Tuesday, January 3, 2023




Happy New Year! 2022 is firmly in the rear view mirror, save for my usual monthly list of wondrous things that brought me joy. 2023 is starting to form in front of us and, while we hope for the best, we recognize the dangers of a foolish optimism. This was the new year message I posted on my Facebook page:

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope to bring hope, fear, justice and lightning to the world in 2023.

One of my dear friends responded:

How strange to hope to bring fear... especially in these times.

My response:

One. It's a reference to Black Lightning's mantra. Two, there are people in this world who deserve to be fearful.

There are evil people in our country and in the world. You know who they are...or you should know. We do ourselves no credit to refuse to recognize evil exists. Evil needs to be called out. Evil needs to be challenged at every step. Evil needs to be defeated at every stage. I want evil people to be fearful. I want them to spend every waking moment afraid the justice they deserve, the punishment they
deserve is just outside their door.

We also must celebrate the good in our country and the world. It’s the good that fortifies us for the battles ahead and reminds us we can find happiness and victory in our lives. Here are the things that made me happy in December...


December 1: Moon Knight has been good to me. Marvel’s reprints of the two issues I wrote have amounted to several nice checks. Which is how I justified purchasing the Funko Pop figure with cover now looming over the other figures on my desk.

December 2: I came across a thick folder containing fanzines I had contributed to before I went to work at Marvel in 1972. Expect to see some of my ancient contributions in future installments of the bloggy thing. You have warned.

December 3: Troll. This just released Norwegian giant monster movie delivered more than expected. Great creature and solid story. Many familiar yet well-played monster movie characters. Some surprising moments. Highly recommended.

December 4: Science marches on. As of December 12, Hot Pockets, in association with the Columbus Fashion Alliance, will start selling limited-edition cargo shorts with insulated pockets to keep your Hot Pockets hot. What a world we live in.


December 5: Weird Al Yankovic is one of my favorite performers and someone I keep insisting be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As an early birthday gift to myself, he now stands above my computer screen.

December 6: Georgia’s Raphael Warnock was reelected to the Senate. It’s terrifying that his opponent, arguably the worst candidate in the history of modern politics, got almost as many votes as he did, but we celebrate the victory of a very good man.

December 7: Kudos to the Late Show for “Red, White & Greenland: A Tour of Thule Air Base: Stephen Cold-Bear is Lost in Space Force.” A fun and informative tribute to our country’s most northern line of defense. You can watch it on YouTube.


December 8: The Stargirl series finale was everything I hoped for. An incredibly satisfying conclusion with lots of action, emotion, heroism and surprises. Huge love for the cast, crew, writers and directors and, of course, Geoff Johns.

December 9: Britney Griner is back in the U.S.A. with her wife and family, following her unjust arrest and subsequent imprisonment by Russia. Anyone who complains about her return is dead to me. Kindly choke on your own noxious bile.


December 10: It’s a Godzilla-mas miracle! I now own the Mezco Toyz 5 Points XL Godzilla vs Hedorah 1971 Three Figure Boxed Set. It has Godzilla, Flying Hedorah, Final Form Hedorah, replica buildings and more. Save the Earth!

December 11: Saintly Wife Barb and our friend Jess were fine after a deer ran head on into Barb’s car. There’s some damage to the car that we’ll cover out of our pockets, but it could have been a lot worse for Barb and Jess. Thank you, Universe.

[The biggest damage to the car was the loss of the Toyota symbol on the front grill. Happily, Barb’s aunt Nora works at a dealership. For Christmas, she gifted Barb with a new front grill symbol that was identical to the original. The excited look on Barb’s face was unforgettable.]

December 12: I started writing a prose story, the first in a series starring a new creation and set in Dinah County, Ohio. My goal is to spend 30 minutes each day on this spooky mystery. Not sure where it will appear, but appear it will.

[I haven’t reached my goal, but work on the story is progressing. I hope to finish the first draft this month.]

December 13: The Stretcher Bearers by Reid and Ryan Beaman. In this  graphic novel of World War I, an underage soldier is assigned to be a stretcher bearer. It’s a powerful tale of brotherhood, horror, hopelessness and surprising hope.


