Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tony Isabella's New Book!

Tony Isabella's new book arrived at LCS this week: 1000 Comic Books You Must Read published by Krause Publications in hardcover, retailing at $29.99. There are a couple of reasons that I would like to recommend this book. Tony is a long-time contributor to Comic Buyer's Guide, as well as a comic writer and editor. (He created Black Lightning, DC's first headline African-American hero).
From the back of the book: "1000 Comic Books You Must Read is an unforgettable journey through 70 years of comic books. Arranged by decade, this book introduces you to 1000 of the best comic books ever published and the amazing writers and artists who created them." Full color, on glossy paper, this book would look great on any coffee table.
Chapter One: "This is a job for Superman." This is a very short chapter about the man himself, Superman, highlighting 6 of his golden age tales.
Chapter Two: The Fighting Forties. This is a pretty meaty chapter, highlighting many famous and not-so-famous but worth reading, golden age issues. Important books that are of course included in this chapter: Detective #27 (first Batman, for those of you that aren't good with issue numbers), Marvel Comics #1( first Human Torch and Sub-Mariner), Flash Comics #1 (first GA Flash), Planet Comics #1 (first sci-fi comic ever), and all the other major books of the Golden Age, and wow there are a lot of important ones. It's really something to see them all pictured together, with the explanation beneath each one detailing WHY the book is important enough to include in the book.
Chapter Three: the Fearful Fifties. This chapter is even bigger than the GA chapter. This of course details the non-superhero era. All of the important EC comics are showcased, as well as the famous western comics, the famous romance comics, Archies, Tarzan, Disney stuff, war titles, and other fun stuff that many folks may have forgotten. The last half of the chapter details the onset of the Silver Age (second age of heroes), with Showcase #4 (first SA Flash) as well as other important DC books of the day.
Chapter Four: The Swinging Sixties. Lots of great books are discussed in this chapter, no surprise here, what with the barrage of BIG Marvel releases this decade: first Spidey (Amazing Fantasy #15), first FF (FF #1), the first Avengers (Avengers #1 duh!), the first X-men (in X-men #1, surprise surprise!), and other such cool issues of note.
Chapter Five: The Surprising Seventies. Lots of great books came out in the 70's, despite the over-use of the word "groovy" and too many characters wearing bell-bottoms. Highlights include: Green Lantern #76 (first GL/GA), a bunch of good Kirby stuff (New Gods #1, Mister Miracle #1, Forever People #1), a ton of cool horror titles (Tomb of Dracula #1, first appearance of Werewolf by Night, first appearance of Ghost Rider, Swamp Thing #1), and many many other cool books that I now want to go back and reread.
Chapter Six: The Energetic Eighties. The Direct Market changed the comic book world forever, and made it possible for such gems as: Detectives #1, Jon Sable #1, Groo #1, Badger #1, Love and Rockets #1, Nexus #1, American Flag #1, Zot #1, TMNT #1, and holy shit there are a TON more of these great non-Marvel/DC books that made it in a big way back in the 80's! Wow, I remember my weekly trips to the local shop and there were just so many choices it was crazy fun.
Chapter Nine: The Noisy Nineties. The 90's were full of good and bad, 92-93 saw many many bad books hit the market. Notable exceptions: Sandman, From Hell, Bone, the Milestone books, Marvels, Tale of One Bad Rat, all 17 "Big Book" anthologies from Paradox Press (one-time imprint of DC), and as usual, many more amazing books.
Chapter Ten: The New Millennium. Blankets, Persepolis, Alice in Sunderland, and so many more. Two wonderful books that I am super excited have been included in this tome of comic book knowledge: Phantom #17 (part 1 of 3) of the Invisible Children storyline and Pat Novak: for Hire. Two Moonstone books in this most important collection of what should be read by all. We are very excited and proud to be part of this book. Both Phantom #17 and Pat Novak are available for purchase at all four Amazing Fantasy locations, your LCS, or if your LCS does not have them on hand, you can order directly from us :

There you have it, a small sampling of the 1000 comics that Tony has included. This is a book that all libraries should have on the shelf, every comic shop should also have it for sale, every book store and, of course every true comic book connoisseur should also make an effort to pick this up. It's a wonderful overview of over 70 years of sequential storytelling at its best.

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