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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, March 26, 2010

Mystery in Space 68

My pal Andrew Horn sent me today's "Year of the Tiger" cover. It's Mystery In Space #68 [June 1961]. Carmine Infantino pencilled the cover, Murphy Anderson inked it, and Julius Schwartz was the editor who published it.

Gardner Fox wrote all three stories in this issue, including "The Fadeaway Doom," which starred Adam Strange battling the evil Kaskor, the Dust Devils, and, as you can see on the cover, a pretty vicious-looking "tigrabar." Infantino and Anderson drew the story. Fox's other two scripts were "The Sleeping Peril of Mars" (drawn by Sid Greene) and "Captain Baboon's Space War" (Mike Sekowsky pencils and Bernard Sachs inks).

Your Tipster spend several days tending to his sick daughter and wife and, naturally, now he's the one who is sick. I'm not up to the usual reviews and commentary, but I can give you a few more "Year of the Tiger" covers to close out the week.

World's Finest 119

The cover story of World's Finest Comics #119 [August 1961] was "The Secret of Tigerman!" Curt Swan and Stan Kaye were the cover artists while, inside the issue, Dick Sprang teamed with inker Kaye to draw this Jerry Coleman tale. Superman, Batman, and Robin team with a new partner to battle the Purple Legion, a gang of crooks who use military precision to commit their crimes. What is the secret of Tigerman? He's not who he appears to be. But, if I were to reveal his true identity here, his loved ones might be in danger from his enemies. Wink, wink.

Also in this issue:

Tommy Tomorrow in "The Earth King of Planetoid Plexis," drawn by Jim Mooney and written by Jack Miller; and,

Green Arrow in "The Man With The Magic Bow." Lee Elias is the artist, but the writer is unknown at this time.

My Greatest Adventures 59

"I Was the Burma Tiger-Man" landed the cover of My Greatest Adventure #59 [September, 1961]. The cover is by Dick Dillin and Sheldon Moldoff while Ruben Moreira drew the story itself. No writer credits have been uncovered for any of this issue's trio of tales. The others "Listen Earth I Am Still Alive" (drawn by Howard Purcell) and "I Battled the Black Duke" (Lee Elias).

Two quick notes. The Burma Tiger-Man made a reappearance in an issue of Tales of the Unexpected and became a recurring character in Guy Gardner: Warrior.

As a personal comment, I think My Greatest Adventure is a pretty cool name for a comic-book anthology. First person tales from all over time and space might be fun to write and fun to read. I'm just saying.

Six-Gun Heroes 79

Six-Gun Heroes #70 [Charlton; September, 1962] featured three western stars, but only Gunmaster and Annie Oakley appeared on this cover by Pat Masulli (pencils) and Dick Giordano. The third hero was Wyatt Earp.

As historical figures, Annie Oakley and Wyatt Earp were fair game for any comics publisher who wanted to cash in on the various movies and TV series that starred them. Gunmaster was an original, a traveling gunsmith by the name of Clay Boone with a second life as a masked hero.

There are no writer credits for the stories in this issue, but the Grand Comics Database [www.comics.org] has identified some of the artists. Both the Gunmaster story ("The Ambush") and the Annie Oakley story ("Tiger") were drawn by the team of Charles Nicholas and Vince Alascia. The Wyatt Earp story ("...Outlaw!") was likely drawn by Rocke Mastroserio.

Jungle Adventures 15

One more. It's Jungle Adventures #15 [I.W. Publishing/ Super Comics; 1963]. Named for owner Israel Waldman, this company packaged reprints from several defunct comics houses of the 1940s and 1950s and slapped new covers on them. I never saw these comic books on newsstands, but my mom used to buy them from Woolworth's where they were packaged three for a quarter.

This particular issue reprints stories from Fiction House's Jungle Comics #152 [August, 1952] with new Tiger-Girl cover by Jack Abel. Her story was drawn by Matt Baker and likely written by Ruth Roche. Also appearing in this issue are Ka'a'nga (drawn by Maurice Whitman), Wambi (drawn by H. C. Kiefer), and a handful of non-series short stories and text pieces.

Our "Year of the Tiger" celebration will continue next Monday and, health permitting, I'll have some new reviews for you as well. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

Tony Isabella

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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.



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