Wednesday, July 19, 2017

CANCELLED: JULY 28-29 GARAGE SALE

My July 28-29 Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale has been cancelled. 

Between my trips to Burbank to meet with the Black Lightning writers and then Chicago for G-Fest, I've fallen behind on my writing schedule. 

With dentist and doctor appointments scheduled for next week and August, I have to catch up on that schedule and get ahead on it. 

Something has to give. That "something" is the extensive preparation I need to do before my garage sales. The next one is scheduled for August 11-12. If I get far enough ahead on stuff, I'll extend the hours of those garage sales and maybe even add Sunday hours.

I'll do my best to make my August garage sales truly special. Thanks for your understanding.

I'll be back on Friday with a new bloggy thing. See you then.

Tony Isabella

 

RAWHIDE KID WEDNESDAY 117

RESOLVED: The Rawhide Kid is my favorite western comics character and one of my favorite comics characters period.  This is why I’ve written over a hundred columns about him. Something about his short stature, but large courage, honor and fighting skills speaks to me.  After rereading the Kid’s earliest adventures when Marvel reprinted them in a pair of Marvel Masterworks and an Essential Rawhide Kid volume, I decide to reacquire every Rawhide Kid comic, reread them and write about them. We’ve reached the title’s extended twilight.  We’ve seen the last new Rawhide Kid story that will appear in the now-bimonthly reprint series. This is the 117th installment of my “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” columns.  
                                                                                 

The Rawhide Kid #130 [November 1975] has a cover penciled and maybe even inked by Larry Lieber with alterations by John Romita. It’s a reprint of the cover of The Rawhide Kid #58 [June 1967]. As you can see, Romita did considerable work on the figure of the Kid, on the orange-clad bad hombre on the balcony and on several other figures. I’ve included the cover to issue #58 here so that you can compare the two covers.

“When a Gunfighter Faces...the Enforcers” [17 pages] was written by  Gary Friedrich, penciled by Lieber and inked by Vince Colletta. I  wrote about this issue in June of 2013 and you can read my comments on the story here.

As with the previous few issues, the story was reprinted in order. It was the standard length tale for Marvel comic books of that era and that meant no pages had to be cut to make it fit. In the place of what would’ve been a letters page in Marvel comics featuring new  material, we got “A Marvel Masterworks Pin-Up” of the Rawhide Kid being punched by an Apache warrior. It was taken from the cover of issue #74 [February 1970] and had previously been used as a pin-up in issue #126 [May 1975].

There are a dozen “classified” ads from mail-order comics dealers with none of them particularly noteworthy. There are three pages of Marvel house ads, a Bullpen Bulletins page and a comic-book style ad for Hostess Fruit Pies that stars the Hulk.

The first Marvel house ad is the full-page “Poster Pandemonium” ad we’ve seen before. Including 25 cents for postage and handling, you could get any of the six posters - Spider-Man, Conan, Dracula, the Hulk, Captain America or Deadly Hands of Kung Fu - for a buck and a quarter and any three for two bucks and a quarter. Residents of New York and New Jersey also had to add 8% for sales tax.
                                                                                    

The second Marvel house ad was a full-page announcing and offering MGM’s Marvelous Wizard of Oz. Written and edited by Roy Thomas with art by John Buscema, Tony DeZuniga and the Tribe, the 10 by 14-inch treasury edition was a joint venture by Marvel and DC.

Legend has it that DC publisher Carmine Infantino out-foxed Marvel by claiming DC was working on an adaptation of the L. Frank Baum novel on which the movie was based when, in fact, DC hadn’t begun such a project. DC agreed to shelve its project and share costs and profits on the Marvel version. I don’t know if I believe “legend” in this case, but I don’t entirely disbelieve it either.

