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The After-Poll Report (06/25/02)

It's Tuesday and we have the results of last week's ten-pack of TONY POLLS questions. Let's get right to them.


QUESTION: Marvel has reworked its PREVIEWS solicitations. In all but a few cases, these now contain only the creator credits and a piece of art from each issue. Now that you've seen the new format, do you approve or disapprove?

Disapprove.....111 votes (74.50%)

Approve.....38 (25.50%)

I kept an open mind about this up to the moment I saw it in practice. While I'm certainly in favor of not giving out too much information about upcoming stories, Marvel's new solicitations fail to fulfill the obvious purpose of such solicitations: selling comic books. Instead of another Marvel "one size fits all" policy, maybe what the company needs is better talent in its sales and promotion departments. I voted with the majority here.


QUESTION: How will the new Marvel solicitations format affect your future preorders?

The new format won't affect my preorders at all...71 votes (47.02%)

I'll preorder fewer Marvels because I won't be sure what's in the comics being offered.....68 (45.03%)

I won't preorder any Marvels in the future.....12 (7.95%)

I'll preorder more Marvels to make sure I don't miss out on any key stories.....0

I will probably be preordering fewer Marvels because there likely won't be any hooks to catch my interest. For just over 50% of the voters, the new format will adversely affect their Marvel preorders. Were I calling the shots on this, I would be rethinking the new policy and the present staffing.


QUESTION: Do you buy/order the majority of your new comics in advance through a store or some other subscription service...or do you wait until you can see them at a store to make your purchasing decision? [Question suggested by Neil Ottenstein.]

Order in advance.....120 votes (72.73%)

Wait and see.....45 (27.27%)

I don't buy the majority of new comic books I read because I either borrow them from a friend or get them from comics creators and publishers hoping for reviews. Of those comics I do buy, the overwhelming majority are preordered from a friend's subscription service. There are no comic-book shops in my hometown of Medina, Ohio, and, if I were going to drive to a shop in another town, it would be THE LAUGHING OGRE in Columbus, approximately 100 miles south of me.


QUESTION: With one editor having resigned from Marvel and a another part-timer being laid off, do you think the MARVEL KNIGHTS imprint will still be active a year from now? [I define "active" as continuing to buy new material.]

No.....85 votes (57.05%)

Yes.....64 (42.95%)

I voted NO on this one, but only because I believe Marvel's in-house ratings system has made the imprint redundant. Is there still any reason for edgy books like DAREDEVIL to be set apart from edgy books like NEW X-MEN? Rather than risk marketplace confusion, and, by "marketplace," I'm optimistically thinking of a marketplace beyond the current readership, I'd bring the Marvel Knights back to the big castle.


QUESTION: Do you think Marvel's Max Comics imprint will still be active a year from now?

No.....80 votes (52.63%)

Yes.....72 (47.37%)

I voted YES on this one. Even though I would prefer Marvel not do MAX versions of its existing characters, keeping the imprint alive as a home for "mature" projects makes a great deal of sense. However, despite casting that vote, I still think "MAX" is a dumb name for the imprint. Additionally, if the Rich Johnston-reported rumor that a Nick Fury film deal was killed due to George Clooney's disgust with the Garth Ennis FURY is even partially true, I could see those in authority above Bill Jemas dropping the hammer on the imprint. Mark me I again make the suggestion that the Marvel crew keep their legendary characters out of the MAX mix and use the imprint for original projects.


QUESTION: Imagine you have the money to buy either DC Comics or Marvel Comics outright. Which one would you buy?

DC.....110 votes (63.95%)

Marvel....62 (36.05%)

I would buy DC, but that's because doing so would allow me to regain control and ownership of Black Lightning. If BL were not a factor, I'd probably buy whichever one I could get cheapest and that would undoubtedly be Marvel.


QUESTION: Imagine you're the next superstar comics creator and have your choice of taking over one of the these three classic DC heroes. Which one would you choose?

Superman.....79 votes (45.40%)

Batman.....71 (40.80%)

Wonder Woman.....24 (13.79%)

I have a pretty good idea how I'd write Batman, so I went with SUPERMAN. Keeping Superman true to his essential nature *and* telling stories interesting enough to appeal to even the most jaded super-fan would be more of a challenge. As for Wonder Woman, well, writing her well would be the biggest challenge of all, but I'm not certain I have the necessary passion for the character...which is not to suggest I'd run from said challenge.


