Wednesday, July 1, 2020


If ever there was a month where I needed to find the happy, it was June. What a shit show on almost every level.

I’m not sure a day went by without Russian agent Donald Trump doing something criminal, racist and vile. Even as Putin paid bounties to  the Taliban to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. I can’t wrap my head around why anyone with even half a brain and half a heart would support the spray-tan super-villain.

We’re still living with the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, the failure of Trump and his vassal governors to trust the science and address the crisis competently has caused spikes in virtually every state that didn’t enact the proper safeguards. Yes, I know the economy is hurting. The real economy. Not the Wall Street fantasy lands of the rich. But the fastest way to a better economy is to keep Americans alive and healthy and able to use our ingenuity to overcome our difficulties.

I wish I could say I found comfort in our comic-book industry and  related things, but June was also a kick in the balls there. Turns out that the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was covering up for, enabling and protecting predator Charles Brownstein for something like 15 years. Even to the point of forcing one of his victims to sign an NDA. At this time, only one of the several board members and officers responsible for the enabling has resigned. Worse, the big name comics creators who have supported the CBLDF have largely remained silent and not called for those board members and officers to be held accountable for their malfeasance. Truly, I have spent my life in an industry of moral cowards.

New information has been coming out about Eddie Berganza and other former and current DC Comics personnel. The continued employment and protection of such lowlifes has made it shockingly clear that, within its operations, DC has contained a predator culture. Again, the big-name creators who could push for real change at the company are largely silent.

As my bloggy readers know, I can either succumb to the depression that surrounds these unkind times or remind myself, every day, that there is still joy to be found in my world.

Here are the things that made me happy in June...

June 1: For about two hours this glorious sunny morning, running errands, I felt almost normal. Medina’s NY Bagel Deli was open; for the first time in months, I had a delicious warm bagel. I knew it would raise my blood sugar level, but I ate it anyway. Driving to the Sprint store, I opened my SUV window and blasted “Hot Hot Hot” (Buster Poindexter) along the way. My apologies to any neighbors I disturbed. The nice young lady at the Sprint store was able to fix my problem quickly. I went to PetSmart to get medicine for my cat,  watched a cute kitten while waiting. On the way home, I blasted the Ghostbusters theme. Again, my apologies to anyone I disturbed with my rude behavior. I needed those two hours before I girded my loins and got back into the fight.

June 2: Making decisions and feeling good about them.
June 3: Starting to organize my Vast Accumulation of DVDs. I have three bookcases set aside for this and hope they will be enough for the job. Oh, the suspense!

June 4: Daredevil Season Three. Four episodes in and, while it can be painful to see characters I like in turmoil, I’m enjoying this. I want to see the cast move to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They are all that good.

June 5: Stargirl by Geoff Johns and Lee Moder. Not as polished as Johns’ later work, but I enjoyed the heck out of this collection of the Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E series from 2000.

June 6: Gerry Conway. My friend, former colleague and co-creator of the Punisher is working on a fundraiser with the goal of reclaiming the Marvel character's iconic skull logo from police. He has both my respect and my support in this.

June 7: BLACK LIVES MATTER painted on the street leading to Trump Bunker. Every street on which Trump owns property should be painted in similar fashion.

June 8: A Facebook post by Steve Dooner: “I am endlessly happy when I know the person who told me stories about a heroic and principled Spider-Man and Black Lightning in my youth turned out to be heroic and a good person when I got to meet him up close.”

June 9: When a scene in a comic speaks volumes. In Rachel Rising by Terry Moore, Rachel goes to a home supply store to find a match for the rope marks on her neck. The clerk is an elderly black man whose grandfather was lynched. They hug. A brief moment of connection and peace amidst centuries of brutality.

June 10: I had a great time doing a definitely unfiltered podcast with the Spoiler Country crew. It’ll probably bring the haters out again, but it was fun. I’ll let you know when it’s posted online.

