Friday, June 23, 2023



Welcome to the longest-titled bloggy thing I have ever written. The title is so long it should’ve been divided into two bloggy things, but I’m eager to get started on my multiple-part report on my trip to Singapore and the convention I attended at the beautiful Gardens by the Bay. We begin with an e-mail I recently received from some Tik Tot creator...

Hello Tony! I have read Black Lightning had a very controversial origin. It’s said when DC contacted you, they wanted you to write a racist white man who transformed into a Black superhero, and that you thankfully changed their mind before they published it. I have read he transformed by saying the “N word” and wondered if that was really something DC thought appropriate. I have also read elsewhere the change was triggered through stress. I have a tiktok channel with 120k+ followers. We would like to know more about it, and if he really did transform by saying the N word, or if the N word was ever used in the original stories you saw. Thank you for creating Black Lightning, I would love to hear more about it! Below is a link to a short video I made about the subject. Please feel free to confirm or deny anything I said there or direct me to more accurate sources on the topic. Have a great day! I hope to hear from you soon.

This e-mail didn’t quite sit right with me. I think the “confirm or deny” was a trigger for me. However, what I really found appalling was that this gentleman, who apparently has a huge following, felt it was acceptable to post potentially erroneous information to his audience. They deserve better than that. Especially since he could have easily found most of the answers he sought by doing a simple online search.

This kind of shoddy comics journalism is common. A recent article on Comic Book Resources on my What If story “What If Gwen Stacy Had Lived?” got it 100% wrong, missing the actual meaning of the story completely. I am one of the easiest creators to reach online and, last I checked, I was still living. A responsible writer would have contacted me. Which might have destroyed the click-bait value the writer was going for, but I’m one of those old-fashioned sorts who thinks reporters should reported the truth.

Rich Johnson’s Bleeding Cool is notorious for its “Let you and him fight” style of gossipy click-bait. The site once had value and did do some useful reporting, but it has increasingly embraced the sleazy side of the force.

Those are only two examples of shoddy comics journalism. There are too many others to even list. As long as comics fans accept these low standards, there will be more.

Moving on...

You want me to write about the Black Bomber, don’t you? Everybody does. I get asked about the character frequently. Even from people who have heard the story. I suppose they just like the way I tell it. If I were a singer, this tale of wonderment would be the song I sing for the encore.

Before I tune up the old guitar, let me address something from the above e-mail I’ve never addressed before. Because I never heard it before receiving the e-mail.

The white racist did not transform into the Black hero by shouting the N-word. To the best of my recollection, the N-word wasn’t used in either of the two completed Black Bomber scripts. I don’t know who made this up, but it wasn’t true.   

When I moved from Marvel to DC, I was given two completed scripts of a planned new hero called the Black Bomber. This character was a white racist who’d taken part in chemical camouflage experiments intended to allow him to better blend in to the jungles of Vietnam. No, really.

The effects of the experiments didn’t kick in until the soldier was discharged from the military and again living in the United States. Then, in times of stress, the white racist would turn into a Black super-hero. Neither identity was aware of the other. Both of them had girlfriends who witnessed the transformations and said nothing. No, really.

In each of the two scripts, the white racist in his white racist identity rescued people who he couldn’t see clearly. In both cases, he had risked his life to rescue a Black person. In both cases, he wasn’t happy about this. To quote what he said after rescuing a child in a baby carriage, “You mean I risked my life for a jungle bunny?” No, really.  

The cherry on top of this shit sundae was the hero’s costume. Which looked like a basketball uniform. No, really.

DC Comics wanted me to “punch up” the two existing scripts and take over the writing with the third issue. I declined. I told them that these were the most offensive scripts I had ever read in my four years in the comics industry. I told them they could not possibly publish these scripts.

My DC bosses were aghast. What did I mean they couldn’t publish a couple of scripts they had paid for?

