Wednesday, August 31, 2022




I barely took a breath after last weekend’s outstanding Eastern Rim Funny Book and Vintage Toy Convention in Baytown, Texas when I got to work on this weekend’s Vast Accumulation of Stuff Garage Sale. It’ll be Friday and Saturday, September 2-3, from 9 am to noon each day at 840 Damon Drive, Medina, Ohio. After this weekend, there are only two more garage sales.

If you’ve come to my garage sales in the past, you know there will be a nice selection of dollar comics, magazines, trade paperbacks, hardcovers, Isabella-written stuff, older comic books are a whole lot more. Currently, I have two tables full of Godzilla figures and other kaiju collectibles. I have a full rack of comics-related t-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets. I have a way cool Sailor Moon wall hanging. I even have seven of our highly sought after $10 chocked-full-of-stuff mystery boxes.

Because I pretty much never stop working on these sales - devoting at least an hour a day to them, I’m in great shape for the weekend ones. I’ll make a few more mystery boxes, fill out the various comic book boxes, try to squeeze in a couple more trade paperbacks and hardcovers boxes, but that’s all I have to do.


Some basic stuff...

My garage sales have always been cash only. However, I can now take PayPal as well.

My prices are low. There are countless bargains to be had. That is why I don’t haggle.

Parking for my sales is usually on the Bradley Court “U” (where my driveway is located) and on the actual Damon Drive across from my house. I like to keep the driveway clear so people can see the sale from a distance, but will make an exception for any customer with a handicapped sticker.

This week, there’s some cable working being done on my street. You should be conscious of this because it may mean you’ll have to park a bit from my house.


At the conventions I attend, I charge $10 per item my signature. At my garage sales, I’ll sign almost any Isabella item for free. But, if you bring a lot of stuff for me to sign, you might have to wait for me to get to the items if I’m waiting on customers.

If you have questions, you can e-mail me. However, don’t expect me to answer questions about whether or not I have specific items or to schedule “private showings” for you. I’m crazy busy clearing the decks for my upcoming writing projects.

I hope to see you at my garage sales. I’ll be back soon with more bloggy things, including my report on the Eastern Rim Funny Book and Vintage Toy Convention.    

© 2022 Tony Isabella

Sunday, August 21, 2022





My last 2022 out-of-state convention appearance will be The Eastern Rim Funny Book & Vintage Con at Goose Creek Memorial High School, 6001 E. Wallisville, Baytown, Texas. Admission is free and the show hours are: Saturday, August 27 (10 am - 6 pm) and Sunday, August 28 (11 am -4 pm). I wanted to give you the most important information about the show before I start waxing poetic about how excited I am to be attending this event.

Eastern Rim gives off a real community feel. I don’t recall that I have ever done a convention in a high school before. My high school memories aren’t always the best, but I’m relatively sure I won’t be shoved into a locker by any jocks. Seriously, though, when I see the terrific sponsors of the event, I see a community that supports the comics art form.

Eastern Rim promises artists, authors, cosplayers, special comic book guests, inexpensive food and fun. There will be panels and a cosplay contest.

The guest list is impressive. Besides me: legendary artist Glenn Fabry; dancer and actor Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers; my dear friend, the great DC Comics colorist and expert in some many areas of popular culture Anthony Tollin; artists Pop Mhan, Val Mayerik, Mark A. Nelson, Steve Erwin, Nick Pitarra, Vo Nguyen, Keith “Kez” Wilson, Hector Rodrigues, Tone Rodrigues, Joe Eisma, the Professor and Mary Ann and more. Just kidding about the last two, but let it me know that I’m willing to screen test for the role of either for the inevitable remake.

From the convention website, the cosplay guests look amazing. I’m hoping they get a chance to stop by my table for photos. Remember, though, cosplay is not consent. Before you take a picture or video of either a special cosplay guest or a fan having fun doing cosplay at the event, ask their permission.

I’m hearing great things about the vendors who will be setting up at The Eastern Rim Funny Book & Vintage Con. I’m hoping I keep so busy at my own table that I can avoid spending too much money with them. But you know I’m going to be spending some money.



Regarding my own table, I generally travel light when flying to a convention. For this trip, I’m bringing some posters of characters I created or did notable work on and the special exclusive-to-me reprint of Misty Knight’s first appearance in Marvel Comics. Here is the quick explanation of that gem.

