knew glory awaited within those pages. Not only that, Crisis on Infinite Earths made the decision not to dive into this much-loved series all the more painful with the amazing Wolfman story and stunning Perez art. I guess when it comes down to it, it was just not meant to be.

Thankfully things change.

Fast forward a couple decades, and I have been eyeing the groovy Omnibus editions with their steep price, and was then thrilled to see the trade compilations appear at my LCS, but when Comixology had a sale for $5.99 per trade I decided the time had finally come. I bought the first three volumes and having read the first one, my newest regret is not having bought the six that were available at that low price. Crud. Oh well. At least I have two more 8+ issue trades to read through, and with any luck, this amazing series will go on sale again so I can see what all the fuss is about for the much lauded “The Messiah Complex” set to appear in volume seven. The New Teen Titans is definitely a better-late-than-never series, and the best thing about having waited so long to finally read it is that I have a ton of heavenly comics waiting for me to discover for the very first time.


Rom

Written by Billy Mantlo, illustrated by various, published by Marvel Comics. Not all of the books I write about for this feature will have a happy ending. The tale of my sorrow should thus begin with Rom. If you have been following Donist World for at least the two years, then you already know that I am cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs for The Micronauts, which is the comic series that turned me into a comic book collector in the first place.

Both Rom and The Micronauts came out in 1979, and I was, as always, under financial limitations as to what I could and could not buy. There was also Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, and a host of other comics competing for my spare change, and those usually won out over this awesome looking comic. I guess it didn’t help that I had seen the Rom action figure and it just couldn’t stand up to the amazing The Micronauts toyline.

Now, don’t get me wrong, my brother and I bought a handful of issues and annuals over the years, but it was never enough to figure out what the heck was going on. At 75 issues and four annuals, Rom was a tough series to jump into, but the interest was always there. Now for the sad part: because of licensing issues, we might never see Rom collected in any sort of shape or form, which is monumentally sad, as I would gladly throw down some cash for a fairly priced collection or two. Here’s to hoping I don’t have to bargain bin this one over the next decade or two.


Vigalante

Written by Marv Wolfman, illustrated by various, published by DC Comics. What do you know…two Wolfman books top the list of my greatest regrets. The cool thing is that each of these highly-praised series is starting to become available for all to read. The difference between The New Teen Titans and Vigilante, however, is that where I had a fairly good idea of who the Titans are, I have almost no background info on Vigilante.

I do know that the character debuted in The New Teen Titans book, that he has a bitchin costume, that the series has 50 issues with two annuals, and that this newly released collection contains his first appearance and the first eleven issues of the comic. Currently, I have a bunch of stuff sitting in my “To Read” pile, but if a sale on Vigilante happens to come my way in the near future, I can see picking up this series becoming a top priority. I am so excited to check this out!


Slice into the Woods


Comey Fired - Yeah, because why not? In this bizarro world, why the fuck not? Seriously, how can anyone support the guy who is the main subject of an investigation into his alleged treasonous activities, who then fires the person investigating him? Word on the street is that #45 will then fill Comey’s position with yet another traitor who will then close the case. Positively repulsive.


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Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 5/5/2017

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 / “We are Groot” puppy Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). I had a few more comics come to mind to include in the “Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics” series I’ve been writing, so that is what we are going to look at in this installment. Again, the idea came to me last month after listening to the audiobook of The Handmaid’s Tale, which got me thinking about my 1/27/2017 post listing the various books to read in the dark times of a #45 presidency. So, why not compile a list of post-apocalyptic and dystopian comics where bad men have taken control, or religion has been twisted to enable individuals to seize power, or biological weapons have decimated populations, or corporations have taken over, or the wealthy tread on the poor, or or OR!!! Basically, we’re going to look at what happens when sh_t becomes some f_ed up sh_t. Anyhow, I have to sneak out so Tulip and Reverse Obie don’t get wise to the fact that I’m going to be seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 this afternoon, and that dogs — even those who are executives of a Fortune 320,000 company — still are not allowed in the theater. So, pour yourself a stiff drink, sit down, strap in, and prepare to not be smiling by the time you get through these books. You will, however, be glad you read them. 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***

Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics (Part 3)


As always, these are in no particular order other than as they come to mind or as I happen to see them on the shelves. Get ready to be frightened. Be ready to be made uncomfortable. Be ready for some pretty dang great comics. If you missed them, be sure to check out Part 1, and Part 2!

Y the Last Man

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Pia Guerra, published by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint. Given that House Republicans — a group of predominantly white males — just passed their evil and inhumane healthcare bill, some might take solace by looking to the recent past for a comic book that solved the problem of corrupt males in positions of power. Unfortunately, in this highly-praised series, all decent men were factored into that fix . In the phenomenal Y the Last Man, every male mammal on Earth (those with a Y chromosome) simultaneously dies horribly…all males except for college student Yorick Brown and his pet monkey, Ampersand. The last two males on the planet are joined by a geneticist and a mysterious Federal agent as they attempt to learn what caused this catastrophe and try to find a way to save the human race. This is a phenomenal sci-fi adventure, and if you are already familiar with Vaughan’s work, then you know to expect startling cliffhangers, splendid characterization, flashes of humor, and moments that will break your heart. What I found most interesting — as mentioned in the first issue — the effect of losing the world’s men all at once varies from country to country: some countries have a robust female navy force, others are better equipped for food production, others have more robust science programs, and so on. Vaughan also touches upon religion, expectations on appearance, and how those formerly oppressed by men carry on. Dang, Denizens, you’ll flip when you see how various groups of women react when they discover that one man still roams the land. <shiver>. I desperately need to reread this great series, and if you missed it the first time around, then I STRONGLY recommend you catch up with the five available trades as soon as possible. It also appears that FX is slated to make this grand tale into a television series…fingers crossed.


