Author Archive



More photos from C2E2—- courtesy of Fanboy Buzz in accordance with Bestow Productions

Written by on May 1, 2013
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Photos courtesy of Fanboy Buzz’s Tommy Zimmer and Bestow Productions’ Paul Sanders, Alex Sanders and Todd Day.

 




Fanboy Buzz in accordance with Bestow Productions brings you—- C2E2

Written by on Apr 30, 2013
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Courtesy of Fanboy Buzz’s Tommy Zimmer and Bestow Production’s Paul Sanders and Alex Sanders.

 




Windsor Signing- Catching Up with the mind behind the Justice League of America, artist David Finch

Written by on Apr 16, 2013
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David Finch is an artist currently with DC Comics. He is a Windsor native, and the current artist on Justice League of America. He currently just finished his run on Batman: The Dark Knight and has completed a few covers for the new series Katana. Mr. Finch was nice enough to speak with us again since we last saw at Detroit FanFare.

TZ: What are you doing now? Katana covers, right?

DF: I was doing them but Justice League of America’s really taken over my life.

TZ: How difficult is it doing all the inking now? Last time I spoke, you have taken over all the duties….

DF: It’s actually a lot more gratifying, and it’s nice to see the finished product from start to finish. I have worked with some great inkers but it’s nice to have it just be my own work.

TZ: What can you talk about coming up?

DF: They are all going to fight, and that’s comin’; all mayhem and destruction.

TZ: Is that going to play into “Trinity War”?

DF: I think it’s no real secret JLA is really designed with Justice League in mind. I don’t think revealing too much to say something’s going to come out of the match-ups between the rosters in the first issue. I don’t even know what’s coming up….

TZ: Geoff keeps a tight lid on things…?

DF: Yah. But frankly, I don’t want to know what’s coming up. I want to know where we are now, and be where the characters are. A year out, it takes me out of an event.

TZ: What’s your favorite character to draw? Is it still Green Arrow?

DF: Right now, it’s Martian Manhunter. It may change again.

TZ: You tend to reveal a lot of the physicality with Simon Baz and the Manhunter… was that intentional? I know you do that in a lot of your work….

DF: Yah. I mean, these characters are supposed to be opposing, and they are larger than life but not regular people. I want to get that across every time I introduce a character. The more room I can get to do that big splash page, I am happy.

TZ: What else are you doing right now?

DF: I am honestly doing nothing more right now.

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!




Windsor signing- Interview with Green Arrow, Animal Man and Justice League Dark writer Jeff Lemire

Written by on Apr 16, 2013
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Jeff Lemire is the current writer behind Green Arrow, Animal Man and Justice League Dark. He recently finished a crossover with Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing entitled “Rot World” and finished a major storyline in Justice League Dark. He is about to begin co-writing with Geoff Johns a few issues of Justice League of America. Mr. Lemire was nice enough to speak with us.

TZ: How did you get into comics?

JL: I started self-publishing my own stuff I wrote. I went to Kinko’s, and stapled it together to shop it around. Then, I got a publishing grant in 2005 from the Zurich Foundation for my first graphic novel. From there, I submitted some stuff to Top Shelf.

TZ: What work at Top Shelf do you think really got you noticed?

JL: I did The Essex County Trilogy of graphic novels. There were some editors at DC and Vertigo that really liked that book.

TZ: Who did you pitch to at DC?

JL: I pitched to Bob Schreck, and then I ended up getting Sweet Tooth. That all kind of led me to doing more DC Universe stuff. Those were all sorts of gradual steps over almost ten years.

TZ: What do you prefer doing more: writing or drawing?

JL: I love drawing my own stuff. I love the complete control that comes with it. But, I love working with artists because I love the collaborative aspect of writing with other artists.

TZ: How did you get into Animal Man?

JL: DC came to me with a few options. I loved the Grant Morrison stuff, and I had a lot of affinity for the character. They liked my vision for the character.

TZ: How did you decide what to change in the mythos?

JL: You always try to keep what you love from the old stuff but also try to make it accessible to new reader. So, it is a balancing act.

TZ: What was it like working with Travel Forman?

JL: I think he’s a genius. He brought a lot to it, and he really helped establish the tone of that book.

TZ: What made you leave Frankenstein?

JL: It was Justice League Dark being offered to me, and there were so many of my favorite characters that I couldn’t say no. I also knew I could also eventually work Frankenstein in so I could kind of get the best of both worlds.

