Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TONY'S TIPS #171

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...This Magazine is Haunted Volume One; Is This Tomorrow: America Under Communism and DC's New Super-Man #1 by writer Gene Luen Yang with artists Viktor Bogdanovic and Richard Friend
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CITIZEN TONY: THE RIGHT TO VOTE

Donald Trump has implied that, if he loses the presidential race,  it’s because the election was rigged. If he does lose, as I hope he does, I think it’ll be because he’s Donald Trump, with all the many  negatives that implies. But he’s not entirely incorrect saying the election is rigged. Just not in the ways he or his supporters are likely to understand, much less accept.

The right to vote is perhaps the most important right we Americans have. To our discredit, it was not a right granted to all Americans citizens for many years. Even today, it is a right under attack on multiple fronts.

Let’s start with redistricting, a process that has been misused by both parties but which the Republicans have mastered to a degree never before seen. The winners of state elections get to draw the districts for the next elections. They draw them to benefit their future candidates, creating elongated districts of odd shapes that make no logical sense other than to insure the victories of their candidates. This is why in recent years, though more citizens vote for Democrats, the Republicans command so many state legislatures, command state houses and have achieved such dominating control of the House of Representatives. It’s because the districts are drawn that way - rigged that way - to insure that success.

Redistricting should never be in the hands of politicians. To me, it would be like baseball/football/basketball players being their own umpires and referees. Imagine a batter being the one who gets to determine if a pitch was a ball or a strike. Imagine that pass receiver being the judge of whether or not he caught the football in bounds. While the games might be more interesting on some level, they would be become meaningless. Just like huge parts of our state and local governments.

Redistricting should be a matter for non-partisan geographers and mathematicians. You divide a state into however many districts of “x” number of people. If your state has a million residents and ten districts, then each district would have a hundred thousand people in it. Simple math.

The geographers would then divide those ten districts into shapes as close to rectangles as humanly possible. No snake-like districts that slither across ridiculously long lengths. No districts curling around other districts like a python crushing its prey. Just simple rectangles and squares.

In the past, there have been arguments districts should be drawn to reflect the people who live in them. That rural folks have much different needs than city folks. That farmers and manufacturers and construction workers and white collar workers are so different from one another they need their own state and federal representatives. If that ever made sense - and maybe it did when our country was in its infancy - it doesn’t make sense in 2016.

We are all Americans. The issues which face us concern all of us. We have more in common than not, despite the fear-mongering rants of those who benefit from our divisions. For our nation to be truly representative of its people, redistricting must be taken away from those who profit from it. It should never again be a political perk of winning an election.

Our right to vote is challenged and threatened on other fronts as well. I’ll be continuing this discussion in the next installment of “Citizen Tony.”

I’ll be back tomorrow with different stuff.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Monday, August 22, 2016

MONDAY MOVIE MADNESS

I’ve watched a number of horror/monster/science fiction movies in recent weeks. I’ll start with the one I enjoyed the most and then do the others in chronological order of release.

Sharkenstein [2016] is another low-budget entertainment from Mark Polonia and Wild Eye Releasing. I ordered it from Amazon [$19.95} as soon as I hear about it because, come on, look at that amazing title. How could I resist?

Polonia is the director and producer of this and 36 other movies of this nature. The only one I recall seeing is Jurassic Prey [2015], which I didn’t like nearly as much as I liked this one. If I still have that one, I should watch it again. Polonia also co-produced Queen Crab [2015], which helps his credibility with me.

First-time writer J.K. Farlew did a decent job here. Since he had nothing to do with the budget, I’ll give him points for a hilarious premise and a decent script.

The actors? You’ve probably never heard of any of them. I’ll name the interesting ones in the course of this review.

Here’s the IMDb summary of the film:

In the final days of World War II, a secret experiment to weaponize sharks is shut down and destroyed by the Third Reich. But now 60 years later, a small ocean town is plagued by a bloodthirsty, mysterious creature, one built and reanimated using parts of the greatest killers to ever inhabit in the sea - the Sharkenstein monster!

SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD


Jeff Kirkendall plays the mad scientist who, now that his patchwork shark is functional and obedient, moves onto the next phase of his plan to create a Fourth Reich. He wants to transplant the immortal brain and heart of the Frankenstein Monster into his badly-animated shark. I love this concept and think it should be carried over into a series of sequels: Squirrelenstein, Cowenstein, Cosbyenstein, Trumpenstein, the possibilities are endless.

