Tuesday, November 13, 2018

GREAT AMERICAN COMIC CONVENTION (November 17-18)

It’s been a long year of conventions and other appearances for me, but it ends with the Great American Comic Convention, Saturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, 3150 Paradise Road in Las Vegas, Nevada. Barring some unforeseen developments, this will be my final public appearance of the year. I may stop by a local Cleveland event or two just because I want to show my support for local creators, but there’s nothing on my appearance schedule beyond the GACC.

The guest list for this event is incredible. Besides yours truly, GACC will host Kelley Jones, Jose Delbo, Elliot S! Maggin, Wendy and Richard Pini, Tom DeFalco, Ron Wilson, Trevor von Eeden, Allen Bellman, Kyle Baker, Rick Leonardi, Alex Saviuk, Arthur Suydam, Tim Bradstreet, Matt Haley, Randy Emberlin, Jae Lee, David Roman, Adam Rapmund, Jeremy Clark, Free Isabelo, Ming Chen from Comic Book Men and clinical psychologist Dr. Suzana E. Flores, author of Untamed: The Psychology of Marvel's Wolverine. I’m especially excited to see Ron Wilson for the first time in about a decade and meet the great Kelley Jones for the first time ever. Kelley and I did a six-issue and wildly underappreciated Grim Ghost series a while back. 

From the event’s website:

[GACC is] a gathering of great comic book creators and memorabilia at the beautiful Las Vegas Convention Center, centrally located in Las Vegas. Joining us this year are some of the best comic book writers, artists and professionals who have created and shaped memorable characters such as Superman, who is celebrating his 80th Anniversary. What makes GACC different from any other comic book convention in Las Vegas is the guests have worked on titles ranging from the Silver Age of comics all the way to today's newest hottest titles. You will find comic book dealers from across the US as well as Las Vegas dealers offering you the widest selection of comic book memorabilia. We are proud and excited to be able to bring you a great show to enjoy. So make sure to register today and be ready to enjoy a good old-fashioned comic book show. Thousands of comics for sale including a large selection of graded comics, a cosplay contest and door prizes.  

The GACC runs 10 am to 7 pm on Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday. Ticket prizes run from $20 to $150 for special VIP packages, one of which is a Black Lightning VIP package that includes a GACC Black Lightning VIP T-shirt, a Black Lightning VIP Remarque print, a poster, fast pass, early entry, VIP Panel seating and, on Saturday afternoon, a one-hour Meet and Greet with little old me and Trevor Von Eeden.

There is also special ticket pricing for active or retired police, fire & rescue or military personnel living or working in the Clark, Lincoln or Nye Counties of Nevada. You can learn more details about this and the VIP packages from the event website.

Besides the Meet and Greet with Trevor, I’m scheduled to do a Black Lightning presentation sometime during the weekend and will also be participating in a tribute to Stan Lee. If you can’t wait until the weekend, I’ll be appearing on the Las Vegas CW morning show on Friday.

When I’m not appearing on a panel or TV program, or exercising my slot machine arm muscles, I’ll be at my booth somewhere on the show floor. Because I’m flying in, I’m not bringing my usual merchandise spread. I will have copies of Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic-Book Life of Tony Isabella Volume One and a few copies of Black Lightning Volume One. I will also have a number of Black Lightning, Hawkman, Daredevil and Luke Cage posters for sale. Cash only.

I do charge for my signature, but I think the prices are pretty reasonable:

Any items purchased from me: no charge.

Any one item not purchased from me: no charge.

Additional items: $5 each.

Items signed in front of a grading company witness: $10 each.

Photos are free.
 
I’m looking forward to seeing my bloggy thing readers and my other fans and friends at the Great American Comic Convention. This is my first Las Vegas appearance and I’m confident a great time will be had by all. Especially Saintly Wife Barb, who was able to get some time off work to attend this convention with me. Here’s your chance to meet the most patient woman in the world.

