Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 1/27/2017

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 / Women’s marcher Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Geez Louise, Denizens, I’m still recovering from the mild bronchitis I contracted over three weeks ago, and I’m trying to get used to these new progressive lenses for my glasses; so not fun. Anyhow, my puppy executive team and I are trying to remain positive in what has been a bleak week for our country, and we are focusing on maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company. Earlier this week we reorganized the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) as a way of taking some semblance of control, no matter how small, of our lives. We also joined a The Women’s March this past Saturday. It felt great knowing that with our Santa Barbara numbers added to the immense worldwide number of marchers, we totally stomped Trump’s pathetic inauguration attendance. Hey, we do what we can. So take a deep breath, get plenty of rest, stay warm, stay positive, make some hot tea, 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

Future Quest #9

Written by Jeff Parker, illustrated by Ron Randall, colored by Veronica Gandini, lettered by ALW Studios’s Dave Lamphear, published by DC Comics. Dang, Denizens! Now, this is what I have been talking about for the past couple of issues. You have action, adventure, and everyone — and by everyone, I mean everyone — has finally come together to face the menace of Onikron. Even some of the villains have decided that the threat to Earth is so dire that they need to help out our heroes (no spoiler here, it’s on the dang cover, by golly). There are some truly fantastic moments that had my heart racing with excitement, but my favorite involves a sequence with Space Ghost and Race that made me want to cheer out loud. I’m not sure where Evan “Doc” Shaner is this issue, but Randall is a fitting stand-in as he delivers some strong storytelling and provides a vibe that reminds me of the more dramatic moments from the Jonny Quest cartoon. Gandini’s colors are vibrant, lively, and round out the experience of this all-ages comic that has me once again excited to see what happens next. If you have not been reading Future Quest, then you’re in luck come late-February when the first trade drops. This is one exciting and fun series! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Saga #42

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples, lettered and designed by Fonografiks, coordinated by Eric Stephenson, published by Image Comics. You’ve been reading this Donist World Darling since the beginning, right? If you have, then you already know to expect the shizzle nizzle to go down on a regular basis, but just because you expect something crazy to happen, it doesn’t mean you are actually prepared once it does. I sure as heck wasn’t ready for the three heavy reveals that close out the seventh chapter of this sci-fi, fantasy, family drama, space opera of politics and emotion. On the brighter side of things, Staples’s already stunning art is a powerful showcase of her ability to pull you into the emotion of a scene with her unparalleled character acting; I dare you not to be moved by the ending sequence with Marko and Alana. I also loved seeing Petrichor pull through for her family-by-circumstance and she continues to be yet another badass character among many badass characters. Still, the things that go down this issue… <sigh> Anyhow, back to my original comment: if you have not been reading the wonderful comic Saga then you are totally missing out, but you can, and should, catch up immediately with the gorgeous hardcover (the second comes out in May), or the six available trades with a seventh coming out in April. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Thanos #3

Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Mike Deodato, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics. Yup, you know I got mad love for Thanos, and although my reaction when I first heard about this new series was one of Only Jim Starlin can do the Mad Titan justice, but when I saw Lemire was the writer…well, Denizens, I knew everything was gonna be okay. I was right. Thanos is slowly dying from an unknown ailment and he’s trying to find a cure to whatever it is that is destroying him from the inside out. The problem is that many people want to send him to an even earlier grave. Thus we have his run-in with the Shi’ar Imperial Guard. The first two issues were mostly setup and an introduction to the players in Lemire’s tale, but this issue, with the exception of a couple of character interviews, is all about the knock-down, drag-out fight; it’s pretty glorious. Deodato’s art is even better on issue three than on the two previous issues as the action flows beautifully and there are fewer shadows. That said, I do miss the groovy crosshatching and halftone dot effects that were so prevalent in the previous issues. Martin’s colors provide an otherworldly look to the series that fits just right for this cosmic series. I am really enjoying Thanos. Here’s hoping the excitement continues and it steers clear of any “events” for a good long while. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

President-Neglect Donald Trump - <sigh> I manage to be shocked and appalled on a daily basis (no exaggeration) by what this orange asshole is doing to ruin our country. Thankfully, his evil and wicked ways (and that of the GOPers attempting to kill people’s health insurance, decimate reproductive rights, and destroy Social Security) is succeeding in uniting people against these morally-bankrupt, traitorous villains. The many Women’s Marches — I participated in the one in Santa Barbara — were tremendous, and now scientists are set to march and there are plans to march on April 15 to make Trump finally reveal the tell-all of his tax returns. The fight against these monsters has just begun, and it is only going to grow.

