Sunday, December 27, 2020




I wasn’t feeling exactly old as I drew closer to my 69th birthday, but I was feeling somewhat off my game. Which is why I watched five movies between Friday, December 18, and Monday, December 21. There was no prior planning beyond wanting to watch the two new Christmas horror movies debuting on the SyFy channel. All other choices were made by simply surfing Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Max.

First up was The Prom [2020] on Netflix. Directed by Ryan Murphy, Adapting the Broadway musical written by Chad Beguelin, Bob Martin and Matthew Sklar from an original concept by Jack Viertel - Martin and Beguelin wrote the screenplay - it stars Meryl Streep and James Corden. Here’s the Internet Movie Database summary:

A troupe of hilariously self-obsessed theater stars swarm into a small conservative Indiana town in support of a high school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom.


This was outlandish in the best possible ways. Streep and Corden play the self-obsession broadly and it works, leaving no doubt as to why their popularity has tanked. Chorus girl Nicole Kidman and failed actor Andrew Rannells aren’t as famous, but they complement the quartet’s bigger stars.  

Jo Ellen Pellman’s small-town lesbian got my heart from her first scene, playing tough and wounded with equal skill. Ariana DeBose as Pellman’s deeply closeted girlfriend also tugs at the feels. Kerry Washington plays DeBose’s mother, a bigoted wolf in PTA clothing. Filling out the main cast is Keegan-Michael Key, the principal of the high school and a man who believes in the magic of the theater.

My regular readers know I’m a sucker for redemption stories. This movie has them by the fistful. The theater stars discover empathy they didn’t know they had. Bullying high school students figure out their actions are hurtful. There is even a surprise reunion for one of the stars.


The characters are wonderful. The music is often corny, but never wrong for the scenes. The ending is utterly satisfying, no sequel necessary. If you’re looking for a movie that, despite some harsh scenes, will leave you smiling at its conclusion, The Prom is well worth viewing. I recommend it.


Toys of Terror [2020] was the first of the two new Christmas horror films that made their debuts on the SyFy Channel. Written by Dana Gould, whose writing credits include episodes of The Simpsons and who also works as an actor, the movie was directed by Nicholas Verso. Here’s the IMDb summary:

Just before Christmas, young Zoe, her brother Franklin and their family move into a secluded mansion with a dark past. While the adults focus on renovating the place, the bored kids find a toy chest hidden in the attic, and are delighted when the toys inside magically come to life. But bizarre events soon begin to take place - events that threaten the family's lives. As the special day dawns with gifts piled under the tree, the body count rises and the blood starts to flow. This original "scary-tale" will have the kids screaming for the holidays!


Hannah [Kyana Teresa] has dragged her challenged blended family to a secluded spooky mansion which her, husband David [Dayo Ade] and contractor Emmett [Ernie Pitts] are renovating with an eye towards selling it for big bucks. What she hasn’t told them is the mansion used to be a children’s hospital where a grieving mother murdered all the kids. The rest of the seven-character cast: Hannah’s kids Franklin and Zoey, David’s grumpy older daughter Alicia, and nanny Rose [Georgia Waters]. Unless you count the previous hospital murders and the evil toys, the body count is low and predictable. That said, the movie has some scary moments.

The older actors are all at least okay in their roles. Teresa does a good job playing the mayor of Amity. Alicia [Verity Marks] shows  believable teen angst and genuine moxie. Waters is the stand-out of this cast with her character’s sympathetic back story and her brave but haunted demeanor.

The ending? It is heartwarming and satisfying. No last minute “Boo! The toys are still alive!” Just an unexpectedly nice conclusion for one of the characters.


This isn’t a movie for multiple viewings, but it’s definitely worth watching once.


Anna and the Apocalypse [2017] came highly recommended. My friends weren’t wrong. It is an excellent film, except that it’s not a film I ever want to watch again. Here’s the IMDb summary:

A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven - at Christmas - forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But they soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilization falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other.

The movie was directed by John McPhail. Based on a novel by Barry Walso, it was written by Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry.


Ella Hunt is wonderful as the title character, a rebellious young woman whose dad [Mark Benton] is the custodian of her high school. The school’s authoritarian and fussy headmaster is played by Paul Kaye. Nice acting all around.

Anna’s fellow students are best-friend-who-wants-to-be-more John [Malcolm Cumming]; Chris [Christopher Leveaux] and Lisa [Marli Siu], who are boyfriend and girlfriend; activist and lesbian Steph [Sarah Swire]; and Anna’s rough-around-the-edges one-nighter Nick [Ben Wiggins]. More good performances.

The musical numbers are fun, even after Anna’s oblivious song-and-dance as zombies start slaughtering her neighbors. But things get depressingly serious. After a time, I can’t even really call this movie a dark comedy. It’s just dark.

John sacrifices himself to save the others. We last see him sitting against a wall and looking at a phone photo of Anna before he drops the phone and loses every last trace of his humanity. We get almost the same scene before Anna’s dad loses himself.

While we get some “relief” of sorts that Chris’ grandmother dies of natural causes before being killed by a zombie, the transformations of Chris and Lisa are heartbreaking. They touch hands for a moment before shambling off in opposite directions. Like all of the other zombies, what they were is gone forever.

Anna, Nick and Steph escape, but there’s no indication of any safe place anywhere. It’s a logical conclusion, but it’s not an ending that lifts my spirits in any way. This is simply not the movie that I wanted to see the night I watched it.


Zombies have never been one of my go-to entertainments. If I were to count the zombie comics or movies I’ve enjoyed on one hand, I would not get to my thumb. I’m sure many, perhaps most, of you will like this movie. Mileage varies.


Superintelligence [2020] stars Melissa McCarthy, James Corden and Bobby Cannavale, all of whom are excellent therein. It’s directed by Ben Falcone and written by Steve Mallory. The summary from the IMDb goes like this:

When an all-powerful Superintelligence chooses to study average Carol Peters, the fate of the world hangs in the balance. As the A.I. decides to enslave, save or destroy humanity, it's up to Carol to prove that people are worth saving.


There’s not much to spoil about this pleasant movie. Corden voices the A.I. and he’s perfect for the role. While I can’t see its logic in characterizing McCarthy’s character as average, I was impressed by its manipulating all sorts of things to achieving the laboratory conditions it seeks. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I plan to take one of those ideas and change it slightly for a story I’m writing. Finally, Cannavale is fun as Carol’s romantic interest.

