Tuesday, October 12, 2021

MY LAST GARAGE SALES OF 2021

 

 

My final Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales of 2021 are coming together nicely. Last night, I filled out the dollar comics boxes with a complete set of one of my favorite series of all time. It’s just one of many examples of how serious I am about downsizing the VAOS. You’ll see more at the garage sales.

Here’s the basic information:

The garage sales will take place on Friday and Saturday, October 15 and 16, from 9 am to noon at 840 Damon Drive in Medina, Ohio. You won’t have any trouble figuring out which house it is. Besides the lawn signs, you’ll see a big ass Tony Isabella photo and sign next to the garage door, a souvenir from one of the conventions I have appeared at in recent years.

Moving on...

I currently have nine $10 mystery boxes ready to go and am hoping to add two more a day until the garage sale opens on Friday. I’ve virtually doubled the number of boxes of graphic novels, hardcovers and trade paperbacks. Some of these haven’t even been opened as I now realize I will likely not live long enough to read everything I own that I have not yet read. This doesn’t mean I’m remotely near death’s door. If I did nothing but spend my days reading, I might be able to read everything I own. But that wouldn’t leave me time to do all the other things I enjoy doing.

My boxes of Tony Isabella-written comic books and other older comic books are not as full as I would like. This is just a matter of my running out of time to price additional comics for them. I hope to do much better in these areas for next year’s sales.

My supply of Isabella-written trade paperbacks is also dwindling, thanks to DC Comics deciding they needed to let my Black Lightning work to fall out of print to print a zillion more copies of Batman  books. That manipulative maniac not only has the best toys, but, apparently, also controls the printing presses.

Any Isabella items you buy from me will be signed for free. I will also sign any Isabella items you bring to my garage sales for free. I charge $5 for my signature at conventions, so you can save money by coming to my sales.

I’m phasing out Isabella-related posters for the present. Besides reducing the prices on these, I am also giving a free poster with every purchase. One per customer. Who loves you?
 
The rack which holds comics and pop culture clothing as well as a bunch of Comic-Con tote bags is full. In fact, some of the items I couldn’t fit on the rack went into mystery boxes.

My magazine box is filled, though, as with the dollar comics boxes, I’ll continue to price and add items up until the first day of the garage sales. I might even add items after the first day’s garage sale. Because I’m determined to make these sales the best since I started doing them.

                                                                         



Spread across the remaining bookshelves and tables will be amazing items. The Little Lulu Library. The Complete Tintin. The Complete Little Nemo in Slumberland. The Complete E.C. Segar Popeye in cool hardcover editions. Some still wrapped in plastic omnibus editions.  Plus many more terrific hardcovers and trade paperbacks. I will be pricing and adding more books to the sale right up to the moment I open the garage door on Friday.

The official hours of the garage sales are 9 am to noon each of the two days. However, if I still have customers shopping, I will keep the sale going as long as necessary. When the garage door closes on
Friday, I’ll restock as much as possible.

Previous garage sales have been cash only. However, I will accept PayPal as long as you can verify the money has reached my account before receiving your items.

Can’t make the garage sales on Friday or Saturday? If you email me with a request for a special appointment later in the week, I will do my best to accommodate you. However, I won’t be restocking after Saturday’s sale.

Thanks for visiting the bloggy thing today. I’ll be back soon with information on my remaining convention appearances of 2021 as well as lots more fun stuff. See you then.

© 2021 Tony Isabella

Sunday, October 10, 2021

LIBRARY SCORES

 

 

My local and quite wonderful Medina Library is part of a consortium of a hundred libraries in northeastern Ohio. Though ClevNet, I can request any book that resides in any of those libraries. I make the request online. They send the book to my library and also send my an e-mail altering me to the book’s arrival. I can also check such things on my online Medina Library account.

Being able to read so many books and graphic novels without buying them is a boon to my finances. In addition, they don’t add to the Vast Accumulation of Stuff that I’m downsizing. The result of that downsizing - the completion of which is a few years down the road - will allow us to make Casa Isabella more comfortable and open. It will also give Saintly Wife Barb and myself the option of moving to a smaller and easier-to-maintain house someplace other than our way too Republican and way too white city of Medina. I’m going to apply for Wakandan citizenship.

In the meantime, here are my comments on some of the recent books I borrowed from the library...

When it comes to She-Hulk, I’m around 30-70. I have truly enjoyed some of what’s been done with the character and truly appalled by the excess with which she’s been treated by various Marvel writers over the years. When it comes to Dan Slott and his impressive runs on a number of major Marvel titles, I’m around 60-40. I generally like his work and, while I’m not current with most Marvel titles, he’s one of the few writers I seek out when his work appears in collected editions. The Marvel Comics Universe became way too complicated and event-driven for me to follow in periodical format.

She-Hulk by Dan Slott: The Complete Collection Volume 1 [Marvel; $34.99] was published in 2014 with a second printing in 2016. I’m not sure why I didn’t read it then or how it got on my radar this time around. Since I like She-Hulk (when presented consistent with her core values) and I like Slott’s work, requesting this 413-page tome was a no-brainer. Here’s the back cover pitch:

Everyone's favorite Jade Giantess, She-Hulk, has returned for tons of fun, both on and off the field of battle! As a superhuman lawyer, She-Hulk has tried some of the strangest cases on Earth...but now, Shulkie is heading into deep space to practice Universal Law! And upon her return, the emerald enchantress matches muscles with Hercules...but it's going to take brains, not brawn, to get the Prince of Power out of some Herculean legal problems. Plus: No one hates She-Hulk more than Titania! What makes her one of the deadliest threats in the universe? And how is Hawkeye's fate tied to She-Hulk's latest case? Join She-Hulk as she deals with the bizarre legal problems of the Marvel Universe!

The book collects She-Hulk #1-12 from the 2004 series and issues #1-5 from the 2005 series. I’m not sure what She-Hulk has been up to since then, but, as she was featured in the Immortal Hulk title, it was probably grotesque. I.e., not core values She-Hulk.

Slott focuses on some of the more interesting aspects of Jennifer Walters’ life as an attorney. She’s hired by the firm of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg and Holliway. The catch is they don’t want She-Hulk. They want Jen, her civilian identity, to move them forward in the area of superhuman litigation and trial. This makes for a some very interesting examination of her life and a nice combination of humor, human drama, science-fiction and fantasy, superhero action  and good sexy fun.

Among my favorite elements in these stories: seeing Marvel heroes and villains portrayed as more than just heroes and villains; Andy the office assistant who was formerly the Mad Thinker’s awesome android; Jen being tapped to be a Universal Law judge in the cosmic Star Chamber; and her running afoul of the Time Variance Authority recently seen in Marvel’s Loki series on Disney-plus. Great ideas presented in an entertaining manner.

The only real negatives for me was Slott’s valiant attempts to make virtually every past She-Hulk story, indeed, every Marvel Universe story, part of the proceedings. The continuity became stifling at times. Too much back story and it usually slowed down the stories. While the vastness of the Marvel Universe can be a wondrous thing, I prefer a core values approach that concentrates on the story at hand and includes back story only as necessary. Of course, I’m also one of those rebels who think oppressive continuity can be avoided by the simple expedient of not mentioning it.

