Monday, August 15, 2011

My Name Is Tony Isabella...

My name is Tony Isabella, which you probably already figured out
from the title of this new/old blog. I am mere months away from my
60th birthday.  I have been working in the comic-book industry for
just shy of 40 years...and still don’t know what I want to be when
I grow up.

I live in Medina, Ohio with my Sainted Wife Barb, a pharmacist and
the manager of the home infusion department of a major health care
provider.  We have two kids, Eddie and Kelly.  Eddie is a “super”
senior at The Ohio State University, majoring in civil engineering.
Kelly is going to be a crime-fighter; she’s starting her sophomore
year at OSU.  We also have a cat, Simba, but I sort of doubt she’s
going to do anything with her life except keep me company while I
stay home and write.

I’ve written a lot of stuff over the years.  I started out working
for Marvel Comics as an assistant to Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, and Sol
Brodsky.  I wrote a bunch of comics there, edited a bunch of black-
and-white comics magazines, and created or developed such features
as Tigra and the Champions.  I wrote over two years of Ghost Rider,
which featured Jesus Christ as a recurring character.  Much to my
amusement and surprise, I’ve written a lot of things with religious
overtones.  Maybe it comes with being a former Catholic.

I’ve worked for lots of other comic-book companies as well.  At DC,
I created Black Lightning, their first headline black super-hero.
I’m enormously pleased with the writing I did on that creation (in
two different series, two decades apart) as well as my 1980s run on
Hawkman.  I’m not at all pleased with other aspects of my dealings
with DC, but you probably already know that.

I’ve had three books published over the years: 1000 Comic Books You
Must Read
(currently in its second printing) and, with my pal and
frequent collaborator Bob Ingersoll, two novels: Captain America:
Liberty’s Torch
and Star Trek: The Case of the Colonist’s Corpse.
You should read all three of them.

I’ve been writing my “Tony’s Tips” column for Comics Buyer’s Guide
for decades.  I’ve also written many thousands of installments of
“Tony’s Online Tips” and “Tony’s Bloggy Thing.” This is my latest
venue for writing thousands upon thousands of words for which I’ll
not be paid. My business plan sucks.

I’ve recently returned to comic-book writing.  I had and have been
doing some writing for newspaper comic strips in recent years, as
well as other writing gigs that aren’t nearly as much fun as the
stuff I’m happy to tell you about.  Anyway, my most recent comic-
book writing is The Grim Ghost #1-6 from the new Atlas Comics.  You
should most definitely buy and read those comic books, especially
if you want people to pay me to write more comic books.

If there’s anything else you want to know about me and my writing
that you can’t find online, feel free to...politely...ask me.  I’ll
do my best to answer your queries. Send them to me at:

What can you expect to find in this blog? News, views, and reviews.
The news will include comics history.  The views will occasionally
venture beyond comics and popular culture into political and social
concerns.  The reviews will be of anything I read/view that I have
something to say about. 

If you’re wondering how to get me to review your comic book, book,
movie, best advice is to send it to me at:

Tony Isabella
840 Damon Drive
Medina, OH 44256

I can’t guarantee a review, much less a favorable review, but I’ll
do my best. DON’T send me PDFs or links or anything of that nature
because, caveman that I am, it’s difficult for me to read comics
and stuff that way and for me to review comics and stuff that way.
And you noisy kids, stop bouncing your rocks against the outside of
my cave. I’m trying to write in here.

How often will there be new content here? If you’re willing to give
me quotes around “new,” I’ll try to post something “new” here every
day.  Sometimes the “new” content will be things that have appeared
elsewhere, including past columns I want to preserve and/or revise
in some fashion. I’m not planning things out in advance on account
of that would be like work I should get paid for.

What do I want to be when I grow up? I’m pretty sure I want to keep
writing until the day I die, preferably far in the future and as I
finish whatever I am writing at the moment, and at a time when it
won’t be too inconvenient for Barb and the kids.  For my funeral,
I want to be displayed with a voice box sewn inside me.  Mourners
will press a button and I’ll say something wise or just wise-cracky
to them. So far, Barb is against this plan.

Will I keep writing?  I don’t know.  In recent years, I’ve gotten
some ridiculous contracts from people wanting to hire me.  That’s
a subject for a near-future bloggy thing.  When I do write for any
client, it will be something I really want to write and with every
expectation of fair treatment from my editors and publishers.  I’m
too cranky to jump through hoops.  Those potential clients who want
Tony Isabella to write for them will get my best work if they let
me be Tony Isabella.

One more note before I call it a blog. I’m new to Blogger and, what
with my being a caveman and all, it will take me a while to figure
out how to do all the things more evolved bloggers already know how
to do.  If there’s some blog feature you really want to see here,
let me know and I’ll get it up as soon as possible.

Thus ends the introduction. See you soon.

© 2011 Tony Isabella


  1. I'm happy that we can now read your bloggy thing in blogspot's smoother, cleaner, easier-to-navigate environment. I loved the wfcomics messageboard, but the software design is so out of date that it could be painful.

  2. Absolutely thrilled to see this finally happening, Tony! Looking forward to many years of Bloggy Things.

  3. Tony, you are an invaluable asset to the comic community. I am glad you got your own blog. You know, this internet thing may work out.

  4. Hey Tiger, great to see you here. I've found 1000 Comic Books You Must Read an endlessly entertaining tome ( even if there was no Star*Reach in it! Sorry, had to sneak that one in... )
    Looking forward to more of the same here!

  5. Star*Reach was on my list - I planned to take out about half of the comics written by me - but we ran out of time and I wasn't allowed to make any changes. If I ever do a sequel, it'll be in it.

  6. Nice to see you here, Tony! Much easier for a fellow caveman (Cro-Magnon?) like me to read than at WFC, plus it's easier on my browser.

    Onward and upward with words of wisdom and wit from one righteous writer!

    Mike Pascale


  7. Look at you all blogging with your bloggy thing on an actual blog service... Woo!