Books in the Top 100 - It’s pretty damn telling as to where our country is at mentally and emotionally given that 1984 is the number one book on Here are a few of the other books in the Top 100.

1. 1984 by George Orwell (this is sold out, btw)
4. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance
9. It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
11. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
14. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
24. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
25. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
28. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
32. The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt
33. Animal Farm: A Fairy Story by George Orwell
40. 1984 by George Orwell (yup, on here again. An older edition)
43. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
83. Animal Farm: 1984 by George Orwell (two books in one!)
98. March (Trilogy Slipcase Set) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (I need to get this)


Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 1/20/2017

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 / stylist Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Geez Louise, Denizens, I’m still recovering from the mild bronchitis I contracted over two weeks ago. I even had to leave my puppy executive team alone at the Donist World corporate office (Mom’s basement) while I went to the Med Center where the nurse practitioner and the assistant (both of whom were sick) had me inhale medicine through a smoke machine before sending me off to pick up three other types of medicine. Thank goodness we have health insurance…at least for the time being before a bunch of wealthy a_holes attempt to take it away, but that’s another matter. Thankfully, I am on the mend, and I was at least finally able to get a dang haircut and a long overdue new pair of glasses which I am not yet used to and actually feel kind of messed up from after wearing them all day. <ugh> So, Donist is gonna go rest his eyes for a bit, while Tulip and Reverse Obie continue studying the mysterious, mystical art of bullet journaling in an effort to maintain our status as a Fortune 320,000 company. I just hope my puppy executive doesn’t go too deep down the bullet journal wormhole; it’s quite dark down there. So get plenty of rest, stay warm, make some hot tea, 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 #18

Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. You would think I’d be prepared for the ol’ Lemire gut punch by now. I mean, I’ve read Essex County, Sweet Tooth, and The Underwater Welder, as well as a host of his other books, yet Lemire consistently manages to clobber me with something unexpected. With this month’s offering, he gets me not just once, but twice. I won’t spoil, Denizens, other than to say that a minor character made a choice that made me gasp, “no,” and the major reveal shocked me so bad that I initially cried foul, but after replaying the events from the last issue in my head I now see what had happened. Fooled once again, and I am 100% cool with that. <ack!> Dang…I REALLY hope things turn out okay for one character, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Nguyen’s watercolored art is especially gorgeous this issue with plenty of textured reds gracing most of the panels, a grotesque design for the dreaded solar worm, and stunning character acting that successfully leaves you sympathizing with the vast array of characters; Nguyen’s art also looks pretty dang pretty. Descender is my favorite comic of both 2015 and 2016, and at this rate will be for 2017 as well. If you are looking for a kickace space opera with giant robots, bizarre aliens, interstellar politics, compelling characters, the mystery of an alien (robot) invasion, and beautiful art with a heartfelt story reminiscent of the best ’80s comics had to offer, then you need to get the first three trades immediately. I for one will be rereading the third arc and what we have so far of the fourth this weekend. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Cage #4