Overall, I do recommend this book, which is available on Kindle and the secondary markets. I’m planning to catch up on other Dan Slott collections in the future. Any suggestions?

ISBN 978-0785154402

                                                                                     



An Empty Grave is the latest Andy Hayes mystery from Andrew Welsh- Huggins [Swallow Press; Ohio University Press; $21.95]. Here’s part of the back cover pitch:

In 1979, a high-profile burglar shot a cop, was apprehended, and then disappeared without ever being prosecuted. Forty years later, after the wounded cop’s suicide, his son, Preston Campbell, is convinced there’s been a cover-up that allowed his father’s attacker to go free. At first, Hayes dismisses Campbell’s outlandish conspiracy theories. But when a mysterious Cold War connection to the burglar emerges, the investigation heats up, and Hayes discovers a series of deaths that seem to be connected, one way or another, to the missing criminal. Nothing seems to add up, though, and Hayes finds himself hurtling headlong down a decades-old path of deadly secrets.

Welsh-Huggins relies heavily on coincidence in this series. By the end of each book, almost every element and plot twist ties neatly, perhaps too neatly, into the conclusion. In the early books, this bothered me. I have since decided that Hayes has the mutant ability to bring connections together when no one else even sees them. Let us face it. We couldn’t write super-hero comics without the use of coincidence. I’m okay with that.

For me, the biggest attraction to the series is Andy “Woody” Hayes. He’s a former star and now disgraced football player. His private detective business is always on the brink of financial doom as he
deals with two ex-wives, two sons (one from each) and a rocky love life. He’s very relatable, especially when he names Milton Caniff as his favorite artist.

The series is set in and around Columbus, Ohio, yet another draw for me. I’m a voracious reader of crime, mystery and police novels set in my home state. It helps that Welsh-Huggins is a reporter for the Associated Press in Columbus. He gets the little things right, which helps me accept the coincidences easier.

An Empty Grave is the seventh book in the Andy Hayes series. When I finish one, I look forward to the next. Are these books classics? No, but they are entertaining. As I’ve taken to reading them in one night, I can attest they’re a pleasant way to pass an evening and recommend you give them a try.

ISBN 978-0-8040-1232-4

                                                                           



Before I get to my review of the latest young adult graphic novel from Zuiker Press founders Michelle and Anthony E. Zuiker, I want to nominate them for the Eisner Awards’ Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award. They produce graphic novels that fearlessly discuss issues vital to young people: divorce, racism, cyberbullying, body image, autism, suicide, transitioning and more. The books deserve a place in every public and school library in the country.

One Shot: A Story of Bullying [$12.99] was released in late June of this year. It’s a graphic novel by Alex Bruorton, who was born with  a disfiguring disease and was bullied by kids and adults, even some of his teachers. In the graphic novel, written by Anthony Zuiker with art, colors and lettering by Fantoons Animation Studios, Alex talks about his life, pain, loneliness and courage in standing up to all those bullies, young and old, and, in doing so, finding joy in his life. He is one very cool kid.

These graphic novels are consistently overlooked by comics awards that should be celebrating them. I request the judges and voters of those awards give these books consideration. I haven’t read one yet that deserve to be nominated.

ISBN 978-1-947378-30-8

That’s all for today’s bloggy thing. I’d appreciate it if readers would leave comments on this and other posts. While all posts have to be approved before they appear, I do try to approve them as soon as possible. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2021 Tony Isabella





Tuesday, October 5, 2021

THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY IN SEPTEMBER

 

 

September sucked. That’s the most succinct way I can describe one of the worst months I’ve had since I started writing these monthly affirmations that, even in the worst of times, there is a whole lot of happy to be had.

September had me on the ropes from day one. I’m not going to give you a blow-by-blow game summary, save to say I experienced world-class depressions and disappointments. I even lacked the positive energy to post something that made me happy every day, which is the whole point of that exercise. I threw in the towel and that is why, this time around, I will not be listing a full complement of things that made me happy in September.

I’m pleased to report that, while I have certainly faced emotional and physical challenges in October, I’m in a much better place than I was. That said, here is my truncated list of the stuff that brought me joy in September...

September 1: Nice to start a month off with the great fun that is Elvira Meets Vincent Price #1 by writer David Avallone and artist Juan Samu. It’s exciting and hilarious.

                                                                     



September 2: The Tenacious Unicorn Ranch. As seen on the September 1, 2021 episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, it’s a queer and transgender community and working ranch in Custer County, Colorado. I want to visit.

September 3: The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home Part 1 by Konami Kanata. I’m in love with this cat-centric manga. It’s adorable and funny. I wish I could read it to my cat Simba during the two hours a day when she’s not napping.

September 4: Super-Hero Day at my mother’s senior assisted living facility. The residents were asked to salute their favorite heroes. My mom had a copy of Black Lightning attached to her walker. She knows how to represent.

September 5: My Facebook friends come through for me. When I asked for Black Lightning music videos, they sent me links to same...and Renee Grant Patrick created three new videos. Now all I need is a Black Lightning “Shut Up and Dance” video.

September 6: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Great story and performances. Incredible action sequences and so much powerful human emotion. Can’t wait to see more of these characters. No one does super-hero movies better than Marvel.

                                                                  



September 7: More Chinese monster movies with English subtitles are showing up on YouTube. I have recently enjoyed Big Octopus, King of Snake and Crazy Tsunami. I think dubbed versions would be a hit on the Syfy channel or various streaming services.

September 8: Cash Jordan. This real estate guy’s YouTube videos on New York City apartments have been fun. The only downside is that, sometimes, they make me think about moving back there. Which would be a truly horrible mistake.

September 9: Only Murders in the Building. One episode in and I’m hooked. Kudos to Steve Martin, Martin Short and the amazing Selena Gomez. Saintly Wife Barb will be binge-watching this.

September 10: The Complete Kirby War & Romance Omnibus. I’m a few hundred pages into this terrific collection. Marvel does books like this right and I look forward to what the company will be bringing us in the months and years to come.

September 11: Trots and Bonnie by Shary Flenniken. I was and remain a big fan of this cartoonist and am enjoying the collection of the title strip. Some of the cartoons make me uncomfortable now - age will do that - but it’s still an amazing volume.

                                                                               




September 12: Q Force on Netflix. Gay superspy. His scrappy LGBTQ squad. Fighting for all of us. I’ve watched one episode and will be watching more. Is this part of the gay agenda?

September 13: Stormwatch Comics of West Berlin, New Jersey, sent me a huge stack of Free Comic Book Day issues. I’ll start reading and writing about them next month.

September 14: Miskatonic by Mark Sable and Giorgio Pontrelli. It’s a honestly chilling graphic novel of an FBI agent and a detective investigating bombings in a world of Lovecraftian horror. With an ending that downright haunts me.

September 15: Captain Carter is the newest addition to my expanding Funko Pop! collection. As I’ve said, I love the character and the look. Give her an ongoing comic-book series with Chris Claremont as its writer.