When Misty Knight was set to debut on the Luke Cage TV series, my friends at the House of Ideas decided a special “Marvel’s Greatest Creators” reprint of her first appearance in Marvel Premiere #21. Then they called me up and asked if I wanted to order an exclusive variant of that reprint, one that would have an exclusive cover and only be available from me. The numbers worked for me and a limited print run of 1500 copies was made and delivered to me.

I’ve been signing and numbering the comics ever since. I’m selling them at a bargain price of just $10 each. Considering I charge $10 just for my signature, and you’re also getting an exclusive signed and numbered limited edition comic, that’s a deal.

Speaking of my signature policy...

If you buy an Isabella-related poster directly from me, I will sign it for free. If you bring an Isabella item that you’ve purchased elsewhere, I charge $10 per signature. I don’t charge extra if you have someone witness my sighing your item. As with everything else at my table, these are CASH ONLY transactions.

I don’t charge for photos you take of me or with me. Just ask me first.  I take no responsibility for damage to the devices you use for this purpose. Especially if you manage to capture my demented soul in your photos or videos.

I’m thrilled to be an invited guests of The Eastern Rim Funny Book & Vintage Con. My son Eddie and I will be flying in on Friday and departing on Monday. I expect we’ll be coming back with incredible memories of old friend and new.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2022 Tony Isabella

Monday, August 15, 2022

VAOS GARAGE SALE (August 19-20)



My next Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales will be happening at 840 Damon Drive in Medina, Ohio, on Friday and Saturday, August 19-20, from 9 am to noon. If you see a lawn with a bunch of signs advertising a comics and pop culture garage sale and a back porch with a large “Tony Isabella” banner from a convention, you are in the right place. Parking is on the Bradley Court circle as well on Damon Drive across from my house. Parking in my driveway will only be available for those with handicapped stickers.

The above photo may make it appear my garage is a state of chaos. That’s misleading. Things are moving along quite nicely. I’ll have between 4-6 boxes of dollar comics. I’ll have 2-3 magazine boxes, which will include over three dozen issues of G-Fan. I’ll have  boxes of Isabella-written books and comic books, 3-4 boxes of older comics (including Silver Age issues) and 5-6 boxes of hardcovers and softcovers.

My clothing rack is more full than it’s ever been t-shirts priced at $2 each, shirts at $4 each, sweatshirts at $6, jackets at $10 each and even a Sailor Moon wall hanging for just $10. There will also be a couple of much higher priced but incredibly rare jackets.

I’m extremely excited about the Godzilla figures and other Godzilla items I’ll be offering for sale. I may have enough of them to fill one full table.

I expect to fill the remaining table space and my bookcases with manga, paperbacks, collectible glasses, Funko Pop figures, maybe even some binders of non-sport cards and a few odd telephones. It depends on what I find over today and the next two days before the sales.

I also have an empty magazine rack and an empty spinner rack. They won’t be empty when my garage door opens Friday morning.

Everybody loves my $10 mystery boxes, each of them packed with way more than $10 worth of cool things. For the first time this garage sale season, I have a dozen boxes already packed. However, because the demand for these always far outweighs the supply, I’m limiting sales of them to one per customer on Friday and, if any are left on Saturday, two per customer.

A couple more notes:

I am buying comic books, though not in great bulk. I’ll pay $15 for a short box of good condition comics and $30 for a long box of good condition comics. Generally speaking, a short box holds a little over 150 issues and a long box around 300. The only restrictions: I don’t want too many copies of the same issues. I don’t want adults only comic books. I won’t be able to buy dozens of boxes at one time. I’d advise you to contact me before you bring the comics to my sales, both to make sure I can buy the number of boxes you’re bringing me and to make sure I have the funds to pay them.

When I’m at a convention, I sign Isabella items purchased from me for free and charge $10 per signature on stuff you didn’t buy from me at the convention. However, at my garage sales, I don’t charge for my signature. You’re welcome to bring your already-owned Tony Isabella comics and such to the garage sales and get them signed. However, if you’re bringing a lot of comics for me to sign, you’ll need to be patient while I wait on customers. Alas, my garage sales are a one-man operation.

At my sales, you’re also welcome to ask me questions about my fifty years working in the comic-book industry. There are questions that I can’t answer, either because I’ve signed NDAs or because I don’t remember the answers, but I’ll do my best to entertain and inform you. It’s what Stan and Jack would want.

Finally, I am unable to offer any special showings in addition to the listed hours of the garage sales. However, if I have customers in the garage at noon, I’ll stay open a little longer so they can finish their shopping.