******************************
November has been a crazy month for me. I’m way behind in answering e-mails and the like. However, after Thanksgiving, I have a solid two months plus where I will be staying home, writing two books and finally knocking a bunch of odds and ends off my way-too-long “to do” list. If you’re waiting on something from me, I thank you for patience.

I’ll be back on November 20 with more stuff.

© 2018 Tony Isabella

Monday, November 12, 2018

TONY'S TIPS #282

Last week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...Barbara Slate's You Can Do a Graphic Novel: Comic Books, Webcomics and Strips; Resident Alien: An Alien in New York by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse; and Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story by Marc Tyler Nobleman with illustrations by Melissa Iwai!
                                                                                  
                                                                                     


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS COMIC-CON (November 9-11)

My penultimate comics convention appearance of the year will be the always glorious Grand Rapids Comic-Con. The event will take place Friday through Sunday, November 9-11, at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This convention has become one of my favorites. It’s incredibly well run with dozens of great guests, a fantastic program and terrific vendors. I almost feel sorry for the legion of fans who will be attending this event because, throughout the con, they will making touch choices as to what programs to attend, what guests they want to meet and what choice comics and other wonders they will spend their money on. Here’s a quick hint: there won’t be any bad choices. Just be you, enjoy the things you love, and you’ll have a wonderful time.

The convention’s website lists two dozen media guests. Among them is Ricou Browning, who played the Creature from the Black Lagoon. That’s someone I want to meet and talk to, too. Other media guests include Walter Koenig, John Ratzenberger, Doug Jones and Highlander Adrian Paul. While I may not know all about the other media guests, I know enough to know many fans will be thrilled to have a chance to meet them, get their autographs and maybe a picture with them.

There are at least two dozen comics guests: Kevin Eastman, Michael Golden, Arvell Jones, Mike Grell, James Tynion IV, Joyce Chin, Steve Orlando, Agnes Garbowska, Renee Witterstaetter, Matt Haley, Robert Pope, Thom Zahler, Dirk Manning, K. Lynn Smith, Jason Moore, Scott Rosema, Comfort and Love, Douglas Paszkiewicz, Seth Damoose, Randy Zimmerman, Dan Monroe and representative from Michigan-based publishers Source Point Press and Caliber Comics.

There are literary guests like the super Shea Fontana of DC Super Hero Girls, a favorite of mine. There are cosplay guests and even YouTube guests like the amazing Harp Twins. Not to mention dozens of talented folks in Artist Alley.

Other events: a short film festival, a Grindhouse movie festival, a car show, an art show, a Hall of Heroes Museum exhibit, an anime room, events for kids and more. Expect to see lots of knock your eyes out cosplay throughout the weekend.

Every day of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con will give fans a choice of dozens of interviews, panels and other programming. I’ll be on two panels during the weekend.

On Friday in Grand Gallery E-F at 4 pm, I’ll be a participant on Joyce Chin’s Breaking In and Staying In The Entertainment Industry. Along with Joyce, Steve Orlando and Agnes Garbowska, we’ll discuss being “discovered” in mainstream entertainment, the importance of first chances within the field and how to stay relevant within your chosen love and profession. Beyond my obvious answers of “staying alive” and “not going away no matter how much they want you to,” I hope to offer some of the hard-won wisdom I’ve acquired over my 46 years in comics.

On Sunday on the Main Stage at 12:15 pm, I’ll be giving a talk on Black Lightning and My Road To Diversity. To quote from the show’s website:

The creator of Black Lightning (now a hit series on the CW) and Misty Knight (who appears in Netflix’s Luke Cage and other Marvel TV series), talks about the career path that led him to seek out writing assignments on characters of color and to create characters like Black Lightning and Misty Knight. You’ll learn secrets behind comics as Tony talks about his career and answers your questions.

When I’m not on a panel or wandering around the convention hanging out with old friends, making new ones and buying stuff, I’ll be at Booth 540 selling and signing Tony Isabella stuff. At this time, I am planning to bring:

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands
Black Lightning Volume One
Black Lightning Volume Two
July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic-Book Life of Tony Isabella Volume One
Black Lightning posters (three different ones)
Hawkman poster
Daredevil and Luke Cage mini-posters.

