There’s a lot of bad and cruel stuff going on in my country and my world. That’s why, being the beacon of light that I am, I make sure I recognize something makes me happy every day. But we’re not going to talk about stuff that makes me miserable today because we could all use a short break from our shared misery. Instead, we’re going to talk about my Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale.
I started holding VAOS sales in an attempt to reduce the vastness of my stuff. I originally wrote “stiff” there and it took me a bit to stop giggling.
“The vastness of my stiff”? That’s wrong on so many levels, but it does again prove that, at my core, I’m a 12-year-old boy. Shame on you, Tony Isabella.
These garage sales are a huge undertaking because I have an awful lot of stuff. I don’t even know everything I have. It’s why I call it an accumulation. It stopped being a collection a couple decades ago. On the plus side, it’s way cool to open a box that hasn’t been opened in years and find it holds over a hundred issues of Batman comic books from before the coming of Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. The issues aren’t high grade, but they will delight my customers. I’m just waiting on a shipment of bags and boards.
My garage sales take place about every other Friday and Saturday at 840 Damon Drive, Medina, Ohio from 9 am to noon. The first sale of the year was a tremendous success. I made 109% of my two-day goal. The second sale was kind of a bust. I only made 24% of my two-day goal. Because garage sales are a crap shoot.
Sometimes things line up nicely. I always have a great selection of comic books and more. If the weather is nice, but not too nice, I get a lot of customers. If the weather isn’t nice, but not too not nice, I get customers. If the weather is really nice or not nice, I also get customers. Or not. There’s no way of predicting what’s going to happen on any given weekend.
All I can do is put together the best garage sales I can and hope everything falls into place. Hope springs eternal.
My next Vast Accumulation of Stuff sales are Friday and Saturday, June 24 & 25 from 9 am to noon each day. It would be lovely if you could attend. Bring cash.
Here’s the things that brought me joy last month...
May 1: My new Funko figure of Belle (Beauty and the Beast) reading. This is the aspect of the character I love best. Disney should use her to promote literacy and the love of reading, including comics and graphic novels.
May 2: Originally published in 1955 and reprinted in Comics Revue #429-430, “The Slimming of Prince Tagon” is one of my favorite Phantom stories. It’s a lovely comedy that speaks to the occasional silliness of human nature.
May 3: Taking my heavy Spider-Man coin bank to the grocery store’s Coinstar machine and cashing in that change for a $92 Amazon Gift card. And now the cycle begins anew.
May 4: The hope I’ll be getting a brief respite from the sickening barrage of blatantly false, cruel, homophobic, racist and downright treasonous primary election ads by Republicans. Maybe I’ll be able to watch TV without one finger on the mute button.
May 5: I just added this The Batman Funko Pop! Comic Covers figure to my collection. It honors the Golden Age Batman and looks great on a shelf. It’s a bigger package than most of my figures, but I’m thinking it won’t be the last Comic Covers one I get.
May 6: Biegel’s Plumbing saved us again. While my friend Bill was preparing for Saturday’s annual charitable Raymond Biegel Memorial Tournament, his brother Mike quickly took care of a laundry room problem for us. The best plumbers in Medina!.
May 7: Going on vacation with the three people I love most in the world. My cat Simba is probably fourth on the list, but feel free to consider yourself number five. Tony “the Tiger” Isabella has so much love in his heart.
May 8: The Tap and Still Redhook on St. Thomas. We ate here after getting our rental vehicle. Friendly staff. Good food and drinks. Our server gave us incredibly useful information on how to get the most from our vacation.
May 9: Periwinkle Cottage on the Coral Bay side of St. John. A two-story private villa with its own pool. High in the hills, it gave us breathtakingly beautiful views and cooling breezes throughout the days and nights.
May 10: My son Eddie did all the driving on our vacation, mastering driving on the left side of the road and on those crazy twisted St. John hills. He also sat on a cactus, which even he found hilarious.
May 11: The animals around our villa on St. John. I never got tired of seeing (and hearing) the goats and the donkeys, even in the wee hours of the morning...and a three-foot iguana skittered by me a few times during our stay.