Written and illustrated by Genndy Tartakovsky, inked by Stephen DeStefano, colored by Scott Wills, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics. Face front, Denizens, the final issue of Cage is out, and I will once again say that I cannot believe Marvel published this comic. I do not mean this as a slap in the face to the creator, I actually mean this as very high praise. Cage is a superhero book: it has tons of cameos from other heroes, there’s a villain, and there’s a fight. But I promise you this awesome four-issue miniseries is not like any other superhero comic currently on the stand. Notice how I said “currently.” Tartakovsky’s take on the popular hero (thank you, Netflix!) calls back to the more ridiculous times of the Bronze Age and ’70s comics. In fact, the final issue is mostly a bunch of psychedelically-colored fight scenes with creepy and bizarre foes and plenty of exaggerated expressions. The story is essentially Luke Cage has to fight a bunch of weirdos before fighting their boss. That’s it, but the dialogue is a crackup, and the art is simply delightful. I love everything about this book, and because it is so unlike everything currently going on in the Marvel Universe, it is also my favorite comic released by them from the past year. Four issues are just enough to round out this immensely fun title, and with a vast amount of luck, we will hopefully see another Cage one-shot or maybe an Iron Fist miniseries from Tartakovsky (Please! Please! Please!) someday in the future. Time will tell. If you did not pick up this trippy-as-heck, beat-’em-up book, then you missed out on a great comic. So, best seek out the floppies and avoid the long, painful wait until the trade comes out in May. Sweet Christmas, Cage is a blast! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Kill or be Killed #5

Written Ed Brubaker, illustrated by Sean Phillips, colored by Elizabeth Breitweiser, editorial supervision by Eric Stephenson, published by Image Comics. Thank goodness I have great podcasts like My Favorite Murder to fill the time between Brubaker and Phillips comic books, otherwise, I don’t know what I’d do. I have to admit that although I enjoyed the first arc of Kill or be Killed, I wasn’t blown away by it. It’s good, very good, but I suppose I was still riding high on the creators’ phenomenal The Fade Out while memories of the foreboding-yet-brilliant Criminal continue to dance in my head. This kickoff for the second arc, however, warmed me up to Kill or be Killed where I now am rooting for Dylan, the young vigilante, even though he is an awful person. <spoilers ahead> But seeing who he targets and learning why he targets certain evildoers leaves me torn between cheering for Dylan and being appalled that he believes he has the right to take justice into his own hands. Then again, dog poisoners? Bernie Madoff-esque life killers? See? It’s wrong to be on Dylan’s side but… Anyhow, the reintroduction of Dylan’s ex is an awesome move and looks to make things interesting going forward. Phillips’s character acting and storytelling rule the scene, as always, and make this maybe-supernatural(?), crime story a must read. If you’re a fan of Brubaker and / or Phillips’s work, or a fan of crime comics / books in general, then you really must check out this series, which is easy to do as the first trade just came out this week. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods for 2016

President-Neglect Donald Trump - I’ve been railing about this loser and his cabinet of multi-millionaire deplorables for months now. Here’s hoping that protests, individuals with actual souls in positions of power, and mountains of new evidence get this mutated Cheeto impeached or imprisoned and that his cabinet gets scattered to the wind. 

Betsy DeVos - I’ve also been railing against this wicked imbecile for a while now. After watching much of her confirmation hearing, to say I am unimpressed is a bigly understatement. No experience whatsoever, the arrogance of entitlement and wealth, massive conflicts of interests, and ignorance of the basics of education all confirm that DeVos is not only vastly unqualified for the position, but also one of the worst things that can happen to our public education system. To be fair, none of Trump’s nominees are acceptable — they are all pretty much vile human beings — it’s just that this one really gets my goat. Something is wrong when I am more qualified to be Secretary of Education than the actual nominee, which is not saying much as a rock pulled from the grounds of my old elementary school happens to be better suited for the position than DeVos.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 1/13/2017

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 Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). We’re keeping the intro short this week as I was pretty much bedridden Saturday through Monday and recovery this week has been slow at best. Thankfully, with Tulip’s love and care I’ve been comfortable and not without a curated list of comic book reading. Reverse Obie, on the other hand has been running the ol’ Donist World empire and has been studying the mysterious, mystical art of bullet journaling in an effort to maintain our status as a Fortune 320,000 company. I just hope my puppy executive doesn’t go too deep down the bullet journal wormhole, for fear he might never escape from its tenacious grasp. So get plenty or rest, make some hot tea, take care of yourself, and check out some great comics. Take care. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magics mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Friday Slice of Heaven