The Private Eye

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Marcos Martin, colored by Muntsa Vicente, published by Panel Syndicate. Seeing as how #45 and his ilk are all about repealing net neutrality and infringing on our right to privacy, the easy pill to quell your anxiety and anger — well, at least for a moment — is yet another tremendous Vaughan comic, The Private Eye. In this not so distant futuristic tale, the internet figuratively exploded, exposing everything about everybody: the good, the bad, and the awful. Years after that tragic day, people and government have gone the other direction, the way of extreme privacy. Now, there are no longer cameras at stop lights, many people conceal their identities and physical traits behind elaborate disguises, and exposing someone’s secrets or private life is a most heinous crime. When a woman hires private investigator P.I. to uncover all the skeletons of her past, the situation becomes complicated when that same woman winds up dead. Unfortunately for P.I., the woman’s sister, Raveena, believes P.I. to be the murderer. P.I. quickly learns there’s much more going on than a simple crime of passion, and he and Raveena set out to uncover the truth. The ultra-groovy thing about this 10 issue series is that it was originally a digital-only-first series that you can download for the low-low price of whatever-the-heck-you-want at www.panelsyndicate.com…this includes FREE! That’s right, Denizens, you can read this incredible and beautiful story in its entirety for free! But you wouldn’t do that to these talented creators, right? I gave them $4 per issue, which meant that they directly and immediately reaped the rewards of their work with no printing costs and no middlemen to cut into their profits. How sweet is that!? The Private Eye is a thrilling adventure about what happens when everything, whether you want it or not, becomes public knowledge to all and the world shifts to extreme privacy.


Supergod

Written by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Garrie Gastonny, published by Avatar Press. With #45 talking trash to a country that is operating much like a cult, as he attempts to restart an arms race mostly put to rest three decades ago, why not feast your peepers on a comic where superbeings are the new form of weaponry. The superbeings are for the most part horrific, but what’s more terrifying is seeing the repercussions of the powers-that-be losing control of their weapons. Don’t expect to be smiling after finishing this one, Denizens. At worst, it’ll be difficult to shake the creeping unease Supergods will undoubtedly leave you with. At best, you will be thinking of key moments for days afterward as you draw unnerving parallels to the course #45 wishes to set us upon. Again, this ain’t no feel-good funny book, but it’s one I read every other year or so. Speaking of which, I think I’m due for a reread…the main difference this time being that some of the situations have become more thematically relevant. Egads.


Prez

Written by Mark Russell, illustrated by Ben Caldwell, published by DC Comics. Dang…after taking a look at Supergod, I think we all need something to lighten the mood a bit, and what better book to do that than the Donist World Darling Prez. For those of you currently enjoying Russell’s critically acclaimed The Flintstones, Prez is the political satire comic you need now more than ever. Basically, through political greed and manipulations and the fact that corporations are now allowed to run for office after removing the age limit, teenager Beth Ross is elected President of the United States of America. Of course, it helped to have the “Corndog Girl” video go viral as well as people being allowed to vote via Twitter. Laugh-out-loud funny, devastatingly accurate, and at times prescient, Prez pulls no punches when examining the desperation of the poor for a better life, corporate power, CEOs gone wild, armchair warfare, healthcare, entertainment, and the horrendous state of American politics. Straight up: I adore this series. If you’ve read Donist World over the past couple years, then you definitely already know this comic stands tall amongst my favorites of faves. I do have a slight disclaimer, though: there are currently only six issues (one trade) of Prez, and it’s a toss up whether the concluding six issues will be released anytime soon, if at all. Yes, DC decided to cancel the maxi-series after the first half, probably because of low numbers and despite critical acclaim and the timeliness of continuing the series during the brutal (and tragically disappointing) 2016 election. With a #45 stolen presidency, Prez issues 7–12 could have been a grand achievement for DC, and a collection of the whole shebang could have reached MANY non-traditional comic book readers. But, don’t let that discourage you from checking out the greatness of this first trade, and we’ll all cross our fingers that we someday see the conclusion that Russell and Caldwell intended for this important comic. BETH ROSS FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020!!!


Slice into the Woods


Trumpcare - #45 and the Republican members of the House can all go do something unmentionable to themselves. Whether the Senate passes this bullshit money-grab-for-the-wealthy or not, I can’t help but wish ill upon these self-congratulatory monsters for what they would see done to the people of this country, including people I know and love. Hopefully, many of these deluded GOP con artists are cut loose from their positions in 2018. May they forever suffer the repurcussions of their “victory.”


