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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Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/24/2017

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 / K’un-Lun karate connoisseur Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Wow, I really needed last week’s time by the pool reading, having a beer or two, and going for swims while visiting Palm Springs. It was nice and although too brief, I was able to recharge my batteries a bit. Tulip and I were also able to catch most of the Netflix show Iron Fist and although there’s some negativity out there about the show, I will say that we have enjoyed it thus far and we only have two more episodes to go. Reverse Obie watched the whole thing in an impressive pizza and dog water bingefest that he is just now recovering from. Thankfully, he is keeping quiet about how it all wraps up and we anticipate holding a meeting to discuss the show this weekend. So, while we check out the next episode, stay positive, tattoo your chest with a winged serpent, have a tasty beer or a strong ginger ale, 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


Descender #20

Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Praise be, Denizens, another glorious issue of this Donist World Darling has arrived and is set to leave you with an elevated heart rate until next month’s concluding arc arrives. Dang, I know it’s only a month, but it’s gonna be a crazy wait, especially now that the deadly imposter aboard Telsa and Quon’s ship stands revealed. The great thing about this issue is that it touches on all of the other main players as well: TIM-21 and the surviving robots of the Hardwire; Andy, Queen Between, Blugger, and Bandit; and the tough-as-nails Driller. Heck, we even check in with the United Galactic Council as they head out to make war against the Hardwire. There’s even a new character introduced, but regardless of the many plot points and characters flowing in and out of this issue, things never once feel rushed or unwieldy in the capable hands of these creators, and Descender manages to be just as riveting — if not more so — than the day I read the first issue. Nguyen’s watercolored art is more detailed this time around than the past couple of issues especially with the design of the new alien character Mizerd, the lovely UGC spaceship scene, and on the lovely backgrounds. Descender is straight up beautiful in both story and art and continues to be my favorite comic on the stands. If you are looking for an expansive, sci-fi, space opera with compelling characters, robots, and a fantastic story, then look no further. You can and should immediately catch up with the three available trades (the fourth comes out late June / early July) before the Descender event “Rise of the Robots” begins in June with issue 22. I absolutely cannot wait. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Future Quest #11

Written by Jeff Parker, illustrated by Evan “Doc” Shaner, colored by Veronica Gandini, lettered by ALW Studios’s Dave Lanphear, published by DC Comics. Holy penultimate issues, Denizens, the next month is the finale of the thrilling Future Quest. All the players, good and bad, are working together to defeat the menace of the universe-ending monster Omnikron, and after reading this issue I have no idea how our heroes — or villains, for that matter —will ever survive. The stakes are real in this comic, but the brilliant thing is that the creators still manage to make it as fun as it is accessible to all ages. Older readers, like myself, will love seeing their Saturday morning cartoon heroes come to life, and newer readers will be interested in knowing more about the likes of Space Ghost, Johny Quest, The Herculoids, and the rest. I’m not sure where Shaner has been the past couple of issues, but his phenomenal storytelling and stunning action shots are worth the wait, and Lanphear’s vibrant colors bring it all to life, especially on the glowing-menace, Omnikron. Now, I have no idea if there will be an issue 13 with a partial or complete shift of the creative team, or if the book just ends with some characters getting minis or specials or one-shots — I have no idea — but what I do know, is that I love the Hanna-Barbera comics I’ve read thus far (including The Flintstones and Scooby Apocalypse), and I am very excited to see what’s yet to come in this rich, thrilling universe. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods


Bernie Wrightson Died - Fuck. Bernie Wrightson has been a hero of mine since the day I came across his art in the life-changing Swamp Thing #10, where the Swamp Thing battles the monstrous Anton Arcane and his Un-Men; I was seven years old. I read that issue again and again until it literally fell to pieces in my hands. I was captivated by the horror that was Arcane: his creepy eye, the mismatched assortment of teeth, the disproportionate limbs, and his perverse musculature. Wrightson’s Swamp Thing was even more alluring with the branching system of roots running across his body, those piercing, haunted eyes, and the naked wildness of a plant-man who bled sap. I’m still not exactly sure how I got ahold of that issue, or if it was all that age appropriate or not, but I had it and I loved it. It was that single issue that showed me a very different style of art than what I had been used to seeing. It was his lines and shadows and attention to detail that taught me that not all art is equal; it was then that I fell completely in love with comic books. From there, I followed Wrightson through the many horror comics and magazines and even onto his superhero work like Batman: The Cult and more. Dang, I’ve been talking about Wrightson ever since I started Donist World back in 2010 with a look at Alan Moore’s take on Swamp Thing where I first mentioned issue #10 (here), or the time I talked about the must-own Creepy Presents…Bernie Wrightson in 2012 (here). I have cherished this man’s work for almost 40 years, and I can easily see enjoying it for the next 40+. He died too young, and it is vastly unfair. My heart goes out to his friends and family. Bernie Wrightson will be missed.


