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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 Wednesday, April 2, 2008

CBG Fan Award

I have had a love/hate relationship with the Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Awards since the year when an orchestrated campaign involving a great many people who didn't read CBG and were likely unaware of its existence until that year succeeded in skewering the results so that a Carl Barks story won in every category in which it could have possibly been eligible. The story was decent enough, but it wasn't worthy of all those awards. A group of determined and perhaps/perhaps not well-meaning people virtually stole the CBG fan awards that year.

Though CBG took steps to prevent this sort of thing, the Fan Awards nominations remain vulnerable to this kind of tampering. It goes beyond online fandom's bias towards DC Comics and super-hero comics in general. Witness those year after year nominations for Joseph Michael Linsner, a great talent to be sure, but not someone whose works would normally be nominated in multiple born out by his consistently low rankings in the finals.

This year, it appears Dark Horse Comics was the recipient of a similar campaign. I don't dispute that the various Dark Horse candidates are deserving of such honors. I voted for some of them myself. But their success in the nomination process seems unlikely in comparison to traditional CBG Fan Awards voting. It's possible the final results, which will be announced in CBG #1645 - shipping in early July - and on, will prove my conjecture to be baseless. Until then, my love/hate relationship with these awards will continue to be volatile.

But it's not so volatile that I still don't get a kick out of asking my Tony Polls voters to choose their favorites among the CBG Fan Awards nominees. The voting was spread out over two weeks in March and here are the results:

Who is your choice for Favorite Comic Book Editor?

Diana Schutz.....32.31%
Mike Carlin.....27.69%
Tom Brevoort.....26.15%
Dan DiDio.....12.31%
Joe Quesada.....1.54%

I was torn between Schutz and Brevoort and ended up voting for the latter because I think it's harder to do good comics within the monolithic Marvel machine.

Favorite Comic Book Writer

Ed Brubaker.....30.43%
Geoff Johns.....21.74%
Gail Simone.....21.74%
Mark Evanier....20.29%
Stan Sakai.....5.80%

There isn't a writer on this list that I couldn't have voted for. They're all terrific. So I voted for the one who's been like a brother to me since we were teenagers. To this day, whenever he gets in trouble, Evanier tells his mother it was my fault.

Favorite Comic Book Penciller

George Perez.....44.78%
Darwyn Cooke.....29.85%
Sergio Aragones.....10.45%
John Romita Jr.....10.45%
Stan Sakai.....4.48%

I think George wins this every year. Let me check. No, he's only won it eight times out of the past ten years. I didn't vote for him this year, although, like the writer nominees, every one of these pencillers is deserving. I voted for Sergio because I think it's about time he's honored not just for being one of our funniest artists, but for being one of the best all-around storytellers in our field.

Favorite Comic Book Inker

Rachel Dodson.....28.81%
Steve Leialoha.....25.42%
Bob Wiacek.....20.34%
Sergio Aragones.....15.25%
Stan Sakai.....10.17%

More great nominees. I tend not to vote for pencillers in the inking category, so that eliminated Sergio and Stan. It was a hard call to make, but I voted for Steve Leialoha.

Favorite Comic Book Colorist

Laura Martin.....29.82%
Dave Stewart.....28.07%
Richard Isanove.....17.54%
Alex Sinclair.....14.04%
Tom Luth.....10.53%

More excellent choices. I voted for Laura Martin.

Favorite Comic Book Letterer

Todd Klein.....37.70%
Chris Eliopoulos.....21.31%
Stan Sakai.....14.75%
Rob Leigh.....3.28%

Another tough call. I voted for Todd Klein.

Favorite Comic Book Cover Artist

Alex Ross.....72.86%
James Jean.....11.43%
Sergio Aragones.....10%
Joseph Michael Linsner.....4.29%
Michael Turner.....1.43%

Ross has won the CBG Fan Award in this category 11 out of the past dozen years and he got my vote again this year.

Favorite Comic Book Story

"Death of the Dream" (Captain America #25-30)....29.41%
Groo 25th Anniversary Special.....25%
"The Lightning Saga" (JLA #8-10, JSA #5-6).....20.59%
"Sinestro Corps War" (Green Lantern #21-24 plus tie-ins)....20.59%
"Civil War" (Civil War #7 plus assorted tie-ins).....4.41%

I abstained in this category because I hadn't read all of the nominees. It's a shortcoming that I hope to correct in the very near future.

Favorite Comic Book Series or Mini-Series

Green Lantern.....25%
Groo: Hell on Earth.....18.75%
Walking Dead.....12.50%
Usagi Yojimbo.....9.38%

Another abstention from me. I am embarrassingly far behind in reading all of these titles.

