Sunday, September 1, 2019


This year seems to be going by in a blur.  So much has happened in the world, in my country, in my comics industry and in my life. It hasn’t been all bad or all good, though, certainly, the bad stuff has been pretty damned awful. But I have always believed that good people will triumph and that many bad people have the potential to be redeemed. That’s about as close to a belief in some supernatural power as I have: that good is better than evil and will inevitably conquer our darkest impulses. No matter how dark and difficult that journey will be.

My journey is filled with light on a daily basis. Here are things that made me happy in June.

August 1: Kaiju Girl Caramelise by Spica Aoki. Teen Kuroe Akaishi turns into a kaiju whenever romances enters her life. It is as if the creator was thinking “What off-beat manga would Tony Isabella fall in love with?”

August 2: The way Saintly Wife Barb calls me “Mister Tony Man” in her sweet voice.

August 3: George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy. A powerful personal story of the World War II “relocation” camps and a painful reminder of an America that still fails to live up to its ideals.

August 4: NEO Comicon 2019. I had a wonderful time at this one-day event. Old friends, new friends, remarkable cosplayers and a chance to contribute to Make a Wish.

August 5: I added Rat Fink to my Social Justice League of America. The roster: Bernie, Captain Marvel, Godzilla, Hillary, Kamala, Luke Cage, Mueller, Nick Fury, Obama (young), Obama (older), RBG and Elizabeth Warren. 

[NOTE: New member since I wrote the above...Billie Jean King!]

August 6: I wrote a 1-page Kid Colt Outlaw story for Marvel Comics #1001 and Tom Mandrake drew it brilliantly. It’s a fun little tale and I think you’ll enjoy it. It doesn’t satisfy my longtime urge to write full-length stories of Colt, the Rawhide Kid or the Two-Gun Kid, but it’s a start.

August 7: Super Heroes to Kids in Ohio. This is a fantastic group of terrific cosplayers who are there for kids. It was a pleasure to meet them at NEO Comicon. 8-7-19.

August 8: A Die Hard Christmas by Doogie Horner with illustrations by JJ Harrison. I can’t say it’s a particularly witty book. I’m just glad it exists.

August 9: Saintly Wife Barb, trying to coerce our cat Simba to play with our Bat-Cow plush, starting singing “Moo moo moo moo moo moo moo moo...Bat-Cow!”

August 10: The Comic-Con 2019 Souvenir Book is truly an incredible publication. I read mine cover to cover. Kudos to all who worked on this year’s edition.

August 11: My Giant Claw t-shirt from Aardvark Tees! It’s great and I plan to wear when I rewatch the movie soon. They also sent me a bonus t-shirt!

August 12: Receiving words of encouragement from good people almost before the “ink” had dried on today’s bloggy thing. They cheered me mightily, though they also made me wish that these kind folk were running the major comics publishers.

August 13: Pete Morisi. I always loved the work of this creator and was always excited to come across his work in anthology titles and, of course, his Peter Cannon...Thunderbolt series. The latest issue of Alter Ego has over 40 pages on him.

August 14: My daughter Kelly ran a 10K race last weekend and came in fifth. I’m incredibly proud of her. If I ran a 10K race, I would still be running.

August 15: Albuquerque. Saintly Wife Barb came for the New Mexico Comic Expo. We found beautiful scenery, fun and reasonably-priced restaurants, incredible public art and some of the nicest people in the country. We hope to return next year.

August 16: Kalee at Albuquerque’s Doubletree Downtown recommended several restaurants. We had lunch at the Church Street Café in Old Town and dinner at the Route 66 Diner. Great atmosphere, decor and food.

August 17: Albuquerque’s Sandia Crest Overlook. We weren’t certain our rental car would make the 11,000 foot ascent to the overlook, but it did...and the views were spectacular!

August 18: The New Mexico Comic Expo was a phenomenal event with an array of fantastic guests from comics and beyond. Terrific fans and vendors in a comfortably large space. Praise to Matt Trujillo and his staff/volunteers for one of the best comics conventions ever.

August 19: New Mexico Comic Expo. Meeting and chatting with Twitter friend Chloe Handler whose Astonishing Gaters comic had me laughing out loud. Highly recommended for all of us who are just plain tired of the Comicsgate bigots, creeps and con men.

[NOTE: When I was reading it in our hotel room and laughing out loud, Saintly Wife Barb asked me what was so funny. As I later told Chloe, I couldn't explain it to Barb because, thankfully, she doesn't live in our world where the Comicsgate bigots and creeps do their evil.]
August 20: New Mexico Comic Expo. Having a wondrous time with our next door booth neighbor Don McGregor and his family: wife Marsha, granddaughter Mia and son Rob. I’ve known Don for nearly five decades. He and his are family to me. I love them madly.

August 21: New Mexico Comic Expo. Getting to spend time with Chris Claremont, one of the finest comics writers ever. In a better and more logical world, my friend would be universally recognized for his pivotal creations in the X-Men movies and writing great new comics month in and month out. The comics industry makes my brain hurt.
August 22: New Mexico Comic Expo. KWBQ-TV, New Mexico’s CW, handed out Black Lightning shirts to the fans as they entered the con and brought their own cosplayers as well. I posed for photos with Black Lightning, Batwoman, Green Arrow and the Flash.

August 23: New Mexico Comic Expo. Seeing more old friends than I can list - Mike Zeck, Bob McLeod, Ron Wilson, Chandler Rice, Keith Wilson, Eric and Julie Leward, to name but a few - and making some new ones like the sensational writer David Avallone.

August 24: New Mexico Comic Expo. Two people come to my table. The guy says “My name is Tony. This is my cousin Isabella. Could we get a photo with you?” The universe delights me.

August 25: New Mexico Comic Expo. Doing a panel with my friend and mentor Roy Thomas wherein I learned something about what preceded his hiring me in 1972 to work for Marvel Comics.

August 26: New Mexico Comic Expo. Another signing first. Asked to sign a fan’s “Death Note” notebook - check out the anima and manga - I included my date and method of death. December 21, 2031. Eaten by cats.

August 27: New Mexico Comic Expo. The kicker to a weekend of good times was Jason Momoa first jogging and then skateboarding around the hall. Such a fun guest.

August 28: Post-convention vacation day in Sante Fe. Lovely scenery on the drive. Great shops. The Chuck Jones Art Galley, which made me wish I had several thousand dollars to spare. Wonderful lunch at Cowgirls. Barb and I want to visit again soon.

August 29: My favorite Luke Cage actors will star in their own TV shows in the fall. In Evil, Mike Colter plays a Catholic priest who assesses unexplained phenomena. In All Rise, Simone Missick plays a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. I’ll be watching both of these CBS shows. 8-29-19.

August 30: Don McGregor’s Southwest vacation photos. I admire this plucky ancient adventurer so much and love him and his family even more. He’s like the Energizer Bunny of comics creators! 8-30-19.

August 31: Catching up on DuckTales before new episodes commence in September. I love this series. Great writing, voice acting and art. Plus lots of Carl Barks love.

I have a lot on my desk for the next several weeks. I have my last Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale of the year. That happens on September 6-7. I have two books to finish before the middle of next month. I will be appearing on a panel at the Flaming River Con on September 21 at the Cleveland Public Library in downtown Cleveland and do a signing in conjunction with that event. There will be more information on all of these soon.

What this means is I’m adjusting my bloggy thing expectations for the nonce. I try to post a new blog every day and that will still happen on an irregular basis. However, for the most part, I’ll be shooting for a new blog every other day.

That’s all for today. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words, Tony. Was a real treat to meet you and spend some time chatting. Hope to see you at many more of these in the future.