I responded that, if they published those terrible scripts, their offices would be set upon by a mob wielding pitchforks and torches. They asked how I could know this. I told them I’d be leading that mob. This was one of the proudest moments of my career.

How often does one get to truly put their principles ahead of their well-being? At the time I was declining this gig, I was just about as broke as I’ve ever been in my life. I had no income to speak of. I would have been homeless save for the kindness of friends who let me stay with them. I mostly ate at McDonald’s because it was cheap and just filling enough to keep me going. Yet here I was risking my perhaps only chance of gainful employment in the comics industry because it was the right thing to do. Every time some asshole tries to troll me because of my devotion to Black Lightning and my quest to keep my creation consistent with his core values, I laugh because I know those jerks would never have done what I did. Morally vacant cowards.

It took me somewhere between seven and ten days to convince DC that I was right about this. But I had to boil it down to something the all-white hierarchy could understand:

“Do you actually want your first headline Black super-hero to be a white racist?”

They had never thought about it that way. I was given two or three weeks to create a new Black super-hero.

And so the legend began...

I’m asked about Black Vulcan even more often than I’m asked about the Black Bomber. I suppose I should retell that story in the near future. However, coming up next, with an occasional interruption, I’ll be taking several blogs to report on the fabulous trip Saintly Wife Barb and I took to Singapore to attend the wondrous Cosfest: Legend of the Floral Guardian at the amazing Gardens By The Bay. I can’t wait to share it with you.

© 2023 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, June 14, 2023




It’s been an interesting and often unpleasant week. In grieving for a beloved and talented comics creator gone too soon, other creators launched #ComicsBrokeMe on Twitter. Not surprisingly, it’s trending on that platform.

I’ve been sharing comics industry horror stories online for decades - all it got me was churlish attacks by various click-bait websites - but even I was shocked by some of the things I learned this week. Ironically, some of the websites who came after me are now trying to position themselves as creator-friendly. I hope creators can see through this deception.

In other news...Trump was indicted again and started making up all kinds of shit. His followers, who never read the indictment or any of the laws Trump misrepresents, are up in arms.  Some of them are literally calling for a civil war and the mass murder of thousands of Democrats.

Pat Robertson died and it was not too soon. He should have gone to Hell decades ago. The Unabomber committed suicide in his jail cell. Former Secretary of the Interior James Watt died and it took me a while to remember why I disliked him. He felt God would be ending  the world soon, so we should develop every inch of the environment.Oilmen and other soulless corporations were more than happy to help him with his insane agenda. They didn’t succeed, but they did more  than their share of damage.

One more thing. In support of Florida governor Ron DeSantis, Nazi-flag-waving Nazis protested Disney’s Pride celebrations from just outside the park. Actual. Flag-waving. Nazis. That should tell you everything you need to know about DeSantis, who is currently losing court case after court case.

Of course, as a noted ray of sunshine, I still found a great many books, people and more that brought me joy last month. Here are the things that made me happy in May...

May 1: Alvin Hall’s Driving The Green Book: A Road Trip Through the Living History of Black Resistance. Enticing, informative reading for those of us eager to learn the history that never made it into our school history texts.

May 2: Super Bins Medina, a discount store, opened last week just minutes from my house. I haven’t been there yet, but Saintly Wife Barb scored this Funko Black Adam on Throne figure for six bucks! Destined for one of my garage sale mystery boxes.



May 3: Jeopardy. I always smile widely when a clue is about one of my favorite things. Comic books. Monster movies. Vintage cartoons. Comic strips. This one was used on Monday, May 1. If you don’t know the answer, you’re dead to me.

May 4: In The Power (Amazon), women all over the world develop the ability to generate electricity and so upend the male-female power balance. It’s scary as shit with nods to current injustices in our  world. Highly recommended.

May 5: Jeopardy. Current champion Hannah Wilson is a powerhouse. I am in awe of her gamesmanship and knowledge. I’m rooting for her to get at least five wins!

