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

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for Friday, October 6, 2006

You probably know this already.

Early last month, the morning of September 6, the Texas home of award-winning cartoonist Lea Hernandez was destroyed in a fire. She, her husband, and their two special-needs kids were able to get out safely, but all but two of their beloved pets died in the fire. Of more worldly possessions, including irreplaceable art, they lost virtually everything.

Within hours of news of the fire hitting the Internet, comics fans, pros, and retailers came to the assistance of the Hernandez family. PayPal donations were made directly to the family. Comics shops placed donation jars on their counters. Items were auctioned off on eBay to help one of our own.

Since then, though the wheels of the insurance industry have been turning for Lea and her family, they have been turning slowly. Earlier this week, I received an update on the situation from Gail Simone, Lea's friend and collaborator:

Tony, I'm wondering if I might ask a small favor.

You probably heard, but the Texas home of artist/writer Lea Hernandez burned down a couple weeks ago, and it's been really hard for her (both her kids are special-needs kids, her son is autistic) to regain her footing. She's got a fantastic family but obviously this has been a terrible blow.

To that end, we've been doing auctions, art, scripts, etc. on eBay, and we'll be doing them for at least six more weeks, probably more. What I'm wondering about is if there's any way you might be able to mention the auctions in your column, at:

Most of these items are one of a kind, donated by readers and creators and publishers, to aid in the effort. And, of course, direct cash donations can still be made at:

It would be wonderful if your large readership could be made aware of these auctions, as they could be getting some pretty dang terrific art bargains while helping a wonderful family recover from a catastrophe.

There is, indeed, some pretty sweet stuff up for grabs at the most current auction...including a Scott Morse sketchbook with over 50 drawings and a Kevin O'Neill sketch of Captain Nemo from LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. I urge you to visit this and upcoming auctions...and bid generously.

If you were planning to make a TIP THE TIPSTER donation this month - there's a handy link on this page - I urge you to, instead, make that donation to the Hernandez family. Times may be tight as ever at Casa Isabella, but they are a heck of lot tighter for Lea and her family.

When she can, Lea is posting updates on what's going on with her family. You can read those at:

One last bit of business for today.

Were it not for one of Lea's kids hearing the smoke alarm and waking the family, we might be mourning her and her family instead of discussing how we can help them. All of us lead busy lives, but none of us lead lives so busy that we can't spare a few moments to check our household smoke detectors and make sure they are working and working properly.

Please take those few minutes today.

Thanks for spending part of your day with me. Have a terrific weekend and I'll be back here on Monday with a full-sized edition of this column.

Tony Isabella

<< 10/03/2006 | 10/06/2006 | 10/09/2006 >>

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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