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Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 4/28/2017

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 / “Non-Compliant” puppy Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It was relatively slim pickings this week, so we thought there’s no better time to continue our “Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics” post from a couple weeks ago. Again, the idea came to me last month after listening to the audiobook of The Handmaid’s Tale, which got me thinking about my 1/27/2017 post listing the various books to read in the dark times of a #45 presidency. So, why not compile a list of post-apocalyptic and dystopian comics where bad men have taken control, or religion has been twisted to enable individuals to seize power, or biological weapons have decimated populations, or corporations have taken over, or the wealthy tread on the poor, or or OR!!! Basically, we’re going to look at what happens when sh_t becomes some f_ed up sh_t. So, pour yourself a stiff drink, sit down, strap in, and prepare to not be smiling by the time you get through these books. You will, however, be glad you read them. 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***

Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics (Part 2)


As always, these are in no particular order other than as they come to mind or as I happen to see them on the shelves. Get ready to be frightened. Be ready to be made uncomfortable. Be ready for some pretty dang great comics. If you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1!

Bitch Planet

Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick, illustrated by Valentine De Landro and others, colored by Chris Peter, lettered by Clayton Cowles, logo and designs by Rian Hughes, published by Image Comics. As the rights of women, minorities, and LGBTQ+ Americans are increasingly under assault in today’s toxic political environment and abhorrent behavior looks to be normalized under the current administration, Bitch Planet is the perfect counter to the all too routine bullshit of old, corrupt, rich, white (and orange) men. This comic pays stylistic homage to the sexploitation films of the ’70s while adding a dash of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (which I  have read twice, and I also just finished the fantastic audiobook). The story follows Kamau Kogo who, along with thousands of other women defined as “Non-Compliant,” has been sent off to the prison world known as Bitch Plant. “Non-Compliant” can be pretty much anything a man determines to be offensive: too old, too fat, too skinny, overly vocal, non-heterosexual, or just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kamau and her fellow prisoners have decided enough is enough: it is time to resist. This series is infinitely more timely now given the horrendous changes that have occurred since the first issue’s debut. Now, if only new issues weren’t so dreadfully delayed… The second trade comes out mid-June. We remain Non-Compliant.


Wolverine: Old Man Logan

Written by Mark Millar, illustrated by Steve McNiven and others, colored by various, lettered by VC’s Cory Petit, published by Marvel Comics. What happens when the bad guys win? Nothing good, that’s for certain. Following the death of nearly all of its heroes, the world is a wasteland tentatively divided up among the most powerful and menacing of villains. Wolverine and his friend Hawkeye are two of the few survivors of the great attack that laid waste to their country, but a tragic event sets them on a path of redemption. Wolverine: Old Man Logan is one I definitely need to reread in the next couple of weeks, given that some very not-so-super villains are seemingly attempting to create the wasteland reflected in this book; it could not be more timely. I also love love love the Logan movie, which owes much to this thrilling series about resisting the forces of oppression.


V for Vendetta

Written by Alan Moore, illustrated by David Lloyd, published by DC Comics. You can’t really have a conversation about important dystopian comics without talking about Alan Moore’s most important work Watchmen, which I already did a couple of weeks ago. A fantastic runner-up to that industry-changing series is V for Vendetta. Granted, this series was a response to the conservative extremism of England, and Moore — as he states in the introduction to the first issue in 1988 — wrote this 1984-esque comic out of the belief that the threat of nuclear war would lead to fascism. Three decades later and a quick hop across the pond, sadly, little has changed. In this important work, the citizenry is under constant surveillance by the ruling fascist regime, and all hope is lost…until a man in a Guy Fawkes mask blows up Parliament and begins to effect change. V for Vendetta is varsity-level comics, Denizens, but there’s a reason this all-too-relevant, dreary tale is considered a masterpiece and you will need to (re)experience it for yourself. The movie wasn’t half bad but you’ll definitely want to read the comic first.


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Written and illustrated by Frank Miller, inked by Klaus Janson, colored by Lynn Varley, lettered by John Costanza, published by DC Comics. Remember how I just mentioned the “industry-changing” comic Watchmen? Well, the other massively important work and equally dark tale Batman: The Dark Knight Returns forever changed popular superhero comics. Gone were the days of Batman gleefully spanking a misbehaving Robin, or Superman spanking a misbehaving Lois, or Wonder Woman getting spanked for misbehaving — dang, the Silver Age liked spankings — the tone had shifted to more dire and desperate subject matter. Here, a much older Batman comes out of retirement to combat a new, more aggressive form of violent street gangs hellbent on turning Gotham City into their own wasteland. All of this while the superpowers of the world (countries, not heroes/villains) edge closer to nuclear war. Reading the dialogue of the US President (who bears a striking resemblance to Ronald Reagan) in this book rings all too true when compared to the nonsensical ramblings and lies of #45. If you haven’t read this comic, then you must have recently climbed out of your 1980s bomb shelter, and now’s the time to grab a copy…and then climb right back into that same bomb shelter. The DC Animated version of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Blu-ray is a dang-fine follow-up to the trade, both of which need to check out.


