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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 18, 2006

Puppy Love

By now you should know that, when I bring out the cute animals photos, it's a desperate plea for forgiveness with a side order of groveling. Here's the situation:

Justin, the wondrous web-wizard of World Famous Comics and the guy who gets TOT up and running every column, is swamped with some crucial deadlines this week and into next week. He's also battling some ongoing medical stuff. I can't ask him to work on full-scale TOTs when he's got so much else on his plate. So...

You get this short-form TOT today. If all goes well, you'll get full-scale columns next Wednesday through Friday. If all keeps going well, then, on Monday, August 28, we will resume the Monday through Friday schedule that has so long eluded us.

Our current TONY POLLS questions will be active until sometime after midnight this coming Monday. New questions will be posted on this coming Tuesday. You can cast your votes at:

Some other quick business:

CBG 1622

COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE #1622 [November; $5.99] will be hitting the bookstores, comics shops, and newsstands sometime next week or so. My contributions to this new issue are my "Tony's Tips" column and my "Tony's Back Page" feature. The former has my report on the 2006 East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention as well as reviews of Alex Simmons' BLACKJACK: BLOOD & HONOR, Reginald Hudlin's BLACK PANTHER: WHO IS THE BLACK PANTHER?, Robert Roach's THE ROACH, and Stuart Moore's FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MAN #23-26. The latter gives you the behind-the-scenes story on the Thanagarian names I created when I was writing HAWKMAN in the 1980s.

Need more Tony? I write a weekly TONY'S OTHER ONLINE TIPS for the CBG Forums. These reviews are exclusive to those online forms; you can't get them anywhere else. In recent columns, I've reviewed ULTIMATE AVENGERS 2; manga series AIR GEAR, OYAYUBIHIME INFINITY, and Q-KO-CHAN; and WEEKLY WORLD NEWS. You can read these and other earlier reviews at:


MID-OHIO-CON, my favorite convention of them all, is moving to a new location for this year's event. It will be held on Saturday and Sunday, November 25 and 26, in Battelle Hall at the Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus.

I'm resuming my previous role as the show's panel programming potentate for this year's event, working with show founder and all-around swell guy Roger Price. It's too early in the process for me to have any solid schedule information for you, but I'll keep you posted as we get closer to the convention.

One programming element I'd like to have is a cosplay/costume competition to be held throughout the show. I have some ideas how to pull this off, but, for now, I'm seeking publishers, retailers, and creators to donate prizes and sponsor the contest. If this is something that interests you, contact me at:

This year's guest list is being finalized even as we "speak," but if you'd like a preview of the comics creators and media guests already scheduled to appear, go to:

Watch for more MID-OHIO-CON news in future TOTs.

Lassie 51

Two quick TV alerts for you. The first concerns my convention pal JON PROVOST, who starred as "Timmy" in the LASSIE series of my youth. Laurie Jacobson, an always-entertaining Hollywood historian and writer who is also Jon's beautiful and charming wife, sent me this heads-up:

I just wanted you to know Jon will be on CBS's SUNDAY MORNING this Sunday, August 20th in a six-minute piece about Lassie and our enduring love for dogs. Check your local listings. Schedules can change, but this is up to date as of now. Should they cancel, it will be on the following Sunday, August 27th.

The other TV alert concerns the episode of the USA Network's PSYCH scheduled to air on Friday, August 25. According to the most recent issue of TV GUIDE:

PSYCH Treks to Comic-Con. PSYCH, Fridays, 10/9c, USA Network. In the mid-season finale, Gus and Shawn head to the famed sci-fi convention to investigate the disappearance of a teenager - and come phaser-to-phaser with Star Trek's Mr. Sulu himself, George Takei.

Sci-fi convention? Apparently, TV GUIDE is among the many who no longer consider COMIC-CON a comics convention. I'm not one of "the many," but would it kill COMIC-CON to maintain "Artists Alley" at something resembling its previous size and maybe also loosen its non-profit purse strings enough to cover the expenses of a few more comics guests from the Golden, Silver, and maybe even Bronze Ages of Comics? I'm just asking is all.

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back on Wednesday with more stuff.

Tony Isabella

<< 08/16/2006 | 08/18/2006 | 08/23/2006 >>

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.

Please send material you would like me to review to:

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Medina, OH 44256

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