May 12: We never had a bad meal on St. John. There was a cluster of three great restaurants on Coral Bay - Aqua Bistro, Salty Mongoose, Wok on the Beach - and we ate at them on three consecutive nights during our stay.
May 13: Barb, Eddie, Kelly and I had so much fun on our vacation in the Virgin Islands we’re already talking about our next one. The possibilities include driving Route 66 from start to finish.
May 14: Came the Mirror & Other Tales by Rumiko Takahashi, one of my favorite comics creators. This volume collects five “intimate magical-realist tales” and an autobiographical story of her life in manga. A great book for summer reading.
May 15: A shout-out to Savage Avengers, written by Gerry Duggan. I get a kick from this thoroughly insane sword and sorcery and super-heroes title. Its continuity is largely self-contained and that’s another plus for me. Recommended.
May 16: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Another solid addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a gripping story and outstanding acting. It’s tight two-hour six-minute running time was just right for my afternoon at the movies.
May 17: Chuck Rozanski’s adventures in massive comics buying. I get a kick out of my friend’s trips all across the country to add to Mile High Comics’ already incredible inventory. He has the energy of ten people!
May 18: Finding a huge box of Superman memorabilia dating back to the 1980s in my Vast Accumulation of Stuff. I’ll be offering these items at this year’s garage sales at what will clearly be insanely low prices.
May 19: The Pentaverate. Mike Myers can sometimes be a bit much to take, but I love his new Netflix show about a “nice” secret society that has run the world for centuries and the mild-mannered Canadian TV reporter working to expose them.
May 20: Tigra, the character I created for Marvel Comics way back in the 1970s, makes an appearance in the new (and quite fun) Chip ‘N’ Dale Rescue Rangers movie on Disney+. Both her scenes are set at a convention. So charmingly meta.
May 21: John Lustig. The creator of and my editor on my Last Kiss gags is terrific. He’s supportive of my writing and often improves the gags with great changes, notes and suggestions. I’m hoping for many more years of him putting up with me.
May 22: “Poorhouse Rock,” the season finale of The Simpsons, was an epic episode. Hilarious dark comedy as the history of the post-war middle class economy was told in song and silliness. With a guest appearance by Robert Reich!
May 23: Sakamoto Days by Yuto Suzuk. The title hero is a legendary hit man who quit, got married, had a baby and runs a neighborhood store. It’s action-packed and hilarious. Finally, a hero for us old guys.
May 24: Jason Davis of the Harlan Ellison Preservation Project. His incredible efforts in editing and publishing even the more obscure Ellison writings is deeply appreciated by those of us who knew and loved Harlan and Susan.
May 25: Tina Fe, my trusty Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, is back from the repair shop and in my driveway. She looks terrific with the damage from the Uber driver that hit her on the Cleveland Guardians home opener now completely repaired.
May 26: The Week magazine for May 20, 2022, ran a nice obituary on George Perez. Comics will feel the loss of this kind, talented man forever, but it’s terrific to see him get well-deserved recognition outside our world.
May 27: Free Comic Book Day free comic books. My pal at Stormwatch Comics in New Jersey sent me a big stack of them. I hope to start reading and writing about them soon.
May 28: My first Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale of 2022 was a great success. I achieved 109% of my sales goal for the weekend. My customers bought wonderful items at bargain prices...and I got to enjoy their company and talk comics with them.
May 29: Saintly Wife Barb and I watched and enjoyed the final two episodes of season 2 of The Flight Attendant. We love Kaley Cuoco and the season’s very satisfying conclusion. We hope there will be a third season.
May 30: The Loch aka Loch Ness. I figured I’d check out this 2017 crime series. I ended up watching all seven episodes of its first season. A chilling and moody story with fine actors and writing, as well as scenery that set the mood perfectly.
May 31: Amazon has its flaws, but its returns and refunds couldn’t be easier. The return process is easy to navigate with a number of options. Refunds arrive within hours of my dropping packages off at the UPS store. Well done.
That’s all for today. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.
© 2022 Tony Isabella