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TONY’S TIPS #100

March 23, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #100

This is my hundredth column for Tales of Wonder. Though I’ve long ago lost count of how many print and online columns I’ve written in the decades I’ve been writing columns - my best guess is well over 5,000 columns and possibly close to 10,000 columns - we have kept track of this current incarnation of “Tony’s Tips” by the simple expedient of numbering them. To celebrate this milestone, I’m kicking off a 52-week series that will change the TTU - Tony’s Tips Universe - forever. I’m getting a new costume and killing off a beloved supporting character in the...

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TONY’S TIPS #099

March 18, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #099

The next wave of Dynamite’s comic books starring heroes from King Feature’s roster of comic-strip legends has kicked off. The comic books continue from the events of the Kings Watch crossover and the Flash Gordon series that followed it. The titles, five in all, are packaged and edited by Nate Crosby. I have read the debut issues of four of the five titles. For those who came in late...Ming the Merciless attacked Earth and knocked out our world’s advanced technology. Our heroes beat back the invasion with Flash Gordon taking the fight to Ming’s empire. The struggle was not without...

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TONY’S TIPS #098

March 11, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #098

Silk #1 launches a new ongoing series featuring the young woman who was bitten by the same radioactive spider that made Peter Parker so amazing. Cindy lived for years in a bunker designed to protect her from the spider-slaying Inheritors. When Spider-Man released her, it alerted the Inheritors to her presence and started the too-many-issues-long Spider-Verse event. Spider-Verse with all its Spider-Man variants was fun for a minute until, as noted, it went on way too long. I’m not going to hold the event against Cindy, who has adopted the super-hero name of Silk. I like a lot...

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TONY’S TIPS #097

March 3, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #097

I can tell you the exact moment I fell in love with The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl . It was the third panel of the second page of the first issue by Ryan North with art by Erica Henderson. There be unavoidable SPOILERS AHEAD, my friends. The issue opened with Doreen Green sitting in a tree hanging with her squirrel pal Tippy-Toe and singing a Squirrel Girl theme song that sounds like the old Spider-Man cartoon theme song if you kind of sort of push the lyrics to fit. She spots a mugging in progress and, behind a super-hero and all,...

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News

TONY’S TIPS #096

February 24, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #096

This is the finale of my three-week “Valentine’s Day” column series on the state of romance in comic books: past, present and future. In writing this series, I have drifted almost completely into the super-hero genre. Though I won’t be able to discuss them in detail this week, please know that love and romance are alive and well in non super-hero comic books and graphic albums. There are delightful romantic farces. There are riveting relationship stories. There are tales of loss and suffering. There are manga series whose romantic pairings and situations roam freely all over the human condition,...

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News

TONY’S TIPS #095

February 17, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #095

This is the second of my three special “Valentine’s Day” columns on the state of romance in comic books: past, present and future. In last week’s “Tony’s Tips,” I wrote there would be two such columns. I’m a lover, not a mathematician. Not unlike the fabled Grinch of Doc Seuss, my heart grew as I delved into my subject and could not be contained by a mere two columns. We are moving into the 1960s this week. I never looked at an actual romance comic until Marvel published My Love and Our Love Story in the summer of 1969. Though...

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News

TONY’S TIPS #094

February 10, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #094

This is the first of two special “Valentine’s Day” columns wherein I wax poetic and occasionally snarky about the state of romance in comic books from the 1950s to today. Romance comics themselves hit very big in the 1950s, more than held their own in the 1960s and ultimately drifted away from the comics industry in the 1970s. They hung on long enough for me to edit an issue or two of DC’s Young Love during my maddening, soul-crushing six months as a DC Comics staffer. Depending on who you want to believe - please choose me - I...

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TONY’S TIPS #093

February 2, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #093

Several months back, I reviewed Roy Thomas Presents Planet Comics Volume One . The series reprints the earliest issues of the Fiction House comic-book title. Back then, I wrote that the stories starred mostly interchangeable heroes in the mold of Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon. I opined these stories were often a chore to read, though some of them contained imaginative and intriguing science-fiction ideas. I just read Roy Thomas Presents Planet Comics Volume Three and the only change in the writing is that it has gotten worse. The heroes remain mostly interchangeable: Flint Baker,...

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TONY’S TIPS #092

January 26, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #092

My avid interest in comics history is second only to my interest in actual comics: comic books, comic strips, graphic novels, manga and whatever else falls into that general category. While the history of the comic-book industry is, to a great and sad extent, a history of creators being abused, cheated and forgotten by publishers and even readers, that history and its more benign chapters have always fascinated me. I love learning about creators and comic books from before I began working in the industry. I am endlessly enthralled by tales of how characters and companies came into being and...

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News

TONY’S TIPS #091

January 21, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #091

King Features Syndicate distributes something like 150 comic strips to our daily and Sunday newspapers. Three of those strips feature heroes who have truly earned the right to be called legendary: The Phantom, Flash Gordon and Mandrake the Magician. All have appeared in comic books. All have recently returned to comic books with all three appearing in Dynamite’s Kings Watch by writer Jeff Parker and artist Marc Laming. The five-issue series has also been collected in trade paperback . An invasion from beyond unites the heroes in an adventure that is exciting and somewhat problematic. This is Dynamite’s second shot...

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