I do charge for my signature. Here’s my policy...

Any items purchased from me: no charge.

Any one item not purchased from me: no charge.

Additional items: $5 each.

Items signed in front of a grading company witness: $10 each.

Photos are free.


I’m looking forward to seeing my bloggy thing readers and my other fans and friends at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con. Trust me. You will have a wonderful time at this event.

******************************

My final appearance of the year will be at the 2018 Great American Comic Convention, Saturday and Sunday, November 17-18, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. Saintly Wife Barbara will be coming to this event with me. I’ll have much more to say about on Monday, but, in the meantime, check out the show’s website.

There is a lot of stuff going on in the world of Tony Isabella and, unfortunately, it means you won’t be getting regular bloggy things until after Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, I’ll be home for two solid months, finishing a couple of books and developing a brand-new super-hero universe. I’m looking forward to having the time to do what I love best. I think you’ll be pleased with what you read.

That’s all for now. Look for my next bloggy thing on November 12. See you then.

© 2018 Tony Isabella

Thursday, November 1, 2018

BLACK LIGHTNING BEAT 10-31-18

“Black Lightning Beat” is the ongoing blog-within-the-bloggy where I discuss all things Black Lightning. In yesterday’s installment, I wrote a scene-by-scene commentary on the first half of the Black Lightning Season Two premiere: “The Book of Consequences: Chapter One: The Rise of the Green Light Babies.”

We continue...

Real-life political commentator Angela Rye is shown on a television broadcast talking about blacks being experimented since the days of slavery and since. She says the plight of the Green Light Babies is nothing new for black people. But...

...the more I learn about this stuff, the more horrifying it is to me. I went to all-white schools in Cleveland, which was a terribly segregated city when I was a kid. There was never a whiff of this in our history books. Indeed, given the control Texas conservatives have over our nation’s textbooks, I wonder if today’s kids are learning about this sad history.

Jefferson Pierce [Cress Williams] is watching the broadcast. Lynn Stewart [Christine Adams] walks into his bedroom. After their fight earlier, she had thought she would go to her own place. It didn’t seem like where she should be. They reconcile and talk things out. Both fear what could happen to their daughters if the government makes it open season on metahumans. It’s a fear that seems way too real in the Dumpster President’s America.

What also seems very real to me is Jeff and Lynn talking about the events of the day. Jeff tells Lynn Bill Henderson [Damon Gupton] knows he’s Black Lightning and that Anissa is Thunder. Lynn thinks maybe Jeff should see a therapist to help him deal with the stress of his life. That leads into sexy banter that, once again, is something to which I think most married couple can relate.  It’s a wonderful scene played by two outstanding actors.

Anissa [Nafessa Williams] comes home and stashes the cash from her attack on the drug house in her closet. It’s a short scene and I think it reflects her taking a moment to consider the consequences of what she has done. Her reflection will be short-lived.

Peter Gambi [James Remar] and Jeff have a conversation about Kara Fowdy [Skye Marshall], now revealed as a ASA spotter. Our hero is stunned by this news. He clearly had no idea that Fowdy had her own double life. There’s not much more Peter and he can do except wait to see if she can deliver the briefcase that was taken from Martin Proctor [Gregg Henry] during the previous season’s finale.

Another heart-sinking scene comes as we cut to Jennifer [China Anne McClain] hanging out with and getting her hair done by her friend Kiesha [Kyanna Simone Simpson]. Jen gets a text from Khalil [Jordan Calloway], but doesn’t respond. Kiesha starts talking about what a freak he is and, further, how all these Green Light babies are freaks. The hurt look on Jen’s face as Kiesha predicts the “end of days” was a punch to my gut.

The act ends on a humorous note. The masked Anissa interrupts a bible study at the church. When Reverend Jeremiah Holt [Clifton Powell] sees her, he and several other members of the congregation pull out guns. Though it’s a sad commentary on our reality, I have to admit the staging and timing made me laugh.

