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Reviews and commentary by Tony Isabella
"America's Most Beloved Comic-Book Writer & Columnist"

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for Friday, August 13, 2004

Wizard World Chicago kicks off today and, though I couldn't be there this year, I want to wish all the fans and guests attending the convention one heck of a fun weekend. The show has always been one of my favorites and...if the fates be kind...I look forward to returning to it next year.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Dork Tower 27

Chaos, thy name is Isabella!

I reviewed DORK TOWER #28 in my online column for August 4, completely forgetting I was supposed to review DORK TOWER #27 [Dork Storm Press; $2.99] for COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE. Hoping there's some truth to that "better late than never" theory, I'm bringing you my review of the previous issue today. Mea culpa.

DORK TOWER is a comic best enjoyed by gamers, but which also has content of interest to non-gamers. Your reviewer falls into a third category: non-gamers who are hopeless when it comes to games of any kind. I even suck at Scrabble, which is a source of endless amusement to my wife and children.

My favorite feature was a 15-page chapter of Kovalic's ongoing "Dork Tower" serial, a warmly amusing character play starring down-on-his-luck gamer Matt, a vampire, and the vampire's darn cute kid sister. The back-and-forth dialogue between Matt and his pals, the vampire and his sister, and Matt and the vampire was a pleasure to read, albeit a pleasure marred by my not knowing who these people were. With 48 pages in each issue, a "cast of characters" or "what has gone before" page would not be an extravagance.

The gaming gags and text pages were totally lost on me, but I got a kick from "Dr. Blink: Superhero Shrink" by Kovalic and artist Christopher Jones, and "Lethargic Lad" by Greg Hyland. I confess I also enjoyed the mild-mannered Kovalic getting his dander up in response to a whiny reader. I've been there.

Gaming fans will get more out of this title than a comics guy like yours truly. Even so, the amount of general interest material in the issue compares favorably to that found in other black-and-white comics priced at three bucks. There is room for improvement, but, bottom line, DORK TOWER is worth checking out at your friendly neighborhood comics or gaming shop.

It gets a perfectly respectable three Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony



I have been offline for a while and am catching up with your column. You asked in one of them if we wanted to see more info from publisher catalogs. I vote yes! I wasn't aware of the things in the Watson-Guptill catalog and was glad to find out about them.

The Silver Age of Comic Book Art If you're not receiving it already, go to...

...and sign up for their catalog. They have some interesting items there, including Arlen Schumer's book on art from the Silver Age of comics.

Since Schumer's book was published, I have kept up an e-mail correspondence with someone there and have already suggested that the company look into collecting your "My First Marvels" columns. Have fun...and keep on truckin'!
That's going above and beyond for the old Tipster, Rob, and I do appreciate it. Collectors Press publishes many terrific books and I would be honored to have my gathered remembrances among them. Thanks for thinking of me.

I do plan more catalog reports in the very near future. Keep an eye out for them.

That's all I have for now. Thanks to all of you for spending a part of your day with me.

I'll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

Tony Isabella

<< 08/12/2004 | 08/13/2004 | 08/14/2004 >>

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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.

Please send material you would like me to review to:

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Medina, OH 44256

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