Southern Bastards #16

Written by Jason Aaron, art and color by Jason Latour, lettered by Jared K. Fletcher, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Okay, I have to admit that I feel a bit of guilt about not putting Southern Bastards on Part 1 of the 2016 Year-End Roundup, as this is fantastic comic book series. But…only three issues came out in 2016, and I’m quite sure I know why: the Jasons each have multiple comics they are working on, there’s the no-small-matter FX television series in the works, as well as comic conventions to attend. I get it. I guess I’m just bummed about the delays. You see…I positively love this series. At its core, it’s a football-based crime comic, which blows my mind that I love it so dang much. As I practically say with each release, I have a healthy dislike of sports in general, and the only upside to football I can see is attending a party loaded with beer and heaping bowls of “diablo” chili. That’s it. Football bores me to tears. Sorry sports fans, I’m just being honest. But this book, Denizens, I don’t think I’ve ever been so affected by a comic book in my life. The first arc left me so upset I wanted to shred issue four as an act to spite the antagonist, and to try to get even with his evil ass. The second arc calmed me down and made understand Coach Boss; I actually felt bad for the son of a bitch for a moment, but the feeling didn’t last. The third arc introduced those who Coach Boss wronged, and I was seething once again, ready to see this guy go down. And then Roberta Tubb finally arrived and I wanted to jump up and down and cheer and curse. Now this issue comes along and I want to sign up for the Coach Boss Beatdown Club. I’m pissed at this character. Seriously. I suspect we might be waiting for a while to see Boss get what’s coming to him and I am more than okay with that. Criminy, Denizens, the Jasons done made me care about football, which is something I NEVER thought could happen. Southern Bastards is damn-fine storytelling, with damn-fine art and colors, and is for everyone who wants to get legitimately enraged at a villain, while becoming immersed in the seedy ongoings of one Craw County. You can catch up with the hardcover (which covers the first two arcs), or pick up the three available trades. Dang, I need to update the Year-End Roundup to include this phenomenal comic after all. Damn, this is a great comic. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Wonder Woman #14

Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Nicola Scott, colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr., lettered by Jodi Wynne, published by DC Comics. Thus ends the “Year One” storyline. As much as I have been enjoying the present day adventures of Wonder Woman (the odd-numbered issues), I have been loving the look into her past (the even-numbered issues) even more. I simply adored seeing her try to learn our ways through her introduction to malls, snacks, margaritas, and crowds, as well as her time falling in love with Steve Trevor. Rucka and Scott made Diana so utterly charming that I wanted to both shield her from our world while simultaneously wanting to introduce her to its treasures (frozen yogurt, cookies, beer, Boston terriers, etc.). To be honest, I would have loved twelve more issues of seeing Diana and Steve’s budding relationship, of her testing her powers, and of her experiencing the good and bad of the outside world, but the battles and the fighting had to come eventually and thus concludes “Year One.” This is not to say that watching Wonder Woman and Ares duke it out wasn’t cool, it’s just I adored what the creators had been doing with the character, and wished for it to continue a little longer; I’m okay with not seeing a punch thrown in a superhero book, just so long as the story is compelling. I’m not sure if Scott’s tenure on the series is over or not, but I will say that she brought a certain magic to the series that will be difficult to match going forward. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

All Star Batman #6

Written Scott Snyder, illustrated by Jock and Francesco Francavilla, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Steve Wands, published by DC Comics. You all know I have a special place in my heart — and in my collection — for Snyder, Jock, and Francavilla’s “The Black Mirror” storyline from Detective Comics back in 2010. The trio manage to capture the dark, creepy tone of their past work even though the artists cover separate storylines in this book as opposed to intermixing their work as they did before. I have to admit that each of the stories in this issue left me a tad confused as to what was going on, but I pushed through and enjoyed what I read mostly because of the art. I also have to say that Hollingsworth’s halftone-dot patterns on the Mr. Freeze story are awesome as are the reds in Freeze’s goggles on his ghouls’ eyes. <brrrrrrr> So creepy. All Star Batman is a dark, fun Batman series with stunning art from a variety of DC’s best artists. RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods for 2016

Since I did a Year-End Roundup (see Parts 1 and 2 here and and) for the things I loved from 2016, I guess it’s only fair I did the same for some of the things I hated.

