Monday, July 6, 2015


I receive quite a few e-mails and even some phone calls of the “How are you doing?” variety. Given that I am putting in very long days writing my forthcoming “memoir of sorts,” I figured I would answer that question here. That strikes me as more efficient than trying to answer each query individually.

There’s good news to report or, at the very least, tease you about. Thom Zahler has shown me the roughs for my forthcoming book’s cover and they are wonderfulness incarnate. When you see it, you’ll know why I’m hoping people DO judge my book by its cover.

My mother has now moved to an assisted living facility and loving it. I haven’t seen her this happy in decades. She’s even going for walks, something she could never do in the war zone that our former neighborhood has become.

The old Isabella house remains occupied. It’ll be a while before my brother-in-law and siblings, who are doing all the heavy lifting on that project, will have the house empty for the next stage of its existence.

I was there for a few hours on Saturday and will probably only go back once more. It’s sad to look at the neighborhood we moved into six decades ago and realize how far it’s fallen, but the old house itself accomplished its mission and gave us a lot of good memories. That’s acceptable to me.


I must be circumspect on this next item. For the first time in two decades, there is positive movement for me on another comics front. It’s too early to know how this will play out, but I’m guardedly hopeful there will be a good outcome.

In the past, my readers have approached editors and publishers at major conventions and expressed, sometimes angrily, their desire to see me treated fairly, as well as their interest in my returning to comic-book writing. I thank those readers for their strong support of my work.  That said...

Don’t get angry on my behalf. Regardless of whether or not that of which I cannot speak has a good outcome, I have a very good life. It’s a life that doesn’t rely on the comics industry to any great extent. My life may be challenging at times, but it’s a life that suits me quite well. Sure, by all means, let editors and publishers know you are in my corner and that you enjoy my writing. But do this in the spirit of courtesy and respect I occasionally manage to achieve in this blog of mine. Give people a chance and they might just surprise you by doing that which would please you.


Speaking of life’s challenges, I did suffer a few setbacks after I returned home from the fabulous Indy Pop Con. In a day or two, I’ll have more to say about that most excellent event soon.

Here’s what happened last week...

I went a few rounds with what I’m convinced should be thought of as an actual medical condition: Comic-Con Depression Syndrome. It’s a disease that affects me about this time every year as I’m forced to accept I will not be at Comic-Con this year and will miss seeing my many old friends and sharing in the unbelievable fun of the event. I contend CCDS is a real thing.

The only treatment for this sinister syndrome is to lower my head and bear down on whatever work lies before me.  I also keep telling myself “Maybe next year” and trying very hard to believe it’s not just a saying.

I mean, attending Comic-Con 2016 could totally happen. As an Inkpot Award recipient, I have a lifetime pass to the convention. Someone could announce a movie or TV series involving something I created and bring me to the convention to promote said movie or TV series. A hitherto unknown-to-me rich relative could fly me to the event in his or her private jet and cover all my expenses. Don’t those sound completely within the realm of possibility?

I didn’t think so.


In addition to suffering from CCDS, this past week saw me dealing with return engagements of two old “friends”: back pain and gout. Fortunately, these have been part of my life long enough that I’ve gotten pretty good at overcoming them. I lose a few hours here and there, but that’s all. I count myself lucky.

The most serious ailment of the week was a nigh-crippling anxiety attack. I stressed out over the chaos of my life. Because my Vast Accumulation of Stuff is still not organized, I can’t find things I need on a nearly daily basis. The frustration of that sometimes makes me a little crazy.  Since even a little crazy means I can’t work on my book and other projects, I had to make a tough decision to relieve some stress in my life. This is where the bad news of my title makes itself known. 

There will be no Isabella Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales this year.

When I looked at my schedule for the rest of the year, when I also considered how much work would be involved in putting on even a few garage sales in August and September, I knew I couldn’t handle even attempting those sales.

This grieves me for two reasons. I will miss the additional income these sales would have provided me at a time when I’m turning down work to write my book. I will miss spending a few hours every other week with the wonderful fans who have come to my garage sales on a regular basis. They are good people.

Over the next several months, after my book is completed, I will be looking at my future garage sales with an eye toward making better and more interesting than ever. I will organize my VAOS so that I can find anything I need for my work while uncovering cool things for my future garage sales. My goal is to accomplish these tasks by March of 2017.

There will be some necessary changes in my garage sales. Realizing that some items have been on sale for years, I plan to put together a whole bunch of mystery boxes. Many of those boxes will start with a base of 200 comics. Additional items will be added to them. They will be sold at the same $5 price of previous mystery boxes. Expect these new mystery boxes to sell fast.

There will be fewer boxes of quarter comics, simply because I have been running out of comics I’m willing to sell for a quarter. But I’m confident my customers will find as many cool things to buy as ever as I add other items to my sales.

In the interim - I’m not counting on Ohio weather allowing garage sales until April at the earliest - I will be resuming the online Vast Accumulation of Stuff sales. These new online sales will have more items than previous online sales. I’m shooting for, at least, a hundred new items every week. If I can keep hitting my deadlines, you’ll see the first of these sales in mid-July.


Though my blogging will be erratic throughout this month, my next several bloggy things will feature my Indy Pop Con reports. I had a terrific time there and I’m looking forward to telling you about my weekend there.

Keep watching the bloggy thing. I’ll be back as soon as possible with more stuff.

© 2015 Tony Isabella

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