Friday, March 24, 2017

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

Welcome back, Donist World Denizens! For those of you new to our site, I’m Donist, and I am joined by Donist World CFO the Reverse Obie* (my friends’ Boston terrier whose fur recently swapped colors) and by our marketing director / administrative assistant / party planner / K’un-Lun karate connoisseur Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Wow, I really needed last week’s time by the pool reading, having a beer or two, and going for swims while visiting Palm Springs. It was nice and although too brief, I was able to recharge my batteries a bit. Tulip and I were also able to catch most of the Netflix show Iron Fist and although there’s some negativity out there about the show, I will say that we have enjoyed it thus far and we only have two more episodes to go. Reverse Obie watched the whole thing in an impressive pizza and dog water bingefest that he is just now recovering from. Thankfully, he is keeping quiet about how it all wraps up and we anticipate holding a meeting to discuss the show this weekend. So, while we check out the next episode, stay positive, tattoo your chest with a winged serpent, have a tasty beer or a strong ginger ale, take care of yourself, remember the late and exceptional Bernie Wrightson, and while you’re at it check out some great comics. Thank you for reading!

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

***Possible Spoilers Below***

Friday Slice of Heaven

Descender #20

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

Future Quest #11

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

Slice into the Woods

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


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