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

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for Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Gasoline Alley

The DREADED DEADLINE DOOM will likely be a permanent fixture around Casa Isabella this week, but at least we have this way cool Gasoline Alley strip in which Jim Scancarelli channels Wally Wood. Is that sweet or what?

Scancarelli's art and stories are a sheer delight, especially since he often ventures into my beloved Comics in the Comics territory. Not long ago, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Dick Tracy, he guest-starred Chester Gould's razor-chinned detective in a honest-to-gosh murder mystery.

The current daily continuity has Walt Wallet, the star of the strip, visiting the "Old Comics Home" while his caretaker tries to convince a federal agent the elderly Wallet is still alive and that this isn't some sort of Social Security scam. Guest stars in this storyline have included some underground comix characters, but the emphasis has been on the mainstream icons who no longer appear on our comics pages. For example, yesterday's strip...

Gasoline Alley

...features Barney Google, Li'l Abner, and the Yellow Kid. I actually giggled out loud at the warning on the Kid's shirt. Now that's comedy!

You can read Gasoline Alley online here:


What's all the hubbub at Casa Isabella this week? Nothing to be alarmed at. Though I hit the ground running after Mid-Ohio-Con, and made considerable progress on a number of fronts, I still have several must-be-attended-to-this-week items on my desk. I'm aiming to write a full-length Mid-Ohio-Con report for Friday's TOT and, after that, I should be able to keep the full-length columns coming on our usual Monday-through-Friday schedule.

Household-wise, well, we're trying to finish some renovation by Christmas. Two of our three bathrooms are in varying stages of "torn apart" and being worked on - loudly - even as I write today's column. Nothing like the melodious sound of a tile saw to bolster one's creativity.

However, if these DDD editions of my column aren't enough for you, I can direct you to other places where you can...say it with me...GET MORE TONY!

Comics Buyer's Guide 1625

There's a heap of good reading in COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE #1625 [February, 2007; $5.99]. My main contribution is my "Tony's Tips" column, in which I offer suggestions on holiday shopping and review The Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy, Jonah Hex: Face Full of Violence, Marvel Masterworks: Rawhide Kid and Classic Media's Gojira DVD. The issue also features terrific pieces on DC's JSA relaunch, modern mini-comics, and Jann of the Jungle, as well as Andrew "Captain Comics" Smith's chat with Stan Lee, Craig "Mr. Silver Age" Shutt's annual Mopee Awards, and DC Comics Senior Vice President/Executive Editor Dan DiDio's 10 favorite comic-book covers. Definitely worth checking out.

Phantom 1458

There's more.

Every Monday, I post a brand-new, exclusive edition of "Tony's Other Online Tips" on the CBG forums. This week, I look at The Phantom #1457 and #1458 from Australia's Frew Publications. You can read these reviews at:

OZ Treasury

One more for the road. Though my connection with the Marvel and DC "treasury edition" comics of the 1970s is slight, my pal Rob Kelly still wanted to interview me for his spiffy TREASURY COMICS website. You can read that interview here...

...and then move on to the *really* good stuff at Rob's online tribute to those big, beautiful comics of olde.


Most every Tuesday, I post new TONY POLLS questions for your voting entertainment. If I were more organized, I could tell you what the questions are this week, but that's the next thing on my "to do" list.

I think the questions will be on DC's Shazam characters and/or Marvel's black-and-white magazines, but, really, who knows with me? Whatever the questions are, you can vote on them at:

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

Tony Isabella

<< 12/04/2006 | 12/05/2006 | 12/06/2006 >>

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:

Tony's Online Tips
840 Damon Drive
Medina, OH 44256

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