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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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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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TONY’S TIPS #060

June 16, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #060

The Thing was one of dozens of horror/science fiction/supernatural comic books that hit the newsstands in the early 1950s. That stuff was selling and virtually every comics publishers tried to get some of that action. Some of these comic books were great and some were good and some were lousy. Charlton published 17 issues of The Thing cover-dated February 1952 to November 1954. The title was never great, but it was frequently good and almost always wonderfully odd in the way Charlton comics were generally wonderfully odd. There are even a couple of issues in which every story was penciled...

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News

TONY’S TIPS #059

June 9, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #059

Watching the new Godzilla (2014) on the big screen as for me, the pastor of the First Church of Godzilla, akin to Christmas mass at the Vatican. I’ve been a fan of the Great Scaly One since I first experienced Godzilla, King of the Monsters, the U.S. version of the original Gojira. I watched the movie on the black-and-white TV set in the darkened living room of my family’s home on the west side of Cleveland. It wasn’t the first giant monster movie I saw, but, even as a kid, I knew it was special. The new Godzilla movie was...

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TONY’S TIPS #058

June 2, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #058

Marvel Comics had a vibrant original graphic novel program back in the day. Some of those OGNs - I’m thinking Jim Starlin’s The Death of Captain Marvel and the Chris Claremont/Brent Anderson X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills - are classic works. Even most of the lesser OGNs told a complete story in a satisfying manner. There are some signs Marvel is getting back into the OGN business. Amazing Spider-Mam: Family Business is written by Mark Waid and James Robinson with dramatic and dynamic painted art by Gabriele Dell’Orio over pencil art by Werther Dell’Edera. The story itself is...

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News

TONY’S TIPS #057

May 26, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #057

For the past two weeks, I have been writing about legendary comics artist Dick Ayers, who left us May 4. Our paths crossed many times during my years in New York, but some of my fondest memories of him and his wife Lindy are from conventions where we both guests. I’ll get to those in a moment. Just before I wrote last week’s column, I came across an old file folder marked...WAR IS HELL. While the original plot for the debut of the short-lived series I created in 1974 was not in that folder, what was there was much cooler. The...

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