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Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/17/2017

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 / pool party princess Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). This is going to be a slightly different type of Donist World this week. You see, Tulip and I have joining Amy the intern (my wife) on a trip to lovely Palm Springs, where we have already been for the past couple of days of sun, freshly fried potato chips, and beer by the pool. I would like to say that we are there for a business conference on maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company, but we are just tagalongs as Amy attends a tech conference. Reverse Obie is staying behind to power through the Netflix Original Iron Fist, which he intends to view in one sitting; I could not be more proud. So, while you read this abbreviated post, we should already be on our way back and I will hopefully be reading this week’s new comics come Saturday. Until then, stay positive, tattoo your chest with a winged serpent, 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


Creepy Presents…Alex Toth HC

Written by various, illustrated by Alex Toth, published by Dark Horse Comics. If you’ve been reading Donist World over the past couple of years then you know that this Donist has a dang strong love for the Warren Publishing magazines. And what’s not to love. Oversized black and white, spine-chilling tales of horror, murder, and mayhem. Sometimes you got monsters. Sometimes you got aliens. And sometimes, if you were lucky, you got nearly naked ladies. As a youngster, the various Warren magazines were everything I could want in what was effectively an oversized comic book of glory. So imagine my joy when I discovered the Richard Corben and Bernie Wrightson Creepy Presents… spotlight hardcovers at my LCS. Needless to say, I snatched them up quick and practically devoured them with nostalgic bliss. Reading those unnerving, demented tales brought me back to my childhood journey to the store Clicks where I delighted in reading Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, Famous Monsters, Starlog, Heavy Metal, and Fangoria, but it was always the Warren mags that had the greatest pull. if you remember, I talked at length about that experience and my thoughts on the treasure that is Creepy Presents…Richard Corben (read all about it here), and I followed up with a love letter to Creepy Presents…Bernie Wrightson (chic-a-chic-a-check it out here), both of which are must-read, must-own books that demand to be part of your collection. A year or two after reading those heavenly treasures, I picked up Creepy Presents…Steve Ditko, which I briefly mentioned for this Halloween post a while ago. Now, after a small influx of amazon.com credit, I finally got ahold of the fourth volume in this great series, this time spotlighting the multifaceted work of Alex Toth, including a few stories he wrote. Here are a few gems:

  • “Grave Undertaking” - A story of a pair of undertakers who decide to drum up a little business. Great horror style to the art with deep shadows.
  • “The Stalkers” - A man sees aliens everywhere he goes, but all is not what it seems.
  • “Rude Awakening” - This one freaks me out. <brrrrr> I kinda don’t even want to think about it, which is why I love it so dang much. Not going to give away anymore on this one.
  • “Out of Time” - A man commits the ultimate crime and seeks to escape to a different time.
  • “Phantom of Pleasure Island” - A crime / mystery story where Toth adopts a ’50s advertising style to his artwork that is freaking gorgeous. The story is equally as great.
  • “Unreal!” - A seemingly ageless Buster Keaton-esque character’s secret to his success is certain to astonish.
  • “Proof Positive” - Some corrupt businessmen picked the wrong inventor to mess with. 
  • “Survival”- If you are looking for a quick post-apocalyptic tale that is sure to bum you out, then this is the story for you! I love the thicker lines of the art and the sheer malevolence in the survivor’s visage.
  • “Daddy and the Pie” - An alien crash lands on Earth and is taken in by a family. Great story but aspects of it mirror some of a story I wrote a while back…I swear, I never read “Daddy and the Pie” until a few days ago.