Thanks for listening. I hope many of you can find your way to the garage sales. I know you’ll find great bargains and have more fun than at the average garage sale.

© 2022 Tony Isabella


Historical note. On this date in 2011, TONY ISABELLA'S BLOGGY THING was launched.

You can send birthday cash to me via PayPal [tonyisa at ohio dot net].

You can mail birthday cards, checks or presents to me at: Tony Isabella, 840 Damon Drive, Medina, OH 44256.

If anyone actually sends me anything, I'll note their generosity or lack thereof in a hilarious bloggy thing sometime in September.

Saturday, August 13, 2022




Last month’s bloggy reviewing “queer comics” was well-received, so it’s time for a sequel. The Republican Party has been working hard to demonize the LGBTQ+ community because it seeks the votes of the bigoted and the insanely religious. Their game plan is to diminish the equal rights protections of the community and deny them their just place in our American commerce and society. It has become more important than ever for all of us to support the community against such cynical hatred.    

Any comics, graphic novels or manga that feature LGBTQ+ characters or themes are eligible for me to cover in this recurring series of reviews. There are a lot of them. Some are heartbreakingly serious, some are humorous, some are autobiographical/biographical. We will start today with one of the most fascinating comics writers in the history of comics.

Flung Out of Space: Inspired by the Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith by Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer [Abrams Comics Arts; $24.99] is a graphic novel “imagining” of a portion of Highsmith’s life and career. Though I have never read Highsmith’s novels, which I hope to correct, this author of Strangers on a Train and other mystery/suspense captured my interest when I read The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith by Joan Schenkar.

Highsmith was an unpleasant person, which Ellis and Templer never shy away from. She wrote comics for ACG and also, recruited by Stan Lee, for Timely Comics. She was a lesbian, but, at least for some long time, uncomfortable about that. She did therapy and struggled financially until she earned some success with her novels. I don’t know if we would have gotten along - I’ve been befriended by quite a few unlikely people - but I would’ve liked to have met her. She would have horribly bored by my questions about her comics work, of course, but that’s an area of comics history which deserves to be examined.  

Ellis and Templer have created an award-deserving graphic novel in this work. As noted, they don’t sugar-coat Highsmith’s unpleasant nature, but they also make it clear that she was often tormented by her sexual preference and initial lack of success in writing non-comics novels. I recommend Flung Out of Space to queer and straight comics devotees, as well as high school and public libraries.

One more thing. This graphic novel needs to be adapted into a movie or series. It’s engaging and powerful.

ISBN 978-1-4197-4433-4



Next up is Flamer by Mike Curato [Henry Holt and Co.; $25.99]. This hefty graphic novel about a young boy whose summer camp experience is one of discovery and acceptance. Aiden Navarro is a thoughtful kid navigating friendships, cruel bullies and a growing attraction to another boy. Is he conflicted? You bet.

“I know I’m not gay. Gay boys like other boys. I hate boys. They’re mean, and scary, and they’re always destroying something or saying something dumb or both. I hate that word. Gay. It makes me feel...unsafe.”

Aiden’s introspections and trials are sometimes amusing, but more often intensely self-destructive. He gets perilously close to the point of no return. Yet, at the end, he is rescued by good people around him. It’s a happy ending, which is perhaps more happy than it logically should have been.

I wish all gay kids found the acceptance and compassion which Aiden finds. Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. Gay kids in America have been targeted by so-called Christians and the vilest members of the already vile beyond belief Republican Party. These children are under siege by those who would utterly erase them from our society. I’m a big believer in hope and the ultimate victory of good, but belief must be balanced by reality. Though he has found supportive friends, Aiden is absolutely right to feel unsafe. He is unsafe and it’s up to us to keep him and others like him safe as he
navigate the hard voyage to the right side of history.

ISBN 978-1-62779-641-5

SIDEBAR. A reader has asked me why I include ISBNs with my reviews of books. It’s because a librarian ask me to do, telling me that’s what they use to order books. I’m more than happy to help them get these books for their patrons.


Okura’s I Think Our Son is Gay 3 [Square Enix Manga; $12.99] is the latest book in the series about Hiroko and his mom Tomoko. Despite the implied uncertainty of the series title, it’s clear to those of us getting all sides of the picture that, yes, Hiroko, is gay and crushing big time on a male friend. Tomoko and her younger son Yuri don’t seem to have any doubts. Hiroko’s father, who isn’t around as much, is hoping that’s not the case, as is a young girl who appears to be crushing on the young man. Whew!

