Friday, October 6, 2023




September saw the end of my 2023 Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales. They were very successful and I’m already making plans for next year’s garage sales to start earlier and be even better than this year’s.

Part of the reason for that is my family and I started clearing out our last storage unit. At one time, we had three storage units in what I called the Fortress of Storage. Now we are down to just one unit and it is now half-empty.

We brought somewhere in the neighbor of 75 boxes of comics, books and other VAOS items to our basement and garage. To make room for the ones in the garage, I’m in the process of making more space for them in our basement. It’s a time-consuming job, but it has needed to be done for years.

I can tell you there are some incredible things in the boxes to be  processed for next year’s garage sales. A enormous run of Amazing Heroes. An equally impressive run of Uncle Scrooge and other Disney comics. Hundreds of Mack Bolan paperbacks. Many boxes of hardcovers and trade paperbacks, including what appears to be a complete run of Captain Easy hardcovers.

On a personal note, I found my file copies of Comics Buyer’s Guide. I won’t be selling those, but having them together means I can put together annotated collections of the Everett True cartoons I did with Gary Dumm and others. I likewise found my file copies of Movie Collectors World, which also featured Everett True cartoons. I did some Everett True cartoons for Amazing Heroes and Comics Journal, but I figure I have time to find those.

Some time later this year, after I’m done with conventions for the year, I want to hire somewhere local to run an online story for me. Probably on eBay. I’m exploring ways to keep this separate from my normal business. I’d love for my VAOS to generate income all year long and for several years to come.

But, hey, let’s get down to the reason you probably started reading today’s blog. Here’s the list of all the things that make me happy in the month of September...

September 1: Saintly Wife Barb and a neighborhood made a visit to the Fortress of Storage. They took a bunch of stuff and donated it to charities and brought me six cool collectible phones which I am adding to tomorrow’s garage sale.

[Sadly, none of the phones were sold, though I’m pretty confident they will sell next year. The R2D2 one is sweet.]

September 2: DC Power: A Celebration 2023. Specifically, the Black Lightning story by Lamont Magee and Crisscross. Though ignored by DC’s solicitations for the special, it’s a terrific and authentic tale of DC’s most iconic Black hero.


September 3: I’m excited my Marvel Bicentennial Calendar from 1976 will be reprinted as part of a collection later this year. I wrote and semi-designed the calendar and it got a favorable albeit brief review in Penthouse.

September 4: Black Demon Tales is a intriguing three-issue series. The tales are based on Mexican fishermen lore and Aztec mythology. More than scary shark stuff, the stories deal with family, class, and the environment. Worth checking out.

September 5: Apama by Ted Sikora, Milo Miller and Benito Gallego. I’ve been reading/rereading all the Apamaverse comics from start to finish. It’s a great ride with one of the most original and still nostalgic super-hero titles of modern times.


September 6: Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller, The Man Who Created Nancy by Bill Griffith is much more than a biography. It’s a mind-blowing examination of comic art and history that will astonish you frequently. You must read this book.

September 7: Pixies of the Sixties: You Really Got Me Now presents a world in which fairies live side-by-side with humans who hate and fear them. It’s an anthology series which deals with contemporary issues and it’s brilliant.

September 8: 5 Forgotten TV Shows. It’s a series of YouTube videos from GoodBadFlicks showcasing short-run series. Some of them I had never heard of, some I knew about, some I wish I could see. These videos make for a quick fun break.  

September 9: Star Trek Strange New Worlds. The first episode of the series was so-so. “Children of the Comet,” the second episode won me over. It felt like the original series with needed renovations. I’ll keep watching.

September 10: The Madness by J. Michael Straczynski and artist ACO. A super-thief goes for one last job with disastrous results. This kicks off a tale of vengeance, political powers and super-powers. Highly recommended, but not for the squeamish.

September 11: Minor Threats by Patton Oswalt, Jordan Blum and Scott Hepburn. A sidekick is murdered, breaking all the rules for heroes and villains alike. I’m a huge fan of compact super-hero universes. Great comics without ponderous continuity.  


September 12: Jurassic Shark 3: Seavenge is a typically awful but kinda fun film from Mark Polonia. What earns it a place on my happy list is its ridiculously unexpected plot twist near the end of the movie. I literally laughed out loud.