Those are my favorite stories of the collection and there are plenty of other great ones to be found within. What amazes me the most with Toth’s work is his ability to change his art style to best reflect the tone of the narrative, with each short work being different from the next. Creepy Presents…Alex Toth is a lovely addition to your favorite bookshelf, and although I like the actual stories of the Wrightson and Corben volumes more — nothing will beat those — this is still worth seeking out. Here’s hoping a fifth volume shows up some day in the near future, but this volume comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Ultimates: Omniversal Vol. 1: Start With the Impossible 

Written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Kenneth Rocafort and Christian Ward, colored by Dan Brown and Kenneth Rocafort, lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino, published by Marvel Comics. If you’re looking for a continuation of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s great The Ultimates comics, I have to inform you this new(ish) series shares only the name. However, I’m thrilled to let you know that this new team of heroes with its new team of creators is pretty darn compelling and beautiful to look at to boot. In this series, we join Blue Marvel (supergenius, living antimatter reactor), Captain Marvel (super-strong energy absorber), Black Panther (enhanced strength and senses, King of Wakanda), Spectrum (living electromagnetic energy, strategist), and Ms. America (multiversal teleporter, flying powerhouse) have all come together to solve the universe’s problems before they become problems, beginning with none other than Galactus! The cool thing about this eclectic team is that they don’t necessarily get along with each other, and they each bring their own baggage and agendas with them, yet they manage (mostly) to pull themselves together for the greater good. There’re monsters, shadowy organizations, legitimate threats, and high stakes all while we follow our heroes on a space opera of grand proportions. I positively love Galactus in this first collection and although I desperately want to tell you how The Ultimates decide to ultimately (see what I did there?) deal with the “problem” of Galactus, I’m going to refrain and say that you just need to read this frickin’ great offering from Marvel. Rocafort’s linework, storytelling, and character acting are outstanding, keeping you in the struggle to either linger on each beautiful page or whip through to see what happens next. Brown’s colors are vibrant and bring outer space and otherworldly dimensions to life on every page. The one issue illustrated by Ward is a slight change from the other five issues, but his trippy, psychedelic style is a perfect fit for a journey through the cosmos. To be honest, I love everything about this book thus far. If you’re a fan of Jim Starlin’s Marvel cosmic tales, then this is definitely along those lines and worth checking out. Heck, I’m most of the way through the second volume of The Ultimates already, and even though it ties in with an event, it still manages to be fantastic. Read it, read it now! VERY HIGHLY 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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Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 3/10/2017

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 / Luponic Distortion lover Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). I ain’t gonna lie, Denizens. I’m still reeling from seeing the amazing Logan this past Sunday, but I’m trying to maintain my composure and keep my enthusiasm on the down low because I know how much my puppy executive team really wanted to see this fine film. Thankfully, next week, we can ALL enjoy Iron Fist on Netflix even though advance reviews of the first six episodes have not been all that great. But that’ okay, we’re psyched anyways, and I’m sure there will be plenty for us to enjoy; it’s also inspiring how both Tulip and Reverse Obie have dyed their white, furry chests with black winged serpents. It’s totally bitchin’. But until then, stay positive, tattoo your chest with a winged serpent, have a beer or a strong ginger ale, RESIST the evil of #45, 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 #16

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini, colored by Dave McCaig, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Oh, no wonder I had no idea what had happened in the previous issue; the last time we checked in with Low was the beginning of August. That’s okay, though. As long as we continue to get new issues of my favorite post-apocalyptic, underwater-sci-fi comic, then I am one happy Donist. That said, I had to check back on my issue #15 post to remind myself of what had happened, and I now see that Stel Caine was left in a dire situation. Dang, Denizens, my favorite optimist was pretty much screwed last time, but at least now we…ummmm, this issue doesn’t even touch on Stel, or her twin daughters, Deja and Tajo. Nope, instead of moving forward with those characters who are, hopefully, living, we instead take a trip back in the past to the time Marik was forced to be a gladiator for the Pirate King Roln. Admittedly, I was at first taken aback by this decision, but then I noticed the story centered on an intriguing character I had never seen before — or maybe I need to do a reread — and this cool new character looks to play an important role going forward. Yes, I was disappointed for the first third of the issue but thrilled by the time I came to the end. The art is lovely as ever, although I was confused by the double-page spread of the arena and the hovering cube / television things, but those moments are few. McCaig’s complementary colors are especially delightful during certain key moments and give Tocchini’s art an otherworldly life. So, yeah, I really wanted to catch up with what remains of the Caine family, but this new character holds much promise. We’ll just have to see what happens next month. If you aren't reading this exciting creator-owned series from Remender — boy howdy, does he have a lot of ‘em nowadays — then you can quickly catch up with the three available trades, which I strongly recommend you do. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Man-Thing #1

