Wednesday, July 18, 2018

WHAT'S UP WITH TONY?

Just some quick updates.

There will be no Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale this Friday and Saturday. I took a look at all the things I have to do before the end of the month...and some upcoming opportunities to spend time with my family...and decided to give myself a break.

I was interviewed last night on the nonsense from that sleazy website. I think the interview turned out well and will share the link when it posts.

I found the special Comic-Con issue of TV Guide with Black Lightning on the cover at our local Giant Eagle. I bought three copies, which is all I need. 

However, I'll still take all the Black Lightning bags and pins and Lego figures people want to send me. Let me know what you want for them and we'll make it happen.

Here's wishing safe travels and many happy moments for everyone attending Comic-Con this week. I wish I could be with you. Maybe next year.

I'll be back soon with more stuff.

Tony Isabella

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM

Dateline: New York City. Friday, June 22.

Between attending the special Marvel family screening of the first two episodes of Luke Cage’s second season and our subway ride to Queens for the evening’s New York Mets baseball game, my son Ed and I went to the Regal Cinema “E-Walk Stadium 13 and RPX” on West 42nd Street. There weren’t movie theaters like this when I lived in the neighborhood in the 1970s. I enjoy going to them when I visit the city. Their high ticket prices aside, both this theater and the AMC 25 across the street provide a most enjoyable viewing experience. I recommend them.

There were several movies we wanted to see that afternoon, but the only one that fit our schedule was Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). That was at the bottom of our list because Ed hadn’t liked 2015's Jurassic World as much as I had. His taste in movies is more refined than my own. I go easier on movies and TV shows than I do comic books because I know how to make great comic books. With the possibility of my making movies in the near future, that might well change. But I hope it doesn’t. I like a little cheese with my cinema.

Fallen Kingdom is kind of sort of two movies in one. Directed by J.A. Bayona and written by Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow, the “first” is a survival tale. Owen Grady [played by Chris Pratt] and Claire Dearing [Bryce Dallas Howard] are on a mission to save the dinosaurs from the about-to-explode-in-volcanic-armaggeddon island home of the former Jurassic World. Also on the island are hunters with a very different agenda in mind.

The “second” movie is all about ruthless businessmen trying to make big bucks selling the dinosaurs and their DNA to equally ruthless politicians while scientists salivate over continuous opportunities to play God. Oh, the folly of man!

Ian Malcolm [Jeff Goldblum] returns to the franchise in two scenes that bookend the movie. Dr. Wu, he of no moral boundaries, is also back to cook up new dinosaur stew. Between Wu and Hugo Strange on Gotham, B.D. Wong is getting typecast as mad scientists. Though he does play them very well. The velociraptor Blue also returns for a reunion with Alpha Male Owen.

SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD
SPOILERS AHEAD


The rampaging dinosaurs are familiar but fun. The exploding island bits are properly pyrotechnic with some chills. Even with all that, the “first” movie just isn’t very good.

Honestly, the “second” movie isn’t very good either. The auction of the dinosaurs goes exactly where you would expect it to go. There are the usual gory deaths. Even the special effects are all things we’ve seen before. However, there is one element in the second part of the movie that intrigued me mightily. I only barely saw it coming.

Plunky young heroine Maisie [Isabella Sermon] is introduced to us as the granddaughter of Sir Benjamin Lockwood [James Cromwell], the unbelievable rich former partner of John Hammond, the visionary who first conceived of Jurassic Park. Hammond and Lockwood had a major falling-out before the original Jurassic Park movie. We don’t learn the reason for this until one of the bad guys reveals Maisie isn’t really Lockwood’s granddaughter. She’s a clone of Lockwood’s dead daughter. Even Hammond thought cloning people took their research too far. This revelation is one of the two elements that, while it doesn’t come close to saving Fallen Kingdom, makes me eager for the next chapter in the series.

