One of the great things about Detroit FanFare - and this was also
true of last year’s event - was that I got to reconnect with people
I hadn’t seen in decades. Right across the aisle from my table,
I had Alex Saviuk, Al Milgrom, and Larry Hama. Great talents
that I had an opportunity to work with back when I was editing and
writing for Marvel Comics.
Tom Orzechowski was on the other side of the convention. We knew
each other before either of us became comics professionals. Heck,
I was the smart cookie who hired Tom to do lettering corrections on
the Marvel weeklies we produced for Great Britain. Considering how
he quickly became one of the most respected letterers in comics, I
think I made a good call there.
Billy Tucci was there to give convention attendees an advance look
at A Child Is Born, his forthcoming graphic novel retelling of the
Christmas story. I’ve known Billy for longer than I can remember
and always love spending a few moments with him. He’s always been
one of the friendliest and most sincere creators in comics and he
is always stretching himself. From Shi to Sgt. Rock and now this
new gorgeous project. For previews of A Child Is Born, head over
to this Facebook page.
Amusing Cobo Hall sight: the convention staffer who got around the
show via skateboard. I smiled every time he whizzed by my table.
Little things like that add to an event.
Cosplayers are another entertaining element of FanFare. Among my
favorites were the Star Wars storm trooper in a wheelchair with the
head of Jar Jar Binks on a pike, storm troopers Kermit the Frog and
Gonzo, and a young lady in a Raven costume. Bob Ingersoll took a
photo of the last to send to our friend Marv Wolfman, who loves getting
pictures of cosplayers dressed as his creations.
I was filmed and interviewed for The Comic Book Syndicate on Black
Lightning and other Isabella works. It’s a Canadian TV show that,
while facetiously balking at my saying a former editor of mine was
“lying out of his ass,” was okay with my saying he was “fabricating
untruths out of his ass.” Those Canadians are so darn nice. I’m
not sure I have the courage to watch myself on the show, but the rest
of you can watch it here.
John Ostrander and Mary Mitchell were at FanFare. It was great to
see John again and to meet Mary. John has ben writing various Star
Wars comics for over a decade now. I plan on catching up on those
comics in the near future. Even though part of me thinks ten years
is long enough and we should be bringing those storm troopers home.
What else could you expect from a liberal like me?
Here’s a public service announcement.
Someone left their newly-purchased copy of Metamorpho #8 [DC; 1966]
at my table. Since they never came back to get it, I took it home
with me. But if that luckless fan will e-mail me with his or her
name and address...and tell me the price that was on the sticker of
this old comic...I’ll be happy to send it to them.
Saturday afternoon at FanFare saw me participating in the “Playing
With Icons” panel with Ron Marz, Al Milgrom, JT Krul, Dan Mishkin,
about a dozen folks who came to hear us talk on that subject, and
someone whose name I’m forgetting because I’m old and increasingly
feeble-minded. We got off the subject several times, but it never
slowed down the conversation.
My position on the main topic shouldn’t surprise anyone. Playing
with icons? Don’t break them. You didn’t create them. You don’t
own them. And while the PR department might call you an architect,
you’re not. You might be an incredibly brilliant home renovator,
but you didn’t design or build the house. Don’t break it.
There are good people I haven’t mentioned in this convention blog
because I don’t want it to turn into a roll call of the wonderful.
I hope none of them feel slighted. I love you all madly.
There were many bargains to be found at FanFare, not that I had the
time to grab any of them for myself. However, I did acquire a nice
stack of comics and other spiffy things. I hope to read and write
about those in the near future.
The bottom line: for the second year in a row, I had a great time
at the Detroit FanFare. I hope to return to the show just as long
as they’ll have me. My sincere thanks to Gary Reed, Dennis Barger
and the rest of the FanFare crew for inviting me back and showing
me such a good time.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2011 Tony Isabella