Sunday, November 25, 2018

Comics Lust 11/24/2018

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/vacationus maximus Tulip. You did it, Denizens! You survived the first holiday of the season. You somehow made it through Uncle Billy Bob’s eons-long “blessing” about the “deep state,” “witch hunts,” and how “Drumpf just doesn’t go far enough.” Why does Uncle Billy Bob keep getting invited to Thanksgiving dinner? Whose uncle is he anyway? I mean, really? Then there’s Aunt Sally, who loooooooves to bring up the time when you were just a kid and locked yourself outside, in the snow, naked, and…look, I don’t want to talk about Aunt Sally. You get it, though. You know what I’m talking about, right? The holidays are rough—sometimes very rough—for almost all of us. You might wonder why you keep putting yourself through this year after year, why some family members put such monumental importance on a fabricated holiday, and, not to beat a dead horse, why keep inviting gosh darn Uncle Billy Bob when he ruins the holiday for everyone every single year—come to think of it, it wouldn’t surprise me if he actually has beaten a dead horse before. Anyhow, it’s the time of year where my puppy executive team and I retreat to the Donist World corporate “Holiday Bunker,” a refurbished ’80s bomb shelter that comes complete with the following amenities: energy provided by renewable energy sources (climate change IS real, Uncle Billy Bob), backup generators, a refrigerator packed with Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale and Stone Brewing Xocoveza Imperial Stout, loads of pumpkin pies, loads of tamales, and an early warning system that raises an alert anytime a distant relative with a batshit-crazy belief system comes anywhere near. More importantly, the holiday shelter comes complete with an impressive library of reading material to help pass the time, and judging by this year’s list of holiday events and attendees, the puppies and I are going to be down here for a good long while. Hiding. Waiting for the storm to pass. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health and sanity, eat some tacos, 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.

Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.

Comics Lust

More Bang for Your Buck: The Omnibus (Part 1)

Alright, Denizens. Time to get off your lazy keisters and limber up. You’re going to need to do some stretches and get those muscles loose. Do some jumping jacks and drop and give me 20 before you mosey on up to your open-air vault of glory, that most exalted bookshelf where you keep your treasures. Bring the forklift up and take out those tons of tomes, the Big Bertha books, the omnipresent Omnibus volumes. These are the books that make a loud “THUD,” not just when you place them on the table, but also when you open them. These books tend to not be cheap. In fact, they can be quite expensive. But, with some searching, some perseverance, and some luck, you can get some serious bang for your buck; just be sure you have a spotter ready in case your muscles give out while attempting to lift one of these beautiful behemoths.

The House of Secrets: The Bronze Age Omnibus Volume 1

(Written and illustrated by many, series originally published beginning in 1969 with this collection published in 2017. Collects The House of Secrets #81–111)
To answer the question at the top of your mind as to why this is considered “Volume 1” when we are picking up at issue #81, it is because this is the point where Abel starts as the host of this horror anthology/vignette series; and what a series it is! I had a smattering of these issues in my collection as a young kid and I absolutely adored them despite not being old enough to completely understand them. What I did understand were the ghosts and aliens and monsters and close-up shots of the story antagonist getting their due. Only now, as I slowly make my way through this fantastic collection, do I recognize the immense talents involved in the writing and art: Marv Wolfman, Bernie Wrightson, Gerry Conway, Jack Kirby, Gray Morrow, Alex Toth, Don Heck, and sooooo many others. I love the horror host angle, and having Abel (yes, that Biblical Abel) as he trembles and stutters and talks to his imaginary friend, Goldie, before introducing and after ending each spooky tale earns this series a place in my heart. I’m not even at the halfway point and I can safely say that 90%+ of the stories have been a hit. I can’t wait for The House of Mystery: Bronze Age Omnibus Volume 1 to be released early next year and I’m already anticipating a follow-up volume for each.

Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age Omnibus Volume 1

(Primarily written by Len Wein and Martin Pasko; primarily illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, Tom Yeates, Stephen Bissette, and John Totleben; series originally published beginning in 1972 with this collection published in 2017. Collects: The House of Secrets #92, Swamp Thing #1–24, The Saga of the Swamp Thing #1–19, and The Saga of the Swamp Thing Annual #1)
You all know the importance Wein and Wrightson’s Swamp Thing has for me. How Wrightson is the first artist to make me realize that not all artists are created equal. What you don’t hear me talk about all that often are the issues that came after Wrightson and Wein left the series. Or the issues that sparked the revival of the character in the ‘80s and which occurred B.A.M. (Before Alan Moore). Well, these (sadly and unfairly ) lesser-known issues are all collected here in 928 pages of muck monster goodness. You have werewolves, vampires, aliens, robots, Anton Arcane, and a heaping helping of horror heavenliness. Here’s to hoping we get a follow-up volume of Moore’s work in Volume 2 someday soon.

The Fourth World by Jack Kirby Omnibus

(Everythinged by Jack Kirby, series originally published beginning in 1972 with this collection published in 2017, which collects: Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #133–139, 141–148, Forever People #1–11, Mister Miracle #1–18, New Gods #1–11, The Hunger Dogs GN, and a story from New Gods #6)
1536 pages, Denizens?!?! See? You will need a spotter to lug this beast around. Oh, my Granny Goodness gracious. Man, I REALLY need to get a hold of this one. I have read all of the New Gods stuff, but the Jimmy Olsen, Forever People, and most of the Mister Miracle stuff are new to me. Yeah, I don’t see how any comic book lover, New Gods fan, or Kirby aficionado can go without having this sweetness on their most prized bookshelf.

The Hands of Shang-Chi, Master of Kung-Fu Omnibus Volume 1

(Written by Jim Starlin, Len Wein, Doug Moench, Steve Englehart and others; illustrated by Jim Starlin, Paul Gulacy, Al Milgrom, John Buscema, and others; series originally published beginning in 1972 with this collection published in 2016; collects Master of Kung-Fu #17–37 and so much more!)
Ah, so you want to introduce some Kung-Fu into your life? Here is the first volume of The Master of Kung-Fu which clocks in at an impressive 696 pages. Wait! Where are you going? Here are three more omnibus volumes for you to complete the run which is roughly 2800 pages of material. Remember, lift with your legs, not with your back! Oh, I almost might as well take these two additional omnibus volumes of The Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu, which not only features Shang-Chi but also Iron Fist and a whole host of martial arts heroes for a combined additional 2000+ pages. Yup, nearly 5000 pages of Kung-Fu to keep you occupied for a good, long while. I only have the first volume thus far, but I NEED to get the rest.

Captain America by Ed Brubaker Omnibus

(Written by Ed Brubaker; illustrated by Steve Epting, Michael Lark, and others; series originally published beginning in 2004 with this collection published in 2007; collects Captain America #1–25 and much more!)
I had been out of the Captain America scene for about two decades before Brubaker wrote this tremendous run that brought Cap into the real world with secret missions, international intrigue, and spies. He also introduces us to the Winter Soldier in this long out-of-print (sorry to do this to you, Denizens) volume. Definitely on the smaller side as far as Omnibus collections go, but don’t let that dissuade you. The heaviness of the story and the twists and turns Brubaker introduces to this must-read series (upon which a fair portion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe bases its take on Captain America) gives it an emotional gravitas that should not be ignored. This one is definitely moving up on my reread list.

Well, I don’t suppose I will be seeing any of you until later this coming spring, as you have plenty of great comic book reading to do. And to think…I still have a bunch of other omnibus collections to tell you about, but that is for another time.


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