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

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