“Stan Lee’s Soapbox” led off this issue’s Marvel Bullpen Bulletins page. Our fearless leader announced Marv Wolfman would be the new editor-in-chief of the color comics with Len Wein writing several titles and serving as consulting editor. Archie Goodwin would take over as editor of the black-and-white magazines. Additionally, Stan plugged the Marvel-designed Slurpee cups (60 in all) that would be available at 7-Eleven stores in the summer...and a visit from Terry Gilliam of Monty Python’s Flying Circus...and a surprise that was being cooked up by Angela Bowie and husband David...and the coming of Marvel’s Celebrity, a publication not unlike the smash hit that was People Magazine. As I recall, the Bowie surprise had something to do with Angela wanted to star in a Black Widow movie.

Sidebar. I would move back to Cleveland for several months before returning to New York to take a staff job with DC Comics. My idea was that leaving New York would ease my problems with Marv and Len who seemed to think of me as a rival instead of an asset. Anyway, during that summer, Barb and I would go to 7-11 often and collect those Marvel cups. I don’t think we got all 60, but we got a lot of them. One of these days, they might turn up in my Vast Accumulation of Stuff. End of sidebar.

The lead news item reported that Marvel’s softball team got beaten by teams from Sports Illustrated and Time, but defeated John Wiley and Sons by a score of 18-7.

The next item plugged the Marvel Special Edition treasury editions which would reprint stories of Marvel super-heroes titles...and the Queen-Size Millie the Model special, which I’m pretty sure was not a treasury edition.

Several quick notes comprised the third, final and long item. They were:

Marvel staffers crowding around production chief John Verpoorten’s office to get a look at Jack Kirby’s new Captain America pages.

Letterer Irv Watanabe returning to the comics business.

Don McGregor appeared on WHBI-FM’s “The Big Sim Power Hour” to talk about comics in general and “Night Figure,” his own upcoming weekly radio drama series.

Jim Mooney and wife Anne announced the arrival of their “bouncing baby girl” Nolle.

Steve Gerber was said to be in hiding after he finished editing the special “Paranoia” issue of Crazy Magazine.

Len Wein would be writing Iron Man and Thor in addition to Spider-Man and Hulk.

Herb Trimpe was moving from Hulk to Iron Man.

The new editors of the seven-title British weeklies line were Duffy Vohland and Michele Brand.

Bonnie Smith was taking over the managing of the Marvel’s fan mail from Michelle Wolfman who was pursuing a career as Marvel’s newest colorist.

An item about some fellow named Tony Isabella combined three items into one with a small degree of accuracy. I didn’t break my leg in the softball game with Wiley and Sons. I broke my ankle. I didn’t return to a staff position. At the request of Stan Lee, Sol Brodsky and John Verpoorten, I took an office at Marvel so I would be near at hand for emergency copy writing and other projects. However, I did get engaged to future wife Barb Kepke, even if that very first engagement didn’t take. About a decade later, we did get married. Best day of my life.

This Bullpen page ended with shout-outs to Irene Vartanoff, Scott Edelman and Roger Slifer who were said to have threatened to attack if they weren’t mentioned. Though I never saw this with my limited connection to the Bullpen staff, I have since been told that said staff became quite territorial in demanding freelance assignments go to their own favorites and fellows. I’m not sure I believe this, but, as I didn’t have much contact with the staff outside of Stan, Sol and John, I wouldn’t have noticed this.
                                                                               

Next to the Bullpen page was “The Incredible Hulk and the Twins of Evil,” a Hostess Fruit Pies ad by artist John Romita and an unknown (for now) writer, though said writer was likely one of the Marvel editors or staffers. In the one-page ad, the Hulk gets a beat down at the hands of the Abomination and the Wendigo. Two hikers revive the Hulk with delicious Hostess Fruit Pies. The Hulk then punches out trees on his way to settle the score with his foes. Beware of fruit pie rage, my friends.
                                                                            
                                                                                

The afore-mentioned Rawhide Kid pin-up appeared on the second last interior page of the issue. That was followed by the half-page FOOM ad we’ve seen and a half-page ad for Marvel sweat and tee shirts. The Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man and Hulk tee shirts came in man sizes for $4.45 each (included postage and handling) and boy sizes for $3 each. Sorry, girls, no tee shirts for you. The Captain America and Spider-Man sweat shirts were $5 each.