Anissa pours the money into the aisle and walks away. The reverend praises the Lord. 

The next-to-final act starts at the funeral parlor where ASA agents are carrying away the late Issa Williams [Myles Truitt] in a body bag. His mother is screaming at them until Issa claws his way out of the bag. He’s alive, but his power has been activated. When his face/neck glows, people are compelled to reveal ugly truths.

Issa’s mom says this can’t be her boy, that she was happy to bury  him because she knew he was out on the streets doing Green Light. She recovers and apologizes, but the feds are ready to shoot Issa. The teen’s family interferes and Issa runs away.

At the Pierce house, Jen and Kiesha are watching the funeral parlor scene on Jen’s phone. Kiesha goes back into her “freaks” and “end of days” routine. Jen loses control of her powers, rushes into her bathroom and yells at Kiesha to go home.

Back at the Green Babies warehouse, Agent Odell [Bill Duke] is not the least bit happy that Lynn is now in charge of the youngsters. He wants to know who pulled the strings to get Lynn this position. She says the government experimented on these kids and she’s going to give the community the tools to deal with the situation. Odell clearly doesn’t like his authority being challenged. On the other hand, I do like seeing this Lynn/Odell conflict. You can guess who I’m rooting for.

Back at the Pierce home, Jefferson has returned home to find Lynn and Anissa outside the bathroom. When he enters the room, Jennifer is sitting in the rub surrounded by a virtual ball of electrical energy. She’s terrified. Jeff is terrified as well, but helping his child takes precedence. He helps her out of the tub and painfully absorbs her electrical energy. The melding of such intense emotion with the special effects is one of the best things about the show. Powers, like everything else in Freeland, have consequences.

That brings us the finale, which is incredibly fast paced. Writer Salim Akil blew me away with how much he could fit into just a few minutes of screen time.

School board member Napier Frank [Robert Townsend] tells Jefferson that the board has voted to close Garfield High. Jefferson offers to resign as principal. When Frank asks him if he’s sure, Jeff says it’s about saving Garfield and not his job.

Night has fallen. Issa sits in the basement. He looks so terribly alone that the moment breaks your heart.

Lynn is walking in the room where the Green Light babies are being kept in suspended animation. Without any dialogue, we still see the enormity of the task before her.

Anissa is packing another bag with money. She isn’t thinking ahead to the consequences of stealing from very bad people.

A sleeping Jennifer is floating above her bed with her electrical energy making her glow. She almost looks peaceful.

Then we get the final scene of the episode, the one that damn near made my heart stop. Fowdy confronts Tobias Whale [Marvin “Krondon” Jones III] in his penthouse. He’s ready for her. He tells her that Syonide was the last thing he loved in this world and then shoots Fowdy with a harpoon.

Fowdy screams in horror and pain. Tobias starts pulling her closer to him. She cuts the tether, slides on the floor past Tobias and launches herself out the window. Damn!

I’ve been praising the performance of Jones since the first time he appeared in the first season. My Tobias Whale is utterly ruthless, but Jones and the writers have given their Tobias much more range.
He is ruthless, but he was also capable of love. If there’s no one left to love, will he become even more dangerous?

This episode was a great way to start the second season of the best show on television. Now comes a question for you.

Would you like me to do a blow-by-blow commentary on every episode of Black Lightning? Three more episodes have aired since this first one, but I’m looking for an excuse to watch them a second time as well. Let me know how you feel about this.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2018 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

BLACK LIGHTNING BEAT 10-30-18


“Black Lightning Beat” is the ongoing blog-within-the-bloggy where I discuss all things Black Lightning. There’s a lot going on with my creation and yours truly, but today I want to concentrate on the Black Lightning Season Two premiere: “The Book of Consequences: Chapter One: The Rise of the Green Light Babies.”

