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

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for Friday, June 26, 2009

Most every Tuesday, I post new Tony Polls questions for your balloting entertainment. Sometimes I ask these questions just because I'm curious as to how I compare to my readers, as was the case with these questions from the past two weeks.

From which of these online social networks do you derive the most benefit or enjoyment?

I don't use any of them.....47%

I went with Facebook, but I'm now getting just as much fun and use out of Twitter. I'm not much in love with MySpace of late, to the point where I'm seriously considering dropping it in the very near future. If you'd like to follow me on any of these services, your best bet is Facebook or Twitter.

On a related note, I was surprised at how many of my readers don't participate in any of these online networks. While there is certainly the temptation to spend too much time with them, they can be worthwhile in moderation.

How are you most likely to see a movie?

Going to the movie theater.....36.84%
Renting it from Netflix.....25.26%
Buying it.....18.95%
Renting it from a local video store.....18.95%

I went with "renting it from Netflix". Going to the movie theater has gotten increasingly expensive and, in the current economy, that's not money I want to spend expect for very special releases. Netflix fits my budget and time better.

I do buy my fair share of movies, but I've been cutting back there as well. My most recent purchases were DVDs I needed to see so I can pitch some ideas to comics publishers, gifts for my kids, and, for me, the first two seasons of Burn Notice and the occasional giant monster movie.

My daughter will rent movies from local video stores, but I'm more likely - if rarely - to get movies from the library. It's how I roll.

If you rent movies from Netflix, what plan are you on?

1 DVD out at a time.....36.11%
3 DVDs out at a time.....30.56%
2 DVDs out at a time.....19.44%
4 DVDs out at a time.....13.89%

I'm on the "1 DVD out at a time" plan for reasons both economical and practical. Since I have something like 40 hours of TV programs waiting to be watched on my DVR, and hundreds of hours of DVDs I haven't watched, I don't need to have more than one DVD from Netflix on hand at any one time.

My surprise with this question? Only a third of my voters use Netflix at all.

This week, from lists of ten possible reprint collections from DC, Marvel, or other comics publishers, I'm asking you which you'd be most likely to purchase.

You can cast your votes here:

Shortly after these new questions were posted, I received this e-mail from Bill Kropfhauser...
An interesting list, and one I would agree on for the most part. I was never a big fan of Tomahawk, in spite of the Fred Ray art. I found it too formula. And I don't think there are enough Prez issues to make a trade, regardless of what you or I might think of the quality (you're more impressed with it than I am). Instead, I would substitute Sheldon Mayer's Scribbly, a work that's just as wonderful as Sugar And Spike. And rather than just reprint the Johnny Thunder strip, I would reprint the entire run of All-American Western, which I think is one of the great hidden gems of comic book history. In addition to Thunder, where Alex Toth did some of his most wonderful work, aided by Sy Barry, you had Toni Barret's "Overland Coach" (Irwin Hasen and later Gil Kane), "Foley Of The Fighting Fifth" (Kubert, Infantino, Giunta) and "Harmony Hayes The Minstrel Maverick" (Hasen again). Each feature had concise, interesting tales with top art. Science Fiction may have been Julius Schwartz's love, but I enjoyed his western books more than I did his SF comics.

I also wanted to argue your blanket statement on how dark comics have been and how less enjoyable they are. I agree for the most part. However, I think it's too broad. I'm currently reading the Daredevil Omnibus, which reprints Ed Brubaker's run on Daredevil. This is as dark and unheroic as any comic I've read, but it's also a tremendously affecting read. This is due in no small part to Ed Brubaker's effective writing. It's gritty realism and no character emerges unscathed. But it's engrossing, involving and satisfying. Brubaker's Captain America run shares the same qualities. Dark and unheroic is not necessarily a bad thing. Poorly conceived and written dark and unheroic is.

I may not always agree with your assessments, but I will keep reading them.
Thanks for your continued readership, Bill, and for sending me these thoughts. Such comments are always welcome at TOT Central, whether they are posted on my message board or sent via e-mail. Keep them coming!

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

Tony Isabella

<< 06/25/2009 | 06/26/2009 | 06/29/2009 >>

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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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