Saturday, February 1, 2020


The highlight of January was my trip to Atlanta to film a cameo for the third season finale of Black Lightning and then hang out on the set for the season’s final day of shooting. Though I’m not able to tell you about those two days until the finale airs in March, I can share with you what else brought me joy last month. Here’s my list of what made me happy in January 2020...

January 1: Beginnings. Every year, every month, every week, every a new beginning. Another chance to create something good. Another chance to make positive change in your life. Another chance to work towards a better world. And numerous chances to remember to write “2020" instead of “2019.”

January 2: Ronald Rump The Poor Little Rich Brat #1 by Peter Wolf. Available on Kindle, this parody comic book is hilarious fun for readers of all ages...because even kids recognize when someone is a bully, crook and narcissist. I hope there’s a second issue in the works.

January 3: The New Year’s Day episode of Jeopardy had a “Comics & Graphic Novels” category. Included were Whiteout, manga, Spider-Gwen, George Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy” and Exit, Stage Left!: The Snagglepuss Chronicles.

January 4: Deputy. The new show about maverick deputy Stephen Dorff who unexpectedly becomes sheriff isn’t groundbreaking, but I like the lead, Bex Taylor-Klaus as his driver/bodyguard and the lawman’s refusal to allow his deputies to be used by I.C.E. The right-wing snowflakes will hate this series.

January 5: Bettie Page Unbound by David Avallone and several truly excellent artists. Wild adventure, breathtaking beauty, humor that is risque without being offensive and amazing variant covers. This has become one of my favorite current comics.

January 6: Nothing. I suppose it had to happen one of these days. Frustration has wrapped itself around me like a shroud. Maybe I’ll just take some joy in allowing myself an off day.

January 7: Yesterday was not a good day. Reading articles on Afros, Irwin Allen, Aquaman toons, sea-monkeys, Funny Face Drink Mix and Spier-Man/Hulk toilet paper helped. Thanks, Retro Fan #3.

January 8: My son Ed was elected the No. 2 delegate for Elizabeth Warren in the Medina County Democratic Party caucus.
January 9: MAD Magazine’s “The 20 Dumbest People, Events and Things of 2019!” With multiple hands on deck, MAD did what it does best. It made me laugh through the tears.

January 10: Gal Gohan by Narii Taiyou. This crazy, somewhat risque manga about a flirtatious student, her bashful Home Ec teacher and  the cooking club they start is funny and surprising. I’m enjoying it and a little ashamed I’m enjoying it.

January 11: The Drifting Classroom by Kazuo Umezz. It’s been well over a decade since I read part of this manga and, holy crap, it’s terrifying. Literally makes me shudder.

January 12: Return to Romance: The Strange Love Stories of Ogden Whitney. Nine romance stories drawn by this most underrated artist in the 1960s and, though these tales are of their time, the writing  is pretty good as well.

January 13: My couch potato day. I watched Svengoolie: Revenge of the Creature with its shout-out to Scott Shaw, the two pre-Crisis episodes of Supergirl I hadn’t yet watched and, for the violent fun of it, John Wick and John Wick 2.

[NOTE: A day later, I watched John Wick 3. Because I could.]

January 14: Tigra the Complete Collection. I enjoyed re-reading my stories and those of others, as well as the mini-series I’d never read before. I’d love to write Tigra again. Marvel should make this happen.

January 15: The Crisis on Infinite Earths finale was everything I wanted it to be and amazing things I didn’t know I wanted: Bebbo, Marv Wolfman, Sargon, Black Lightning’s reaction to his new reality and the Table of Justice. I’m positively giddy!

January 16: A great start to my day. Wrote and posted a blog entry. Ran four errands in an hour and brought laughter to two people that I encountered along the way. All before noon.

January 17: A neighbor told me I looked good. I feel pretty good, too. My blood pressure and blood sugar numbers are excellent. I’m sleeping better. I have more energy. I think I’m ready for the next battles.

January 18: Giving myself a break. I started stressing out over all the things I needed to do before going to Atlanta. Then I decided it was okay to move most of those things to after I returned from the trip. My relief was immediate.
January 19: The Black Lightning show put me up in a suite that was bigger than anyplace I ever had while living in New York. It was so big that, when the manager brought me complimentary chocolates and water, I didn’t realize he was knocking on *my* door because I was in the bedroom on the other side of the suite.

January 20: Trevor von Eeden and I shot cameo appearances for the third season finale of Black Lightning. It was a fun, fascinating experience made even more so by director and showrunner Salim Akil asking us to take a bow.

January 21: On set for the last day of shooting for Black Lightning season three. Saw old friends, met some cool people, had lunch with Christine Adams and James Remar, gave books/pins to crew members. I’ll say more after the season finale airs in March.

January 22: Supergirl. The first post-Crisis episode was a mess. In a good way. Surprises galore. Twists I didn’t see coming. Emotional moments. I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

January 23: Batwoman. I love Batwoman being out to the citizens of Gotham. I also love Malia Pyles as hacker Parker Torres and hope she’ll be a recurring character.

January 24: Comics fan Jon Cryer is the best live-action Lex Luthor of them all. I’m bored silly by the overuse of Luthor in the comic books, but Cryer has made the villain interesting again.

January 25: Major renovations at our home have begun with new floor in our downstairs family room. Besides the treadmill, it’ll hold my DVDs and Blu-rays. I’m giddy knowing they’ll all be organized and in one place.

January 26: When I announced that I was running to be my precinct’s central committee member of the Medina County Democratic Party, I received $200 in campaign donations from online friends. That will cover a good chunk of my mailing expenses. If you’d like more info, check out my bloggy thing for January 15.

January 27: Young Sheldon. Not only did the episode “Body Glitter and a Mall Safety Kit” give us the origin of Sheldon’s offering a friend a warm beverage, but the closing voiceover revealed a cool development in the adult Sheldon’s life.

January 28: Super-heroes have always leaned left. Dudley Hogarth, publisher of the Australian Phantom comics, acknowledged that in an editorial. The issue reprinted a 1972 story that showed awareness of the social climate and took a stand against apartheid and racial discrimination.

January 29: Combat Colin. I’m reading the collections of my pal Lew Stringer’s classic strip from Action Force and some other UK comics of the 1980s...and loving it. Action, comedy, great characters and huge explosions.

January 30: From Pulp Hero Press, Forgotten All-Star: A Biography of Gardner Fox by Jennifer DeRoss is an incredibly interesting and well-researched book on one of the most pivotal comic-book writers of all. Worthy of Eisner Awards nomination.

January 31: A life-long Republican just told me they’ll never again vote for a Republican. Disguised by what the party has become, they are ashamed they ever voted Republican in the past. They’ll support Democratic Party candidates in the future.

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

© 2020 Tony Isabella

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