Saturday, April 2, 2022




Frustration and rage have marked the first quarter of 2022 for me. I’ve been frustrated by my lack of production while dealing with a host of annoying odds and ends. I’m enraged on a daily basis by the
bigotry and insanity of the criminal treasonous Republican Party. Hope has been a rare commodity of late.

For today’s bloggy thing, I’m not going to dwell on the negatives of the year to date. I’ve had some good times this year. I went to Pensacon with Saintly Wife Barb and celebrated her birthday there.I went to a magnificent Alex Ross exhibit at the Canton Museum of Art with pals Terry Fairbanks and Bob Ingersoll. I did a creating characters workshop for the Lake Erie Ink 10th Annual Kids' Comic Con. I also attended Fantasticon in Toledo where I got to hang out with old friends while having a very profitable convention. Not too bad considering my general air of malaise.

My search for happiness is, of course, neverending. Here are those things that brought me joy in February...

February 1: More of Thom Zahler’s Love and Capes is always a good thing. Love and Capes: In the Time of Covid is especially choice since this is something we’re all still living through. It’s rare to be able to relate to super-heroes this closely.


February 2: The Art of Sushi by Franckie Alarcon. I’ve eaten sushi maybe six times in my life, but this informative and frankly mouth-watering graphic album has me wanting to dive deep into a full-on sushi dinner experience. Pass the saki please.

February 3: Son Ed came over to snow blow our driveway and sidewalk and, more importantly, show me how to use the snowblower for when I have to use it tomorrow. Then we watched Peacemaker.  

February 4: The Complete Peacemaker. I’m having great fun reading these Joe Gill/Pat Boyette public domain adventures of Christopher Smith, collected by Classic Comics Library. The book also reprints some Fightin’ 5 stories.


February 5: John LeMay’s Classic Monsters Unmade: The Lost Films of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, and Other Monsters (Volume 1: 1899-1955). When you see LeMay’s name on a book, you know it’ll be good informative reading. I’ve already ordered Volume 2.

February 6: The Haunted Strangler. Thanks to Svengoolie, I saw this 1958 movie for the first time. A genuine chiller with a fantastic performance by Boris Karloff.

February 7: Snake 3: Dinosaur vs. Python. An above-average Chinese creature feature. Decent CGI, compelling characters (including the title python), satisfying ending. The English-subtitled version is available on YouTube. Entertaining and recommended.


February 8: Ohio’s “Beat the Stigma” campaign, which challenges incorrect information about addiction, may be the funniest public service announcement of all time. Saintly Wife Barb and I have seen it dozens of times and it still makes us laugh.

February 9: PopnBeards in Akron’s Summit Mall got me a complete set of the new Black Lightning figures from Funko. This is a fantastic store filled with hundreds of collectible plus items for the care and feeding of beards. I recommend it highly.

February 10: Celebrating Terry Fairbanks, my oldest friend, on his 70th birthday. Barb and I joined Terry, his wife, his kids and his grandkids at the great Santosuossos Italian restaurant in Medina. It was a wonderful evening.

February 11: Reading the Alias Omnibus by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos. Revisiting this series for the first time in years, it’s as enjoyable and intriguing as the first time. Wish we could get more seasons of the TV series.

February 12: The February 5th episode of Svengoolie had a surprise appearance of George Perez. It was wonderful to see. Plus, believe it or not, this was the first time I saw It! The Terror from Beyond Space. Great comics creator and a terrific movie!



February 13: Cap(tain America) Snowman. Saintly Wife Barb and I are planning for our 2022 Christmas mantle, starting with this adorable  Funko Pop!

February 14: Space Force. Just finished watching the first season on Netflix. It’s an impressive mix of comedy, drama and satire with fine performances by Steve Carell, John Malkovich and others. The second season drops on Friday.

February 15: The Isabella Family Christmas 2022 mantle is going to be super with the addition of the Man of Steel in a festive holiday sweater. Oh, Funko, you’ve done it again!                                                                                                                                   
February 16: My Falcon and the Winter Solider team is complete with the arrival of new MCU Captain America. Steve Rogers chose wisely with his pick of Sam Wilson.


February 17: Celebrating Saintly Wife Barb’s [redacted] birthday in Pensacola the night before Pensacon. We had a great dinner at Crabs on the Beach, right next door to our hotel. The delicious key lime pie lasted until Monday morning.

February 18: Pensacon Day One. Seeing old pals Nancy Collins, John Dell, Julio Diaz, Maria Landry, Mark Maddox, Roland Paris and so many others. Meeting Adam-Troy Castro in person for the first time. Making new friends like David Gerrold and Sam Irvin.

February 19: Pensacon Day Two. An attendance record was achieved, sales were terrific, the fans more so. We dined at O’Reilly’s Bar where the servers cosplayed Captain Marvel, Black Widow and Spider-
Gwen. My drink of choice was a Heart of Wakanda.

February 20: Pensacon Day Three. Great conversation with John Ross Bowie of The United States of Al. Sold out of the comics we brought to the show. Wonderful dinner at McGuire’s Irish Pub with promoter Mike Ensley and two dozen terrific people.

February 21: Our flights home from Pensacon were both pleasant and swift. Kelly picked us up when we landed and we met Eddie for lunch at The Rail in Strongsville. Another weekend of amazing memories we will cherish.

February 22: Pensacon aftermath. Despite the great meals in great Pensacola restaurants, and the amazing green room spread at the con itself, I gained only two pounds and remain under 200. Shooting for 190 by Toledo’s Fantasticon on March 12-13.

[NOTE: Sadly, I didn’t make it down to 190 pounds by Fantasticon, but I’m determined to hit that number or a lower one before we go on a family vacation in May.]


February 23: Happy Kanako’s Killer Life by Toshiya Wakabayashi. An  unhappy office worker somehow gets hired as a contract killer. She loves her new job and is good at it. Dark humor has never looked so cute.

February 24: Marvelocity! The Art of Alex Ross. The Canton Museum of Art had a terrific exhibit, which I visited with Terry Fairbanks and Bob Ingersoll. My favorites: the artist’s childhood work, an intense Doctor Doom bust and an Invisible Woman painting.

February 25: The Jeopardy National College Championship tournament was smart and riveting television. I didn’t really hold my own with those young whippersnappers, but didn’t embarrass myself either. Of course, playing at home is always easier.

February 26: Saturday Night Live skipped its usual comedic opening to present the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York. It was moving and a nice show of solidarity with the Ukraine people.

February 27: Sex work and sex workers was too complicated a subject for John Oliver to cover fully in his most recent episode of Last Week Tonight, but he made a darned good start addressing them and the hypocrisy of our nation’s response to them.

February 28: Kent State University is darn proud of distinguished alumni Jefferson Pierce, as seen in this article by my friend Phil Soencksen in Kent State Today.

If all goes to plan, you’ll be seeing my bloggy thing summation of the things that made me happy in March in a day or so. That bloggy will also update you on some other happenings in the comic-book and real-world lives of Tony Isabella. See you soon.

© 2022 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for recommending The Art of Sushi. I borrowed a copy from a local library, and it was even better than I had thought it would be. I was very interested in the various aspects that were covered, such as the production of nori and wasabi. It was interesting to learn more about high-end sushi places, neighborhood sushi places, and made at home sushi.

    And you can never mention Love and Capes too many times! It was one of your columns that enticed me to buy all of the issues of the comic back in the old days. And I've purchased all of Thom's books since then. I just LOVE his work.

    I hope April is making you happy EVERY day!