All season long, I plan to kind of sort of live blog each episode of Black Lightning. I watch the episodes with my family on Tuesday night. Then, after having enjoyed said episodes, I’ll watch them a second time and take notes. Those notes are what you’ll be reading in these TV series-centric installments of the bloggy. I warn you in advance that this will be a long piece.

My first impression of the premiere was one of my “Things That Make Me Happy” posts:

Black Lightning Season Two kicked off with an amazing script with a key moment in nearly every scene. Salim Akil deserves an Emmy nod for writing this one.

I loved the episode so much that I asked my friend Salim for a copy of his script. I want to study it while I prepare to write my first ever screenplay. No, it’s not for Black Lightning. I have to learn this craft before I pitch for my favorite TV series. My script is for a horror movie that, assuming we get the funding we need, will be shot in Cleveland. More on that in the future.

I’ve always considered myself the sole creator of Black Lightning. Everything important about the character and concept was created by me and only me before I pitched the series to DC Comics. Indeed, I was recognized in the comic-book credits as the sole creator up to the moment I inquired about buying out DC’s share of my creation. Though I wrote the current official credit line to recognize Trevor von Eeden as the original artist of the series and main (of five poeple) designer of the original costume, I do not and have never thought of him as a co-creator of the character.

In the credits of the TV series, Salim Akil receives a “developed by” credit. I honestly think that does an injustice to my friend. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the creator of the Black Lightning TV series. Comic books and TV series are very different things, even when they start from the same core values. Salim took my creation and, working with talented writers, cast members and crew, made it something as original unto itself as Jefferson Pierce was when I created him in 1976. My respect for him and everyone working on the series knows no bounds. Every episode is like a special Christmas gift to me.

On to “The Rise of the Green Light Babies”...

A great deal of what we call in the business “heavy shit” went down in the first season finale. As the overall title of the first arc of the new season makes clear, there are consequences arising out of those events.

When the chapter title appeared on the screen with those glorious graphics, both my son Ed and I went “Whoa!” I can’t recall the last time I saw anything so striking from the titles of a TV show. But Black Lightning is always at its very best when it defies ordinary expectations.

Akil doesn’t flinch from the political/social elements inherent to this series. We see Issa Williams [played by Myles Truitt], a young black man who has taken Green Light, choked to death by the police. He poses no threat to them. It’s the “shoot first” and “them vs. us” mentality that has caused much rightful mistrust of the police in communities all across out country.

An effective part of this scene, which is shown as part of a news broadcast, is the headline crawl below the images. It reflects the world around us and so ties Black Lightning to the reality we live in every day.

Churches, especially black churches, can be effective voices for change. Reverend Jeremiah Holt [Reverend Jeremiah Holt] expresses righteous anger over the slaying of Issa Williams - we must always remember the names - but makes it clear this incident is not born of the terrible Green Light drug, but of a consistent, historical pattern of police violence.

Jefferson Pierce [Cress Williams] must face the predominantly white school board, the consequences of the invasion of Garfield High by Painkiller and Syonide, and his own seeming absence from that event and its aftermath. It reminds me of the scene I wrote for the 1995 issue of Black Lightning that got butchered by an incompetent DC Comics editor. The powers that be are determined to make Jefferson the scapegoat for the violence. This rang true to me.

Lynn Stewart [Christine Adams] is interrogated by Agent Percy Odell [Bill Duke]. Odell oozes venom. He cares nothing for Lynn, those metahuman children locked in those pods, or any damned thing that makes his life even mildly more difficult. He does not give a rat’s ass that Lynn might be the only person who can help those kids. As we’ll see, he doesn’t think of them as human. When Odell terminates the interview, he terminates Lynn’s access to the pods.

Cut to a scene where Jennifer Pierce [China Anne McClain] wakes up to find big sister Anissa [Nafessa Williams] hovering at the edge of her bed. During the night, while Jennifer slept, her electrical powers activated without her knowledge. She was floating above her bed. This scares all concerned.