May 6: The Power (Amazon). Thanks to a downright chilling portrayal by Gerrison Machado, the scariest character on this amazing series is radicalized son Matty Clearly-Lopez. His raw hatred mirrors that of MAGA Republicans. Terrifying.


May 7: Help! I’m being held prisoner by the Sinister Six! It’s my own fault. I couldn’t resist the incredible sales prices on these amazing Funko figures from Amazon. I wish I had Spider-Man in my contacts.

May 8: Guardians of the Galaxy 3 gave me everything I wanted from the movie and more. Great character moments. Edge-of-my-seat action sequences. A most satisfying ending. It’s a terrific movie and one of the best from the MCU.

May 9: The Post-Racial Negro Green Book by Jan Miles is a reverse Green Book, a state-by-state achieve of 21st Century racial bias. There is so much under-reported or not-reported Black history and we all need to learn more of it.

May 10: Simba. We took our beloved pet to Banfield Pet Hospital in Medina for some shots. She’s in terrific health and hasn’t gained any weight since her last visit three years ago. My nap buddy and office mate is in better shape than I am.


May 11: Dennis the Menace Napkins (circa early 1950s). A long-time friend sent me these “sip ‘n snack napkins. He knows I’m a huge fan of the early Dennis. I probably won’t use these collectibles, but I do have a sudden urge to wear bib overalls.

May 12: Hitoshi Ashinano’s Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou is sort of like a shooting white noise in comics form. As the rising oceans slowly end our world, a lovely humanoid robot runs a tiny coffee shop in a seaside town. Gorgeous art and writing.

May 13: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: “Today, I Am a Woman” was an outstanding episode. MG’s bestie Casey plans her bat mitzvah with her two dads and their woman rabbi. Ron DeSantis should watch this over and over until his head explodes.

May 14: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: “Devil on Her Shoulder”. In this episode, MG shrinks DD down to human size and then some. With guest appearances by Bill Foster (Lawrence Fishburne) and Marvel monsters Droom and Torg the Abominable Snow-King.

May 15: A shout-out to Medina businesses that made my life easier: Huntington Bank, Target, The UPS Store, Walmart and JoJo’s Sports Bar and Grille where I had a delightful lunch with Bob Ingersoll, Roger Price and Thom Zahler.

May 16: VAOS (Vast Accumulation of Stuff) finds. Dozens of comics written by me, Black Lightning Toon Tumblers glasses and, best of all, my treasured copy of Fantastic Four Annual #1, the issue that made me want to write comic books.

May 17: Good neighbors. When a copper pipe in one of our bathrooms sprung a serious pinprick leak, our friend Dave helped us figure it out and shut off the water to our house. Our trusty plumbers will be here later today, but Dave was our hero of the night.

May 18: More VAOS (Vast Accumulation of Stuff) finds. Some Silver Age issues of Lois Lane. Nearly a hundred trade paperbacks. Dozens of manga volumes to be priced at a buck each. Copies of my scripts for Black Lightning comics. Much more to come.


May 19: Perfect World by Rle Aruga presents the romance between a young woman and a man in a wheelchair. Originally a one-shot, the moving manga was so popular with readers that it became an ongoing series. Beautifully written and drawn.

May 20: Something was missing from my Funko Pop! Sinister Six set and now it’s not. Plus I feel much safer sharing my digs with those classic villains now that beat them all is here to keep an eye on them. It’s just what he does.  

May 21: Mister Mammoth by Matt Kindt and Jean-Denis Pendanx. The world’s greatest detective is a seven-foot-tall pacifist who sees patterns no one else can. This stand-alone graphic novel will keep you in suspense and wonderment.

May 22: I’m delighted to announce Matt Murdock has joined my legal team. I’ve heard good things about him and also crazy shit about him being a super-hero. But, come on, he’s blind! Say Rudy giuliani is a super-villain, that I could believe.                                                                                                                                                                                             
May 23: Disney Masters Vol. 12: Donald Duck: The Forgetful Hero. A delightful collection of stories drawn by Giorgio Cavazzano. When you need a break from heavier reading, the Disney Masters volumes from Fantagraphics will do the job.

