Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice into the Woods 5/26/2017

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 / bathday-Bostie Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). It’s been another one of those weeks, Denizens. You know, like when you get home, the sun’s still up, and you think, dang, I could totally go to sleep right now. Only we didn’t do that. Instead, Tulip and Reverse Obie decided to treat me to a spa day. The thing is, a spa day to my puppy executive team is pouring me an IPA, turning on some Mitch Murder, and drawing me a bath at home; it’s the thought that counts. Anyhow, they took off running shortly afterwards in case I decided to treat them to baths, but that’s fine, it gave me plenty of time to reflect on this week’s books while amidst the gingerbread scented bubbles. So, while I drape this hot, damp cloth over my weary eyes and let Calgon take me away, grab a tasty beer or a hot green tea, relax, 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

Seven to Eternity #6

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Jerome Opeña, colored by Matt Hollingsworth, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Every time a new issue of this spectacular series is released, my heart races in anticipation of discovering what new torment awaits the seven on their quest to end the reign of the "God of Whispers” once and for all; at six issues in I have yet to be disappointed. Seven to Eternity is high fantasy at its finest with an impressive cast of characters, races, beasts, and rules of magic that slowly become more apparent as the series progresses.

Remender and Opeña have quickly introduced us to the few surviving members of the Mosak Knights long enough to enchant us with their strange abilities and their amazing designs while giving only enough insight into their backgrounds and motivations to keep us desperate to know more. But don’t get too attached to any of these characters as some have already perished in their fight to destroy the Mud King. At this point, I wouldn’t even count Adam Osidis, the dying protagonist of the series, to make it all the way through to the end, and I find myself nervous for everyone’s survival with each turn of the page. In fact, I wish we had a series of one-shots for each character in this book. I want to know how Spiritbox served and betrayed the Mud King and how he is able to call forth beast-like swords, or what the deal is with the blue-glow eel arrows that Katie Osidis shoots from her bow, or what exactly the floating woman in white reveals to the swamp spirits when they knock her helmet from her head. I guess what I’m trying to say is this world is so rich, so fascinating that the main series leaves me wanting to know everything about everyone.

Opeña’s art is gorgeous. I mean it is staggeringly gorgeous. Everything from the storytelling, to the character acting, to the killer designs, and intricate backgrounds. The pencils and inks alone are enough to dazzle anyone who lays eyes on his pages, but when combined with Hollingsworth’s vibrant colors, the imagery takes on an otherworldly nature, specifically when magic is at work.

Yeah, Denizens, I’m already setting aside some space on my favorite bookshelf for the oversized hardcover that probably won’t release until late 2018, but Seven to Eternity is so good that I am already anticipating its release. The next two issues will feature guest artist James Harren (Rumble) — a worthy stand-in — and will focus on the red-skinned fairy Jevalia. I can’t wait. If you aren’t reading Seven to Eternity, then you need to immediately right this grievous error by picking up the first trade today.

Deadly Class #28

Written by Rick Remender, illustrated by Wes Craig, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Sebastian Girner, published by Image Comics. Okay, Denizens, full confession time: at some point in the middle of the first 22 issues of yet another phenomenal series from Remender, I was considering switching to trades. I know, I know, what the shizzle was I thinking? But somewhere just before the “Final Exam” third arc, things started moving and they started moving quickly; the pacing has rarely slowed since then.

It’s difficult to talk about this issue without spoiling a bunch of gnarly things that happened prior to issue 21, so I’ll just give the basics: one character’s about to break a promise in order to save Saya, the new batch of freshmen try to explain what happened to Saya to Headmaster Lin (as scary an old bastard if there ever was one), Shabnam tries to show he’s in control, and Saya learns just how depraved her brother really is. Like always, Craig’s art is on another level from most books, and Boyd’s mostly flat colors — especially on the first five beach scene pages — are breathtaking.

I’m 100% in, Denizens. I have been for a while now, and I encourage you to be as well. If it’s a creator-owned book and Remender’s writing it, you can be sure that no matter what the book is you need to be reading it. You can catch up on this great story about a high school for assassins set in the ’80s with the deluxe hardcover or the five available trades. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

The Dying & the Dead #4

Written by Jonathan Hickman, illustrated by Ryan Bodenheim, colored by Michael Garland, lettered by Rus Wooton, published by Image Comics. Okay, now you might remember that over the previous three issues the Colonel, a much older gentleman, was looking for a way to…ummm…extend the life of his ailing wife through the aid of…oh, geez, what were they called again? Anyhow, those totally white people are ageless and have been existing alongside humanity since…probably a long time. Then there’s the Colonel’s crew, who are also getting older, and they have to…ummm…retrieve a spear or something. At least I think that’s what they were doing. Oh, yeah…these Cobra-looking dudes (as in the G.I. Joe villains) stole the spear because a hot-looking clone told them to. Does any of that sound right? It’s kind of hard to remember as it has been a year and eight months since issue three came out.

The thing is that I remember positively loving those first three issues. I raved about them. They’re great. But I need to go back and reread them in order to remember what the heck happened and to be able to get back into the story. Thankfully for those not caught up with this stellar-yet-dreadfully-late series, Hickman and Bodenheim released the first three issues in a $9.99 direct-market-only trade alongside this issue. Now, if I had reread what came before, then this issue would have probably resonated more as there are no reminders as to who the main players are or what is going on. I will say that my fondness for what I read back in the day combined with Bodenheim and Garland’s beautiful art helped carry me through this mostly conversational issue, that still left me eager to see what is to come. I suspect the next issue won’t see as long of a delay, and I also suspect that if you like well-told adventure stories that you will like this one too.

Slice into the Woods

The  #45 - What a buffoon. #45 pushed the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of his way to be front and center for a NATO photo opp. He probably insisted on more scoops of ice cream than every one else, too. Criminy, the world is laughing at us.

Betsy DeVos - She is an embarassment and a monumental fool. She is the female version of Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, who should take a couple of those school vouchers she loves so much and look toward educating herself.


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