                                                                                



September 16: Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier, Val Wise and Oscar O. Jupiter is my feel-good book of the month. It’s a heartwarming story of friendship, love and struggle with a final scene that brought a happy year to my eye.

September 17: Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero by E. Lockhart with Manuel Preitano is a deliciously meaty introduction to a terrific  character and her world. DC’s graphic novels for young adults are more entertaining and thoughtful than its monthly fare.

September 18: My comics industry career is full of ups and too many downs. But, when I order a couple of pizzas and the person taking the call tells me he’s a big fan of mine, I have to admit there are times when it’s cool to be me.

This is where I ran out of energy, though I wrote two more entries that I never posted on Facebook or Twitter.

September 22: With guests Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for 9-21-21 was a brilliant, insightful, darkly hilarious examination of the criminal actions of the former president at the end of his administration.

September 23: Singer/songwriter Jason Isbell was terrific on the 9-23-21 episode of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He was funny and thoughtful. Great entertainer. Great man.

October is shaping up to be a better and more productive month for me. I’ve been approached to do an on-camera interview for a comics-related documentary. My last Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale
of 2021 will be held on October 15-16, and is already promising to be a great way to close out the season. I’ll be part of the Bard’s Tower author contingent for Fanboy Expo Knoxville on October 28-30. All that and more!

Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2021 Tony Isabella





Wednesday, September 29, 2021

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY: Part Ten


Welcome to the final installment of my 2020's Free Comic Book Day reviews. My pals at Stormwatch Comics in West Berlin, New Jersey send me these FCBD comics so I can read and write about them in the bloggy thing. This is the third time I’ve actually reached my goal of reading and writing about all the FCBD comics from a given year. Yes, it’s true that Free Comic Book Day 2021 happened a month or so ago, but I’m still gonna take this victory lap.

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.

Usagi Yojimbo (currently published by IDW) is one of the greatest comics series of all time. For over 35 years, creator Stan Sakai has written and drawn the adventures of this masterless samurai in Feudal Japan. This FCBD special presents a 19-page excerpt from the upcoming Chibi Usagi: Attack of the Heebie-Chibis by Julie Sakai and Stan Sakai. There’s also a short essay on the creatures known as Tengu and an interview with Stan Sakai.

QUALITY: “Attack of the Teenie Titans” is a terrific story filled with action, chills and humor. It delivers a satisfying ending to that unusual story.

ACCESSIBILITY: Everything a reader needs to know to enjoy this tale is included in a quick series summary on the inside front cover and the story itself.

SALESMANSHIP: There are ads for Usagi Yojimbo and several other IDW publications.

SCORE: Ten points out of a possible ten points. You can never ever go wrong buying a Usagi Yojimbo book, comic book or graphic novel.

                                                                        



We Are Humanoids featuring the Incal [Humanoids) presents an 8-page summery of John DiFool’s adventures and misadventures by Mark Waid and Stephane Roux. Created by Aleandro Jodorowsky and Moebius, some  consider the strip a sci-fi masterpiece.

This FCBD issue also includes previews of Count, Swine and Life Drawn. Count is a new take on The Count of Monte Cristo. Swine is about “darkly comic pigs.” Life Drawn is the brand name for slice-of-life graphic novels; this excerpt tells of a young musician whose life is changed when she first sees Prince on stage. A number of short prose articles offer background material on these graphic novels.

QUALITY: So-so. The Incal summary is just that, a summary with no weight beyond that. Count, Swine and Life Drawn: Mpls Sound got my attention much better.

ACCESSIBILITY: Good. There was enough background in each excerpt to give me a door into the GNs and whether or not I might enjoy them.

SALESMANSHIP: Excellent. Lots of ads for Humanoid products. Lots of information on those products.

SCORE: Seven points out of a possible ten points.

                                                                           



Svetlana Chmakova’s The Weird Books [Yen Press} presents the first thirty pages of the creator’s graphic novels about a strange town populated by supernatural creatures of varying types.

QUALITY: This long excerpt was delightful. The characters are fun. The setting is intriguing. The writing and art are first-rate. The large lettering is a little distracting, but I have a hunch it was sized to fit existing art.

ACCESSIBILITY: This FCBD issue has everything you need to know to get into the series.

SALESMANSHIP: Very good. While the focus of this issue is on this specific title, some additional titles by Chmakova are promoted on the back cover.

SCORE: Ten points out of a possible ten points.

                                                                                        



 

X-Men/Dark Ages [Marvel] features 10 pages of the former by writers Jonathan Hickman and Tini Howard with artist Pepe Larraz...and 10 pages of Dark Ages by writer Tom Taylor with artist Iban Coello. As Free Comic Book Day comics go, it cost too much.

QUALITY: By Odin’s beard, this was a terrible comic book. The X-Men story is a confusing mess of inaccessible material which consists mostly of a character reading/interpreting tarot cards. The Dark Ages pages kick off yet another “let’s show how much we hate these classic characters by doing horrible things to them” event. Which includes Tony Stark telling Pepper Potts to use an elevator during an earthquake just before he gets his foot sliced off. Geez, what kind of Marvel fan enjoys this sadistic crap?

ACCESSIBILITY: Practically zero.

SALESMANSHIP: Good with several ads for various Marvel publications and a notice of a live television auction of memorability from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The auction was scheduled for June 2020. Does anyone know if it actually took place?

SCORE: Three points out of a possible ten points.

                                                                                 



Zoo Patrol Squad: Kingdom Caper [Penguin Workshop] is my final 2020 Free Comic Book Day review. The issue features a 15-page preview of the title graphic novel, some related features and a great many ads for other Penguin Workshop publications.

QUALITY: Very Good. The premise - a combination zoo and habitat for sentient animals - is charming and interesting. The writing and art are first-rate. The lead characters - Fennlock Fox, who pretends to be an adventurer and his eager acolyte Penny the Pig - are filled with potential for exciting and humorous stories.

ACCESSIBILITY: Good. The excerpt does an excellent job introducing the premise, setting and characters.

SALESMANSHIP: Excellent. Lots of house ads pitching lots of other graphic novels from this publisher.

SCORE: Nine points out of a possible ten points.

It took me longer than I’d hoped, but this marks the third time I have managed to read and write about all of the Free Comic Book Day releases for a given year. I have a huge stack of 2021 offerings waiting for me to read and review them. Can I make it four times? I guess we’ll see.

Thanks for visiting. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2021 Tony Isabella

Monday, September 27, 2021

DEAR MAYIM BIALIK

 

Dear Ms. Bialik,

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of yours, but I loved you as Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory. Like every other character in the show, you were a delightful hot mess. You were downright hug-able.

Then there’s Jeopardy. I was skeptical about your hosting this most favorite game show, but you have acquitted yourself well. With the exit of the odious Mike Richards, you have said you would love to become the permanent host of the show. I’m not entirely against the idea, but...

Hosting Jeopardy is more than just being a good host on the show. I look at Jeopardy as a sacred thing. In a world where bad people spread alternate histories and bold-faced lies, Jeopardy is really all about the truth. With every answer/question posed, it is a show that proclaims facts matter. It is a venue in which facts outweigh opinions.

