Double Cross #15
It’s like I’m out of Tony’s comics all over again, as this is the last one I have to ramble about on this website.Â For those of you reading this site in the future and wondering what the order of the reviews is on this page… forget about it.Â Chronologically speaking they’re all over the place, so focus on the art instead, OK?Â This is the second part of his More Or Less story, which is reprinted in a collection above, but since I haven’t looked at that in years I’m going to go ahead and assume that it didn’t reprint this entire issue, and thus it’s OK for me to bring it up again.Â Hey, even if it did reprint the whole thing the world (the tiny part of it that reads this website, anyway) needs to be periodically reminded of Tony’s work.Â This is the story of a night in the life of Tony, as he has to attend a family dinner for his grandma’s birthday.Â He relates trying to work out to get her with his mother, when he should show up for dinner (and when he actually shows up), dealing with his brother when he tries to pass Oasis off as “just like the Beatles”, and shows a very frank and human family dinner.Â To top it all off he gets home earlier than his roommate expected, and I won’t even try to describe what he finds there.Â Tony is probably the only comic creator around who can misspell words like crazy (OK, he only misses a few) and not have it bug me, and that is probably due entirely to his reaction toÂ a Dave Sim speech at SPACE in Ohio 5 or 6 years ago.Â It’s a funny story but I don’t want to post it here (unless I already did somewhere, and in that case “oops”), so ask me about it sometime.Â Lucky for you Tony has a fair chunk of his work in print in collections, or close enough to being in print that you could find it with a little persistence and help from the Google.Â Trust me, it’s worth the effort. $2
Double Cross #17 (reviewed by Jason Dupuis)
this particular issue of double cross is quite a bit shorter than the other two (#13 & #16) that i picked up at space. i don’t know if that affects the price because i don’t remember how much i paid for them. anyway, this is kind of a weird issue. it contains two stories about abusing elderly women, one of which is written by alex robinson (box office poison). they are both a bit depressing and a bit funny. actually, a lot of his stories are like that. kind of paradoxical, i guess. there are also a couple of other stories, which are quite entertaining, and a blasphemous “pin-up” by kieron dwyer (lcd). i really like consiglio’s drawing style and his stories are well written and engaging. his panel layouts and composition are really well done. i should know, i have a phd in comicbookology. take it from an expert, you need to buy some stuff from this guy.
Double Cross #16
This one’s a bit different from most of the other issues of Double Cross that I’ve read, as it’s mostly not about Tony. This is basically stuff that was published in other, probably long-gone anthologies. The first story, Numb, is about a man who finds his wife after he had been told that she had been killed years before. It’s a nice little suspense story, different from his usual stuff. Also in here is a short Dracula story, a tiny one about Tony and his girlfriend and a great back page by Alex Robinson on how things would change if he was the king of the world. Is there anyone left out there who doesn’t have all of Tony’s minis? I feel like I’m wasting my time writing this because everybody already knows how great his stuff is. Well, if any random person ever stumbles across this page who has never heard of the guy, even if they don’t like comics, they should send the man $5 for some great stuff.
Double Cross! #13
One of the difficult things about reviewing an ongoing series, mini or regular, is that it’s tough to unreservedly recommend something. Sure, one issue can be great, but the next can be just mediocre or something far worse. Some of these guys put pressure on themselves to put out issues consistently over making everything as good as it can be. Or maybe they think it’s great and I’m just being too damned picky sometimes, I don’t know. Regardless, I don’t have that problem with Double Cross. No, every issue isn’t brilliant. But every issue that I’ve seen has been consistently engaging, funny, and just plain fun to read. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this guy isn’t working for one of the “major” companies. If Pete Sickman-Garner can get his book out with Top Shelf, Tony should be in there too. Not that I don’t love Pete’s work, but they are both two of the few people doing character comics consistently and well.
That being said, #13 isn’t a good starting point. It’s entertaining, like all of them are, and it could be argued that it’s worth the price of admission just for the rant at the end against comic stores and copy machines, but you’d be better off buying some of the later issues and coming back to this when you just need more Double Cross in your life. The main problem is that he doesn’t keep very many issues in print and #13 is one of them. I don’t know, e-mail him and bug him about it. Maybe he’s sitting on a big contract and he’s going to put everything into one book. Ah, if only the world worked that way… I’ll have reviews of some of the other issues up at a later date. Go to his homepage and find out what he does have available.
Double Cross #12
Wasn’t this story collected in one his graphic novels?Â It seems like I saw this after this comic came out back in 1997.Â Well, if it wasn’t it should have been, as this is the essential “Tony working at the deli” comic.Â Granted, such a thing would probably not be considered essential by a lot of people, but those are stupid people who have no appreciation for Double Cross and his assorted other comics.Â Yes, it’s quite possible that I just called you stupid, and if you took the time to read a few of his comics you might just grudgingly agree with me, before becoming a convert.Â The story here is fairly simple: Tony has his day start off with some jerk on the train spilling coffee on him (so he’s going to smell like coffee all day), and is already in a lousy mood when he gets to work.Â When he arrives Chris (who he has a serious and obvious crush on) berates him for being late, he is told that he has to wear a hat with a salami on top of it and then the real fun begins: the store opens.Â If you’ve ever ordered meat from a deli counter you probably already have had a glimpse of the rampant stupidity of some people, but Tony lays it out in gory detail.Â There is also the small matter of somebody stealing money from a register running throughout the story, and the small matter of Tony trying to talk Chris into going out with him.Â While it’s not my place to say it, if you were out there hoping for the Double Cross experience, this is the perfect issue to get it.Â It’s the size of two minis, so Tony really gets a chance to tell a great story and it’s a damned near perfect “day in the life” comic.Â I don’t know if these are available anywhere, but they damned well should be.
Could it be? Has the independent comics scene finally woken up to the fact that Tony Consiglio is a lot better than most of the people that they publish? OK, maybe not “most”, but a lot of them. Top Shelf finally fixed that problem with the publication of this book. I think that this is a reprint of stuff from his mini, but it’s all stuff that I haven’t seen and it’s a great story. Tony admitted in an anthology or somewhere that he exaggerates his family a little, but that doesn’t make them any less entertaining. This is mostly about his crappy job and dealing with his girlfriend, her brother and his family, while all he really wants to be doing is drawing comics. These are the simple tales of a dreamer who’s stuck in the same crappy work-a-day world as the rest of us. For those of you who have been wondering about this guy, now’s your chance. This is $4.95 and worth every penny.