Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Life Story was apparently published monthly by Fawcett, running 47
issues from April 1949 to April 1953.  Issue #33 was dated December
1951, the month of my birth, and presumably hit the newsstands that
month.  All I know of the issue is what’s on the cover, so I’m just
gonna make stuff up.

The cover models are Paul Ryan and Ann Romney, which is gonna make
things interesting on the campaign trail.  There are three stories
in the issue:

“Another Kind of Love” (between a man and a corporation);

“There Goes Love” (Sarah Palin falls for Ron Paul, but he doesn’t
want to tap that); and

“I Hate You...Darling” (the original version of the classic EC tale
in which a man and his wife drift in a lifeboat without food after
their ship sinks).

Bob Powell and Marc Swayze were known to have drawn for this title
in the early 1950s.  I don’t know if they drew any of these utterly
bogus stories.  But don’t you think someone should?

More vintage covers in future bloggy things.


I have a bunch of stuff waiting to be reviewed here or in my Tony’s
Tips column for Comics Buyer’s Guide, but I also have a short list
of stuff currently bugging me.  If I write about it, then it won’t
bug me as much.  Hang on.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Let’s start with a guy I call Blowhard McBong.  He’s a creature of
ego and needy victimization.  I’ve written about him once before
without identifying him by his actual name because it gave me a wee
bit of pleasure to deny him even the minuscule fame he’d get from
being mentioned here.  It’s a blog, you know, and not the New York
.  Heck, it ain’t even Newsarama.

McBong fancies himself an eminent comics historian and something of
a major player in comics history.  Ironically, though he has never
been part of the creative end of the industry, he has been around
for some of that history and done remarkable research in some areas
of comics history.  He’d rank much higher in my estimation save for
his major character flaws.

He has a tendency to exaggerate his role in events in which he may
or may not have played a part.  His apparent low self-esteem drives
him to recite frequently his list of accomplishments, some of which
are actual, in long and boring detail.  I’m pretty happy with some
things I’ve done, but even I don’t give you a list of my credits
with every blessed thing I post.  His mailing list posts often read
like resumes.  A sense of security comes hard for some people.

He has a pathological hatred of Stan Lee and this further colors
his historical writings.  He’s been known to base his conclusions
on never-documented conversations without providing any proof that
the conversations took place or that the content of them was what
he claims it to be. 

Often when I write about this sort of individual or what I consider
shoddy and untrustworthy accounts of comics history, I don’t name
those I’m writing about.  I have no desire to demean them, only to
point out the problematic nature of their claims and to caution my
readers to consider what they claim before accepting it as truth.
Which, as those of you who have read my accounts on my own comics
career know, is a standard I also expect my readers to hold me to.
I tell my history as accurately as possible.  I feel confident in
its honesty, but I don’t take it as a given that you will do so as
well.  We are all the heroes of our own stories and that’s a bias
worth remembering and noting.

McBong has taken extreme offense at my comments about him.  His ego
is easily bruised.  I’m not sure if it’s because he recognizes the
truth in my description of his behavior and character or because I
didn’t name him when I wrote about him.  He enjoys
playing the victim and acts out his dislike of me by sniping at me
on a mailing list whose owner/moderator is forgiving to a fault in
dealing with McBong’s repetitive tiresome posts.

Clearly, McBong and I have very different attitudes.  I’ve had my
share of disappoints and problems in my career.  I write about them
when I’m asked or when I’m trying to provide an accurate record of
my career.  It’s not something I particularly enjoy doing, which is
why I haven’t done much of it in recent months.

McBong likes to take cheap little snipes at me.  I’ve ignored him
on the list because, if I responded to them, he would fill the list
with his bleatings, distorted history, exaggerated achievements and
terrible terrible sufferings.  But, this being an election year and
Ohio being a key state, I’m already getting my daily requirement of
annoyance in the form of political calls.  I’m generously giving
him another fifteen minutes of anonymous fame today in hopes he’ll
finally get the point.

Yeah, I’m kidding myself.  He’ll never get the point.  But perhaps
he can serve as a object lesson for others.


2016: Obama’s America is a venomously dishonest documentary doing
good business playing to right-wingers seeking permission to loathe
the black guy in the Oval Office.  A poster on a comic-book message
board praised the disgraceful effort, recommending it to everyone
regardless of their political beliefs.  In my view, that poster was
either knowingly untruthful or alarmingly delusional.  A different
poster on the Harlan Ellison’s Art Deco Dining Pavilion summed up
the movie nicely:

“A person with a deep, abiding and unashamed hatred for his subject
preaches to the like-minded about what constitutes the motivation
of his subject as if he was a mind-reader.”

Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleilberman gave Dinesh D’Souza’s film
a “F” in a short review in the magazine’s September 7 edition.  He
points out how D’Souza has twisted material from President Obama’s
autobiography and puts forth the patently absurd claim that “Obama
has spent his life trying to please his late Kenyan father and that
the result is he’s an anti-colonial revolutionary.”

Anti-colonial revolutionary? Wouldn’t that make the President closer
in spirit to our country’s often-touted founding fathers than those
running against him?  Is D’Souza actually making a case for Obama’s

Of course, he isn’t.  D’Souza is an unprincipled liar and his film
was eviscerated by Associated Press fact-checkers.  But the haters
of the right won’t let facts keep them from going to this film and
believing every specious claim it makes. 

It always amazes me when folks insert their politics into message
boards created for the discussion of comics and comics history.  I
think it’s rude.  If they’ve something to say of a political bent,
there are more appropriate forums where they can say it.  Or they
can start their own blogs. 

If I can do it, anyone can do it.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another Rawhide Kid Wednesday and then
on Thursday with more stuff.  Maybe even some reviews.

© 2012 Tony Isabella


  1. I know the blowhard you're talking about. He frequently posts on FB, and can never give an opinion w/o pushing his book. He takes any disagreement or criticism as a personal attack, and starts foaming at the mouth in response. Sane people avoid him.

  2. I know both of the anonymous individuals referenced above. Of the first, I will add nothing but my agreement with the assessment. Of the second, I will say that I do not believe him to be knowingly untruthful. I will say that he often displays a kind of disingenuous-ness that I find rightwingers often exhibit when trying to be appear reasonable. And rather than offend him -- because I do like him -- I'll remain anonymous myself, if that's okay.

  3. If you can, listen to Bill Maher's takedown of D'Souza on his show last Friday. It should be available as a free podcast.