June 11: Life’s Little Victories. My DVDs and Blu-Rays have been sorted on three bookcases for the first time in a decade or more,  and with a shelf and a half to spare.

June 12: Last night’s Ohio Center for the Book online discussion of my Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands was great fun. Huge thanks to host Valentino Zullo and the other participants.

June 13: My Godzilla Monopoly game has arrived. Now I just have to find family members who will play it with me. In the meantime, I’m training for the Godzilla Monopoly season opener.

June 14: Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular: Tom King and Mikel Janin’s “Helena” contains the best Batman dialogue I’ve read in a long time: “I’ve got a Batbucket in the car. It’s just a...bucket with a...bat on it.”

June 15: Al Jaffee. This magnificient MAD man has been a wondrously hilarious part of my life since I was old enough to sneak MAD into my bedroom. He has retired, but his work will always remind me of the power of humor.

June 16: Saintly Wife Barb and I have been married for 36 years and counting. One cat, one house, two great kids, and, if such a thing is possible, too many books and movies.

June 17: TwoMorrows Publishing. The leading publisher of books and magazines about comics history and also nostalgic popular culture. Like many others, the Covid-19 pandemic has hurt them financially. Please support this vital publisher by going to their website and purchasing back issues, books and subscriptions.
June 18: I’m closing the First Church of Godzilla Facebook page to make room for the KAIJU CATHEDRAL. The group is open to the public, but you have to be a member to post. Look for new content starting this afternoon.

June 19: Free delivery. I’m sane. People who go to stores without masks aren’t. Getting goods and supploes delivered for free reduces my risk of dying from their stupidity. It’s a win-win.

June 20: Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo. A spy needs a family for his latest mission. His instant family includes an assassin and a young telepath. This is why I love manga.

June 21: Becky. An honestly chilling movie with a young girl taking on escaped convicts at a lake house. Incredible performances by 14-year-old Lulu Wilson as Becky and Kevin James as a murderous white supremacist. Highly recommended.

June 22: Guns Akimbo. Ridiculously fun movie about a computer nerd who finds himself in a streaming battle to the death with an insane young woman. Samara Weaving as Nix is outstanding. Daniel Radcliffe is crazy good. Recommended.

June 23: Alligator X. This 2014 movie is also known as Xtinction: Predator X and Jurassic Predator: Xtinction. I’d change my name, too. Not a good movie, but kinda fun. Mark Sheppard chews the swamp scenery as a mad scientist. The insane ending comes out of freaking nowhere.

June 24: Miss Meadows. This goofy little movie from 2014 starring Katie Holmes doesn’t manage to be a consistent dark comedy, but it has its moments. All I asked was a hour-and-a-half break from the world’s calamities and it gave me that.

June 25: The Dixie Chicks are changing their name to the Chicks, acknowledging criticism over their use of a nostalgic nickname for the Civil War-era South. Long overdue, maybe, but I give them props  for this.

June 26: Lady A, the first band to change its name to eliminate a nostalgia for the Civil War-era South. That said, I wish they would lose the “A” as well. Artists can change the world in music and all forms of entertainment.

June 27: UK publisher Rebellion’s collections of vintage British comics like Jinty and Invasion. I’m enjoying them and impressed at the various creators’ ability to tell these stories at three pages a week. I would love to do that someday.

June 28: My Spy. Just released on Amazon Prime, it’s a fun, mostly family-friendly comedy with some good action sequence and a great cast that includes Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman and Kristen Schaal. An enjoyable hour-and-a-half.

June 29: The Wooster Ohio school district is cutting participation in the annual Wayne County Fair if Confederate flag sales continue. I’m proud of them for taking a stand against racism and treason.

June 30: Santo Suossos Pizza Pasta Vino in Medina. Craving spaghetti and meatballs, I ordered take-out. Everything was delicious. Great entrees. Nice side salads. Amazing bread. With so many good things on the menu, I’ll be ordering again.

I hope you found joy in June and every day thereafter. I’ll be back soon with more stuff. 

© 2020 Tony Isabella

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