Favorite Original Graphic Novel

Heroes HC.....18.52%
Goon: Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker.....11.11%
Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together (aka Scott Pilgrim Vol. 4).....11.11%
Warren Ellis' Crecy.....5.56%

Of the above, the only one I've read is Serenity and I don't see it as an award-winner. So I didn't vote in this category either.

Favorite Comic Book Character

Usagi Yojimbo.....4.76%

It should be noted that CBG asks its readers to choose their favorites and not necessarily the best. Every one of the nominees is a great character. The Hulk has been particularly interesting of late. But, for this year, my choice was between Groo and Usagi. I flipped a coin. It landed in mulch.

Favorite Comic Book Publisher

Dark Horse.....17.46%
Dynamite Entertainment.....3.17%

My favorite comic-book publisher is the one that sends money to me when it reprints my old stories and doesn't screw me over on Black Lightning. I want to thank Dark Horse, Dynamite, and Image for not screwing me on Black Lightning, but, as the only company that also sent me money, Marvel earned my vote.

This week's entertaining Tony Polls questions ask you to pick the "greatest" Spider-Man story, the next new member of the Justice League, Buffy Summers' next sleepover cuddle pal, and the worst comic-book movie of all time.

You can cast your votes by going to:



Tony Isabella

Since Tony's Online Tips switched to a reader-supported feature, I have heard from many newcomers to the website, some of whom have bemoaned the absences of any FAQ for all things Isabella. I'm not sure when I can find the time to write such a thing, but I will answer your questions whenever possible. Today's edition of "Bloggy Bits" answers some of the most basic ones.

I'm 56 years old, happily married to Sainted Wife Barbara, and the father of Eddie (19) and Kelly (16). They will get their very own "Bloggy Bits" later this week and next week.

We live in Medina, Ohio, a pretty nice city despite its being way too white and almost criminally too Republican. It's a little over 30 miles south of my Cleveland birthplace and around 110 miles north of Columbus.

I work out of my home, except on those rare occasions when I take a consulting job or some non-comics job. I can still do most of such jobs from my home, but some clients enjoy seeing my smiling face and basking in my pleasant company.

I'm in what I consider fairly good health these days. I have the occasional problem with my blood pressure medication - I am the poster child for adverse side effects - but my health is good and, hopefully, will get even better in the months to come.

I'm what Maggie Thompson, my long-time friend and one of CBG's editors, calls "underappreciated" and "underemployed." I'm booked up until the middle of the month or thereabouts, but am interested in and available for paying assignments. That doesn't mean that I take anything offered me. If I can't do a job well, if I can't do it as quickly as a client needs it, if I find a job repugnant, if I find a client repugnant, I'll pass on it.

I was raised a Roman Catholic, but I left the Church because of its protection of child molesters and its support of political positions I find hateful. I'm a non-aligned Christian, trying to follow Jesus as best my flawed mortality allows.

I'm very liberal on most issues, conservative on a few issues, and backing Barrack Obama for President.

I'm three-fourths Italian and one-fourth Sicilian. I've never understood the distinction, but it seems to be meaningful to some of my older relatives.

I'm 5'3" and shrinking. I fear one day I will be fighting off a spider with a nail.

I'm overweight, but still cute as a button. Just ask the 20-something babes on MySpace who want to get to know me and have me look at their sexy photos.

You can visit my MySpace page at:

That's more than enough "me" for one column. Tune in tomorrow and I'll tell you about my family.



Let's shine our Comics in the Comics spotlight on the Batman, starting with The Flying McCoys by brothers Glenn and Gary. The first one is from March 4 and the second one is from February 21:

Flying McCoys

Flying McCoys

The prolific Scott Nickel provides this Eek! strip from March 4:


Mother Goose and Grimm creator Mike Peters is good for several Batman appearances each year. This one is from November 7 of last year:

Mother Goose and Grimm

Finally, we bring you this Dave Coverly Speed Bump from November 3 of last year:

Speed Bump

Keep reading TOT for more Comics in the Comics.

Tony's Online Tips is a reader-sponsored feature, made possible through your "Tip The Tipster" donations. Today's column was again brought to you by Steve and I thank him for his generous support. If you'd like to contribute, just click on the "Tip The Tipster" link elsewhere on this page.

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

Tony Isabella

<< 04/01/2008 | 04/02/2008 | 04/03/2008 >>

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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840 Damon Drive
Medina, OH 44256

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1000 Comic Books You Must Read.1000 Comic Books You Must Read

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