NEO COMICON 2021. I am excited to be returning to one of my favorite events. I'm bringing a great selection of Isabella-written books to the show. I'm bringing some unique items you would not ordinarily see at my convention tables. I'm putting together two terrific auction packages which I am donating to the convention. And I'll be seeing some of the most amazing creators, cosplayers and fans for the first time in close to two years.
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Third time’s the charm? I hope so.
After being forced by often annoyingly stupid circumstances to cancel two weekends in a row, my second Vast Accumulation of Stuff comics and pop culture garage sales are this weekend: Friday, July 30, and Saturday, July 31. The hours of these sales are 9am to noon and then 2-5 pm each day. I’m adding those afternoon hours in an attempt to make up those missed sales.
If you’re still buying stuff at noon or 5 pm, don’t worry. I won’t chase you out of my garage at noon or 5 pm on the dot. The location of the garage sales is Casa Isabella, 840 Damon Drive in Medina, Ohio. There will be signs in the front yard and a big Tony Isabella banner sign next to the garage itself.
The question I am most frequently asked about these sales is “What will you be selling?” The most honest answer I can give is “I don’t know.” I add hundreds of items to these garage sales every weekend. My goals are to make some money, make my customers happy and reduce my Vast Accumulation of Stuff to the point where, at some distant time in the future, it can be called a collection again. I want to know what I have as much as you do.
I know what the garage sale will have in general. Isabella-related posters. Isabella-written comic books and books. Hardcover books.Softcover books. The ever-popular $10 mystery boxes. Manga volumes. Comics and pop culture related clothing and backpacks. Comics and pop culture related collectibles. Magazines. Comic priced at just one buck each. All at bargain prices. Indeed, I’ll even be reducing prices on some items from my first garage sales of the summer.
One of the perks of coming to my garage sales, besides hearing my wondrous stories of my nigh-half-century working in comics, is that I don’t charge for my signature. Whether you buy an Isabella item from me or bring it to my garage from your own collection, I will sign any and all Isabella items for free.
I won’t have any quarter comics this time around. Ditto other items priced at a quarter. Most of those will be going into those mystery boxes. At my last sales, fans were disappointed I only had a couple of those boxes. I’ll have at least seven mystery boxes this time out. Quarter comics will return when I can acquire more of them
NOTE: I am buying comic books, though not in great bulk. I’ll pay $15 for a short box of good condition comics and $30 for a long box of good condition comics. Generally speaking, a short box will hold a little over 150 issues and a long box around 300 issues. The only restrictions: I don’t want too many copies of the same issues. I don’t want adults only comic books. I won’t be able to buy dozens of boxes at one time.
If you can’t attend my sales at their stated hours of operation, I can arrange a private showing for you at some other time that will be more convenient for you. I would be able to schedule these for most Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. To arrange such a showing, you need to email me. I’ll do my best to accommodate you.
I publicize the sales on Craig’s List, Facebook, Next Door, Twitter and Yard Sale. Obviously, I welcome you telling your friends about them as well. The more I sell at these sales, the more cool stuff I can put out at the next ones. Not to mention that the funds make it easier for me to produce new comics and content for my readers. It’s the circle of life.
Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.
© 2021 Tony Isabella
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Some of my earliest comics writing was in black-and-white magazines like Marvel’s Dracula Lives!, Monsters Unleashed and Vampire Tales, and even that weird-but-cool little tabloid newspaper The Monster Times. What I remember most from the last one was that I only got paid when I went to their offices to ask for whatever payment they owed me. That got easier when I moved to New York City to work for Marvel Comics.
For the purposes of this bloggy, I am defining “comic magazine” as a magazine-format publication that contains mostly comics stories. So MAD would be a “yes” and The Monster Times, which only ran two or three pages of comics, would be a “no.”
Manuscript Press’ Comics Revue is my favorite comics magazine currently being published. Edited by Rick Norwood, each double-size issue presents over 125 pages of some of the greatest comic strips that have ever been seen in the United States. Issue #421-422 is the latest issue I’ve read and will suffice for this revue.
Tarzan by John Celardo and Dick van Buren is the cover feature of this issue. “The Inca Treasure,” a 12-page daily newspaper story from 1957, is a well-drawn adventure told in the once-classic style of captions with no speech balloons. Author Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Lord of the Jungle also appears in a more modern 1980 tale by Gil Kane and Archie Goodwin. In this case, the jungle is New York City with its magnificent bridges and skyscrapers.
