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

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for Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The second round of the Tony Polls "They're Not Dead Yet! Comics Idol" competition began yesterday. Your votes in the first round narrowed the field down to ten comics writers of the 1970s. However, since I'm writing this TOT before the first round has ended, I don't know who those ten writers are. To find out who they are, and to cast your votes in the competition, you'll need to go here:

In the meantime, here are the results of the poll questions we asked the week of May 5...

If someone had fallen way behind on their comics reading, which of these IDW characters or titles would you recommend they catch up with first?

Fallen Angel.....18.67%
Star Trek.....16%
Doctor Who.....10.67%
30 Days of Night.....4%
G.I. Joe.....2.67%
Locke and Key.....1.33%
Speed Racer.....1.33%
Sir Apropos of Nothing.....0%
I don't read any IDW comic books.....32%

If someone had fallen way behind on their comics reading, which of these Dark Horse characters/titles would you recommend they catch up with first?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer.....24.68%
Usagi Yojimbo.....14.29%
Martha Washington.....3.90%
Star Wars.....2.60%
Emily the Strange.....0%
I don't read any Dark Horse comic books.....15.58%

If someone had fallen way behind on their comics reading, which of these Image characters/titles would you recommend they catch up with first?

Walking Dead.....6.41%
Savage Dragon.....5.13%
Dynamo 5.....2.56%
Astounding Wolf-Man.....1.28%
Bomb Queen.....1.28%
Frank Frazetta one-shots.....1.28%
Jersey Gods.....0%
Noble Causes.....0%
I don't read any Image comic books.....44.87%

Since I was the "someone" in these questions, I didn't vote on any of them. However, I am kicking myself for not including Eric Shanower's magnificient Age of Bronze in the Image question. It received a number of e-mailed write-in votes and would have tied with Godland had I remembered to include it. That's my real bad since the comic is one of the best being published by Image or any other comics publisher.

With the completion of my forthcoming 1000 Comic Books You Must Read, I should have time for reading new comic books once again. I will be guided by your response to these and the earlier questions posted.



A short while ago, my friend Mike Barr requested a forum here to openly discuss his differences with IDW over the reprinting of his stories sans compensation to him. At the time, I offered an editor at IDW space to express the company's side of the argument. That offer was declined. Barr has requested that I post this follow-up to his previous comments and I have agreed to do so. He writes:
To the Comics Industry:

On April 5, 2009, I sent an open letter to the comics industry, protesting IDW's plans to print Star Trek Archives, Volume 4: Deep Space Nine, which was scheduled to contain DS9 stories I had written, without making payment to the creators of the stories. As stated then, such payment for reprints, whether a percentage of profits or a straight perpage fee, has become an industry standard, and is observed by both DC Comics and Marvel Comics, the industry leaders. I also demanded that unless an agreement over a reprint rate was arrived at, IDW must not use my name to promote the DS9 collection.

On April 26, I provided IDW editor Chris Ryall, at his request, with contractual language that guaranteed payment for such reprints from my 1993 contact with Malibu, the original publisher of the DS9 stories I wrote. This information, after receiving no response, was re-transmitted on May 3, which, as of this writing, has also elicited no response.

Star Trek Archives, Volume 4: Deep Space Nine has since been published, using my name, despite my order that IDW not do so. I regret that, as announced earlier, if the collection is presented to me I cannot sign it, unless IDW makes a reprint payment for its use of my work. I ask that individuals sympathetic to the rights of freelancers not buy it.

I continue to await a response from Chris Ryall and IDW.


Mike W. Barr
Having expressed my own thoughts on this matter after posting Barr's first letter, I have nothing to add at this time. Further discussion, if any, of this situation will now move to the message board, which can be viewed at:

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

Tony Isabella

<< 05/14/2009 | 05/20/2009 | 05/21/2009 >>

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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