Ken Van Sant plays the competent local lawman. I liked how he got irritated at the idiots and the insanity he had to deal with here.

The most irritating characters might be the three teenagers who have come to the town on vacation. One of the two male “teens” looks to be in his 30s, the other in his 20s.

Greta Volkova is the third of the “teens.” She looks like a mid-20s call girl role-playing as a pig-tailed schoolgirl, but she’s cute and fun to watch, especially when she rattles off the titles of all the Frankenstein movies made by Universal and Hammer to the lawman. They have this older man/younger woman who wants to jump his bones thing going for them.

There’s also am entertaining mob of angry townspeople who, after Sharkenstein evolves into a creature who can move on land, hunt him with pitchforks and machine guns. This made me laugh.

Kathryn Sue Young plays minor character Bonnie Boom Boom, a former porn star who looks to be in her 50s or 60s. She has the one scene in the movie that took me out of the movie. After Sharkenstein eats her photographer, the creature rapes Bonnie. That’s not acceptable in a movie like this. Not remotely.

The thing is...up to that moment, I thought Young’s character was fun. Me, I would have had Bonnie attracted to the monster and be the aggressor. Afterwards, Sharkenstein would spare her and lumber off. Bonnie would complain that he’ll probably never call him. Men are all monsters.

The last scene of the movie is dumb. It’s a last scene you’ve seen many times. Even low-budget films can do better.

SPOILERS OVER      
SPOILERS OVER
SPOILERS OVER
      

I can’t stress enough that this is a low-budget movie. But I got a kick out of it and, on that basis, recommend it to you.      
 
                                                                           

2 Lava 2 Lantula! [2016] premiered on the SyFy Channel on August 6 of this year. Here’s the IMDb summary:

Colton West must defeat the lavalantulas once again.
 
Before long, I was rooting for the lavalantulas. That’s on either Steve Guttenberg, who plays aging action hero West, or director Nick Simon. Whichever one of them decided Guttenberg should speak in the kind of stupid growl voice used in the recent Batman movies. Every time he opened his mouth, my ears hurt.

That was the most prominent flaw in this movie, but it had plenty of company. Writers Neil Elman and Ashley O'Neil filled the script with “look at me” homages to other movies and repeat shockers from the original Lavalantula. They also made the familial relationships in the movie hopeless complicated. The source of the movie’s title, a line of dialogue seen in the trailers, feels forced.

Michael Winslow and Marion Ramsey, Police Academy alumnae who shone in the first Lavalantula, show little enthusiasm for this by-the-numbers sequel. By the time, Martin Love’s military character gets ready to nuke Florida - like in most every movie involving kaiju in the city - I’m thinking it might have been worth it if it meant that there would not be a Lavalantula 3.

Yes, I am being hard on this movie. Because, unlike Sharkenstein, it had a decent budget. It could and should have been better than this seemingly slapped-together mess. I won’t be buying the DVD and I won’t be watching it again.
                                                                               

Nurse 3-D [Lionsgate; 2013] is a slasher movie that I got from my local library and watched sans 3-D, which was apparently added via CGI after the movie was filmed because it was cheaper. The film was fun to watch because of the haunting and over-the-top performance of Paz de la Huerta as murderous nurse Abby Russell. Everything you need to know about Abby is in de la Huerta’s opening monologue:

My name is Abigail Russell. I look like a slut. But don't be fooled, this is merely a disguise to lure the dangerous predators who walk among us. This is their jungle. Their breeding ground. And tonight I'm on the hunt. These are the cheaters - the married lying scum. They are like diseased cells, cultured in alcoholic petri dishes, but destroy unsuspecting families, and infect millions of innocent vaginas. There is not cure for the married cock. Only me, the Nurse.

There are decent performances by Katrina Bowden and Corbin Bleu as a young nurse and her paramedic boyfriend. Abby desires the nurse, but, when rejected, tries to frame Bowden for her murders. We get several chilling and gory deaths, culminating in a chase through a hospital. The movie earns its “R” rating, but the rising body count always serves the plot.

Nurse is directed by Douglas Aarniokoski, whose directed episodes of several TV series, including Limitless, Arrow, Criminal Minds, The Flash and Sleepy Hollow. Co-written by Aarniokoski and David Loughery, this film deserves a sequel.

