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TONY’S TIPS #122

August 24, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #122

If you asked me “Star Trek or Star Wars,” I would alienate half of my audience by answering, “Trek.” In entertainment as in politics, I’m more a secular scientist type than a mysticist. Which doesn’t mean I don’t love some Star Wars on frequent occasion. The original trilogy? Before they became chapters four through six? I watched and enjoyed all of them and more than once. Chapters one through three? Not so much and I never got around to watching the third one. The original Star Wars comics from Marvel? The ones by Roy Thomas, Archie Goodwin, Jo Duffy and others?...

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TONY’S TIPS #121

August 17, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #121

TwoMorrows Publishing certainly knows how to zero in on my heart. Case in point: Monster Mash: The Creepy, Kooky Monster Craze In America 1957-1972 by Mark Voger . Filled with hundreds of scary-cool illustrations and photos, the 192-page hardcover, 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches volume takes a trip back through time to the years when classic and new monsters were lurching into popular culture in a big way. Comic books were my great creative and entertainment passion when I was young. At 63, they are still my great passion. But, then and now, I had another love...the monsters. I’m not...

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TONY’S TIPS #120

August 10, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #120

I would rank The Incredible Herb Trimpe by Dewey Cassell and Aaron Sultan as one of the best comics creator books to come from an outfit already known for its line of comics history books and magazines. The only bad/sad thing about the book is that Trimpe, who passed away in April, isn’t here to see what a terrific tribute Cassell and Sultan have created for him. The hardcover volume is 160 pages of art, articles, interviews with Trimpe, interviews with comics creators who worked with him, and hundreds of illustrations taken from his long career. The book...

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TONY’S TIPS #119

August 3, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #119

My relationship with Wonder Woman is complicated. I have a genuine fondness for the Wonder Woman comics of Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, even at their Wonder Tot goofiest. Even though the de-powering of Wonder Woman in the late 1960s was an incredible misunderstanding of the iconic character, I enjoyed some of those Dinah Rigg-inspired issues. I wasn’t a devoted fan of the TV series starring Lynda Carter, but, when I catch one of her episodes these days, I find them charming and entertaining. After that, despite some of the truly top-notch writers and artists who worked on...

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TONY’S TIPS #118

July 27, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #118

Much of the Marvel Universe is not to my liking of late. The hero-destroying, soul-crushing “Illuminati” storyline sucked the joy out of most Avengers titles. The X-Men part of the Universe was mired in its own confusing darkness. I found the “Inhumanity” stuff far more interesting and have been enjoying much of it, but “Original Sin” and the current “Secret Wars/Battleworld” left and continue to leave me cold. It’s been a trying time for this long-time Marvel reader, but not without its bright spots. Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl rank as three of the best, most...

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TONY’S TIPS #117

July 20, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #117

I have often spoken in the most glowing terms of the great variety available to comics readers in this, the true Golden Age of Comics. This week’s column is proof positive of that as I look at a trio of comics works that are wildly different from one another. Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank was published in July, 2012, but I just recently got a copy of it from my local library. The 144-page hardcover is the first of a series of books that present, as writer Johns put it, “just a different take...

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TONY’S TIPS #116

July 13, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #116

There is precious little rhyme or reason to how I read comic books and related materials. I have tried to stay current on some of my favorite titles. I’m trying to get current with titles that aren’t among my favorites but which feature classic characters or are, in some way, important to today’s marketplace. My reading is chaotic, as is the comics marketplace and as is life in general. This time ago, I thought I would take a stack of comic books, some recent and some not, and say a few words about said comics. These aren’t reviews, just observations...

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TONY’S TIPS #115

July 6, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #115

Marvel Masterworks: Not Brand Echh Volume 1 is something of a dream come true for me. Maybe not a major dream like the one where a billionaire relative I never knew existed buys me a comic-book company, but a spiffy dream nonetheless. Ever since I realized how much I regretted having sold my run of this 1960s Marvel title a couple decades ago, I have been hoping it would be reprinted in a Masterworks edition. This gorgeous hardcover edition around 450 pages long. It reprints Not Brand Echh #1-13, material from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5, Avengers Annual #2, Daredevil...

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TONY’S TIPS #114

June 29, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #114

Licensed comic books are comic books featuring characters who were introduced to the public in other media: cartoons, movies, radio, prose fiction, television, video games, etc. They have been with us since the start of the American comic-book industry. Indeed, Famous Funnies, which is generally considered the first modern comic book, consisted almost entirely of reprints of newspaper strips such as Toonerville Folks, Mutt and Jeff, Tailspin Tommy, Dixie Dugan and others, licensed from Associated Newspapers,  the Ledger Syndicate and the Bell Syndicate. When the supply of available newspaper strips couldn’t keep up with the needs of publishers jumping into...

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TONY’S TIPS #113

June 22, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #113

Variety is the spice of my comic-book life. It was the super-heroes who first drew me into those colorful pages and stories, but I read and continue to enjoy all kinds of comics. Comics from all genres. Comics of all styles and temperaments. Comics from all around the world. Always wondering what form today’s comics-reading pleasure will take excited me. Variety. NBM Publishing brings some of the very best European comics to the United States and have been kind enough to send many of them to me. Among the latest arrivals was the second album of Zombillenium by French comics...

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