The government, scientists and computer geniuses tend to bungle a lot, but that’s because they are clearly outmatched by an A.I. that is playing a dozen moves ahead of them. All of the above are very likeable, which surprised me.

I was impressed by how the crisis was resolved. It was heartwarming and logical. I was also delighted by some of the guest voices that are heard in the movie.


Superintelligence isn’t a bad way to spend 106 minutes. Sometimes, especially in the middle of a pandemic, you need to watch a movie that leaves you with a warm glow.


Letters to Satan Claus [2020] was the second new Christmas horror movie aired on the SyFy channel. I have praised it online as sort of the anti-Hallmark Hallmark holiday movie. Directed by Emma Jean Sutherland and written by Michael Zara, the movie stars Karen Knox as cynical reporter Holly Frost and a bunch of delightful character actors. Here’s the IMDb summary:

Holly returns to her hometown to make an Xmas special with a cameraman before promotion to TV anchorwoman. She'll have to face Satan Claus and horrible childhood memories of him.


When Holly was a child, she was a self-centered brat. When told her parents can’t afford the present she wants, she writes an angry letter to Santa asking for them to be gone. Except she misspells “Santa” as “Satan.” Whoops.

Satan dismembers her parents and wraps them as Christmas presents.That was not a great Christmas for Holly and older sister Cookie [Perrie Voss].

Years later, the adult Holly is still toxically self-centered. She is an unlikeable big city reporter who wants the anchor job. Which she can get if she does a sappy holiday broadcast from her hometown of Ornaments. Her cameraman is a typical handsome Hallmark single father with a daughter. Holly tries to bang him in the back of the newsvan. Holly is frequently horny.

When Holly impulsively sends a letter to Satan telling him to eff off, Satan decides to bring his special brand of holiday gore back to Ornaments. The body count is impressive.

Here’s the thing about this movie. It’s funny and gory, but never disgustingly over the top gory. It mocks Hallmark holiday movies, but it’s got its own warmth. It’s a redemption story, but doesn’t give us the usual Hallmark resolution for Holly. It also features a non-binary Satan and Santa, both played by Jana Peck. That’s not remotely a plot point. Just something I thought was cool.


I absolutely love Letters to Satan Claus. It’s one of the best movies I have seen turning this pandemic. I recommend it to all. If it comes out on DVD, I’ll buy for future viewings.

That’s all for today’s somewhat lengthy bloggy thing. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2020 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, December 22, 2020



I’m continuing my reviews of 2020's Free Comic Book Day giveaways. It was a different FCBD celebration this year with comics delayed for months and the shops having to scale way back on the events and guests they would normally have hosted. However, one FCBD tradition continues, albeit later in the year than usual.

Every year, my pals at Stormwatch Comics in West Berlin, New Jersey send those FCBD comics to me so I can read and write about them in the bloggy. Only twice have I actually reached my goal of reading and writing about all the FCBD comics available in one year. Maybe this year is a year in which I three-peat that achievement. I think I can do it, but it’ll likely take me until sometime in early 2021 to complete this mission.

When I read and review FCBD comics, I look at three areas.

QUALITY: Is the material worthwhile?

ACCESSIBILITY: Is the material presented in such a way that someone coming to it for the first time can follow it?

SALESMANSHIP: After reading the FCBD offering, would someone want and be able to buy more of the same?

I score FCBD offerings on a scale of zero to ten. Each category is worth three points with the tenth point coming from my interest in seeing more of what’s ever in the book.

First up this time is Best of 2000 AD #0 with a Judge Dredd cover by Glenn Fabry. This comic is a sampler of the new monthly Best of 2000 AD anthology. This zero issue has a new Judge Dredd story by Al Ewing and artist Erica Henderson as well as “classic cuts” from Rogue Trooper (Gordon Rennie and artist Richard Elson), Anderson, Psi-Division (Alan Grant with artist Arthur Ransom) and Durham Red (Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen with artist Carlos Ezquerra).

QUALITY: The Judge Dredd and Durham Red stories are terrific. The others aren’t as good, but still enjoyable.

ACCESSIBILITY: These are done-in-one stories. While my familiarity with the characters gave me a leg-up, I think they are accessible for new readers as well.

SALESMANSHIP: Good. Two house ads promote The Best of 2000 AD and the third promoted Rogue Trooper collections.

SCORE: Ten out of ten points. I wish I could afford to get 2000 AD and its related titles, but I have to be cautious when it comes to my comics spending. Hey, I’ve always wanted to write a serial for the 2000 AD weekly. Perhaps the publisher and I could come to some sort of barter agreement.


From ToykoPop, we got Bibi & Miyu by Hirara Natsume (illustrator) and Olivia Vieweg (writer) combined with The Fox and Little Tanuki by Mi Tagawa (story and art). In the former, Bibi is a young witch and Miyu is a student from Japan. In the latter, a nasty black fox is imprisoned for 300 years and striped of his magical powers until he helps a tanuki (Asian raccoon dog) pup becomes an assistant to the gods.

QUALITY: The “Bibi & Miyu” segment is too bland to be interesting and doesn’t deliver a satisfying introduction to the series. “The Fox & Little Tanuki” is a whole lot better. It’s well-written and well-drawn, establishes the character of the black fox and delivers a nice chunk of story.

ACCESSIBILITY: Thanks to the first page text introductions to these two features plus the fine writing of the second, it was easy for me to get into the stories.

SALESMANSHIP: Almost non-existent. There are no house ads for the two features. There is a back cover ad that shows some other books from ToykoPop but without any descriptions of them.

SCORE: Five points out of a possible ten points.


Blade Runner 2019 [Titan] is “the first original comics series set in the iconic neo-noir world of Blade Runner.” I come to this FCBD excerpt of 13 pages at considerable disadvantage. I’ve never read Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, not that Titan credits him anywhere in this issue. I’m knocking off one point just for their being assholes in this regard. I’ve also never seen either of the two Blade Runner movies. While I do plan to read the novel in 2021 and view the movies, I’m coming to this freebie ice cold.

QUALITY: Decent. The writing is good, though there is a text page that is difficult to read. The art is good. However, this excerpt doesn’t give much insight into the title character.

ACCESSIBILITY: Good. Between the inside front cover copy and this excerpt, I could follow the story easily.

