Saturday, July 28, 2018

Comics Lust 7/28/2018

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/dinnertime destiny dog Tulip (my dog, Reverse Obie’s sister). Greetings, Denizens. Way out of time. Got a late start, so keeping this short. Anyhow, keep cool, be kind to each other, mind your health, keep your pets safe, cherish the ones you love, hydrate, and read some great comics. Thank you for reading!

*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks 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***

Comics Lust

Everythinged…The Writer-Artist: Adventure Comics (Part 1)

The act of creating a comic is no easy feat. You have writing, pencils, inks, letters, an editor, possibly a colorist and a someone to do flats (the base colors added to black and white art upon which the colorist begins rendering), and then someone to bring it all together in production; this doesn’t even count the amount of work it takes to actually go through the printing and publication process. It’s usually a huge collaborative effort that—with the exception of pencils and inks—I have personally taken part in. I have first-hand experience in the amount of work that goes into each issue, so when I practically bow down before the might of those who do the brunt, if not all, of the work, it’s because of my deep respect and admiration for those rarest of beasts: the writer-artist. When these unicorns of the comic book world deliver an all around great comic, it is something to rejoice, it is something to celebrate. I give to you…Everythinged, those who write and draw and possibly ink, color, and letter their books as well. Behold true magic!

Mage: The Hero Discovered

(Everythinged by Matt Wagner, colored by Jeremy Cox and James Rochelle, later inked by Sam Kieth, originally published in 1984 by Comico)
By this point, you should be well aware that Matt Wagner’s Mage: The Hero Discovered is one of my all-time favorite comics. Period. If I was going to be stranded on a deserted island, this series dang-well better be there with me to help weather the storm. It is the story of a down-on-his-luck loner named Kevin Matchstick who happens upon what he believes to be a mugging, only to discover the assailant is a chalk-white, hairless humanoid with poisoned spurs on its elbows. Driven to stop the assault, Kevin exhibits powers well beyond that of normal men, but even with newfound strength and possible invulnerability, Kevin is too late: the victim dies and the monster retreats. Reeling from the experience, Kevin meets a person he assumes to be a beggar, but this beggar has fantastic magical powers and thus begins our hero’s journey that leads him to new-found friends and a threat of mythic proportions. Originally published as 15-issues, the series was followed over a decade later by Mage: The Hero Defined, and even later by the currently running conclusion to the trilogy Mage: The Hero Denied. The story and art are equal triumphs with two particular moments that still to this day—three and a half decades later—wreck havoc on my emotions and make this great series something I frequently return to. The ‘80s were a magical time for comics, and this series proves that magic is indeed green. The first and second parts of the trilogy are currently being reprinted in trade format by Image, and are waiting for you to discover the hero within.

Cursed Pirate Girl

(Everythinged by Jeremy A. Bastian, designed by Jack Absinthe, originally published in 2009 by Olympian)
The Kickstarter campaign to collect the long out-of-print and ridiculously rare three issues of Cursed Pirate Girl was the first Kickstarter I ever contributed to, and let me tell you it more than delivered: I received a signed and now rare trade, a glorious poster that unexpectedly arrived, and a bunch of other goodies. It was all quite exciting, but nowhere near as exciting as cracking open the book and reading this painstakingly detailed and marvelously illustrated tale of a young pirate girl whose swashbuckling adventures take place both above and below the sea as she encounters ruthless pirates, misshapen members of royalty, and bizarre creatures of the sea. Most every page of this beautiful book’s intricate line work is worth lingering over to avoid missing anything. Equal parts comic book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Cursed Pirate Girl is a true labor of love that has to be seen to be believed. Dang! I just saw there is a follow up Cursed Pirate Girl Annual I need to hunt down!


(Everythinged by Daniel Warren Johnson, colored by Mike Spicer, lettered by Rus Wooton, edited by Arielle Basich (assistant) and Sean Mackiewicz, originally published in 2017 by Image Comics)
Yes, this one I have been freaking out about for months now. But when I come across a comic that truly “wows” me, I can’t help but climb to the top of the mountain—or to be real my second-floor window—and shout out how great this comic is. Imagine your favorite Studio Ghibli animated film mixed with Mad Max: Fury Road and that is the vibe you get with Extremity. Young artist Thea loved her family and clan, the Roto, and was not ready for the day rival clan the Paznina came to murder those she loved, steal her home, and take her greatest gift. Filled with anger and vengeance, Thea and what remains of the Roto seek revenge and to reclaim their floating home; if she loses her soul in the process then that is the price she feels she is willing to pay. Fantastic storytelling, stunning creatures, and incredible character acting counter the extreme violence of this wonderful journey that I never wanted to end. You MUST pick up the two available trades at once. Dang, I really hope an oversized hardcover comes out for this treasure. Rest assured, Denizens, I will be mentioning Extremity a few more times over the remainder of the year.

