Saturday, October 20, 2018


Canada, our even-more-friendly-than-ever neighbor to the north, has now become the second nation in the world to legalize recreational marijuana. (The first was Uruguay in December 2013.) This promises to create a billion-dollar industry.

What you may not know is that Canada has had a support system for this new industry in place for years. According to a Snapple bottle cap - the Wikipedia of flavored teas - there are more donut shops per capita in the country than in any other country. Munchies will be readily available for those Canucks who avail themselves of the now-legal pot.

Canada, I bow to your genius.

I came home from the absolutely wonderful Baltimore Comic*Con with what I thought was an epic case of “con crud.” That turned out to be more serious than I thought and, a week later, Saintly Wife Barb took me to the emergency room.

Before you panic, I am doing fine. I had an urinary tract infection that was treated successfully with antibiotics. I had an intestinal problem that, like all things must, eventually passed. There’s one remaining concern: a really small node on my lung. I’ve scheduled another cat scan for early next month, but my doctor isn’t worried about it. I’ve never been a smoker. I haven’t been around smokers in almost five decades. But, when you get to be as old AF as I am, you check out these things.

The “con crud” and resultant flu have lingered on, slowing me down more than I would have liked. I’m easing my way back into my usual full schedule. Today’s bloggy thing is random bits and pieces. It’s a short of placeholder while I work on several more focused bloggy things. I’m getting stronger every day, so, hopefully, those more focused pieces will be posted sooner rather than later.

More on my fabulous life in a bit.


I’m halfway through the six-issue Archie Meets Batman ‘66 [Archie; $3.99] and I am seriously underwhelmed. It’s written by Jeff Parker (whose work I almost always like a lot) and Michael Moreci (a new name to me). Dan Parent is the penciller with inks by J. Bone and colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick.

Batman’s villains, having realized committing crimes in Gotham City is a bad idea, have moved their criminal operations to Riverdale. The Siren has enabled them to control leading Riverdale individuals like Hiram Lodge, Police Chief Keller and Pop Tate. Teenagers seem more or less immune to her persuasive melodies, though Reggie does sign on to be the Riddler’s protégé. Which strikes me as way too dark for the character.

Outside of the cool notion of Batgirl and Robin going undercover at Riverdale High, there’s no “wow” factor in this team-up. It’s not exciting and it’s not funny. It’s just flat out dull. I suspect we would have gotten a much better Archie Meets Batman ‘66 if it came out of the DC Comics offices. The DC folks have a proven record of success with the nostalgic adventures of the Dynamic Duo while the Archie personnel have pretty much lost the humor that used to be a big part of their stories.

I’ve got the rest of the series on order, but, barring a big boost in quality, this is not going to be something I buy when it comes out in trade paperback. I can live with my Batman ‘66 library being incomplete.


I haven’t mentioned Marvel’s “True Believers” books before, which is an oversight on my part. These $1 facsimile editions of classic Marvel milestones are a cool collection at a very affordable price. In the latest Previews catalog, there are ten Fantastic Four issues, each featuring the first appearances of super-villains who have continued to play major roles in the Marvel Universe. The line-up is as follows:

Fantastic Four #2 (Skrulls)
Fantastic Four #8 (Puppet Master)
Fantastic Four #15 (Man Thinker and his Awesome Android)
Fantastic Four #18 (Super-Skrull)
Fantastic Four #20 (Molecule Man)
Fantastic Four #35 (Dragon Man)
Fantastic Four #36 (Frightful Four)
Fantastic Four #53 (Klaw)
Fantastic Four #62 (Blastarr)
Fantastic Four #65 (Ronan and the Kree)

That’s ten Stan Lee and Jack Kirby blockbusters for ten bucks. One of the best bargains in today’s comics marketplace.

Let’s talk limitations. Because this year has been such an insane roller coaster ride for me, there are things I wanted to do in this bloggy thing of mine that just aren’t going to happen. I have been woefully lax in writing about the many fine conventions and other events I’ve attended this year. This goes back to February. Facing facts, there’s no way I’m going to be able to backtrack and write the kind of convention reports I’ve written in the past. I’ll try to do better going forward.

Note. I haven’t ruled out running some sort of convention and event summary of this year’s trips. This mostly depends on how quickly I get fully back on my game and if there are no other family, health or work situations to deal with.

On a similar note, I’m not going to write about this year’s “Free Comic Book Day” offerings. That would take several bloggy things to accomplish and there are too many other things I’d rather discuss. I’ll give it another try in 2019.


I don’t have anything particularly insightful to say about Giant Days Volume Eight by creator/writer John Allison with artist Max Sarin, inker Liz Fleming and colorist Whitney Cogar [Boom! Box; $14.99], save that I continue to enjoy this ongoing series about a trio of young women who share residency while attending university. This volume collects issues #29-32 of the series.

It’s the second year together for Susan, Daisy and Esther. Things are complicated. Susan is secretly dating old friend McGraw. Daisy is dating a young woman who is sort of a nightmare for her friends. Esther continues to be over the top, but steadfastly loyal to Susan and Daisy. Oh, yeah, and the house they live in isn’t exactly up to code. Their studies pretty much take a back seat to their various dramas. The result is a cleverly written, wonderfully drawn, often hilarious comic with well-crafted, relatable heroines. I can see some shared personal traits of my own (much younger than me) women friends in Susan, Daisy and Esther.

If you’ve read Giant Days, you doubtless enjoy the series at least as much as I do. If you haven’t read Giant Days, I envy you because you have eight volumes to discover and enjoy. If you’re me, you’re eagerly awaiting the next book, which is scheduled for publication in February.

ISBN 978-1-68415-207-0


If your Tony Isabella collection is lacking the two issues of Moon Knight I wrote in the 1980s, those three stories are reprinted in Moon Knight Epic Collection: Final Rest [Marvel; $39.99], which is due to go on sale in December.

The 488-page trade paperback collects Moon Knight #24-38 from the 1980s series. Stories are by Doug Moench, Steven Grant, myself and others. Artists include Bill Sienkiewicz, Kevin Nowlan, Bo Hampton and more. I thought I did a good job with my stories, but, alas, I didn’t get the regular gig. It went to a guy who brought doughnuts to the Marvel office. Or so I was told. I’ve honesty heard of worst reasons for editors to not hire me. Never underestimate the power of tasty treats.

All kidding aside, these are pretty good comics. Especially those by Moench and Sienkiewicz. I recommend this volume.

ISBN 978-1-302-91564-3

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

© 2018 Tony Isabella

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