TZ: How is it working with Mikal Janin?

JL: He’s such a great guy, and I think he’s a really wonderful artist.

TZ: Have you guys ever met one another?

JL: We met for the first time back in Atlanta because he’s in Spain.

TZ: What stuff do you have coming up for Justice League Dark?

JL: We have a big storyline coming up I am working on with Geoff Johns.

TZ: Are you taking over co-writing Justice League?

JL: We are doing a story together.

TZ: So, it’s a crossover?

JL: It will be… yah.

TZ: Is that involved in Trinity War?

JL: Definitely. They will probably announce it soon.

TZ: What do you have coming up in Animal Man?

JL: We finished the big “Rot” storyline. So, what I am really trying to do is move the book away from Swamp Thing, and do stories really specific to Animal Man again. I am really focusing on Buddy Baker’s celebrity now.

TZ: What made you want to take on Constantine?

JL: He’s been one of my favorite characters that kept me reading comics since I was a kid, and when I was offered it, I couldn’t say no.

TZ: Did editorial approach you for it because I know Robert Vendetti was originally on it…?

JL: Rob’s a good friend of mine but they announced he was doing Green Lantern. So, he had to make a decision, and I had already been doing the character on Justice League Dark. So, it seemed like a natural thing but I am only like co-plotting the first five issues of Constantine. I am not heavily involved in it. It’s more Ray’s book.

TZ: What do you have coming up?

JL: Green Arrow obviously, and I have a new Vertigo book called Thrillium I am writing and drawing. It’s a sci-fi love story.

TZ: What’s coming up for Ollie?

JL: The Komodo storyline is our first arc, and then we get to reinvent a classic Green Arrow villain which I am really excited about.

TZ: Could it be Count Vertigo?

JL: Perhaps.

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!




Windsor Comic Signing: Interview with Detective Comics artist Jason Fabok

Written by on Apr 11, 2013
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Jason Fabok is the current artist on Detective Comics. A Windsor native and graduate of St. Clair College, Fabok has also worked with David Finch on Batman: The Dark Knight and for Aspen Comics. Mr. Fabok was nice enough to speak with us.

TZ: How did you get your start in comics, Jason?

JB: I went to St. Clair College for animation program, and I knew I wanted to make a leap into comics when I was there but I didn’t think they had the proper training. I knew David Finch lived here in Windsor. So, I contacted him to see if he would teach me a few things, and that turned into about 6-8 months of lessons. From there, we created a portfolio, and he felt my work is strong enough. We sent it into DC, and I guess the rest is history.

TZ: What project at DC have you been most happy with?

JF: Right now, I am doing Detective, and I am really proud of that because it’s something I can really spread my wings on as the books progress and we do more stuff. John Layman’s been giving me more freedom with designs and my art. So, it’s fun to really express myself that way. One of the proudest things was working on Dave’s Dark Knight. To get to work on your mentor’s book really makes you feel like you’ve really made it.

TZ: You probably already had a fair amount of confidence going into it, I imagine.

JF: Yah but I had tight deadlines, and from that, I was offered a contract with DC, and it all came together from there

TZ: How did editorial approach you about doing annuals such as Justice League International and Batman?

JF: What happened was I signed a contract, and they didn’t have anything for me to work on right away. But, Mike Marts in the Batman office had faith in me that I would do a good job on those books, and I almost saw those books as a tryout. They had specific deadlines for me to get stuff done, and kind of tested me. I felt I proved I could do a monthly, and they gave me Detective right after that.

TZ: How was it like working with Scott Snyder?

JF: There’s a reason he’s one of the top writers at DC. He was very humbling, and wanted to work together as a team. He gave me a lot of freedom as well. I think when a writer has trust in you and allows you to express yourself artistically, that’s the best to work with. You seem to get a better product in the end.

TZ: How did they approach you afterwards to work on Detective?

JF: It was right after I had done the Batman annual, they had approached me if I wanted to do a big project. They said Detective but it was coming down the road. They gave me the JLI annual, and I wanted to get it done because I knew what was coming down the road. I felt honored that they had enough faith in me to give me one of their flagship books, and every month I think I am getting better and better. Right now, my confidence is up, and that’s all things you are looking for.

TZ: What was it like working with Dan and Geoff?

