Friday, October 21, 2011


A few hours after I post today’s blog, I’ll be driving to Columbus
for the Wizard World Mid-Ohio Comic-Con, October 22 and 23, at the
Columbus Convention Center.  But, at the moment, I’m remembering my
New York Comic Con experiences of last weekend. My notes on that
event are unorganized, but my heart is pure. 

Activate random memory cells.

Signing at the Atlas Comics booth was a blast.  While I was there,
two folks from DC Comics stopped by to talk to me.  The first just
wanted to say “hi” and the second...well, he seemed to be exploring
whether I wanted to write for DC again.  If he had actually asked,
I’d have told him “probably not, but that’s not carved in stone.”
Never say never and all.

If I could do it my way, I’d likely be interested in writing Black
Lightning again.  I created the character and I still have much to
say through him.  But, honestly, to write for DC again, I’d have to
be convinced I wouldn’t be nibbled to death by editors and be able
to write my stories and not some editor’s stories.  I’d also have
to be convinced the company wouldn’t screw me over again.  And, to
complete my impossible demands, DC would have to offer me a project
I really wanted to write with an artist I really wanted to work
with.  I don’t expect such a perfect storm to ever occur during my

Several friends and readers asked me if I were writing a sequel to
my 1000 Comic Books You Must Read.  The short answer is...not any
time soon.  There are a few other books on comics I want to write
first.  However, since I do not intend to write any more books for
Krause Publications, I need to find a new publisher or publishers
for these books.  Once I get these other books under my belt, then
I’ll start working on the sequel.  On a more positive note, I spoke
briefly with two different publishers at the convention and will be
talking more with them in the near future.

Whenever possible, I hung out with my friend and former editor Jim
Salicrup at the NBM/Papercutz booth.  Paul Levitz dropped by and we
had a nice chat.  Before the end of the show, I would get together
with a number of comics pals from the 1970s, including Bob Rozakis,
Jack C. Harris, Paul Kupperberg, Marty Pasko, Michael Uslan, John
Workman, Naomi Basner, and others. I also paid my respects to Neal
Adams, a creative and philosophical mentor to myself and many other
comics creators who entered the industry in the 1970s.

This blog could turn into a phone book if I mentioned every friend
and comics creator I spent time with during the convention.  One of
the high points was finally meeting my good buddies Barry Pearl and
Doctor Michael Vassallo. Barry is the ultimate Marvel Comics fan of
the 1960s and 1970s.  Doc V is an expert on the artists and comics
of the 1940s and 1950s.  I’ve exchanged e-mails with these guys for
years and it was great to be able to talk with them face-to-face.

Robin and Elayne Riggs were set up in Artist Alley.  Comics artist
Robin was selling an incredible “Dinosaurs in New York” print that
he drew and it’s a stunning piece of work.  I traded him a copy of
1000 Comic Books You Must Read for one and said print will have a
place of honor on my office wall once I renovate that space.  I’m
sure the above image doesn’t do the art justice, but you can order
the print at Robin’s website.

Also in Artist Alley was Ron Randall, who inked a memorable Hawkman
Special back when I was writing the character.  Preparing for new
stories, Ron is reprinting his Trekker series online.  You can read
it here.

Visiting the Archie Comics booth during the show was always great
fun.  Thanking me for my support of their comics in my columns, I
was very warmly received by Victor Gorelick, John Goldwater, Mike
Pellerito, and Alex Segura.  After the convention, I told Alex how
impressed I was by the friendliness of everyone at Archie...before
asking him if Archie Comics was really in the same comics industry
as the rest of us.  Good people there.

It’s taking all my will power to resist going the phone book route
with this column.  So many wonderful meetings and reunions: Chris
Claremont, Danny Fingeroth, Don McGregor. Jeff Krell (whose Jayson
is one of my favorite indy comics books), Joe Sinnott, Tom DeFalco,
Vincente Alcazar, Joe Staton, Dwight Zimmerman, Al Davison, Keith
DeCandido, Renee Witterstaetter, Steve Scott, Will Murray, Peter
Kuper, Peter David, Herb Trimpe, Bob McLeod, Arvell Jones, Spencer
Beck, Mike Burkey, Alex Saviuk, and...must stop here and apologize
to anyone whose name I left out. 

Con swag?  I got me some.  I bought the musical “Soft Kitty” plush
toy from StylinOnline.  Brendan Deneen hooked me up with a stack of
Ardeen comics.  Jason Goodman gave me a Grim Ghost statue and a t-
shirt.  I bought a CSI NY cap because I decided I need more crime
lab clothing, whether it’s from real or fictional crime labs.  Any
actual CSIs among my readers should contact me.  I will trade for
your gear.

I’m already planning to return for next year’s New York Comic Con.
I had a fantastic time this year and expect to have an even better
time next year.  I hope to see you there.

This bloggy thing is taking the next three or four days off while
I go to and recover from Mid-Ohio-Con.  But I’ll be back next
week with more stuff.

© 2011 Tony Isabella

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