Saturday, January 19, 2019

Comics Lust 1/19/2019

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/Real Food Challenge trooper Tulip. We are in the deepest pit of the Real Food Challenge, Denizens, and we have been without dairy, corn, gluten, sugar, peanuts, and a few other things since Monday morning. It ain’t easy. If that wasn’t difficult enough, we are only allowed grains once per day, and beer…well, beer is a strict no-no. Thus, we suffer. Six days are down with 24 more to go. Thank goodness, my puppy executive team and I have plenty of great comics to help pass the time. Anyhow, be kind to each other, mind your health and sanity, treat your friends to some tacos (which we can't eat except for the meat and veggies), 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

Otherworldly Wonders (Part 2)

As readers, comics guide us to other places whether it is a character’s life of relative normalcy or the most extreme of the fantastic. They take us somewhere new, somewhere different. That’s a given. But sometimes these stories deal with new worlds that intersect our own, whether the characters are the travelers or the characters are dealing with visiting/invading strangers—or some combination of both—is what we are looking at today. The main point is that the planet Earth is central to the story. So, what better way to celebrate other worlds than to open by re-experiencing one of the best comic book series of the past couple years.

Black Hammer

(Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dean Ormston and David Rubín, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered by Todd Klein, originally published in 2016 by Dark Horse Books)
As I have said before, I didn’t jump on this series right away, and it was a grave error on my part that I quickly remedied; thank goodness I did. Black Hammer is the story of a group of superheroes who upon succeeding in stopping a world-ending threat are seemingly destroyed in the aftermath of their victory. This not the case. Ten years have passed and the heroes, despite most of Earth believing them dead, are alive and well (relatively) on a farm in a rural town from which they cannot escape. One is dead, most desperately want to leave, and a few seem to enjoy their new life, but when a newcomer travels to this otherworldly version of Earth, she discovers all is not right in this odd town.
Lemire brings to life multiple amalgamations of the finest Gold, Silver, and Bronze Age heroes from The Big Two while injecting a grand mystery as to what exactly is keeping the heroes stranded and whether or not they are even on Earth at all. Ormston’s fine lines are a bridge between Lemire’s style of illustration and that of traditional superhero comics and his work truly shines when it comes to the character acting which lets the reader know exactly what the characters are feeling even when their words might suggest otherwise. Stewart’s muted color palette beautifully sets the tone for each moment, while the two issues illustrated by Rubín create a vibrant cross between traditional comics and the cartoony—and subsequently left me scrambling to read everything, like Ether, that Rubín has ever illustrated.
Lemire and Ormston kicked off not just one of the best comics of the past decade, they also created a Black Hammer universe that has branched out to side stories, one-shots, and even a new series, ALL of which you need to be reading. Here are the releases to date:

Not only these titles, but there will be a Black Hammer ’45 four-issue miniseries (Co-written by Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes, illustrated by Matt Kindt) releasing March 2019 and who knows what other goodies are heading our way in the future given that there will one day be a Black Hammer movie and television shows coming our way soon. Whether or not you have read the books in this ever-expanding world, you owe it to yourself to pick up the impressive Black Hammer Library Edition Volume 1, which contains Black Hammer #1–13, the annual, a whole mess of bonus material, and is greatly oversized so you can enjoy the finest Ormston and Rubín have to offer. Dang, I can’t wait to finally dive into my new Black Hammer: Age of Doom trade next!

Paper Girls

(Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matt Wilson, originally published in 2015 by Image Comics)
Nostalgia for the ‘80s? Yup. Love of sci-fi, time travel, monsters, and four paper girls trying to make sense of the madness that has engulfed their lives? Double yup. A story that will complete after five more issues with issue #30? Heck, yeah…although I will definitely be sad to see it go. Vaughan, Chiang, and Wilson brought us this fantastic series of what happens when a rip in time/space brings monsters and weirdos from the future into a Cleveland suburb in the ‘80s and it’s up to a team of kids on bikes to set things right. Sound kind of familiar? I’m sure it does, but know that this fine comic came out before the great Stranger Things Netflix series. A thoroughly entertaining story and gorgeous art await you and can be bought in trade or glorious hardcover.

The Micronauts

(Written by Bill Mantlo; illustrated primarily by Michael Golden, Pat Broderick, and Jackson Guice, originally published in 1979 by Marvel Comics)
I told you I can’t go longer than a few months without mentioning the Donist World Darling that is The Micronauts, and with good reason: it’s one hell of a damn fine comic in both story and (usually) art. But what makes it relevant to today’s installment is the tagline “They Came From Inner Space.” This team of heroes struggling to thwart the diabolical Baron Karza’s attempts to dominate what is known as the Microverse. The Microverse, however, is right here on planet Earth, only it exists at the subatomic level. Commander Rann, Princess Mari, Bug, Acroyear, Biotron, Microtron, and a whole host of others find themselves crossing between their world and ours in an effort to put an end to Karza’s reign. Exciting, thrilling, and at times devastating this series is forever on my top-five list. Unfortunately, a licensing nightmare prevents this must-read series from getting the omnibus treatment it so richly deserves. To the back issue bins with you!

Kill 6 Billion Demons

(Everythinged by Tom Parkinson-Morgan, originally published online beginning in 2013 at, and originally published in print in 2016 by Image Comics)
Angels and demons, gods and devils, none of the above is what you want to come calling when you are…you know…doin’ it for the first time with your college boyfriend. Then suddenly, WHAMMY, an angel/demon or whatever shows up gets kilt and sticks a magical key type thing into your forehead immediately after the things that kilt the angel/demon thing grab your boyfriend and vanish into another dimension called Throne. We’ve all been there, right? Anyhow, the magic doohickey in Allison Ruth’s head blows her away...literally...and dumps her in the bizarre world of Throne.
Now, although this series first began appearing digitally one page at a time in 2013, it is definitely new to me. I freaking love it. You have a true everythinger delivering a trippy as hell story with trippy as hell art to match. In this wonderfully developed world, there are no two creatures alike and, trust me, there are TONS of creatures to see in this vibrant, funny, thrilling, highly imaginative series that strikes me as what you would get if Hayao Miyazaki was a bit more twisted and developed a story for adults. I’m currently on the fourth chapter and loving every page of this comic. Check it out online, but this is one you will want to ultimately get in print and have on your favorite shelf.

The Stuff of Legend

(Written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith, illustrated by C.P. Wilson III, designed and colored by Jon Conkling and Michael De Vito, originally published in 2009 by Th3rd World Studios)
What if traveling to another world, one in which your favorite toys were alive and walking and talking with one another, was only a matter of stepping into your darkened closet. That would be nice, but in this instance, the Boogieman is very much real and has abducted the toys’ boy into the realm known as The Dark. Now, it’s up to the boy’s favorite toys to venture into the closet and into The Dark to rescue him from the clutches of the wicked Boogieman. I positively love this comic and although there are brutal delays between issues, it is very much worth checking into not only for the fascinating and oftentimes harsh story from Raicht and Smith, or for the fantastic character designs and beautiful storytelling skills of Wilson III, but also for the book’s unique and gorgeous production and design. These black, white, and sepia-colored comics, trades, and hardcover collections have a square form factor and mimic the look of old children’s books from the ’40s and ’50s. I just hope the creators are able to finish it someday soon, as this one is something special.

That’s it for this installment and I hope you get to travel to many magical worlds over this three-day weekend. All the best. See you next week.


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