Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 4/21/2017

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 / New Order fan Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Amy the Intern (my wife) surprised me with some tickets to see New Order at the County Bowl this week. Now, I wasn’t overly excited to see them given the fact that I saw them perform at the same venue almost thirty years ago for their Technique album (I talk about that show in this really old post). Where the old show left me less than thrilled, THIS show was spectacular. They played an even amount of old and new material (“Plastic,” “Ceremony,” and “Temptation” being my favorites), and the visual effects on the five monitors and the stunning light show made the concert both an aural and visual experience not to be forgotten; some things DO get better with age. Anyhow, Reverse Obie and Tulip are calling for me to play “Weirdo” or “Regret” or some other classic tune, and you know how they get. So, listen to some great New Order songs (both old and new), stay positive, do some stretches to limber up in anticipation of The Guardians of the Galaxy 2, 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

Descender #21

Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Thus ends the fourth arc of my favorite comic book series currently hitting the ol’ spinner rack, and as is to be expected from these amazing creators, we are left with not one dire cliffhanger but two. I ain’t gonna spoil ’em. What I will tell you, is that I was riveted from beginning to end, especially given that the previous issue left us with TIM-22 revealing himself to be an imposter to Telsa and Dr. Quon. We also picked back up with TIM-21 held captive by The Hardwire, and then Andy, Blugger, Bandit, and Effie (aka Queen Machine) on their search for TIM-21. Three separate groups of characters — Driller is a fourth, but he does not appear in this issue — all spiraling toward one another; it’s nerve-wracking in the best of ways. As I often say with Lemire’s work, he draws you in quickly and before you know it you’ve grown to love his characters. You share their losses, you celebrate their wins, and you worry for their safety. This feeling is compounded by Nguyen’s gorgeous watercolored art. I muttered, “Oh…” on the panel where Andy, a robot scrapper, looks at his old robodog, Bandit, and says, "I remember when I used to understand you.” The look on his face, one of nostalgia, one of regret, is so emotional my ol’ Donist heart cracked…the next page was even more heavy, more honest, devastating. <sniffle> Ugh, excuse me a moment. I think I got a little somethin’ in my eye… You need to be reading Descender, Denizens. It is an epic, sci-fi, space opera that leaves me desperate to see what’ll happen next in the “Rise of the Robots” storyline come June. You MUST catch up with the three available trades — the fourth is released in June — so you can get drawn into this amazing Donist World Darling of a series. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Black Science #29

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Matteo Scalera, colored by Moreno Dinisio, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Although there was a two and a half month delay between issues, we are immediately thrust back into the thick of things with this iisue, and in true Black Science fashion, we are lead on a whirlwind, rollercoaster, sci-fi, adventure that’s sure to get your heart racing. We join back up with Grant McKay, who has to escape from an insane asylum to evade a race of sentient, parasitic gas who want to conquer Earth and have McKay create more dimension-hopping pillars. Remender sets up some disturbing horror-tinged scenes, and Scalera shows why he’s a storytelling mastermind as McKay flees through the asylum and later gets into a thrilling car chase. Between reading the words on the page and following the invisible paths of the action you have little choice but to whip through this issue; I went back through a second time to better appreciate Scalera’s art and to enjoy Dinisio’s exciting colors. Remender has a bunch of fantastic creator-owned books currently being published, and Black Science continues to be as great a read as ever. If you aren’t reading this fine series in floppies, then you can catch up with the five available trades (the sixth drops in July), or the oversized hardcover…you’ll be glad you did. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Low #17

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Greg Tocchini, colored by Dave McCaig, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. New issues of the heavenly Low might come out at a slower pace than Remender’s other books, but I am always excited to have a new issue in my grubby mitts. For those of you not reading this lovely — both in writing and in art — series, it is a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, underwater, adventure comic set in a world that is dying. This month, we see that Tajo is very much alive after she was left to drown by her twin sister, Della. Her rescuer is a friend of Tajo’s mother, and they are joined by the intriguing new character, Io, a form of artificial intelligence. To be honest, little happens this issue, but even though there’s no battles or thrilling chases, the interactions between the characters are great, and I love seeing Tocchini’s design of the merwoman Mertalli and of the bizarre tech of this world; McCaig’s colors really draw the eye, especially the warm tones on Mertalli against the cool backgrounds. At a time when everyone needs more hope in their lives, Low, whose characters struggle to maintain hope despite the most horrendous of situations, is a book that can give you a spark of light to combat the dark. Three trades are available. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Royal City #2

Everythinged by Jeff Lemire, lettered by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics. Each member of the Pike family has their fair share of problems; Pat’s marriage and writing career are in shambles, and Richie owes the wrong people a lot of money. Their father suffered a stroke and is in a coma, and their mother is as judgemental and disappointed with life as ever. Then there’s the third brother, Tommy…you see, Tommy died. Royal City is closer to The Underwater Welder and Essex County than it is to, say, Sweet Tooth. This story is a look at a damaged family, one, I suspect, many people can relate to in some fashion. It’s a look into where the Pike family are and how their memories of Tommy help them make it through the day. We don’t yet know what happened to Tommy, and with this type of story, we might never know the circumstances of his passing. What’s important is the effect Tommy’s death has had on this family for whom we get tiny snippets into how things have gone wrong, and it is up to the reader to fill in the gaps. Lemire’s art might strike those unfamiliar with his work as…different, but once exposed to the pure emotion of his line and the mood set by his haunting watercolors, you will be hooked. Royal City is not the comic to read if you are looking to smile, or if you are in need of a laugh. But if you want to share the experience of another’s damaged family in a beautifully written and illustrated book, then this slice of life comic is something you need to read as soon as possible. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Slice into the Woods

I Know These Things Can’t Be Rushed, But… - I need to repeat this from last week…#45 and all of the halfwit monsters in his administration need to be removed from office for treason — and in many cases for being unqualified idiots…I’m looking at you, DeVos and Pruitt — as soon as possible, before any more missile strikes or bombs are dropped and jeopardize our lives further. This is madness.


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