Written by R.L. Stine, illustrated by German Peralta, colored by Rachelle Rosenberg, lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham, published by Marvel Comics. I’m not sure if this book’s for me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, and I applaud the Big Two anytime they step outside their comfort zone and give us something groovy and weird — see Weirdworld and Cage! — but I guess I have a different idea of who exactly the Man-Thing is. Y’see, I remember Man-Thing as written by Steve Gerber, and from my sorely-missed Power Records 45, and The Micronauts #7. I guess what I am saying is that I like the near mindless, monster whose touch burns those who know fear. I might also have a touch of jealousy of Stine, who has made a healthy living scaring the bejesus out of children with his writing, which just so happens to be a dream of mine, but best not to dwell. <sigh> Anyhow, this version of the muck monster has his mind fully intact and he finds himself as a down-on-his-luck monster-movie actor struggling to get by. Huh, after writing down that brief description, I kind of like the book a bit more. The story is good, but the art is most heavenly. Holy cow the art is beautiful. I love Peralta’s take on the Man-Thing whether he’s standing around in all his teeny-tiny-headed glory with his face roots flailing about, or duking it out with another creature. Rosenberg’s colors, especially on the title character is positively gorgeous; those piercing red eyes sunk within the various tints and shades of yellows and greens are spectacular. So, yeah, I’ll give the next issue a shot to support Marvel trying something different, and if you are a Stine fan or a fan of beautifully rendered swamp creatures, then this is definitely a comic you should take for a spin. RECOMMENDED!

Logan

I’m not used to writing movie reviews so I will keep this relatively short. I love this movie. Love it! I did the usual superhero movie ritual of grabbing lunch at Hollister Brewing Company and having a couple beers with my wife before heading over to the theater. I had avoided most of the trailers for Logan and for the past couple of months, after being less than thrilled by X-Men Apocalypse, I was fairly indifferent to seeing this film. Then the praise started rolling in. It is much deserved. This is the first Wolverine movie that has an actual story, that has emotional heft, that avoids much of the zip, bop, bang nonsense and character assassination (hello first attempt at Deadpool…yuck) found in the previous solo films. There is definitely action, and lots of it, but the action is crucial to the story and not just there to wow the audience. In fact, many sequences are brutally violent, but each is so intricately choreographed that even the most extreme moments are a thing of beauty. What really pulled me in, though, were the tremendous performances by Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant, and the tremendous Dafne Keen. It is stunning what these actors can do once you remove the constraints of being “superheroes,” and they are allowed to be actual people; I felt for each of them. I was also struck by the film’s somber tone, which reminded me of a mixture of the best Western films and of my all-time favorite video game, The Last of Us. Dang, we’re going on almost a week since I saw the movie, and I cannot stop thinking about it. If anything above sounds interesting to you, then you need to immediately run out and see this movie on the big screen, but be warned that it is definitely an R-Rated film and that you most likely will not leave smiling. Logan is not just a great superhero movie, but rather a great movie in and of itself. I am counting the days until the release of the Blu-ray. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods


The GOP, Their Man #45, and Healthcare - What the GOP and their champion #45 are trying to do to the Affordable Care Act (remember, Obamacare and the ACA are the same thing) is pure evil. I wonder what changes could happen if the members of Congress had to give up their cushy health insurance for the lowest level of insurance held by their constituents. On top of that, they should also be restricted to attending only VA hospitals for any and all services they or their family members require. I’m pretty certain both insurance and the conditions of VA hospitals would drastically improve. These “public servants” need to remember who they work for.