“Rawhide Kid Wednesday” will be back next Wednesday. For tomorrow, I’ll have something else for you.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

Thursday, July 13, 2017

15 SHOCKING STATEMENTS FROM TONY ISABELLA

When I started considering what kind of bloggy thing I could post today that would keep you bloggy readers satisfied until I return from G-Fest, I looked at blogs and websites I visit on a frequent basis to determine the secrets of their success and how to do the same thing. The answer came to me swiftly.

Click-Bait! It’s the online equivalent of sleazy reality TV shows. You know it’s bad for you, but you get drawn into it. So, when you could be researching the vital issues of the day, you are instead consumed by the “15 Spider-Ham Recipes That Will Make You Not Care That You Are Eating a Sentient Being” or “The 15 Times Male Writers Had Comics Heroines Use the Word ‘Dick’ in a Sentence and Giggled Uncontrollably” or “15 Reasons Comic Book Resources Can’t Count Any Higher than 15.”

How could I not want part of that action? We begin...

1. I have a mild, self-diagnosed and a bit unique case of Obsessive Compulsion Disorder. Before the invention of the personal computer, I used to self-justify my articles and scripts. Editors would tell me I didn’t need to do this. I still did it. Mostly automatically, but, sometimes, to make the spacing work, I would misspell a word on purpose.

2. I don’t like Krazy Kat. Yes, I know it’s a work of genius, but it leaves me cold. When I’ve mentioned this to trusted friends, a number of them have told me they feel the same way but are afraid to admit it publically. Strangely enough, though Krazy Kat leaves me cold, I am very interested in Geo. Herriman, the creator of the strip. He was a fascinating individual.

3. The most hurtful (to me) thing I ever read online was at a site devoted to female cartoonists of color. I visited that site daily. Until one writer, discussing Black Lightning and the importance of my creation, added she knew I “was a white man who probably didn’t think he was a racist.” I’ve never been able to visit that website since.

4. We are the heroes of our own stories. When people write or talk about their history, they inevitably slant things so they come off better in the retelling than they did in the actual. When I write about my history, I get a little crazy intense trying to verify my memories so that I do this as little as possible.

5. For years, I have been dragging my heels on a major interview with me for one of my favorite magazines because I’m paralyzed by my dual desire to tell the truth and not hurt anyone needlessly. Even those who hurt or tried to hurt me over the years. As soon as I finish my current comics project, I’m determined to find the gumption to do that interview.

6. I forgive you. If you’re one of those people who did me wrong, I forgive you. It doesn’t mean I’ll forget what you’ve done or that I would trust you in the future or that I have any desire to hang out with you. It means I forgive you and I’m only going to think about you in the context of telling my story. Even then, I’m going to be as charitable as possible.

A while back, one of the worst human beings I had ever known died. He was my ex-lawyer and, before long, he became an ex-lawyer period as his crimes caught up with him. He tried to cause me serious trouble on numerous occasions. He never succeeded. I beat him time and time again.

He supposedly went to AA and turned his life around and became some sort of drug counselor. I wasn’t happy for him, just relieved that he probably wouldn’t be coming after me any more. Maybe he figured he'd paid too dear a price for that. But...

I never really believed he had changed. Because one of the twelve steps of every AA program I had heard of involved making amends to those you had wronged. A simple apology would have done that with me, but I never got even that.

If he didn’t think he’d wronged me, he was in denial. If he knew he had wronged me and didn’t care to make amends, then he clearly had not changed. And he died.

I felt nothing. I wasn’t relieved because he hadn’t ever been able to do more than inconvenience me and cost me some money to pay for my lawyers. Just disappointed that his redemption story was every bit as false as virtually everything else he did or said.