JF: It was different because they write very much in a Marvel style where it’s very little description of anything, and allows you to play around with the story. I find I like a little bit more of guidance in the way. But, it was cool because I got to try it, and see how I liked that style. It pushed me outside of my comfort zone so I had to think more visually about my storytelling.

TZ: What do you like about working with John Layman?

JF: We have a good rapport and good communication between each other. He asks me what I want to draw, and then he writes to my strengths. I think that’s why the book is working and selling. He knows I like big shots, big splashes and large artwork. You couldn’t ask for anything else, really.

TZ: What’s been your favorite villain to draw in the Bat universe?

JF: I’d have to say the Penguin which is a strange choice because he’s a goofy character. I’ve loved him since the old ‘60s television show, and he’s always been one of my favorites. It’s a fun character to draw, and I am trying to bring a bit more humanity to him. He’s definitely my favorite right now.

TZ: The main conflict in Detective right now has been between him and Oglivy. Is that going to reappear back in the books as a main conflict?

JF: He comes back big in issue 18, and Oglivy’s a lot of fun. I enjoy drawing that character, and fans seem to be connecting with him. When someone tries something different, people don’t like it at first but John slowly introduced that character throughout the different issues, and so he will becoming bigger and bigger.

TZ: What do you think Oswald’s feelings will be?

JF: That’s kind of the main plotline of issue 18. It’s kind of Penguin vs. Penguin. It’s a lot of fun, and one of my favorite issues to draw. Leading into 19 (900), and will be leading into the next issues.

TZ: Will Zsasz be appearing? I notice there are scratches and scars….

JF: He may be appearing.

TZ: What’s with the Man-Bats?

JF: At first, there wasn’t really any plan to do anything. They wanted the 900 to be a part of the story. I just finished drawing that issue, and it’s my favorite thing I have ever drawn. It is kind of that “go nuts on the art” book, and I am excited for people to read it.

TZ: It looks as if you are moving more towards scifi rather than the usual crime drama….

JF: It is but John’s done it so the story will have consequences in the next arc. He didn’t want it to feel like a total break in the story to throw you off.

TZ: What else do you have coming up?

JF: Finishing up Detective. Fan response has been pretty good so we are going to be moving into a next arc, and I am pretty excited to draw that.

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!

 




Windsor Comics Signing: Interview with writer Tony Gray

Written by on Apr 11, 2013
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Tony Gray is the writer/artist behind Legacy Comic’s The Incredible Conduit. He is also the writer/artist behind white plastic and is a co-owner of the Windsor-based Legacy Comics. Mr. Gray was nice enough to speak with me back at the signing about his career and what’s coming up for him.

TZ: How did you get started in comics?

TG: I actually got started in comics watching the old Speed Racer cartoon as a kid. I started drawing, and drew a Donald Duck head. It looked like him, and everyone said it looked like him. My calling was found early. So, I started moving onto the superhero strips like Spiderman and the Spirit. I got involved, and my dad was a collector as a kid. It was part of our family thing where after hockey, my dad, my brother and I would head out to go to all the different convenience stores to find Spiderman at the lucky spot in town. When I look at every comic, I remember when we ended up at Kresge’s, and ate mashed potatoes and gravy.

TZ: What made you want to start Legacy?

TG: I was doing Saturday Afternoon, which was a daily and a Sunday strip. I also did a strip called Mick and Me. So, I pitched it to Marty Beneteau who was the editor of the Windsor Star, and I thought it would be cool to do a Windsor-based superhero like an old superhero strip. The company Legacy picked up the rights to publish the strips, and if they thought there was money to be made, I wanted a share. So, I bought part of Legacy Comics, and I am now part owner. I am doing The Conduit, White Plastic, The Feral Ones and Gray Matter.

TZ: How did you come up with the Conduit?

TG: I designed the character with the old Spiderman book. The costume was based around that look. His powers became based around the costume which I thought was really cool. It has like the Conduit symbol like an hourglass symbol which is a recycling of energy and power. The design of the costume sort of generated the power of the Conduit which is to absorb and generate energy whether it’s solar, hydro, electric, any kind….

TZ: How did you meet Mike Michalski?

TG: He was working at CTV, and he came up and covered a couple of the events I was at. I met him through that, and he’s a really talented writer full of great ideas. I was doing a storyline for Conduit #2 that took place at Chrysler, and one of his buddies was someone I sanctioned to draw by Chrysler. I actually used real people at Chrysler, and one of his friends said Mike Michalski’s a reader of your stuff. He and Al with the headphones were in it. They wanted to know the story ahead of time, and so they would take me out for free lunches.