Despite the above, this isn’t a soap opera. It’s a comedy drawing its humor from the nigh-universal awkwardness radiating off almost every character, save for Hiroko’s crush. The chapters are short, but pleasant. My only problem is the humor is wearing thin. There is no emotional growth and so it’s pretty much the same jokes over and over again. Time to move things forward and find some laughs in new situations.

ISBN 976-1-64609-126-3


I’ve read the first three volumes of the manga series Even Though We're Adults by Takako Shimura [Seven Seas Entertainment; $12.99per volume] and I’m on the fence, leaning toward getting off the fence. Here’s the first volume blurb:

From the critically acclaimed creator of Wandering Son and Sweet Blue Flowers, a heart-tugging manga about two busy women who think they've figured out the whole adulting thing...until they fall in love with each other. Ayano, an elementary school teacher in her thirties, stops by a bar one day and meets another woman named Akari. Sparks fly as the two chat, and before the night is over, Ayano even goes in for a kiss. Akari is intrigued but confused, especially when she discovers that Ayano has a husband! Both Ayano and Akari are about to find out that love doesn’t get any easier, even as you grow older.  

Akari is a sympathetic character. To avoid interfering in Ayano’s marriage, she goes back to her old job as a hairdresser and moves to a new neighborhood. Unfortunately, she finds herself living near Ayano and her husband Wataru. Hubby is not thrilled to learn Ayano is attracted to another woman, but tries hard to be understanding. He’s a good guy.

Ayano is the problematic character in this manga. Maybe I’m reading her wrong, but I think she wants what she wants and isn’t all that concerned if that hurts Akira or Wataru. Even though Akira is gay, I kind of hope her and Wataru end up together.

I’ll give this unsatisfying manga one more book. However, barring an intriguing/unexpected development, I think that will be the last for me.

Volume 1: ISBN 978-1-64505-975-8

Volume 2: ISBN 978-1-84827-228-8

Volume 3: ISBN 978-1-64827-344-5

That’s all for this batch of queer comics reviews. I’ll be back as soon as possible with more stuff.

© 2022 Tony Isabella


Here's my updated appearance schedule for the rest of this year and into next year. I'm potentially  available for conventions, college and other school talks,  library and other public talks and store appearances.

Friday, August 19: GARAGE SALE (Medina, Ohio)
Saturday, August 20: GARAGE SALE (Medina, Ohio)
Saturday, August 27: Eastern Rim Funny Book & Vintage Con (Baytown, Texas)
Sunday, August 28: Eastern Rim Funny Book & Vintage Con (Baytown, Texas)
Friday, September 2: GARAGE SALE (Medina, Ohio)
Saturday, September 3: GARAGE SALE (Medina, Ohio)
Friday, September 16: GARAGE SALE (Medina, Ohio)
Saturday, September 17: Troublemaker, Malcontent, Desperado: A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Harlan Ellison (Cleveland Public Library; 1-2 pm)
Saturday, September 24: Super Kids Save The City (Avon, Ohio)
Thursday, September 29: GARAGE SALE (Medina, Ohio)
Friday, September 30: GARAGE SALE (Medina, Ohio)
Saturday, October 1: GARAGE SALE (Medina, Ohio)
Saturday, November 5: Akron Comicon (Akron, Ohio)
Sunday, November 6: Akron Comicon (Akron, Ohio)
February 24: Pensacon (Pensacola, Florida)
February 25: Pensacon (Pensacola, Florida)
February 26: Pensacon (Pensacola, Florida)
I'm hoping to add a few more appearances before the end of the year and for next year. E-mail me if you want to schedule an appearance.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! Due to an issue with my knee, I am moving my August 12-13 garage sales to August 19-20. There will be no garage sales on August 12-13. My apologies for the short notice.

Monday, August 8, 2022




It’s early Monday morning as I write this bloggy. Work now begins in earnest on my next Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales at my home in Medina, Ohio. While I do some work on these garage sales every day, straightening up the garage and adding new items to the sales, it’s the Monday before those sales when I really kick that into high gear.

The sales will be at 840 Damon Drive, Medina, Ohio, on Friday and Saturday, August 12-13, from 9 am to noon. The sales are cash only, though I have been known to accept PayPal when you can show me on your phone that I’ve received the money.

You’ll see signs for the garage sale on my front lawn and, hanging from my back patio, a large garish Tony Isabella sign given to me by a convention. Parking is on the side of Damon Drive across from my house and also on Bradley Court, the “U” on which my driveway is located. Except for those with handicapped stickers on their cars, there is no parking in my driveway. Please obey the various parking signs on the streets. I’d feel terrible if any of my customers got ticketed.