SALESMANSHIP: Decent. Several house ads for this title and related Blade Runner titles. Creator bios, except, of course, for Philip K. Dick. A “From Script to Art” feature, pages that could have better been used for more actual story.

SCORE: Six points out of a possible ten points.


Valiant: The Year of the Heroes FCBD 2020 Special cover-features my second favorite Valiant character, Faith being the first. The issue starts with a four-page uncredited Bloodshot excerpt, then follows that with 22 pages of X-O Manowar by Joshua Dysart and artist Doug Braithwaite.

QUALITY: The actual writing and art are fine, but the stories are, well, meh. Nothing new in the Bloodshot excerpt while the X-O tale bounces back and forth between Aric as a young man in the past and him patrolling a ring of alien debris around the Earth. He battles some sort of alien artifact.

ACCESSIBILITY: So-so. There was almost no helpful back story in the Bloodshot excerpt and, though there was more in the X-O story, it wasn’t helpful.

SALESMANSHIP: Just okay. Lots of house ads for Valiant titles, but no real explanations as to what we were seeing.

SCORE: Four points out of a possible ten points.

I’ll be continuing my comments on the FCBD titles of 2020 into the new year as I try to post more bloggy things. If I don’t manage an actual Christmas or New Year’s column, I hope you have the merriest of holidays and a happy start to 2021.

© 2020 Tony Isabella

Sunday, December 20, 2020



I’ve made it clear I think Donald Trump should spend the rest of his bloated orange life behind bars. I’m not at all optimistic that will happen, despite his concluding administration being the most blatantly criminal presidential administration of my lifetime and possibly the history of our country. However, I’m not here today to dwell on the injustice of Trump escaping his proper fate. I’m here to talk about two felons we can bring to justice.

The first is Spectrum TV commercial star Tony Baker. He’s the guy who breaks into his way too understanding friend Kevin Fredericks’ house to use Kevin’s Spectrum.

We’ve seen Kevin and his wife arrive home from a trip to find Tony holding a “return to sports” party for Tony’s shady friends. It’s because Tony’s cheap-ass cable provider doesn’t have ESPN. Let me count the felonies: breaking and entering, theft of service, theft of goods - because you just know Tony raided Kevin’s refrigerator and pantry for drinks and snacks - trespassing. I’m not sure what the exact charge is, but getting all those other deadbeats to join him in these felonies must be some sort of crime.

In a second Spectrum commercial, Kevin comes home to find Tony in the middle of an online bicycle workout. Tony’s excuse this time is that his aforementioned cheap-ass online connection can’t keep up with the speed of Tony’s workout. Breaking and entering, theft of service and trespassing. Lock him up!

Instead of calling the police and pressing charges, in both cases, Kevin urges Tony to replace his weak-ass cable with Spectrum. Which Kevin clearly has no interest in doing. He’s going to keep stealing from Kevin. Felonious Tony is giving honorable Tonys like myself a bad name.

Then we have Robbert Larson, the ski mask-wearing spokesfelon for SimpliSafe, provider of the do-it-yourself home security equipment  that protects Robbert’s home from crooks like himself. This creep describes himself as a professional burglar...and even wears that ski mask in his own home. Lock him up!

What kind of message are Tony and Robbert sending to children who may see their commercials? I’m all for helping one’s friends, but those “friends” shouldn’t be helping themselves to your stuff. And don’t get me started on the maddening frequency of these annoying commercials. That might not be a crime right now, but it darn well should be. Lock them up!

If there’s a saving grace to these commercials, it’s that, when we watch them, Saintly Wife Barb finds my frantic outbursts hilarious. She laughs when I shout “Lock Them Up!” at the screen.

This is the secret of our nearly 37 years of marriage. My wife is easily amused.

© 2020 Tony Isabella

Thursday, December 10, 2020



My local Medina Public Library and the hundred or so Northeast Ohio other libraries with which it is affiliated has been very important to me during this time of pandemic and will likely become even more so as I deal with an income that has been sinking faster than the Orange Stain’s hold on the White House. Less than two months to go before he leaves. Please, by all the powers of good, let it be with him being dragged out of there kicking and screaming.

I’m not going to cry about being poor here. My Saintly Wife Barb is still working. I get a monthly social security check and a royalty check here and there. However, the loss of income from convention and other appearances, from signing comics at those events and from selling stuff at those events has been a hard hit to take. Even my legendary garage sales brought in less than 20% of what they used to bring in. Less income means less money to buy books. It’s that simple.

As much as I love to support comics and other creators, I consider my current purchases very carefully. There’s never been a time in my life when I could afford all the books and comics I wanted. But, these days, the library helps me read a lot of those things I can’t afford to buy. So, thanks to the libraries and all those who work in them. You make my life better.

Here are brief discussions of some of the library items I’ve read in recent months...

Sweetness and Lightning Volume 2 [Kodansha Comics; $12.99] is the second volume in Gido Amagakure’s cooking manga. This book is from 2016. Here’s the back cover come-on:

Kohei is a widower; his wife having passed away, he's working hard to raise his rambunctious daughter Tsumugi on his own. But it's gotten a bit easier thanks to a new friendship with his student Kotori. Together, the two of them are teaching themselves - and each other - how to cook. Though they've had some successes, their greatest challenges await. Can they convince Tsumugi to eat the green peppers she loathes so much? And can Kohei bring himself to try making a recipe that was his late wife's specialty?

This is a pleasant story. The drama is pretty much everyday stuff. Being a single parent. Being a young woman who seldom sees her busy and successful mother. It moves slowly, but I enjoy the exuberance about the food they cook and Tsumugi’s delight in it. I also like the innocence of Kotori becoming part of Kohei’s family with not a trace of what would be a most inappropriate romance. That Kodansha rates this series for ages 13 and older is probably because younger readers may be bored by all the detail that goes into the cooking of the meals. If you’re interested in cooking, especially Japanese cooking, this series will click a lot of your boxes.

