Monday, January 21, 2013


I started the new year with plans to “attack” my Vast Accumulation
of Stuff and with several resolutions.  It has not gone exactly as
planned.  What a surprise.

On the VAOS front, my plan was to make getting my reading room in
order a priority.  That plan got upended by Christmas.  Before the
holiday, I needed to move stuff out of our downstairs living room
because, traditionally, that’s where Eddie and Kelly, our wonderful
kids, have always opened their stockings.  The stuff that was there
went into the reading room.

My Sainted Wife Barb and the kids gave me two really swell Sauder
bookcases for my office.  That shifted my priorities to my office.
Putting up the bookcases will mean clearing 15 feet of wall space in
the office.  Which is what I’ve started doing in between my other
activities.  I’d like to have the bookcases up and ready by the end
of February and the reading room by the end of March.

Since I was already working on my office, I figured I might as well
replace my crappy file cabinet with an older and better made one
that was sitting in my wife’s downstairs crafts room.  This means
emptying out both cabinets, boxing up the files and then putting my
current files into the “new” file cabinet.

The old file cabinet has yielded wondrous things.  In a file with
Barb’s and my marriage license, I discovered the photograph of our
wedding party that leads today’s bloggy thing.  I also found early
scripts of mine, several of which have never been published...some
correspondence with comics professionals...contracts, including the
one-page contract wherein DC had to pay me a kill fee for an idea
of mine which was subsequently duplicated by another writer...some file on a snotty comics fan who actually assaulted me
at my comics shop...and more.  Some of this will find its way into
the bloggy thing in the future, though I could fill a second daily
blog with these rediscovered treasures.

You know how Tom Brevoort’s way cool The Marvel Age of Comics blog
takes requests?  Based on the above paragraph, if you have requests
for stuff for me to write about, e-mail those requests to me and I
will see what I can do.


My New Year plans and projects aren’t going quite as well as I had
hoped.  Family and household matters have gotten in my way, but I’m
not displeased with what I’ve accomplished in these first weeks of
2013 and I am excited about the work before me.

I started writing a comic-book script which I originally conceived
as a one-shot.  The more I worked on it, the more possibilities I
saw.  It’s become four or five issues of 28 pages each and I tossed
everything I’d written to pursue my new vision. 

My new plan on this project is to fully script the first 28 pages
and write fairly detailed plots for the other issues.  Then I will
find an artist to partner with me on the project.  Then we’ll find
a publisher or, failing that, look into Kickstarter for the funding
to complete and publish the project.  In other words, there won’t
be any real announcements on this project for a while and the first
such announcement will be a call for an artist.

I’m working on several pitches to submit to publishers.  The first
of these was for a license property of a different nature than we
have seen in modern comics.  The editor liked everything about the
pitch except for the licensed property.  He’s probably not wrong,
but the pitch represented a kind of comic book I wanted to write.
I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to retool the pitch to feature
a different licensed property.  In the meantime, other publishers
should feel free to contact me about this pitch.

Some of my resolutions involved matters of health and fitness and
I am making progress on those.  I’m making less progress on being
able to spend more time with family and friends, but I’m working on
those as well.

Preparing for this year’s garage sales is on the back burner while
I work on my office and reading room.  However, as I work on those
rooms, I am finding stuff for the garage sales and my online sales.
You can expect new items in my online sales almost every Monday for
the immediate future.

Because I thought I might try my hand at a webcomic, I planned to
read a different webcomic every week.  I’m currently reading Ménage à 3
by Giz and Dave Zero.  It’s a funny, well-written and well-drawn
strip about young people having and/or wanting sex with plenty of
comics and other “geek” elements playing a role in the continuity.
I think it would be great fun to write a strip like this.  I also
think it would be creepy for a 61-year-old man to write about young
people having sex. Am I wrong about that?

Wanting to return the hundreds and maybe thousands of comics loaned
to me by a friend, I’m reading about a dozen comics each and every
day.  Given how old some of these comics are, I won’t be reviewing
them.  But, if something strikes me as particularly odd or spiffy,
I may mention them.

The battle continues.


I want to thank everyone who sent messages of condolences to me on
the demise of Comics Buyer’s Guide.  They were appreciated and, in
some small way, I hope this bloggy thing helps fill the void left
by the world’s longest running magazine about comics.

In recent years, Maggie Thompson and others have said I was CBG’s
first columnist.  However, as Russ Maheras pointed out on Facebook,
that’s not the case.  He wrote:

For the record, the first installment "The Odd Collectors" appeared
in TBG #20. "Beautiful Balloons" first appeared in TBG #19, and
"MESS" (Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman) first appeared in TBG #4.
So while you may not have been the very first columnist, you were
certainly a founding father! The CBG folks never had a full set of
TBG issues -- especially early issues -- so it was hard for them to
be certain about such things. Those early issues are pretty scarce,
so not too many folks probably have a run. I do, and I'm pretty
sure Alan Light has a bound set of the issues he published, but
other than that, who knows?

I responded:

I was aware that Don and Maggie's first column ran before mine did,
but we both remember the sequence of events as I wrote about them
in today's blog. What I believe happened was this...Don and Maggie
would send in their column already pasted up. I didn't, so mine had
to wait for Alan to put them together. But, with the info about
Mark and Steve, I was clearly not the first CBG columnist
chronologically. Maybe it's a ceremonial title. Like "First Lady"
or something.

Unless someone can show me refuting evidence, Mark and Steve were
TBG’s first columnists.  Kudos to them.

Moving on...

Unless it’s buried somewhere in my Vast Accumulation of  Stuff, I’m
missing Comics Buyer’s Guide #1619.  Does anyone have a copy they
are willing to sell or trade?

In writing about CBG, I mentioned the first thing I wrote for Don
and Maggie Thompson:

The first thing I wrote for editors Don and Maggie Thompson was a
spoof called “The Scarlotti Comics Group,” wherein I invented a
Cleveland-based short-lived publisher of the 1950s and included a
price guide to his handful of titles.  It made Don laugh and that
was all it took to make the sale.  I always wanted to do a series
of one-shot “reprints” of those Scarlotti comics, but I’m pretty
sure they would be a hard sell in the current marketplace. If/when
I come across the original manuscript for this parody, I’ll run it
in the bloggy thing and maybe, just maybe, I can sweet-talk some
artists into drawing some covers for it.

Xandude28 commented:

Now I am so curious as to see The Scarlotti Comics Group. Maybe,
with artwork additions, it could run in Alter Ego, like The Faux
History of All American Comics did.

I’m delighted to report my original manuscript for “The Scarlotti
Comics Group” was in the file cabinet mentioned above.  I’m going
to look it over and reprint it in an upcoming bloggy thing in the
hopes of finding a crazy publisher and enough crazy artists to work
with me on a project that almost certainly won’t make any of us any
money.  Look for this piece soon.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff. 

© 2013 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your assessment of MAT: a fun, if very naughty, sex farce. If I may make so bold as to offer a couple of suggestions, I'm currently enjoying such diverse offerings as Girl Genius, The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, and Spinnerette. Girl Genius has really been my first exposure to steampunk, while the good doctor is a hilarious and entertaining parody of the whole action genre, and Spinnerette is the most fun superhero comic to come out in years. Forgive me if I'm duplicating suggestions by previous commenters; I would just love to hear your assessments of these and other webcomics, since I have found myself more and more interested in supporting the efforts of the many truly talented webcomics creators as an alternative to the same stale offerings from the big two. In fact, last comic I bought was a trade paperback collecting the first story arc of Axe Cop (another diamond in the rough).

    Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts about comics on the web!

    --Bill Thomas