October was far more stressful than I anticipated. There were things going on in my life and various health issues that resulted in my being far less productive than I needed to be. We won’t even talk about the absolute vileness of the Republican Party. At least not in this bloggy thing.
I did manage to attend Monster Bash, which was a wonderful event I hope to return to, and also to give a talk on Superman’s core values as part of Superman’s Cleveland. The talk was held at the Rising Star Coffee Roastery, an intimate and very cool venue.
My biggest regret of September and October was not attending of the other 26 events put on by Superman’s Cleveland. A series of talks, book discussions, presentations, signings and more with incredible creators and historians. The organization did Superman proud in his 85th anniversary year.
Regret isn’t productive, so I’ll not dwell on it as I push forward to November and beyond. But I will take a moment to share with you the things that made me happy in October...
October 1: New calendars are always sort of exciting for me. It’s the promise of a new and better year. The 2024 Elvira Mistress of the Dark Wall Calendar will hang in my office and hopefully inspire me to write some creepy sexy stories.
October 2: Hedorah. Godzilla has always been “woke” but never more so than when he fought the Smog Monster. Super 7 is selling a swell action figure of one of my favorite kaiju and it has made its way to a place of honor in my office.
October 3: Celebrity Wheel of Fortune. Brendan Hunt was a monster on the new season’s opening episode. He won $328,200 for the Steps of Faith charity which helps uninsured & under-insured amputees get prosthetic limbs.
October 4: Batman vs. Robin by Mark Waid, Mahmud Asrar and Scott Goldewski. I’m not much interested in DC Comics super-heroes these days, but Waid does such a great job with them I’ll read anything he writes.
October 5: Just received from Super 7, Toho’s 1000-piece Godzilla King of the Monsters puzzle. Civilization might be crumbling from the Big G’s fury, but my family and I will put it back together on our next puzzle night.
October 6: The Godzilla 16-Month Wall Calendar. This will hang in my bedroom because Saintly Wife Barb would rather look at the Great Scaly One than Elvira.
October 7: Comics for Ukraine brings together dozens of incredible comics creators for one of the most moving graphic anthologies of all time. There are tales that will lift your spirits and make you weep. A magnificent gathering.
October 8: Misfortune Cookie. In Vivien Chien’s latest Noodle Shop Mystery, restaurant manager Lana Lee is well out of her element in California, investigating a murder with her judgmental sister Anna and their aunt. Another highly entertaining novel.
October 9: I got my Moderna booster shot. Same day appointment. No fuss whatsoever. This makes me smarter than that slug Rand Paul and all the other anti-vaccine imbeciles. Science is real, you morons.
October 10: My “Vote Yes on Issue 1" sign on my front lawn confirms my support for reproductive rights in Ohio. The vile Republicans in our government don’t speak for the people and no church is a branch of the government. Vote yes on issue 1.
[Issue 1 passed by a large margin and, naturally, Republicans are already trying to figure out how to ignore the will of the people in this matter.]
October 11: In the Form of a Question: The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life by Amy Schneider. The Jeopardy champion writes about her life and other things. This is a breezy, entertaining and very informative book. Recommended.
October 12: Having been dis-invited from at least one convention for being mean to Republicans, I’ve decided to let my progressive liberal voice be heard at events when appropriate. So, if you’re a Trump-ian snowflake, be warned.
October 13: I did the Bash. I did the Monster Bash. I was a guest of honor at the October convention. Everything a monster kid could ask for plus I got to hang out with Carl Craig (Gamera vs. Viras) and Linda Miller (King Kong Escapes).
October 14: Monster Bash. My Saturday afternoon Q&A went amazingly well. Very popular. I was given a box of locally-made chocolates. Delicious. While leaving, I fell down on the stage. Full contact. I guess two out of three ain’t bad.
October 15: Monster Bash. I was a last-minute draft choice for the Monster Match Game. Playing with the wondrous Linda Miller and two convention volunteers. I cracked jokes and had fun..