ISBN 978-1632363701


I’d decided to bail on all comics X-Men a while back, but a friend recommended Marauders by Gerry Duggan Vol. 1 [Marvel; $17.99], so I gave it a try. Here’s the back cover blurb:

Ahoy, muties - the X-Men sail at dawn! Mutantkind has begun a glorious new era on Krakoa, but some nations' human authorities are preventing mutants from escaping to this new homeland. Which is where Captain Kate Pryde and her high-seas allies come in! Funded by Emma Frost and the Hellfire Trading Company, Kate and her crew of Storm, Pyro, Bishop and Iceman sail the seven seas to liberate their fellow mutants - as the Marauders! But the real cutthroats are back home in the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle, where Sebastian Shaw has recruited a new Black Bishop to aid in his machinations against the Club's two queens. As tensions rise, Kate's crew finds itself caught in the dead center of the Battle of Madripoor! Can the Marauders avoid being made to walk the plank?

I liked the political nature of this series. Indeed, that aspect of the latest X-Men reboot/revival/whatever almost kept me reading the X-Men titles. Those titles didn’t grab me, but Marauders has been a nice combination of action and political drama. That Kate Pryde, one of my favorite X-characters, is the team’s leader also pleases me. I’m also curious as to why the Krakoan gateways don’t work for her. Duggan’s writing has been good and the various artists mostly make the characters look like the characters are supposed to look. Add up all those pluses and you know why I’m requesting the second volume from my library.

ISBN 978-1-302919948


The Complete Steve Canyon Volume 9: 1963-1964 [IDW; $49.99] was one of the things that made me happy in November. Milton Caniff’s art and storytelling are first-rate in a newspaper comic-strip collection that mixes globetrotting intrigue and collegiate drama.

The range in these never-before-reprinted strips is staggering. Our titular hero travels the world on missions for Uncle Sam, meeting some courageous and decidedly dangerous men and women. He even goes to Vietnam, which I’m thinking makes him one of the first comics heroes to get involved with the war there. On the home front, Summer Olson (Canyon’s true love) finally has a showdown with her wicked employer Copper Calhoun. This book’s cover image must have been a welcome sight to the strip’s readers.

Also on the home front, in sequences starring Steve’s ward Potett,  we get a romantic farce with a college dean and the missing movie star who loves her, a competition to be the Queen of the Snow Ball and a spy on the loose at the New York World’s Fair. Caniff proves he is a master of all manner of drama.

Steve Canyon is an unabashedly jingoistic comic strip. It is both a product of its time and a reflection of Caniff’s close ties with the military. What keeps it from becoming strident is how there are no guarantees that Canyon will win every battle. His enemies become all the more threatening because the readers know they are capable of outmaneuvering our hero. Canyon takes the losses and resolutely moves on to the next mission.

Like Caniff’s earlier Terry and the Pirates, Steve Canyon is one of the finest adventure and human drama comic strips ever. It should be part of your comics appreciation and education.

ISBN 978-1-68405-378-0

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

© 2020 Tony Isabella     

Sunday, December 6, 2020


Welcome to more of the craziness and misery that has marked 2020 as a year like no other. Joe Biden won the presidential election with over 80 million votes and with an Electoral College victory that a certain Orange Stain called a landslide four years ago. Of course, four years ago, Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote by three million votes, called the Electoral College victor to concede her defeat, and outgoing president Barack Obama, did what he could to prepare the Electoral College victor for the most important job in American government. What a difference four years makes!

Biden will be president come Inauguration Day. I’m not sure he’ll be our next president because, if the Orange Stain thinks he needs to resign so he can get a pardon from President Mike Pence, I think Pence could end up being our next president for however short his time in office. If that happens, a hundred years from now, knowing Pence was the 46th president will be a Trivial Pursuit answer. I’m as confident Trivial Pursuit will still be around in 2120 as I am the United States will still exist in 2120. Uh-oh...

Monstrous Republicans doing monstrous things in the final weeks of this administration. COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths on the rise because “freedom-loving” Americans don’t give a damn about others. Climate change kicking our collective asses. That’s what we saw in November.

On a personal note, 2020 will likely be the worst year of my comics career. The loss of income from conventions and my poorly-attended garage sales hit hard. Especially combined with a decided lack of paying gigs. I’m one of many in my industry who had a lousy 2020. And that’s just on the financial level.

We have lost dear friends this year. We have lost people we looked up to in comics and in the larger world. Many of us have lost our beloved animal companions, which I think is due, in part at least, to their picking up on the anxieties of their human companions in these troubled times.

So, yeah, 2020 isn’t going to be anybody’s favorite year. But there is still hope for the future. There is still determination to make that future better. In addition, for me, there is always something every day that brings me joy. Here are things that made me happy in November...

November 1: Today’s Crankshaft by Tom Batiuk and Dan Davis. Cranky destroying mailboxes is an ancient bit, but I thought this take on it was fresh, funny and topical.

November 2: The “mute” button on my TV remote control. I’ve become lightning fast on the draw when it comes to bullshit Trump and GOP ads. So fast I no longer have the impulse to throw the remote at my TV set. Since the Trump/GOP ads ceased, I've been using the mute button to silence all the phony baloney health insurance ads.

November 3: Ms. Tree: Skeleton in the Closet, the second Hard Case collection of classic comics by Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty, is just plain damn good stories. Highly recommended.

November 4: Becoming Superman. J. Michael Straczynski’s terrifying yet inspirational autobiography was just the book I needed to pull myself from dark despair. Highly recommended.

November 5: The Los Angeles Fire Department has started using a robot firefighter vehicle that can blast 2,500 gallons of water or foam. With enough force to knock down a wall. I welcome the first of our new cool robot overlords.
November 6: Kent State by Derf Backderf is an amazingly-researched account of state-sanctioned murder. I was chilled to the bone as I learned things I hadn’t realized. Kudos to a cartoonist who always
goes above and beyond my expectations.

November 7: Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. My son Ed recommended this anime series to me. I watched the first episode and it plain tickled me. I’ll keep watching.

November 8: Our President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris. Though we still have two months of the most criminal administration in our history to get through and so many problems beyond that, there is once again hope in my country and my heart for the first time in a very long time.

November 9: Finding out my Black Lightning saved someone’s life and that, because of that, they were around to save the lives of other people.

November 10: My Wonder Woman breast cancer awareness Funko Pop has arrived. It joins Batman, Harley Quinn and Superman in this noble cause.

November 11: Let Justice Descend by Lisa Black. This is part of her Gardiner and Renner series. Gardiner’s a Cleveland forensic expert. Renner is a detective and vigilante. Murder, politics, corruption and a satisfying ending I didn’t see coming.

November 12: Actress Tamara Podemski. Most of the leads in Coroner are hot messes, but Podemski’s Alison is downright inspirational. The character has her own past sorrows, but she holds it together and lifts the people around her.