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Friday, March 3, 2017

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

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 / pooch with adamantium claws Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Alright, dagnabit, now I’m getting all worked up about seeing Logan in the theater this weekend. To do that, though, I’m going to have to load up on cough drops to counter this dang cough that has been plaguing me for the past two months — bronchitis sucks, Denizens. Anyhow, as always, both Tulip and Reverse Obie have been walking around the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) muttering, “Snikt,” and nodding at each other knowingly with smiles on their faces. <sigh> They should know by now that dogs, even executives from a Fortune 320,000 company, are simply not allowed in movie theaters. Crud, I’ll probably cue up Deadpool or something to distract them and then say I’m off to go pick up more beer…we’ll all enjoy Logan together when it comes to video. Some day, after we’ve hit it big, we’ll buy our own dang theater where they will have their own plush balcony area to watch all the dang superhero movies they can handle. But until then, stay positive, have a beer or a strong ginger ale, RESIST the evil of #45, 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


The Flintstones #9

Written by Mark Russell, illustrated by Steve Pugh, colored by Chris Chuckry, lettered by Dave Sharpe, published by DC Comics. You already know I adore The Flintstones, right? I’ve even gone so far as to say it’s one of the most important comics currently being published. The Flintstones…yeah, I know, I never thought I’d ever say that. But Russell and Pugh have given us a deeper glimpse into the world of Bedrock than the animation series ever did. Although set in the Stone Age — albeit a Stone Age where dinosaurs, wooly mammoths, and cavepeople coexist — the series is a social commentary of our modern times. It’s a satire of capitalism, consumerism, religion, war, politics, bullying, tourism, homosexuality, marriage, and pretty much anything else. At no point, however, do you ever feel lectured to, mostly because the series is so dang entertaining. Pugh’s lovely art — especially on Wilma and Betty — will make you smile just as much as the oh-so-smart writing and numerous sight gags. It bums me out that we only have three more issues of The Flintstones before Russell’s run on this important and timely comic comes to an end. Thank goodness Snagglepuss will start soon after, and there’s always the hope we’ll get those final six issues of Prez we’re all so desperate to see. If you missed the first six issues, a spiffy trade comes out in the next couple of weeks. Get it! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Paper Girls #12

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matt Wilson, lettered and designed by Jared K. Fletcher, color flats by Dee Cunniffe, published by Image comics. I have to start by saying that I love this arc’s covers. They are stunningly beautiful, primarily because of Wilson’s otherworldly colors. Not a hint of black to be found, but rather deep knockouts define the necessary lines, leaving primarily flat analogous colors with a glorious accent to dazzle the eyes…<hmmmmm> Anyhow, where were we. Oh, yeah…you know the drill: Vaughan, Chiang, Wilson, paper girls from the ’80s trapped in the past after traveling back from the future, monsters, weirdos, and all sorts of madness. To tell the truth, I still don’t really know what’s going on, and you know what? I don’t really care. I’m just having a heck of a time enjoying the ride. Back in the first issue, I became attached to Erin, KJ, Mac, and Tiffany, and twelve issues in I adore them all the more. You need to read this comic if you: a) love Vaughan’s writing, b) love Chiang’s gorgeous art, c) love Wilson’s stunning analogous color schemes, d) love well-crafted and beautifully told stories, or e) all of the above. I’m sure by now you know what I choose. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Stuff of Legend, Volume V: A Call to Arms #1

Written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith, illustrated by Charles Paul Wilson III, designed and colored by Jon Conkling and Michael DeVito, published by Th3rd World Studios. Okay, I first need to let the Boogeyman out of the closet by saying that it’s been almost four years since we last saw an issue of this Donist World Darling, and I will say that The Stuff of Legend has been sorely missed. I also have to say I don’t remember much of anything that went down in the last arc, either. Now, with that out of the way, I’m happy to tell ya I still love this dang comic. The Stuff of Legend, for those of you new to the series, is a tale set in the ’40s, where the actual Boogeyman emerges from the closet to abduct a young boy. The toys left behind come to life and venture forth into the realm known as The Dark to save their boy from the clutches of the fiend. This is not a cutesy book, Denizens. It is a dire tale with real stakes. Characters die, and horrible things happen to them, but as harsh and as shocking as things can be, I can never look away from this beautifully-illustrated, highly-imaginative treasure of a comic. In case I’m not being clear, this is not a book to be read to the wee little ones at beddy-bye time…unless you actually want to scare the bejesus out of them. You also don’t want to start with this issue if you are new to the series. Instead, pick up the first two hardcovers, or go for the first four trades and start from the glorious beginning. Although I still don’t remember the entire cast of characters, and I definitely liked the thicker stock of paper used on previous issues (I know, it’s more costly), I am thrilled to see The Stuff of Legend coming out once again, and more than anything, I want to reread from the beginning to become reacquainted with one of my favorite comic series of the past ten years. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Royal City #1

Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, lettered by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Amy the intern, my wife, contacted me on New Comic Book Wednesday saying that she was downtown and wanted to know if I wanted her to pick up my comics for me. Love, Denizens, love. Then she sent me a text asking if I wanted something called Royal City, which was not on my pull. I said, “No,” thinking it was something else, but thankfully she texted to tell me it was by Jeff Lemire; my “no” changed to a definitive “yes.” Dang, I’m so glad she clarified. Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender is my favorite comic on the stands, and I have been a fan of much of Lemire’s great body of work for some time now: Essex County, The Underwater Welder, Sweet Tooth, and many other great comics. Royal City, with but one double-sized issue, already looks to join those treasured books. Now, to be fair, I can’t really say much about the book as that will spoil one of the main components of the story. What I can say is that if you are looking solely for sci-fi, fantasy, horror, superheroes, or magic, then you aren’t going to find any of that here. This story is more of a family drama / slice-of-life tale of a family with a troubled past that resurfaces after a tragic event. Sorry, but that’s all I can give you on the details. If you need a little more clarity, then if you watched the Netflix series Bloodlines, then that is a close representation of Royal City’s tone. You can expect situations to be uncomfortable, troubling, and I’m willing to bet at some point in the next few issues we might be fighting back some tears…and losing that battle. Lemire is a master of emotional storytelling whether his characters are in outer space, traipsing across a post-apocalyptic landscape, or, in Royal City’s case, firmly planted right here on planet Earth. This is a great introductory issue for a series that only looks to get better as more pieces in this troubled family’s past fall into place. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods


Jeff Sessions, The GOP, and Their Man #45 - At least Sessions recused himself from the #45 Russian ties probe, but that’s not enough. This lying, backward-thinking racist needs to be removed from his position, every bit as much as everyone compromised by Russian influence, including ol’ #45.


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Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 2/24/2017

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 / Titan workout enthusiast Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Dang, Denizens, it is sooooo much easier to write this blog on the trusty ol’ MacBook Pro versus the iPad Pro with its groovy keyboard. I’m sure there’s an app to handle such things, but Amy the intern (my wife) and I were up in Avila Beach celebrating 20 years together, and I just didn’t want to take the time to look too deep into the matter. We brought Tulip with us, and Reverse Obie was kind enough to hold down the fort at the corporate office (Mom’s basement) where he kept an eye out for signs of flooding and worked to maintain our status as a Fortune 320,000 company. It was nice to get away, but it’s also good to be back. So stay dry while preparing for the next rain storm, stay positive, have a beer or a strong ginger ale, RESIST, 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 #19

Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. It’s always cause for celebration when a new issue of the Donist World Darling Descender shows up in the ol’ comic pull. I usually pour a beer — I had a Ballast Point Red Velvet, an interesting beer for sure — and it’s always the first book I read. I have a lot of expectations going into each issue, but as is to be expected, I was not at all disappointed. You have prophetic visions, imposter stowaways, guilt-ridden robots, angry humans, angry aliens, and a continuance of the heavenly story that has had me captivated since the first issue. The narrative alone is reason enough to read what is my favorite comic hitting the stands, but the gorgeous watercolored art by Nguyen makes this series a must read. My only minor complaint is that I wanted to see more of Nguyen’s lush backgrounds, but since the majority of the issue focuses on the more dramatic side of things, I am fine trading stunning backgrounds for the more intense emotional interactions and strong character acting. You need to be reading this tremendous sci-fi series. The rich, complex story and characters Lemire and Nguyen have beautifully crafted remind me of the style and tone of the best sci-fi works — both comics and film — of the ’80s, which is very high praise. You can quickly catch up with the three available trades and see for yourself why Descender has been the number one Donist World comic for two years in a row. So dang good. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Future Quest #10

