Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 6/16/2017

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 / bacon breakfast burrito believer Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). The Donist World fuel gauge is running pretty close to empty this week, Denizens, but never fear, we still have a little somethin’ somethin’ for you to check out below. Of course, it has been a crazy week and I got home much too late from a work event but the lights of the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) are always on. That is unless the landlord (Mom) tells us to knock it off and go to bed, which she just did. Okay, fair enough. We can’t hope to maintain our status as a Fortune 320,000 company if my puppy executive team and I can’t keep our eyes open long enough to read a darn comic. Amirite? So, while Reverse Obie pulls down the blanket and Tulip takes the good pillow, pour yourself a cup of “Sleepytime Tea” and check out some great comic books before you crash out. 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***

Keeping Up with the Trades


I read a lot of comic books, Denizens, and not just the Wednesday new releases. Actually, I have tons of older comics, trades, rereads, and digital comics I read every week. Unfortunately, I sometimes forget to mention some of these awesome titles, but no longer. In “Keeping Up with the Trades,” I will pick a selection of heavenly titles I recently read, love, and that you all need to know about. I hope you enjoy them.

Wolverine: Old Man Logan Volumes 1–4

Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, published by Marvel Comics. A month and a half ago, coming hot off the wonderful yet brutal film Logan, I mentioned I wanted to reread Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s equally brutal yet enjoyable as heck Wolverine: Old Man Logan storyline (see this post about post-apocalyptic and dystopian comics). I reread it over two days shortly thereafter and it reminded me that I never mentioned having read Lemire and Sorrentino’s continuing take on the character. Thankfully, I’m finally fixing that oversight. However, thanks to Marvel’s recent bout of renumbering madness, navigating the world of Old Man Logan can be a bit tricky.

First of all, you have the Millar and McNiven introduction of the character (mentioned above) that originally appeared in Wolverine #66–72 and Wolverine: Giant Size Old Man Logan from way back in 2009. Then, years later, in the onslaught of 2015’s Secret Wars event, Brian Michael Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino released Wolverine: Old Man Logan #1–5 (collected here), which I have not yet read. Finally, my hero Jeff Lemire took over writing duties on the new 2016 series Wolverine: Old Man Logan #1–24. Wait. What?! See what I mean, Denizens? Kind of a mess if you’re new to the character or just saw Logan and want to dive into a comic. My recommendation is to start with the Millar/McNiven trade to get familiar with what happened in the future, but you should be fine diving into Lemire/Sorrentino’s run headfirst as Lemire catches you up quick with our favorite berserker mutant.

Now, keep in mind that I have read the first two trades and I started the third last night, which I’m actually quite eager to get back to reading. This series begins with a grizzled Logan from a tragic future, one where he saw everything that was good destroyed right in front of his eyes, awakening to our modern world. Everything is wrong: his friends are no longer dead, his enemies have not seized control of the world, and those who live are all much younger than they should be. Realizing he has traveled back in time, he sees an opportunity to make certain his world never comes to pass by eliminating key evil figures one by one. Unfortunately, maneuvering around the younger, living friends he loved so dearly complicates matters.

Wolverine: Old Man Logan gives me everything I want from a Lemire comic: strong characterization, emotional beats that hit at all the right moments, and an intricately plotted story that keeps me fully engrossed in this fascinating take on one of Marvel’s most popular characters. Sorrentino’s art captures the dour atmosphere that pervades Logan’s world view and the darkness that weighs upon his soul. If you are a fan of Sorrentino’s work on the tragically short-lived I, Vampire or on his and Lemire’s run on Green Arrow, then you definitely need to see his work here, as it is lovely indeed. Please excuse me, I have to run upstairs and continue with volume three before jumping immediately into volume four of this outstanding series.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Manifest Destiny Volumes 1–4

Written by Chris Dingess, illustrated by Matthew Roberts, colored by Owen Gieni, published by Skybound, an Image Comics imprint. Oh, how I love this series, Denizens. I originally talked about volume one (here) and volume 2 (here), but I only mentioned volumes three and four briefly on the 2016 Year-End Roundup; that’s not good enough for this dang fine series. So, no time like the present than to restate my deep love for the amazing horror comic that is Manifest Destiny, especially seeing how trade number five is nearly upon us come August of this year.