November 13: Painkiller is getting a back door pilot this season of Black Lightning. I’m excited about this spin-off for many reasons, not the least of which is the character is played by the incredibly talented Jordan Calloway. Painkiller was created by Eddy Newell and yours truly in our 1990s Black Lightning series.

November 14: Chantal Thuy, who plays Grace Choi on Black Lightning, has been promoted to a series regular in season four. I’m thrilled we’ll be seeing more of this wonderful actress and hope I actually get to meet her later this year.

November 15: The Complete Steve Canyon Volume 9: 1963-1964. Milton Caniff’s amazing art and storytelling are first-rate in a collection that includes globetrotting intrigue and collegiate drama.

November 16: Gail Simone’s recent Facebook post in which she wrote of how much she enjoyed my work. I have many fans who love my work, but it’s always an extra buzz when someone whose work I enjoy is one of them.

November 17: Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love. This delightful children’s picture book embraces individuality, being who you are and being loved and accepted for who you are.

November 18: I got a shout-out from Oscar-winning screenwriter (12 Years a Slave) John Ridley on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. He said my work on Black Lightning inspired him. Knowing my work impacts so many in such positive ways keeps me going.

November 19: Invisible Differences: A Story of Asperger’s, Adulting and Living a Life in Full Color by Mademoiselle Caroline and Julie Dachez. Entertaining and informative, this autobiography is a definite contender for next year’s awards.

November 20: My medical stuff has been going very well. My AiC was described as spectacular. As a result, my daily Metformin dose has been cut in half. Once the gamma ray treatments kick in, I will be better than ever.

November 21: I turned my depression over the news Black Lightning is ending into creative action, creating a terrific new TV series in under two hours. Because, yeah, I am just that good.

November 22: Seph Lawless’ Abandoned: Hauntingly Beautiful Deserted Theme Parks. Lawless captures the ghosts of summers past in photos that fill you with awe and sadness. Recommended for all, including and especially artists and writers looking for inspiration.

November 23: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Confession. I hated this movie when I first saw it as a kid. Maybe I was too much of a monster purist. But every time I’ve seen it as a adult, I’ve loved it and always find new things to appreciate in it.

November 24: Land Shark Attack. I watched this 2020 Chinese giant movie with Hindi subtitles on YouTube. The plot is typical of the old SyFy creature features, so I could follow it okay. Original, it’s not. But it’s fun with decent acting and CGI.

November 25: We’re far from out of the woods, but knowing we will have a new and decent President on January 20, 2021, has reduced my anxiety noticeably. I can even watch MSNBC and CNN again.

November 26: Thanksgiving dinner with Barb, Eddie and Kelly. It was the nicest Thanksgiving within recent memory. No drama, no dumbass right-wing politics. Just the three people I love most in the whole world. Well worth the food coma.

November 27: G-Fan #129. This magazine is always filled with great Godzilla-related stuff, but this issue also has Lyle Huckins’ piece on Chinese giant monster movies Big Snake and Big Snake 2. I have found a kindred spirit.

November 28: Primer by Jennifer Muro and Thomas Krajewski with art by Gretel Lusky. DC Kids scores with the origin story of a terrific new young hero. A simply wonderful graphic novel suitable for all ages. Can’t wait for more.

November 29: The Water Monster. Even with no English subtitles, I enjoyed this action-packed horror movie with pretty cool wire work and a genuinely scary creature. You can find it on YouTube. Check it out.

November 30: Holly Jolly: Celebrating Christmas Past in Pop Culture by Mark Voger. Just in time for the holidays, TwoMorrows publishes an amazingly fun and informative holiday book. Just the thing for Night Before Christmas enjoyment.

I wish all my wonderful bloggy thing readers a happy, safe and sane holiday season. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2020 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, December 2, 2020



Free Comic Book Day 2020 was different this year. The FCBD comics weren’t given out on their traditional first Saturday of May date because, like most businesses, comic-book shops went into lockdown. The comics shops eventually reopened under various restrictions and customers were able to get free comics. Still, the big celebrations of the past were largely a thing of the past.

Before I go any further, here’s my usual boilerplate explanation of Free Comic Book Day as cribbed from the event’s website:

Free Comic Book Day is an annual event founded on the belief that for every person out there, there’s a comic book they’ll love. Every year, on the first Saturday in May, the industry comes together to give away free comics and encourage fans, both old and new, to flock to the best place in the comic book community: local comic shops. These are the hubs of our community, where fans can come together and discover new comics, make lifelong friends, and find a sense of commonality.

And my usual suggestion:
It’s important to note that these free comic books are not free to the comics shops. They pay for them. So, if you’re visiting a shop to get some free comics, help that establishment stay in business by buying some comics from them as well.

Every year, my pals at Stormwatch Comics in West Berlin, New Jersey send all those comics to me so I can read and write about them in the bloggy. Only twice have I actually reached my goal of reading and writing about all the FCBD comics available in one year. Maybe this year is a year in which I three-peat that achievement. I think I can do it, but it’ll likely take me until sometime in early 2021 to complete this mission.

When I read and review FCBD comics, I look at three areas.

QUALITY: Is the material worthwhile?

ACCESSIBILITY: Is the material presented in such a way that someone coming to it for the first time can follow it?

SALESMANSHIP: After reading the FCBD offering, would someone want and be able to buy more of the same?

I score FCBD offerings on a scale of zero to ten. Each category is worth three points with the tenth point coming from my interest in seeing more of what’s ever in the book.


Batman: Overdrive/Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime [DC Comics] is a flip book containing previews of these “DC Comics for Kids” graphic novels. While all of the other FCBD issues are standard comic-book-size, this one measures 8" by 5-1/2".

Batman: Overdrive (12 pages) by Shea Fontana with artist Marcelo DiChiara has young Bruce Wayne on the verge of getting his driver’s and restoring his father’s prized 1966 Crusader. The kid is also investigating the murder of his parents, sure the official report of their deaths is wrong. He goes to a junkyard for parts, meets a new friend and gets his first glimpse of the future Catwoman. It’s a well-told excerpt with only one element with which I must raise objection. The movie Bruce attends with his parents on that tragic night is...Captain Carrot? No, that’s just wrong.

