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

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for Monday, July 16, 2007

Strange Brew

Comics in the Comics is one of my and your favorite TOT features. I love comic strips and panels that are self-referential or that "guest star" characters from other strips or from comic books. They also come in pretty darn handy when my aching back is up against the deadlines wall.

We start with John Deering's Strange Brew from July 15. Deering is chief editorial cartoonist for Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, but this daily and Sunday panel lets his imagination roam so much further than the confines of the real world. You can read Strange Brew online at:

Beetle Baily

Superman fared better when he was referenced in Mort Walker's Beetle Bailey on the same day. The popular comic strip is credited to Greg and Mort Walker these days and can be read online by going to:

Pearls Before Swine

Private Bailey had a guest shot in Stephen Pastis' Pearls Before Swine for July 6. You can read the daily/Sunday strip online by going to:

Show Buzz

One of my favorite cartoonists is the prolific Scott Nickel. I read his Show Buzz panel at his ComicSpace page:

Show Buzz

How prolific is Scott? Here's the introductory content from his ComicSpace page:

I write and draw the comic strip HIS & HERS, syndicated by UClick and launching on GoComics August 6, 2007. I also write GO TEAM BOB, which is drawn by cartoonist John Jagusak, and launches on GoComics August 13, 2007.

I produced TRIPLE TAKE with Todd Clark, which was syndicated worldwide by King Features and ran from April 4, 2005 to August 26, 2007.

By day, I work as a writer/editor at Paws, Inc., Jim Davis' creative studio in Indiana. By night, I write and draw. Burning the midnight oil, I've created hundreds of humorous greeting cards for companies like American Greetings and Recycled Cards, written award-winning children's books, produced cartoons for publications like MAD and Playboy, and developed a major caffeine habit.

The Show Buzz panels shown above are from July 15 and July 9. I'll be running more of Scott's work in future editions of this column. Like I said, he's one of my favorites.

Tank McNamara

Tank McNamara ran afoul of Major League Baseball in a series of strips from earlier this months. The July 7 had a guest appearance by Ignatz the Mouse from the legendary Krazy Kat. Ignatz played baseball commission Bud Selig in the strip by writer Jeff Millar and artist Bill Hinds. You can read the strip online by going to:

Cow and Boy

My friend Tom Duffy is a tiger when it comes to sending me any "Comics in the Comics" he thinks I might've missed. Mark Leiknes' Cow and Boy strip ran on July 9. You can read this strip online at:

Tom also sent me a pair of Working Daze strips by John Zakour and Kyle Miller. They ran on July 10 and 11.

Working Daze

Working Daze

You can read Working Daze online here:

Mother Goose and Grimm

Comic-book super-heroes are a frequent theme in many strips, including Mike Peters' Mother Goose and Grimm. The example above ran on July 10 and you can read the strip seven days a week by going to:

Flying McCoy Brothers

Superman appeared in this Flying McCoy Brothers panel from July 11. The feature is created by Gary and Glenn McCoy and appears online at:


The other half of the World's Finest team made an appearance in Dan Piraro's Bizarro panel from July 12. The panel can be read online here:

Watch for more "Comics in the Comics" in upcoming editions of TOT. I have dozens of them in my files and more coming in all the time. But, if you come across a strip or a panel you think I might have missed, send it to me at:



Silver Surfer

This Tony Polls question was posted during my medical leave of mid-May through June:

If Tony doesn't make it, what do you think he's most likely to come back as?

Here's how you voted...

1928 Porter.....14.59%
first lesbian President of the USA.....10.81%
vengeful pigeon.....10.81%
love child of Paris Hilton.....6.49%
vengeful spirit.....6.49%
star of CSI: Moon Base Alpha.....5.41%
cute little beagle.....4.86%
strange visitor from another planet.....4.32%
animated mouse.....2.70%
booth babe.....1.62%
booth hunk.....1.62%
cute little kitten.....1.08%
great white shark.....1.08%
network executive.....0.54%
Kentucky Derby winner.....0%

I didn't vote on this question, but, whatever I came back as, I'm sure I would have become the most-beloved whatever in no time at all. Which brings me to this...


Draw me as any of the above choices. E-mail your drawings to me. I'll run the best ones in future editions of TOT, praise you for your imagination and talent, and maybe even send you a bag of comics or something. Act now before someone tells me what a dumb idea this is.

Our current Tony Polls questions all concern what you like and don't like about TOT. These questions will be taken down sometime after midnight tonight and replaced by new questions. So you only have a few hours to cast your votes at:

New questions will be posted sometime on Tuesday and they will also concern what you like and don't like about TOT. I do realize that questions of this nature aren't always fun, but your ballots will be a enormous help in determining the future of TOT, whether it remains at World Famous Comics or whether it moves to a new website.

Thanks for your participation and look for more poll results later this week.

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

Tony Isabella

<< 07/13/2007 | 07/16/2007 | 07/17/2007 >>

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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