Monday, December 16, 2013


I have this birthday thing coming up next Sunday and my loved ones
are determined to make a deal out of it.  To answer the obvious

I will be 62. I don’t feel 62.  I don’t mind being 62.  I’ve earned
every one of those years.  I expect to have many more birthdays.
I don’t need any birthday gifts because I have everything I need in
my wife, my children, my friends and my work.  On the other hand,
if you must get me something...

I would love to see someone post a clip of George Takei singing the
theme song from Fireball XL-5.  That catchy tune has been running
through my brain since Anthony Tollin sent me a link to it about a
week ago.  I think the universe needs to hear George Takei sing it.
However, in the interest of making this a touch easier for you, I
would also accept a clip of any cast member of any of the many fine
Star Trek shows singing the Fireball XL-5 theme song.  You’ve got
a week to make this so.

Don’t know anybody from any of the Star Trek shows? Here’s another
suggestion.  Photos of cosplayers as characters I have created over
my 41 years in the comics industry.  Black Lightning, Tobias Whale,
Misty Knight, Tigra, Darkstar and any others who tickle your fancy.
Please include permission to run these photos in this bloggy thing
and elsewhere.

Okay, I’ve reconsidered the Fireball XL-5 theme song singing clip
and would also accept clips of the song being sung by cast members
of Babylon 5, Bones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hill Street Blues,
NYPD Blue and The Big Bang Theory.  I’m trying to make this really
easy for you.

One more suggestion.  I’m way better off than many comics industry
folks of my generation and previous generations.  If you would like
to celebrate my birthday with a token of your esteem, donate to The
Hero Initiative.  This non-profit organization is there to assist
comics professionals in their hours of need.  Hero does its amazing
work quietly, but it has made and continues to make an impact on
the lives of those professionals.

What’s that? You’re still hung up on the Fireball XL-5 theme song
clip.  Okay, I’ll also accept clips of the theme being sung by the
following individuals: Jon Stewart, Jon Oliver, Stephen Colbert,
Katy Perry, Rachel Maddow, Bill Clinton, Clark Gregg, Lucy Liu,
Andre Braugher, Nathan Fillion, Kirsten Vangsness, Harlan Ellison,
Stan Lee, Robin Williams, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Welker, Michael
Bolton, Sergio Aragones, Joe Quesada and Dan DiDio.  However, all
things considered, I think making a donation to the Hero Initiative
is still your best choice. Happy birthday to me.


My Christmas preparation is going very well.  With daughter Kelly
home from The Ohio State University and helping me out, I should
cruise into Christmas Eve just fine.  It’s getting to the new year
that could be a problem for me.

I have a bunch of topics I want to cover in the bloggy thing before
the end of the year.  I have updates on topics I’ve covered in my
previous bloggy thing.  I have little slips of paper with cryptic
notes like “Monster Shark Mystery Science Theater” written on them.
I have six Valiant Comics trade paperbacks to review.  I have many
other comics and books to review.  I have wonderfully cheesy movies
to write about.  I have several political issues I’d rather ignore
because I’m already more productive than Congress.

That’s just the blog.  I have to deal with some financial matters.
I have to prepare for some legal matters.  I have to decide which
of over a hundred personal projects I want to work on first in the
new year. I have to plan my January trip to Los Angeles, a trip of
which I will write more tomorrow.

It’s good to have goals.


Alter Ego #122 [TwoMorrows; $8.95] is like unto a reunion of fine
folks who have published, edited and contributed to Comics Buyer’s
over the decades.  I’ll be writing about this special issue
at greater length in my “Tony’s Tips” column at the Tales of Wonder
website.  It should appear before the end of the year.

I’m represented in Alter Ego #122 by edited material from my bloggy
thing and elsewhere.  Part of that material comes from the January
25 edition of this blog, a piece I wrote shortly after learning of
CBG’s demise.  Something I wrote back then has concerned some of my
friends and readers, so I want to clarify the difference between
then and now.

This was then:

Top all of the above [my great sadness over CBG’s end] with the
realization that, for the first time in my four decades in comics
that I can remember, I have no paying gig on my desk.  If nothing
else, I always had my next column for CBG to write.  If only by a
matter of degrees, this is sort of new territory for me.

This is now:

The “no paying gig” on my desk lasted less than a week.  One of my
newspaper strip clients called with an assignment.  Other jobs came
my way.  At the moment, I have two paying gigs on my desk and will
have at least one more coming in before the holidays.  Don’t worry
about me, my friends.  I’m doing okay.

I’m in a weird but wonderful position at the moment.  Because of a
legal matter I am not at liberty to discuss, I don’t need any work
at the moment.

However, while I am not looking for work, I’m also not NOT looking
for work.  I am able and ready to take on assignments that are of
interest to me for clients I either enjoy working with or believe
I would enjoy working with.  If an assignment strikes me as fun and
challenging, if it will generate a decent paycheck, I’ll put aside
my personal projects for it.

I have a healthy regard for my abilities, but I also understand I
am not on too many editor and publisher “must get” lists.  That’s
often the nature of the comics industry.  However, if these editors
and publishers are under the mistaken impressions that I don’t take
work-for-hire gigs or I can’t still write great stories, I invite
them to contract me to discuss their misconceptions.

If said editors and publishers don’t contact me, they don’t contact
me.  I’ll still have more than enough work in and outside of comics
to keep me busy, happy and sassy.  One of the terrific things about
having reached my advanced years and present state of grace, wisdom
or whatever you want to call it is that I no longer sweat the small
stuff...and most everything is the small stuff.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

© 2013 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. WHAT??? You mean yTony Isabella wasn't satisfied with Neil Gaiman and his wife Amanda Palmer singing the FIREBALL XL-5 theme song: