Friday, November 3, 2017


October had it all. Natural disasters that chilled my soul to its core. The unrelenting violence in our nation and the world. The by-now-common horrific bigotry and malfeasance from the Dumpster and the Republicans.

Alongside all the above, there were tremendous blessings in my own life. There is reason to hope for a better America in the voices, online and otherwise, who loudly oppose the monsters in the White House. It is possible to embrace joy amidst the struggle and that’s what I do every day on my Facebook page and Twitter.

Here are the things that made me happy in October...

October 1: Mimi Pond’s The Customer is Always Wrong. A massive and challenging cartoonist coming of age graphic novel.

October 2: Some interesting offers have come my way, but making no decisions until the end of the year. Still, it’s nice to be wanted.

October 3: The Hook Jaw Classic Collection. The complete original series from the notorious British weekly Action.

October 4: The wondrous Margo Martindale voicing Ma Beagle in Duck Tales. I’m loving the show more each week. Woo-oo!

October 5: I Know a Secret, the new Rizzoli & Isles novel by Tess Gerritsen. It’s a nice mix of horror movie and police procedural.

October 6: Terry Beatty’s Rex Morgan. Currently covering comics art fraud on eBay. Handling other real-life issues with sensitivity and grace.

October 7: Billy Joel and Miley Cyrus singing “New York State of Mind.” A great performance that brought good memories of my time in NYC.

October 8: The audaciousness of The Terrifics, coming soon from DC Comics/Dark Matter. I’m looking forward to it.

October 9: Skeletor as Geico spokesperson.

October 10: I am Gandhi, newest book in the “Ordinary People Change the World” series by Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos.

October 11: “Springfield Splendor.” Lisa Simpson put her anxieties in a graphic novel and Marge drew it. Guests: Roz Chast, Alison Bechdel, Marjane Satrapi. Loved this episode a lot.

October 12: Ahiho Higashumira’s Princess Jellyfish. Charming manga tale of otaku women, politics, romance, family and fashion.

October 13: My “Diversity in Comics” lecture at the University of Akron went very well. Considering signing up with a speakers bureau to do more of these. Thanks to Mike Schuldiner, the students of his class on modern comic books students and the other attendees for an engaging evening.

October 14: Trying new things. Meeting new friends. Learning more. Growing beyond my comfort zones.

October 15: My old friend Dennis Knowles interviewing me for WVIZ’s “arts and culture” show. I’ll let you know when it airs.

October 16: Lost Cleveland by Laura DeMarco. Its many photographs show vanished landmarks from my home town.

October 17: When I can do a good turn for a comics professional, be it with information or something else.

October 18: Ronny Chieng’s brilliant Daily Show takedown of Chicago pizza. I stand with Ronnie.

October 19: The Late Show by Michael Connelly. Great introduction to Detective Renee Ballard. Threw me a curve I didn’t see coming. More please.

October 20: Grand Rapids Comic-Con 2017. Amazing convention in an amazing city with amazing fans, guests and staff. I had a ball and I’ll be back next year.

October 21: Getting to spend some time with comics legend Steranko. My friend Jim is almost always the best dressed and smartest person in the room.

October 22: Reconnecting with old friends like Allen Bellman, Jose Delbo, Andrew Pepoy, Scott Rosema, David Spurlock and many others.

October 23: The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck in the convention hotel. I could eat there every day of my life.

October 24: The amazing kid cosplay at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con. I’ll have photos when I blog about it.

October 25: Holding Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1 in my warm live hands. To those who vexed me for decades...I won.

October 26: Planning my next projects after Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands. One of them will surprise you.

October 27: I don’t feel 65 (which I am now). I don’t expect I’ll feel 66 when I hit that age on December 22. I have no problem with revealing my age. I’ve earned every one of those years.

October 28: Clark Bull (Publicity/DC Entertainment). He’s doing an amazing job promoting Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands. It’s great working with him.

October 29: B’wana Beast? The Legends of Tomorrow writers are just plain lunatics, aka my kind of people.

October 30: My new Proven blood pressure monitor is more accurate and easier to use than my former monitor. My blood pressure remains excellent. Double win.

October 31: Thinking about my first day at Marvel in 1972 and how the first person to greet me there was Don McGregor.

I’m taking a few days off to attend the Akron Comicon, celebrating 40 years of Black Lightning with original artist Trevor von Eeden, original editor Jack C. Harris, second series artist Eddy Newell and Mike W. Barr, creator/writer of Batman and the Outsiders, the 1980s team that included Black Lightning as a member. It should be a memorable weekend.

I’ll be back next week with more stuff.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

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