Tuesday, March 28, 2017

TONY'S TIPS #202

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...I go to the movies to see and review Logan. Plus: Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman "77 and the new super-hero comics Alters by Paul Jenkins and Leila Leiz.

THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY (February 2017)

If you told me I could sleep for two days, I would doubtless clasp you to my bosom in an inappropriate manner. That’s how exhausting, albeit often wonderful, the month of March was for me. We’ll talk about March later this week.

Today, because the bloggy thing has been on hiatus this month, I am just now getting around to posting this list of things that made me happy in February. Life can be challenging and sometimes cruel. That’s the way of things. But, a while back, I decided I would take a few moments out each and every day to mention briefly something that cheered me up, that made me feel good, that lifted my spirits. Because, if we don’t take the time to count our blessings, however large or small they might be, we risk surrender to those who would crush all joy in the name of their own ego, greed or hatred. And I don’t surrender. Ever.

Here is the list of my February delights.

February 1: A hilarious Gotham moment. A revived Jerome asks Leslie who killed Galavan. Her response? “Which time?”

February 2: Bruce kicking Jerome’s ass on Gotham, but not killing him.

February 3: Another terrific Gotham moment. Jim Gordon punching the face off Jerome.

February 4: A hilarious Gotham moment. Jim asks Harvey if he should have killed Jerome. Harvey says, “Nah. He’d probably just come back to life.”

February 5: Barb is home from her cruise. We celebrated with pizza and the two most recent episodes of Bones.

February 6: Kite-Man lives! My favorite goofy Batman villain was in the recent Batman #6.

February 7: Bandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover. Always there to lift my spirits in the hard times.

February 8: Michelle Wolf’s brilliant takedown of Kellyanne Conway on The Daily Show.

February 9: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for his stance on immigration. This is what America should be.

February 10: The official Iron Fist trailer. It looks like Marvel and Netflix have done it again.

February 11: Bob Buethe for posting that “Bruce Wayne’s obnoxious  cousin Van (in NBC’s Powerless) actually came from the comics. His first and only comic-book appearance (1962) was in Batman #148's “The Boy Who Was Robin.” I love obscure comics trivia.

February 12: All the friends who have told me Black Lightning is in the new Lego Batman movie. Giving me an excuse to see a movie that I wanted to see anyway. As it turns out, all my friends were wrong. It was Black Vulcan. But I was still happy so many friends thought of me.

February 13: Getting up every morning and facing the challenges of the day. I win some, I lose some, but I never surrender.

February 14: Teen Vogue. A great place to get political and fashion news. The magazine and the website rock!

February 15: “No one’s just one thing.” Wisdom from Laverne Cox on The Daily Show.

February 16: Fiesta Salons in Medina. Terrific haircut and no wait. Looking good for Pensacon.

February 17: I’m now a card-carrying member of the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). I’m proud to stand with that organization.

February 18: Die, Kitty, Die! by Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz. It’s an honestly funny and sexy satire.

February 19: Sharing Pensacon 2017 with Sainted Wife Barb. I love showing my family the best parts of my comics life.

February 20: Chuck Rozanski, lord of the Mile High Comics empire, for his unwavering support of the LGBTQ community, the homeless and so many others.

February 21: Pensacon staff, volunteers, fans and guests for being some of the best people I know.

February 22: Maria and the rest of the Pensacon transportation team for taking such good care of Barb and I.

February 23: Being next to comics legend Jose Delbo and his lovely family in Pensacon’s artist alley.

February 24: Seeing Neal Adams at Pensacon and thanking him for all he has done for me and other comics creators.

February 25: Pensacon volunteer Jonathan Jones for being incredibly helpful. He even brought space heaters from his own home for Jose Delbo and myself.

February 26: Seeing old pals like John Dell, Julio Diaz, Mike Grell and so many others at Pensacon.

February 27: Seeing fan friends like Darrell Donell Tai-Pan Ratliff at Pensacon and making new ones like AJ Zipper.

February 28: Appearing on a “Diversity in Comics” panel with Rodney Ramos, Nen and Jeremy Whitley at Pensacon. I like panels that make me think.

Give me a few days to get my bloggy thing thoughts together and I will tell you about Pensacon at length. In the meantime, come back together for another installment of “Rawhide Kid Wednesday,” which features one of the last new Larry Lieber stories.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

Monday, March 27, 2017

DC AND ME

DC Comics/Entertainment has authorized me to release this statement on the company's behalf and my own:

DC Comics/Entertainment and Black Lightning creator Tony Isabella have reached a mutually-beneficial agreement on Tony’s past and future contributions to the company. DC is pleased it will again have access to Tony's talents and insights. Tony is thrilled to be once again associated with one of the top entertainment powerhouses of our era. This is good news all around.

With my numerous March professional and personal commitments now completed, and the publication of the above statement, I can return to full-scale blogging. Thanks for your patience during my hiatus.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

Sunday, March 26, 2017

THE BLACK BAT #3: THE BLACK BAT’S SPY TRAIL

The cowled Black Bat is one of my favorite pulp magazine crime-fighters. He’s part Batman and part Two-Face and part Matt Murdock of Marvel Comics fame. Attacked with acid while prosecuting a vile criminal, District Attorney Tony Quinn is known to be scarred from the attack and thought to be blind. But his vision was restored to him and enhanced. Now he fights murderous evildoers with his aides Carol, Silk and Butch.

The Black Bat #3: The Black Bat’s Spy Trail and Captains of Death  [$14.95; March 2016] features two book-length Black Bat adventures from the March 1940 and May 1943 issues of Black Book Detective. These stories are written by the prolific Norman Daniels under the Thrilling Publications house name of “G. Wayman Jones.” Here are the title page blurbs for each of these novels.

The Black Bat’s Spy Trail:

Battling valiantly against sabotage, wholesale murder and espionage, the nocturnal champion of the victims of crime flies into the Valley of Death - ready to fight grim traitors bullet for bullet and blow for blow!

Captains of Death:

When the diabolical Dr, Mars and a sinister crew of saboteurs stalk, the Black Bat and his allies go all out to exterminate the Nazi rats who plot destruction!

In “The Belfry,” author and pulp historian Will Murray’s discusses how the Black Bat proved himself very adaptable, switching from his domestic criminal foes to the Nazis and their ilk. In the earlier of this issue’s two novels, the villains were not explicitly called Nazis. Two years later, that wasn’t a concern.

Publisher Anthony Tollin adds the informative content of this book with “The Mask of Kin Platt,” the writer/artist who took over the Mask comic-book series - the name change was part of a deal struck with DC Comics over the similarities between Batman and the Black Bat - with the July 1940 issue of Exciting Comics. Finishing out this volume is that six-page comics story.

Sanctum always delivers considerable bang for your bucks. It’s why I recommend their books so highly and so often.

ISBN 978-1-60877-201-8

Keep reading the bloggy thing for more information on Sanctum Books publications.




Friday, March 24, 2017

BACK ISSUE #95

Back Issue #95 [April 2017; $8.95] is the “Creatures of the Night” issue of the Bronze Age fanzine edited by Michael Eury. The cover is by Bill Sienkiewicz and Klaus Janson, adapted from the splash page of 1981's Moon Knight #6.

Inside the issue, the “Pro2Pro” column offers a dialogue between Moon Knight creator Doug Moench and Sienkiewicz. An interview by Mike W. Barr, one of the best of the Batman writers, also appears in the issue. Other articles discuss: the Johnny Blaze version of Ghost Rider, Night Nurse, Eclipso, I...Vampire, Batman’s wardrobe, Batman pencil art and Nightcat. The 84-page magazine is filled with history and inside information, side by side with never-before-seen and rarely-seen artwork. It’s the Bronze Age and Beyond!

Keep watching the bloggy for more on TwoMorrows publications.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ALTER EGO #145

Alter Ego #145 [March 2017; $9.95] is the special Star Wars issue of Roy Thomas’s comics fanzine. As an editor and writer at Marvel Comics in 1977, Thomas brought the Star Wars property to Marvel, adapted the movie for the first six issues of the title and worked on a few more issues beyond that.

Star Wars has often been called the comic book that saved Marvel. This issue features a long and informative interview with Thomas on the origins and pitfalls of the comic. It also has interviews with original artist (and co-adapter of the comics version of the movie) Howard Chaykin, penciler Rick Hoberg and inker Bill Wray. The Star Wars section of the issue concludes with Lee Harsfeld’s article on the 1978 adaptation of Star Wars, which was published by Pendulum Press for its younger readers and drawn by Charlton Comics mainstay Charles Nicholas.

Also in the issue: Michael T. Gilbert on comics and jazz; a piece remembering historic fanzine publisher G.B. Love and Houston comics fandom; a lively letters column; and a look at African-Americans in the comics published by Fawcett in the 1940s.

Alter Ego is a star. It’s my favorite magazine of comics history and I recommend it to one and all.

Keep watching the bloggy thing for more mini-reviews on notice on books and magazines from TwoMorrows Publications.

Monday, March 20, 2017

THE BRONZE GAZETTE #78

So here I am playing hooky from the two books I’m working on this week to let you know how cool The Bronze Gazette #78 [Spring 2017; $10] is. Which is very cool.

Gary Chaloner is the cover artist. Inside there’s more of his art and his article on his creation Red Kelso. Inspired by Doc Savage, Kelso’s adventures take place before Doc’s. If both characters were part of the same universe, Kelso might have inspired Savage to his lifetime of adventure, invention and protecting the innocent.

The 54-page digest magazine also includes an article on the fantasy Doc Savage covers of Keith Wilson, BG’s Art Director; Will Murray discussing “The Doc Savage Sequel I Didn’t Write”; an interview with J.G. Jones, who wrote Doc near the end of DC’s failed “First Wave” imprint; articles on cover mysteries with the Bantam Books series; and more.

I recommend The Bronze Gazette for its fascinating articles, great illustrations and top-of-the-line production values. You can learn more about the magazine at its website.

© 2017 Tony Isabella