Facts matter. That’s the message of Jeopardy and that’s something I expect those associated with Jeopardy to follow even when not on camera. Which is why I have a problem with you becoming the permanent host...or even guest hosting the show.

You have not sufficiently recanted your anti-vaccination screeds of the past. You boast of being a scientist, but you turned your back on science. And not just on vaccines.

You’re the spritely saleswoman for a “memory-enhancing” concoction of dubious medical value. That doesn’t quite put you in same bad place as oily-like-a-snake Mehmet Oz, but it’s a very uncomfortable position for you to be in if you want to live up to the high ideals of Jeopardy.

And there’s those incredibly hurtful comments you made about women being victimized by serial sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein. If you’ve forgotten them, go to Google. You’ll find them.

Honestly, any of those three situations should disqualify you from hosting Jeopardy. Still, I have come to enjoy your perky approach to the job. I’ve thought about what you could do for me to withdraw my objections to you as permanent or guest host. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

You need to unequivocally apologize for those comments you made in the matter of Weinstein and other serial sexual predators. Make no excuses. You were wrong. You must own that. Then, you must use your celebrity to educate people about these serious crimes. You must do what you can to help the victims of these predators. You must put in the time and the work.

You must stop shilling for dubious memory-enhancing drugs. That is never going to be acceptable for the host of Jeopardy.

You must stop trying to cloud your anti-vaccine past. You need to admit that past and renounce it. You must work to build confidence in the vaccines that have saved countless lives and remain our best hope for dealing with the current deadly pandemic.

I’m asking a lot of you. It won’t be easy. But, despite my harsh, even unkind, comments, I truly am in your corner. I want you to live up to the example of Alex Trebek. I want you to shine as Jeopardy’s permanent host. I want to spend quality time with you every Monday through Friday.

And, at least once, you should wear a tiara on the show. Don’t make any mention of it. Just wear it. It’s a good look for you.

Your friend,

Tony Isabella

© 2021 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

VAST ACCUMULATION OF STUFF GARAGE SALES

My final VAST ACCUMULATION OF STUFF GARAGE SALES of 2021 have been pushed back to Friday, October 15 and Saturday, October 16. Two reasons...

First, I've had some minor medical issues and am erring on the side of caution.

Second, I want to make these sales as spectacular as possible. I don't just want to fill all the tables with great items. I want to have more items ready to go as space clears in the boxes and on the tables.

More details will follow.

 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

VAST ACCUMULATION OF STUFF GARAGE SALE (September 17-18)

 

 

It may not look like it from our opening photo, but this weekend’s Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales are shaping up nicely. I’m pricing lots of comic books, magazines, hardcovers, manga volumes,  trade paperbacks and various collectibles that will be added to the displays you see in the photos.

Other things to know:

These are my penultimate garage sales of 2021. They’ll be Friday, and Saturday, September 17-18, at 840 Damon Drive, Medina, OH. Sale hours are 9 am to noon each day. If you can’t attending during the official hours, you can email me to set up appointments for later on those days and on Sunday, September 19.

The mystery boxes and the quarter boxes are back. I’ve put together four mystery boxes so far and will double that number before I open the garage door on Friday. I might even have the first-ever “adults only” mystery box containing cool comics and publications that are suitable for older customers.

The quarter boxes? Thanks to a generous customer who was cleaning out some extras from his collection, we currently have two boxes of Malibu and Valiant comic books with some major comics creators in those issues. No guarantees, but I may be able to add a third box to this mix.

I’ve reduced the prices on some choice books and collectibles for these final garage sales of the year. If something seems a little too expensive for you on your previous visits to my garage sales, take another look at them this time around.

Want a free poster or print? Every customer who buys anything from the garage sale will be entitled to a FREE poster of print of such Isabella-created or written characters as Black Lightning, Hawkman, Misty Knight and Tigra and Luke Cage. One to a customer while the supply lasts.

As always, I will sign any Isabella stuff that you buy from me for free. I’ll also sign any Isabella stuff that you bring to the sales for me. However, since I normally charge $5 per signature, I hope the folks walking in with items for me to sign will do shopping at the sales as well.

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

© 2021 Tony Isabella

Friday, September 10, 2021

THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY IN AUGUST

 

 

August was yet another month that flew by so quickly I scarcely had time to think about it. There is so much insanity in the world of 2021 I feel I’m always in a heightened state of anxiety. However, before we get to the things that made me happy in August, I want to tell you about what happened on August 31.

That morning, I went out to get the morning newspapers just as the morning was beginning to make itself known. As I walked down our driveway to the mailbox, I was startled to see a deer standing in our back lawn not ten feet away from me. Behind her were two young deer, likely her children.

The deer seemed a little skittish with one leg shaky like she was getting ready to bolt. This was far from my first close encounter with this deer family, so I continued to walk towards the mail box while speaking softly to the deer.

When I walked back with the newspaper, I continued to speak to the deer. Her leg was no longer shaking in anticipation of fleeing from the human. She just looked at me. Her kids did the same.

Though my wife doesn’t love having deer in our yard as much as I do on account of them eating the flower buffets she plants for them, this city boy really likes seeing friendly wildlife hanging out on our property. Not all wildlife. Not remotely a fan of the coyote-wolf hybrids that have been reported all over Medina. But deer and squirrels and such? I’m good with them.

I have not mentioned Canadian geese because they are obscene vermin from Hell who block traffic and poop all over the place. They are the Republicans of the animal kingdom.

That evening, Saintly Wife Barb and I went to our favorite Mexican restaurant - Los Cantaritos Mexican Grille - for dinner. We pulled into our driveway and the same mother and two kids were once again in our back yard. Barb was a little freaked out, but I thought it was cool they were back.

This time, the mother didn’t even seem the least bit anxious. It’s as if she decided we were good neighbors and no threat to her and hers. Good humans.

I mention these experiences because they represent rare moments of peace in a world gone mad. Those moments give me a needed breather from the madness of the human world. I cherish them.

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

August 1: Revival by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton. Over the past two months, I read the entire series via the four deluxe editions. It was a ride well worth taking.

August 2: NEO Comicon 2021 was a blast! Great guests and vendors in a very pleasant venue. I reconnected with friends I hadn’t seen in way too long and made new friends. Plus: I 100% rocked my Alligator Loki polo shirt. I’m available for fashion shoots.

August 3: One of my dearest friends called to share some excellent news with me. It’s not my news to post, but I couldn’t be happier for her. Sending much love her way.

August 4: Kathy #11. I didn’t have much time to shop the vendors at NEO Comicon, but one of my pals had this for sale at an incredibly reasonable price. I collect this series by my late friends Stan Lee and Stan Goldberg.

August 5: The “Creative Geniuses” episode of Teen Titans Go! was  was hilarious with guest appearances by Marv Wolfman, George Perez and the voice actors. Marv and George should do cameos in all DC Comics productions.