Written by Jeff Parker, illustrated by Ron Randall, colored by Veronica Gandini, lettered by ALW’s Dave Lanphear, published by DC Comics. Midway through this 12-issue storyline, I had a minor running complaint that too many characters were being added, each requiring already limited space to allow an introduction and backstory for those not already familiar with them. I honestly worried that juggling this many characters would muddy the story that I had fallen in love with after the first couple of issues. There’s nothing to worry about; Parker has this story completely under control. Now that we know all of the great characters and creatures running around, things have been moving fast. Everyone has a place in this thrilling adventure comic, and everyone looks to get their moment to shine. Mightor’s role in the battle with the horrific Omnikron is shocking, and the secret of his club even more so, but I can’t wait to see Space Ghost finally whup some ugly monster butt once and for all. Oh yeah, it’d also be nice to see Bandit (the bulldog) get in on the action, too! I never thought I would ever say that most of my favorite comics coming from DC happen to be from the Hanna-Barbera line, and Future Quest is a solid reminder that comics can have stakes and be a fun-filled, roller-coaster ride; the last two issues can’t get here soon enough. If you missed out on the initial floppies, then never fear, the first trade of the first six issues is available now. Chic-a-chic-a-check it out! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Thanos #4

Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Mike Deodato, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics. Ahhhh…it’s just me, a book centered around one of my all-time favorite characters, and one of my favorite comic book creators; what more could I ask for? Not only that, but we’re four issues in, and no events in sight. Let’s hope it lasts. The crazy thing about this issue is that the title character, Thanos the Mad God, only shows up on the final splash page. Instead, this issue focuses on Thane (Thanos’s son) and The Champion, with brief appearances by Nebula and Starfox. The thing, Denizens, is that I know next to nothing about this Thane guy, but after reading this issue, for the son of Thanos, he sure is a wimp. It’s kind of staggering how easily this guy caves when under pressure or threat. If it wasn’t for the backing of the nearly-naked Hotness Death…sorry, I meant Mistress Death, Thane would still be eating rats in a jail cell. I guess I should do a little research on the kid seeing as how he’s a huge part of the storyline and all. Although the old adage, “Like father, like son,” doesn’t seem to apply quite yet, I still enjoyed this issue. Deodato’s artwork continues to be a dark and perfect match for a book about Thanos, and his style, especially when focused on Hotness Death…dang, I mean Mistress Death, reminds of art that could be found in Warren Magazine, which is a huge compliment. It was also nice to see the return of the halftone dots in this issue. Thanos will please Starlin fans like myself, and I’m excited to see what comes next…and to see more Hotness Death. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods


The GOP and Their Man #45 - Going to try to stay positive and not go into it, but all the hiding from their constituents, not listening to their constituents, and standing beside Comrade #45 is simply shameful.


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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 2/17/2017

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 / nevertheless persisting puppy Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Yes, Denizens, yes…keep your shirts on — unless you live in superheated Arizona or something — I realize I am a day late, but I have good reason. You see, it was Amy the intern and my 20th anniversary of being together this past Sunday, and in celebration we fled Santa Barbara for the calm tranquility of Avila Beach. Of course the massive storm followed us here, but it’s cool, we’ve been holed up in our groovy hotel room with episodes of The Magicians, The Americans, and Riverdale to keep us busy, as well as plenty of comics loaded onto to ol’ trusty iPad via Comixology — who’s currently having a nifty Warren Ellis sale going on right now, so get yourself some Authority and Planetary on the cheap! Anyhow, this week’s post is going to be somewhat abbreviated as Tulip has informed me I should spend time with my wife for a change as opposed to solidifying Donist World as a Fortune 320,000 company. I’ve been secretly communicating with Reverse Obie via text and FaceTime whenever I can, but Tulip is right: Amy, Tulip, and I left town to get away, relax, and celebrate two decades of being together. So, Reverse Obie’s holding down the fort, this post is going to be relatively short, and we’re going to chillax some more as the heavens rain down upon us. So, take time to appreciate those you love, stay warm, stay positive, have a beer or a strong ginger ale, RESIST, 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


