Sunday, December 3, 2017


It’s time for my latest adventure into “click-bait” writing. I have 15 shocking statements for your low-attention-span entertainment, every one of which is guaranteed, albeit not in any legal sense of the word, to ignite online angst and enmity.

Why 15? No one has been able to explain that to me. My best guess is that Comic Book Resources and other websites who go to this well on a daily basis came up with the number by counting their fingers and toes.

Wait a minute, you ask. Wouldn’t that add up to 20? Trust me, you don’t want to know what these pseudo-journalists are doing with one of their hands. Or with one of their feet if they are particularly dexterous. No wonder they are so bad at their jobs.

Consider the above shocking statements as a bonus.

1. I once used an Asian pseudonym on a comic-book script.

After firing me off my second Black Lightning series in the 1990s, editor Pat “The Rat” Garrahy tried to not pay me for my completed ninth-issue script. When I fought and won that battle, he butchered my script via the Scab From Down Under he had hired to replace me. I demanded my name be removed from the script and that my credit be changed to “Lane Shiro.” That name was derived by rearranging the letters in the phrase “Slain Hero.”

2. I have been trying to recall if I have ever acted inappropriately with anyone. It’s harder than it sounds.

I remember being a little shit to a British exchange student at the elementary school I attended. After being picked on as the odd kid out, I went and picked on her. To this day, I feel terrible about my behavior. I wish I could find and apologize to her. Watch this bloggy thing for further recollections.

3. It annoys me when fans talk crap about “the great unwashed” or “the mundanes.” How is that any different from the derision we used to face and, to some extent, still face?

Grow up. We won. Hollywood comes to us for its movies and TV shows. Our comics and graphic novels are no longer immediately dismissed as trash. We are an incredibly large demographic. Every one wants us, even if it’s only for our money or because we totally rock our cosplay. If someone doesn’t love what we love, that’s their loss. At least when it comes to entertainment, print and otherwise, we’re doing more than okay.
4. I like Captain America: Sam Wilson more much than I like Falcon, the current Sam Wilson series.
As moronically awful as Secret Empire was, Sam Wilson shone in his own concurrent title. This new series makes me roll my eyes in utter disbelief. First, we have a demon fomenting violence in Chicago’s streets instead of addressing the issue realistically. Next, we’re expected to believe that an educated man like Sam doesn’t know the meaning of the word “moxie.” That’s two strikes in two issues.

5. I’m done with Christians. With an asterix.

I now feel about Christians the way I feel about the police. Just as there are bad cops and good cops, there are good Christians and bad Christians. Good Christians who follow the actual teachings of Christ do not engage in bigotry. They do not attempt to force their views on non-Christians. They do not support pedophiles for office. They don’t support sexual predators for office. They don’t support politicians and political parties who place increasing the already obscene wealth of their wealthy donors over the needs of the other 99.9% of Americans.

6. Good Christians and good cops may not be good.

If they were good, they would oppose bad Christians and bad cops to the full extent of their abilities and positions. Standing by and doing/saying nothing. That’s not my definition of good.

7. Evangelicals are supporting Trump and his ilk because they want to speed up the end of days.

I have read what I assume is the same Bible that they read. If you ask what Jesus would do, there’s nothing in that book that suggests he would support a senatorial candidate who stalked teenage girls, a racist presidential candidate who admitted to being a sexual predator, or policies that take from the poor and middle class to enrich the wealthiest people in our nation.

8. I scream at the TV when law-enforcement officers put someone at risk while they try to talk down the armed suspect threatening that someone.

I think law-enforcement officers in real life are too quick to use deadly force. I think law-enforcement officers on TV should study up on what a “clean shoot” is.

9. I’m enjoying a BDSM comic book.

A dear friend gave me a copy of Stjepan Sejic’s Sunstone Volume 1 [Top Cow/Image; $14.99]. I was immediately taken by the appealing main characters, the sensuality of their relationship and the truly lovely artwork. I’m not asking Santa to bring me leather goods for Christmas, but I do plan to read the rest of the series.

10. My “Citizen Tony” columns are on hiatus because I’m too damned depressed about the United States to write those columns.

I experienced crippling hopelessness when I tried to write about my country. It’s horrifying to realize there is no rock bottom for the Dumpster President and the Republican Party. I miss being confident that tomorrow will be better.

11. I wonder at what point do the greedy and treasonous actions of this administration and the GOP allow people to take action against them in self-defense.

Theoretically, we have a chance to at least partly get our country back in the 2018 elections. However, the Republicans show no sign of abandoning their rigging of our elections through redistricting,  voter suppression and the like. If the elections don’t offer decent people a fair chance to turn out Republican monsters and traitors, what recourse is available to us?

12. A fine young person of my acquaintance suggested that part of the problem with our country is that people of my generation aren’t dying fast enough. I agree with him.
How much do I agree with him? I stop just short of wanting Trump, every Republican who voted for the GOP tax bill, every person who voted for Trump and every sanctimonious person who refused to vote for Hilary Clinton to die quickly and in pain, disgrace and abject poverty. I’m not proud of feeling that way.

13. I have a bad habit of buying books of essays on things I love and regretting it immediately.
I’m currently reading a book of essays on Godzilla and other kaiju. It’s full of boring academics. You know the saying about how those who can’t do something...teach. We should add an amendment to that to the effect that they also do their best to drain every atom of fun out of the things they can’t do.

14. When we fail to recognize degrees of wrongdoing, we might also be destroying any possibility of redemption.

Sexual harassment is wrong. Not every instance of sexual harassment deserves the death penalty. Many people have done terrible things and then turned their lives around to the point where they benefit humanity. We should never diminish the feelings of those who have suffered from sexual harassment. We should always support them as they speak out against inappropriate behavior. But not every crime of this nature is equal.

I’m a sucker for a good redemption tale. I hate to envision a world in which those are no longer possible.

By the way, as I’ve been going through my aging memory, I am sure I never acted inappropriately with women when I was in high school. However, to be honest, I don’t recall going on a more than a half-dozen dates while in high school. More to come.
15. I have a policy. I don’t read comments on online articles about me, my work or other things I love. I keep falling off the wagon.

It’s a good policy. It’s an intelligent policy. The vast majority of those comments are posted by anonymous jerks who have little to no understanding of comics creation. What they have is a computer, a lonely room somewhere and an abiding envy of those who do what they can’t. I can learn from intelligent well-considered criticism.  The other kind of comments are just a waste of my time.

The scariest thing about writing one of these “click-bait” things is I always think of four other “click-bait” things I could write. I may need a support group.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. So right on many of things, but #13 reminded me of a college experience. I made the mistake of taking a course on "Science Fiction Literature" while working on undergrad degree. I'm not saying the books we read were bad, but the instructor (the wife of the English Dept. head) did her best to suck any joy out of the books. It was years before I could pick up any SF or fantasy book, genres I had fallen in love with in high school.