September 13: The Bodyguard Unit: Edith Garrud, Women's Suffrage, and Jujitsu by Clément Xavier and Lisa Lugrin is a stunning reveal  of history not taught. The parallels to modern right-wing brutality will leave you gasping with rage.

September 14: Gamera Rebirth. The first episode of the new animated series was entertaining. Spunky Japanese nerd heroes. Lots of cool action scenes with our giant turtle pal fighting Gyaos. Excellent animation. I’m in for the long haul.

September 15: Harley Quinn: “Killer’s Block”. Fun doesn’t get much bigger than the over-the-moon chaos and catastrophe of the season four finale. This series never fails to delight me and I can’t wait for season five.


September 16: Flaming River Con 2023. Bouncing back from pandemic absence, the LGBTQ+ gathering of comics, fantasy and sci-fi was big fun. Panels, vendors, non=profits, fans, a burlesque show after party. It was a blast! Count me in for 2024.

September 17: Flaming River Con 2023. The love and respect shown to me at this event damn near had me in tears. I was even introduced at the after party burlesque show as a “dignitary among us.” I love and respect this convention right back.

September 18: The Good Asian Deluxe Edition by Pornsak Pichetshote and Alexandre Tefenkgi. Set in 1936, this Eisner-winning mystery includes great historical information about the era and its bigotry towards Chinese immigrants. Recommended.

September 19: The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Ominous Omnibus Vol. 1: Scary Tales & Scarier Tentacles features just over 400 pages of freakishly fearsome fun. I can’t think of a better present for the Simpsons lover in your life.



September 20: Mr. Sardonicus. I saw this 1961 horror movie for the first time on Svengoolie. It’s an amazingly creepy and entertaining film, enhanced by the silly shenanigans of director and producer William Castle. Thanks, Sven!

September 21: Barbie. Margot Robie is perfect as the title heroine. This enjoyable and thought-proving film is more edgy and satiric than I expected. No wonder the broke right-wing assholes hate it. Highly recommended.

September 22: Bylines in Blood by Erica Schultz, Van Jensen, Aneka and Cardinal Rae. Gripping future noir as Satya, journalist turned private detective, investigates the murder of a friend in a city ruled by corrupt politicians. More please.   

September 23: Iron Man is going to be part of Casa Isabella’s 2023 Christmas celebration. I picked up this Funko figure on sale at my local Target. Given how rich Tony Stark is, I’m hoping his holiday bag is filled with Omnibus editions.

September 24: Jennifer Walters will also be joining my family this Christmas, thanks to this very cute Funko figure. When she’s done right, she’s one of my three favorite Marvel heroines. I’m guessing you know who the other two are.


September 25: Having neighbors who go all out for Halloween, one of our most beloved and sacred holidays. Their decked-out lawn reminds me I have yet to come up with my costume. I’m leaning towards Drag Queen Batman from the classic story of the same name.

September 26: Why I Adopted my Husband by Yuta Yagi. Because Japan doesn’t have same-sex marriage, Kyota adopts Yuta to legalize their relationship. It’s an informative heartwarming look at their lives in a culture still evolving.

September 27: Omnibus editions. I like how packed with classic and nostalgic stories they are. I like the heft and the look of them. Especially the Golden and Silver Age ones. I’m willing to take them in barter for my convention appearance fees


September 28: Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again by Shigeru Kayama. The original “novels” for two of my all-time favorite movies have been collected by The University of Minnesota Press. That’s what I call higher education.

September 29: Meth Gator by Ethan Richards. It’s not an adaptation of the upcoming Asylum movie, but, come on, can we really ever have too many pharmaceutical-charged monsters? With the strike over, I’m already working on Viagra Velociraptors.

September 30: King of Spies by Mark Millar and Matteo Scalera. As a John Wick-style fantasy of a dying agent trying to make good for his past crimes, it’s entertaining. But a dynamite final act makes it much more than that.

[One of my local fans is a huge Millar fan and has convinced me to make reading and rereading Millar’s work a project for the coming year. If my library system has them, I’ll read them.]

My next convention appearance will be MONSTER BASH, October 13-15 at the Mariotte Pittsburgh North. Click on the link for everything you’ll need to about this wonderfully weird weekend.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff!

© 2023 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. I'm currently running the covid gauntlet, and out of my mind with fever. 5 Forgotten TV Shows is exactly what I need right now. Thanks for the recommend!
    Back in the '80s I would pay good money to be this addled!