The Sword

(Everythinged byJoshua and Johnathan Luna...aka The Luna Brothers, originally published in 2007 by Image Comics)
Okay, I am kind of cheating with this one, but because the creators are brothers and they mix it up as to who is plotting, writing, doing layouts, illustrating, and all the rest of it, I’m going to count this as an “Everythinged” book. It has been a long while since I last read this grand 24-issue series of myth and magic and self-proclaimed gods, and to be honest, I don’t really remember how it all ends; I need to remedy this soon. The story follows Dara Brighton, a college student whose life is destroyed the day three strangers who command the powers of the elements come seeking a mystical sword. Faced with her impending death, Dara later stumbles across the sword and upon touching it finds the tool needed to finally balance the scales. Beautiful art, a heroine worth rooting for, and a creatively built world and mythology just begging to be explored. You can read the four trades, or splurge on the Complete Deluxe Edition.

Shaolin Cowboy

(Everythinged by Geoff Darrow, colored and lettered by Peter Doherty, originally published in 2004 by Burlyman Entertainment)
Shame, Denizens, on those who have never before had the opportunity to bear witness to the heavenly glory that is the art of Geoff Darrow. Oh, wait, who am I kidding? There is no shame to be had if you have not yet experienced Darrow’s incredibly detailed work. I’m honestly just jealous that you get to have your mind blown by this master artist for the first time. Fellow Darrow fans know exactly what I’m talking about. If this cat has worked on it, then it is something you need to experience. Notice how I don’t use the word “read.” You don’t just read a Darrow comic, you become part of it. My first experience with this creator was on the brilliant Hard Boiled, written by Frank Miller, and it is exactly what its name implies: an intense, frantic, nerve-wracking, visual extravaganza of action and unbridled mayhem. The same can be said of Shaolin Cowboy, which follows...well...a Shaolin cowboy and his trusty, talking burro as he fights all manner of unsavory fellows, animals, demons, monsters, and everything else imaginable. Every…single…page…is filled to the brim with highly detailed backgrounds, foregrounds, vehicles, and characters that require you to read the book once through and then dive back in to slowly appreciate and marvel at everything you are seeing. The original issues are ridiculously rare, but thankfully Darkhorse has released the following in heavenly hardcover format: Shaolin Cowboy: Start Trek, Shaolin Cowboy: Who’ll Stop the Reign?, and Shaolin Cowboy: Shemp Buffet. You definitely want to catch them all. Seeing is believing, Denizens.

That’s it for this installment, but I will definitely come back to “Everythinged…The Writer-Artist: Adventure” in the near future!

This Week’s Reading List

I had six books in my pull this week and I am still missing a couple, but I'm out of time and need to eat something. Here's what I have read thus far:

  • Descender #32
    (Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, published by Image Comics)
    Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Descender comes to a gnarly conclusion that left me gasping for air and thoroughly anticipating Ascender #1 to debut in 2019. Damn, this is one of the best series on the stand.
  • Saga #54(Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples, lettered and designed by Fonografiks, published by Image Comics)
    Holy crap! I was totally not ready for that. Saga cuts to a year hiatus—possibly longer—in a true gut-punch manner. Shit, Denizens, I’m not sure how to process the events in this issue. Still, I can’t help but say Saga is…
  • Doomsday Clock #6(Written by Geoff Johns, illustrated by Gary Frank, colored by Brad Anderson, lettered by Rob Leigh, published by DC Comics)
    This Watchmen follow up is still freaking great. This issue tells the origin of my new favorite villains the Marionette and the Mime. Mix in the Joker and the Comedian and a defeated Batman and I can’t wait to see what happens next! Thankfully, we are only halfway through, but I do kind of wonder how they are going to bring it all together and wrap things up in only six more issues. Whatever. I’m loving it.
  • Venom #4(Written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Ryan Stegman, inked by JP Mayer, colored by Frank Martin, lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles, published by Marvel Comics)
    Was this the best week in comics or what?! Eddie Brock meets a truly terrifying and ancient god who holds utter control over all symbiotes. We learn the origin of this being and Cates establishes some amazing connections to another superhero comic I love from a few years ago. Don’t miss out on the book that pulled me back to Marvel
See you next week!


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