Slice into the Woods


This Subject Matter is Bumming Me Out… - almost as much as the loads of bullshit #45 and his supporting GOP cast of villains continue to throw our way. So let’s keep it short. The tax ”plan” is rubbish and the renewed effort to f_ with our health insurance (while keeping congress’s super-awesome health plan as super-awesome as it currently is) is un-American and corrupt. The impeachment process and subsequent jailing is taking far too long.


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Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 4/21/2017

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 / New Order fan Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Amy the Intern (my wife) surprised me with some tickets to see New Order at the County Bowl this week. Now, I wasn’t overly excited to see them given the fact that I saw them perform at the same venue almost thirty years ago for their Technique album (I talk about that show in this really old post). Where the old show left me less than thrilled, THIS show was spectacular. They played an even amount of old and new material (“Plastic,” “Ceremony,” and “Temptation” being my favorites), and the visual effects on the five monitors and the stunning light show made the concert both an aural and visual experience not to be forgotten; some things DO get better with age. Anyhow, Reverse Obie and Tulip are calling for me to play “Weirdo” or “Regret” or some other classic tune, and you know how they get. So, listen to some great New Order songs (both old and new), stay positive, do some stretches to limber up in anticipation of The Guardians of the Galaxy 2, have a tasty beer or a strong ginger ale, take care of yourself, and while you’re at it check out some great comics. 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


Descender #21

Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Thus ends the fourth arc of my favorite comic book series currently hitting the ol’ spinner rack, and as is to be expected from these amazing creators, we are left with not one dire cliffhanger but two. I ain’t gonna spoil ’em. What I will tell you, is that I was riveted from beginning to end, especially given that the previous issue left us with TIM-22 revealing himself to be an imposter to Telsa and Dr. Quon. We also picked back up with TIM-21 held captive by The Hardwire, and then Andy, Blugger, Bandit, and Effie (aka Queen Machine) on their search for TIM-21. Three separate groups of characters — Driller is a fourth, but he does not appear in this issue — all spiraling toward one another; it’s nerve-wracking in the best of ways. As I often say with Lemire’s work, he draws you in quickly and before you know it you’ve grown to love his characters. You share their losses, you celebrate their wins, and you worry for their safety. This feeling is compounded by Nguyen’s gorgeous watercolored art. I muttered, “Oh…” on the panel where Andy, a robot scrapper, looks at his old robodog, Bandit, and says, "I remember when I used to understand you.” The look on his face, one of nostalgia, one of regret, is so emotional my ol’ Donist heart cracked…the next page was even more heavy, more honest, devastating. <sniffle> Ugh, excuse me a moment. I think I got a little somethin’ in my eye… You need to be reading Descender, Denizens. It is an epic, sci-fi, space opera that leaves me desperate to see what’ll happen next in the “Rise of the Robots” storyline come June. You MUST catch up with the three available trades — the fourth is released in June — so you can get drawn into this amazing Donist World Darling of a series. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Black Science #29

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Matteo Scalera, colored by Moreno Dinisio, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Although there was a two and a half month delay between issues, we are immediately thrust back into the thick of things with this iisue, and in true Black Science fashion, we are lead on a whirlwind, rollercoaster, sci-fi, adventure that’s sure to get your heart racing. We join back up with Grant McKay, who has to escape from an insane asylum to evade a race of sentient, parasitic gas who want to conquer Earth and have McKay create more dimension-hopping pillars. Remender sets up some disturbing horror-tinged scenes, and Scalera shows why he’s a storytelling mastermind as McKay flees through the asylum and later gets into a thrilling car chase. Between reading the words on the page and following the invisible paths of the action you have little choice but to whip through this issue; I went back through a second time to better appreciate Scalera’s art and to enjoy Dinisio’s exciting colors. Remender has a bunch of fantastic creator-owned books currently being published, and Black Science continues to be as great a read as ever. If you aren’t reading this fine series in floppies, then you can catch up with the five available trades (the sixth drops in July), or the oversized hardcover…you’ll be glad you did. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Low #17

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini, colored by Dave McCaig, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. New issues of the heavenly Low might come out at a slower pace than Remender’s other books, but I am always excited to have a new issue in my grubby mitts. For those of you not reading this lovely — both in writing and in art — series, it is a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, underwater, adventure comic set in a world that is dying. This month, we see that Tajo is very much alive after she was left to drown by her twin sister, Della. Her rescuer is a friend of Tajo’s mother, and they are joined by the intriguing new character, Io, a form of artificial intelligence. To be honest, little happens this issue, but even though there’s no battles or thrilling chases, the interactions between the characters are great, and I love seeing Tocchini’s design of the merwoman Mertalli and of the bizarre tech of this world; McCaig’s colors really draw the eye, especially the warm tones on Mertalli against the cool backgrounds. At a time when everyone needs more hope in their lives, Low, whose characters struggle to maintain hope despite the most horrendous of situations, is a book that can give you a spark of light to combat the dark. Three trades are available. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Royal City #2

Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, lettered by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Each member of the Pike family has their fair share of problems; Pat’s marriage and writing career are in shambles, and Richie owes the wrong people a lot of money. Their father suffered a stroke and is in a coma, and their mother is as judgemental and disappointed with life as ever. Then there’s the third brother, Tommy…you see, Tommy died. Royal City is closer to The Underwater Welder and Essex County than it is to, say, Sweet Tooth. This story is a look at a damaged family, one, I suspect, many people can relate to in some fashion. It’s a look into where the Pike family are and how their memories of Tommy help them make it through the day. We don’t yet know what happened to Tommy, and with this type of story, we might never know the circumstances of his passing. What’s important is the effect Tommy’s death has had on this family for whom we get tiny snippets into how things have gone wrong, and it is up to the reader to fill in the gaps. Lemire’s art might strike those unfamiliar with his work as…different, but once exposed to the pure emotion of his line and the mood set by his haunting watercolors, you will be hooked. Royal City is not the comic to read if you are looking to smile, or if you are in need of a laugh. But if you want to share the experience of another’s damaged family in a beautifully written and illustrated book, then this slice of life comic is something you need to read as soon as possible. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods


I Know These Things Can’t Be Rushed, But… - I need to repeat this from last week…#45 and all of the halfwit monsters in his administration need to be removed from office for treason — and in many cases for being unqualified idiots…I’m looking at you, DeVos and Pruitt — as soon as possible, before any more missile strikes or bombs are dropped and jeopardize our lives further. This is madness.


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Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 4/14/2017

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 / princess of pizza Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It was a slim week for new comics here at Donist World this week. In fact, we only had one book sitting in our pull. Of course, we compensated by picking up the trade for Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer comic from Dark Horse, but we probably won’t even get to crack it open this weekend the way things usually go. We’ll just have to wait and see; the important thing is we have it. The one amazing comic we did buy heads up the list below of what we are calling “Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics.” The idea came to me last month after listening to the audiobook of The Handmaid’s Tale, which got me thinking about my 1/27/2017 post listing the various books to read in the dark times of a #45 presidency. So, why not compile a list of post-apocalyptic and dystopian comics where bad men have taken control, or religion has been twisted to enable individuals to seize power, or biological weapons have decimated populations, or corporations have taken over, or the wealthy tread on the poor. Basically, we’re going to look at what happens when sh_t becomes some f_ed up sh_t. So, sit down, strap in, and prepare to not be smiling by the time you get through these books, you will, however, be glad you read them. 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***

Great Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Comics (Part 1)


As always, these are in no particular order other than as they come to mind or as I happen to see them on the shelves. Get ready to be frightened. Be ready to be made uncomfortable. Be ready for some pretty dang great comics.

Seven to Eternity

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Jerome Opeña, published by Image Comics. Okay, this one might be a bit of a stretch for today’s topic, but issue number five was the only comic in my pull this week and since this fairly new series is now tied as my favorite comic on the stands with Descender (by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen) I simply had to include it on the list. But now that I think of it, this spectacular fantasy series fits all the criteria of what I’m looking for in a post-apocalyptic / dystopian world. You have a tyrannical ruler seeking to bend everyone to his will, the stripping of freedom, the demonizing of others, empty promises, and the backing of deadly forces. The difference is that there’re also giant flying squid ships, magical superpowers, as well as all sorts of cool beings inhabiting this doomed world. The only hope of freeing the populace from the control of the God of Whispers is to capture the formidable being, take him to an ancient wizard, and hope there is enough power to end the evil creature’s reign once and for all. So, yeah, there are some parallels to what’s going on in the real world. As I mentioned above, Seven to Eternity is one of the best comics being published and I am desperate to see what happens next. Oh, yeah, issue five…it’s phenomenal, gorgeous, and comes VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Lazarus

Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Michael Lark, published by Image Comics. I think it’s been two weeks since I talked about the latest issue of Lazarus, and if you’ve been following Donist World for a while then you know I tend to have quite a bit of praise for this brilliant series. If that is the case, then you also know that this comic tends to scare the bejesus out of me. Why? you might ask. Well, because this comic’s dreadfully bleak world is one that I can very much see coming to pass. The world of Lazarus is not one divided by political lines, but rather it is divided up by a handful of ruling families along the lines of wealth. The creators clearly spend a substantial amount of time researching everything from eugenics, to military weaponry, to caste systems, to biological sciences, all while having the bad guys betray those inside and outside of the respective families. I won’t lie, Denizens, this series can be terrifying in its parallels to our modern world, but the strength of the characters, the storytelling, and the lovely illustrations make this a must read for sure.

The Omega Men

Written by Tom King, illustrated by Barnaby Bagenda, published by DC Comics. I’ve been reading comics for most of my life, and over the years, there have been plenty of series that I just could not buy at that particular time. One such comic from the ’80s is the original The Omega Men series. Thankfully, however, a revamped version came out that I did pick up, and it happened to be one of the best things I read last year. In this telling, The Omega Men are a group branded as terrorist by the all-powerful Viceroy of The Citadel. The problem is that The Omega Men have captured the White Lantern, Kyle Rayner, and executed him on live television in an effort to have their message heard. The truth is that Kyle Rayner is very much alive and The Omega Men want him to join their group. Unfortunately for Kyle, things are not always black and white, and The Omega Men might just be every bit as bad as The Citadel they wish to defeat. Gorgeous art and an intricately plotted story that will challenge readers’ morals on what it takes to be on the winning side. Religion, order, safety versus freedom, and classism all clash in this powerful MUST READ space opera. I will definitely be rereading this series many times over the coming years.

