Sunday, October 1, 2017


October is here, but we’re still dealing with the tragic hurricanes of September and other natural disasters around the world. My heart goes out to all those who have suffered seemingly unbearable losses in these terrible events. I’m especially concerned about my fellow Americans in Puerto Rico...and disgusted beyond my ability to fully process the sad truth that our Dumpster President has failed to respond to that crisis in a swift and adequate manner. Of course, it would help amp up the outrage against his failure if more than half of my fellow Americans realized Puerto Rico is part of the United States and that its people are also American citizens. Sometimes, I weep at how stupid and insensitive my nation is becoming. I have donated to relief efforts and I urge my bloggy readers to do what they are able in that regard.

Republicans continue to be horrible. Racists continue to revel in the empowerment provided them by our white supremacist president. The world itself continues to be justifiably concerned that nuclear weapons are in the hands of petulant children on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a scary time.

On a less global, but no less sad scale, we have lost so many dear friends and great people in recent months. Len Wein. Bernie Wrightson. Sam Glanzman. June Foray. Basil Gogos. Hugh Hefner. Naruo Nakajima. So many others.

I can’t complain about my life per se. I’m having a pretty good run of late. But, like all of you, there are times when sadness becomes a lump in my heart. That’s why, every day, I try to spend a couple minutes thinking about things that bring joy to my life. I post them on Facebook and Twitter every day and, at the end of the month, I put them all together for this bloggy thing of mine.

Here are the things that made me happy in September...

September 1: When the remaining three issues of my six-issue Black Lightning series become crystal clear to me. Now all I have to do is write them.

September 2: Ohio State beat Indiana. The Browns crushed the Bears. The Indians are on an amazing winning streak.

September 3: The cover of Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #2. It is so dangerously great.

September 4: Batman and Harley Quinn. A hilarious dark comedy that has both big laughs and touching emotional moments.

September 5: Howard Chaykin. I don’t like every comic he does. But he pushes his and our boundaries. That’s what creators are supposed to do.

September 6: Making new and sometimes surprise friends on Facebook and Twitter. I hope to meet some of you soon.

September 7: Getting interview requests from other countries, even if said interviews will be printed in languages I don’t understand. Hello, Google translate!

September 8: Back Issue #100. I’m excited to see a comics mag reach that lofty milestone. Congratulations to editor Michael Eury and TwoMorrows Publishing.

September 9: HGTV’s no drama inclusion of gay couples on its shows without making a thing about it.

September 10: Naps. I’m finding these very useful for dealing with anxiety and stress. In this, my cat Simba is my sensei.

September 11: Len Wein’s life and legacy. His loss hurts more than I can express, but he was a great man, writer and friend.

September 12: Marvel Masterworks: Luke Cage, Power Man Volume 2. A great-looking book reprinting stories by me, Len Wein, Don McGregor and others with a new introduction by me.

September 13: Hit by Pitch: Ray Chapman, Carl Mays and the Fatal Pitch by Molly Lawless. This 2012 graphic novel is nothing short of amazing. Recommended for baseball and comics buffs.

September 14: Nagata Kabi’s My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness. Deeply honest, moving manga that made me what to give its creator a hug.

September 15: Reading and enjoying Behaving Madly by Ger Apeldoorn and Craig Yoe. Great book on MAD imitators.

September 16: Reading and enjoying Last Girl Standing, the amazing autobiography of comics legend Trina Robbins.

September 17: Secret Cleveland by Deb Thompson & Tonya Prater. The book is filled with quirky fun places to visit.

September 18: Actually finding the reference book I needed today in my train wreck of an office. Little victories.

September 19: The Orville. The punch line of the second episode had me literally laughing out loud.

September 20: The Black Lightning Train, powered by the enthusiasm of my creation’s fans. It’s like Soul Train, but with slightly less dancing.

September 21: I have my own Internet Movie Database page. It’s not 100% accurate, but that’s still pretty cool, right?

September 22: The Orville. Again. The third episode was funny, serious and emotional. A truly unforgettable episode.

September 23: Midnight, Texas season finale. A satisfying episode with a last scene “cliffhanger” that had me crackling with delight. Did not see that one coming.

September 24: So many NBA and NFL players and owners taking a stand against the racism and unpatriotic statements made by the dumpster president.

September 25: Ms. Marvel #19-22. G. Willow Wilson’s “Mecca” is an utterly terrifying tale of suppression and resistance, made more so because of our racist president. When comics speak truth to power, they lift my soul.

September 26: Spending a nice evening watching TV with Sainted Wife Barb: Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Scorpion.
September 27: Gregg Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, for speaking out on behalf of social justice issues. He is a true leader.

September 28: Full-Color Guide to Marvel Silver Age Collectibles: From M.M.M.S. to Marvelmania by J. Ballmann. So much nostalgic fun.

September 29: Bought a comic for my “July 1963" series. Ebay seller refunded the cost to thank me for all my work. So grateful for his support and that of fans, friends, and readers.

September 30: Getting a jump on Christmas with my Limited Edition Hanes Crewneck Godzilla Sweatshirt from Teespring. Kaiju Claus is coming to town!

ADDENDUM: After posting that last item on Facebook and Twitter, I learned that Teespring had used art by Todd Tennant without asking his permission or compensating him for their use of his art. I will be sending an email to Teespring telling them I will not be buying any products from them until they make good on their debt to Todd and asking my readers to also refrain from purchasing Teespring’s products. This kind of artistic piracy hurts artists and we should not stand by quietly when we see it.

I will be back tomorrow with a new installment of “Black Lightning Beat.” See you then.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

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