Saturday, March 2, 2019


My life got off to a hectic, often rocky start in 2019. On the plus side, I visited the set of Black Lightning in Atlanta and attended the show’s second season wrap party. On the minus side, I had some personal problems demanding my attention. I looked on in horror as the Dumpster President, his administration and the Republicans in general proved themselves even more horrible than I already knew they were. DC Comics couldn’t think of anything better to do with Black Lightning that reduce him to Batman’s sidekick in the really unimpressive Batman and the Outsiders stories in Detective Comics and elsewhere. Even so...

Hope springs eternal. There were always cool things in my life that made me happy. Every single day. As I’ve been doing for some time now, I shared those spiffy things with you on Facebook and Twitter.  I’ve got some catching up to do, but here are the things that made me happy in January...

January 1: Deadpool 2. I watched it New Year’s Eve. Never mind how sad it is that I watched it on New Year’s Eve. This is as hilarious and as wonderful as the first film. I may be developing a man-crush on Ryan Reynolds.

January 2: Yesterday’s Rose Bowl party at Casa Isabella was great fun. Wonderful family, food and neighbors. Plus: Ohio State won, even if it was more nerve-wracking than it should’ve been.

January 3: The Masked Singer. Despite my active dislike of one of the four panelists, I loved this crazy competition show. We need a lot more just plain silly on TV.

January 4: Decoy starring Beverly Garland. From 1957. Until a buddy send me the DVDs, I’d never heard of this groundbreaking TV series. It’s amazing!

January 5: Congress is more wonderfully diverse than ever and the Democratic Party has the House. It’s going to be a tough struggle  going forward, but, for now, I’m pleased.

January 6: Black Lightning wrap party. Seeing the happy cast and crew. Realizing they had jobs because of something I did 40 years ago. Telling them how much their creativity, dedication and talent mean to me. I love them all madly.

January 7:  Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won the well-deserved 2019 Golden Globe award for Best Motion Picture - Animated. It has a total of 23 wins and 32 nominations across a wide variety of film awards.

January 8: That insanely wondrous Walmart ad promoting the chain’s online grocery pickup and featuring a dozen famous Hollywood cars. I laughed out loud when I spotted Fred Flintstone’s ride.

January 9: I mastered Lyft! My driver on Monday’s ride to the set was an actress/singer who has done background work on Atlanta-based TV shows. My driver on Wednesday’s ride to the airport asked for my autograph.

January 10: The love and respect I was shown by literally everyone on the Black Lightning set. I think of them as family and they made me feel like part of their family.

January 11: Sitting behind Salim Akil and his bank of monitors as he directed scenes. It was amazingly educational and had me in awe of how good he, the cast and the crew are.

January 12: Watching a Black Lightning set being built on Tuesday morning and then filming on it Tuesday night.

January 13: I could do a month of “Things That Make Me Happy” based on my trip to the Black Lightning set. But [I saved] them for the series that ran in “Tony Isabella’s Bloggy Thing.”

January 14: DC Comics Bombshells. This World War II-based alternate take on the DCU is way more fun than most of their “normal” titles. I’m three collected volumes into the series and eager to read more. Great comics.

January 15: Deadly Class on Syfy. The special preview showed a lot of potential. I’ll keep watching and give the comic-book series a second chance.

January 16: The businesses that stepped up to help federal workers screwed over by the Dumpster’s petulant extortion attempt. This is the real America.

January 17: Gilette’s “The Best Men Can Be” advertisement. Though I have been using cheaper shaving products, I’m going back to the Gilette products.

January 18: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is the NFL Rookie of the Year. Congratulations to him and his team.

January 19: Taking an hour each night to watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy with Saintly Wife Barb. If I were on the shows, I’d freeze, but, sitting on the couch in my pajamas, I’m on fire!

January 20: I’m enjoying the current Black Panther-centric series of the Avengers on Disney XD. Great stories and twists. Stan Lee’s cameo in the episode “T'Chanda” made me smile.

January 21: Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I’d stopped watching this a while back, watched its NBC premiere and fell in love with the show all over again. I literally laughed out loud at the Holly Gennaro gag.

January 22: Daily Show correspondent Dulcé Sloan. Her comments on Martin Luther King Jr Day were bold, brash, hilarious and rang with truth and wisdom. I love her madly.

January 23: Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. A good man whose positions mostly align with mine. He hasn’t declared yet, but, at the moment, he’s my preferred choice for the Democratic Party presidential candidate.

January 24: My dentist and doctor appointments went well. I always do better with my life’s aches and pains when I know what’s causing them.

January 25: Pete Souza’s Obama: An Intimate Portrait. It’s nice to remember when we had a decent, intelligent person as our President and to have hope of a return to that standard.

January 26: Making great headway on a comics sorting project that I neglected far too long. Phase one will be completed by the end of the weekend.

January 27: The Black Lightning TV series was nominated for a GLADD award for best drama. It’s a well-deserved honor. I’m over the moon thrilled for my friends who work on the show.

January 28: The Screen Actors Guild named the cast of Black Panther as best movie ensemble. Star Chadwick Boseman’s acceptance speech was powerful and inspirational.

January 29: Jordan Calloway. This fine young actor was sensational in Khalil Payne’s redemption arc on Black Lightning. The series is creating new stars every episode.

January 30: Talking Black Lightning and diversity via speaker phone with John Jennings and his class at the University of California Riverside. We do this about once a year and it’s always fun for me and, hopefully, informative for his great students.

January 31: Marie Kondo. With my Vast Accumulation of Stuff still taking up too much room, I’m turning to The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up for inspiration. It’s a start.

Reminder: I’ll be at the Big Apple Comic Con, Saturday and Sunday, March 9-10, at The Penn Plaza Pavilion, Pennsylvania Hotel, 401 7th Avenue in New York City. I’ll be doing a Bronze Age panel with my pal Arvell Jones and moderating a Q&A session with Mike Colter of Luke Cage. I’d love to see a bunch of my bloggy readers at the con.

I’ll be back here tomorrow with the things that made me happy in February. See you then.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

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