TZ: What’s coming up next with The Conduit?

TG: At the end of issue #3, it becomes Tales of the Incredible Conduit. When I say an adult book, I don’t mean an adult book. It’s a more grown up book, and the art is more along the line of gray washes. He gets a new costume which amps up his powers, and he’s working with the government. It’s a lot bigger story than catching muggers.

TZ: It’s becoming more serious….

TG: It’s a bit more serious, and he’s a much more powerful character.

TZ: Was that because of the demographic switch?

TG: I was really surprised because I really just started The Conduit as a local lark, and it ended up where I was getting more and more mail. I thought I would listen to what the readers want, and they were asking to beef it up a little bit. Now, he’s like a hulking 6 foot 4 with powers ten times he had.

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!




Green Lantern #19 Review

Written by on Apr 8, 2013
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Green Lantern #19

Rating: 4/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Ardian Syaf/Szymon Kudranski
Number of Pages: 32 pgs.
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Which one hero has the power to bring down all the Lantern Corps?

Reviewer’s Comments:
Things are not looking good for Hal, Sinestro or Simon for that matter with a gun pointed at his head. Sinestro quickly leaves Simon behind as he attends to more important matters: Korugar.

When he arrives, not everyone is happy to see him; everyone meaning Arsona. He tells her his plan to stop the First Lantern which involves militarizing his home planet. The Lantern stops him first however before he or Arsona can do anything. Making him relive many of his past memories, Sinestro sees it all flash before him making him remember his love for her. However, that’s short lived after she is immediately murdered right in front of his eyes, and in a two page spread, Korugar is blown to pieces. When Hal realizes Korugar has been destroyed and there are millions more dead arriving, he finally makes the tough decision committing suicide. In the meantime, Sinestro has given up willpower for what seems to be the fear he currently feels.

Geoff Johns does a bit of a cheat since last issue. The last splash page left the reader thinking Hal killed himself at the end but it’s not until the end of this episode it actually happens. The story mostly focuses on Sinestro’s return and his first fight with the First Lantern. It is actually pretty emotionally charged, and Johns nicely connects Hal’s suicide with Sinestro’s rebirth of fear. What culminates is a sad yet moving story.

Ardian Syaf and Szymon Kudranski continue their fill in duties with the former on the real world art and the latter on the Dead Zone art. Both are quite effective working on the book, and were welcome surprises since the last issue brought them on. Syaf easily handles the space stuff, and Kudranski does the Dead Zone quite beautifully as it works well with his style.

Next issue is Johns’ last issue, and I am a bit surprised how fast that flew by. No matter what, all will be well.

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!

 




The Phantom Stranger #7 Review

Written by on Apr 8, 2013
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The Phantom Stranger #7

Rating: 5/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Writer: Dan DiDio/JM DeMatteis
Pencils: Gene Ha
Number of Pages: 32 pgs.
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Do you dare ask who slayed the Stranger?

Reviewer’s Comments:
As The Phantom Stranger sits before the man he betrayed in a church, a priest approaches him. The priest knows when something is troubling someone. The problem for the Stranger is he cannot reveal about his problem truly to the priest as much as he may want to, and he promptly exits.

As the story’s prologue closes, the Stranger and his dog friend discuss mysticism and how it could possibly be the solution to the Strangers’ problems. Unfortunately, he says he does not want to hear of it but just wants to find his family. The Stranger is taken off course to meet reporter Jack Ryder, and see him die amidst a catastrophe involving the Challengers of the Unknown. However, Jack being the brave reporter he is goes out there to do what he does best. As the Stranger sees what happens to yet another person who crosses paths with him, he decides to ignore his dog friend, and go back to the heart of the matter: what happened to his family. As he arrives back at Mister Thirteen’s house, a question and a death await him…

Dan DiDio and JM DeMatteis continue to score in this series. The Stranger is not only an interesting character but becomes more interesting and deeper with each issue. The struggles are apparent within the crux of the character, and his story continues to make more and more left turns keeping things fresh.

Gene Ha seems to be the new series artist for now, and it’s a welcome stay. He gives the series a fresh new style that really works for it. He nails the supernatural aspects but also the real and larger than life events as well. I also like the little things he does with the Stanger’s eyes and reactions.

