Friday, March 17, 2017

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

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / pool party princess Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). This is going to be a slightly different type of Donist World this week. You see, Tulip and I have joining Amy the intern (my wife) on a trip to lovely Palm Springs, where we have already been for the past couple of days of sun, freshly fried potato chips, and beer by the pool. I would like to say that we are there for a business conference on maintaining our status as a Fortune 320,000 company, but we are just tagalongs as Amy attends a tech conference. Reverse Obie is staying behind to power through the Netflix Original Iron Fist, which he intends to view in one sitting; I could not be more proud. So, while you read this abbreviated post, we should already be on our way back and I will hopefully be reading this week’s new comics come Saturday. Until then, stay positive, tattoo your chest with a winged serpent, have a tasty beer or a strong ginger ale, take care of yourself, and while you’re at it check out some great comics. Thank you for reading!

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

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Friday Slice of Heaven

Creepy Presents…Alex Toth HC

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

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

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

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

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

Slice into the Woods

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


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