Abigail Russell deserves a chance to become an iconic horror movie slasher killer. Especially if she’s again played by the fascinating and scary sexy de la Huerta.    
                                                                            

I watched The Vortex [2012] - aka The Vortex: Gate to Armageddon - without knowing I was watching it. I had watched Big Bad Bugs on Amazon Prime, not learning until I started researching it that it was actually a movie I owned on DVD but had never gotten around to watching. Here’s the IMDb summary:

After a convoy of American soldiers disappears, a special ops team is deployed to rescue them. They soon encounter an army of gigantic scorpions, spiders and snakes that have come to Earth from another dimension.

This is your basic worth-watching-once movie. It gives us a giant scorpion attacking American soldiers from the get-go, but takes its time before it rolls out alien spiders, more scorpions, what looks like a cardboard hornet and some really big snakes.

Good performances by Jack Plotnick and Ted Jonas as an odd couple super-scientist and military tough guy. Sarah Lieving plays a combo scientist/high-ranking military officer who was married to Plotnick and is engaged to Jonas. She’s okay in the role, but the bromance between the romantic rivals is choice.

Camden Toy chews up the scenery as a mad scientist who wants to see the world swallowed by an other-dimensional wormhole. He faces off with Jonas in a goofy climatic battle that leads to another one of those unsatisfying endings horror movies thrive on. I swear these things need a double-shot of originality.

                                                                                 

One more for today. Here’s everything you need to know about Time of the Apes [1987} and it comes to you via Wikipedia...

Saru no Gundan (Army of the Apes) is a Japanese science fiction series from 1974 based on Pierre Boulle's La Plan├Ęte Des Singes ("The Planet Of Apes"). Produced by Tsuburaya Productions, the series ran for 26 episodes and followed a female scientist and two young children who travel through time to a future ruled by apes. The trio struggle to find a way to get back home to the 20th century.

In 1987, television producer Sandy Frank edited together several episodes of the series, including the first and last episodes, into a movie called Time of the Apes. Syndicated to broadcast and cable outlets, this compilation film was also released on home video in mid-1988.

The movie was then featured twice on Mystery Science Theater 3000, originally on KTMA in 1989, and then later as part of season 3 in 1991 on Comedy Central.


It’s hard to judge the TV series from this compilation movie that seems to consist of the first and last episodes with some passing scenes from in-between episodes. It’s even harder to judge when the only version I was able to find was the chopped-up mess brought to us by those rude and unfunny jerks of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s brilliant comedy. It’s like sitting in an actual theater with oh-so-clever friends. I’ve heard it all before. Here’s the truth:

You’re all wrong. Every last one of you is wrong. It’s a horrible program with pathetically dismal skits. I’d rather watch even the worst of the (uncut) movies they mock than this show.

That’s all for today. Come back tomorrow for another installment of Citizen Tony.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Sunday, August 21, 2016

DOC SAVAGE #82: THE BOSS OF TERROR

Here’s the word on another Sanctum Books classic...

Doc Savage #82: The Boss of Terror and The Magic Forest [June 2015; $14.95] reprints two novels by Lester Dent and William G. Bogart (writing as Kenneth Robeson) that literally take Doc from one end of the country to the other.

Dent’s The Boss of Terror first appeared in the May 1940 issue of Doc Savage Magazine. The adventure is set in the Main wilderness. Here’s the back cover blurb:

Eerie bolts of blue lightning electrocute wealthy men whose only connection is their last name, in an expanded novel featuring restored text from Lester Dent’s original manuscript.

Bogart’s The Magic Forest is set in Alaska, well before it became a state. It’s from the April 1942 issue of Doc Savage Magazine. The back cover blurb:

Doc Savage searches for The Magic Forest after Renny’s plane vanishes.

Renny is, of course, one of Doc Savage’s five friends who share his love of adventure and his commitment to fight evil and help people.

Noted historian Will Murray’s “Intermission” gives the background on these Doc Savage stories. Publisher Anthony Tollin contributes essays on America’s Air Ace “Bill Barnes” and “The Men Behind Doc Savage.”

This book also reprints the five-page Bill Barnes comic-book story from the second issue of Shadow Comics.     
As with other Sanctum Books editions - The Black Bat, The Shadow and others - these Doc Savage novels are entertaining journeys into the heroic fiction of the pulp era.  They’re wonderfully made books and I regularly despair I might never get around to reading all of them. More to come.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

PULPFEST 2016: ADDENDUM



Today we have things I forgot to tell you about my PulpFest weekend because I misplaced the really excellent notes I took during that weekend. I also have reviews of items I acquired at or in relation to the convention. The above photo is me with Lewis Forro, who has graciously allowed me to use his PulpFest photos.

