Friday, September 30, 2011


My next-to-last convention appearance of this year will be New York
Comic Con
, October 13-16, at the Javits Center.  I’m not a featured
guest and I won’t have an Artist Alley table, but, at various times
during the show, I will be signing The Grim Ghost and other things
I’ve written at the Atlas/Ardeen booth.  Beyond catching me while
I’m signing, your best chance of having a conversation or meeting
with me is to contact me before the show. 

I’m attending this convention to support Atlas Comics and my work
there.  The rest of my “agenda” for the show, some of which I may
actually accomplish, is to see old friends and new...and to talk to
artists, editors, or publishers who want to work with me. 

When I look at the list of spotlight and featured comics guests and
the over 300 Artist Alley participants who will be at this event,
I know I probably won’t get to chat with more than a fraction of my
old friends and new.  I hope it’s easier for me to spend time with
 my fandom friends and readers who come to the convention,
but, as those who should know keep telling me, this is a BIG show.
I expect to have a “deer in the headlights” expression on my face
from start to finish.

I suck at networking, so I’m not really expecting to make any deals
for new projects at the con.  On the plus side, it’s not a pressing
concern for me.  On the other hand side, I’m always interested in
talking with people who want to work with me.  My limited time and
my picky nature mean I can’t accept every opportunity that comes my
way, but I won’t dismiss anything cavalierly.  Don’t be shy about
approaching me.

Let’s see what else I feel like writing about today.


A few of the readers who have asked me when I’m writing a sequel to
my 1000 Comic Books You Must Read want to know what I think about
a book coming out later this year.  Edited by comics historian Paul
Gravett, 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die: The Ultimate
Guide to Comic Books, Graphic Novels and Manga
[Universe; $36.95]
is a 960-page “critical history of comic books, manga and graphic
novels.”  What I think about it is that, within minutes of learning
about it, I ordered it and am looking forward to reading it.

I never thought my book, which concentrated on the American comic
book industry, was the be all and end all of this kind of history.
I hoped part of the fun of reading my book would be the inevitable
second-guessing of my choices.  I’m sure Gravett’s readers will be
just as eager to second-guess his choices and those of his team of
critics and writers.  As for me, given the more international range
and greater length of this new book, I expect to learn a whole lot
of stuff I didn’t know and discover new comics material that
I will, indeed, want to read before I die.

I’m not merely okay with 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die.
I am positively enthusiastic.


Courtesy of a friend who purchased them all and loaned them to me,
I now have the new Justice League #1 and the first three full weeks
of “The New 52!” Seeing the stack of first issues, I understand the
addictive urge to review them all that gripped so many bloggers and
reviewers.  While I’m going to continue to try to resist that path,
I do plan to read them all and comment whenever I have something I
think is worth adding to the conversation.

My enmity towards the Time Warner corporate hive of villainy aside,
I’m delighted for the writers and artists who will benefit from the
amazing sales of these first issues.  I’m less thrilled that these
books are making it tough for smaller publishers in a tough comics
marketplace, but that’s how it often goes in an industry dominated
by the Big Two. 

On a more speculative note, because all I’ve heard are rumors with
the facts obscured by non-disclosure agreements, I’m pained those
writers and artists are apparently being micro-managed by the same
untalented editors and executives who have been the bane of actual
creativity for the past decade.  But I digress.

I plan to read four of “The New 52" every day until I leave for the
New York Comic Con...and the remaining week’s worth on my return.
Whether I see any/many of the second issues depends on whether or
not my friend enjoyed the first issues.

On a related note...

I have read Flashpoint #1-5 and most of the crossover mini-series
and one-shots.  I came away from them thinking that their writers
were filled with loathing for these characters and themselves.  The
“event” was filled with brutality for brutality’s sake and absurd
reinterpretations of well-established characters.  These issues may
be the most unpleasant DC comics I’ve ever read.  Perhaps the plan
was to get readers to stop caring about the old DC Universe before
launching the new one.  I don’t know and, as I’ve said many times
before, trying to figure out why DC does anything always makes my
head hurt. 


One bit of blog housekeeping before we adjourn for today.  The “Ten
Years Later” piece I posted on September 11 continues to generate
comments and e-mails, the latter from folks whose comments didn’t
get published because my settings require approval of comments made
14 days after a blog is posted.  I’ve changed the setting so that
anyone can comment on any blog in the archives.  Just keep in mind
you’re a guest in my “house” and behave accordingly.

All comments will require approval whenever I’m on a trip and away
from my computer.  Eventually, I’ll get a travel computer of some
sort so that I can stay online when I’m not home, but that’s still
a few successful eBay and garage sales away.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2011 Tony Isabella


  1. I'm so glad you'll be at NYCC, Tony - it'll be great to see you again! Robin and I will be in Artists Alley at booth I3. Maybe we can break bread together?

  2. I'll try to navigate my way to your booth. Maybe I should get GPS for my phone.