My garage sales are a mix of comic books, trade paperbacks, manga, magazines, hardcover books, “coffee table” books, stuff written by me, comics-related clothing, posters, action figures, and sometimes other items. I’ve sold collectible Monopoly games, phones, puzzles  and more at these sales.

When people ask what I have at my sales, my honest answer is that I don’t know. The nature of my “vast accumulation” is that I don’t know what I have until I pull a box from storage and look inside. A while back, I unearthed a box containing Batman #101-242. There’s likely a box filled with contemporary issues of Detective Comics somewhere, but I don’t know where it is. When I find it, I’ll put those issues on sale.

Most of what I have on sale is priced at around 30% of its original price or current value. I’m pricing this stuff to sell. Among the more popular areas in the garage are my “dollar comics” boxes with comics priced at a dollar each.


I also do $10 mystery boxes filled with all sorts of cool things. Because these are hard to keep in stock, I don’t always have a lot of them and they sell incredible fast. It’s why I now limit them to one box per customer per day. My goal is always to start the sales with a dozen mystery boxes. Sometimes I actually do that.

I am buying comic books, though not in great bulk. I’ll pay $15 for a short box of good condition comics and $30 for a long box of good condition comics. Generally speaking, a short box holds a little over 150 issues and a long box around 300. The only restrictions: I don’t want too many copies of the same issues. I don’t want adults only comic books. I won’t be able to buy dozens of boxes at one time. I’d advise you to contact me before you bring the comics to my sales, both to make sure I can buy the number of boxes you’re bringing me and to make sure I have the funds to pay them.

When I’m at a convention, I sign Isabella items purchased from me for free and charge $10 per signature on stuff you didn’t buy from me at the convention. However, at my garage sales, I don’t charge for my signature. You’re welcome to bring your already-owned Tony Isabella comics and such to the garage sales and get them signed. However, if you’re bringing a lot of comics for me to sign, you’ll need to be patient while I wait on customers. Alas, my garage sales are a one-man operation.

At my sales, you’re also welcome to ask me questions about my fifty years working in the comic-book industry. There are questions that I can’t answer, either because I’ve signed NDAs or because I don’t remember the answers, but I’ll do my best to entertain and inform you. It’s what Stan and Jack would want.

My garage sales are fun. You will find lots of cool stuff at them. You will help finance my future work and keep my kids from calling me a hoarder. I look forward to seeing you.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2022 Tony Isabella




You know there are many things that make me and other decent people not happy. However, as an acknowledged bringer of joy to the world, I’ve gotten extremely weary with beginning every one of my monthly “happy” blogs with doom and gloom. So I’m going to go directly to more cheerful things.

I’m knocking odds and ends off my “to do” lists and drawing closer to being able to write all sorts of cool stuff. Well, at least, I’m convinced it’s cool stuff.  Eventually, the marketplace will be the judge of my belief in my work.

July brought lots of positive energy into my life. Finding amazing items in my Vast Accumulation of Stuff. Successful auctions on my Facebook page. The return of G-Fest in Chicago. Being honored for my fifty years working in comics by the fans and my fellow guests at North Olmsted’s NEO Comics. Not a bad month at all.  I’m up for a repeat in August.

In the meantime, here are some of the things that made me happy in last month...

July 1: Have you ever been hugged by an eagle? My Funko army grows with the additions of Peacemaker and Eagly.

July 2: John Trumball’s terrific interview with James Robinson and Tony Harris in Back Issue #133. Starman was clearly the best super-hero series of the 1990s. Their discussion is a master class in the series and how to conduct interviews.

July 3: Better late than never? I watched and enjoyed the premiere episode of The Umbrella Academy. It’s got a Doom Patrol vibe to it. I’ll be watching the series over the next several weeks.

July 4: The Princess (Hulu). Joey King and Dominic Cooper shine in this non-stop action film. She’s a strong-willed woman refusing a forced marriage with his cruel sociopath. Too bloody for kids, but great fun for older viewers.


July 5: Emptied out my desk drawers. I tended to toss all kinds of things in them. Now I have two short boxes of stuff to go through, but I’ve already found some pretty cool items. Like these DC Super Friends mini-cars.


July 6: Isabella Brothers Bakery bags. I unearthed a couple dozen of these bags in the Vast Accumulation of Stuff. I’m not sure what to do with them except maybe frame them. I wish my dad was around to autograph them.

