Wednesday, August 25, 2021



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


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


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


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


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




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

Monday, August 9, 2021


My next VAST ACCUMULATION OF STUFF garage sale will be held on Friday, August 27 and Saturday, August 28, from 9 am to noon each day. I'll be doing a major restocking for the sale and September's garage sales.

If the above times aren't convenient for you, you can request a private appointment for anytime after the August 28 garage sale. E-mail me and I'll try to accommodate you.

I'm still looking to buy comic books so I can replenish my quarter comics boxes and mystery boxes. I'm paying $15 for a short box (approx. 150 comics) and $30 for a long box (approx. 300 comics). They have to be in good condition. They must not be adults only comics. The boxes must not contain more than 10 copies of individual issues. E-mail me for details.

More to come.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021




Welcome to yet another 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. Only twice have I actually reached my goal of reading and writing about all the FCBD comics available in a given year. However, with just ten 2020 issues to go, I think I’m going to able to repeat that achievement once again.

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.

We start today with Stranger Things [Dark Horse Comics], which has a 10-page Stranger Things story by writer Greg Pak with Gabriella Antali on the art. There’s also a 10-page Minecraft story written and drawn by Stephen McCranie. I’ll preface my comments by saying this comic was always going to be a tough sell to me. I have never seen an episode of Stranger Things and my interest in video games like Minecraft is non-existent.

QUALITY: Meh! Neither story impressed me. My wife and son watched Stranger Things and, from what they told me about the series, this FCBD story bears little to no resemblance to that show. I thought the art was good. As for the Minecraft story, I wasn’t entertained by that one either.

ACCESSIBILITY: Poor. I needed a lot more information before I could even begin to figure out what was happening in the stories.

SALESMANSHIP: Excellent. Ten pages of house ads pitching a lot of other Dark Horse titles.

SCORE: Four points out of a possible ten points.



Street Fighter #100 [Udon/Capcom] presents what I assume is the 23-page story from that anniversary issue and a three-page feature in which Udon artists spotlight their favorite illustrations from the battle manga. The story is written by Ken Siu-Chong and drawn by Panzer. I’ll warn you going into this review that battle manga and anime holds little interest for me.

QUALITY: Mostly passable. The setting for the inevitable battle is a wedding anniversary party and I thought that was a clever touch. However, the art and coloring are so over-rendered that I couldn’t always figure out who and what I was looking at.

ACCESSIBILITY: Pretty much non-existent. As a new reader, I didn’t have clue one who these characters were and what their situations were.

SALESMANSHIP: Okay. There was a two-page ad showcasing a bunch of Street Fighter trades.

SCORE: Three points out of a possible ten points.



Sue & Tai-chan [Kodansha Comics] is, to quote the cover blurb, “the new, fill-color kitty comedy from the beloved creator of New York Times Best Seller Chi’s Sweet Home.” It as delightful a comic as I have read all year.

QUALITY: Creator Konami Kanata’s writing and art are deceptively simple. But he uses those simple lines and sparse dialogue to great effect. I was charmed and impressed.

ACCESSIBILITY: Even if you hadn’t read the earlier book, you will have no trouble getting into this one. Perfect for new readers of all ages.

SALESMANSHIP: It could have been better. The inside front cover credits and copyright stuff could have been half-a-page, allowing for a half-page ad. There are two interior ads: one for a different
kitty series by Kanata and the other for a magical girl manga. The back cover advertises a Chi coloring book.

SCORE: Ten points out of ten points. As soon as I finish proofing this review, I’m requesting more Kanata work from my local library.


One of the coolest things about Free Comic Book Day is discovering new creators and comics previously unknown to me. Even if I’m not bowled over by them, I do appreciate seeing their work and their comics for the first time.

Super Mercado Mix Tape [Oni Press] features excerpts from graphic novels by writer/artist Yehudi Mercado. In Sci-Fu Book One: Kick It Off, a young DJ summons a UFO with one of his “legendary turntable mixes” and said craft transports him and others to another planet. In Fun Fun Fun World, alien invaders try to conquer the galaxy’s most unconquerable planet...Earth! The comic also had an interview with Mercado.

QUALITY: While not precisely to my taste, Mercado’s enthusiasm for his stories is infectious enough to draw me in. I think somewhat younger readers than me will enjoy this material.

ACCESSIBILITY: I had no trouble getting into Sci-Fu. I had a bit of trouble getting into Fun World, though the back cover copy got me on track.

SALESMANSHIP: Great. A welcoming introduction on the inside front  cover set a nice tone and there were several interior ads for other Mercado projects.

SCORE: Eight points out of a possible ten points.


The Tick [New England Comics] features two new stories of the title character plus a pin-up. The tale were written by Jeff McClelland with art by Ian Chase Nichols.

QUALITY: “The Enemy Within” was a solidly amusing adventure while the largely silent “Moon Marathon” was just a collection of barely connected scenes that were less than satisfying.

ACCESSIBILITY: Tolerable. I suppose if you were a regular reader of The Tick you have been able to follow the stories better than I was able to.

SALESMANSHIP: Very good. The inside front and back covers had ads for several Tick collections.
SCORE: Six points out of a possible ten points.

With Free Comic Book Day 2021 almost upon us, I’m gonna concentrate on reading and reviewing the rest of the 2020 issues. I’ll be back soon with another FCBD bloggy thing. See you soon.

© 2021 Tony Isabella