May 24: Jeopardy Masters. The last sem-finals game was one of the greatest of all time. Medina’s Matt Amodio dominated. Mattea Roach won the final spot in the finals. The fellowship of these fantastic players was evident from start to finish.


May 25: Kong: An Original Screenplay by Edgar Wallace. Edited by Stephen Jones as part of his Masters of Horror series, here’s the script that launched King Kong and the fascinating history behind it. Highly recommended.

May 26: You Like Me, Not My Daughter?! by Kota Nozomi and Tesshin Azuma is a “hot mom rom com” about a woman who adopted her niece at a young age. Now 30, she’s pursued by one of her niece’s legal age friends. It’s funny, heartwarming and sexy.

May 27: Funko’s Santa Spider-Man will be on display at the Isabella house this Christmas. Besides making me happy, it gives me a chance to let you know there are lots of cool Funko figures at Amazon now and at discount prices. Worth checking out.

May 28: I knew they existed, but until I saw one on Lisa Whelchel’s Collector’s Call, I didn’t realize just how much I need a Godzilla pinball machine in my life. If only I had the seven or eight grand it would cost. It’s grail time!

May 29: Stan Lee has joined my Funko collection. He was the man who inspired me to make comic books. He was a great mentor and teacher and, even after I left Marvel, friend. I think of him constantly. I miss him always.

May 30: May the Wheel be with you! This week, Wheel of Fortune is holding its Star Wars Galactic Celebration with contestants wearing Star Wars gear and many Star Wars-themed puzzles. Fingers crossed we see Vanna White as bun-haired Princess Leia.

May 31: Telepaths by J. Michael Straczynski, Steve Epting and Brian Reber. As the writer who turned the Thangarian Absorbascon into a terrifying weapon, this graphic novel about a world where no secret is safe was right in my wheelhouse. More please.

Coming up in near-future bloggy things will be a one-off discussion of comics journalism and a multi-part series on my glorious trip to Singapore with Saintly Wife Barb.

In the meantime, my famous Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales kick off this weekend, Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17 from 9 am to1 pm both days. This Craig’s List notice should give you all the information you need.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2023 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, June 7, 2023





“The Punisher Is No More”: Marvel Officially Gets Rid Of Its Most Controversial Character

That’s the sort of click bait headline that set off the right-wing snowflakes in fandom. I haven’t followed the Punisher in years, but apparently he’s been having one WTF moment after another. He became the leader of the Hand. His wife was brought back from the dead. She divorced him and took his money. He was banished from Earth-616 to a parallel universe never to return. Until, of course, he does. Wow. Okay.

Marvel and most sensible comics fans have been concerned about the Punisher’s skull insignia being appropriated by all manner of vile right-wing deplorables including fascist cops. Putting the Punisher off screen while the publishers figure out what to do with him is a smart move. But the weeping wingnuts are blaming “woke” for this assault on their freedoms or some such. One such poster said that Marvel should be more concerned about themselves than “snowflakes,” too dense to realize he was the snowflake.

I responded:

Since Marvel owns the character, they are worrying more about themselves than someone casually throwing around an often-misused insult like "snowflakes." As I see it, they are retiring the brand for now and will surely bring the character back at some point. The Punisher can be more than a skull on his chest. Maybe some writer or artist will come up with a better visual. Like a coiled "don't tread on me" snake.

Once I got past the various insults hurled at me, the conversation was fairly interesting. I added:

Actually, I'm thinking a new Punisher series might be best served by almost making Frank a supporting character in the stories, much as Eisner would do with the Spirit from time to time. We more or less know Castle's mindset. I think it would be more interesting to see people’s reaction to find themselves in his crazed world.

And this:

Well over two decades ago, I pitched a Punisher reboot that would have changed the title's world without invalidating anything that had gone before. I still think it's a great idea, but I'm not sure if it could survive my removing all the Marvel elements out of it. 

