People are Noticing

My long time pal, Tony Isabella, continues to remain a friend and a fan. The following appears over at the Comics Buyer’s Guide website.

TONY’S OTHER ONLINE TIPS
for Monday, July 31, 2006

Back in the day, way back in the day, when Comic Buyer’s Guide was a weekly tabloid and a recent acquisition of Krause Publications of Iola, Wisconsin, I wrote a column called “I Cover The Newsstand.” For the column, I would search through the non-comics magazines and other publications that were part of the enormous product mix at my Cosmic Comics store, hunting for items of interest to comics fans. It was as ephemeral a column as you could imagine, notable mostly for the second-rate hard-boiled private eye persona I would assume for its introductory paragraphs.

Back then, I got a kick out of tabloid newspapers like the National Enquirer, The Globe, The Star, The Sunand, especially, the wild and wacky Weekly World Ness with its reports of UFOs, sea monsters, alien visitors, and Bat Boy. After I closed the store and retired the column, I rarely even glanced at those tabloids, though, every few years. I’d buy a copy of Weekly World Ness when a particularly goofy headline caught my eye.

Fast forward to 2006. Weekly World Ness once again manifests on my personal radar by virtue of comics friends and acquaintances going to work for it. Jeff Rovin, the editor of Martin Goodman’s short-lived Atlas Comics in the mid-1970s, is the editor-in-chief. Long-time DC Comics editor and writer Paul Kupperberg, is the tabloid’s senior editor. Bob Greenberger, another former DC editor, writes for the paper under his own name and various aliases. I rediscover the tabloid when Bob uses – with my permission – my name in one of his “Matthew Daemon” articles. I pick up a couple of issues of the paper before and after my featured appearance and, next thing you know, I’m a subscriber.

Weekly World Ness [American Media; $2.99 per issue] is always good for laughs in the form of articles like “T-Rex Terrorizes Trailer Park” and “Vampire Cat Captured!” But, also worth noting are the comics references in the paper, the comics pros contributing to it, and its weekly comics features.

Recent articles have included a piece on the discovery of the first comic book ever – written and drawn by Michelangelo – and another on the public outrage over a new comics title starring a super-hero who not only fights evil in the nude, but who also has the power to strip his fearsome foes buck naked in seconds. The first article was illustrated by Mike Kaluta, the second by Dick Giordano. John Byrne has also contributed spot drawings to the paper.

There are three half-page comic strips running weekly in the paper. After a long run as an ongoing prose feature, most recently written by Greenberger, ghostbuster “Matthew Daemon” is now being written and drawn by Mike Collins. It was in one of Greenberger’s Daemon prose piece that I made my guest appearance.

“Spycat” was created by Dick Siegel and is currently being drawn by Ernie Colon, probably best known for his work on Richie Rich. The title hero spends most of his time battling terrorists in Iraq and other Middle East locales.

“The New Adventures of Bat Boy” stars the beloved creature who was a fixture of Weekly World Ness covers for years. Danielle Corsetto is doing a great job fleshing out Bat Boy’s history and supporting cast. I’d love to see her create a full-length Bat-Boy comic book. Half-a-page per week isn’t enough for me.

“Weird Picture Search” by Sergio Aragones is a full-page attraction week after week. Hidden within these incredibly detailed drawings are specific objects to be located by readers. A scene of animals performing an opera will have ten hidden treble clefs. A look at a witch’s den will have ten hidden broomsticks. As is usually the case with his drawings, Aragones includes other visual gags for his sharp-eyed readers. If you look closely, you’ll can see his “Groo the Wanderer” character in the witch’s den piece.

Weekly World Ness is a fun way to kill a half-hour once a week. I recommend checking out an issue and, if you enjoy it, get a yearly subscription that will bring your per-issue cost down to a bargain 75 cents. On our usual scale of zero to five, this check-out-line classic earns three out of five Tonys.