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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 Friday, January 15, 2010

Dames and Dolls

I wouldn't recommend it as a coffee table book for homes with younger children, but Dames, Dolls & Delinquents: A Collector's Guide to Sexy Pulp Fiction Paperbacks by Gary Lovisi [Krause; $24.99] is great flip-through fun for older readers. It presents over 700 startling and usually risque paperback covers along with information on the books' authors, cover artists, publishers, book numbers, and publication dates. It also features pricing and other helpful hints for collectors of these books.

My own vintage paperback collection is pretty much confined to non-comics books by comics creators, such as Gardner F. Fox, Gerry Conway, Denny O'Neil, and others. Even so, I had a ball looking at these sexy, shocking covers. The "silly writer" part of my brain considered writing new stories around some of the cover paintings and, especially, some of the wackier book titles: Coffin For a Cutie, Bachelor Bait, Corpses Ain't Smart and Confessions of a Dime-a-Dance Queen.

Lovisi, an expert in this area of collector as well as editor and publisher of Paperback Parade, the longest-running mag on the hobby, does a solid job providing both basic information and keen insight on these books and their covers. Comic art buffs will be delighted to find paintings by such Golden Age favorites as L.B. Cole, Carl Pfeufer, Norman Saunders, and Bill Ward.

Dames, Dolls & Delinquents delivers lots of fascinating fun with its vibrant images and slightly nutty nostalgia. It earns an impressive four out of five Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony Tony Tony

ISBN 978-0-89689-968-1



I'm back in reviewing mode, having largely recovered from the flu that laid me low. Indeed, I'm eager to review as many comics and other items as possible in the coming weeks.

The best way for anyone, be they creator, editor, publisher, or avid fan to get me to review something is to send it to me. I don't want to make a big deal out of my lack of comics-purchasing funds, but I buy very few comics and books myself. I work from the review copies sent to me, from the stuff I can borrow from friends, and from the items I can borrow through my local library.

I can't/won't review comics and other items from PDFs or from online sites. I've tried, but I'm just not comfortable writing my reviews without the review items on my desk. I'm sure no one wants their comic reviewed by a cranky, frustrated reviewer.

I understand the expense of sending out review items. I know times are tough all over. If you want to increase your odds as to whether or not I'm likely to review something, feel free to e-mail me. I'm happy to look at lists of the books and comics available and let you know which interest me most.

Obviously, given the volume of review material I receive, I'm not able to guarantee reviews. However, if you're working with me in the above manner, I'll do my level best to read and review what you send me.

Naturally, I can't guarantee favorable reviews. On the other hand, while I do pride myself on my eagerness to read all kinds of comics, you can probably improve your chances of a good review by looking over what I've praised in the past.

IMPORTANT! Don't over-think the above. If you have an item of which you're particularly proud, don't hesitate to send it to me just because you think I might not like it. You and I might well surprise each other.

CREATORS! If you're unsure if your publisher has sent me your latest book or comic book, e-mail me and I'll let you know. Some of the big publishers don't send me anything. One publisher stopped sending me items when I gave a forum to a writer who felt they owed him compensation on a reprint of his work. If you want me to see your work, ask your publisher to send it to me.

READERS! Feel free to send me suggestions of books and comics and other things you'd like me to review or to write about. While I still can't guarantee reviews or commentaries, I will read and consider all such requests.

My e-mail address is:

My mailing address is:

Tony Isabella
840 Damon Drive
Medina, OH 44256

Feel free to pass this information along to anyone you think might be interested in it.



I have been cutting back on my online activities, but you can still find me at these places...







Two things.

I don't do much on my MySpace page.

The Timely-Atlas-Comics mailing list is "for the discussion, indexing and study of all creators and titles published by Martin Goodman from 1939 to 1961. The list topics are not necessarily exclusive to the comic book line, but also to Goodman's pulp, magazine and related publications." In short, that's not where to go to engage me on other matters.



We're two weeks into 2010, and I've yet to land any new work. If you're an editor or publisher who likes my writing, this would be an excellent time to contact me. If you're not, but you want to express your enjoyment of "Tony's Online Tips" in a tangible way, feel free to use the handy "TIP THE TIPSTER" link found elsewhere on this page. That's a soft a sell as I can manage.

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

Tony Isabella

<< 01/14/2010 | 01/15/2010 | 01/20/2010 >>

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Tony's Online Tips, 840 Damon Drive, Medina, OH 44256

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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:

Tony's Online Tips
840 Damon Drive
Medina, OH 44256

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