That’s when I realized. I didn’t need his apology. I didn’t need an apology from any of those who had wronged me. Because, ultimately, my very good life is not dependent on or hurt by them. They have no power over me.

So why not forgive them? Which I have done.

7. I really don’t like Mystery Science Theatre 3000. If I want to listen to churlishly snarky comments from people who think they are comedy geniuses, I’ll start reading the comments on comic strips. I’d rather just watch the movies, good, bad, or really bad. I can make my own jokes in my mind. Even the presence of Felicia Day, a geek goddess if ever there was one, can’t convince me to check out the new version of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

8. The official Black Lightning credit is: “Black Lightning created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden.” I wrote that new credit. I agreed to that new credit. DC agreed to that new credit. I think Trevor Von Eeden is okay with that new credit, but I now realize I have never asked him, even though we e-mail each other on an almost daily basis. Anyway...

Why is it so hard for comics news sites to get this right? This is the official credit. It recognizes my role as the primary creator of Black Lightning - it’s fact that I created everything important to the character before I brought him to DC - while recognizing the key role played by Trevor Von Eeden in contributing to the costume design of the original version and, working from the descriptions in my scripts, visually designing the supporting cast and villains. I expect mainstream media sites to get it wrong, but I expect more from the comics sites.

9. I’m looking for a comics news site I can call my own. Because I have grown increasingly dissatisfied with the four I visit daily. Some ignore large areas of the comics art community while focusing on their particular favorites. Some seem to relish sensationalism more than actual news or commentary. Some seem to live and die by their click-bait. I’m not naming names here, but I trust there will be speculation as to which ones I’m talking about.

Have fun.

The older I get, the more my interest in all kinds of comics grows. I’m interested in the big publishers. I’m interested in small press creators. I’m interested in Asian and European comics and graphic novels. I’m interested in comics by creators of color and creators who represent the vast diversity of both our creators and our readers. I’m interested in comics history. I’m interested in what creators of my generation are doing. I’m interested in creator rights. I’m interested in comics that address real-world issues. I’m interested in the whole wonderful world of comics in print and in movies and anywhere else they appear. I’m interested in the art and the craft and the entertainment of comics.

If you know of a comics news site that comes remotely close to the above, please send me the link. I could stretch my Patreon budget to help support it.

10. I confess part of my disillusionment with those comics sites is that they don’t seem interested in my work. I thought it was very cool that I was invited to speak with the writers of the new Black Lightning show coming to the CW. I didn’t think respect like that had become commonplace in our industry.

I also have this new book out - July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic-Book Life of Tony Isabella - that I think is a fun read even if you are not intensely interested in the comics of that era. My Sainted Wife Barb is enjoying it and she doesn’t read comics at all. Okay, she might be biased on account of she loves me.

11. Outside of my personal venues, I feel uncomfortable promoting myself. I wonder if I need to be sending out press releases, but I fear that would make me come off as needy.

12. I need an assistant. By the time I finish writing the six-issue comics series I’m currently working on, I want to have my stuffed-to-the-rafters office turned into a more functional space that can include an assistant. What holds me back is time and money. If I’m writing, I don’t have time to renovate my office. As for the money, I don’t know if I can afford to pay an assistant a wage I would be comfortable paying. I believe in the $15 per hour minimum wage. That just strikes me as the right thing to do.

13. I have pretty much lost all patience with comics readers that only like one kind of comic book or only comic books like the ones they read when they were twelve. I love the comic books I read when I was twelve, but if they were the only comics out there, I know my passion for comics would wither and die.

Besides...you old fogeys make me look bad. Editors and publishers see this 65-year-old dwarf and they think I can’t keep up with the young pups. I reject that stereotype.

14. Just because something is different doesn’t mean it’s good. I don’t have one set of standards for traditional comics and one for alternative works. No matter which group your comics fall into, I look for clear and expressive storytelling in both the writing and visuals. I look for interesting characters and situations. I’m not going to praise something just because it’s different. It has to be good, too.

