Monday, September 10, 2012


Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies #124 [February 1952] has a cover
by Ralph Heimdahl.  The artist was a Disney animator from 1937 to
1940, drew the Bugs Bunny newspaper strip for three decades, draw
lots of comics and covers for Dell and Western, and illustrated all
sorts of juvenile books.  Though the gag on this cover is labored,
the impish/insane glint in Bugs Bunny’s eyes and his big grin makes
me smile every time I look at.  It takes a master artist to put so
much animation into a two-dimensional drawing.

The Grand Comics Database doesn’t yet have writer credits for this
issue’s stories, but it does identify artists:

Bugs Bunny: Tony Strobl (10 pages)

Porky Pig: John Carey (6 pages)

Elmer Fudd and Daffy: Phil de Lara (5 pages)

Mary Jane and Sniffles: Al Hubbard (5 pages)

Henery Hawk: Vivie Risto (3.5 pages)

Sadly, I have read precious few of the Bugs Bunny comics from this
era.  I’d love to see a collection of them. 

Look for more vintage comic-book covers from the month of my birth
- December 1951 - in future bloggy things.


My next-to-last garage sale of the year was another success.  I was
delighted to see new and returning customers.  It’s always cool to
see the eyes of those new customers light up when they see how much
stuff is crammed into my garage and how inexpensive it is...and to
see returning customers find new stacks of stuff to buy.

An extra treat this time was the surprise visits from Tom Batiuk of
Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft fame and Mike Sangiacomo, who is a
Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter and a comics columnist and writer.
Thanks for stopping by, my friends.

My last full-blown sale of the year will be on September 21 and 22.
I’ll be restocking boxes and rethinking displays in between working
on other things.  I will do my best to make sure there are lots of
great new items on sale that weekend.

I’ll be at the Wizard World Ohio Comic Con the following weekend.
More on that in a moment.

My final “garage event” with be a mystery sale on October 5-6 from
9 am to noon.  Right now exactly what I’m doing is as big a mystery
to me as it is to you.  But I’m kicking around some ideas and I’m
eerily confident the sale will please those who attend it.

I have four goals for this mystery event.

1. Show my appreciation to my customers.

2. Have fun.

3. Offer some fun bargains.   

4. End up with less to take back to the Fortress of Storage to sit
until next summer.

More on this in future bloggy things.


A reminder...

Wizard World Ohio Comic-Con will be held September 28-30 at the
Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 North High Street in
Columbus, Ohio.  Show Hours are 5pm to 9pm on Friday, 10am to 7pm
on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday.  I’m one of over 150 guests
and will have a table in Artist Alley.

I won’t be selling anything at my table, but I will be doing three
other things:

1. Signing Isabella-written books and comics.  I’m not so keen on
signing other items because, in many cases, I haven’t been paid for
these items (action figures, etc.) or not paid the full amount that
is owed to me.  But I don’t want to be a complete dick about it so
I’ll try to flexible, especially if you make a donation to the Hero Initiative.
They do good work.

2. Meeting with any legitimate artist, editor, or publisher wanting
to work with me.  I’m open to a wide range of possibilities, which
would include partnering with any of the above to bring some of my
own projects to the readers.  I’m not even against doing work-for-
hire work if the conditions are acceptable.

3. Accepting review copies of comics, books, movies, or anything I
can review here.  I don’t normally make guarantees on whether I’ll
review something or not, but, because of my long association with
this convention, I will guarantee to review at least 31 items that
I receive at the con...averaging one a day for each day in October.
I live on the edge, baby!

I’m looking forward to attending the show and hope to see a bunch
of my bloggy thing readers there.


Getting back to the garage sales...

The most frequently asked question is: Are these comics in any kind
of order?
  Sadly, they are not.  If I tried to put them in order,
I wouldn’t have time to do anything else...including having these
garage sales.

Another frequently asked question was: Just how huge is your Vast
Accumulation of Stuff?
Picture the final scene of Raiders of the
Lost Ark
without anything that could melt your face off.  It’s just
a little smaller than that.