Sweet Tooth

Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, published by Vertigo Comics, a DC Comics imprint. You know I love Lemire’s work — especially when it comes to the Donist World Darling Descender — but one book that completely blew me away, while tearing out my heart and stomping it repeatedly on the floor, is the post-apocalyptic masterpiece Sweet Tooth. Dang, dang, dang, I need to dig this series out of the spider-ridden Closet of Doom and settle in for a week of gut-wrenching, beautifully-told tragedy. In this world, a plague known as The Affliction has decimated much of the world’s population, leaving scant humans and bizarre human-animal hybrid children to struggle for survival. The deer-antlered Gus is one such child. When a group of hunters seeks to enact their ill will upon Gus, a mountain of a man known as Jepperd rescues the boy and promises to lead him to the safety of a place known as The Preserve. <phew> Just thinking about this dark journey and the toll it takes on the many characters (and this Donist, too) is staggering Sweet Tooth is a remarkable series and one that is so beautifully told that I’m looking forward to crushing my heart all over again.

The Micronauts

Written by Bill Mantlo; illustrated by Michael Golden, Pat Broderick, and others, published by Marvel Comics. You know I love The Micronauts, right? I only mention it every other post or so. In fact, I’m simply silly for this series, and in the first half of 2014, I wrote the weekly column “Micronauts Monday” where I talked about every single issue of this great comic from the perspective of both my younger self and my current self. I had a blast writing it. The Micronauts is the story of the microscopic universe known as the Microverse, where a tyrannical madman known as Baron Karza rules over all with his gauntleted fist, giving leniency or favor to the wealthiest and most morally compromised of individuals. Only a band of alien rebels lead by Commander Arcturus Rann have the slightest chance of freeing the Microverse from the crushing weight of Karza’s heel. I adore the characters and the story is intense with severe stakes, and relentless action. There’s love, loss, victories, and the bitterest of defeats, all while having the occasional guest appearance (something which usually does not work) from a Marvel hero or two, and a story that more than stands up to the test of time. Now comes the disclaimer: Reading this one is no easy task given that the rights are tied up with a Japanese toy company, so there might never be a trade released. So…get thee to the back issue bins!

The Watchmen

Written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Dave Gibbons, published by DC Comics. If you have never heard of The Watchmen, then I must congratulate you for finally resuscitating from your cryofreeze or for your newfound freedom from the bunker you escaped from. That said, given the state of the world because of #45, you might want to go back to the bunker for a spell while things get sorted out. The story… when a former member of an old superhero group is murdered, one lone hero begins investigating the murder and seeking the aid of his former comrades. But as secrets begin to unfold, and more people tied to The Watchmen begin to die or disappear, tensions between the US and other countries escalate and the world finds itself on the brink of nuclear war. Scary, right? I mean, this series written in the ’80s was not just a deconstruction of superhero comics but also a terrifying commentary on the Cold War / nuclear war. The Watchmen is the quintessential graphic novel to show the power and importance of the comic book medium. It’s also terrifying that the subject of nuclear war is once again surging. So, yeah, The Watchmen is a book to read if you want to freak your ass out. It’s also damn good.

Slice into the Woods


I Know These Things Can’t Be Rushed, But… - #45 and all of the halfwit monsters in his administration need to be removed from office for treason — and in many cases for being unqualified idiots…I’m looking at you, DeVos and Pruitt — as soon as possible, before any more missile strikes or bombs are dropped and jeopardize our lives further. This is madness.


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Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 4/7/2017

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 / healer of stomach ills Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Crudddddddd, Denizens. I had a terrible week. Not sure what happened, but I woke up last Saturday with a piercing headache and was barfing by early afternoon. I lay in bed all day Sunday and stayed home from work on Monday. I had hardly any sleep, and, not counting the past couple of days, ate only saltine crackers and low-cal Gatorade (purple and blue flavors). Thankfully, I had my puppy executive team to take care of me and make all the big decisions as my brains were pretty darn scrambled. Oh well, at least I got a jump on the weight loss challenge I wanted to start. Geesh. Anyhow, today’s post is kind of short, not just because I’m still reeling from the stomach flu, but also because most of the books that were supposed to come out this week look to have been delayed. Again, oh well, it’s for the best it was a light week, we’ll still have fun. So, take care of yourself, don’t barf, pour yourself a cold revitalizing Gatorade, remember the late and exceptional Bernie Wrightson, and while you’re at it check out some great comics. 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 #10