Manifest Destiny is a historical reimagining of Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the untamed American Frontier. Much is the same, including the team of enlisted men, convicts, and other unsavory miscreants, it is the secret mission that holds the twist. Unbeknownst to Lewis and Clark’s crew, the real reason they are exploring the uncharted wild is to catalog any monstrous flora and fauna— physically and through Lewis’s journaling — and where possible, eliminate any and all threats that get in their way. There’s also the ever-present threat of angry natives and mutiny among the crew, but they thankfully have the aid of the fierce Sacagawea, who is a total murder machine and who also happens to be pregnant. Their journey is a trying one at the best of times.

Each volume, thus far, focuses on a specific region that just so happens to be inhabited by a towering arch that is somehow linked to the various horrors plaguing all forms of humanity whether they be explorer or native. Thus, each volume contains a few types of monsters that Dingess and Roberts use to terrify their readers with, and trust me, these monsters are as unnerving as they are imaginative –ugh, that flying one with the head thing…I still get the willies thinking about it. The great thing about this exquisitely paced and intricately illustrated adventure/horror tale is that the “good guys” really aren’t all that good. I was fine seeing a few of Lewis and Clark’s crew meet their horrific ends, but I was also deeply disturbed by certain actions taken by the explorers in volume three; I suspect you will find some of the grim undertakings to be extremely troubling. But as unsettling as things might get, you will most certainly be back for more.

Manifest Destiny is one heck of a compelling series. Roberts’s art is flawless in both storytelling and character design, while Dingess’s dialogue and pacing make this revisionist history tale of monsters and mayhem a thrill ride you will never want to end. The arrival of volume five in August cannot come soon enough.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Slice into the Woods

The Traitor Jeff Sessions - Liar liar pants on fire. DANG. Satan’s very own Keebler elf of darkness put on quite a show of lies, contradictions, fabricated rules, and immensely selective memory this past Tuesday, but hopefully, his numerous counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and that pesky treasonous behavior not only ruins his career but ultimately lands his racist ass in prison. It’s about time the AG learned a little something about obeying the law.


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Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 6/9/2017

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 / dog gone Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Huh? Now, where are my puppy executive team members? I was just telling them about my trip to the dentist and mentioned that Tulip and Reverse Obie should probably get their teeth cleaned too, and the next thing I know I’m the only one in the corporate office (Mom’s basement). I guess the mere mention of the word “teeth cleaning” is enough to send them scrambling out the door and into the loving embrace of the taco truck. Oh well, looks like it’s just me working to maintain our status as a Fortune 320,000 company. So, while I roll up my sleeves, pour yourself a refreshing beer or ginger ale, order up a taco platter, and check out some great comic books. 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***

Keeping Up with the Trades


I read a lot of comic books, Denizens, and not just the Wednesday new releases. Actually, I have tons of older comics, trades, rereads, and digital comics I read every week. Unfortunately, I sometimes forget to mention some of these awesome titles, but no longer. In “Keeping Up with the Trades,” I will pick a selection of heavenly titles I recently read, love, and that you all need to know about. I hope you enjoy them.

Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka

Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by J.G. Jones and Drew Johnson, published by DC Comics. Yes indeed, Denizens. You know I saw the new Wonder Woman movie last weekend, right? Boy howdy, I saw the movie and I, of course, loved it. But we’re not here to discuss how Gal Gadot truly IS the princess of power, or that I kind of believe she could actually smack a fool with a tank. Nope. For now, we’re taking a look at Greg Rucka’s initial run on Wonder Woman in this hefty collection containing Wonder Woman: The Hikateia and Wonder Woman the series, issues 195–205. All are must-read material.

Originally published in 2002 as a standalone hardcover OGN, this trade quickly establishes Diana as a Themysciran ambassador to the United States who finds herself charged with protecting a young woman, Danielle, against all who might cause her harm. Diana’s aid is sealed by an ancient Greek ritual that will destroy her if she ever breaks her oath. Unfortunately, The Batman knows why Danielle is on the run, and he means to bring her to justice. Jones’s art and storytelling are lovely and the collision of myth and the real world and that of superheroes is expertly handled by Rucka. There are some action sequences, but this story mostly centers on the dramatic, which very much works in its favor.

