Thursday, September 7, 2023




August seems like it was an insane blur of garage sales and getting ready for garage sales and watching a lot of landscaping happening courtesy of Saintly Wife Barb and the terrific handyman we hired a while back. We think so highly of him that we also had him working on our son Eddie and our daughter Kelly’s houses. Amidst the chaos, I also found time to do some serious thinking about what projects I’ll be commencing after my final garage sales on Friday, September 8, and Saturday, September 9. I’m feeling energized.

In case the title of today’s bloggy thing has you wondering, here are the things that brought me joy in August...

August 1: Hero Tomorrow was offering a great deal on all Apama and Apama-related comics to date. I have them all, scattered through my Vast Accumulation of Stuff, but now I can read them in their proper chronological order. Score!

August 2: We love our new landscaping. The front of our house and other parts of the lawn and yard look amazing. It’s a cleaner look that has been complimented by our neighbors, our mailman and even Amazon delivery drivers. Saintly Wife Barb is thrilled.


August 3: Cocaine Crabs from Outer Space. Just because.

August 4: The Uncanny Contrast. Recommend by a friend, this Korean series is a supernatural super-hero soap opera crime drama. The heroes have been given power to banish demons, but not for personal advantage. The lines get a little shaky.

August 5: Batman Superman World’s Finest Vol. 1 by Mark Waid, Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain. I neither know nor care what current DC continuity is, but I love what Waid laid down here, especially his treatment of the Doom Patrol.

August 6: The Shadow of the Cat. I watched this British thriller on Svengoolie. Solid writing and good acting as a cat seeks vengeance on those who murdered her beloved human. That the cat looked like my late Simba was oddly comforting.

August 7: I Am Wonder Woman by Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos. A particularly delightful entry to their “Stories Change the World” series. My only quibble is a timeline omitting the Kanigher, Andru and Esposito comics from the 1950s and 1960s.

August 8: InStock Trades. My go to dealer for graphic novels and my beloved omnibus editions. Their discounts are the best online and their packaging, which they recently upgraded even more, is second to none. Check them out. Tell them Tony sent you.

August 9: Bloom by Ted Sikora and Butch Mapa. I like origin stories concise, but reading the four-issue origin of this villainess was like watching a emotional, visually scary movie. I got chills. I want to see that movie.


August 10: Us by Sara Soler. This is a warm and welcoming graphic memoir love story of cartoonist Sara and her partner Diana with an emphasis on Diana’s gender transition. It’s an amazing book which I recommend without reservation to all.

August 11: Black Lightning appears in My First Book of Superpowers from 2021. Thanks to Mike Maloy for alerting me to this children’s book so I could get a copy for my archives.

August 12: My pal Svengoolie sent me an autographed copy of his new hilarious Svengoolie: Lost in Time comic book. I have an invite to visit him in the dungeon when next I get to Chicago. Which ain’t as scary as driving the Dan Ryan Expressway.

August 13: Sins of the Black Flamingo kicks off with a flamboyant thief pulling a caper and morphs into a mystic thriller. Kudos to Andrew Wheeler, Travis Moore, Tamra Bonvillain and Aditya Bidikar for a fine story with great characters. More please.

August 14: In the new season of Harley Quinn, Harley and Ivy strive to find a life-work balance. This is made all the more hilariously with Harley having joined the Bat-Family and Ivy running the Legion of Doom. Not for kids.     

August 15: Saintly Wife Barb and I went to Medina’s Regal Cinemas to see the 10th anniversary edition of Sharknado. This new edition is all spruced up and the bonus content is terrific. A fun night at the movies with a classic goofy thriller.    


August 16: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Mainline Comics. Published by TwoMorrows, this amazing volume collects the entire run of the western hero title and choice stories from Foxhole, Police Trap and In Love. A must-have for any Simon/Kirby fan.

August 17: My Adventures with Superman is too multi-versal for my tastes because I love smaller stories, but it won me over with its portrayal of Monsieur Mallah and the Brain. I would love to write comics with this version of those characters.  

August 18: Apple Crush by Lucy Knisley. The second in the creator’s Peapod Farm series has Jen navigating moving on to middle school. Suitable for all ages, it’s further proof Knisley’s work belongs in all libraries. She’s a literary treasure.

August 19: I made a trip to the Fortress of Storage with son Eddie. We excavated two dozen books of amazing items, including memorable Superman merchandise. The challenge will be pricing all this stuff and getting into the rest of 2023's garage sales.

August 20: Blue Beetle. What a wonderful departure from the usual DCU doom and gloom. It’s the Reyes family that makes this movie so down-to-earth special. I would love to write a Nana limited series. I love a feisty grandmother with guns!


August 21: In Uncaped by Mike Spring and Dennis Tirona, super-hero Lady Olympus sees a vision of her life with comics store worker and musician Lucas, who she’d never previously met. It delivers on the romance and the comedy. I enjoyed it.

August 22: My neighbor put up a beautiful shed in his back yard. It took one day. I’d look out my window every now and then and it’d be further along. At one point, I asked if he were Amish. Got a laugh. I love this kind of stuff.
August 23: Frank Frazetta’s Mothman #1 by Tim Hetrick and various artists. Intrigued by the notion of new comics stories inspired by Frazetta’s paintings, I gave this a try and enjoyed it. I’ll keep reading and try some other Opus titles.

August 24: Funko’s new Mary Jane Watson figure. I don’t know what the heck Marvel has done with this icon in their comic books, but MJ’s Romita-drawn surprise revelation back in the 1960s is one of the great moments in comic books.

August 25: Wow! In the first day of this weekend’s garage sales, I made 112% of my two-day goal and met some Facebook friends who came from Michigan and Texas and stopped by to chat while scoring cool stuff and free signatures. A very fun day.

August 26: Super Suspenstories #1 by William Satterwhite. A recent order brought me the origin of Columbia, the spirit of America. It is not the most polished comic book, but it’s got heart and purpose and I hope to see more of this character. 8-26-23.


August 27: The Talk by Darrin Bell. This brilliant autobiographical work is intense and fraught with lessons necessary for the survival of young Black men and for the education of others who still just don’t get it. Required reading.

August 28: The unsung hero of my VAOS garage sales. One of my best customers has been helping me with pricing. He puts boards in bags. He lifts heavy boxes when my knee hurts. He organizes stuff. The sales wouldn’t be so great without him.

August 29: Sandman Mystery Theatre Compendium One by Matt Wagner, Steve T. Seagle and Guy Davis. If you haven’t read these unsettling stories, you should. If you haven’t reread them in a while, they’re just as engaging the second time around.

August 30: My Vast Accumulation of Stuff excavations are resulting in my finding a great many random issues of terrific 1960s/1970s Marvel, DC and Dell comics. You’ll see them in my garage sale this weekend.

August 31: Punisher War Journal by Torunn Grønbekk and a trio of artists was interesting. Frank’s commanding the Hand in two tales. The third is a poignant look at his return home from overseas wars. Not a Punisher fan, but I enjoyed this volume.

With my garage sales coming to a close for the summer, I’m hoping to post more bloggy things. Thanks for stopping by today. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2023 Tony Isabella