Included on this side of the flip book is a nine-page preview of Primer by Jennifer Muro and Thomas Krajewski with art by Gretel Lusky. Thirteen-year-old Ashley has body paint that gives wearers super-powers determined by their colors. It’s a top secret military weapon that she stumbled upon. This is a cool concept and I plan on requesting the graphic novel from my local library.

Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime re-imagines Bruce as Wayneocchio, a puppet who wants to fight crime. Written by Derek Fridolfs with art by Dustin Nguyen, the fairy-tale twist offers amusing moments. I’m leaning towards requesting this graphic novel as well.

This side also includes My Video Game Ate My Homework by writer and artist Dustin Hansen. The 11-page excerpt didn’t appeal to me and it’s the only one of the four features whose full graphic novel I won’t be seeking out.

QUALITY: With the exception of the video game thing, this material was very well-written and well-drawn.

ACCESSIBILITY: The three excerpts that I liked were all easy to get into. Which is important to me in a comics industry that too often publishes impenetrable issues.

SALESMANSHIP: Solid. Besides ads for the full graphic novels of the four excerpts, there were ads for two other aimed-at-kids graphic novels.

SCORE: Three of the four excerpts are terrific, so I’m only going to ding this FCBD issue one point for the video game one. This book gets nine out of a possible ten points.


Archie Blue Ribbon Presents [Archie Comics] features two excerpts from recent graphic novels. We get 13 pages of Betty and Veronica: The Bonds of Friendship by Jamie Lee Rotante and Brittney Williams, followed by six pages of “Nightcrawlers” by Michol Ostow and artist Thomas Pitilli, which seems to be a prologue to the Riverdale: The Ties That Bind.

QUALITY: The Betty and Veronica excerpt is excellent, inspirational and topical. I liked it well enough to request the graphic novel from my library. The Riverdale excerpt was readable.

ACCESSIBILITY: The Betty and Veronica excerpt was easy to get into. The Riverdale excerpt was not new reader-friendly, especially for some one who has only watched 15 minutes of the TV series and never read one of the comic books.

SALESMANSHIP: Quite good. Besides ads for the two graphic novels, there were eight pages of other ads.

SCORE: Nine-and-a-half out of ten points. I wasn’t sold on reading the Riverdale graphic novel.


Asterix [Papercutz] is a fine introduction to the international bestseller by writer René Goscinny and artist Albert Uderzo. What editor-in-chief Jim Salicrup and his team have produced here is a sampler of the wonders of the legendary villagers who battled off the Romans who had conquered the rest of Gaul. This free comic book presents excerpts from several Asterix graphic novels to acquaint new readers with the friendship and the history of our indomitable heroes.

QUALITY: This is hilarious stuff, combining physical and verbal comedy with characters you can’t help but love. My solitary quibble is that the lettering could be larger.

ACCESSIBILITY: This comic book will give you enough background on the characters and their world to make reading these excerpts quite enjoyable.

SALESMANSHIP: Salicrup’s editorial shows what he learned during his time at Marvel and working closely with the great Stan Lee. There’s also a inside back cover showcasing several of the Asterix graphic novels that Papercutz is publishing.

SCORE: Ten out of ten points. Your comics education isn’t complete with some Asterix in your home library.

That’s all for now, my friends. Look for more of my Free Comic Book Day commentary in the near future.

© 2020 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, December 1, 2020



It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these Black Lightning-centric bloggy things. Like many of you, I have been having a tough time wrapping my head around all the Black Lightning news that hit within a couple weeks.

The question I’m most asked lately is what I think of Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley’s The Other History of the DC Universe #1 featuring Black Lightning. It’s a fair question and one I won’t be answering today on account of I haven’t read the issue yet.

DC Comics didn’t send me an advance or any copy of this issue, not unexpected given their strained relationship with me. I will tell you this comic book is the first DC comic book with Black Lightning I have looked forward to since my Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands was collected in trade paperback.

From my friends at Stormwatch Comics in New Jersey, I have ordered Other History #1, as well as any subsequent issues which have been solicited. Since my comics fix is mailed to me twice a month, it’ll be another week or so before I read this comic. It’s been difficult to avoid spoilers.

Ridley has been kind to me in several interviews on this project.I’m flattered to learn my writing inspired him to become a writer. My work, Black Lightning in particular, has inspired many readers over the decades. Some have become teachers with one specifically choosing to work in inner-city schools. Some have become involved with political and social organizations. Some have even gotten into the comic book industry, though, given my own career, I’m not sure I did those readers any favors.

However, Ridley is wrong when he assumes the white guy who created Black Lightning did not realize he was inspiring Ridley. Okay, it’s true I had no idea that one of my readers would grow up to become the screenwriter of Twelve Years a Slave, but I very deliberately set out to reach young readers, especially young Black readers.

When I was a teenager growing up in Cleveland, and the city of my youth was seriously segregated, I started a comic-book club at the Cudell Recreation Center on Detroit Avenue on the west side of the city. It was through this club that I met my first Black friends. It wasn’t until recently that Bruce, Dennis and Leroy learned how meeting them set the arc of my comics career.

Diversity was not part of my everyday language when I was a teen. I just thought it was unfair that there weren’t more Black heroes for my Black friends. I promised myself that, if I were fortunate enough to work in the comics industry, I would do my best to work on and create characters of color.

At Marvel, I worked on Luke Cage, the Falcon and the Living Mummy, not that it was readily apparent that the last hero was Black. I turned scientist Bill Foster into Black Goliath, though I wanted to call him Giant-Man and was overruled on that. I created Misty Knight as a partner for Iron Fist. All of these fine characters were stepping stones to my creation of Black Lightning.

When I moved from Marvel to DC, I was given two completed scripts of a planned new hero called the Black Bomber. This character was a white racist who’d taken part in chemical camouflage experiments intended to allow him to better blend in to the jungles of Vietnam. No, really.

The effects of the experiments didn’t kick in until the soldier was discharged from the military and again living in the United States. Then, in times of stress, the white racist would turn into a Black super-hero. Neither identity was aware of the other. Both of them had girlfriends who witnessed the transformations and said nothing. No, really.

In each of the two scripts, the white racist in his white racist identity rescued people who he couldn’t see clearly. In both cases, he had risked his life to rescue a Black person. In both cases, he wasn’t happy about this. To quote what he said after rescuing a child in a baby carriage, “You mean I risked my life for a jungle bunny?” No, really.  