Too Many of My Heroes Died in 2016

Far too many of my heroes died in 2016. Here are some of the amazing and talented people who touched my soul:

  • David Bowie (Singer, Musician, Actor) - died January 10
  • Alan Rickman (Actor) - died January 14
  • Harper Lee (Writer) - died February 19
  • Merle Haggard (Singer, Musician) - died April 6
  • Prince (Singer, Musician, Actor) - died April 21
  • Darwyn Cooke (Comic Book Writer and Artist) - died May 14
  • Muhammad Ali (Boxer) - died June 3
  • Gene Wilder (Actor, Writer, Director) - died August 29
  • Steve Dillon (Comic Book Artist) - died October 22
  • Leonard Cohen (Singer, Poet) - died November 7
  • Sharon Jones (Singer) - died November 18
  • George Michael (Singer) - died December 25
  • Carrie Fisher (Actoress, Writer) - died December 27

Everything Involving Donald Trump

Not only did this orange piece of shit win the electoral vote while losing the popular vote by 3 million votes, he is installing a base of corrupt, bigoted, inexperienced, destructive, and truly evil a_holes to his cabinet. 

No experience in teaching or in public education whatsoever? Are you are a champion of vouchers and want to divert public funds to religious (and by religious I mean Christian) schools? Are you the wife of an heir to the criminal Amway empire? Sure thing, Betsy DeVos, secretary of education for you.

Do you make a crapload of money for falsely stating that global warming is a myth? Did you sue the EPA? Heck, Scott Pruitt, why don’t you run the EPA!

You know what, let’s make a climate denying racist like Jeff Sessions attorney general.

And while we’re at it, let’s make Russian super-buddy-ol’-pal Rex Tillerson, a billionaire CEO from Exxon, the secretary of state. No conflicts of interests there.

Secretary of emergy…enirgi…how is that spelled? Oh, yeah, energy. Rick Perry can be secretary of energy…just don’t make him spell it.

Not to mention a deluge of tweet rants, flat out lies, and allegations of dealings with Russia, the worthless (this is quite possibly a literal use of the term as he refuses to release his tax records) President-elect Donald Trump continues to damage America, and the fool has not even taken office yet. If there is a higher power, this pussy grabber will not only be impeached in the very near future, he will end up behind bars for all the fraud, failure to honor contracts, sexual assaults, and possible treason this evildoer has been committing for years. 


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Donist World 2016 Year-End Roundup - Part 2!

(Sung to the tune of Enigma’s “Sadeness”)

Chanting (Ummm…yeah, uh…a bunch of Latin sounding stuff that I don’t understand.)

Hey there, denizens, and Happy New Year! I am joined as ever by CFO Reverse Obie (my friends’ Boston terrier, whose surly attitude changed for the better after his fur colors swapped when a corrupt businessman’s curse backfired) and by marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / cartographer of life Tulip (my dog, Obie’s sister). Last week’s post took a while to put together, but I luckily got the jump on this one by chipping away at it throughout the week. So, please have a look at my top 25 heavenly things of 2016, while the Reverse Obie, Tulip, and I take our past-due “long winter’s nap” before we begin to map the course of our lives for the coming year.

Friday Slice of Heaven For 2016 - Part 2!

***Probably NOT Spoilers Below***

If you have a moment, check out our past FSoH/SitW Year-End Roundups for 2016 (Part 1)2015 (Part 1), 2015 (Part 2)2014 (Part 1)2014 (Part 2)20132012, and 2011 to see all things heavenly from the past. Now, keep in mind that some of the items listed below came out before 2016, but 2016 was the year that we read, watched, drank, or ate them, thus their inclusion here. We at Donist World, thank you for reading and hope you enjoy these things as much as we do.

Donist World 25 Heavenly Things (In No Particular Order)