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TONY’S TIPS #070

August 25, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #070

I’m going to start this week’s reviews with one of the best graphic novels of the year. Then I’m going to bring you reviews that make me sound like one of those really old fans who can’t accept change in his favorite characters. You have been warned. New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast presents a graphic novel memoir of her relationship with her parents in Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? . Only the first two chapter cover her childhood. The human drama in this work stems from her parents getting older and less able to care for themselves...

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TONY’S TIPS #069

August 18, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #069

The Phantom, the jungle hero created by Lee Falk, has been one of my favorite heroes since I was a boy. Discovering him on the comics page of the occasional newspaper that might its way into my hands close to six decades ago, I have been following his adventures in one form or another ever since. I even buy the Phantom comic books published in Australia. “The Ghost Who Walks” speaks to me on many levels. The Phantom The Complete Series: The Charlton Years: Volume Three took its time getting to press. I ordered a copy close...

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TONY’S TIPS #068

August 11, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #068

My comic-book reading remains as unorganized as ever. However, for this week’s column, I determinedly read multiple issues of three titles from three major publishers. Dark Horse Comics has published hundreds and maybe even thousands of Star Wars comic books. While I like Star Wars, I’ve never been fanatic enough about the franchise to read all those comic books. Still, with Disney/Marvel ending this distinguished run, Dark Horse published an irresistible eight-issue series. The Star Wars #1-8 adapts into comics George Lucas’ original rough-draft screenplay, which the Star Wars creator wrote in 1974. It’s a thriller both familiar and...

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TONY’S TIPS #067

August 4, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #067

Regular followers of my various columns will recall I don’t have a comics collection per se. I have a Vast Accumulation of Stuff that currently fills one-and-a-half storage units and roughly three-and-a-half rooms of my Tardis-like house. I aspire to reduce the VAOS to a size I can honestly call a collection. Towards that worthy goal, I hold bi-weekly comic book garage sales from May or June through September or October. One of the perks of preparing for these sales is going through boxes filled with items I’d forgotten I owned and finding cool old comics and other stuff. One such...

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News

TONY’S TIPS #066

July 28, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #066

DC Comics, major media outlets and, of course, a great many comics fans are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of the Batman in Detective Comics #27 . I am not one of these celebrants. I’ll celebrate when DC officially proclaims writer Bill Finger to be the co-creator of the Batman. I’ll celebrate when Finger shares creator credit with Bob Kane on every Batman comic book, graphic novel, cartoon, TV series and movie. I’ll celebrate when Finger’s surviving heirs get a piece of the enormous money-pie that is the Batman. Celebrating Batman now is premature. It’s more like...

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TONY’S TIPS #065

July 21, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #065

PS Artbooks is a plucky imprint of PS Publishing. From somewhere in England - Hey, I don’t even remember American geography that well - PS produces spiffy keen hardcover books reprinting comic books of the 1940s and 1950s. Their books are priced just a few bucks south of fifty bucks each. That’s a decent price, despite their reprinted material sometimes being south of good. Fifty bucks for reprints that are less than good? Has Isabella been sniffing old comic-book fumes again? Yes, that’s what I said and, yes, it is also true that I’ve been going through musty issues from...

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TONY’S TIPS #064

July 14, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #064

Three reviews, three examples of the incredible variety available to comics readers in this the true Golden Age of Comics. It is a time when great and not-so-great comics from the past are as easily had as great and not-so-great new comics material from around the world and in every genre imaginable. Creepy Volume Nineteen reprints issues #89-93 of the legendary black-and-white horror comics magazine published by James Warren. The original cover dates of these issues are from mid-to-late 1977. Your Tipster was back in Cleveland after several years working for both Marvel and DC Comics in...

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TONY’S TIPS #063

July 7, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #063

Showcase Presents Super Friends Volume 1 is a 448-page, black-and-white volume collecting the first 24 issues of the late 1970s title. Most of the stories in this book were written by the criminally underrated E. Nelson Bridwell. Those stories are why I looked forward to this collection and why I started reading it within a day of receiving it. Super Friends was a 1973 animated series by Hanna-Barbera. In its original incarnation - 26 episodes - it starred Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, two teenagers named Marvin and Wendy and Wonder Dog. It was harmless fun...

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TONY’S TIPS #062

June 30, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #062

This won’t be a proper review of The Art of Neil Gaiman by Hayley Campbell . Campbell’s comprehensive study of Gaiman’s creative life runs just over 300 pages even before you get to the very long bibliography of the celebrated writer’s works and the index of the people and publications and whatnot which make up that creative life. I am currently on page 87. This is deliberate on my part for reasons I’ll explain in a bit. Campbell is the daughter of cartoonist Eddie Campbell. She was six years old when she first met Gaiman, giving up her...

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News

TONY’S TIPS #061

June 23, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #061

Cantankerous old coot that I can be, I don’t pay much mind to the various comics industry awards. However, I was delighted to learn that The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story by Vivek J. Tiwary and Andrew C. Robinson with Kyle Baker has been nominated for a Will Eisner Award in the category of “Best Reality-Based Work.” The Fifth Beatle is a stunning examination of the man who put the Beatles on the map, both geographically and historically. Imagining a world without the Beatles’ profound influence on music, on social mores and even on artist...

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