There is a book on my library shelf that has been calling to me for months now. It is Tony Isabella’s much celebrated 1,000 Comic Books You Must Read. Running through its pages many times, I’ve found that it offers the reader more than just a walk down the hallowed halls of comic history, it actually invites a challenge to dive in and read each of these seminal comic book moments. Speaking with writer Tony Isabella, he gave me his blessing to begin this quest using his book as a guide and blog about it.
I’ve always been a veracious modern comic reader, but I’ve often lacked the depth of comic history that many of my fellow fans enjoy. I began seriously reading comics in the 70’s but never found the time to push back into earlier decades. With an aim at curing that deficit, finding new gems I’ve missed and having a ton of fun along the way, I’ve decided to embark on the challenge and read every comic in Tony’s book.
First let’s discuss the book that frames the quest…
Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY writes…
“Isabella knows comics, and, more importantly, loves them. His appreciation for the format is evident in this tribute to seven decades of cartoons. Excellent full-color reproductions of each cover accompanied by bibliographic information, and a short paragraph explaining why the title was selected for inclusion, are organized chronologically by decade. This sequence allows readers to witness the evolution of comics over time … Even readers who know little about graphic format will be captivated by Isabella’s vivid synopsis of the world of comic books.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
If you don’t already, Tony Isabella is a name you should also know from the world of comics as he was ground breaking in his creativity and narrative skills contributing much to the industry over his career which continues to grow and evolve. He has been a comic writer, editor, artist and critic. He is known as the creator of Marvel’s Black Goliath and DC’s first major African American superhero, Black Lightning. His articles for the Comics Buyer’s Guide have been a cornerstone of the magazine over the years. I know his were always the first reviews I looked for when reading my copy each month.
So, how am I going to tackle this herculean task? I plan to try 3-5 comics each month and post a blog here in the comic section of the Charlie Tonic site. In that write-up I’ll share my thoughts on each issue and, when relevant, tie the stories or characters into my own history with comics.
Hopefully sometime on down the road we can persuade Tony to take some time out to chat with us about his book and career as part of our podcast but for now he’s enjoying some time away from conventions and interviews. A much deserved break in a very noteworthy career.
Look for my first post in early March.