Sex Criminals #16


Written by Matt Fraction, illustrated by Chip Zdarsky, edited by Thomas K, published by Image Comics. Dang, Denizens, it has been a loooooong time since we last saw an issue of this Donist World darling, and it was a loooooong time between issues before that, but despite beginning each new installment with a smidge of irritation at the lengthy delays, I’m usually smiling, or laughing, or feeling my heart break by the third page. I still love this dang funny book somethin’ fierce. Because of the length of time between issues and the fact that coworkers who don't necessarily read comics (but should!) might be reading this post and preparing to sic HR on me, I should probably explain what Sex Criminals actually is. Sex Criminals is a comic about John and Suze who separately discover they have the ability to stop time after they experience the…uh…little death. Growing up with this ability is cool at first, escapist in fact, but they each feel a sense of detachment and isolation until the day the meet each other and fall in love. The “criminal” side of things comes into play when the pair decide to use their time-stopping powers to steal money from the bank that is going to seize and tear down Suze’s beloved library, where she works. Her father also worked at the bank but was killed by a delusional employee at the start of the financial crisis. John hates the bank because he works there and his boss is a total douche. They succeed in stealing the money, but soon learn there are others with similar powers, a Sex Police if you will. Anyhow, the comic is so much more than that. It is a sex-positive, inclusive look at how awkward, bizarre, and wonderful sex can be. On top of all of that, it’s funny as heck, while being so charming, so utterly earnest that I fall in love with the characters every time I hang out with them in each new issue. Fraction’s writing and voice are phenomenal and Zdarsky’s illustrations gorgeous, especially when his colored work depicts “The Quiet,” the time-stopped world that is both ethereal and lovely. If you’re closed minded, then this is not the book for you (come to think of it, why are you even here?). If you are under 18 or immature, then this is not the book for you. If you are open to the fact that sex can be a positive and even humorous adventure, and you like great characters in laugh-out-loud funny situations, then you have to read what TIME Magazine called the number one comic of 2014. You can easily catch up via the first three trades. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Written by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Jon Davis-Hunt, colored by Ivan Plascencia, lettered by Simon Bowland, published by Image Comics. Okay, everyone should know by now that I absolutely love Ellis’s The Authority and Planetary with all my heart. Heck, Planetary is next up on my reread list for the seventh or eighth time. So, to have the creator of those much-revered series returning to that universe with drastic new twists to the characters, there was no way I could pass on this new series; I’m sooooo glad I read this. Now I wasn't a total Wildstorm fanatic, so there are going to be more than a couple characters who I don’t recognize, but even for those characters who I do recognize, like Angela Spica, they have been overhauled, tweaked, revamped into something with just as many differences as they have similarities. We only have one issue thus far and although I don’t completely understand what the heck is going on, I cannot wait to see what happens next month. The writing is compelling as heck, and the art is stunning. Even without my love for the series that came before, the mystery of what is happening and the promise of a different type of superhero book has me most intrigued. Now, if we happen to get The Engineer, Jenny Sparks (she's coming), Jack Hawksmoor, The Doctor, Swift, Apollo, and The Midnighter all in one book once again, I would be a very happy camper. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods




I Want to Keep Things Positive, But - The GOP has been very busy the past few weeks working with the person who won the electoral vote yet who bigly lost the popular vote. Too bad most of the members are avoiding or refusing to hear what their constituents have to say. Sad.

Trying to Compose This Post on an iPad Pro - I am writing this little blurb after the original post and on my actual computer. Now, I love my wife’s iPad Pro with the keyboard and Apple Pencil and all, but I have to say that composing this entry on the iPad Pro was a chore. A lot of formatting issues, many problems typing once I reached a certain page length. I was actually able to get something posted, but mostly after throwing in the towel by jumping into Google Docs, typing my post, copying and pasting it into Blogger, and going from there. Very messy, but doable as a last resort. If I ever do get an iPad Pro, I would have to do a minimal post, that I later brought into my main computer for fine tuning and image addition. Ugh. It should not have been this difficult.


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