Then we get the highlight of the opening act of this episode. Kara Fowdy [Skye P. Marshall], who has been working with the government, is planning to get the heck out of Freeland. But Tobias Whale wants to “chat” with her about the contents of the briefcase he acquired last season. He’s sent Syonide [Charlbi Dean Kriek] to invite Fowdy to sit down with him. Fowdy ain’t having that. The two women draw down on each other and the bullets start flying. The real fun comes when they run out of bullets.

The physical battle between Fowdy and Syonide is one of the best on the series to date. Kudos to the actresses and the choreographers for making this work so well. I lost it when Fowdy removes her high heels and triggers the blades within. That caught me by surprise, but not as much as Fowdy killing Syonide. I actually shouted “No!” at the TV screen. I love Syonide! I mean, I love Fowdy, too, but I was stunned by this unexpected death. Forgive me if I hope to see Syonide brought back to life in a future episode. She’s too great a character to disappear from this series.

What made this episode outstanding were the incredible performances from every member of the cast and that every scene delivered some fraught-with-meaning payoff. When Jefferson and Lynn discuss their respective days, it sounds authentic despite how crazy their days were. That they aren’t on the same page regarding Jennifer seeing a therapist or other situations is heartbreaking. What also comes through is Jeff’s obsession with killing Tobias Whale. I fear he’s in danger of crossing the line between justice and vengeance.

Fowdy visits Peter Gambi [James Remar] at the former agent’s tailor shop. Earlier in the episode, we saw Kara take out Syonide. Now we see her desperate and frightened. She wants to get out of the life. She’s willing to confront Tobias to do so.

A meeting between Jefferson and Dr. Napier Frank [Robert Townsend], a school board member, brings home how much the board wants Jeff’s head. The two men have been friends since the Olympics, but Frank makes it clear he’s more concerned with saving the school and not Jefferson’s job.

During the meeting, we get a clear, poignant notion of underlying racism among the white school board members. They have money to put metal detectors and police officers in the school, but not for the books, computers and other educational things Garfield High, like most schools, could use. Unlike Jefferson, the board has no qualms about treating innocent students like criminals.

Cut to the church where real-life civil rights and social justice attorney Benjamin Crump is explaining to the concerned parents of the kids in the pods that the government refuses to give them any access to those kids. It echoes the Trump Administration’s illegal separation of immigrant children from their parents. It will take at least half a million dollars to help these families bring suit against the government.

Afterwards, Jeff and Anissa argue about the next course of action for Black Lightning and Thunder. Jeff wants to leave the pod kids to the authorities and concentrate on Tobias Whale. Once again, we see Jefferson fixating on the man who killed his father over other equally weighty concerns. What makes him such a amazing character is that he doesn’t always do the right thing, that he gives in to what he hasn’t yet realized is his dark side.

Jennifer and Lynn have a conversation that points out how they have so many consequences to deal with and resolve. Jen doesn’t want to have powers. Lynn killed a man with a shotgun. They watched Gambi murder a man in cold blood. When Jen loses control of her powers and accidentally injures Lynn, the fear on their respective faces made my stomach drop. Every scene in this episode carried so much emotional and situational weight.

Thunder invades a drug house. What makes this such an astonishing scene is how smoothly the action flows and how much Thunder seems to be enjoying herself. This is something we are seeing less from her father as the consequences of his superhero activities tear at the fabric of his life. A friend of mine opined that Thunder would make for a good spin-off series. I couldn’t disagree, but I think her role in this series is vital. Hey, maybe a made-for-TV movie. Like a hard-ass afternoon special but aired in the evening.

The conversation between Black Lightning and Bill Henderson [Damon Gupton] knocked me for a loop. What a brilliant scene played by two of the finest actors of our time! The raw emotion between old dear friends coming to a turning point in their relationship and the possibility that relationship will not survive. I don’t think I blinked once during this scene. It was too riveting.

I swear if I get to do write a Black Lightning ongoing following Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, Henderson will join that book’s supporting cast. I was hesitant to include him because Jefferson’s grandmother is named Henderson, but then this occurred to me:

Why couldn’t Bill Henderson be related to her? Which would make him related to Jefferson as well. What storytelling gold could I mine from that vein?