The comic series itself pretty much picks up where Wonder Woman: The Hikateia leaves off, but be prepared to be introduced to a host of characters and villains, many of whom appeared at some point in the previous 195 issues. Never fear, though, Rucka will help you catch up just fine. A cybernetic angel woman? No problem. A murderous dwarf with ruthless psychic powers? You’ll catch on. Much like the first quarter of this collection, each story leans more toward the dramatic with occasional action sequences that will make you gasp. Even though there’s not much fighting — although a fierce warrior, Diana stands for peace and love — Rucka’s Wonder Woman is charming, bold, a pillar of nobility who inspires most of the people she meets. Dang, what I wouldn’t give to have her take me on my own personal flight (no innuendo, I’m being honest here, read the book and see, pervs).

If you like the latest series or the movie, or you love Wonder Woman and missed out on Rucka’s first run, then you must pick up this fantastic trade. The cool thing is if you go to Comixology before Monday, 6/12/2017, then you can get it digitally along with tons of other Wonder Woman goodness for only $5.99. As luck would have it, volume 2 of Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka releases mid-July, which I will definitely be picking up!

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Rumble Volume 3: Immortal Coil

Written by John Arcudi, illustrated James Harren, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered by Joe Sabino, book design by Vincent Kukua, published by Image Comics. Did you know this book was 100% made for me? That’s right, Denizens, the creators must have crept into my dreams as a child — or possibly as an adult, this book spans the ages — and delivered the heavenliness that is Rumble unto me. Hot diggity dog, this is what happens when an “immortal,” monster-slaying warrior-god, Rathraq, falters only to have his spirit cast into the frail form of a scarecrow. Throw in awesome flashbacks of the good old days, monsters posing as humans in today’s world, and a few humorous human characters in the know, and you have everything in the world a Donist could want. Dang, there’s even stuff I never knew I even wanted: a hydra playing fetch (in the first trade)…yes siree Bob.

Arcudi brings both hearty laughs and heartfelt sorrow to this installment. Rathraq is, of course, awesome whether looking at his warrior-god past or his scarecrow present, but the human sidekicks, something I usually do not like, make this series so very compelling. Bobby, Del, and Timah all have their parts to play in the knock-down-drag-out-slice-and-dice fest. Harren’s art is freaking phenomenal in every aspect regardless of if you are talking about character design, storytelling, fight choreography, character acting, or drama.

As I said, this book was made for me. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s touching. It’s tragic. But more than anything, it is a joy to read. With this trade, you get a gallery of covers, pin-ups by other artists, as well as some sketches by Harren (who will soon be taking over art duties on two issues of the must-read Seven to Eternity by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña) to round out this awesome monster-mash comic. This might be (not totally sure) the last collection of Rumble, but I know I will be returning to it often over the years.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins

Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated Dean Ormstom, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered by Todd Klein, published by Dark Horse Books. I know, I know. It’s been a while since I mentioned a Dark Horse comic, but this isn’t a slight against them, there’s just a lot of great comics out there. The best way to pull me in a desired direction, however, is to put out a comic by Jeff Lemire and he will Pied Piper my exquisitely-sculpted behind (I hope Gal Gadot is reading this) to his book, regardless of the publisher. My biggest regret with Black Hammer is not jumping on sooner.

Black Hammer is Lemire’s take on some Big Two characters…oops…I meant to say his take on a group of bizarre superheroes, who are pulled from their home of Spiral City and left trapped in a small town from which they cannot escape. Some members relish the idea of leaving superheroics behind and staying on the farm, but most want to escape by any means necessary. Why are Abraham Slam, Colonel Weird, Madame Dragonfly, Golden Gail, Barbalien, and Talky-Walky stranded in this small town, and who or what is keeping them there? Only time will tell, and I can tell you, Denizens, I will be there to see what happens next.

The first issue in this collection introduces us to the cast of characters and their plight. The remaining five issues continue to move the story forward, but each focuses on a particular member of the group, looking into their past, and helping us understand who they are. True to most all of Lemire’s work, it’s easy to become attached to each character, even those who at first rub us the wrong way, but succeed in gaining our sympathy as we begin to know them. If Lemire is not going to provide the art for a title, then an illustrator like Ormstom is the perfect person to bring an overall sense of mystery and an unsettling eeriness to this strange world, while occasionally bringing scant moments of hope when needed. Stewert’s colors push the mood of Ormstom’s art from the plain palette of the farm to the otherworldly hues of the more supernatural moments.