                                                                               


                                                                    

August 6: Black Widow. The latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of its best movies. Scarlett Johansson and the cast are terrific. The story carries real emotional weight. The action is thrilling. Highly recommended.

August 7: Being the pastor of The First Church of Godzilla, I have faith that all will be as the Great Scaly One has planned. Because of that, I have booked my hotel and bought my membership for G-FEST XXVII, July 15-17, 2022. See you there!

August 8: I viewed Gunpowder Milkshake on Netflix and loved it a lot. Watching strong beautiful women slaughter dozens upon dozens of bad guys is my way of getting in touch with my feminine side.

August 9: The Suicide Squad. Action, comedy, great characters and great performances. One of the best DC movies. I’d love to write a King Shark comic book. Name another comic-book writer who has seen as many shark movies as I have.

August 10: Cheap Old Houses. Elizabeth and Ethan Finklestein have turned their social media into a HGTV series. Historic houses that  can be bought cheaply. Detectives of architecture, they uncover all sorts of cool surprises in their travels.

                                                                           


                                                                      

August 11: Stargirl is back! Every act of the second season’s first episode had surprises, many of them alarming. No one was having a good day, except for maybe the unseen Solomon Grundy. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

August 12: I’ve gotten back into the habit of taping The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to watch in the morning. He really is one of our best commentators. All his show is missing is an appearance by me and a comic-book trivia face-off.

August 13: Captain Carter. The premiere episode of Marvel’s What If turned Peggy Carter into a super-hero. I love the character and the look. This needs to be a comic-book series. I think Chris Claremont would be perfect as its writer.

August 14: Free Comic Book Day 2021 at The Toys Time Forgot, Canal Fulton, Ohio. Nice weather, good sales, lots of happy fans, seeing old friends, meeting new friends. There’s a reason this is such a special comics holiday.

August 15: Comics Ad Men by Steven Brower. Published in late 2019, this fascinating book looks at the relationship between comics and modern American advertising while including hundreds of examples of ads by cartoonists. A wonderful slice of comics history.

                                                                               



August 16: Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s “The Good Ones” juggled conscience and comedy in a biting commentary on police violence and the lack of consequences for the same.

August 17: Jeopardy is showing classic episodes starring the great Alex Trebek and fun guest stars like the Muppets. I hope this is a humbling experience for his replacement hosts. Not that anyone can ever replace him.

August 18: “What If...T'Challa Became a Star-Lord?” is another fine episode of the Marvel Studios animated series. Hearing the voice of Chadwick Boseman made me happy and sad in equal measures. Overall, big fun with action, humor and surprises.

August 19: I’m not a fan of Frontier Airlines, but, on my flights this weekend, there was enough room for my briefcase under the aisle seat in front of me. Why other airlines allot less space to underneath their aisle seats makes no sense to me.

                                                                           


                                                       

August 20: Fanboy Expo Orlando. I enjoyed my weekend at this event. My thanks to the convention and Alexi Vandenberg’s Bard’s Tower for inviting me and taking great care of me while I was in the land of the evil DeSantis.
                                   
August 21: Kudos to the volunteers at Fanboy Expo Orlando. A great bunch of people who kept things running smoothly. My special thanks to Jonathan Anderson, a fine young man who assisted me at my table the entire weekend.

August 22: The fans, guests and vendors at Fanboy Expo Orlando were terrific. I especially appreciated the fans who told me how much my work has meant to them. I wish the comics industry itself held me in such regard.

August 23: Fanboy Expo Orlando was also very creatively productive for me. I wrote several Last Kiss gags and rough-drafts for another several.

                                                                                     



August 24: American Cult. Editor Robyn Chapman’s intriguing graphic history anthology of religious cults in America from the Colonies to today is a fascinating guidebook proving our country was crazy long before QAnon.

August 25: In its August 21 edition, The (Medina) Gazette published my letter recommending the reelection of sensational councilperson Jessica Hazeltine.

August 26: In the Medina Gazette’s annual Best of the Best Medina County Reader’s Choice competition, Sweets & Geeks was named “Best Specialty Shop. A great honor for a great store.

                                                                                      



August 27: The Marvel August 1961 Omnibus. Whoever came up with the idea of collecting all the publisher’s titles from the month of the Fantastic Four’s debut is a genius. As is whoever included two more issues from September 1961 so we get the full picture of the start of a new era in comics.

August 28: Jurassic Shark 2: Aquapocalypse. A amusingly bad movie which inspires study of how cheaply a movie can be made. But it did have one element I found refreshing.

August 29: Snake Girl. A giant snake. A girl. A scientist who loves the girl. This riveting Chinese monster movie has terrific acting,solid CGI effects and more. I watched it with English subtitles and enjoyed it. Seek it out on YouTube.

August 30: Absolutely Anything. This 2015 movie had me at “starring Simon Pegg.” An ordinary bloke is given godlike powers by aliens as a test to decide Earth’s fate. Absurd comedy and a wonderful cast. You can see it on Amazon Prime.

August 31: Revisiting Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York wherein he photographed the citizens of New York and reminded me of some of the reasons I love the Big Apple. It’s a complicated relationship, but it still warms my heart.

That’s a wrap for today. I’m going to continue trying to get this bloggy thing of mine on a more frequent schedule. See you as soon as possible.

© 2021 Tony Isabella



Wednesday, September 8, 2021

GARAGE SALE UPDATES

I have changed the dates for my final garage sales of 2021 to Friday and Saturday, September 17 and 18, and Friday and Saturday, October 1 and 2. Hours will be 9 am to noon, longer if I still have customers coming in at noon.

The reason for the change in dates? I have uncovered a landfill of really cool things for these garage sales. I need the extra time to process them. I plan on preparing more items that will fit into the garage sales with the notion of constantly restocking them.

Keep watching this space for more details.



Wednesday, August 25, 2021

I HAVE FAILED MY GARAGE SALES AND OTHER UPDATES

 


I’m back from Fanboy Expo Orlando and getting into the great many things I’m determined to finish by the end of the month. But I also want to update you on some Tony stuff.

My next and final Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales will be held on Friday and Saturday, September 10 and 11, from 9 am to noon each day, and on Friday and Saturday, September 24 and 25, from 9 am to noon each day. I’m also going to offer appointments to shop at the garage sales after Friday, September 10's hours and through the end of September.

Honestly, I feel I’ve let my customers down this summer. I wanted to do nigh-weekly sales and uncover thousands of cool items to put into those sales. Unfortunately, life with all its challenges got in the way of my ambitions.

With the help of family member and some others, I hope to begin my preparations for my 2022 garage sales almost as soon as this year’s sales end. The plan is to have a great opening day with many boxes of items waiting in the wings for restocking.

In the meantime, to make up for the many cancelled garage sales of 2021, I’ll be giving away free Isabella-related signed posters with every purchase for as long as my supply lasts. One per customer per day. These are prints and posters I’ve been selling for $5 and $10 apiece. Get them while the getting Is good.

I’ll have more garage sales updates in the near future.


