July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic Book Life of Tony Isabella (Volume One)
by Tony Isabella
Lo, There Shall Be a Beginning
For Tony Isabella, that beginning was July 1963, and a brand-new copy of Fantasic Four Annual #1. Over fifty years later, and after a decades-long career in comics during which he created such iconic characters as Black Lightning, Tony returns to where it all started.
Over 130 comic books were released in July 1963, including Marvel’s Avengers and Fantastic Four, DC’s Green Lantern and Justice League of America, and a slew of others, from those featuring well-known characters like Archie, Richie Rich, the Jetsons, and Donald Duck, to such obscure titles as Girls’ Romances, Konga, Stoney Burke, and Space War.
Tony’s reading (or in many cases, re-reading) them all. In this first volume, he’s starting with Action Comics #304 and coming up for air with Bat Man #158. In between there’s lots of Archie, Mighty Mouse, Spider-Man, Alley Oop, and even Jerry Lewis. Tony analyzes each issue in-depth: the stories, the ads, the creators, and the context, with plenty of anecdotes and production details to satisfy comics fans and historians alike.
Mark it on your calendar: July 1963! It’s coming up next.
A Brief History:
If you follow these posts, then you know I’m in in the middle of a reading challenge, and one of the items on the list is to read “A book about books or reading.” Well, I wasn’t sure what to do, but lucky for me, comics legend Tony Isabella came to the rescue!
I love learning about the history of comics, there’s just so much there to discover. And there are some good book out there about comics history in general, but when an author is able to add in how comics affected his or her life? Those are the best books to read.
July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic Book Life of Tony Isabella is not only a guide to the comics of that month, but also an inside look at the life of a young Tony Isabella. Why he started buying comic books, which ones he gravitated to, and which comics he stayed away from. Some of the stories in this book had me laughing so hard, that even my wifey wants to read this book now.
Tony Isabella even gives readers some factoids for the year, like the top songs, movies, book, and other stuff from 1963. I found these sidebars a lot of fun, even if I didn’t recognize some stuff.
Like many comic fans, Tony’s life was changed when he discovered comic books. I would even go as far as saying that were it not for July 1963, Tony may not have become the prolific writer he became.
Final word and Score:
I couldn’t put this book down, it’s so damn good! Thanks to this book, I learned more about one of my favorite comic creators, and I learned a ton of stuff about comics I didn’t know before. Did you know there was an Adventures of Fly-Man comic? or that some of the ads in comics back then were crazy? I sure didn’t, but I do now thanks to Mr. Isabella.
July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic Book Life of Tony Isabella gets an A+.
And just like that, another item is crossed off the 2017 reading challenge: