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for Monday September 21, 2009

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."

- Jesse Stuart (1907-1984), American writer

TOT returns from a week off with updates on some things we've discussed in previous columns. Some of are from Comics Buyer's Guide #1658 [October, 2009] and some are new...

Remember Taro Aso, the manga-loving Prime Minister of Japan? Though he's currently dealing with the worst recession to hit his country since World War II, he wants to build a $150 million comics museum. The museum was conceived by the previous administration, but Aso wants to make the plan a reality. His opposition calls it a colossal waste of money while his supporters called in cartoonist Machiko Satonaka (Constellation of the Hunter) to give her views on how the museum would be able to preserve classic manga and anime. I'll bring you more information as I get it.


In previous columns, I have written of Taro Aso, the manga-loving Prime Minister of Japan. Most recently, I reported that he wanted to build a $150 million comics museum to preserve classic manga and anime. Alas, that admirable endeavor seems to be off the table for the immediate future.

Aso's Liberal Democrats, the pro-business, conservative party that has ruled the country for 54 years, was on the wrong side of last August's landslide election. Their opponents, the Democratic Party of Japan, will replace Aso as Prime Minister and form a new Cabinet. Given Japan's current economic woes, I suspect the manga museum won't be opening any time soon.


My master plan of organizing my vast accumulation of stuff is progressing, albeit slowly. My target date to have everything out of bedrooms, hallways, and other non-basement, non-office rooms is Thanksgiving. Truth be told, my Sainted Wife Barb will be giving thanks to the Lord on whatever day I accomplish this, the sooner the better.


Unfortunately, the plan hit a snag. I succeeded in moving all comics and boxes of stuff from the master bedroom, my son Eddie's room, the upstairs hallway, and the living room. However, when I found myself without any room to actually sort through these boxes in my basement, we had to move 80 boxes back up to the living room. The boxes must now be taken to our storage unit. Once that's done, I'll move on to the next step in this long process.

I have an end game in mind for my master plan, but I'm saving that for future updates and the hopefully humorous book or graphic novel documenting my battle with decades of accumulating more comic books and other things than any one man needs.

Keep watching this space.


In May, I had a wonderful time at the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention in Philadelphia. In the Glyph Awards, which recognize excellence in comics about, by, and for people of color, Black Lightning was named "Best Male Character" of the year. I was honored to accept the award on behalf of my creation and on writer Grant Morrison, whose Final Crisis: Submit was the specific issue for which Lightning was nominated.

The convention itself was a blur of catching up with friends, talking to readers, and giving more on camera interviews in one day than I've ever given in my life. If you go to YouTube and search for "Tony Isabella," you'll find one of those interviews.


In June, Barb and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in Chicago. While she attended a pharmacy conference there during the day, I was checking the page proofs of my new book, 1000 Comic Books You Must Read. The book is now at the printer and should be hitting the bookstores and comics shops in plenty of time for it to be the perfect holiday gift for the comics fan in your life. Even if that fan is yourself.

Treat yourself. You deserve it.


I'm only appearing at one more comics convention this year and, no surprise, it's my favorite comics convention: Mid-Ohio-Con. The fun takes place on the first weekend in October and you can get all the latest details by going to:

Updates accomplished.


Times are tough all over, so I don't want to club my readers over the head with my woes. However, the past couple months have really taken their toll on my income. My biggest client won't have any work for me for some time to come. My steadiest client has cut my workload by a third. Outside of my monthly CBG column and one small, very low-paying gig, my "dance" card is absolutely barren. If you enjoy what I've been doing these past 37 years, including my online columns, there are two ways you can help.

The quickest way is to make a donation via the TIP THE TIPSTER link you'll find elsewhere on this page. Such donations are always appreciated here at Casa Isabella.

The better way you can help, especially if you're an editor or a publisher, is to hire me. If you're not an editor or publisher, feel free to let any editors and publishers you know that you would love to buy and read Tony Isabella material in their publications. They can e-mail me at:

Or they can talk to me at Mid-Ohio-Con.

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back tomorrow with the usual mix of news, views, and reviews.

Tony Isabella

<< 09/14/2009 | 09/21/2009 | 09/22/2009 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Message Board. Also, read Heroes and Villains: Real and Imagined and view my Amazon Wish List.

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Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.

Please send material you would like me to review to:

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Medina, OH 44256

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1000 Comic Books You Must Read.1000 Comic Books You Must Read

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