Hopefully, Ha stays on for a little, and I know unfortunately DiDio will leave soon but we will have DeMatteis which guarantees a good story. All in all, one of the better reads each first week of the month.
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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!




Batman Incorporated #9 Review

Written by on Apr 2, 2013
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Batman Incorporated #9

Rating: 5/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Chris Burnham/Jason Masters
Number of Pages: 32 pgs.
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
The fallout from last month’s shocking turn of events has Batman on the run!

• Is The Dark Knight a murderer?

Reviewer’s Comments:
Like Jason Todd was at a turning point a few issues back in Red Hood, Bruce is at a crossroads. As he carries the tomb of his fourth son, he battles his son’s killer in a time before. Finally, Dick is knocked out ending the battle.

After the funeral, Alfred tries to console Bruce but he will have nothing of it sending Alfred on “a vacation.” Bruce is declaring vengeful war on Talia, Chris Burnham and Jason Master’s pages make that clear. Talia takes issue with the way Damian was dealt with, and the mayor of Gotham then declares Batman INC to be banned from the streets, Bruce to make himself available to authorities and Batman himself outlawed from Gotham. While Bat Cow gives Bruce temporary peace, he has a moment of angry silence as the issue comes to a close.

Grant Morrison plays with the ramifications of what has come to past. He plays the whole issue as a requiem really for what has just transpired. It is both shocking and saddening to read at the same time. He continues the mystery of it all by not revealing anything that will come next.

Chris Burnham and Jason Masters do some find work here. When Bruce stands in the rain and his eyes are closed in the clouds is some of the best work I have seen from the art team on the book. They play every scene out to its full potential, and leave you wanting more when the issue ends.

At the end of this issue, I am left baffled and anxious about what will happen next.

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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!




Teen Titans #18 Review

Written by on Apr 2, 2013
Filed in: Comic Book Reviews  |  No Comments »

Teen Titans #18

Rating: 4/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Eddy Barrows
Number of Pages: 32 pgs.
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:

• Unknown to the Teen Titans, Red Robin’s condition is worsening after the events of “DEATH OF THE FAMILY.” And now Red Robin must face an even greater tragedy!

• The new Dr. Light is coming for Solstice!

• Guest-starring the Suicide Squad!

Reviewer’s Comments:
Tim Drake and Damian Wayne never saw eye to eye on anything really. It is perhaps one of the saddest points of the Bat family that they never really accepted one another. Worst yet, the two men never got to say good bye to each other or have a “last moment” like Dick and Damian had. Damian’s ghost visits Tim, and they have a moment where they finally accept one another as the book opens.

Tim’s eyes are pouring out in grief as Alfred comes into remind him he is not alone in this. Tim never being one to be alone (except when he thought Bruce was still alive while others didn’t) gladly accepts the love and kindness from Alfred. Superboy arrives to not much of a welcome reception. The team wants to keep their anonymity, and Superboy’s arrival kind of defeats the purpose of their boat. However, he is welcomed with open arms by Red Robin. They all meet in his bunker on the boat to discuss their plans to rescue a teenage superhuman from Belle Reve prison. While they battle Waller’s Suicide Squad, writer Scott Lobdell does another 360 with Tim Drake making it clear the Red Robin speaking to her is not the same from the beginning of the book. This continues to raise more questions for me as to when he is Tim Drake and the Trigon possessed Red Robin. Unless Trigon is living through the emotional moments of losing Damian which I find unrealistic but I tend to think the Red Robin suit is possessed. However, I am not certain. All I know is we will some answers next issue hopefully especially with the last page.

Scott Lobdell is finally focusing on the story he wants to tell without having to worry about stupid editorial mandated crossovers. The result is a much better focused story, and something he has left me hanging on a bit with questions. I am so glad to see him back on the straight laced path but hopefully, he will let me in on the secret of Trigon/Tim Drake.

Eddy Barrows is the king of this book. His art elevates every page of this book with each panel, the splashes and spreads. He is one of the best working in the business, and makes this book necessary on every reader’s pull list for the art alone.

These two are shooting on all cylinders, and the result is something impossible to ignore.
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Tommy Zimmer is an upcoming writer of short stories, comic books, journalism/media reviews, screenplays, and anything related to writing. On zimmert101.wordpress.com, you can view his latest work, and see what exciting things he is currently doing!!


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