Black Hammer is a damn-fine book that is certain to please fans of Lemire’s Descender and Sweet Tooth, while also being one of the best non-Big-Two Big Two Elseworld books on the stand. You definitely need to be reading this awesome new series. I cannot wait to see where Lemire and Ormstom take us next.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Mega-Marvel Digital Sale at Amazon


Holy moly! Man, I went a tad crazy with Amazon's digital Marvel sale. It will probably be a while before I get to all of these as some are part of the issue-packed “Epic Collection” line, but I’m excited to dive in. In no particular order, here’s what I picked up:
See what I mean? A virtual ton of reading material; I can’t think of a better problem to have.


Slice into the Woods


For Once, Let’s Keep it Positive - Here’s hoping James Comey’s testimony sets in motion everything needed to rid us of the traitors.


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Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 6/2/2017

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 / Wonder Puppy Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Dagnabbit, here we go again. Both members of my puppy executive team are wandering around the corporate office (Mom’s basement) pretending to be Wonder Woman in anticipation of the movie releasing this week. They somehow even managed to make aluminum foil tiaras with matching bracelets. They’re also wearing red tops that I believe were cut from the legs of my comfiest sweatpants. It’s all rather impressive, but given the level of disappointment they’re about to suffer when I sneak out of the window to see the film, I’m willing to overlook the demise of my worn-out loungewear. Anyhow, I thought we would once again 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 beer or ginger ale, 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 2)


“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 but had missed for one reason or another. As I thought about them, I realized there were tons of series that snuck by me somehow, and I’m not even counting 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. As I prepare to stumble into the confessional booth, I want to hear about your regrets concerning comics you missed out on over the years, so please let me know about them 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. Together, we can find a way to set things right. (You can check out ”Part 1” here.)

Wonder Woman by George Perez

Written by Len Wein, illustrated by George Perez, published by DC Comics. With the Donist World corporate office bursting with anticipation of this week’s official release of the Wonder Woman movie, there’s no better title to start this week’s post than George Perez’s Wonder Woman . Now, as you might remember from my first installment of “The Ones that Got Away,” I had missed out on The New Teen Titans, which was also gorgeously illustrated by Perez, and I had remedied my error by picking up the first three collections through a digital sale — I’m now on volume 2, by the way, and loving it. I did the same dang thing again and picked up this little puppy with some slashed pricing through Comixology. I’m thrilled to finally check it out after all these years.

This run on Wonder Woman is written by Len Wein — who we all know co-created and wrote the first run of my beloved Swamp Thing series — and is one that nearly won my limited allowance funds on many occasions as a kid. This wasn’t only because the art is by Perez, who completely melted my eyeballs with his stunning art on both Crisis on Infinite Earths and The Infinity Gauntlet, but because Wonder Woman is simply badass.

Even before I was old enough to read, Wonder Woman was there every time Lynda Carter twirled into magnificence right before taking out some bad guys or stopping a major calamity. She was there for me on the Super Friends cartoon as a kid, and there on the Justice League cartoon as an adult, while frequently showing up in one comic book series or another. I have read fair chunks of Greg Rucka’s run and Brian Azarello’s run, but the series drawn by Perez is the one that has been sitting in the back of my mind for far too long. Now with this comic ready to go and the movie being released, I have a sneaking feeling I’ll be picking up Wonder Woman: War of the Gods, while it too is on sale. I cannot wait!


The New Mutants

Written by Chris Claremont and others, illustrated by Bob McLeod and others, published by Marvel Comics. Seeing this title on the spinner rack month after month was enough to drive this Donist a might crazy. Thankfully, I was usually able to console myself with copies of The Uncanny X-Men, but then again Charles Xavier’s premiere mutant team featuring Marvel’s rising star Wolverine was part of the problem. You see, my brother and I were positively bonkers for The X-Men, and having a second book loosely tied to their universe put this title firmly on our radar. That pesky allowance limitation, though…oh well. Still, we were able to somewhat get to know Sam, Bobby, Xi’an, Danielle, and Rayne as they made the occasional appearance throughout many comics of the Marvel Universe.