July 7: Jurassic Domination. I got a kick out of seeing this latest Asylum mock-buster on the big screen. It’s the studio’s typical B-movie fare, but I love those things. I’ll be blogging about it very soon.

July 8: The Boys second series finale was an exciting, horrifying episode. Such chilling moments, but none scarier than the idolatry of Janine’s stepfather’s for Homelander. Because it reminded me of those who insanely worship Trump in the real world.

July 9: The Umbrella Academy is dangerously binge-worthy. I watched the first episode of the first season less than a week ago and will start the third season today. Surprising twists. Great characters. Memorable performances. Amazing soundtrack.


July 10: Thor: Love and Thunder. I enjoyed this latest entry to the MCU. It was a balanced blend of action, drama, humor and romance. I’m up for more Thor, both in the next Avengers movie and his next solo feature. Thor and the Young Asgardians, anyone?

July 11: My Facebook auctions have been successful. In fact, they were so successful they are paying for my son Eddie and I going to G-Fest. Look for them to return the week of July 25.

July 12: On special occasions, the Australian Phantom comic books will include trading cards showing the title’s covers. I unearthed hundreds of them from my office this week. I’m slowly but happily putting them into albums.


July 13: There are many bad things in the world. But there are also Japanese dinosaur love hotels. So that’s something.

July 14: The first season finale of Ms. Marvel was near perfect: the hilarious living room scene, the action sequences, citizens and police opposing excessive authority, a satisfying conclusion and a great cliffhanger. More please.

July 15: Seeing Godzilla vs. Hedorah, one of my favorite Godzilla movies, on the big screen at the magnificent Pickwick Theater and then learning more about at a G-Fest panel the following morning.


July 16: Martin Arlt’s G-Fest tribute to Akira Takarada was one of the best such presentations I’ve seen at any convention. So moving and so packed with information. My friend truly honored the great actor and even greater man.

July 17: G-Fest had a fan tribute to Akira Takarada as well. This panel highlighted the kindness of the man to fans. He was one of the most genuine celebrities and it was wonderful hearing the fans share their encounters with him.

July 18: G-Fest XXVII was not the G-Fest I was looking for, but it was, nonetheless, a glorious event. I’ll share my thoughts on the convention in my blog very soon.


July 19: Flung Out of Space: Inspired by the Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith by Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer is a must-read  graphic novel that, among other things, includes Highsmith’s time writing comic books in the 1940s.

July 20: John LeMay’s entertaining and informative Jaws Unmade: The Lost Sequels, Prequels, Remakes, and Rip-Offs. Easily my favorite writer about these movies I love, LeMay delivers many “wow” moments as he covers his often-weird subjects.


July 21: I have a new t-shirt. It’s funny because it’s true.

July 22: Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins. Guess you found a new and fairly healthy snack. No added wheat or gluten, no cholesterol, no saturated fat, and low sodium! Yummy!

July 23: The Gray Man. Glorious carnage as Chris Evans (playing a psychopathic private contract killer) does battle with Ryan Gosling (a convict recruited by the CIA). Lots of great supporting players as well.

July 24: Valentina Rossi’s tweet: ...if you love comics as I do, you should totally follow @thetonyisabella! He’s the creator of Black Lightning and really progressive stories since the 70s, plus he’s a really nice and positive voice on Twitter.

July 25: Thank you, John Oliver. I will never get tired of you and others mocking the ridiculous Jim Cramer. Your additional dunk on the despicable Ezra Miller was icing on the comedy cake.


July 26: This coming Sunday’s NEO Comicon is commemorating my five decades in the comics industry with a special poster. Proceeds from sales of this poster and an auction of the individual pieces of art making up the poster will go to charity.

July 27: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) is one of my favorite G-films. I couldn’t find an affordable Hedorah figure at G-Fest, but I found this small four-monster set on eBay. Maybe I can upgrade the Smog Monster in the future.

July 28: Medina’s Enterprise Rent-A-Car has been a rock star for us as we deal with even more problems with our Hyundai Santa Fe SUV. Great service and vehicles. I’ll be driving a Chevrolet Blazer to NEO Comicon this coming Sunday.

July 29: Olivia Twist: Honor Among Thieves by writers Darin Strauss and Adam Dalva with art by Emma Vieceli is an engaging future take on the classic Dickens male character. It’s got great color art by Lee Loughridge and a very satisfying conclusion.