Written by Mark Russell, illustrated by Steve Pugh, colored by Chris Chuckry, lettered by Dave Sharpe, published by DC Comics. If you read last week’s post, then you know you I wasn’t as jazzed about the Booster Gold & The Flinstones Special #1 as I am about the phenomenal The Flintstones series proper. That’s fine, especially when we get a return to form that had me laughing out loud to the point my wife kept asking, “What’s so funny?” All I could tell her was that she has some catching up to do on this satirical comic that is deeply relevant to the world we currently live in. It’s also a crack up from page one to page twenty-two. There’s a look at cinema, war, budget cuts, masculinity, puppet leaders, the art world, consumerism, different cultures, death (not spoilin’, but then the cover gives it away), as well as other subjects. At first glance, topics such as these don’t appear to be all that humorous, but in Russell’s skillful hands I couldn’t stop laughing…except for the death part, that was actually quite touching and troubling for reasons you will have to read to understand. Pugh’s art is gorgeous as ever and riddled with clever sight gags that require you to linger on every panel lest you miss something neat. If you’ve been enjoying The Flintstones as much as I have, then you already know why the critics adore this smart, edgy comic. To be honest, I kinda don’t think DC knew what was actually being released until about three issues into the series, which at that point it was too late to pull the plug. If you aren’t reading The Flintstones, then you best get on that, Cuz, because there’re only two issues left in the creators’ run, but with a trade of the six first issues readily available, you can catch up lickety split. If you love Russell’s work here, then be sure to pick up Prez in trade and also Snagglepuss when it debuts in the fall. Love it, love it, love it. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Paper Girls #13

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matt Wilson, lettered and designed by Jared K. Fletcher, flats by Dee Cunniffe, published by Image Comics. Okay…I really don’t know what the fizzatch is goin’ on in Paper Girls, but for a book so well written and so beautifully illustrated, there’s no way I won’t be here in four weeks to see what happens next. Plus, I’m right there with KJ, Mac, Erin, and Tiffany, who no sooner had they finally been reunited are once again split apart. Sure one group has a tech-toting prehistoric ally with a baby helping them out, but the outside dangers look to stop them all before they can make it back to their actual time period. Writing and artwork, of course,  are fantastic, but I am really digging Willson’s stunning colors — dang, just take a gander at the colors on the covers for this arc — which greatly enhance the story and set the tone. Do I even need to tell you to read this suburban, sci-fi, time traveling, adventure, coming of age story about four paper girls from Ohio in the ’80s who are thrust into worlds of monsters and mayhem? Of course not. You can pick up the first two trades to get caught up on this thrilling comic that I hope to someday see as a kick-ace television show. So much fun. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods


The Stomach Flu Sucks - Big time suck. Ugh. Barf me out. Gag me with a spoon.

Keeping it Short this Week - That said, I still want #45, Sessions, and the rest of the liars to be thoroughly investigated and removed from their posts before they can f_ up our country even more than they already have. Heck, I hope they take those corporate, self-congratulatory tools, Ryan and McConnell, while they’re at it. Sad.


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Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/31/2017

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 / antagonist of allergens Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). We’ve got quite a few books to get through this week, so we’ll keep the intro short other than to say Tulip, Reverse Obie, and I are pulling a late night at the corporate office (Mom’s basement) to get through as many of our new comics as possible. The Bonavita has been set to coffee overdrive, and we’re caffeinated to the max; maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company isn’t easy, but we’re dedicated to the cause. So, pour yourself a cup of Joe or brew some heavenly gunpowder tea, take care of yourself, remember the late and exceptional Bernie Wrightson, and while you’re at it check out some great comics. 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


Lazarus #26

Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Michael Lark, inked by Michael Lark and Tyler Boss, colored by Santi Arcas, lettered by Jodi Wynne, designed by Eric Trautmann, published by Image Comics. Gee my knee, Denizens. Lazarus began as a cautionary tale of a sci-fi dystopian world, but, after the past year of political nightmares, it has edged closer to our actual reality, which is utterly terrifying. I don’t believe the creators meant for aspects of the real to catch up with aspects of their fiction, but here we are. Anyhow, this issue… You already know I love this book, but as I have said many times in past reviews, this comic is one of the most stressful books I have ever read, and this particular issue is the most nerve-rattling thus far. The cover did not help with the feeling of dread. Page three made me mutter, “Oh no, things are about to get real.” And then Thomas — a Lazari — fired his RPG. The situation then gets worse from there. Denizens, I don’t believe any book has made my heart race like this one did. I expected the worst to happen to Forever, Sonja, Joacquim, and Thomas, and things got far worse than I ever imagined. <brrrrr> Dang. Lark’s art is phenomenal, especially during the brutal battle, but it is also a showcase of character acting during the quieter moments, but that perfectly choreographed fight scene is something that’s going to play through my mind for the next week or two. If you want to read a comic that will compound your fears of where the world is headed, then there is no better title than Lazarus. But do not dive in with this issue. You need to start from the beginning to get to know the players and learn about this damaged world brought about by greed, and then you will understand why I’m so messed up after Forever’s first meeting with the Zmey. There are four trades out to date (the fifth comes out in June!), as well as two lovely hardcover volumes if you feel like spiffying up your favorite bookshelf with some class. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Side comment: This issue also skips the regular letters column to explain that Michael Lark is taking a break for a while, but that we will get the next sourcebook, followed by six one-shots that will each detail a different character — including the horror known as the Zmey. Most importantly, Rucka includes a lengthy commentary on what has been going on in our country in regard to #45, the GOP, Russia, and of those who are really pulling the strings. It’s all rather messed up, but it’s all very much what I believe from the loads of evidence and facts that continue to build. Scary stuff. Let’s hope that the great work of sci-fi that is Lazarus stays sci-fi. Rucka’s commentary also comes VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Deadly Class #27

