Monday, September 29, 2014


This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...Marvel Rarities Volume One with Doctors Doom and Druid, the Watcher and more...Michael Cho's Shoplifter...and, from Japan, Ikigami The Ultimate Limit!

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Throughout last evening and when I woke this morning, my body felt like the patient in the Operation game who has the worst doctors in the universe. But this was the good kind of pain, following all the work I put into my last Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales of the year. I was thrilled by the results.

My customers were happy with the great selection and great prices at the garage sales. I autographed a couple dozen Isabella-written comics and books over the two days of the sale. I sold 14 of the 16 mystery boxes I had put together for the sale. Facebook friend Rick Blair was so excited by the mystery box he bought that he posted photos of its contents on Facebook.

From a purely financial standpoint, I achieved 152% of my goal for the weekend.  Of course, there’s no putting a dollar value on how much fun I had chatting with the customers. Afterwards, I told my Sainted Wife Barb that these garage sales were like the best part of the Cosmic Comics store I owned and operated back in the 1970s and 1980s. I got to make money while making comics fans happy and
I didn’t have to worry about any of the negative stuff that clouded my enjoyment of my old store.

Starting today or tomorrow, I’ll start packing up the garage sale for storage. Then I will commence this month’s master plan for the Fortress of Storage and Casa Isabella. I’ll probably write about my progress as that goes forward.

Casa Isabella and yours truly will be facing some challenges over the next few months. There is a water pipe leak in a pipe running to and through part of our foundation. We might be looking at close to ten grand in repair costs. I’m not sure how we’re going to pay for that and for the dental work I so desperately need done, but we will figure out something. We always do.

I’m doing four conventions this fall, but that’s a subject for my next bloggy thing. Coming up in October, as I return to full-scale blogging again, I’ll be commenting on the settlement between Marvel Comics and the Jack Kirby family...on the changing nature of comics conventions...on the role (if any) an old warhorse like me can play in the comics industry of today. Some of these pieces are already in various stages of completion. Others are notes on fragments of paper in a folder. I’m also taking requests.

You’ll definitely be seeing the return of my “July 1963" series and the popular “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” feature. You’ll be seeing more reviews of comics, books, TV shows and cheesy monster movies. You will see some political commentary, but probably not a lot of that. You might see some tidbits from my comics career. Writing my bloggy things brings me joy and I hope you feel something akin to that as you read them.

That’s all for today. I’ll be back soon with more stuff

© 2014 Tony Isabella

Saturday, September 27, 2014


My last Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale of 2014 concludes today, Saturday, September 27, at the Isabella family garage at 840 Damon Drive in Medina, Ohio. The hours of the sale are as follows:

Saturday, September 27: 9 am to noon
Saturday, September 27: 5-7 pm

Yesterday’s garage sale was a tremendous success. Happy customers bought huge piles of comic books, paperbacks and other items. The brisk sales allowed me to achieve 89% of my financial goals for the entire weekend in just that first day.

I didn’t sell either the vintage, unopened jar of Superman peanut butter or the equally vintage, slightly compromised Quik cocoa box.However, a postal worker tells me the post office wouldn’t consider either of the items to be hazardous. So, if they don’t sell today, they will quite possibly show up in one of my near-future online Vast Accumulation of Stuff sales. I hope to resume the online sales as early as next Friday, October 3.

What amazes me as much as the vast quantity of comics and stuff I sold on Friday is how many great items are still available for the final day of the garage sale.  When I did some minimal restocking yesterday afternoon, I added another two hundred or so comic books, magazines, trade paperbacks, etc.

I started Friday with twelve of my famous mystery boxes...and sold eight of them. Because I’m more than a little crazy, I put together four new mystery boxes for today’s sale.

I am looking forward to today’s sale with a mixture of excitement and sadness. Excitement because the summer’s garage sales have been so successful. Sadness because it’s the last one of the year and I will miss seeing my regular customers.

That’s all for now. Look for a garage sale wrap-up report sometimes tomorrow.

Look for a return to full-size bloggy things on Wednesday, October 1. I have a lot to write about in the coming weeks, but feel free to send me your requests as well.

© 2014 Tony Isabella

Friday, September 26, 2014


My last Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales of 2014 start today and continue tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, September 26 and 27, at the Isabella family garage at 840 Damon Drive in Medina, Ohio. The hours of the sale are as follows:

Friday, September 26: 9 am to noon
Saturday, September 27: 9 am to noon
Saturday, September 27: 5-7 pm

I spent nearly all day yesterday organizing the existing comics and other boxes and then restocking them from the two dozen or so boxes of stuff that I brought from my storage units at the secret Fortress of Storage earlier in the week.

When I took breaks from working, I posted garage sale notes on my Facebook page. Like this one:

I just realized last night that, because of the neighborhood garage sale, I can't restock with my garage door open. I'd lose too much time telling people that *my* sale doesn't start until tomorrow. This is a bummer.

Even I can't believe the great stuff I'm putting into the quarter boxes.

I did finally open my garage door in the late afternoon when the heat inside become too much for my aged and withered form.  I did have to turn away a few people who wanted to come in and see what I had, but they were cool about it.

I really went crazy on the quarter comics boxes. There are insane bargains to be found in them. Lots of them. I put so many comics in the boxes that I’ll only be able to do the most minimal of quarter comics restocking on Friday night.

I also posted this on Facebook about four hours later:

If you're coming to my garage sale, you should probably stop at your bank first and get all your money. You'll need it.

I have completed the restocking to such an extent I probably won't be able to restock the comics on Friday night. I will probably be able to do some good restocking on the hardcovers and trade paperbacks. Assuming I have the energy. Because I'm exhausted right now.