July 30: Harley Quinn season three. The first episode was mediocre, but the series was back to its bad old self after that. Love that we’re seeing more of the Batman Family and Kite Man/Golden Glider.
Definitely not for kids.

July 31: NEO Comicon 2022 was everything I could have hoped for. I had a ball talking with old and new friends...and selling a whole lot of comics and books. As long as the event invites me, I’ll be there.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2022 Tony Isabella

Saturday, August 6, 2022



The Medina County Fair is wrapping up this weekend. I’m hoping most of the folks attending had a good time and that most of the vendors made a nice profit. I say “most” because I wish nothing but plague and pain on some of the deplorable attendees and vendors.

Barb and I went to the fairgrounds Tuesday night. I hadn’t visited  since 2015 and, as encapsulated in this letter I published in the Medina Gazette, here’s why...

My wife and I went to the Medina County Fair Wednesday night. We had a mostly nice time. The fair is terrific, a great place to eat delicious food that's no darn good for you and to run into friends you don't see often enough. However, I was dismayed at how many people I saw displaying, selling or wearing the Confederate flag. I wondered if these folks had always been racists and traitors to our nation...or if they came to those terrible ideologies later in life. Because if they claim that flag stands for anything else, they are being willfully ignorant of history.

Since then, there have been attempts to get the people running the fair to outright ban the display and sales of racist items. And, if you don’t think the Confederate flag is racist, kindly die. Right now. I’ve lost patience with you.

The people running the fair are cowards. The local politicians are cowards. While racists do have the constitutional right to fly the Confederate flag on their own property, there is no reason to allow it at events like the county fair. The best the cowards who run the fair were willing to do is to ask the racists to pretty please with sugar on top not display or sell racism images. It was reported the vendors had agreed to this.

Big surprise. At least one 2022 vendor did openly display and sell this symbol of racism and white supremacy.

Barb and I had been hopeful this wouldn’t be the case. We drove to the fair in our current rental vehicle - my beloved Hyundai Santa Fe is still at the dealer for repair - and planned to look around and have dinner there. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that seniors got in for free. There are some small perks to being old as fuck. I’ll take what I can get.

As one attending a county fair would expect, there were exhibits of livestock, 4-H displays, lots of food and snack trucks, vendors of t-shirts and other items and even a nice little restaurant set up by a Methodist church in the area. That’s where Barb and I had our dinner after our first pass through the fairgrounds.

Let me give props to the church. They served good food at excellent prices. Our meals and drinks came to less than $25. The volunteer staff was friendly and as efficient as we could reasonable expect, given that they weren’t professional and, in many cases, were kids. The couple sitting near us complained constantly and loudly, but that’s what self-entitled white people do. Naturally, one of them was wearing a shirt for a Republican candidate.

Republicans. If only there was some vaccine that could cure their bigotry and ignorance.

If I were the type of person who could ignore such deplorables, I’m sure I would have enjoyed the fair much more. But I can’t ignore a shirt like this:



How is this acceptable? How could the fair managers not order the vendor to take it down? Because they are moral cowards.

There were other flags and shirts I found unacceptable. There were many “I love guns more than people” images, which is disturbing to me because being murdered by a right-wing zealot engaging in what some evil people call “legitimate political discourse” is among the top three ways I expect to die. The other two are a new strain of Covid and World War III.

There were also many Trump flags which, by their very nature, are racists symbols. Particularly disturbing was the high school punk wearing a Trump flag as a cape. You’re not a super-hero, youngster. You’re a disgrace. There was a time when I believed our young would save us from hateful old white men. It’s difficult to me to hold on to that dream in these insane circumstances.  

In a large building, The Medina County Republican Party had a booth  across from the Democratic Party. When I walked by the GOP booth, a lovely young woman smiled at me. I frowned at her. I wanted to ask her if, when she was a little girl, her dream was to grow up to be part of a criminal terrorist organization.

I turned to stand in front of the Democratic Party booth. I thanked them for their efforts to save democracy. I told them I could not conceive of ever voting for Republicans. I said this quite loudly. I glanced back at the GOP girl. She wasn’t smiling. But I like to think it was more the realization of what she was supporting.

Finally, there was one incredible good stroke of luck at the county fair. The county treasurer had a booth where they would help folks find unclaimed funds due them. The treasurer is, I believe, a Republican, but he has always been  non-partisan in how he conducts the business of his office. I will never vote for him or for any Republican, but I appreciate the good he does.

