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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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TONY'S ONLINE TIPS
for Friday, July 17, 2009

"Tony's Back Page" appears in every issue of Comics Buyer's Guide. This year, its content has switched from sterling tales of my life to expanded coverage of comic books scheduled to appear in 1000 Comic Books You Must Read.

Here's one of them.

Eagle Vol 1

Eagle: Vol. 1

Writer: Kaiji Kawaguchi

Artist: Kaiji Kawaguchi

Viz (February 2000; © Kaiji Kawaguchi/Shogakukan, Inc.)

Set during the 2000 Presidential Campaign, "The Making of an Asian-American President" follows the campaign of Senator Kenneth Yamaoka (D-NY), a third-generation Japanese-American. Among the characters who appear in this manga series are fictionalized counterparts of President Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, and Vice-President Al Gore. Kawaguchi was reportedly inspired by his viewing of The War Room, a documentary about Clinton's 1992 campaign.

Before being translated for American readers, Eagle was originally published from 1997-2001 in Big Comic, a semi-monthly Japanese "seinen manga" anthology. That's a genre of manga aimed at male readers 18-30 years old.

Running 22 volumes and 2000 pages, this thrilling epic offers a different perspective on American politics. It was nominated for five Eisner Awards: Best New Series, Best Continuing Series, Best Writer/Artist, and twice for Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material.

Look for more previews of my book in CBG.

******

ASK TONY

At Rick Veitch and Steve Conley's Comicon.com message boards, posters there ask me questions and I try to answer them, just as I do here and on my own message board. A poster who posts as "ericomaraltice" asked:

You promote yourself as "America's Most Beloved Comic-Book Writer & Columnist." Who bestowed that title upon you?

My response:

It was...A JOKE! It was a takeoff on what some comedian or writer was calling himself. It's been so long that I can't remember who my inspiration was.

Much to my amazement, it caught on and people starting calling me that. But it's still just a dumb joke and that's why I always put the title in quotes.

However, as I have grown weary of explaining it to people who either don't get the joke or don't want to accept that it's a joke, I'm thinking of passing the burden on to another comics writer and columnist. Without asking them if they want it.

Any suggestions?

"Lawson" posed this question:

Your book - 1000 COMIC BOOKS YOU MUST READ - sounds interesting, because we all like lists, because we all like arguing over lists. Could you post the Top 10 or Top 100 in a thread here (assuming they're arranged in order of importance; perhaps they're not). You're welcome to post the full 1,000 if you want, but that might be a lot of work.

My response:

My book was never meant to be the top 1000 or the most important 1000 comic books. It's a compact history of the American comic book wrapped around a 1000 fun comic books with nods to material from Britain, Europe, and Japan. If you're going to San Diego, the CBG booth with have binders containing a dozen or so pages from the book.

What I'm proudest of is that my book captures the vast variety that has almost always existed in American comics.

What I'm less proud of is that, for one reason or another, some really good comics got left out. I'm actually creating a new website for the book where people will be able to yell at me for leaving out their favorites...and hoping this book sells well enough for me to be able to write a sequel.

Keep the questions coming, either at Comicon.com or by sending them to me at:



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

Tony Isabella

<< 07/16/2009 | 07/17/2009 | 07/20/2009 >>

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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THE "TONY" SCALE

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.

Tony
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.

TonyTony
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?

TonyTonyTony
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.

TonyTonyTonyTony
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?

TonyTonyTonyTonyTony
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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