******************************  

I failed in my attempt to read and review all of last year’s Free Comic Book Day comic books. However, as I only have five issues to go, I’m gonna go ahead and complete that series of bloggy things. Albeit probably not before my pals at Stormwatch Comics send me all the 2021 FCBD items. Which, in my infinite ambition, I hope to read and review before the 2022 FCBD comics are released.


******************************

I have two remaining convention appearances in 2021, though I’m not adverse to adding additional events in October, November and even December. Here is what is already on the schedule:

Fanboy Expo Knoxville: October 29-31

Akron Comiccon: November 6-7

In 2022, I’ll be launching my Golden Adversary Tour celebrating the ups and down of my half-century working in the comic book industry. The Tour starts at Pensacon 2022 in February of that year and will conclude at Pensacon 2023 in February of that year. In between, I’m hoping to do at least one convention a month.

I’d love to do events in major cities, especially those I have not appeared in recently or ever. I am waving my appearance fee for all conventions between February 2022 and February 2023. Which doesn’t mean the promoters won’t have to pay basic expenses. These include transportation, hotel and a per diem for meals.

If I’m flying to an event, I need two airfares with an aisle seat for me and with that seating being as near the front of the plane as possible. I’d really love first-class seating because I’m going to be 70 come December and because I’m a nervous flyer in the best of circumstances. The promoters will also have to pay for at least one piece of checked luggage for both me and my companion.

If I’m driving to an event, promoters will need to cover mileage. That’s usually fifty cents a mile each way. I’m not an inexpensive guest, but I do give great convention.

I’m looking into offering some sort of special print or other item for each convention on the Tour. These will be produced in limited number and will only be available at the conventions on the Tour. Some of the prints will be new images and others will be covers of things I have written.

I’d love to work with conventions in producing these items, which could include caps and t-shirts and other things. I’d also like to see the proceeds from these items go to worthy charities the events support. Now that I think about it, if publishers and other groups want to produce items for the Tour, I’d be happy to work with them as well.

If you’re a promoter who would like to be part of the Tour, or one of the afore-mentioned publishers and other groups, the best way to get things rolling is to e-mail me. I will respond to any inquires as swiftly as possible.

Although I won’t be listing my 2022 appearance schedule for a bit, I have agreed to do a number of shows next year. Two of those are in Texas, but I’ve been unable to get hold of the promoter to work out the details. If you’re that promoter, please contact me as soon as possible so that I can lock in those dates. Also, if you’re that promoter, you will not be charged the appearance fee you agreed to pay me. What a deal!

One more note. There’s a convention promoter who brought me to his show year after year. I liked the show a lot, praising it whenever I wrote about it. Then, in 2019, he declined to NOT invite me because it was an election year and because I was a meanie to Republicans online. Freedom of speech does not shield one from the consequences of that freedom, but the promoter had no problem hosting such toxic guests as Dean Cain and Kevin Sorbo. His call.

If that promoter wants to be part of my Golden Anniversary Tour, I would certainly consider attending his event. However, besides all the requirements listed above, he will have to pay the equivalent of my appearance fee to a charity of my choosing. Relax, it won’t be Americans who Want Republicans to be Considered Terrorists. It will be the Hero Initiative.

The promoter has the absolute freedom to invite or not invite anyone he wants to his convention. However, as with free speech, he is not immune to the consequences of his decisions.

More on the Tour in the weeks to come.

******************************

While I’m fulfilling work commitments, I’m also thinking ahead to what my next projects will be and how best to do them and bring them to the public. I’m not adverse to working with existing publishers in the least, if I find the terms and working conditions satisfactory. However, if you’re a publisher whose business plan is to expect the creator to pay for the complete product, demand 50% of the editorial control and 50% of all related rights and, expect me to turn over movie and television rights to  your own agent, I’m not interested. If a publishing partner brings something to the table, I’ll be happy to let them have a nice piece of the action. But putting my creations completely in the hands of another party really hasn’t worked out for me in most ways.

What do I like in paying gigs? Editors who want to help me tell my stories better and not be a typist for their own stories. Working conditions as free from drama as possible. Assignments that are fun and/or challenging. Agreements in writing. Good communication. Payment on completion of the assignment. Copies of my work. Royalties on sales and for reprints of my work, as well as a piece of the action when my work is adapted into other media or merchandise.

Example, if someone asks me to write a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story or series and I use only existing characters, I’d expect to be further compensated if my stories are made into an animated or live action movie or TV show. But I would not expect a cut of any action figures and such. If I created any new characters, I would expect a cut of action figure sales and such.

If you want to work with me, e-mail me with as much detail as you can offer. We can talk. If you can’t meet my needs, it’s no harm, no fault. I won’t hold it against you unless, you know, you’re real insulting about it. We’re all friends here, right?

There are probably other updates I could mention, but this bloggy is already fairly long. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2021 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

BAD FUNK

 
I have a lot of thinking to do as I work my way out of the funk I'm in. I'm taking the rest of today off. Tomorrow, I'll be dealing with everything that needs to be done before I leave for Fanboy Expo Orlando.

When I return from Orlando, I'm going to concentrate on finishing two projects I should have already completed. That will take me to the end of the month.
 
Somewhere during those days, I'll post a "State of the Tony" bloggy thing. Just to let my people know where my head is at and what I am hoping to do in the months to come.
 
I've not been able to get a grip on my garage sales. They're good, very good, but they are not great. I am only going to be doing two more of them this year: September 10-11 and September 24-25. In 2022, I'm shooting for great every time out.
 
September will be the month when I decide what projects I most want to do and work on them. If you are looking to hire me for a paying gig, that's when you should make your move.
 
Requests for convention appearances, interviews and podcasts should be sent to me at tonyisa at ohio dot net. I won't schedule any convention appearances before February 2022...unless you literally make me an offer too good to turn down. Interviews and podcast will be scheduled for October.
 
For all the things I love about comics and even the comics industry, I'm sick of comics industry bullshit. I'm sick of seeing talented folks treated badly or ignored. I'm sick of the bigotry against creators of color, creators from the LGBTQ+ communities. I sick of the ageism. I'm sick of creators not being fairly compensated for the billions publishers have accrued through the hard work of those creators. 
 
I'll have more to say in the weeks to come.

Monday, August 16, 2021

FANBOY EXPO ORLANDO (August 20-22)


On the road again. I’ll be appearing at Fanboy Expo Orlando, August 20-22, at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive. This is courtesy of my friend of decades Alexi Vanderberg’s Bard’s Tower in coordination with the convention itself. I attended a Fanboy event in Knoxville, Tennessee a few years back and had a terrific time. I’m looking forward to this event.

The convention’s hours are

FRIDAY, August 20, 2021
EVENT HOURS: 4pm – 9pm

SATURDAY, August 21, 2021
EVENT HOURS: 10am – 8pm

SUNDAY, August 22, 2021
EVENT HOURS: 10am – 6pm

You can find the celebrity guest list and the comics creators guest list at the Fanboy Expo website. You will also find information on tickets, photo ops, fan packages, dealers and location there. I’ll talk about the guests in a bit.

