Wednesday, July 3, 2019


I’m running out of ways to say that life can be shitty, Trump and the Republicans even more so, but there is still hope for us all. I see it in the fact that, each and every day, I can find somebody or something that makes me happy. I post these happy things on my Facebook pages and on Twitter. At the end of each month, I gather them together for a blog entry much like this one.

Here are things that made me happy in June.

June 1: My first garage sale of 2019 was a rousing success. I made 137% of my two-day goal and got to hang out with some great local comics fans. It’s a double-win!

June 2: “There’s No Hope in Crime Alley” by Denny O’Neil and Dick Giordano. A classic story that holds up no matter how many times I read it. I wish Batman was this good today.

June 3: “To Kill a Legend” by Alan Brennert and Dick Giordano. One of the best Batman stories ever told. I would have liked to have seen the adult Bruce Wayne/Batman of the alternate world that our Batman visits in this tale.

June 4: Coming across the file for a former employee who stole from me and who felt I should thank him for not killing me when I caught him in the act. I’d pushed many of the details of this stuff out of my head, but, boy howdy, will this make an incredible chapter in my memoirs of sorts.

June 5: I’m starting to get Comic-Con Fever. It will likely be my last Comic-Con, so I’m hoping to see lots of old friends, meet some of my online friends for the first time in person and make some new friends.

June 6: Working on my “Cheesy Monsters Raid Again” presentation for G-Fest. My picks for prom queen and king are The Giant Claw and the Tabanga (From Hell It Came). Next year’s presentation will be Kong Kin Vs. Cheesezilla. Because I am quite mad.

June 7: Comic-book categories on Jeopardy. No matter how often the comics industry shoots itself in the foot, our art form has become forever part of the culture.

June 8: Medina, Ohio. Friday afternoon. It’s 80 degrees and sunny. Someone in a T-Rex costume is mowing their lawn. I think I can die happy now.

June 9: Friends from all over the country. Steve and Annie Olle of Washington D.C. came to my garage sale on Friday. They were merely passing through, but it was wonderful to see them. They even bought some of my Vast Accumulation of Stuff.

June 10: More friends from all over the country. Don Hillard from Oregon had a conference in Cleveland and stayed over Saturday and Sunday to hang with the Isabella family. Big fun. We love the guy!

June 11: Return to Sleepaway Camp (2008) is not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination. But it was worth watching for the brief appearance by Felissa Rose, reprising her role as Angela Baker from the original Sleepaway Camp (1983).

June 12: Stan Helsing aka Scary Movie 5 (2009) is the kind of movie you watch on Amazon Prime when you’re too tired to make any better choice and, hey, it’s free. That said, I got a huge kick out of The Daily Show’s Desi Lydic as “message therapist” Mia.

June 13: DC’s new Dial H for Hero by Sam Humphries and Joe Quinones is insane. I like it.

June 14: Last night’s spaghetti and meatballs dinner with Barb and the kids. My idea, though I “wisely” delegated the actual work to them. It’s called “management skills.” Yeah, they didn’t buy that either.

June 15: The amazing people who come to my garage sales. Those who have been reading comics their entire lives. Others who have just started reading them. Always looking for something new or something new-to-them. This is comicdom at its best.

June 16: Thirty-five years today.

June 17: The way my mind works. I just wrote a one-page comic-book story for an anthology. If it doesn’t get accepted, I already know how to expand it into a 17-page comic-book story.

June 18: Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #5 by writer Tom Taylor with artist Yildiray Cinar. The neighborhood concept was stretched a bit too far in the previous issues, but this brings it right back home as Peter Parker must face a family crisis.

June 19: I finished my list of movies to be included in my “Cheesy Monsters Raid Again!” at G-Fest. I swear some of the jokes for this are writing themselves.

June 20: Finding a box of Superman merchandise that dates back at least two decades. Hope to get it priced for next weekend’s garage sales.

[NOTE: I didn’t get a chance to price the Superman merchandise for my last June garage sale. Maybe for the garage sale I’ve scheduled at the end of July.]

June 21: Graphics guy Ron Hill did a great job creating four title cards for my G-Fest “Cheesy Monsters Raid Again” presentation and did them overnight. They look amazing!

June 22: Jurassic Predator. This 2018 British film has incredibly awful writing, laughably bad acting and a puppet T-Rex that never lets you forget it’s a puppet. Its budget was so long that the same fake entrails appear over and over again. It was ninety minutes of goofy smile on my face. Worth every penny of the $9.43 I spent to buy it.

June 23: We’re getting new neighbors. It looks like the sale of the house next door has finally been completed. Hope they like comics and garage sales.

June 24: DC SuperHero Girls: Spaced Out is another wondrous graphic novel by Shea Fontana with art by Agnes Garbowska. But what has me chuckling every time I recall it is a shot of Gorilla Grodd playing with puppies. Who’s a good doggie?
June 25: A fan described me as a demi-god. I was going to respond and call that an exaggeration until I remembered the wise advice of Winston Zeddemore, “When someone asks you if you're a god, you say "YES"!

June 26: Receiving praise for Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands from one of the organizers of the protests when Tamir Rice was murdered. “Your reference to Tamir Rice and tensions with the police really hit home. You did a fantastic job writing this comic. Thank you for bringing some super hero hope to Cleveland.”

June 27: Courtesy of a dear friend, I now have a wonderful “Rainbow Batman” pin showing the cover of that classic comic. I’ll wear it at SDCC to show support for the LGBTQ comics community. Warning: it’s small. If you lean down to look it at, I may have to remind you that my eyes are up here.

June 28: Celebrated my son Ed’s birthday with Barb and Kelly at the Blue Heron Brewery in Medina. We had great food and a great time. I recommend the BHB Burger and the Black Bottom Peanut Butter Pie.

June 29: A private message from a long-time fan wondering why I did not get more credit for my work. He wrote: “The best stories, like yours, aren’t “super-hero” stories. They’re well-crafted stories about extraordinary people and sometimes very ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.”

June 30: My last garage sale customer of the weekend was a guy who had ALS surgery the day before. He was on crutches, but wanted to come to the sale. He and his wonderful wife made my day. They were so nice!

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

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