The above is an actual photo of my plans for this column going up in a cloud of radioactive smoke. Or not. But, either way, it illustrates my frustration at the moment.
The months of May through July have whipped me like I was some potato destined to become a tasty side dish. I went through what should have been a brief bad patch with my health, came through it well, and then got swamped by everything else that was going on in my life and the lives of my family.
Barb found herself with extra responsibilities at work. Eddie and Kelly finished off the school year with a flourish and jumped right into summer sports. I've been juggling bills, family stuff, health issues, meetings with lawyers and other scary folks, and the usual comics and non-comics gigs.
Don't panic. It's all good or getting there.
But, here we are, mid-July, and World Famous Comics web-wizard Justin and I have run into this unbreakable wall we cannot work our way around. Justin is going to San Diego's Comic-Con International in a few days and, when he returns, he'll be finishing up a major freelance job that's due by the end of the month. I'm leaving on a family vacation tomorrow and won't be back at my keyboard for a week or so. Even if I were to sneak a laptop into the luggage and write columns during my vacation, Justin won't be able to prepare and post them until after he completes his work on that freelance job. Neither of us is thrilled about this, but these are the cards we've been dealt.
When TOT returns in August - and we are hoping it will return on August 1 - we will be aiming to get it back up to Monday through Friday status as soon as possible. I'm aiming to write big meaty columns packed with news, views, reviews, and the usual fun stuff. I'm aiming to put my health and other issues behind me and get back to writing, not just columns, but books and comics and maybe some other cool things as well.
I'm either inspired or manic-depressive.
During TOT's absence, TONY POLLS will also be going on hiatus. It doesn't make sense to put up new questions when I can't mention them in the column. But, one of the first orders of business when TOT returns will be to post new questions and bring you the results of the past couple months of completed voting.
TONY'S OTHER ONLINE TIPS will continue to appear exclusively on the COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE website:
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: