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

TONY'S TIPS #201

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...Rick Norwood's Comics Revue starring Modesty Blaise, Tarzan. Flash Gordon, the Phantom, Buz Sawyer, Alley Oop, Rick O'Shay and more; Ronald Wimberly’s Black History in Its Own Words; and Movie Comics: Page to Screen/Screen to Page by Blair Davis!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

TONY'S TIPS #200

This week at TALES OF WONDER...something different for my 200th TONY'S TIPS column for the site!

Monday, March 13, 2017

WEAR A COSTUME, GET A DOLLAR

This bloggy thing of mine is still on hiatus, but, having finished a challenging portion of one of my three major March projects, I’m treating myself to a stealth posting.

I have made no secret of my love for cosplay. Seeing fans in their costumes is one of the things I like best about appearing at comics and other conventions. However, because of the way some conventions arrange their artist alleys or exhibitors areas, I don’t always get to see many of the cosplayers. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. My own cheap-ass hands.

At every one of my remaining convention appearances in 2017, I will have money and a certificate for cosplayers. Here’s how that will work...

I have a list of cosplay I’d like to see at my 2017 appearances.  Many are characters that I created or co-created (Black Lightning, Misty Knight and Tigra). Others will be characters I wrote, such as Hawkman, Hawkwoman, the Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider and others. Some will just be characters I love like the Blonde Phantom, Cosmo the Merry Martian, Herbie Popnecker, the original Sugar and Spike, the classic Zatanna, Mademoiselle Marie, and others. 
If you come to my convention booth/table cosplaying as these characters, I will give you a dollar and a special certificate.

A dollar? Yeah, but it’s the thought that counts and I will have at least fifty bucks on hand to hand out at each convention. If this frivolity is as successful as I hope it will be, I’ll up the bank to seventy-five or a hundred dollars per event.

The certificate? That will be a whole lot cooler. It will have all kinds of flowery language and a terrific design. It’ll be suitable for framing. All I need is a really good designer.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR REALLY GOOD DESIGNERS...

If you want this gig, e-mail me. I’ll send you the copy that needs to be included on the certificate as well as which characters need to appear on it. Quote me your price, send me a quick rough and we will be good to go on this gig. Besides paying you, I’ll praise you in this bloggy thing and tell other prospective clients how to get in touch with you. This gig won’t make you rich, but it might lead to other work and it will surely make some cosplayers happy.


Here’s the character list...

Bandette
Batwoman (1960s)
Batwoman (modern-day)
Black Lightning
Black Widow
Blonde Phantom (Golden Age)
Chalice (Alters)
Cosmo the Merry Martian
Darkstar
Doc Savage
Dreadnought (novel by April Daniels)
Emma Peel and John Steed
Faith
Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze; 1970s)
Godzilla or other giant movie monsters
Grim Ghost (Atlas)
Gwen Stacy (1960s)
Hawkman
Hawkwoman
Herbie Popnecker
Icon
IT! The Living Colossus
Jimmy Olsen (1960s)
Kitaro
Kite-Man
Koro Sensei (Assassination Classroom)
Lady Killer (Dark Horse)
Little Lulu
Lois Lane (1960s)
Luke Cage
Mademoiselle Marie
Magicman (ACG)
Mary Jane Watson (1960s)
Misty Knight
Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan)
Ms. Tree
Nemesis (ACG)
Pat Savage
Rawhide Kid (1960s/1970s)
Richie Rich
Rocket (from Icon)
Rocket Racer
Sara Lance
Sugar and Spike (1960s)
Tigra
Top Cat
Usagi Yojimbo
Vixen
Zatanna (1960s)

Okay, now that I’ve written this down, it sounds like I’m the kid who could only get a dog to play with him by tying a hamburger around my neck. However, I’m willing to come off as pathetic to see some great cosplay. If it works, it’ll be fun. If it doesn’t work, well, it won’t be the first time a plan of mine went awry.

Feel free to spread this bloggy thing cosplay contest all over the Internet. By my next convention, I’ll have a phone that will allow me to take decent photos. You better believe I will share them with my readers here and elsewhere. Always forward.

I’ll be back as soon as possible with more stuff.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

Saturday, March 11, 2017

GRUMPY MUFFINS

Saturdays seem to have become my day for sharing bad news with you. This time around, the news is that the bloggy thing won't be returning to its usual full-sized entries until April 1. 

I'm not happy about this. However, as this bloggy thing doesn't add a dime to my income, it has to be what suffers when I have multiple deadlines on paying work. Someday, when I come up for air, I'll figure out how to add a "DONATE" button to this blog or launch a PATREON account to support this and other Isabella efforts. But that whole "coming up for air" thing won't happen until I complete my insane March workload.

How bad is my mood today? I'm thinking of putting a "Beware of the Tony" sign on my office door.

Two of my three most pressing gigs are bringing me joy. One of them has hit some bumps in the road, but these haven't dimmed my enthusiasm for the project. Not one little bit.

The third of my most pressing gigs - the one I have to complete by Monday - that has become a royal pain in my ass. I may write about it as some future date. But not today.

On the home front, things are pretty much okay. My health is much improved over recent weeks. I'm picking up speed every day. Still, there are some concerns with members of my family and also my birth family. Those do weigh on me. I can't do much or anything about these troubles, but, not being a monster, they do weigh on me.

On the mother-in-law front, her divorce from her scumbag of an ex-husband happened yesterday. As she has Alzheimer's Disease, she hasn't been told of this. (My wife has power of attorney.) She knew he was divorcing her, though she didn't know he was pursuing a mail-order bride from Romania. I'm hoping karma crushes this creep's balls.

My mother-in-law doesn't know - but may suspect - that she will never return to the home where she lived for close to four decades. The house has to be sold, but there have been some problems there as well. We think the sale will be completed soon, but it's been frustrating as all get out. I'll have more to say about that at some future time.

On my Facebook page, I recently posted that, just on the matter of my mother-in-law, there are five people who should be damn glad I am not the Michael Fleisher and Jim Aparo Spectre. My mother-in-law didn't particularly care for me, but I am still outraged by how many miserable people have been taking advantage of a sick and delusional old woman. Not to mention what this does to Barb, who's always tried to do what's best for her mom. I hope every one of them meets a horrible fate. Because I'm nowhere near as good a person as Barb.

I'll try to post some short bloggy items in the weeks to come. I hope you'll stick with me until I can get back to full-scale entertainment and edification. As always, I thank you for your patience, your support and for being such wonderful fans, friends and readers.

Grumpy Old Tony signing off for now.  

Monday, March 6, 2017

TONY'S TIPS #199

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...The hilarious Goodnight Batcave by Dave Croatto with pictures by Tom Richmond; the charming Dramacon Vol. 1 by Svetlana Chmakova; and the scarier-than-ever Harrow County Volume Four: Family Ties by writer Cullen Bunn with artist Tyler Crook!