One of the reasons the weekend felt off to me was because my drives to and from PulpFest happened in temperatures that reached 90-plus degrees and in a van whose air conditioning had decided it would be a jolly fun time to stop working. I would open the windows to let hot air pass over me to dry my copious sweat, but it was a fairly miserable two hours each way.

During my previous PulpFest bloggy things, I neglected to elaborate on the health food company and possible pyramid scheme that pushed the PulpFest dealers room from its original location. Visitors to that company’s conferences ran the gamut from the impossibly trim to the not-so-trim. These folks seemed to be very excited to meet one another in an almost cult-like way.

On Saturday, the health food company had some sort of very healthy foods buffet outside the Regency Ballroom. We had to walk past the buffet whenever we went to the PulpFest dealers room. Naturally, it smelled delicious. Several of my fellow PulpFest attendees wondered if we could sneak our way into the buffet line.

As the doors to the Regency Ballroom were wide open, I could hear and see a speaker who might have been the head honcho of the group. He had the demeanor of an Amway zealot, the modern-day equivalent of the snake oil salesmen of olde. He showed a photo of himself and Pope Francis. It was the typical quick photo which that most kind and generous of popes often allows, but the speaker talked like it was some much bigger deal.

There is, indeed, one born every minute.
                                                                           
                                                                        
On to my convention booty...
                                                                                
The Bronze Gazette #76 [Pulplications!; $10] was given to me at G-Fest by art director Kez Wilson. The magazine was founded by Howard Wright in 1990. It’s now in the hands of Wilson, editor Chuck Welch and publisher Terry Allen. It’s a handsome, digest size magazine of 60 pages. The cover painting by Bob Larkin shows actor Ron Ely as Doc Savage. It’s a beaut. Between the covers, we get a whole lot of fun stuff.

The esteemed Will Murray is all over the issue, which was fine by me. He writes about his new Doc Savage novels. Duane Spurlock adds a review of a Doc novel by Murray. Jeff Deischer contributes some thoughts on Murray’s first series of Doc novels. Then Murray is back to discuss the prospect of Dwayne Johnson playing the Man of Bronze in a new movie.

Other features? Curt Hardaway writes about attending his first Doc Savage convention. Julian Puga uncovers “The Doc Savage/Frank Buck Connection.” We get the Mayan Alphabet Key used by Doc and his men in many adventures. Wilson interviews Anthony Tollin on completing his reprinting of the original Doc Savage pulp magazine stories. Welch provides a checklist of those reprints and also has a piece on editors changing the titles of stories. Bobb Cotter reviews the Doc Savage Archives published by Dynamite. “Sons of Savage,” which will be an ongoing series on characters inspired by Doc Savage, is basically a too-long plug for Dare Devlin, Supreme Adventurer and not a very enticing plug at that. Publisher Allen contributes news about upcoming Doc Savage books.

The Bronze Gazette is an excellent magazine. I look forward to the next issue and recommend it to all Doc Savage fans.


Mr. Jigsaw #14 [Redbud Studio; $2.99] is an unusual adventure for the “Man of a Thousand Parts.” As usual, it was penciled, inked and lettered by Gary Kato. But, for the first time, he also wrote this issue. Wrote it so well that, if it hadn’t been for co-creator Ron Fortier’s inside back cover article, I would have thought Ron was the author. That’s high praise.

If you’ve never read Mr. Jigsaw - if you’ve ignored all of my past recommendations to do so, I have failed you - Charlie Grant is this nice guy super-hero who can split his body into multiple pieces and control them from afar. Over the years, Fortier and Kato have build one of the most appealing casts of supporting characters in comics history. If you knew these people, you would like them. Decent men and women. Salt of the earth.

In this issue, an old enemy kidnaps one of Charlie’s friends and an infant he was babysitting. He lures Charlie into a trap and drugs him. Charlie has no control of his parts. Before long, those parts are running wild with Charlie’s friends carrying his drugged head and trying to reunite it with the rest of him. It’s one of the most hilarious super-hero stories I’ve read.

Look. I care about my bloggy thing readers. I want nothing but the best for you. So, this time, will you please take my recommendation to heart and start reading Mr. Jigsaw? I ask so little.

                                                                               


So let me tell you about Rodney Schroeter...

Schroeter is the editor of The Current, a free monthly newspaper  serving the people of Sheboygan, Wisconsin and thereabouts. Before I met him, I had never realized how much I like saying and writing “Sheboygan.” Got a lilt to it. 

