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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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TONY’S TIPS #112

June 15, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #112

What would Tony Isabella do if he had two months in which he could do whatever he wanted to do with DC Comics? That’s the question I asked myself after reading the first three weeks of DC’s moribund Convergence event. I started answering the question two columns ago and will do my best to wrap up with this column. On the other hand, sometimes these columns don’t listen to me. I’m writing this week’s column a few days after the first in this series was posted. The response has been terrific. You like me. You really like me. Or, rather,...

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News

TONY’S TIPS #111

June 8, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #111

We have asked and begun to answer the musical question...what would Tony Isabella do if he had two months and only two months in which he controlled DC Comics? This follows my reading and reviewing over 30 issues of DC’s Convergence event so that you wouldn’t have to. Who loves you, baby? For this series of special columns, I’ve imbued myself with genie-like powers. However, even those powers have limits. No matter how hard I might try to fix the current DC Universe, that’s beyond even my mighty magical abilities. The best I can do for you is suggest eight...

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TONY’S TIPS #110

June 1, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #110

I read over thirty issues of and wrote about DC’s Convergence event last week. I did this at considerable risk to my health and mental well-being for you, my beloved readers. I think I deserve a treat for my self-sacrifice on your behalf. That treat comes in the form of this “Tony’s Tips” column and, knowing how I tend to go on and on, probably next week’s “Tony’s Tips” column. We have asked the musical question...what would Tony Isabella do if he had two months and only two months in which he controlled DC Comics? When I posed this question last...

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TONY’S TIPS #109

May 25, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #109

Convergence is the DC Comics event that coincides with the company moving its editorial offices to California and the staff taking two months to work on their West Coast tans. Apparently, it’s also the dividing line between the “New 52" titles that launched in 2011 and the “Newer 52" titles that will follow Convergence. I didn’t care for the “New 52" and will be amazed if I care for the relaunches of the relaunch. Convergence consists of a nine-issue weekly series and 40 two-issue tie-in series . Over the weekend, I read the first three weeks of...

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News

TONY’S TIPS #108

May 18, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #108

Neil Gaiman, who knows a thing or two about creating great comics, has touted Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor as “the best graphic novel read in years.” I don’t know if I’m a 100% on board with that, but I think it’s the best graphic novel I’ve read this year and the one to beat when the comics world and other groups vote on that category next year. It is an amazing work of both complexity and simplicity that stuns me when I consider it. This nearly 500-page graphic novel details the life and final 200 days...

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TONY’S TIPS #107

May 11, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #107

Let’s start with this week’s pick of the week: Roy Thomas Presents Rulah Jungle Goddess Volume One , reprinting the title characters adventures from Zoot Comics #7-16 (June 1947 - July 1948). Zoot was published by Fox Feature Syndicate. With issue #17, the title changed to Rulah. Zoot Comics was an odd title. In the 1930s and 1940s, the zoot suit was a man’s suit: high-waisted, wide-legged, tight-cuffed, pegged trousers and a long coat with wide lapels and padded shoulders. The zoot suits were most popular with African Americans, Chicanos and Italian Americans. A less fashionable use of...

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News

TONY’S TIPS #106

May 4, 2015
TONY’S TIPS #106

Batman: The Silver Age Newspaper Comics Volume 2: 1968-1969 is first up this week. Several columns ago, I reviewed the first volume and found it wanting. This time around, well, what a difference a few years make. Whitney Ellsworth was still the strip’s writer, but, with the campy Batman television series having ended, he could write more serious stories. Some of the stories were deadly serious with Batman’s foes meeting grim endings, mostly due to their evil plans going horribly awry. Some notes on this volume: The book leads with the second part of “A History of the Batman...

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