The other element? The dinosaurs are loose in our world. Those of the auction animals who weren’t already removed from the sprawling estate where they were sold have escaped to take their frightening place in our world. Those that were removed can be studied by their new owners, turned into weapons or war and replicated the same way you can mass-produced conventional weapons.And what if scientists like Wu decide to clone and improve on human beings. Man’s place at the top of the food chain can no longer be taken for granted.

While you’re waiting for that next movie, you probably should see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Because you’ll want to be caught up on the continuity and because even bad movies featuring rampaging dinosaurs are still kind of sort of cool.

SPOILERS OVER
SPOILERS OVER
SPOILERS OVER


Come back tomorrow for the concluding part of my “Coast to Coast with Marvel Comics” series as Saintly Wife Barb and I travel to Los Angeles for the world premiere of Ant-Man and the Wasp. With surprise guest stars and celebrity interactions. See you then. 

© 2018 Tony Isabella

TONY'S TIPS #266

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...Scooby-Doo! Team-Up Volume 5, Gumballs by Erin Nations and the movie Accident Man based on the comics series by Pat Mills and Tony Skinner!

Monday, July 16, 2018

ON TREVOR VON EEDEN AND BLEEDING COOL

San Diego’s Comic-Con International kicks off this week. Thanks to a friend’s betrayal and the machinations of an unethical website, I find myself in the unique-for-me position of being somewhat glad I won’t be there this year. People being people, and the majority of them being good people with good intentions, would want to talk to me about things I’d rather not talk about at this point, or, at least not at the biggest event in comicdom.

There will be a virtual tsunami of comics news coming out of Comic-Con. This statement will doubtless be swept away in that tsunami. But I felt the need to make my preliminary positions known before Comic-Con. It’s not intended to be my final word on these subjects.  Indeed, I have decided to grant an interview to a reputable comics website at its convenience. It will be the only interview I give on these matters.

Saturday afternoon, Bleeding Cool ran an article discussing what they and Trevor von Eeden, the original artist of Black Lightning, falsely claimed was my payment for the first season of the Black Lightning TV show. Von Eeden supplied them with a scan of the check he received. There were serious errors of facts in the piece, not surprising given Bleeding Cool’s nature.

Von Eeden’s posting of the check and Bleeding Cool’s report on what they claim the check represents, both for Von Eeden and myself, is an unconscionable invasion of my privacy. I was literally stunned that Von Eeden did this and did this without consulting me. I have tried to keep him in the Black Lightning loop as much as I was able to do so without violating my agreements with DC Comics. I stuck my neck out on numerous occasions, much to the consternation of my DC associates, in attempts to involve him. In the wake of his actions, I am withdrawing from further communication with Von Eeden and will no longer appear with him at conventions.

As for Bleeding Cool, I was not surprised by its action. Where it once did good work, it has devolved into a morass of ill-sourced gossip and churlish attempts to pit comics creators against each other for its amusement and that of its visitors. “Let’s you and he fight” is BC’s Wimpy-like mantra.

I am loathe to discuss my business dealings with DC Comics in this statement. If there are differences between DC and myself, I have access to discuss them with DC. But I feel I must state the check as shown on Bleeding Cool does not represent what I received for my participation on the TV series. That claim is inaccurate and, quite frankly, simplistic. My relationship with DC is too complicated to be summed up by the amount on a single check. If Bleeding Cool did not engage in cheap-seats, hit-and-run pseudo-journalism, it would have the capacity to understand that.

I will have more to say on the above. In this blog, I will soon address the simplistic convenience of how creator credits are being determined in modern comic books and comics-related efforts. I will discuss the historical listing of credits. I will discuss my own credits situations. I will discuss how there are credits that are historically accurate and those which are the result of comics industry policies. It’s not a discussion I want to have more than once, so understand it will take me considerable effort and time to get it right.

In the meantime, enjoy Comic-Con and the wondrous news that comes out of it. If you get a chance to meet the cast, show runners and writers of the Black Lightning TV show, please give them my love. They have enriched me and my family in so many ways.

