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TONY’S TIPS #082

November 17, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #082

Zoey Aarons is a bright young college student and a serial killer. That’s the starting point of Larime Taylor’s A Voice in the Dark . In his admiring front cover quote, Terry Moore says “It’s like Strangers in Paradise meets Dexter.” As Moore happens to be the award-winning creator of Strangers, I’m inclined to agree with him. Voice is no parade of killings, though a second serial killer also plays a key role in the series. It’s a detailed look at the life of a young woman who knows what she is, is intelligent enough to take...

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TONY’S TIPS #081

November 10, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #081

This week’s column is brimming with variety. We’ll start with the super-hero genre so dear and near to my heart. Erik Larsen has written and drawn more issues of Savage Dragon than Stan Lee and Jack Kirby wrote and drew of Fantastic Four and Thor combined. No American comics creator has even beaten Larsen’s run on this title. The Dragon is a large powerhouse with green skin and a fin. He is super-strong with a healing factor. An amnesiac in early issues, he eventually learned he was from another planet. My reading of Savage Dragon has been on and off, but,...

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TONY’S TIPS #080

November 3, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #080

Mighty Avengers #3-13 by writer Al Ewing and various artists brought many a smile to my face. For starters, the line-up is the most diverse of any super-hero team in recent memory with a team led by Luke Cage and including Adam Brashear, Iron Fist, the Falcon, Jessica Jones, Monica Rambeau, She-Hulk, the new Power Man and the new White Tiger. These characters work well together in an extended family sort of way. Then there’s the hopeful premise of this team: super-heroes setting up an organization to help everyday people in a world often beset by monsters,...

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TONY’S TIPS #079

October 28, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #079

Halloween is nigh upon us. I’ll be spending that night and the next two days afterwards at Wizard World’s Ohio Comic Con in Columbus, but I wanted to leave you a trio of terror-treats to keep you nice and chilled in my absence. Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight takes its name from the old Times Square movie theaters that specialized in showing “exploitation films.” These theaters used to be burlesque houses and strip joints and that’s where the “grind” part of the name comes from. I am a devoted fan of cheesy monster movies,...

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TONY’S TIPS #078

October 20, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #078

Cops. The 87th Precinct novels of Ed McBain are my favorite prose series. A list of my all-time favorite TV shows would include Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, and Homicide: Life on the Street among the top ten with other cops shows further down on the list. Super-heroes. While I enjoy all kinds of comics, it was the Marvel super-heroes of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and others that made me a comics reader for life and a comics industry professional for a good chunk of that life. I think the second Black Lightning series is my best sustained...

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TONY’S TIPS #077

October 14, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #077

Previously in Tony’s Tips... Continuing our discussion of Marvel’s Original Sin... SPOILERS AHEAD SPOILERS AHEAD SPOILERS AHEAD SPOILERS AHEAD SPOILERS AHEAD SPOILERS AHEAD During a New York confrontation with the villains who invaded the Watcher’s home, who seemingly murdered him and then stole his eyes, one of those eyes was detonated. It was like unto a truth bomb, revealing secrets of the Marvel Universe - “sins” if you prefer - to those within the blast area. These revelations drive the various Original Sin spin-offs and tie-ins. Original Sins was an anthology series featuring three tales per issue, each involving the afore-mentioned secrets. In a story...

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TONY’S TIPS #076

October 6, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #076

I have been reading Marvel’s Original Sin and... SPOILERS AHEAD SPOILERS AHEAD SPOILERS AHEAD SPOILERS AHEAD SPOILERS AHEAD SPOILERS AHEAD Before I was interrupted by the above warning, I was telling you I have been reading Original Sin and a bunch of the comic books that spun-off from that series. These days, you can’t have any kind of big comic event without spin-offs from that event. It’s not unlike ripples on a pond, save that the events and spin-offs are generally more depressing and violent than my pastoral metaphor. As I started composing my thoughts for this week’s column, which is in danger of becoming two or...

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TONY’S TIPS #075

September 29, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #075

My first reaction to Marvel Masterworks: Marvel Rarities Volume 1 was “I read almost all of those stories when they were first published. How can they be rarities?” Then I remembered I’m almost 63 years old. Ulp! The Marvel comic books of the 1960s take me back to my youth in a way few other comic books can. Those were the days when getting the week’s new comics meant going to two or three different drug stores or newsstands. Those were the days when I was truly exciting by the prospect of coming home with a stack of comic...

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TONY’S TIPS #074

September 22, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #074

Comic Book People: Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s by Jackie Estrada fills me with joy and sadness in equal measure. Estrada has been an important figure in San Diego’s Comic-Con International for decades and, for this hardcover volume, she has opened her treasure chest of photos from those two decades and shared them with us. For someone like me, who’s been kicking around the comics industry for over four decades, the book reminds me of the comics legends I have been fortunate enough to meet and, in some cases, work with. It brings me images...

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TONY’S TIPS #073

September 16, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #073

PS Artbooks’ reprints of off-brand comic books from the 1940s and 1950s are never a sure thing with me. Some volumes are terrific and some are lousy. When I write today’s comics readers have access to the best and the not-so-best of comics past, I’m usually thinking of the PS roster. That said... Roy Thomas Presents Captain Flash is more fun than its 240 or so pages can legally contain. Captain Flash was one of the first irradiated super-heroes. This volume collects all four issues published by Sterling Comics in 1954 and 1955. To fill out the page count...

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