Schroeter was handing out copies of the June 2016 issue containing a very nice spread on Tony Tollin and Sanctum Books. I have no idea how Sheboygan reacted to an article that likely had little to do with their own interests, but I’m going to guess Schroeter puts together such a fun newspaper that his readers don’t object to his occasional indulgence. Having read or skimmed the 11 issues he gave or sent to me, I’ll go on record saying The Current is one of the best newspapers of this sort I’ve seen...and I tend to pick these things up wherever I travel.

Some of the regular Current features include bite-size comments on classic films shown on Turner Classic Movies, an always fascinating column by naturalist Emily Stone, an occasional column by outdoors guy Mark Walters who often writes about his hunting activities with his daughter and the usual local interest pieces. It’s a nice mix.

In the self-indulgent category...Rodney has written about the Grand Rapids Comic Con, legendary artist James Bama, author Albert Payson Terhune and writing/publishing a comic adapting a Terhune story and drawn by William Messner-Loebs. He's also published articles on other Wisconsin writers and artists. Once or twice, I winced while reading one of Rodney’s more political pieces, but, given my own lack of reluctance about expressing my own views, I can’t get too upset about his writings.

I like The Current. It’s a terrific newspaper and I wish there was something like it in my neck of the woods. You can always see the “current” issue of The Current here.
                                                                             
                                                                            
Schroeter also gave me a copy of Human Interest Stuff [Wisconsin Writers Association Press; $4], his and Messner-Loebs’ comic-book adaptation of a Terhune story about a man and the dog that changes his life. The 22-page tale is effectively told. The writing is top-notch and the art brings the characters to life. Schroeter takes a small liberty with the last line of the story, but it’s a liberty that improves the narration. The 36-page, black-and-white magazine also includes Terhune’s original prose story and information on the author and his works. It’s a nice package, much more interesting to me than many of today’s self-published comics with their emphases on autobiographical navel-gazing or popular genre tropes. It is a solidly entertaining comic book and earns my recommendation. If you want to get a copy or copies, go here.

That’s all I have for you on PulpFest and the blessings thereof, at least until I get around to reading the other items I got at that convention. I’m thinking of writing review columns similar to this one, concentrating on comics and books I acquired at other events. In the meantime, come back tomorrow for a Monday of movie madness. You won’t believe the films I’ll be writing about. 
   
© 2016 Tony Isabella






Saturday, August 20, 2016

PULPFEST 2016: PART TWO

Concluding my PulpFest 2016 report...

PulpFest 2016 (with FarmerCon XI) ran from Thursday, July 21 (6 pm) to Sunday, July 24 (2 pm) at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. The convention dealers room had been moved from its usual location to accommodate another organization. Renovations to the Hyatt Regency hotel and the food court connected to it were causing a few difficulties. But PulpFest was still PulpFest, one of my favorite conventions. The above photo is courtesy of Lewis Forro, one of the many terrific people I met over the weekend.

Saturday morning saw me in excellent spirits, though there would be a few moments of dismay as the day progressed. I went to the food court for my usual convention breakfast at the Egg and Chicken. I chatted with the owner who told me the long renovation process had hurt all the vendors in the court. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve eaten at the Egg and Chicken and the Siam Express at so many events - they are owned by the same families - that their owners recognize me and always greet me warmly.

During the renovation, which would be going on for several months, seating for the food court had been moved from the court itself to the large foyer outside the non-food shops, such as the comic-book  store. As I sat down with my breakfast, my friends Ron Fortier and Rob Davis came through to get some coffee. Their Airship 27 is one of the leader publishers of “new pulp” fiction with over a hundred books to their name. They also have long and distinguished careers  in the comic-book field. We had a nice “catching up” conversation, the sort of unexpected pleasure that makes PulpFest such a special event for me.

The dealers room was opened from 10 am to 4 pm. Except for when I took a lunch break at the Siam - their chicken fried rice is among the best I’ve ever had - I chatted and I shopped. I was given some items and traded copies of Black Lightning Volume One [DC Comics; $19.95) for other items. Here’s what I ended up with, not all of it from PulpFest itself:
                                                                              
A shocking red PulpFest baseball cap, showing my pride in being a part of the convention.

The Bronze Gazette #76, the first issue from the new team of editor Chuck Welch, art director Kez Wilson and publisher Terry Allen. It was actually at G-Fest in Chicago where Kez gave me a copy of this fine magazine, but it made more sense to mention it here. Look for my further comments in a review column that will post sometime in the next three days.

