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

Current TOT >> TOT Archives | About Tony | Books by Tony | Message Board

for Friday, July 3, 2009

Most every Tuesday, I post new Tony Polls questions for your balloting entertainment. Last week, based on my June 23 TOT, you were asked to vote comics reprint collections you would be most likely to buy.

Here are those results.

Which of these DC Comics reprint collections would you be most likely to buy?

Newsboy Legion.....19.15%
Sheldon Mayer's Sugar and Spike.....19.15%

Tony Isabella's Black Lightning.....17.73%
'Mazing Man.....12.77%
Rip Hunter, Time Master.....9.22%
Sam Glanzman's USS Stevens.....7.09%
Boy Commandoes.....5.67%
Johnny Thunder (the western hero).....4.26%
Joe Simon's Prez.....0.71%

Newsboy Legion came from behind to tie with Sheldon Mayer's Sugar and Spike. Though I'd gladly shell out my hard-earned bucks for any of these collections, my vote went to Tony Isabella's Black Lightning. Because it does annoy me that, while nearly every BL story written by someone else has been reprinted in trade paperback or hardcover, not one BL story written by the character's creator - that would be me - has been reprinted in either format. DC could make a good profit just off the copies I'd buy to give out as gifts and sell at conventions.

Which of these Marvel Comics reprint collections would you be most likely to buy?

Blonde Phantom.....24.23%
Basil Wolverton's Powerhouse Pepper.....16.03%
Two Gun Kid (from the 1960s).....14.50%
1950s/1960s war comics.....13.74%
1950s crime comics.....10.69%
Kid Colt Outlaw (from the 1960s).....6.87%
Larry Lieber's Rawhide Kid.....4.58%
My Girl Pearl by Stan Lee and Dan DeCarlo.....3.82%
Millie the Model.....3.05%
1950s/1960s romance comics.....2.29%

Blonde Phantom took the lead from the start and got my vote as well. Though I've only read a handful of her adventures, I'd sign up to write new ones in a heartbeat.

Which of these other comics reprint collections would you be most likely to buy?

Pete Morisi's Thunderbolt.....18.38%
Vintage TV adaptations (Dell/Gold Key).....15.44%
1960s ACG fantasy/science fiction comics.....13.97%
The Phantom (Gold Key).....12.50%
Cosmo the Merry Martian.....11.76%
Vintage movie adaptations (Dell/Gold Key).....6.62%
Archie's Mad House.....3.68%
Tales Calculated To Drive You Bats.....2.21%
She's Josie (before the Pussycats).....0.74%

I considered voting for every one of these before settling on Gorgo/Konga/Reptilicus. Of course, if I didn't already own a complete set of Cosmo the Merry Martian, I would've voted for that series.

There will be new poll questions posted next week, but I'm not sure what they'll be. One of the possibilities is a 1980s version of our "They Not Dead Yet!" Comics Idol competition in which you vote for the 1980s comics writers you'd most like to see return to write their signature features.

I've posted requests for suggestions for this competition to various message boards and mailing lists, adding "Please confine suggestions to non-creator-owned features under the presumption that writers who own their signature features can return to them more or less whenever they choose to."

My friend Brian Saner Lamken rightfully took me to task on that one. He wrote:
I know you know this, but that's a heck of a presumption as, at least by the metrics of traditional publishing models, there has to be a publisher willing to partner with the creator to provide a delivery method, and/or the creator has to be willing to commit substantial time and treasure towards self-publishing.
Brian is correct here. However, for the time being, I still want to stick with non-creator-owner features in this competition. I hope to post a creator-owner version of "Comics Idol" before the end of the year.

Brian went on to offer these suggestions...
I'm still waiting for Andy Helfer to continue his brilliant, bizarre, booted run of The Shadow with Kyle Baker. Gerard Jones' The Shadow Strikes! was a worthy but wholly different successor, championed by folks at your forum.

Chris Claremont's New Mutants was a favorite of the era, first as drawn by Bob McLeod and especially later when Bill Sienkiewicz came aboard, as was the short-lived tenure of Paul Smith on Claremont's X-Men (like Dave Cockrum's and John Byrne's stints before Smith). I couldn't honestly tell you that I'd give those titles a try, though, because I gave up on both before Claremont left, and while reuniting him with classic collaborators and classic character lineups would be nostalgic it wouldn't necessarily be more than that.

Once upon a time I might have said the Keith Giffen and/or J.M. DeMatteis Justice League, whomever you consider the writer, even though it wore out its welcome during its heyday but as an extremely disappointing case in point regarding the above their return to the concept a few years ago was absolutely terrible. Likewise I dropped New Teen Titans as written by Marv Wolfman during the New Titans era, after George Perez left and came back and left again, and his recent turn on Nightwing was quite underwhelming especially as compared to the work of his successor, Peter Tomasi, who should follow the title character to Batman. Tomasi's doing a good job on Outsiders, but I might suggest Mike W. Barr on his baby again, especially if reunited with Alan Davis, or on Batman and Robin with Davis since their very enjoyable run on Detective Comics was so short-lived.
If you'd like to read more of Brian's comments, check out his new blog at:

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

Tony Isabella

<< 07/02/2009 | 07/03/2009 | 07/06/2009 >>

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.

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