And when a poster said he’d like to read that pitch:

I may not be able to locate the actual pitch, but I do plan to write about in a book called THE UNREALIZED ISABELLA. I'm hoping to find a publisher/partner for this and many other books and comics.

After that, I stopped reading and posting in the thread. Because I had already spent more time thinking about the Punisher than I had in decades.

The above has virtually nothing to do with sharing with you all the things that made me happy in April, but I wanted to get it out of my head as quickly as possible. Consider it a bonus blog within my blog as we head to our feature presentation.

Here are the things that brought me joy in April...


April 1: A Man & His Cat by Umi Sakurai. This manga series works on so many levels. It’s cute, funny and even poignant in its telling of a lonely man and his equally lonely feline. I’m enjoying it and plan to read the entire series.

April 2: As I walked to our mailbox to get the Sunday newspaper on this chilly morning, it hit me that, in just a few days, Barb and I would be enjoying a week of soothingly warm weather in Singapore. Courtesy of Cosfest. It’s a dream soon to come true.

April 3: The Daily Show with guest host Roy Wood, Jr. I knew he’d  be a terrific fit for the lead spot on the show and his first night behind the desk confirmed it. A friendly presence who worked well solo and with others. He’s a contender.

April 4: Doctor Strange #1 by Jed MacKay (writer) and Pasqual Ferry (artist). What a great jumping-on issue for a new or lapsed reader. Several mini-tales with back stories seamlessly included. I will be reading this title regularly.

April 5: Singapore Airlines is far and away the finest airline I’ve ever flown on. Clean comfortable seating. Courteous and efficient service on every level. Flight attendants elegant and stunning in
their traditional sarongs.

April 6: Cosfest had a wheelchair waiting for me when we landed at Singapore’s Changi Airport. This sped up our post-flight stuff to a remarkable degree. I’d rather have a more dependable knee, but I truly appreciate such courtesies.

April 7: Singapore. We were picked up at the airport by  Cosfest’s Stephanie and Takahan, taken to our Studio M Hotel and joined for dinner by Melanie. What a delightful trio. They became family to us with their unending kindness.

April 8: Singapore. Our hosts took us to the huge Books Kinokuniya in the even more huge Takashimaya Shopping Centre. Just the space devoted to comics and manga was bigger than most comics shop in the United States. It was stunning to behold.

April 9: Cosfest 2023 was a spectacular event held in the gorgeous Gardens by the Bay. We met so many wonderful fans and got to take a break to enjoy the beautiful foliage and fun displays included in the Gardens. A must-see for Singapore visitors.

April 10: Two days of sightseeing after Cosfest. My favorites: the spectacular mall at Jewel Changi Airport with its indoor waterfall, the awesome/scary Singapore Flyer and the statue of Merlion, the city’s own kaiju protector.



April 11: My friend Melanie gave me a Funko figure of Merlion, the symbol of Singapore. Of course, there’s a Funko figure of the kaiju protector of the country. And, of course, I’d like to do a graphic novel starring him. Thanks, Melanie.  



April 12: Singapore. The artist Takahan created three magnificent artworks for Cosfest. I’ll include all three when I write about the event in Tony Isabella’s Bloggy Thing, but, for now, here’s the one with copy written by me.

April 13: Singapore. Barb and I met so many fine people at Cosfest. Comics creator Kia Asamiya. His sales manager Matt Nakamura. Asia Cosplay superstar Tomia. The stunning Yumi Matsuzawa, writer/singer of the official event theme song.

April 14: Singapore. I need to give a grateful shout-out to Cosfest volunteer Robin, my wheelchair guy at the event. He took Barb and I around Gardens by the Bay and thereabouts without once telling me I needed to eat a salad now and then.


April 15: Going to Singapore and Cosfest: Gardens by the Bay was an unforgettable experience for Barb and I. Our forever thanks to the amazing Stephanie Snowheart for inviting us and for showing us the time of our lives.