Love Story Writer by Daisy Bacon [Bold Venture; $14.95], which is a reprint of a 1954 book on how to write and market romance stories by the editor for almost 25 years of Street and Smith’s incredibly successful Love Story Magazine. I hope to read and review this one  within the next couple weeks.
                                                                                

The Midnight Guardian: Hour of Darkness by journalist, writer and fan John C. Bruening [Flinch! Books; $16.95]. This is my pal John’s first novel and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Adventures of Supergirl #1-4 [DC Comics; $2.99 each]. I bought them at the comic-book store that’s part of the food court and shopping connected to the hotel. Based on the television series version of the character, they didn’t do much for me. They weren’t bad comic books, but neither were they very good comic books.

Mr. Jigsaw #14 by Ron Fortier and Gary Kato [Redbud Studio; $2.99]. Veteran readers of my review columns from the late Comics Buyer’s Guide to this bloggy thing of mine know how much I love this all-ages super-hero series. I’ll have more to say about this issue in a few days.

The Pulpster #25. This is the official magazine of PulpFest 2016. It’s a classy publication filled with informative articles on the pulps and their creators. Add it to the pile of stuff I really want to read real soon now.

Rodney Schroeter gave me several issues of The Current, a monthly giveaway newspaper he edits in Wisconsin. He later sent me several more issues. I now know more about his part of the country than my own. He also sent me Human Interest Stuff, a comics adaptation of an Albert Payson Terhune story drawn by William Messner-Loebs. All of this booty from Rodney will be further discussed in the review column I’ve mentioned above.

At 3:00 pm, Anthony Tollin and I were scheduled to do “Ten Years in the Shadow’s Sanctum,” an overview of the Sanctum Books’ decades of producing handsome volumes of The Shadow, Doc Savage, The Black Bat and other pulp hero books. I was again substituting for writer and historian Will Murray whose essays have always been a big part of the Sanctum Books publications.

I was pretty qualified to be part of this presentation by virtue of having been friends with Tollin for closing in on half-a-century. I interviewed him about his careers in comics, old-time radio and now pulp fiction publishing. About the only thing we didn’t cover at length was his love of dachshunds. In addition to all his other accomplishments, several of his dogs have been bonafide champions. The man knows dogs as well as he knows comic books, radio shows and pulp magazines. He also owns a hundred pairs of stretch socks. All I’ve got on him is an Inkpot Award and my innate cuteness.

Our panel was very well received. I always enjoy appearing on such panels with Tollin. We have fun and I learn stuff. It’s an enticing combination.

PulpFest 2016 would continue through 2:00 pm on Sunday, but I got antsy about the writing awaiting me at home. Especially since I had a library presentation to give and two more conventions to attend in the next three weeks. If I’d been able to buy the travel laptop as planned - it’s coming soon - I probably would’ve stayed through the evening and morning. Instead, I checked out of the hotel, said my goodbyes and drove back to my Medina home.

PulpFest has not yet announced its plans for 2017. They may not be returning to the Hyatt Regency and the Greater Columbus Convention Center. With my life taking some interesting turns, I don’t know if I’ll be back next year.

I certainly hope I’ll be able to attend PulpFest 2017. It’s a great event. If you have even a mild interest in pulp magazine fiction, if you enjoy new stories and novels in that tradition, I think you will have a wonderful time at the convention.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
 
© 2016 Tony Isabella

Friday, August 19, 2016

BACK ISSUE #91

TwoMorrows is one of my favorite publishers.  Their magazines and books have added my knowledge of comics history in an entertaining and lively fashion.  I’m not always able to read and review their works in a timely fashion, but, as I do with Anthony Tollin and his Sanctum Books, I will do my best to let you know whenever new books and magazines are released by the publisher.

Back Issue #91 [September, 2016; $8.95] is the “All-Jerks Issue” of this wonderful Will Eisner Award-nominated magazine. The Kevin Maguire cover shows Batman putting the “bonk” on Guy Gardner while announcing the “hero history of the GL you love to hate.” The other featured jerks include Namor, J. Jonah Jameson, Flash Thompson, DC Comics’ biggest blowhards, Reggie Mantle, the Heckler Obnoxio the Clown and me. Okay, there’s not actually an article on me in this issue, but I was interviewed for the Jameson piece. There are also comments from Rich Buckler, Kurt Busiek, John Byrne, Roger Stern, Steve Englehart, Tom DeFalco, Keith Giffen and others. This issue looks like a whole lot of fun. Check it out.