QUESTION: Do you think public schools should give equal time to the teaching of evolution and intelligent design?

No.....100 votes (61.73%)

Yes.....36 (19.23%)

Undecided.....26 (16.05%)

I wish I had added the words "in science classes" to this question. My vote would still have been NO, but I think the phrase would have clarified the question for some of the undecided. There might be a place for creationism/intelligent design in a philosophy class...and certainly in a comparative religion class...but, since "intelligent design" is a fraudulent reworking of creationism in an inherently dishonest attempt to shoehorn religious beliefs into the secular curriculum, I can't envision any good reason to ever give it equal time...and certainly not in a science class.


QUESTION: Should intelligent design be taught in public school science classes at all?

No.....101 votes (64.74%)

Yes.....30 (19.23%)

Undecided.....25 (16.03%)

I also voted NO on this one. "Intelligent design" is not science; it shouldn't be taught in a science class.


QUESTION: Do you consider this statement TRUE OF FALSE? The proponents of teaching intelligent design in science classes are more interested in promoting religious beliefs than in providing students with a good education in science.

True.....122 votes (78.71%)

False.....17 (10.97%)

Undecided.....16 (10.32%)

Anyone who can't figure out how I voted on this one hasn't been paying attention. "Intelligent design" proponents don't give a rat's ass about science. All they care about is promoting their narrow pseudo-Christian beliefs. My good friend Jesus weeps at the deception they foster in His name.



Since I received nary an e-mail on the above poll questions, I figure what you really want to see here is more of my insightful commentary on national and world events as seen in the newspapers I read each morning. The dateline is Wednesday, June 19, and here are the items which caught my eye.

In Kentucky, hard-line abortion foes wanted the state health board to turn down federal family-planning money that is used to dispense birth-control pills to women, claiming "the pill" is the equivalent of abortion. As a guy who generally opposes abortion-- but who also believes there are humane, medical, and psychological reasons to allow some abortions--I think this line of reasoning is completely insane.

Better birth-control means fewer abortions while abortion is still legal. How can anyone logically equate it with abortion? I realize logic has never been in abundant supply among the religious right, but this kind of fanaticism works against them. You're not going to end abortion by turning back the clock and making half the population slaves to biology.

Last I heard, the Kentucky health board voted to accept those federal funds...but only by one vote. The small margin of victory doesn't bode well for the future.

Turning to the comics, the awful FLO AND FRIENDS managed to be both awful and insulting on June 19. Seeing a lot of kids in the back seat of a van, one character opines the crowding is going to cause an accident. To which another character responds:

"I think it was an accident in the back seat that caused all those kids."

Doesn't anyone who works on the assembly line which produces this wretched strip realize that some parents have large families's a concept...they want large families?

Some of my cousins, who came from a large family themselves, made the decision to have large families of their own. Every one of them is a hard-working individual who has always paid their own way in the world. I didn't choose to have a large family--I can't always keep up with my two kids--but my choice wasn't their choice and their choice was theirs to make.

I now hate FLO AND FRIENDS as much as I hate CATHY. Someone should pull the plug on these strips and soon.

The same day's STRANGE BREW panel has "Clark Kent's Recurring Nightmare" as the bespectacled reporter looks around and realizes "there's no phone booth anywhere." How...strange...that the image of Clark changing to Superman in a phone booth remains fixed in our minds decades after it became obsolete.

Too busy to read HARRY POTTER? Writer Kate Zernike of the New York Times reports SparksNotes, A kind of knockoff of CliffsNotes, will publish their "study guide" to HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE next month. That is just so wrong.

Check out this week's TONY POLLS question at the usual place on the web...and look for a new edition of TONY'S ONLINE TIPS on Friday at Perpetual Comics:

Here's hoping you're having a great week!

Tony Isabella

<< 06/22/2002 | 06/25/2002 | 07/10/2002 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Message Board. Also, read Heroes and Villains: Real and Imagined and view my Amazon Wish List.

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Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.

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