Saturday, September 1, 2012


Laugh #49 [February 1952] is today’s vintage comic-book cover from
my birth month of December 1951.  Which is all I can tell you about
the issue as it hasn’t been indexed by the Grand Comics Database at
this time.  The artist signed the cover, but my aging eyes simply
aren’t good enough to decipher the signature.  If any bloggy thing
reader can read the signature or, even better, tell me about this
issue’s contents, I’d be delighted to hear from you.


Whenever I take some time off writing this blog, I receive anxious
e-mails or phone calls from concerned friends and readers.  I get
why they do that.  I’m 60 years old and have had health problems.
However, all things considered, I’m in decent shape and, whenever
I’m not blogging, I’m working on other things.  Even when I’m not
blogging, I usually make a daily appearance or several on Facebook,
if only to wish a happy birthday to my friends there who are having
birthdays.  Check Facebook before you panic.

I do appreciate your concern and friendship.  There will be times
when I’m offline - because I’m attending a convention or visiting
my kids - but I try to let you know about that before I go offline.
You don’t need to fret about me.

I love blogging almost as much as I love comics.  Stuff happens in
one’s life, but blogging every day remains my goal. 


My next garage sale will be held on Friday and Saturday, September
7-8, from 10 am to 3 pm each day.  As always, the sale will be at
Casa Isabella, 840 Damon Drive, Medina, Ohio.

My previous garage sale was my third most successful to date.  My
thanks to all the comics fans who came and bought vast quantities
of stuff from me. 

I revert to my “comics shop owner” mode when I’m doing these sales.
For example, I noticed customers looking through the quarter boxes
of comics were butt-to-butt.  Given the scarcity of butts you might
want to be butt-to-butt with, I rearranged the displays to make for
a more comfortable shopping experience.  My rough estimate is that
I’ll be adding 1200-1500 new comics for the next sale.

My mass market paperback sales were slow at a buck a pop, so I’ve
reduced the price to a quarter each for the next sale.  By moving
them to the center table, I made room for the comics, hardcovers,
and trade paperback boxes that had been on that table.  With my new
arrangement, every category (comics, trades, etc.) is displayed in
easier-to-browse fashion.

Between now and my next sale, I’ll be pulling most non-comics, non-
media hardcovers and trades from display to make room for more of
the comics material my customers favor.  The removed books will be
packaged up in mystery boxes that will sell for five bucks apiece.
Whatever doesn’t sell in this fashion will be donated to one of our
local Medina charities.

While I can make no guarantees at this time, I’m going to try real
hard to have more Isabella-written material available for the next
sale and a selection of older and/or more expensive comics.  

I’ll be selling the 2-sided Superman/Clark Kent posters created for
Cleveland’s 1988 International Superman Expo.  This poster is being
offered on eBay for prices ranging from $19.99 for a used poster to
$75 and an absurd $245.  I’ll be selling the unused posters for $20
each and give a free poster to any customer who buys $100 worth of
stuff at my next garage sale.  Supplies are limited, so make your
move while you can.

In a year when I’ve landed almost no paying gigs, the garage sales
have been a blessing to me and my family.  So, once again, thanks
to all my customers. 


I’m voting for President Barack Obama and the other non-Republican
on the ballot.  However, political commentary will be sparse here.
Not only would I likely be preaching to those who also believe as
I do, but I’ve come to realize it’s nearly impossible to convince
the right-wing opposition of anything.

Since Obama became president, I’ve watched Republicans in Congress
disgrace themselves and do a considerable disservice to those who
voted for them.  Instead of working with Obama to address the many
problems facing our nation and its people, the GOP made beating him
this year its only priority.  They even voted against ideas which
they themselves had brought to the table because, to them, solving
problems and improving hardships created by those problems might be
beneficial to Obama’s reelection chances.  They made the well-being
of the American people secondary to their lust for power and to the
ever-increasing wealth of the already obscenely wealthy. 

The Romney/Ryan campaign is built on bigotry, lies, avoiding actual
details as to how they would run this country, voter suppression,
and, of course and as always, making things better for their fellow
one-percenters.  They may talk about the economy in the most gloomy
terms, but Romney and Ryan are doing fine in the present economy.
It’s the rest of us who suffer.