15. I believe news stories about comic books becoming movies or TV shows should always mention the creators of those comic books. I’m not naive enough to think that mainstream media news outfits give a rat’s ass about those creators, but it’s sad most of the comics news people don’t care either.

It’s my hope that what I’ve written here today gets some readers to think. It’s my expectation that some who read today’s bloggy thing will be pissed about what I’ve written and hurl insults my way from their anonymous bunkers. But I’m gonna be at G-Fest for the next four or five days. So nah, nah, nah, I can’t hear you. At least until I return to my office late Monday or early Tuesday.

This has been my first venture into knowing click-bait. Should it bring me fame and fortune...or a butt-load of new views...I might take another crack at it. Feel free to send suggestions for click-bait articles you’d like me to write. Now scoot along while I finish reading “15 Comic-Book Pros Who Are Bad in Bed.”

See you next week, my friends.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

TONY'S TIPS #217

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...Hogan's Alley #21, "The Magazine of the Cartoon Arts; The Flintstones Volume 1 by Mark Russell and artist Steve Pugh; and Civil War II: Gods of War by Dan Abnett with artist Emilio Laiso.

RAWHIDE KID WEDNESDAY 116

RESOLVED: The Rawhide Kid is my favorite western comics character and one of my favorite comics characters period.  This is why I’ve written over a hundred columns about him. Something about his short stature, but large courage, honor and fighting skills speaks to me.  After rereading the Kid’s earliest adventures when Marvel reprinted them in a pair of Marvel Masterworks and an Essential Rawhide Kid volume, I decide to reacquire every Rawhide Kid comic, reread them and write about them. We’ve reached the title’s extended twilight.  We’ve seen the last new Rawhide Kid story that will appear in the now-bimonthly reprint series. This is the 116th installment of my “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” columns.  

The Rawhide Kid #129 [October 1975] has a cover by Larry Lieber and inker John Tartaglione. It’s an altered reprint of the cover of The Rawhide Kid #57 [April 1967]. Most of the alterations were done to confirm to the current Marvel trade dress. Others were editorial in nature. Dialogue was added and the coloring was somewhat brighter.
                                                                                

“When the Scorpion Strikes” was written and penciled by Lieber and inked by Tartaglione. I first wrote about this issue in June, 2013, and you can read my comments here.

At this time, Rawhide Kid was almost editing itself. The reprinted stories were being reprinted in order. They were the 17-page length then standard for Marvel comic books, which meant no pages had to be cut to make them fit.    

There is a slight increase in comics-related “classified” ads. Last issue had twelve. This issue has fourteen. Because the ad-selling agency Marvel uses was slightly more successful this time around, there were fewer Marvel house ads. Only two.

The Marvel Treasury Edition ad we saw last time out is exactly as it was last time out with the same six issues. The subscription ad that has appeared before is back and offering the following titles:

Amazing Adventures
Amazing Spider-Man
Astonishing Tales
Avengers
Captain America
Captain Marvel
Chamber of Chills
Champions
Conan the Barbarian
Crypt of Shadows
Daredevil
Dr. Strange
Fantastic Four
Fear
Ghost Rider
Guardians of the Galaxy
Incredible Hulk
Iron Fist
Iron Man
Inhumans
Invaders
Journey into Mystery
Jungle Action
Ka-Zar
Kid Colt Outlaw
Man-Thing
Marvel Chillers
Marvel Double Feature
Marvel’s Greatest Comics
Marvel Premiere
Marvel Spectacular
Marvel Spotlight
Marvel Superheroes
Marvel Tales
Marvel Team-Up
Marvel Triple Action
Marvel Two-In-One
Master of King Fu
Mighty Marvel Western
My Love
Our Love Story
Power Man
Rawhide Kid
Scarecrow
Son of Satan
Strange Tales
Supernatural Thrillers
Super-Villain Team-Up
The Defenders
The Human Torch
The Outlaw Kid
The Mighty Thor
Tomb of Darkness
Tomb of Dracula
Two-Gun Kid
Uncanny Tales
Vault of Evil
Weird Wonder Tales
Werewolf by Night
Western Gunfighters
X-Men
Marvel Treasury Edition
Savage Sword of Conan
Planet of the Apes
Marvel Movie Premiere
Thor the Mighty
The Legion of Monsters
Marvel Super Action
Starlords
Sherlock Holmes
Doc Savage
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu
Crazy
Science Fiction
Marvel Preview
Kull and the Barbarians