The cherry on top of this shit sundae was the hero’s costume. Which looked like a basketball uniform. No, really.

DC Comics wanted me to “punch up” the two existing scripts and take over the writing with the third issue. I declined. I told them that these were the most offensive scripts I had ever read in my four years in the comics industry. I told them they could not possibly publish these scripts.

My DC bosses were aghast. What did I mean they couldn’t publish a couple of scripts they had paid for?

I responded that, if they published those terrible scripts, their offices would be set upon by a mob wielding pitchforks and torches. They asked how I could know this. I told them I’d be leading that mob. This was one of the proudest moments of my career.

How often does one get to truly put their principles ahead of their well-being? At the time I was declining this gig, I was just about as broke as I’ve ever been in my life. I had no income to speak of. I would have been homeless save for the kindness of friends who let me stay with them. I mostly ate at McDonald’s because it was cheap and just filling enough to keep me going. Yet here I was risking my perhaps only chance of gainful employment in the comics industry because it was the right thing to do. Every time some asshole tries to troll me because of my devotion to Black Lightning and my quest to keep my creation consistent with his core values, I laugh because I know those jerks would never have done what I did. Morally vacant cowards.

It took me somewhere between seven and ten days to convince DC that I was right about this. But I had to boil it down to something the all-white hierarchy could understand:

“Do you actually want your first headline Black super-hero to be a white racist?”

They had never thought about it that way. I was given two or three weeks to create a new Black super-hero.

I created Jefferson Pierce and his world before I came up with his super-hero identity. I wanted him to be someone kids could relate to, so I made him a teacher. Every kid knows what a teacher does. If they’re lucky, they have one like Jefferson Pierce.

I made him an award-winning Olympic athlete, so he would have the physical abilities to battle street-level crime. I wanted that to be his home because down-to-earth stories have always been where my creative heart lives. Though it was never revealed in my stories, I even knew why Pierce didn’t get rich from his athletic victories. In my mind, he was one of the Black champions who raised the Black Power fist on the winners stand. That didn’t go over big with the establishment.

I had Jefferson return to teach at his former high school because I totally ripped that off from Welcome Back Kotter. I really loved that show before it went south too soon.

After I knew who Jefferson Pierce was, I could work on the super-heroic aspects of his life. Which is a story I’ve told before and which I will doubtless tell again. But this bloggy thing is getting long and I want to hit some other notes before I sign off.

Black Lightning got his start at the Graphic Arts Society meetings at the Cudell Recreation Center. I looked at my friends, recognized the inequities in comics and vowed to address those inequities. I like to think I did well in that regard.

If the Cudell Recreation Center sounds familiar to you, it should. It was there that young Tamir Rice was murdered by a police officer who shouldn’t have been a police officer. That badge-wearing killer had accomplices: the Cleveland Police Department who failed to do due diligence before they hired him; a partner with a long record of inappropriate violence; a city leadership that failed to make the murderer pay for his crime and a police union that defends him to this very day. What had been a place of fondest memories for me has become a source of rage I feel every day.

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, a reboot of sorts set in my home town of Cleveland, was inspired by the murder of Tamir Rice and the proliferation of increasingly deadly weapons in near every city in the United States. It was inspired by police departments who treat Black citizens with more distrust and violence that they do white citizens. It was inspired by all the things that create despair in our cities. It was inspired by the hope that things can change if we work at it as hard as did those who have worked for centuries to keep those inequalities in place.

Clearly, today’s bloggy thing did not address other Black Lightning news and views. We have the sad news that the great Black Lightning TV show will be ending after its now-filming fourth season. We have the happier news that the Painkiller character, originally created by myself and artist Eddy Newell, will be getting a back door pilot during this final season. I have more to discuss about the wretched Batman and the Outsiders title and DC’s general mishandling of my creation. And, of course, when I finally read it, I will doubtless have comments on The Other History of the DC Universe #1.

I hope to address all the above in the next week or two. Along with some non-Black Lightning related subjects.

Thanks for reading today’s bloggy thing. I will be back soon with more stuff. Always forward.

© 2020 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, November 25, 2020



Here's wishing all of my bloggy thing readers a happy and safe Thanksgiving. New bloggy things are just around the corner.

Tony Isabella

Monday, November 9, 2020


Alex Trebek [July 22, 1940–November 8, 2020], host of Jeopardy for 36 years, has passed. It wasn’t unexpected. He was 80 years old and had been fighting stage four pancreatic cancer for two years.  That it wasn’t unexpected made it no less crushing.

Jeopardy is my favorite game show, much of that is due to Trebek. He was smart and dignified, but never stuffy. You could tell that he loved the game and its contestants. The love came through to me.

Saintly Wife Barb and I lead busy and often complicated lives. She is a health care professional in these pandemic times. I continue to be a struggling writer. But, more often than not, we would make time to watch Jeopardy together.

We loved playing what I thought of as the “home version” of the game, trying to shout out the answers before the contestants did. We were pretty good at it, surprising ourselves with knowledge we didn’t know we had. Of course, we both figured we would suck at the game if we were contestants. For one thing, we rarely remembered to answer in the form of a question.

I took special delight in comics-related categories. Sure, we have blockbuster movies based on comic books, but seeing our characters and concepts on Jeopardy, that was big-time classy. You can imagine how tickled I was when Black Lightning was the answer to one of the questions.


Over the years, I’ve discovered that several of my Facebook friends have been contestants on Jeopardy. They always had good things to say about Trebek and their experiences. I believe Trebek was precisely the decent and friendly fellow we watched on our TV screen. I wish I'd had met him in person.

Trebek’s last episode will air on December 25, 2020. Christmas. On the one hand, that’s a day we’re supposed to receive presents, not lose something so precious as this fine man. On the other hand, I can accept his decades hosting Jeopardy as one of the most magnificent gifts his fans could have asked for.

My condolences to the Trebek family, his friends and his impossible to count fans. He was one of the great ones.

© 2020 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, November 3, 2020


I’m writing this two days before Election Day, which, even though I hope Joe Biden wins the Presidency and the Democrats keep control of the House of Representatives and take control of the Senate, has me equal parts hopeful and terrified. If that weren’t enough, we’re still in the midst of a growing pandemic, which is growing because too many Americans are morons. If that weren’t enough, wildfire and other results of climate change are killing people and destroying great big hunks of land. If that weren’t enough, police are still killing innocent people, Trumpers are going Mad Max on highways to harass Trump’s opponents. If that weren’t enough, Trump has twice left people freezing and stranded at the end of his super-spreader rallies. If that weren’t enough, the entertainment industry that I am kind of sort of part of is struggling.

