The worst thing about posting this compilation of the things that brought me joy last month is recognizing all the things that didn’t bring me joy. To keep it short:
The criminal Republican Party and its ongoing attempts to destroy democracy with voter suppression laws while making the obscenely wealthy a lot more obscenely wealthy...and also their targeting of the most vulnerable among us. I don’t believe there has even been a more cruel political party.
The anti-democracy, anti-history, anti-logic, anti science, anti-teacher morons who support the Republican Party in all its horrible attacks on our country.
The Democratic Party not doing anywhere near enough to stand up to these criminals and their followers and not moving forward with the steps they need to stop this menace.
The “white justice” being handed out by judges who are not taking treasonous acts seriously enough and giving the perpetrators little more than slaps on the wrist.
A comics industry that practices ageism and other discrimination to a soul-crushing extent while continuing to employ and even honor truly terrible individuals. Including serial sexual predators.
A comics fandom that thrives on rumor and speculation from gossip-mongering faux-news sites.
Then there’s the more personal thing that definitely does not make me the least bit happy:
I’m angry all the time. I’ve posted some things I regret because I didn’t take a minute to think them through. In doing so, I angered people who are dear to me. That one I can work on. Sadly, the rest seems increasingly out of my control.
That’s this month’s bummer opening. Here are the things that made me happy in November...
November 1: On the last day of Fanboy Expo Knoxville, a wonderful family presented me with the above work of art. I’ll have more to say about it in my convention reports, but it will have a place of honor in my office.
November 2: My friend Jess Hazeltine was reelected to serve Medina Ward 3 as their councilperson. She’s our city’s best and we’re very lucky to have her in office. My son Eddie was her campaign manager.
November 3: Three Democrats were elected to Medina’s school board, defeating anti-history, anti-science and anti-teacher Republicans who put their vile culture war ahead of the well-being of students.
November 4: Harley Quinn completes my set of this year’s Funko Pops with Purpose DC Comics Bombshells figures supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
November 5: The second season finale of Stargirl was nothing short of magnificent. All those characters and yet Courtney remained the focus. And the teasers for next season...wow!
November 6: Akron Comicon 2021 Day One. What a wonderful event with fans, guests and vendors all incredibly happy to be there. It was my best sales day of any comics convention in five years!
November 7: Akron Comiccon 2021 Day Two. More sales, but also time to chat with old friends and new friends. It was great fun hanging out with my booth neighbor, the legendary Sgt. Slaughter.
November 8: Our Stories Carried Us Here: a Graphic Novel Anthology. Ten first-person tales about coming to America. A love letter to the immigrant experience that has been and remains so incredibly vital to our country.
November 9: Ant-Man is People’s sexiest man alive! Congratulations to Paul Rudd for making another argument as to why Marvel is better than DC. Next year, though...Cress Williams!
November 10: Kudos to Jeopardy for presenting so many outstanding contestants in this new season. Terrific champions and some truly competitive matches. Well done.
November 11: The Batman Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2. Written by Sholly Fisch, whose Scooby-Doo Team-Up was DC’s best comic book, this is another of his fun stories suitable for kids but with lots of gags for older readers as well.
November 12: B Positive’s second season is amazing. With a breezy opening, an ability to create life-affirming humor from the deadly serious and the addition of legendary actors to its cast, it might be TV’s best situation comedy.
November 13: The Target exclusive Funko Pop! With Purpose figure of DC Bombshells Hawkgirl has arrived. Now I have a truly complete set of the figures supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
November 14: Naps. This is a repeat from over four years ago. But, especially in these dangerous times, I’m find them very helpful for dealing with my growing anxiety and stress. In this, my cat Simba is my sensei.
November 15: Classic Hawkeye has joined my Funko Pop! collection. As funds and opportunity present themselves, I’m buying the classic versions of the Marvel characters that made me want to write comics for a living.
November 16: Where the Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales of 2021 used to hold sway, there is now room for my Saintly Wife Barb to park her car. It was my welcome accomplishment in a week I just never otherwise right.
November 17: The Equalizer. The “Karen” sub-plot from the November 7th episode “Followers”. Often it’s the most banal of evil actions that make my stomach churn. In fiction as in life, systemic racism exists. Never doubt that.
November 18: CSI Vegas. In the November 17 episode “In the Blood,” Eileen Grubba’s performance as Anna Wix chilled me to the bone. One of the most frightening sociopaths that I’ve seen recently. Outside of the Republican Party, that is..
November 19: The November 17 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert presented “C-Spanime” on the censure of Paul Gosar. It was amazing and it was hilarious with appearances by Sailor Moon and other anime icons.
November 20: The just-released Home Sweet Home Alone featured Devin Ratray as an adult Buzz McCallister and established that Kevin now owns his own home security company. This unexpected closure gives me considerable glee.
November 21: Saintly Wife Barb has cleared and reorganized both of our upstairs linen closets. I had jack shit to do with that great accomplishment, but I take joy from my beloved going full Marie Kondo on those spaces.
November 22: On the November 20 episode of Saturday Night Life, Pete Davidson’s “Waking in Staten” was comedic genius. Davidson was joined on the parody of Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis” by Cohn, Big Wet and Method Man.
November 23: Two episodes in, I’m intrigued by Marvel’s Hit Monkey series on Hulu. Dark stuff but with a likeable (if violent) title character and some decent folks in the supporting cast.
November 24: Marvel’s Hit Monkey proved to be surprisingly binge able. I watched all ten episodes in one night. It’s different from most Marvel shows, more tragedy than dark comedy, but I recommend it to adult viewers looking for that something different.
November 25: I’m thankful for the many amazing friends I’ve made on Facebook and Twitter, which is proof that good things can happen even in the midst of great evil.
November 26: Black Widow by writer Kelly Thompson. I’ve previously mentioned Natasha is one of the few heroes from my past I’d like to write again. That said, I don’t think I could write her better than Thompson.
November 27: Fear Case by Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins. Wonderfully unsettling modern-day horror that combines ancient malevolence with government conspiracy. Done in just four issues and perfect at that length.
November 28: The CW Scooby-Doo Where Are You Now? reunion special. It was good silly fun that respected the long-running franchise, shared interesting trivia and used self-deprecating humor to great effect. A nice way to relax for an hour.
November 29: I’m excited about the Marvel: June 1962 omnibus, even though it won’t go on sale until June 2022. Five hundred pages of vintage comics including the first appearance of Spider-Man and 17 other issues from that month.
November 30: One Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga was an incredible hour of TV. The friendship between arguably the greatest performer of all time and the greatest performer of our time is and remains inspirational.
Thanks for visiting. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.
© 2021 Tony Isabella