If some of those titles don’t look quite right to you, you are not alone in that. The Scarecrow never got his own title, but appeared in some other title for an issue or two.

On the magazine side, Science Fiction was actually Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction. Thor the Mighty, Starlord, and Sherlock Holmes never got their own titles, but appeared in Marvel Preview. There was a Legion of Monsters title, but it ended up being a one-shot. Times were tough.

The only other editorial page in this issue is the Marvel Bullpen Bulletins page which kicks off with the usual “Stan Lee’s Soapbox” feature. Stan’s lead is Jack Kirby’s return to Marvel, commencing with the Marvel Treasury Edition of 2001: A Space Odyssey and King Kirby’s return to Captain America, which I was writing at the time. Stan also plugged Son of Origins of Marvel Comics and teased about a Silver Surfer graphic novel reunited him and Jack on their first comics project in years. Jack joined Stan on a panel at the Mighty Marvel Con and a good time was had by all.

Much to my surprise, the first item after Stan’s piece was a plug for the Champions series I was launching with Don Heck. The new comic was called the “grandest, goofiest and possibly greatest guest-star extravaganza of all”...“featuring five of our most far-out fightin’ furies ever to cross the pages of a comic mag.” There was no mention of how editors Len Wein and Marv Wolfman had shaped the roster of Angel, Black Widow, Ghost Rider, Hercules and Iceman. Instead, this was the “brainchild of TONY (the Tiger) ISABELLA.” It almost made me blush.

The second item announced the new Howard the Duck series written by Howard creator Steve Gerber and drawn by Frank Brunner.

The third item was all about the black-and-white magazines. Savage Tales was gone, but was being replaced by Marvel Super Action and Sherlock Holmes. Dracula Lives and Monsters Unleashed were kaput, but being replaced by The Legion of Monsters, Masters of Terror, Marvel Movie Premiere and Star-Lord.

Masters of Terror was edited by me and contained reprints of prose story adaptations previously published in various Marvel comics and magazines. It lasted two issues, but I’m pretty proud of those two issues. I’d hoped it would continue with a budget that would have allowed me to commission new adaptations.

Don McGregor got a shout-out for the completion of the “Panther’s Rage” serial in Jungle Action. The item also mentions that handsome artist Billy Graham has been appearing in TV commercials.

The final item told readers what a grand time by those who attended the Mighty Marvel Con. Those who didn’t attend could look forward to a con report and lots of photos in FOOM Magazine #10.   

That’s all for today. If all goes well, I’ll have something special for you tomorrow that I hope will tide you over until I return from G-Fest. See you then.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

G-FEST XXIV IS COMING!

G-Fest XXIV is being held from Thursday, July 14 through Sunday, July 16, at the lovely Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare hotel, which is right across the street from the Rosemont Convention Center. This event is said to be “the largest regular gathering of Godzilla and Japanese monster fans in the world,” attracting thousands of avid kaiju buffs from the United States, Canada, and distant parts.

This will be my second time at the convention for myself and my son Ed. I’m listed as a “special presenter.” Now you might quibble with the “special” part of that, but I’ll be presenting like a monster. More on that in a bit.

From the G-Fest website:

G-Fest is a family-oriented convention which caters to a wide variety of interests within the kaiju genre. G-FEST features presentations and Q & A sessions by actors and crew from the Japanese Godzilla films, fan presentations on topics of interest, contests and gaming, new and classic kaiju movies, the western world’s largest kaiju-oriented dealers room, and lots of fun and camaraderie.