Since I’m about at the halfway point of this episode, I’m going to split this into two parts. Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of my commentary on “The Rise of the Green Light Babies”...

© 2018 Tony Isabella

TONY'S TIPS #281

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...The incredible 966-page Batman ’66 Omnibus; Graineliers Vol. 1 by Rihito Takarai; and Skyward Volume 1: My Low-G Life by writer Joe Henderson, artist Lee Garbett and colorist Antonio Fabela!
                                                                               
                                                                              


Monday, October 29, 2018

AKRON COMICON (November 3-4)

I’m getting set for my annual trip to the Akron Comicon, which will be held Saturday and Sunday, November 3-4, at the Goodyear Hall, 1201 E. Market Street, Akron, Ohio. Show promoters Robert Jenkins, Michael Savene and Jesse Vance have put together another incredible line-up of guests for the event.

We’ll be celebrating the 80th anniversary of Superman, who was born in nearby Cleveland, the creation of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Among the Superman artists attending: Jon Bogdanove, Barry Kitson, Ron Frenz, Chris Sprouse, Brett Breeding and Bob Wiacek. There will be special panels with comics creators and the Siegel and Shuster Society. I’ll be on one such panel on Saturday afternoon.

I’ll also be doing one and maybe two Black Lightning panels over the weekend. At least one of those panel will be with Electrifying Eddy Newell, the artist of my 1995 Black Lightning series. If you have ever attended one of my Black Lightning or “Tony’s Tips Live” panels, you know you’ll get the straight scoop from me when you ask questions. No holding back except where required by some of the non-disclosure agreements I’ve signed.

The guest and vendors area of the Akron Comicon includes “Monster Alley” where you’ll find all sorts of stuff to thrill the hearts of monster kids everywhere. Appearing in the alley will be the Son of Ghoul, the TV horror host following in the footsteps of the great Ghoulardi, and Mike and Jan Olszewski, authors of several books on Cleveland radio and television.

Reb Brown, who played Captain America in some vintage made-for-TV movies, will be at the convention. Everyone tells me what a groovy guy he is, but I’ve never been able to get away from my own table long enough to meet him. I’ll try to rectify that this year.

Speaking of my tables...

I’ll be bringing copies of Black Lightning Volume 1 and 2, as well as the trade paperback of Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, where I reinvented my creation for today’s world. I'll have individual issues of Cold Dead Hands and other Isabella stuff. I’ll have some Daredevil and Luke Cage mini-posters. And, depending on the space I have to work with, maybe some other surprises.

As some of you already know, I charge for my signature in most cases. Here’s my signature policy:

Any items purchased from me: no charge.

Any one item not purchased from me: no charge.

Additional items: $5 each.

Items signed in front of a grading company witness: $10 each.

Photos are free.


Other Akron Comicon guests include: Dave Aikins, Darryl Banks, Mike Barr, Tom Batiuk, Jim Beard, Allen Bellman, Craig Boldman, George Broderick Jr, Robert Egeland, Michael T. Gilbert, Daniel Gorman, Mike Gustovich, Bob Ingersoll, Dirk Manning, P. Craig Russell, Paul Storrie, Karl Story, Mark Sumerak, John Totleben, Thom Zahler, and Apama creators Ted Sikora and Milo Miller. Whew!

There will be a cosplay contest on Saturday. If you’re cosplaying at this convention, especially if you’re cosplaying as a character I’ve created or written, please stop by my table so I can have my assistant take a photo of us for use in a future installment of my bloggy thing.

As I do every year, I’m looking forward to the Akron Comicon. I’ll also be doing two other conventions in November:

November 9-11: Grand Rapids (Michigan) Comic-Con

November 17-18: Great American Comics Convention (Las Vegas)

I’ll have more on those conventions soon. These will be my final conventions of the year. If you’re in near any of these fine cities on these weekends, I hope you’ll try to come by and see me and the other guests.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2018 Tony Isabella