My favorite story in the issue is 48-page Mandrake the Magician thrillers by Lee Falk and Phil Davis. From 1939, it’s a epic tale of royal intrigue and a hero’s fight for the woman he loves. I am frequently amazed at how often Falk (and the Phantom, his second classic creation) from sealing the matrimonial deal with the great loves of their lives. These romances went on for decades, multiple stories seemingly leading up to matrimony, only to have something delay them once again. What is truly remarkable is that, no matter often Falk did this, the result was always a terrific story.
As with any anthology, there are some features I like better than others. R&D Hackney’s medieval/contemporary satire Sir Bagby is a favorite of mine. Call me a heretic, but I have never warmed up to George Herriman’s Krazy Kat. But I enjoy almost everything else in the magazine: Casey Ruggles, Flash Gordon, Alley Oop, the Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Buz Sawyer, Garth and Steve Canyon.
Side note. This issue starts another of Milton Caniff’s flights of fancy in which a sleeping Steve Canyon imagines himself in another period of American history. This time, it’s the Revolutionary War or thereabouts. When I was a ghost-writer for a couple more recent newspaper strips, I pitched “Steve is sleeping” sequences for lead characters in those strips. Alas, my boss wasn’t interested. But, if I ever go back to ghosting newspaper strips like those, I will pitch such stories again.
Second side note. The main reason I’m not doing writing for syndicated strips, beyond John Lustig’s great Last Kiss feature, is because I couldn’t get credit for my work. I don’t expect to have my name on those tiny strips as they are currently presented, but I want to be able to let my fans and friends know what I’m doing. Something any potential clients should understand from the get-go.
Comics Revue is published every other month. A single issue costs $20. A subscription is $59 for one year.
The Creeps (soon to end and replaced with a title called Shudder) and Vampiress Carmilla are two more recent comics magazine launches that I’ve been enjoying. From the Warrant Publishing Company, the black-and-white magazines are ongoing homages to similar magazines published by Warren Publishing in the 1960s through the 1980s more or less. Indeed, when The Creeps first came out I was a jerk to its editor, accusing the company of doing cheap knock-offs of the great magazines edited by Archie Goodwin and others. I didn’t get it back then. I do get it now.
If you’re expecting the kind of quality Archie Goodwin brought to Creepy and Eerie with legendary artists like Reed Crandell, Angelo Torres, Al Williamson and others, you won’t find that in Vampiress Carmilla and The Creeps/Shudder. What you’ll find are charming love letters to Creepy and Eerie and Vampirella with covers similar to the covers of those magazines. With mostly “shock ending” stories by veterans Don Glut and the late (and sorely missed) Nicola Cuti plus less well-known writers. With art by Benito Gallego, a favorite of mine from Apama the Undiscovered Animal, and several serviceable artists who occasionally reach greater heights. All wrapped around features that are likewise reminiscent of the old Warren magazines. I get warm nostalgic feels from these titles.
These magazines aren’t “the best in illustrated horror” as claimed by the blurb over The Creeps logo. They aren’t likely to win comics awards. But they are entertaining and fun and well worth the cover price of $5.95 per issue, less if you subscribe. As I’ve been doing for a couple years now. If you have fond memories of those Warren magazines, I think you’ll enjoy these as well. And I’m really, really sorry I was such a horse’s ass when I first laid eyes on them.
Less entertaining is Eyrie [$7.95 per issue] from writer and artist Mike Hoffman. Priced at two dollars more than the Warrant titles, it does have better paper. While I generally like Hoffman’s art, I haven’t been able to warm up to this magazine.
The stories aren’t as well-written as the ones in The Creeps. For the most part, the individual pages have very large panels. Which serve only to highlight the sparse plots. I realize that Eyrie is meant to be Hoffman’s personal creative expression, but I think it needs better writing and more variety in the art.
I gave Eyrie three issues, but don’t plan to buy any issues beyond those first three. Your mileage may vary and, for many of you, I’m sure it will, but the magazine isn’t working for me.