The facts are out there.  The Associated Press fact-checked all of
the major speeches at the Republican National Convention and found
them wanting in the area of truth.  Running in The (Cleveland) Plain
, PolitiFact Ohio has been examining political statements for
several years now.  Republican politicians hold a considerable lead
over their Democratic Party counterparts in the “False” and “Pants
on Fire” categories. 

But you can’t talk to Republicans about this stuff.  They get their
information from Fox News and right-wing pundits who tell them what
they want to hear and give them license to hold on to their bigotry
and ridiculous sense of victimization.  They don’t use reality and
reason to form their opinions.  They simply have faith in whatever
they are told by Romney, Ryan, and the Fox News crowd.  I believe
in facts, they believe in voodoo.

Am I satisfied with every decision President Obama has made?  No,
I am not.  Yet when I look at what he has done, what he has tried
to do, when I look at the facts, I judge him overwhelmingly better
qualified to be our President than the other guy.  I have made my
decision, not that you’d know it from the thrice-daily robo-calls
I get from the Republicans.  

Some in the comics community are posting wonderful political stuff.
I highly recommend Mark Evanier’s News from Me and Jeff Mariotte’s
Dispatches from the Flying M.  They post wonderful stuff on a wide
range of other topics as well, but we’re talking about the politics
here.  Unfortunately.

That’s my big political speech for now.  I may weigh in on related
topics along the way.  I’m probably overdue for giving you my list
of reasons for disliking Ayn Rand.  But such commentary will not be
a major component of this blog.  Just a casual now and again thing.
I can quit anytime I want.


This seems like as good a place as any to remind readers that all
comments to this blog have to be approved before they appear here.
I have little tolerance for anonymous asshats, so, if you fall into
that category, you probably shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for
me to approve your comment.  Or maybe you should.


A recent bogus press release announced that Steve Ditko, co-creator
of Spider-Man and Dr. Strange and lots of other cool comics, would
be a guest at a big comics convention in London.  From the moment
I read the news on one of the mercifully few websites that reported
it as fact, I knew it was a bogus. 

I wanted it to be true.

Ditko seems to be doing what he wants to do and living his life as
he wants to live it.  That’s his call and his right.’s
always seemed like a pretty dismal existence to me and I think it
shows in the humorless, minimalist and rancorous comic books he’s
been churning out in recent years.

In my flights of fantasy, I imagine Ditko attending a convention.
I imagine that all the jerks have stayed home that weekend and that
he gets to bask in the admiration and love of the many comics fans
who grew up with his comic books before he fell under the sway of
Ayn Rand.  I imagine him coming back to his studio with a big grin
on his face.  Maybe he sells some of the original art that’s been
piling up around his place and uses the money to give himself some
of the comforts he has surely earned.  Maybe he sits down at that
drawing table and, putting aside his strident social philosophy for
a spell, draws something fun that will mark a new chapter for him.
Maybe he finds his smile.

I wanted it to be true.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2012 Tony Isabella


  1. "Am I satisfied with every decision President Obama has made? No, I am not. Yet when I look at what he has done, what he has tried to do, when I look at the facts, I judge him overwhelmingly better qualified to be our President than the other guy."

    Couldn't agree more, Tony. The election was the Republican Party's election to lose, and they've lost it with gusto.

  2. Bloggy Thing is back, and all is right with the world again! You've been missed; glad you are well.

  3. It looks like the signature on that Laugh cover is that of Bill Vigoda. It's impossible to read on that scan, but there are other issues where Vigoda's signature can be read more clearly, and the overall shape of the signature matches.

  4. I do admire Ditko for living his life as he desires and not cashing in as a "personality" as Stan Lee has done for the past 50 years. Craig Yoe's recent book "The Creativity of Steve Ditko" has got several photos that I've never seen, but none date from the past 30 years.

    I would like to see him conduct at least one interview before he passes to give his side of the story and his impressions of the industry that has changed so much since he started out. There is no way he can avoid seeing the advertisements for the recent movies based on characters he had a hand in creating and I've often wondered what he must think of that.

    1. Steve Ditko and Republicans in the same blog, eh? How Freudian - I heard that Veep wannabe Ryan was a college (and beyond? Wouldn't surprise me -)reader of - you guessed it, Ayn Rand!Hmm, I wonder who Steverino's voting for -

  5. Hey, Tony, you're not the only one whose eyes are getting old, can you make the "please prove you're not a robot" words just a LITTLE easier to read?