April 16: One more shout-out to Singapore Airlines. Because of its efficient handling of my request for handicapped assistance, Barb and I sailed through JFK customs/TSA in record time and were able to get on an earlier flight home.

April 17: Patricia Highsmith's Diaries and Notebooks: The New York Years, 1941-1950. Though I’m fascinated by this writer, who worked in comic books in the late 40s, I’ve never read any of her novels or stories. I hope to change that soon.

April 18: Actress Laura Benanti playing Melanie Trump on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Her timing in delivering the hilarious jokes is as sure as Colbert’s. I always get many giggles whenever she appears.

April 19: Dear Body by Lea Bordier. A informative, moving anthology of body positivity stores taken from many interviews conducted by Bordier and adapted into comics by female and non-binary artists.
Comics can tell all kinds of stories.

April 20: Dinosaur Sanctuary by Itaru Kinoshita. The magnificient beasts survive in parks like Enoshima Dinoland. Rookie dino-keeper Suma Suzume wants to keep the park afloat in this heart-warming and scientifically accurate manga for all ages.



April 21: Gone, gone the form of man, arise the Funko Etrigan! The latest addition to my collection is a character that could use some consistency and updating, but I love this classic Bronze Age look. Wouldn’t mind taking a crack at it someday.

April 22: Saintly Wife Barb and our children Eddie and Kelly were delighted by the classy octopus figures I gave them as late Easter presents. I was thinking outside the box, but I believe every desk needs one of these.

April 23: Rip Kirby is one of my favorite comic strips. In Volume 7, reprinting the 1962-1964 adventures, I was highly entertained by a comedy in which butler Desmond is tricked into believing he has become a lord by murderous con men. It’s hilarious.

April 24: Desi Lydic was hilarious, radiant and smart on her first night hosting The Daily Show. The best line was that she couldn’t believe “a network so opposed to gender-affirming surgery just cut off their own dick.” Brilliant.

April 25: The serious planning for my summer Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales has begun. I take over the garage on May 1 with target dates of June 1-3 for the opening weekend.

[UPDATE: Extensive house repairs have delayed the start of my VAOS sales until June 16-17.]


April 26: Lisa Whelchel’s Collector’s Call returns for its fourth season with Rich Correll, whose collection of horror/sci-fi movie props and costumes dwarfed any other collections that’s appeared on the series. A truly magnificent collection.

April 27: A recent Meijer’s ad showing their first store from 1934 include windows with the names of goods they sold. One such window, which I couldn’t find a photo of, advertised comics. Those were the days.

April 28: After one Wheel of Fortune contestant expressed her love for show announcer Jim Thornton, the guy behind the mike replaced Pat Sajak for the contestant’s bonus round. It was an unexpected and hilarious moment. The woman’s glee was wondrous, even after she lost the round.

April 29: Saintly Wife Barb and I watched the pleasantly silly fun Murder Mystery (2019) on Netflix. Wile there are no award-winning performances from Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston or the other cast members, we enjoyed it. We’ll watch the sequel tonight.

April 30: Murder Mystery 2 (2023) gets a little too carried away, but Barb and I did enjoy it. We were especially pleased to see the returns of John Kani (The Colonel), Dany Boon (Inspector Delacroix) and Adeel Akhtar (The Maharajah).

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

© 2023 Tony Isabella

Thursday, June 1, 2023


PRIDE MONTH begins today and I can’t think of a more important time to show our unflinching love and support for the LGBTQ+ community. Especially since they are under attack by many of the worst people and organizations in our country.

I understand the Republican party framing the community as threats to our country. That’s always been their play book. As President Andrew Shepherd (played by Michael Douglas) said in Aaron Sorkin’s and Rob Reiner’s The American President (1995):

I've known [Republican Senator] Bob Rumson for years, and I've been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn't get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. Bob's problem is that he can't sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections.