Since I first edited a bunch of Marvel’s black-and-white magazines back in the 1970s (and once turned down an offer from Jim Warren to leave Marvel and edit the actual Eerie for his company), I’ve grown increasingly fond of the format. If the opportunity ever arose, I would love to edit such a magazine again. I was pretty okay at it back then, but I’d be much better at it today.
I have come across some older black-and-white comics magazines and collections of British comics inspired by or reprinted from that country’s old weekly comics newspapers. So you’ll be seeing more of my comments and reviews of comics magazines in the hopefully near future.
Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.
© 2021 Tony Isabella
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
My next Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale won’t be until the end of the month. I have projects I must complete this week, which include making that end-of-the-month garage sale as epic as I can possibly make it.
At the moment, it’s looking like I won’t have any boxes of quarter comics for sale. Indeed, unlike my first sales, I also won’t have three tables of other items priced at a quarter.
Quarter comics and other quarter items are the foundation of my $10 mystery boxes. Then I add other more expensive items to make sure the boxes buyers get a lot more than ten bucks worth of stuff. In all the time I’ve been selling these boxes, and I’ve sold close to 200 of them, I’ve only received one complaint.
I only had two mystery boxes at my first 2021 garage sales. I got more than one complaint about that. I have four mystery boxes out in the garage as I write this bloggy thing. I hope to add quite a few more. So I’m using what I have left of the quarter comics and other items for that purpose.
I want to offer quarter comics at my next garage sales. Given the nature of my excavations through the VAOS, there’s no guarantee I will come across boxes of comics I’m willing to put into a quarter boxes or a mystery box. My solution to this dilemma?
I AM BUYING COMIC BOOKS BY THE BOX.
I am buying comic books, though not in great bulk. I’ll pay $15 for a short box of good condition comics and $30 for a long box of good condition comics. Generally speaking, a short box holds a little over 150 issues and a long box 300 issues. I am allocating $300 for such purchases, but that’s not a hard and fast limit.
The restrictions: I don’t want too many copies of the same issues. I don’t want adults only comic books.
If you have such comics and want to sell them, send me an e-mail. I’ll arrange a time when you can bring them to me. You’ll get paid once I’ve examined the boxes and I plan to do that on the spot. If you want to be paid in cash instead of a check, I’ll need two days' notice to accommodate you.
Because of the afore-mentioned projects, I won’t be able to come to you unless you live within fifteen minutes of Casa Isabella, 840 Damon Drive, Medina, Ohio. I’m dealing here with both a shortage of quarter comics and a shortage of time.
Be sure to put QUARTER COMICS in the header of any e-mails you send me. I’ll be able to spot them more quickly among the hundreds of e-mails I receive every day.
I’m considering extending my usual 9 am to noon garage sale hours to include additional hours from 2-5 pm on each of the two days of the event. I’ll have more information on that soon. It’ll be posted here and on my other social media.
If you have questions, e-mail them to me. I’ll do my best to answer them as quickly as possible.
That’s all for now. I have two or three other bloggy things almost finished, so I’ll be back here sooner rather than later. Thanks for your patience and support. You’re appreciated.
© 2021 Tony Isabella
Monday, July 19, 2021
My next VAST ACCUMULATION OF STUFF garage sales have been pushed back yet again, this time to Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30. Hours to be announced. However...I am strongly considering having both morning and afternoon hours on those days.
I have a lot of stuff going on right now and I have to make time for it. Pushing back the garage sales (and making them better than ever) is one way I'm doing that. Reducing my online presence this week is another.
My plans for the week include blogging, writing Last Kiss gags and completing a consulting project. I'll still be checking the comments awaiting approval as often as possible.
I'm going to be much more cautious in approving some comments. If you haven't signed your comment and it strikes me as someone trying to cause controversy for controversy's sake, your comment will not be approved. I've had enough of the whole "Let's you and he fight" crap that has become the driving force of some lowlife "news and rumor" websites. Peddle that shit elsewhere.
Have a great week and I hope to be back up to speed next week.
Saturday, July 17, 2021
All comments from readers must be approved by me before they appear in the blog. This is to prevent spam and trolling. It sometimes takes me a few hours to approve a comment. Please be patient and refrain from posting your comment multiple times. That just confuses me. I do appreciate your comments and honestly wish more readers would respond to my bloggy things. I ask for your patience when it comes to my approving them. Thanks.