Written Rick Remender, illustrated by Wes Craig, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. The best way to calm the nerves after a shocking issue of Lazarus is to ease into the latest Deadly Class…yeah, that statement is totally false. Dang. Again, we have another series that new readers can’t just dive into. No siree, Bob. Last month had startling revelations up the wazoo, and although we jump away from the implications of those reveals and away from learning the fates of the new class, what we do get is a deeply satisfying look into Saya’s mysterious past. Of course, nothing concerning Saya is at all relaxing, and it wouldn’t be yet another fantastic issue of Deadly Class if it was. Craig focuses primarily on character acting and drama with this issue, but there are still plenty of high-panel-count pages and solid storytelling to get the heart pumping. Boyd’s colors, of which I am a huge fan, are still mostly flat and totally lovely in their analogous color schemes with the occasional halftone dot backgrounds, only this month he softens all the colors to let us know that this tale is firmly set in the past. As always, the entire package is gorgeous. If you want to read a compelling-as-heck comic about a high school for assassins set in the ’80s then Deadly Class is the book for you. You can catch up with the five available trades or the oversized hardcover. It doesn’t matter how you do it, you just need to be reading what is yet another fantastic series from Rick Remender. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Thanos# 5

Written Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Mike Deodato, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics. Thanos is my boy. Ever since he and Adam Warlock first met — where is Warlock these days? — I have been a fan. The thing is, I’m kind of one of those “if it’s not Jim Starlin writing him, then it’s not for me” kind of guys, but when Lemire steps in to take a crack at the Mad God from Titan, there’s no way I’d ever miss taking a look. At five issues in, I’m still glad I decided to take the plunge. The crux of the story is that Thanos is dying of a disease he cannot defeat, but that does not mean he won’t do everything in his power to remain among the living, regardless of the horrors he must commit while in search of a cure. We are also joined by Thane (Thanos’s son), Nebula, Star Fox, The Champion, Terrax, the Imperial Guard, and all sorts of other cosmic beings intent on helping Thanos not go gentle into that good night. One small gripe I have with this installment is that the warden on what is supposed to be the most secure prison in the universe is honestly dumb as a stump, but whatever, suspension of disbelieve and all. Deodato’s art is a lovely showing of light and shadow with Martin bringing vibrant life to the cold darkness of space. Odd decision with the warden aside, Thanos is just the Marvel space opera goodness I’ve been itching for. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Green Lantern & Space Ghost Special #1 

Written James Tynion IV and Christopher Sebela, art and colors by Ariel Olivetti, lettered by A Larger World Studios, published by DC Comics. With a $4.99 price tag and a whole mess of other Hanna-Barbera crossover issues debuting this week, I almost decided not to pick this up. I’m so glad I did. Now, I’m a huge fan of the “Sinestro Corp War” event as well as everything that led up to the less-than-fulfilling “Blackest Night,” but after that, I kind of dropped off on the whole Green Lantern vibe. Thankfully, those past great memories combined with my nostalgic memories of Space Ghost and my current love of the fantastic Future Quest comic were all I needed to take the plunge. Basically, the story starts when a multi-universe-spanning distress call concerning a weapon attracts the attention of our two heroes and they fight each other, then they reconcile, then they fight a common enemy, which sounds pretty run-of-the-mill, but Tynion IV and Sebela make Space Ghost and Hal’s bickering entertaining and the inclusion of the two alien characters add even more heart to the story. Olivetti’s gorgeous art is painted in a style rarely seen in DC comics, bringing light and wonder to this fun, cosmic story. I have not yet read the “Ruff ‘n’ Reddy!” bonus feature, but I’m sure it will be enjoyable like most all of the Hanna-Barbera releases. What I do know, however, is that I hope to see a Green Lantern & Space Ghost Special #2 in the very near future. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Booster Gold & The Flintstones Special #1 

Written Mark Russell, illustrated by Rick Leonardi, inked by Scott Hanna, colored by Steve Buccellato, lettered by Dave Sharpe, published by DC Comics. Mark Russell wowed me with Prez (please, DC, please let him finish this vital work, especially given the current political climate!) and more recently with the exceptional The Flintstones; it was kind of a given I would pick up this book. To be honest, I’m not overly familiar with the character of Booster Gold, but I’ve seen him in many cartoons and hope to someday correct having missed out on the crucial Giffen and DeMatteis Justice League comics from back in the day. That said, although I enjoyed this issue, it wasn’t my favorite thing. I just don’t get the Booster Gold parts except for when he crosses paths with The Flintstones characters, which is where the story picks up for me. I guess I’m just a sucker for my friends from Bedrock. I also have not yet read the “The Jetsons” bonus feature, but will definitely read it in the next day or two. This crossover has some hilarious moments, but for this Donist it needs to hit me like a punch to the beef to pull me in completely the way Prez and The Flintstones series do. Regardless, this Special comes…RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods


Keeping it Short and Positive this Week - That said, I still want #45, Sessions, and the rest to be thoroughly investigated and removed from their posts before they can cause even more damage.


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