The Republican hate speech is something I understand. I’m having a tougher time accepting why people who call themselves Christians act in such an un-Christlike manner when it comes to the children of their god who happen to be LGBTQ+. And why they do this when the history of their own churches is filled with authority figures who proved themselves to be actual threats to children. Their behavior isn’t remotely what Jesus would do.

I’ll be celebrating PRIDE MONTH in as many ways as I can come up. I’m hanging a PRIDE flag as soon as I finish posting this bloggy thing. I have a lawn sign on order and am looking for more. I have a “Trans Rights are Human Rights” shirt I’ll be wearing on errands and at my garage sales. I’m looking for more shirts. I’d check out Target, but, well, you know...

Our country was built with diversity. I see no reason that should not continue to be the case.

As you can figure from our header, I am way behind in posting the things that make me happy. I hope to catch up over the next couple days. For now, here’s what gave me joy in March...

March 1: The Aquaman Comic Covers Pop is the latest addition to my collection. Though I’ve enjoyed many takes on the character, it’s the classic look that speaks to me and my lifelong love of super-heroes most deeply.

March 2: E. Nelson Bridwell writing the Batman newspaper strip in 1970-1972. He combined down-to-earth storytelling with the then-current comics continuity. The more of his work I read, the more I want to collect it all. He was a treasure.


March 3: With the collections curated by esteemed comics historian Dr. Michael J. Vassallo and in agreement with Marvel, Fantagraphics  will be reprinting classic Atlas-era comics in hardcover editions. Take my money.

March 4: Emmy, the plucky heroine of Harrow County is back in Tales from Harrow County Volume 3: Lost Ones by Cullen Bunn, Tyler Cook and Emily Schnall. She doesn’t have her magic, but she’s as heroic as ever in this start of a fantastic new arc.

March 5: Belated kudos to Hasan Minhaj for his guest hosting stint on The Daily Show. His first night faux-fight with Ronny Chieng was hilarious. With Chelsea Handler likely not interested in becoming the permanent TDS host, my vote goes to Minhaj.

March 6: I love seeing comics-related questions on Jeopardy, even if Lori Lemaris wasn’t mentioned by name. I was surprised the first player to buzz in answered “What is telekinesis?” The second player correctly responded “What is telepathy?”

March 7: Not Dead Yet. Starring Gina Rodriguez as down-on-her-luck obit writer Nell Stevens, this entertaining sitcom offers a decent share of laughs and above-average character development. Maybe not the stuff of awards, but a pleasant half-hour.

March 8: Wanda Sykes. The actor/wrier was absolutely brilliant as Shirley Chisholm and Harriet Tubman in History of the World, Part II. Those were my favorite segments in the great big goofy fun that was this Mel Brooks TV series.


March 9: I’ve written the finale of “The Loves of Abby Amour” for Last Kiss, though you won’t see it for several weeks. I could not have done this without my collaborators John Lustig, Diego Jourdan Pereira, Susan Daigle-Leach and, of course, Frank Frazetta.

March 10: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. I enjoyed the heck out of this latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Incredible action sequences and special effects. A great cast. Lots of laughs and surprises. This one is a keeper.

March 11: Katy O'Brian.  I met her on the Black Lightning set when she was played Major Grey. I thought she was great. She’s even better as Jentorra in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. She should be headlining her own series of action films.

March 12: Poker Face. This intriguing mystery series stars Natasha Lyonne as a woman with the unerring ability to know when someone is lying. She doesn’t always think through what she does with her gift and now she’s on the run from the mob.

March 13: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I could watch GOPhole  and welfare fraud Brett Favre take a football to his nutsack every day and still want more. Someday I will write a story in which some hero takes out a villain that way.

March 14: Star Wars Legends Epic Collection The Empire Vol. 7 has a reprint of the only Star Wars story I ever wrote. “Routine” first ran in Star Wars Tales #2 (1999). I think the humorous tale still holds up very well.