More than ever, I need joy in my life. Here are things that made me happy in October...

October 1: Miss Sherlock. After one episode of this quirky version of Holmes, I’m hooked. Available on HBO Max and Hulu, the series is in Japanese with English subtitles. Check it out.

[NOTE: The same day I posted this, I learned of the passing of Yûko Takeuchi, the brilliant actress who played Sherlock. It appears her death was a suicide, making it all the more tragic. I am grateful for the outstanding ten episodes of this series that were filmed, sorry that there will likely be no more.]

October 2: DC's Wanted: The World's Most Dangerous Super-Villains. This 256-page hardcover of the 9-issue series from the early 1970s is fun stuff and a reminder of just how good E. Nelson Bridwell was at mining the DC archives for great reprints.

October 3: Cleveland Magazine [October 2020] had a great article on Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop, the best comics shop in Northeast Ohio. Kudos to Carol, John, their staff and their customers.

October 4: Taking a step back from a project that’s not working out as originally anticipated, figuring out how to get it back on track and realizing my energy and enthusiasm for the project is now even  greater than it had been.

October 5: Be Gay, Do Comics! It’s a fun and informative softcover collection presenting dozens of comics about LGBTQIA+ experiences. The School Library Journal deems it suitable for grades 8 and up. I agree with that assessment.

October 6: Island of Terror. This 1966 British horror movie, which I saw for the first time on Svengoolie, is intelligent and scary as all get out. The heroes do smart stuff as they battle bone-sucking creatures. Good choices can make good stories.

October 7: Camm, Golian and Kudla. Because of the pandemic, today was my first dentist visit in almost a year. I was very impressed by how well the dedicated staff keeps themselves and their patients safe.

October 8: Despite my age (68), type 2 diabetes and weight, I’ve so far managed to dodge the COVID-19 bullet. However, since living in Trump’s America is like a horror movie, I’ve probably just doomed myself by saying that.

October 9: I voted this morning, putting my absentee ballot in the drop box at the Medina County Board of Elections. Doing my part to rid my country of Trump and the Republicans.

October 10: The second season finale of The Boys was notable for a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t see coming. I’m very excited for the third season and where the series goes from here.

October 11: Class Action Park. This sometimes hilarious, sometimes shocking and sometimes terribly tragic documentary on the amusement park Action Park (Vernon Township, New Jersey) is riveting. Greed over human life and those who enabled it remains a timeless story, especially in 2020.

October 12: Ran five errands in just under ninety minutes with very little actual contact. Life’s little victories in these pandemic, troubled times.
October 13: My new Godzilla face masks. I stand with the Kaiju as they battle the Trump Virus.

October 14: My new Godzilla polo shirt. I’m proud to show the world that I’m a member of Team Godzilla.

October 15: X-Men The Art and Making of the Animated Series by Eric Lewald and Julia Lewald. What a big, beautiful book on the series still loved by millions.

October 16: Frank Robbins’ Johnny Hazard Volume 5: The Newspaper Dailies 1951-1952. I love the fast pace of these exciting stories. Hazard’s having a woman in every port might be a little sexist, but what women! Fearless, gorgeous and smart! One of the best adventure strips of all time!
October 17: Uncaged. This 2016 Dutch horror film about a man-eating lion on the prowl in Amsterdam is terrific! Wonderful characters, chilling suspense, a action-packed resolution. Highly recommended!

October 18: It’s arrived! My Breast Cancer Awareness Harley Quinn Funko figure! She joins Batman in supporting this important cause. I’m still waiting on Superman and Wonder Woman.

October 19: I’ve made my largest ever political donation to Biden and Harris. It means cutting back on other things, but the future of my country is at stake.

October 20: Sweets and Geeks. Medina’s new nostalgic candy and soda pop store. It also has pop culture stuff, puzzles, RPGs and more. It’s located at 342 E Smith Rd.

October 21: Guantanamo Voices: An Anthology: True Accounts from the World's Most Infamous Prison is a chilling comics anthology about one of my country’s greatest sins. “Happy” is not precise in this case. “Necessary” most certainly is.

October 22: Jessica Jones: Purple Daughter by Kelly Thompson with art by Mattia De Iulis. A gripping story which goes to the heart of Jessica and her family. Emotional and exciting.

October 23: Tremors: Shrieker Island. Unfairly panned by critics, it’s still great fun. I’ve always been entertained by the Tremors films and the TV series.

October 24: Voting Is Your Super Power! Edited by Craig Yoe, it’s a fascinating collection of public service messages in comic-book form. It’s got an introduction by Julie Newmar and a great cover by Sanford Greene.

October 25: Freaks: You're One of Us. This 2020 German movie being streamed on Netflix was interesting. While it’s not groundbreaking or award-winning, it’s worth watching just to see American super-hero pop culture from a foreign viewpoint.

October 26: My health care provider has opened up a Medina clinic. It’s a five-minute drive from my house. I went there this morning to get lab work done. The whole thing, the drive and lab work, took less than a half-hour.

October 27: Talking with comics great Larry Lieber. Yesterday was his birthday. He just finished writing his first novel and started on his second. His friendship means a lot to me. Pandemic willing, I’ll get to see him in person in 2021.

October 28: My latest lab results were excellent. It seems I have my type 2 diabetes largely under control. However, I still haven’t been accepted into the super-soldier trials.

October 29: Hubie Halloween. Big-time goofy fun with all sorts of great performers, including Black Lightning’s China Anne McClain. It also establishes (shudder) that there is an Adam Sandler-verse.

October 30: The look of surprise when I told the cashier at Staples I was 69, rounded up to my 12/22 birthday. We were discussing scams on senior citizens; she couldn’t believe I was one. Though the mask probably helps.  

October 31: Celebrating my Marvelversary. My first day was October 31, 1972. I figure I’ll meet another Marvel hero, fight, then team up against the actual villain. Excelsior!

As much as humanly possible, I’m going to concentrate on my various work and relegate the election, the pandemic and the rest of that stuff to the back of my mind. That includes trying (again) to post this bloggy thing of mine more frequently.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2020 Tony Isabella