Tuesday, January 8, 2013


This is another one of those “Tony Isabella gets all reflective and
thoughtful” pieces that I write from time to time.  I’ll do my best
to make it short, but I understand completely if you run screaming
from my blog at this point.

A close friend recently sent me a link to the obituary of a guy we
both knew to our everlasting regret. Although, in my case, there’s
a tiny smidgen of not-regret in the endeavor that brought me into
contact with this now-deceased individual.  Who is not the guy you
probably think it is.

My friend made a darkly humorous crack about this not being a good
couple weeks for “old foes” of ours.  The plural in that comes from
the guy who you probably thought about when you read the previous
paragraph.  The phrase “old foes” got me to thinking.

I’m a 61-year-old man with a loving wife and kids, so many friends
it humbles me, past and present work in which I take pride and, to
sum it all up, a really good life. 

Do I really have foes?

Both the now-deceased men did bad things.  Neither made an  effort
to make restitution for their bad deeds.  That doesn’t get erased
from the record because they died.  In my optimistic heart, I would
rather have seen them redeem themselves than die, but that was only
ever their call to make and they didn’t make it.

In the case of the first, I was actually hired to find materials he
had stolen and found proof of his theft that could have gotten the
guy charged with a felony, which, if convicted, would’ve been at
least his second strike.  My client chose not to pursue the matter
and I had to respect his decision.

In the case of the other, my only continuing interest in him was to
do what I could to prevent him from harming anyone as he had harmed
people in the past.  That had been largely accomplished before his
death.  I take neither glee nor sorrow in his passing.

Do I have compassion for whoever might have loved these men?  Yes.
Which is why I don’t mention them by name.  I have no regret for my
own actions in confronting them, but that shouldn’t be visited on
those they left behind.

Do I really have foes?

Recently, a comics creator younger than me fired what I thought was
an incredible accurate Twitter shot at a former editor of his and
mine.  I generally try to avoid making comments about how someone
looks - glass houses and all - but his terse description was dead-
on accurate.  Even more accurate was his 140-characters–per-tweet
descriptions of the person’s character.

It would be accurate to say I don’t like this former editor.  Just
as the younger comics creator stated - though not in the words I’m
choosing to use - the editor was dishonest in many ways.  He didn’t
keep his promises.  He spread falsehoods.  He slandered freelancers
behind their backs.  Not a good guy in my estimation.

Do I consider him a foe? Honestly, I only think about him when I’m
asked something about the time during or after I worked with him.
He may or may not be in a position to do me ill - that’s how little
I care about the demotions and relocations of his career - but he’s
not worth thinking about it.  He had a brief period during which he
was a good editor and has no creative credits of any worth beyond
that.  I’d like to think my foes - if, indeed I have any - are more
formidable than that.

Do I really have foes?

I suppose one could make a case that there are folks at DC Comics,
what with its long history of not living up to its agreements with
me and not paying me what it owes me, who could be considered foes
of mine. Even so, when a company is as morally bankrupt as DC often
proves itself to be, how much of that is individual evil and how
much is just DC’s corporate philosophy?  Maybe if I ever end up in
court against DC, I can consider them foes, but, at the moment, the
best I can muster is that they are petty thieves.

Do I really have foes?

I've been around the block more than a few times.  I guess I’ve made
some enemies.  Some tried to harm me in various ways.  Some have
stolen from me.  Some have slandered me.  But it’s been a couple of
decades since any have managed to land a glove on me.  I don’t feel
any sense of impending doom. If they consider themselves my foes,
I'd have to rate their villainy as a massive fail.

Do I really have foes?

There are people I dislike because I consider their actions harmful
to my fellow Americans and to people around the world.  Following
that reasoning, many Republicans and other right-wing asshats are
as close as I come to having foes, not that any of them who aren’t
readers of my work have any idea they might be my foes.  I sort of
think foe-ness has to work both ways.

Maybe I should get me some foes.  It’s too bad DC killed Kite-Man
because he would be a good starter foe for me.  In his absence, I
guess I’ll remain foe-less for the immediate future.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2013 Tony Isabella


  1. I always have a general sort of feeling that a "Foe" is an active antagonist to someone or something. For you to have a foe, then, there would have to be someone who was deliberately and specifically out to get you, personally.

    So, no, I don't think you really have foes.

    But you know what? You are a foe. You're the foe of injustice. You're the foe of crooked publishers, of comics-community con-men; you're the foe of dishonest histories, and those who would deny creators their rightful due. You're the foe of political evil and corruption.

    If you judge a man by his enemies, I'd say you're doing really, really well.

    1. Someone once told me holding a grudge is like drinking poison, hoping to make the "other guy" die for it. It doesn't work that way. It is worth mentioning that some of comic books greatest villains (foes) are obsessed with with revenge. Lex Luthor, Doctor Doom... what has their quest for vengeance really gotten them? Not much. I don't think you have foes Tony, merely people with whom you've disagreed, that have wronged you, but you are a class act, who learns, forgives, but maybe not forgets, because you share the stories for the benefit of others to learn from your life lessons.

  2. I prefer Fees to Foes (Fies don't bother me, but don't get me started on Fums...)

    Harry Tzvi Keusch