October 16: Mom Breaks the Internet #1 by Jay Sandlin and Patrick Mulholland. Bought the first issue on a whim because of the title. Found a cool tale of tech-tyranny and tech-rebellion. I’m on board for the rest of the run.
October 17: Pete Davidson’s Saturday Night Live cold opening on the Israel-Hamas War. Obviously, there’s no humor in this conflict, but Davidson addressed it brilliantly with a common man’s compassion. He showed a depth I hope he explores further.
October 18: Michael Kosta showed he has the chops to be permanent host of The Daily Show. He added gravitas to his comedy, discussing the Israel-Hamas War sensitively and also offering smart thoughts on protecting the environment. He’s got my vote.
October 19: Bronze Star by Mike Baron and Pat Broderick is a weird western thriller with a compelling story that mixes the grimness of the era with simply stunning artwork. There is humanity mixed with the horror. Highly recommended.
October 20: The Irrational. Jesse L. Martin is his usual brilliant as Professor Alec Baker, a behavioral scientist and psychologist who uses his insights to assist in difficult cases. Great writing and superb supporting characters.
October 21: SurrealEstate. The Roman Agency sells properties with supernatural concerns. In the third season of this SyFy show, owner Luke struggles with the loss of his ability to connect with spirits while alienating his team. It’s a great series.
October 22: Marvel’s 2023 Crypt of Shadows anthology. I love this series. This year’s issue has a cool new take on the Living Mummy, Scarlet Witch versus new villain The Bricklayer and a serious evil upgrade for Doctor Strange’s brother.
October 23: Avengers Inc. by Al Ewing and Leonard Kirk. Two issues in, I’m loving this series with Janet Van Dyne, a favorite of mine, acting as an “agent” of NYC Mayor Luke Cage. There’s a lot of back story to unpack, but I’m on board.
October 24: My eerie Vincent Price blood sugar box. Purchased from the very talented Casey Knoll at Monster Bash, it holds everything I require to monitor my glucose level. The inside lid has Price’s dialogue from “Thriller.”
October 25: Look Out for the Little Guy! by Scott Lang (really Rob Kutner) is surprisingly charming, funny and even helpful with its advice about getting along in life. I requested it from my library on a whim, but now I’m recommending it to you.
October 26: Stephen Colbert emotionally and forcefully called out Speaker of the House Mike Johnson for “walking away from the mass shooting problem” and told him to “face [his] responsibilities.” An entertainer brilliantly speaking truth to power.
October 27: Sharktopus 2023. Available on YouTube and sans English subtitles, this Chinese “remake” bears very little resemblance to the original. The monster is cool and there are decent characters, even if I don’t know exactly who they are.
October 28: As part of Superman’s Cleveland, my talk and discussion of Superman’s core values at the Rising Star Coffee Roastery went very well. Amazing venue. Engaged group. Free coffee. Look for my talk in an upcoming bloggy thing.
October 29: Batman/Superman World’s Finest Vol. 2 by Mark Waid, Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain. Pardon the reference to the Flintstones, but this B/S is the modern silver age super-hero series. Authentic characterizations and exciting stories.
October 30: Scream. I’d never watched the original or its sequels. As a Halloween treat for myself, I binged all six movies over three days. I found them fun and just inventive enough to fool me a few times. I’m ready for Scream 7.
October 31: Halloween 2023 at Casa Isabella saw a noticeable rise in trick-or-treaters for the first time in recent years. As well as an even bigger rise in amazing Halloween decorations. We’re going to have to up our game in 2024.
I’m struggling with too many household and other projects that need to be finished before Thanksgiving. These are seriously impacted by my stupid knee negatively affecting my comic-box-lifting abilities. However, I will endure and I will also do my best to bring you more bloggy things and Last Kiss gags in what’s left of November. Stay vigilant and stay well, my friends.
© 2023 Tony Isabella