For the first time, I will be meeting and greeting fans and signing their books and comics at the Bard’s Tower booth. You will also be able to buy a nice selection of Isabella-written stuff. Which, if you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend you do so now. DC Comics is letting all of my Black Lightning trades go out of print. They won’t be as readily available as they have been in the past.
Which is a damn shame.

Three other authors will be at the Bard’s Tower with me: Jodi Lynn Nye, Dan Wells and Brian D Anderson. Nye is a New York Times best-selling writer, author/co-author of approximately forty published novels and more than 100 short stories. Her humorous series range from contemporary fantasy to military science fiction. Nye began collaborating with Robert Lynn Asprin on the MythAdventures series in 2003. Since Asprin's death in 2008, she has continued the series and is also writing sequels to his Dragons, or Griffen McCandles, contemporary fantasy series.

Wells is best known for his John Cleaver series (including I Am Not A Serial Killer), his Mirador series and his NY Times bestselling Partials Sequence. His first published novel, I Am Not a Serial Killer, became a major motion picture in 2016.

Anderson is best known for his The Godling Chronicles, Dragonvein, and, with co-author Steven Savile, the Akiri series. His books have sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide and his audiobooks are perennially popular. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of my fellow Tower dwellers.

At this time, I know of one panel I’ll be appearing on at the show, assuming that a panel with the title “Tony Isabella” will feature me. It happens on Sunday, August 22, 12:15 pm - 1:05 pm in Panel Room 2. It looks like Panel Room 1 is empty at that time. So you might as well take a load off and come to my panel. I do my best to keep loud noises to a minimum so you can nap.

If you want to discuss business with me or interview me during the convention, it’s best to contact me before I leave for the event on Thursday. E-mail me and I’ll send you my cell phone number to make communication easier. On a similar note, you’re better off texting me instead of calling me because it’s hard for me to hear you when I’m on the convention floor.

Let’s talk about the other Fanboy Expo guests. The comics guests: Peter David, Guest of Honor Dave Dorman, Nik Ranieri, Tom Nguyen, Keith Champagne, Michael Duron, Frank Fosco, Tim Jacobus, Anthony Hary and Lisa Kulick.

The celebrity guests: Ashley Eckstein, Matt Lanter, Barry Boswick, Catherine Bach, Lee Arenberg, Kevin McNally, Tom Berenger, Donnie Dunagan, Peter Behn, Bret Iwan, Jim Cummings, Margaret Kerry, Jess Harnell, Blayne Weaver, Carlos Faro and some wrestlers.

There’ll be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cast reunion celebrating the 1987 classic TV series. Guests include Rob Paulsen (Raphael also Yakko Warner & Pinky), Townsend Coleman (Michelangelo), Barry Gordon (Donatello & Bebop), Cam Clarke (Leonardo & Rocksteady) and Renee Jacobs (April O’Neil).  
There will also be a very special Chips! cast reunion with guests will be Erik Estrada (Officer Frank Poncherello) and Larry Wilcox (Officer Jon Baker). I’ll be the only guy asking the talented Mr. Estrada about his roles in Chupacabra vs. the Alamo and King Cobra. Because that’s just who I am.

Now for the disease-ridden elephant in the room.

Florida. It’s arguably one of the dumbest and most insane states in the union, competing for the top “honors” with Texas. Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is playing to his extreme far-right basis by  attacking and legislating against every reasonable precaution that cities and schools and such can take to minimize the spread of the Covid-19 virus and its even worse Delta Variant. He cares not that cases, hospitalizations and deaths are spiking to levels equivalent to the state’s worst numbers...with a rising number of those being children. It’s a scary time to be in Florida.

Why am I going there? Because I agreed to attend when I foolishly believed we had turned a positive corner on Covid. I should have realized Republicans would turn masks and vaccines into a goddamn political culture war. Because that’s who they are.

I’m not going to disappoint the fans who are expecting to see me at Fanboy Expo Orlando. I’m not going to disappoint the promoters who are bringing me to the show. Because that’s also who I am.

Most likely, I’ll be wearing a mask except for when I’m posing for  pictures and for when I’m on my panel. When I get the feeling of the convention, I may opt to remove the mask when I’m at the Bard’s Tower booth chatting with fans and signing their books. I’m fully vaccinated and in good health for a man of my age. I’m good about social distancing and washing my hands. I’m taking a risk, but it’s what I feel is a reasonable risk. However, since wearing a mask is not just about protecting me, I do expect I’ll be wearing one most of the time.

What I definitely want to impart to you is that I very much want to be at this convention. I want to see old friends and make new ones. I want to do my part to make the convention enjoyable for the many fans who will be attending. I hope to see you there.

Blogging will be scarce through the end of August. But I will post new content as often as I can.

Be safe, be sane, be good to your fellow denizens of planet Earth and, for the sake of all that’s decent, do not vote for Republican candidates. They remain the greatest threat to American democracy and excellence. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2021 Tony Isabella

Sunday, August 15, 2021

TEN YEARS A BLOGGER

Historical note. On this date in 2011, TONY ISABELLA'S BLOGGY THING was launched. Well, that's ten years of my life I'll never get back. More to come.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2021


For Free Comic Book Day 2021, I will be returning to The Toys Time Forgot in Canal Fulton, Ohio. This is one of the great collectibles stores in the country, packed to its straining walls with all sorts of wondrous things. The above flier tells you just about everything you need to know about the event.

The Toys Time Forgot will have a box of various Isabella-written comic books for sale. I’m still deciding what else I’ll be bringing to the event. Options include the Isabella-exclusive reprint of the Misty Knight origin, prints of characters I’ve written and Comic-Con tote bags. If you plan to attend and there’s something specific you want me to bring, send me an e-mail and I’ll do my level best to accommodate you.

Normally I charge the modest fee of $5 per item for my signature. But this is Free Comic Book Day, our national holiday so to speak.To honor the occasion, I’ll sign any Isabella book, comic or other item for free. I do reserve the right to refuse to sign comic books and other things I don’t consider to be authentic or legitimate versions of Black Lightning.

Regular readers of this bloggy thing know I’ve been writing about the comic books published for Free Comic Book Day 2020. The final column for that year will appear tomorrow, marking only the third time I’ve managed to read and review all the FCBD releases for the year. Mission accomplished!

See you tomorrow. Stay safe, stay sane, be good to each other as we fight for a better progressive tomorrow.

© 2021 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY IN JULY

 

 

July flew by so quickly I never had time to reflect upon it. When I look through my journal, my days were mostly filled with tedious tasks that took me way too much time to complete and mind-numbing  terror at the world around me. A pandemic that isn’t near to being over. Criminal and criminally insane Republicans doing awful things  and trying to rewrite history we all saw with our own eyes. Climate catastrophes every week. Mass shootings. Police shootings. Topped off by a general lethargy I couldn’t shake.

I put on some successful garage sales. We had a pretty nice cookout on July 3, which is when Medina puts on a great fireworks show we can watch from our yard. We found a new favorite Mexican restaurant in Los Cantaritos Mexican Grille.

I did a Super Hero Day signing at Medina’s Sweets & Geeks, one of the coolest places in Medina. I binge-watched terrific TV series like Leverage Redemption, Resident Alien, DuckTales and a strange dating show called Sexy Beasts. I saw a lot of movies via various streaming services. Some were wonderful while others were, as they say, of questionable value.

One July day followed another and, all of a sudden, it was August. Looking back on the previous month, here are the things that made me happy in July...

July 1: My new favorite coffee cup, given to me on Father’s Day by Barb, Eddie and Kelly. I don’t drink coffee, but this cup can hold many tasty beverages. Some of them alcoholic in nature. Suggestions for drinking games are welcome.

July 2: The first day of my first Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale was amazing! I saw old friends, made some new ones and reached 107% of my two-day goal selling lots of wonderful things from the VAOS. Looking forward to tomorrow.

July 3: Saturday was another good day. My garage sale sales reached 146% of my goal for the weekend. That was followed by our annual July 3 Isabella cookout. Terrific food and good company, as well as fireworks we could see from our lawn.

July 4: The most dangerous dessert in the world is the Black Bottom Peanut Butter Pie at the Blue Heron Brewery in Medina, Ohio. It is my delicious, delicious kryptonite.

                                                                          



July 5: Werewolves Within. A clever horror comedy whodunit set in a secluded small town with terrific performances by Sam Richardson and Milana Vayntrub. It’s rated “R” for ridiculously entertaining.

July 6: The Tammy and Jinty Special 2020. I’m thoroughly enjoying Rebellion’s Treasury of British Comics with each book’s combination of classic reprints and new material. In this special, the Cat Girl revival is especially choice.

July 7: O. Henry is one of my favorite authors and inspirations, so I very much enjoyed Louis Menand’s article on him in The New Yorker for July 5, 2021.

July 8: My dinosaur double feature. When back pain necessitated my taking the evening off, I watched two new movies: Claw and Hatched. They weren’t great, but each had its moments. Ah, the healing power of cheesy monster movies.

                                                                            



July 9: Alligator Loki. I want an Alligator Loki plush toy. I want it right now.

July 10: The global interest in the super-hero genre. Last night, I watched and enjoyed How I Became a Super-Hero (France and Belgium) and Major Gorm: Plague Doctor (Russia). There’s many other such movies available on streaming services.

July 11: My son Ed bought a cool new truck. Now all he needs is a dog and a woman who done him wrong and we got ourselves a country music song!

July 12: The Misty Winter Special 2020. I usually take cover copy like “Two Chilling Tales to Make You Shiver!” with a grain of salt. This time, it’s accurate. Kudos to V.V. Glass, Anna Savory, Lizzie Boyle and David Roach for delivering the goods.  

                                                                             



July 13: I’m thoroughly enjoying The Pride Omnibus by Joe Glass and  Gavin Mitchell. Come for the important representation, stay for the absolutely solid super-hero adventure and drama. This should be a contender in next year’s comics awards.

July 14: I’m loving Leverage: Redemption, watching an episode per day. It feels like what it’s meant to be: a faithful continuation of the original season with most of the former cast members and a few welcome new ones.

July 15: Loki has been renewed for a second season, which suits me just fine. Six episodes weren’t near enough, especially given what happened in the season finale.

July 16: Ritchie Montgomery, earnest casino security guy Dennis in “The Rollin' on the River Job” episode of Leverage: Redemption. He should be a recurring character on the series. I know how to make that work. We’re going to steal...a scene.

July 17: Kudos to Leverage: Redemption for terrific guest stars. Such as Max Sheldon as a pharmaceutical bad boy, Joey Slotnick as a former co-work of the late Nathan Ford and Lawrence Kao as a bat-shit crazy insane software developer.   

                                                                          



July 18: Sweet Tooth. I’m enjoying the work of actors of Christian Convery as a half-human half-deer boy and Nonso Anozie as a dark traveler with a dark past. I never read the Jeff Lemire comic-book series, but plan to do so soon.

July 19: Love Me for Who I Am by Kata Konayama. I’ve just started reading this excellent manga about a non-binary high school working at a maid cafĂ©. The series does a sensitive job advocating for not assuming gender based on presentation.

                                                                                


      

July 20: Drawn to Greatness: Wayne Boring and the Early Superman Artists Who Followed Joe Shuster by Eddy Zeno with Mel Higgins is a fine addition to comics history and, sadly, without a publisher.
I’ll have more to say about it soon.

July 21: White Castle Slider is the latest addition to my growing collection of Funko Pop! figures. I like to be surrounded by things I love. It’s who I am.

July 22: The Secrets of Chocolate: A Gourmand’s Trip Through a Top Chef’s Atelier by Franckie Alarcon. I never knew how much I didn’t know about chocolate until I read this NBM Graphic Novel. The only downside: I want to eat all the chocolate.

July 23: The British comics digest Commando is celebrating its 60th anniversary with nine special issues. These include a reprinting of its first edition, an exclusive collection of cover art prints for subscribers, and more!

                                                                           



July 24: SurrealEstate. This SyFy channel series about real estate agents who specializing in selling haunted and otherwise unnerving properties has gotten off to a great start.

July 25: Silk Volume 0: The Life and Times of Cindy Moon by Robbie Thompson and various artists. From 2015, it’s a pretty decent intro to the popular character. I’ll continue reading Moon’s adventures in subsequent trade paperbacks.

                                                                                 



July 26: DuckTales: The Last Adventure! It has a goofy premise and so many characters, but it was the big and fun finale I had hoped for. Kudos to everyone who worked on this fantastic series. It was three seasons well spent!

July 27: Current Jeopardy champion Matt Amodio is the son of comics reader and occasional attorney to the Isabella family Jim Amodio. Smart runs in the Amodio family.

July 28: Sexy Beasts. This silly dating game show features men and women trying to make romantic connections while heavily made up as various creatures. Streaming on Netflex, I couldn’t resist watching all six episodes...and now I want more.

July 29: I mailed a copy of Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands to a friend in Moscow. She received it today. Will she love it or have I started a new cold war? I’m just jazzed I sent a book to Russia. Am I now on a watch list?

July 30: Reported a Facebook ad using a racist symbol (Chief Wahoo) and Facebook removing that ad. Heads up, bigots. It’s 2021 and that shit’s time is long past.

July 31: The weekend’s garage sales were fairly successful. I made 92% of my sales goal. As a bonus, it was wonderful seeing customers thrilled with their purchases.

August has seen me dealing with the same lethargy as July, but I’m fighting my way through it. I have two appearances coming up this month, starting with Free Comic Book Day at The Toys Time Forgot,
137 Cherry St E, Canal Fulton, Ohio.

I’ll be at Fanboy Expo Orlando on August 20-21. You’ll find me at The Bard’s Tower, a conclave of authors gathered together by long-time friend Alexi Vandenberg. The convention is being held at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive, 8001 International Dr, Orlando, Florida.

I’ll be writing more about Free Comic Book Day tomorrow and Friday, followed by a preview of Fanboy Expo Orlando. I have other bloggy things in the works as well.

Thanks for visiting today. I’ll be back soon.  

© 2021 Tony Isabella