It wasn’t just the fact that this new team of mutants is closely tied to the X-Men, but seeing them on the cover of Marvel Graphic Novel #4 definitely caught my eye, especially Sunspot with his Kirby Krackle and the energy encased Cannonball as he launched into battle. I often flipped through the books wondering what enemies they would face and if some of those evildoers might be former X-Men foes. Oh, the torment of it all. Now, I finally get to see for myself who crosses their paths as I anticipate the arrival of Magma and Warlock.

I, of course, just picked up this collection in an amazing sale that I could not pass up and it is now in the queue for this summer’s reading. I do have to say, that as excited as I am to dive into this series, I am most looking forward to the next “Epic Collection” release as it will contain the “The Demon Bear” storyline and art by the amazing Bill Sienkiewicz. Still, getting to that point should be a heck of a lot of fun.


Strikeforce: Morituri

Written by Peter B. Gillis, illustrated by Brent Anderson, published by Marvel Comics. I remember seeing this one on the shelves at the LCS back in the day, but it never really caught my attention as it came out in 1986 and we all know there was another title from another publisher that was soaking up all of the attention back then, namely Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Sadly, I didn’t realize Strikeforce: Morituri was such a revered book in and of itself and that it was one I desperately needed to check out; perhaps if it had only come out a year sooner…

Anyhow, it wasn’t until about ten years ago that I started noticing more and more mentions of this series as something of great import. After some research, I learned the comic is about an alien invasion of Earth and the only hope of stopping the invaders is by giving humans amazing superpowers…unfortunately, those powers will kill its host within a year. Holy schmoley, what’s not to love about that horrific premise?

Yup, that’s all I know. Sold! And I’ve been sold on this comic for quite some time now. Thankfully, I askeed my Magic 8-Ball if I will be able to read the first volume of Strikeforce: Morituri in the near future, and it told me“It is decidedly so.” I can’t argue with that.


Slice into the Woods

#45 to Withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement - Because of course he would. This was completely expected, but nonetheless frustrating. Thankfully, it should be put back in place once that traitor is impeached and spending some quality alone time behind bars…where he belongs. Enjoy your two scoops of ice cream and your chocolate cake while you can, loser.


Grown Men Whining About Wonder Woman - Oh, yeah, before I go…I would also like to say, “Suck it, man-babies!” to all those “men” crying about the select women/girls-only advance screenings of Wonder Woman. What the heck don’t you get? It’s a movie about a female superhero who is meant to champion women and provide someone for women/girls to look up to. An extra week to wait is not a big deal. Comic books have sat predominantly in the older male realm for far too long, and when more people become interested in comic-related properties, that means more money, more attention, and a higher likelihood of seeing even more fantastic movies and comics in the future. We all win if Wonder Woman is truly as great as early reviews suggest, crying because you don’t get your way this one time is simply pathetic.


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Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 5/26/2017

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 / bathday-Bostie Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It’s been another one of those weeks, Denizens. You know, like when you get home, the sun’s still up, and you think, dang, I could totally go to sleep right now. Only we didn’t do that. Instead, Tulip and Reverse Obie decided to treat me to a spa day. The thing is, a spa day to my puppy executive team is pouring me an IPA, turning on some Mitch Murder, and drawing me a bath at home; it’s the thought that counts. Anyhow, they took off running shortly afterwards in case I decided to treat them to baths, but that’s fine, it gave me plenty of time to reflect on this week’s books while amidst the gingerbread scented bubbles. So, while I drape this hot, damp cloth over my weary eyes and let Calgon take me away, grab a tasty beer or a hot green tea, relax, 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


Seven to Eternity #6

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Jerome Opeña, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Every time a new issue of this spectacular series is released, my heart races in anticipation of discovering what new torment awaits the seven on their quest to end the reign of the "God of Whispers” once and for all; at six issues in I have yet to be disappointed. Seven to Eternity is high fantasy at its finest with an impressive cast of characters, races, beasts, and rules of magic that slowly become more apparent as the series progresses.