March 15: The Beast Below. A once-famous singer with abandonment issues enters a million-baht competition to find badly-needed water for his hometown. This 2022 creature feature from Thailand is good cheesy fun for all ages. Recommended.


March 16: Spider-Man: Enemies Closer by Jim Beard. This 2017 prose novel was one of the best Doctor Octopus stories I’ve ever read. It captured Spidey, Otto and Phil Coulson perfectly. If you can find, I recommend it highly.

March 17: On a whim, I purchased an Elvira box from HorrorMerch, an outfit that creates such collector’s boxes for an large number of horror movies. Most of what I received will end up in garage sale mystery boxes. But I’m keeping the shirt for myself.

March 18: Dolly Parton is the perfect Funko figure to add to that growing collection of mine. Dolly makes me feel happy and hopeful there is good in the world. Funko figures make me feel all that as well. I smile when I see Dolly or Funko figures.

March 19: Preparing for my April appearance at Singapore’s Cosfest, I’ve been reading travel guides. My favorite is Singapore Culture Smart: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture. I’ll reread it on the very long flight to Singapore.  


March 20: Cocaine Bear. It won’t be nominated for any awards, save maybe the increasingly dick-ish Razzies, but it’s a goofy humorous and occasionally chilling hour-and-a-half with decent acting. Plus it has Margo Martindale. Kick back and enjoy.

March 21: Agent Elvis on Netflix. It’s crude. It’s rude. It’s damn near blasphemous. It is not suitable for children of any age from six to seventy-one. But this animated series’s pitch dark humor had me laughing out loud from start to finish.

March 22: Men’s Warehouse in Fairlawn, Ohio. Several years back, I bought a new suit for the Black Lightning premiere. Today, I bought  pants for my Singapore trip and was recognized by the salesman who sold me that suit. That was cool.

March 23: Checking out Indy Planet offerings, I bought and read Big Bang Adventures #20 by Gary Carlson and Ron Williams. It’s a nice mix of classic super-hero fare and more modern sensibilities. I’ll definitely pick up the second part of the story.

March 24: Elmo: An American Experiment by Cecil Jensen. Published by Labor of Love, this collection of comic strips from 1946-1948 is deliciously mean-spirited. It’s as if Jensen hated his title hero as much as the various villains. Recommended.

March 25: Friday night dinner at Medina’s Blue Heron Brewery with Saintly Wife Barb and our kids Eddie and Kelly. They had the fish fry and I had a delicious grilled chicken sandwich. This restaurant is one of our favorites.


March 26: Lisa Whelchel’s Collector’s Call returns on Sunday, April 2 at 6:30 pm EST on ME TV. I’m a big fan of the show and the season premiere will feature Rich Correll’s “massive collection of horror and sci-fi props and costumes.”

March 27: Bungleton Green and the Mystic Commandos by Jay Jackson. Running in the legendary Black newspaper The Chicago Defender, this adventure strip had Nazis, ghosts, time travel, mad scientists and edgy social commentary. It’s a classic.  

March 28: Godzilla Rivals Round One (IDW) collects four stories of the Big G battling Hedorah, Mothra, King Ghidorah and Battra. The stories are entertaining with great human elements and outstanding monster art. A must-have for kaiju devotees.

March 29: The Lady Killer Library Edition by Joelle Jones and Jamie Rich collects both mini-series and adds sketchbooks and previously unpublished art. One of my favorite comics series of all time in a flat-out gorgeous edition. Highly recommended.

March 30: Ape Vs. Mecha-Ape. This sequel to the not-as-good Ape Vs. Monster is one of the best Asylum films of recent years. First-rate monster action with interesting human stories. Tom Arnold is good fun as the Secretary of Defense.

March 31: Marvel Value Stamps: A Visual History by Roy Thomas. This marvelously obsessive tome is a treat, packed with cool images from cover to cover. Surprisingly, I never worked on these when I worked at Marvel in the 1970s, so I’m learning a lot.

Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2023 Tony Isabella