In this case, his booth helped my wife find a considerable sum of unclaimed money for a family member. The amount was over ten grand.

The booth gave us everything needed to claim this money. This was our most profitable encounter at the fair.

This year’s fair was a shadow of its former self. Lots of reasons. The pandemic. Supply shortages. The chaos fueled by Trump and his followers. I briefly considered returning on Wednesday for a nice breakfast, but decided one visit was enough.

Will I ever return to the Medina County Fair? Unless the people who run the fair grow a spine and embrace basic morality, I don’t think so. That’s on them.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2022 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, August 2, 2022




July ended on a particular high note as I attended NEO Comicon, an annual event that happened on Sunday, July 31, at North Olmsted’s Soccer Sportsplex, 31515 Lorain Road. A state-of-the-art facility, it offers year-round soccer, flag football, basketball, volleyball, health shows, arcade shows and even an indoor car show. It’s home to one of my favorite conventions in the known universe.

The two huge indoor soccer fields were filled with comics creators, comics sellers, Funko figures, cosplayers, a confectioner, a booth selling hot sauce, our friends from WBNX TV and much more. It was a blessing that I was too busy at my tables from the start of the event to the finish. It kept me from spending the money I made at the show on all that cool stuff.



Much to my delighted surprise, NEO Comicon decided to honor my 50 years in the comics with a special commemorative poster featuring works of art from seven artists who were or have been guests of the convention. The poster was designed by Kimberly Ann. The artists: Jason Banak, Gary Dumm, Jay Fife, Matt Horak, Robert Kraus, Rick Lozano, Dave Nestler, Don Simpson and David Noble. The posters sold for $2 each with all of the proceeds going to Elyria’s Friendship APL. The individual pieces of art were silently auctioned off and, again, the proceeds were going to the charity. When I get the total donation to the charity, I’ll update this blog.


Before the show even opened, the amazingly talented Ryan Piscione of Spidey’s Quick Press presented me with this handmade, woodcut laser-art piece of the original 1970s advertisement for the debut of Black Lightning. At the end of the show, he gave me three small versions of the piece. Three of my Black Lightning friends will be very happy before the end of the month.

Jay Fife gave me a copy of his Tigra print that was incorporated into the commemorative poster. It wouldn’t be for a while, but Jay and I talked about doing something creative together. I have long wanted to work with him.

Sales were brisk at my tables. So brisk I’m pretty sure I failed to log every sale. My best guess is that I achieved around 175% of my sales goal for the convention. My favorite sale was the woman who was practically jumping for joy as she bought the first six volumes of Fantagraphics’ Little Nemo in Slumberland collection from the late 1990s. She grew up with the classic Windsor McCay hero and was thrilled to find these books.

Aside: That’s one of my greatest joys when I do my garage sales and bring that stuff boxes to conventions. I love seeing customers find  comics and books that excite them or when they get to revisit some series that loved when they were younger.


Super Heroes to Kids in Ohio was in the house. I loved this group of fun cosplayers. So much so that I’ll be a celebrity cosplayer at one of their events in September. They dropped off my costume and I’ll be trying it on later in the week.


So many old friends showed up at this convention. Artist Joe Rutt, who I’ve known since grade school, disputed the notion that I had only been creating comics for fifty years. He remembers my writing comic-book stories in grade school and badgering guys like him to draw them. Guilty as charged.

Cleveland filmmaker Alex Michaels visited my booth and gave a copy of the script that won him a local Emmy. Alex and I have wanted to work together on a horror movie I came up, which would be filmed in Cleveland. Anyone want to bankroll such a venture?


I can’t say enough good things about the NEO Comicon crew. From the promoters to the volunteers, they were exemplary.

There was only one unpleasant incident during the convention. One of those deplorables who voted for the treasonous former president came to my booth asking if I had any “Let’s Go Brandon” shirts and it escalated from there. The convention made it clear to him that he had to keep a considerable distance from me or he’d be booted from the event. I may write about him again soon, but I don’t want to distract from the overwhelmingly positive NEO Comicon.

I recommend the annual NEO Comicon to one and all. It’s a family-friendly event that has a variety of cool comics and comics-related aspects and items. The admission price this year was just $5 with kids getting in for free. I can’t think of a more pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Since I plan to be around for many more years to come, you’ll find me at NEO Comicon every year. I want to thank the show once again for commemorating my fifty years in the comics industry. My career has had its ups and downs, but the ups have been the kind of stuff I used to dream about when I was a kid.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2022 Tony Isabella