December 14: Netflix’s The Curse of Bridge Hollow. Watched on a whim, this Damon Wayans vehicle was a fun Halloween romp suitable for all ages and with several fine comedic performances. A sequel was hinted at and I’d be down with that.

December 15: Talented area artist Emily Szalkowski was featured on Thursday’s New Day Cleveland. I always get a kick out of her work on Facebook and at conventions. Inspired by Tim Burton but clearly her own vision, her art never fails to make me smile.

December 16: It seems like there’s a new Chinese monster movie on YouTube every week. Some of them are even dubbed in English. While they’re not great movies by any stretch of the imagination, I find them a fun way to spend an hour-and-a-half.

December 17: Cleaning out a desk drawer, I found an envelope filled with gift cards for Target, Subway, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, Taco Bell and Regal Cinema. It looks like I won’t starve to death in the immediate future...and I’ll get to see a movie.


December 18: The Justice Society has become my favorite DC Comics group, due in no small part to Stargirl and the Black Adam movie. It’s time for the boring, dysfunctional Justice League to go away and leave the super-teaming to the adults.

December 19: Cicely Strong. This multi-talented performer has long been one of my all-time Saturday Night Live cast. I’m going to miss her there, but look forward to seeing her star rise in whatever she does in the future.

December 20: Chewy. Two neighbors had problems, neither the fault of the company, with items. The company gave them full refunds for their purchases and asked them to donate the items to local animal help places. Wagging my tail in appreciation.  

December 21: I took my old friend Terry Fairbanks and three of his grandkids (Chase, Gabby & Zack - to The Asylum’s 2025 Armageddon at the Hickory Ridge Cinema. We had the theater to ourselves, we had a blast and the movie...ran an hour-and-a-half.

December 22: Happy birthday to me! My friends tell me 71 is only a number, but it’s a damn big number. I’m glad I’m still fighting the good fight, cherish all those who fight with me and remember all those no longer with us. Always forward.


December 23: My dear pal Laurie Jacobson was wonderful on Morning Joe talking about her book Top of the Mountain: The Beatles at Shea Stadium 1965. Gee, do I miss seeing her and husband Jon Provost on the convention trail.

December 24: Movie Night with Saintly Wife Barb. We watched Ticket to Paradise on Amazon. The George Clooney/Julia Roberts comedy was fun with beautiful backgrounds and great respect for the Balinese  people who make up most of the cast.

December 25: Christmas Eve dinner with Barb, Eddie, Kelly, Barb’s Aunt Pat and Terry and Nora Fairbanks. Great people and food with a nice gift exchange. Plus, afterwards, I stayed up to watch Glass Onion, a veritable feast of a movie!


December 26: Anthony Reynolds, who played a crooked cop during the first season of Black Lightning, was chilling on FBI: Most Wanted, playing a right-wing judge turned serial killer. I hope I get the chance to work with someday.

December 27: Ronny Chieng: Speakeasy. I found this Netflix special while streaming-surfing. Chieng was funny, personable and offered some informative thoughts on the nature of comedy. I enjoyed this and think you will, too.

December 28: ABC’s Homeward Bound: A Grammy Salute to the Songs of Paul Simon. An absolutely wondrous tribute to one of the greatest songwriters of all time. Moving acknowledgments of Simon’s impact and performances of his works.

December 29: I had a joyful lunch at Max & Erma’s with old friends Jim, Joe, Marty, Mike, Ted, Terry, my goddaughter Vanessa and her  mom (former Cosmic Comics manager) Angela. Great company, good food and very reasonable prices.

December 30: Malachi Bell, the talented guy who cuts my hair, was cover-featured on Medina Weekly. With his business partner, Malachi recently opened Studio MD Hairstyling to service Medina’s growing diversity. Recommended to all my local friends.

December 31: Wayward Son by Steve Goble. The second Ed Runton novel finds the Ohio police detective turned P.I. searching for a missing teen. It’s a contemporary mystery with solid character development and surprising twists and turns.

I hope your December holidays were wondrous and that your new year will be even more so. Onward.

© 2023 Tony Isabella

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