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TONY’S TIPS #086

December 16, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #086

Christmas is drawing ever closer. We’ve spent the past three weeks talking about suitable gifts for the comics fan or fans you love. Let’s go there one more time. Stocking stuffers. Normally, I’d suggest you’d hang said stockings with care and fill them with a variety of fan-friendly items like gift cards from your fan’s favorite comic shop, movie tickets for the 2015 batch of comics-inspired movies, role-playing dice and, a personal favorite, colorful PEZ dispensers with cartoon, comic and movie characters. However, I’m feeling positively blasphemous this holiday season and ready to take you in another direction. Rolled-up comic books....

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TONY’S TIPS #085

December 9, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #085

We start this week with a Christmas confession. I haven’t taken my own advice about not buying stuff that people could have given me as presents. In fact, I so completely didn’t take my own advice that I have well over a dozen “presents” sitting in my office as I write this week’s column. I should have Sainted Wife Barb wrap them and put them under our tree, thus saving her from any need to shop for me this year. Beholding this towering stack of good stuff, it occurs to me that these items would also make cool holiday gifts...

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TONY’S TIPS #084

December 1, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #084

Greetings, holiday shopper. Your seasonal comics elf is back with more suggestions for gifts that will wow your family and friends. You can’t see me, but I’m wearing the traditional green elf cap and tights, both of which I rock. As for the equally traditional floppy pointed shoes, those I’m having a problem with. I keep sliding on the floor of Santa’s Bookshop/Workshop and crashing into my fellow elves and the occasional reindeer. Let me say...you don’t want to be on the receiving end of Donner’s stink-eye. He’s one scary deer, especially when he’s been sipping Santa’s eggnog. The fine...

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TONY’S TIPS #083

November 25, 2014
TONY’S TIPS #083

The holiday season is nigh upon us, so unless you’re my freakishly efficient best friend Bob Ingersoll, you’re probably thinking “Oh, my stars and garters, I have to start my Christmas shopping!” Bob, of course, completed his 2014 Christmas shopping three years ago. I wasn’t kidding about either the efficient or freakish parts of my hilarious opening line. Christmas is what we celebrate at Casa Isabella, but I’m perfectly find with whatever holidays you celebrate. It’s the season of good will and quibbling over “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays!” or “Blessed Mothra Day!” is a surefire way to sour the...

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News

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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News

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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News

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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News

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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News

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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