Remender and Opeña have quickly introduced us to the few surviving members of the Mosak Knights long enough to enchant us with their strange abilities and their amazing designs while giving only enough insight into their backgrounds and motivations to keep us desperate to know more. But don’t get too attached to any of these characters as some have already perished in their fight to destroy the Mud King. At this point, I wouldn’t even count Adam Osidis, the dying protagonist of the series, to make it all the way through to the end, and I find myself nervous for everyone’s survival with each turn of the page. In fact, I wish we had a series of one-shots for each character in this book. I want to know how Spiritbox served and betrayed the Mud King and how he is able to call forth beast-like swords, or what the deal is with the blue-glow eel arrows that Katie Osidis shoots from her bow, or what exactly the floating woman in white reveals to the swamp spirits when they knock her helmet from her head. I guess what I’m trying to say is this world is so rich, so fascinating that the main series leaves me wanting to know everything about everyone.

Opeña’s art is gorgeous. I mean it is staggeringly gorgeous. Everything from the storytelling, to the character acting, to the killer designs, and intricate backgrounds. The pencils and inks alone are enough to dazzle anyone who lays eyes on his pages, but when combined with Hollingsworth’s vibrant colors, the imagery takes on an otherworldly nature, specifically when magic is at work.

Yeah, Denizens, I’m already setting aside some space on my favorite bookshelf for the oversized hardcover that probably won’t release until late 2018, but Seven to Eternity is so good that I am already anticipating its release. The next two issues will feature guest artist James Harren (Rumble) — a worthy stand-in — and will focus on the red-skinned fairy Jevalia. I can’t wait. If you aren’t reading Seven to Eternity, then you need to immediately right this grievous error by picking up the first trade today.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


Deadly Class #28

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Wes Craig, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Okay, Denizens, full confession time: at some point in the middle of the first 22 issues of yet another phenomenal series from Remender, I was considering switching to trades. I know, I know, what the shizzle was I thinking? But somewhere just before the “Final Exam” third arc, things started moving and they started moving quickly; the pacing has rarely slowed since then.

It’s difficult to talk about this issue without spoiling a bunch of gnarly things that happened prior to issue 21, so I’ll just give the basics: one character’s about to break a promise in order to save Saya, the new batch of freshmen try to explain what happened to Saya to Headmaster Lin (as scary an old bastard if there ever was one), Shabnam tries to show he’s in control, and Saya learns just how depraved her brother really is. Like always, Craig’s art is on another level from most books, and Boyd’s mostly flat colors — especially on the first five beach scene pages — are breathtaking.

I’m 100% in, Denizens. I have been for a while now, and I encourage you to be as well. If it’s a creator-owned book and Remender’s writing it, you can be sure that no matter what the book is you need to be reading it. You can catch up on this great story about a high school for assassins set in the ’80s with the deluxe hardcover or the five available trades. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


The Dying & the Dead #4

Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Ryan Bodenheim, colored by Michael Garland, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics. Okay, now you might remember that over the previous three issues the Colonel, a much older gentleman, was looking for a way to…ummm…extend the life of his ailing wife through the aid of…oh, geez, what were they called again? Anyhow, those totally white people are ageless and have been existing alongside humanity since…probably a long time. Then there’s the Colonel’s crew, who are also getting older, and they have to…ummm…retrieve a spear or something. At least I think that’s what they were doing. Oh, yeah…these Cobra-looking dudes (as in the G.I. Joe villains) stole the spear because a hot-looking clone told them to. Does any of that sound right? It’s kind of hard to remember as it has been a year and eight months since issue three came out.

The thing is that I remember positively loving those first three issues. I raved about them. They’re great. But I need to go back and reread them in order to remember what the heck happened and to be able to get back into the story. Thankfully for those not caught up with this stellar-yet-dreadfully-late series, Hickman and Bodenheim released the first three issues in a $9.99 direct-market-only trade alongside this issue. Now, if I had reread what came before, then this issue would have probably resonated more as there are no reminders as to who the main players are or what is going on. I will say that my fondness for what I read back in the day combined with Bodenheim and Garland’s beautiful art helped carry me through this mostly conversational issue, that still left me eager to see what is to come. I suspect the next issue won’t see as long of a delay, and I also suspect that if you like well-told adventure stories that you will like this one too.
RECOMMENDED!


Slice into the Woods


The  #45 - What a buffoon. #45 pushed the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of his way to be front and center for a NATO photo opp. He probably insisted on more scoops of ice cream than every one else, too. Criminy, the world is laughing at us.

Betsy DeVos - She is an embarassment and a monumental fool. She is the female version of Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, who should take a couple of those school vouchers she loves so much and look toward educating herself.


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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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