This year’s special guests include composer Michiru Oshima; veteran designer/illustrator Yuji Kaida; director/special effects director Shinji Higuch, who recently worked on Shin Godzilla; actor and suit actor/stuntman Ryuki Kitaoka; assistant film director and writer Kazuhiro Nakagawa; Robert Scott Field, the star of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and a personable expert in things Japan; and J.D. Lees, the force of nature behind the great G-Fan Magazine, G-Fest itself, and the G-Tour, which brings Godzilla fans to Japan to see the world of the King of the Monsters. You can learn more about the guests by going here.

G-Fest has a three-tier schedule of panels and events, spread out over the Kennedy Room and two large ballrooms. One of my favorite events is the G-Pardy game show, presented in both adult and kids editions. Besides the interviews with the special guests, you will be able to attend panels on such topics as Kong: Skull Island, The Mysterians, Son of Godzilla, Mothra, Gappa, Hollywood Kaiju, kaiju writing, yokai, Gamera, Ultra Seven and more. On Saturday at noon, Godzilla artist Matt Frank will be discussing drawing and offering some basic instruction and tips therein.

I’m doing three panels during the convention...

Friday, July 14

MARVEL MONSTERS (3-4 pm, Ballroom 2)

Before the Avengers and Spider-Man, Marvel Comics published giant monster comics. A lot of them! And many of those monsters, like Fin Fang Foom and Groot, have become a part of the modern Marvel Universe. Come hear a lively discussion of these wacky but loveable creatures from writer Tony Isabella (Black Lightning, Ghost Rider, and more) and artist Mark Maddox. With Tony Isabella, Mark Maddox, and Andy Matzke.

Saturday, July 15

GORGO, KONGA AND REPTILICUS (3-4 pm, Ballroom 1)

Gorgo. Konga. Reptilicus. These were far more than just standalone films! A panel discussing the movies, the novel adaptations and the comic books. With Tony Isabella and Mark Maddox.

Sunday, July 16

SYFY MONSTERS (1-2 pm, Ballroom 2)

Culture critic Tony Isabella takes a look at some of the high entertainment but low budget creations that have screened on Syfy.

For all the panels, besides the hopefully amusing and informative commentary by the participants, we’ll also have a monster parade of comics covers, movie stills and more. I also expect will have some lively interactions with the audiences.

From my G-Fest experience last year, your biggest problem will not be finding interesting panels and other stuff. It will be deciding which of the many wondrous attractions you want to see most. The dealers room and the artist alley are packed with terrific stuff to buy. There are exhibits throughout the hotel. When you want to kick back and relax, the hotel has devoted one of its TV channels to a continuous showing of kaiju movies and TV shows.

Feeling competitive? G-Fest offers an amateur video contest, an art contest, a costume contest, a model contest, a music video contest and a video game competition. In addition to the G-Pardy game show panels I mentioned earlier.

Want to see swell movies on a big beautiful screen? The G-Fest double double feature film festival returns this year to the gorgeous Pickwick Theatre with one pair in the afternoon and the second pair in the evening. There will also be the regular Friday and Saturday night features. For more information, go here.

I will not be set up in either artist alley or the dealers room at G-Fest. This is my fan fist convention. However, I will be carrying around copies of July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic-Book Life of Tony Isabella with me. A copy will run you $18.

If you want to get me to sign something, you will need to track me down. I’m not scheduled to do any signings. However, as long as you can find me where my signing your books or comics won’t impede the stuff happening around us, I’ll be happy to sign stuff for you. I will not be charging for signatures at G-Fest.

That’s my G-Fest XXIV preview. I look forward to expressing my love for Godzilla and other giant monsters over the weekend and, to be sure, spending time with my fellow kaiju fans.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of my fast-shooting, hard-riding “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” series. See you then.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

DELAYED JET LAG

My quick trip to Burbank took more out of me than I anticipated. Look for today's bloggy thing preview of G-FEST XXIV later today.