If you get to meet Jim Chadwick and Harvey Richards, my terrific editors on the award-deserving Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, thank them for everything they did to help me make my story better. I’d jump into the fire with them again any time.

If you meet Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, tell them you want to see more Black Lightning stories by me and that, like me, you never want to see Jefferson Pierce shown as subservient to any other super-hero. My creation is one of the most iconic black characters in comics.. He is a headliner and not a sidekick.

When the interview mentioned above goes online, I will alert you to its availability here, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2018 Tony Isabella

Sunday, July 15, 2018

NEXT GARAGE SALE

My next Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales will be Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21, at Casa Isabella, 840 Damon Drive in Medina, Ohio. The sale hours will by 9 am to 1 pm each day. More details will be announced later this week.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

QUICK UPDATE

The bloggy thing will be back up and running with new content in a day or so. Some medical matters left me too exhausted to manage anything other than my garage sales. I'm doing fine now. No need for concern. I'll live to dance and piss on the graves of my enemies.

I will NOT be at Comic-Con International this year. If you get a moment with the Black Lightning TV folks (show runners, writers, actors), please tell them how much I love them. I mean, they already know how much I love them, but tell them again. The same holds true for Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands editors Jim Chadwick and Harvey Richards. Please feel free to let anyone else at DC (or elsewhere) who might be interested in working with me that you'd love to see more Tony Isabella comic books.

For that matter, feel free to report online that I WAS at the convention...that I was the nicest comics creator you've ever met...and that, after meeting me, you couldn't help yourself from fantasizing about me. Because you know that would totally happen if I were at the convention.

Best of everything to my friends and readers. I love you all madly.

Tony

Thursday, July 12, 2018

ANOTHER GARAGE SALES UPDATE

As I write these words, we’re less than 24 hours away from my next Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales. Friday and Saturday, July 13-14, 840 Damon Drive in Medina, Ohio, 9 am to 1 pm each day. I’m getting excited. I even had signs made for my lawn.

No plan survives contact with the enemy, so I’ve made some changes to my original layout for the garage sale. The quarter corner has gone bye-bye for a while.

In its place are thirteen ten-dollar “mystery boxes” filled with wondrous things. Last year, these were priced at five bucks each. This year, they have more good items in them than ever before. Even I’m amazed at the things I put into them this time around. These boxes always  sell fast, sometimes in the first hour of a sale. I’m hoping that the higher price will slow down the frenzy and give more customers at chance at them. If that doesn’t work, I’ll likely limit sales to one or two boxes per buyer.
                                                                                    
                                                         
The sale will have its usual poster table. We have Black Lightning posters (two different styles). We have the double-sided Superman poster I helped created for Cleveland’s International Superman Expo in 1988. We have a few other Superman posters. We have Daredevil and Luke Cage mini-posters.

I’ve added many new comics to the dollar comics boxes. As noted in earlier updates, these aren’t the leftover 1990s comics that folks overbought on. These are recent comic books like Star Wars, Faith, Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, Monsters Unleashed, Simpsons and others.

In addition to the dollar comics boxes, I’ll have one or two boxes of older comics. The older comics aren’t a buck each, but they are priced to sell. From what I recall, they include The Brave and the Bold, Superman, Action Comics and more.

We’ll have a half-dozen collectible phones and some other surprises of that nature. We’ll have DC, Marvel and Stan Lee collector boxes at bargain prices.

We’ll have a fifty-cent table feature Britain’s The Beano, the war comics digest Commando, well over fifty Archie comics digests, manga and more. We’ll have hardcovers and trade paperbacks, usually priced at 30% of their cover price.

We’ll have all six issues of Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands and both of the Black Lightning trades collecting classic stories from the 1970s. As with any Isabella-written items at garage sales, I’ll sign them from of charge. Heck, even if you bring your own copies of comics I’ve written and don’t buy them from me, I’ll still sign them for free.

That’s all for now. I still have a couple short boxes of comics to price before tomorrow’s opening.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2018 Tony Isabella