Another question: Why don’t you open up a store to sell all these
comics and books?
  I owned and operated a comic-book store for over
a decade.  It was backbreaking work with way too many employees who
stole from me on a regular basis.  One of these crooks once told me
I should have expected them to steal and figured that as a cost of
doing business.  Of course, he also thought I didn’t do any work at
the store because, naturally, he wasn’t around when I did all the
thousand things running a store requires.  No, I don’t miss running
a store at all.

One more question: Have you read all these comics?  No, I haven’t.
There just wouldn’t be enough time in the day or years left in my
life to do that.  So, when I go through boxes to restock the sale,
I only pull aside about one box of stuff for every dozen I put on
sale...and may think twice about the stuff in that one box between
now and next summer’s garage sale.

DC and Marvel have made it remarkably easy for me to not read their
older (as in the past decade or so) comic books.  I don’t care so
much that the continuities have been taken apart and rearranged as
often as they have as that the characters are often unrecognizable
in their rebooted or updated configurations.  I’ll try to keep up
with the current runs, but that’s not the priority it was back when
I was still interested in writing for those companies.

Clarification.  It’s not that I’m completely uninterested in doing
any writing for those publishers.  I just recognize that they have
no interest in my doing so and that, unless they came up with some
project I could do without playing with 52 other creators, I might
not be able to fit into their current roster.  Except in one very
specific case, I’m not bitter or even particularly upset about it.
It is what it is.

I make similar decisions with the various series I’m reading via my
library system.  This weekend, I quit on three such series.

Kozue Amano’s Aria takes place on the planet Mars after it’s been
terraformed into a water world.  Its young heroine is a gondolier
tour guide.  She’s a likeable enough character and the setting is
intriguing, but, without any actual drama, the wonder of this new
Mars wore thin after a couple volumes.

I’m a huge fan of GTO Great Teacher Onizuka, but, after reading six
volumes of GTO The Early Years: Shonan Junai Gumi, I’m bailing on
that as well.  It’s too nonsensical and violent to hold my interest
and I have trouble telling the characters apart.

I recognize the quality that goes into Locke & Key by Joe Hill and
Gabriel Rodriguez, but three chapters into Clockworks, I realized
I wasn’t enjoy the series any more.  So it goes back to the library
later today.

I love comics.  Just not all comics.

That’s all for today.  I’ll be back tomorrow with more ramblings.

© 2012 Tony Isabella


  1. Re: your comment about characters being unrecognizable. For the first time I my far too many years of comic reading, I have no interest in the Batman starring titles.

    The character that I discovered and enjoyed in the late 60s and onward, was allowed by TPTB at DC to morph into a megalomanicial character that plots to take down his friends and enemies alike and launches bizarre weapons into space like the former version of the OMACs.

    I have NO interest in this Bruce Wayne. I miss the Dark Knight DETECTIVE that once was.

    This is true with other characters at both major companies but that is the most glaring example to me.

    --Tom Hunter

  2. Michael Kelly SchurmanSeptember 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Yeah, I've reached that place characterwise too. Like Tony said not long ago, I tired of apocalyptic futures long ago and much prefer the Star Trek future. Too many characters are dark or mean or just not what I find interesting.

    I'd given up on super-hero continuities years ago anyway. If I'm going to read Marvel and DC characters I much prefer collections of stuff I either used to own or somehow missed or a collection of recent stuff I think I may like.

    There's lots of good work out there still but it's no longer concentrated in the big two. It's like the modern music industry. The big companies record and promote people they know will sell to a small but intense audience. There's lots of good music, too, but you have to work a bit to find it.

  3. I read my share of the Dell comics based on Warner Bros. characters and rarely found them as entertaining as those based on the Disney characters. Maybe if I went back and read some I might feel differently.

    I had not regularly been reading any of the BATMAN titles since shortly after the Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive storyline, but picked up the latest BATMAN as Scott Snyder was going to be the writer. I was enjoying the book until it was decided that all Batman-Family books were going to take part in the "Court of Owls" event. When they retroactively dragged Jonah Hex into the continuity and I knew it was time to drop everything.

  4. I was glad to read your take on not being asked to work for the Big Two anymore. Too many people are bitter and angry about the state of affairs for old school comics pros, but this has ever been the case. The way I look at it, if Jack Kirby could be declared "too old-fashioned" to work in mainstream comics, none of us are immune to the whims of fickle readers, editors and publishers.