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.


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