I was born on December 22, 1951, which makes me, among other things, older than Godzilla. I learned to read from comics at the age of four and have never stopped reading them. Along the way, I started writing to comic-book letter pages, writing for comics fanzines, corresponding with other comics fans and the occasional comics pro, and going to comic-book conventions. Clearly, I was on the road to ruin.
That road led from my then-home of Cleveland, Ohio to New York City and a job as an editorial assistant at Marvel Comics. It was the fall of 1972, and, much to my amazement, I found myself working with Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Sol Brodsky, and so many other legendary comics creators that merely listing them would fill this column and allow me to knock off early today. This, my now-less-cute editors inform me, would be a bad idea.
I did other work-type things before getting into the comics industry, have done them while I was doing comics gigs, and still do them to this day. However, comics has been my chosen profession and, in my 31 years in the field, my titles have included: writer, editor, retailer, distributor, publicist, consultant, lecturer, and columnist. I have been called “America’s most-beloved comic-book writer and columnist” (initially by myself, as a joke, but darned if it didn’t catch on) and the “granddaddy of online columnists” (by virtue of the thousands of columns I have written for my TONY’S ONLINE TIPS website). I’m trying to get people to think of me as “the guy we send money to for no good reason whatsoever,” but that one isn’t meeting with wide acceptance. Yet.
I created Black Lightning at DC Comics, co-created Tigra for Marvel Comics, developed Jack Kirby‘s Satan’s Six at Topps Comics, and have written for countless other comic-book titles from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN to YOUNG LOVE. Of course, when I say “countless,” what I really mean is that I’ve never counted them. Math confuses and frightens me.
I was an editor at both Marvel and DC in the 1970s. I owned and operated a comic-book store for over a decade in the 1970s and 1980s. In recent years, working with Bob Ingersoll, I’ve published two novels: CAPTAIN AMERICA: LIBERTY’S TORCH and the just-released STAR TREK: THE CASE OF THE COLONIST’S CORPSE. If I can’t be known as “the guy people send money to for no good reason whatsoever,” I could live with “bestselling author.” Hint, hint.
I live in Medina, Ohio with Sainted Wife Barbara we have two wonderful children, Eddie and Kelly.
For the most current information on my availability as a writer, editor, consultant, convention guest, or lecturer, email me at email@example.com.