We’re three months into 2021. Some things have gotten better. Other things have not gotten better and maybe even gotten worse. But we go on because...what other choice do we have?
I’m being a bit more productive these days, which has done quite a bit to lift my spirits. However, I still rely on finding at least one thing that brings me joy each and every day. I’m not a doctor. I don’t even play one on television. Even so, if you’ve having the bad days that so often come with living in this world, I prescribe your taking a few moments out of every day to think about all that brighten your lives. Think about them. Embrace them. Cherish them. They will help you get to tomorrow.
Here are the things that made me happy in March...
March 1: The Other History of the DC Universe #2. John Ridley has exceeded my high expectations again. Until this spotlight on former Teen Titans Mal Duncan and Karen Beecher, I was never interested in either character. Now I’d like to see more of them.
March 2: G-Fan #130, which came with a gorgeous 2021 calendar. So many great articles. I especially loved the one asking if Godzilla toys are art. This magazine is the print equivalent of an amazing Godzilla convention.
March 3: Tuesday’s Daily Show with Trevor Noah aired a wonderfully epic takedown of Republican scumbag Madison Cawthorn. I should not have been, but I was amazed even a GOPhole could be so awful on so many levels.
March 4: Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition by Julia Kaye. A comic strip collection documenting the early months of the creator’s gender transition. Funny, moving, real and relatable. I loved it and have ordered the follow-up volume.
March 5: None of my TV programs were preempted on March 4. All of the networks ignored the inauguration of Donald Trump as our 19th legitimate president. Freedom!
March 6: WandaVision’s finale delivered a satisfying conclusion to the series. My high regard for the title characters is even higher. Marvel Studios has again proved its superiority to most DC movies and shows. I look forward to what comes next.
March 7: Wheel of Fortune’s Pat Sajak and Vanna White have joined my growing collection of Funko figures...and our couch now has an incredibly cozy Wheel of Fortune blanket. I would buy a vowel, but I spent that money on these fun items.
March 8: Superman & Lois. The pilot episode wasn’t flawless - I’ll write more about it soon - but Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch are wonderful as the title characters. I look forward to catching up on the show.
March 9: Lisa Black’s Every Kind of Wicked, the newest Gardiner and Renner thriller, is the best book in the series about a vigilante cop and a forensic scientists. It’s a serious game-changer.
March 10: Black Knight #1. Even though I’d read all the stories in various reprints, I couldn’t resist buying this facsimile edition. Stan Lee went to town with the flowery language and Joe Maneely’s art is amazing. Well worth revisiting.
March 11: Marvel’s Luke Cage Epic Collection: Retribution reprints the first 23 issues of Luke’s adventures, including almost all of mine. It also has this disclaimer: These comics are presented as originally created. They contain outdated depictions.
March 12: Pulp by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. A decidedly grim but also somehow heroically hopeful, this graphic novel tale of an outlaw turned pulp writer was a book I couldn’t stop reading from start to finish.
March 13: Kathy by Stan Lee and Stan Goldberg. I collect this 1960s teen humor series by my favorite Stans. It ranks with the very best of the genre. It’s a delightful and unfortunately rare day when I can add an issue to my collection.
March 14: The Access Guide to the Black Comic Book Community 2020-2021. Publisher Dimitrios Fragiskatos, editor Joseph Illidge and designer George Carmona 3rd for this tremendous resource. I expect to put it to good and frequent use.
March 15: Seeing promo images of Little Golden Books about Marvel’s Shang-Chi and Peter Porker. Kids books featuring comics characters are not new, but it tickled me to see these formerly obscure heroes in this format.
March 16: Laura Kariuki was amazing in her Black Lightning debut. To come in and continue a leading role and do it so well right from the get-go is truly impressive.
March 17: Got my second Covid-19 vaccine this morning. No sore arm. A little drowsiness when I got home. Still awaiting development of new powers. Two weeks from now, I should be able to go out into the world again, spreading joy wherever I go..
March 18: A chocolate gift basket from a dear friend that arrived in the middle of a bleak day of vaccine side effects. I’m blessed to have so many good friends.
March 19: Dr. Strange, Surgeon Supreme by Mark Waid and Kev Walker.What an imaginative, human and fun take on a classic Marvel super-hero. Six issues wasn’t nearly enough. More please.
March 20: The Spectre has joined my growing Social Justice League of the World. He is a role model for my afterlife.
March 21: Kim’s Convenience. Thanks to my friend Martin Arlt for introducing me to this sitcom about a Korean Canadian family who run a convenience store in the Moss Park neighborhood of Toronto. It’s on Netflex and it’s brilliant.
March 22: This Hoan bagel guillotine is a recent addition to Casa Isabella’s kitchen technology. I love bagels (in moderation), but slicing them by hand was uncertain and possibly bloodletting. This device solves both those problems.
March 23: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Great lead characters. Great supporting characters. But what I loved most was the look at how “The Blip” had changed the world. Marvel should publish a comic book series exploring that.
March 24: Captain America Omnibus Volume 1. It’s great fun to read these classic Stan Lee and Jack Kirby stories again. And also the original letters pages. I’m a kid again...and saving my allowance so I can also get the Iron Man Omnibus.
March 25: The Masked Singer. From the first of his two appearances, I figured out who the Raccoon was. Move over, Batman. There’s a new detective in town.
March 26: My son Eddie and my daughter Kelly received their first Covid-19 vaccine shots.
March 27: Konga TNT. This 2020 Brett Kelly movie, allegedly “based on the public domain stories from Charlton Comics,” looks like it had a budget of maybe $700 and a case of beer. But it’s silly and it’s fun and it made me chuckle. Good enough.
March 28: Feeling optimistic, despite the chaos in the world, in my country and in the comics and entertainment industries. Could this be an unknown side effect of the Covid-19 vaccine?
March 29: ZOOM achieved. Thanks to my son Eddie, I have a camera on my computer. This isn’t an invitation to have me do your podcast.But it will make doing podcasts and such possible when I’m ready to do them.
March 30: Clearing out a room for renovation and finding a bunch of comics from the 1960s, enough to fill a short box. Most will likely end up in future garage sales, but I’m looking forward to reading or rereading them first.
March 31: Thirty-two seasons in, The Simpsons can still knock one out of the park. “Uncut Femmes” reveals the secret history of Chief Wiggum’s wife Sarah in a brilliant caper comedy that includes the heartwarming bonding of Fat Tony and Ralph.
Here’s hoping April brings us all great joy every day. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.
© 2021 Tony Isabella