Finally, four more hours later, I posted this:

I hurt from my head to me toes. But it's the good kind of hurt.

Between the time I’m writing this on Thursday evening and today’s garage sale opening, I have a handful of tasks to complete. Nothing major. Make some signs. Sweep the garage a bit. Put a few more copies of 1000 Comic Books You Must Read out for sale. Move my van to my neighbor’s driveway so as to not block the view of the sale from the street. Bring out the cash box, the calculator and some pads of paper. Make sure I have a cold Pepsi or water bottle. All told, these tasks should take a hour and a half tops. With a little luck, I’ll have gotten a good night’s sleep.

See you at the garage sale!

© 2014 Tony Isabella

Thursday, September 25, 2014



Jim Palmquist of Nerdlocker did one of the swellest interviews with me that has ever been done. You should check it out here.


My last Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales of 2014 happen this weekend, Friday and Saturday, September 26 and 27, at the Isabellafamily garage at 840 Damon Drive in Medina, Ohio. The hours of the sale are as follows:

Friday, September 26: 9 am to noon
Saturday, September 27: 9 am to noon
Saturday, September 27: 5-7 pm

In addition to my VAOS garage sale, several families in my general vicinity are holding a neighborhood garage sale. The sale started Wednesday night and will continue on Thursday and Friday. I don’t have the exact times, but, after you hit my garage sale on Friday,you might want to wander around the nearby streets a bit and see if anything else catches your eye.

Yesterday, I put together a dozen mystery boxes for this weekend’s garage sale. These mystery boxes cost a mere five dollars each and are packed with stuff from my previous garage sales. My customers love these and I expect all twelve boxes will seel before I close the garage door on the last garage sale of 2014.

Today is my major restocking day: quarter comic books, paperbacks, magazines, trade paperbacks and hardcovers. The paperbacks and the magazines are also a quarter each. The trade paperbacks are $2 and the hardcovers are $5.

I did some further research on the Superman peanut butter and the Superman cocoa tin. My pal Tim Stroup also did some research for me on how dangerous/toxic they might be. It looks like the two items are fairly harmless. So, while I will have a sign warning buyers against actually using these products, I’m not going to have those buyers sign a release.

I should also thank the anonymous troll who tried to post a comment to this blog in which he claimed my concern over not poisoning my customers was indicative of the “godless liberal socialist nanny state” our Kenyan president and his same-sex wife wanted to make of our nation. His note was like a five-hour energy shot of bigotry and ignorance. Oh, right-wing fanatics, how you amuse me day after day. Almost as much as you terrify me.

However...I have and will continue to turn down offers to buy these items from sellers who want me to mail said items to them. That’s just not gonna happen. “Fairly harmless” doesn’t translate to “no chance of these things stinking up the post office if they should break or open in transit. Sorry.

After the major restocking is done, I’ll see if I have time to addmore expensive comic books and Isabella-written items to the sale.Or price and add other cool items to the sale. Or maybe even throw together a few more mystery boxes.

I will have copies of my award-deserving 1000 Comic Books You Must Read on sale at $20 each. As always, I’m happy to sign those copies or any other Isabella-written items free of charge.

I’ll also have a selection of rare two-sided Superman posters and other rare Superman posters on sale at $10 each. Once I resume my online sale, those two-sided Superman posters (shown above) will be available for mail-order sales. You’ll find the details in a near-future bloggy thing.

Depending on how well Friday’s sale goes, I do plan on restocking for Saturday’s sale. I’ll have another brief update for you on the morrow and also on Saturday morning.

See you at the garage sale!

© 2014 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


My last Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale of 2014 happen this weekend, Friday and Saturday, September 26 and 27, at the Isabella family garage at 840 Damon Drive in Medina, Ohio. The hours of the show are as follows:

Friday, September 26: 9 am to noon
Saturday, September 27: 9 am to noon
Saturday, September 27: 5-7 pm

My neighbor Sue - I have the best neighbors - joined me for a fun couple of hours at the Fortress of Storage. With her help, I went through every single box in my two units in search of comic books I could easily add to the garage sale season finale. We filled the van with well over a dozen boxes of cool stuff.

Focused on this weekend’s sale, I decided to leave for another day the consolidation of the two units into one. There is no question we’ll be able to accomplish this, but I may want to hold on to the second unit for an upcoming household project.

While I never like to predict the future, I don’t think I’ll ever again have as many quarter comic books as at this final garage sale of the year. While I still have around two hundred boxes of comics and books and magazines between the storage units and the Isabella home itself, most of these do not contain comics I’m willing to sell for a quarter each. While I have a notion in the back of my brain for getting more quarter comics for next year’s sales, it’s not a plan I’ll be following through on for a while.

Today will be devoted to putting together mystery boxes, which were sadly absent from my last garage sales. At the minimum, I hope to have a dozen mystery boxes or more available for purchase when the garage door opens on Friday morning.  This will clear up a bunch of space in my comics, magazines, hardcovers and trade paperbacks boxes for what Sue and I brought back from the Fortress of Storage.

Two very special items will be on display during the garage sale. These are items I’ve been telling my customers about for a couple years now. Both are over 25 years old and would almost certainly be  detrimental to the health of anyone who tried to ingest them. One is an unopened jar of Superman peanut butter, the other an unopened tin of Superman cocoa.

As I write this update, I have no idea what these collectible items might be worth. I’ll be researching that tonight and pricing them accordingly. If I can’t find prices for them, I’ll sell them to anyone who makes a reasonable offer and who will sign releases that absolve me from any harm they may come to if they do attempt to use or even open these products. These rare items might even be on the EPA watch list. Okay, I’m kidding about the EPA watch list, but not about the releases.

I’ll have another update for you on the morrow.       

© 2014 Tony Isabella