Friday, October 28, 2011


Wizard World Mid-Ohio Comic-Con is not a name that rolls trippingly
off one’s tongue.  Changing it to Wizard World Mid-Ohio-Con would
be my suggestion, along with the show creating a role for founder
Roger Price.  As much fun as this first Wizard event was, it would
have been better with Roger along for the ride.

However, that’s one of my very few “complaints” about the con.  I
have noted with dismay that the knives came out early, fueled by a
store owner objecting to both the price of a booth at the show and
quite possibly too aggressive behavior by a Wizard World salesman.
I’ve read the remarks, watched the video, and I think this matter
has been blown considerably out of proportion to its actual impact
on anything.  Maybe I’m getting mellow in my dotage.

Once the first knife came out, I noted with greater dismay that the
best one anti-Wizard poster could come up with was something that
happened over 15 years prior.  At the time, it was a lapse of both
courtesy and judgment by a Wizard staffer.  What the poster failed
to note was that Wizard made good on this lapse the very next year
of their Chicago show. 

All I can do is repeat what I’ve been saying all week long.  I had
a fine time at the Mid-Ohio show and thought Wizard World did
honor to the convention’s proud heritage.

I signed a lot of Isabella-written comic books during the show and
I hope I didn’t freak out the couple fans who innocently asked me
to sign the unclean thing that is Black Lightning Year One.  I’ve
given my reasons for my refusal to sign copies of this before, but
it probably bears repeating.

I have not read Black Lightning Year One, nor is it likely I will
read it in the future.  Dan DiDio issued a decree that I could not
be hired to write the series.  Then he tried to omit my creator’s
credit for the series.  Then he used the wrong version of my name
when he was forced to include my credit.  Insult and injury piled
on top of insult and injury, especially galling coming from such a
mediocre writer and editor as DiDio.  I’m generally a “never say
never” kind of guy, but it’s hard for me to imagine how DiDio and
DC could make amends for this specific example of their disrespect
towards me.  Not to mention decades of similar disrespect and, of
course, failure to honor agreements with me.

But I digress into areas of unpleasantness when I would much rather
share the good times with you.  And there were no shortage of good
times at Mid-Ohio-Con.

Max Ink asked me to contribute to a small press anthology intended
to benefit the Hero Initiative.  The theme so tickled my fancy that
I came up with a story on the spot.  I’ll keep you posted on when
this anthology will be published and how you can obtain copies of
it when it is published.

Continuing this fall’s trend of my seeing comics people I haven’t
seen in a decade or more, Bill Sienkiewicz was at Mid-Ohio-Con this
year.  Bill is one of the most individual comics creators I know.
Even when I don’t get his work completely, it never fails to catch
my interest and demand my attention.  He’s a terrific artist and a
nice guy.  However, I am alarmed and incredibly envious that Bill
still looks like a teenager.  I am consoling myself by assuming he
has a horribly aging self-portrait in his attic.

As with the New York Comic Con, I picked up a nice stack of comics
and books at Mid-Ohio.  Once I get past a few upcoming deadlines,
I look forward to reading and possibly reviewing some of them here.
Every year, at the end of this show, I kick myself for not checking
out more of the Artists Alley tables for new stuff.  There might be
gold in them there aisles!

I donated a couple signed copies of 1000 Comic Books You Must Read
to the Hero Initiative and one to the USS Lagrange.  The latter is
a chapter of Starfleet based not too far from my Medina home.  In
years past, I was an honorary member of the crew, appearing at the
Star Trek conventions they used to host.  The crew is still active
and involved in all sorts of community service, so I’m planning to
reenlist in 2012.  As long as they don’t make me wear one of those
red shirts. 

Though he spoke up too late in the convention for it to do be any
good this year, Thom Zahler offered me a suggestion that will make
writing convention reports much easier for me.  Thom always has a
small notebook with him and - surprise - makes notes in it during
the convention.  It’s so simple it might just work.

If there’s been an overriding theme to this week’s bloggy things,
it’s simply this: I had a wonderful time at Wizard World Mid-Ohio
Comic-Con.  So did a lot of other fans and professionals.  Whatever
our doubts going into the show, these were quickly dispelled by the
amazing attendance, the great fans, the terrific venue, and Wizard
World’s friendly and skilled staff.  I got to spend time with some
of my favorite people in the world.  It was a fun weekend.  If you
were there, you know this as well as I do.

Once again, I want to thank Wizard World for inviting me to their
show and treating me so well.  If they want me back next year, they
have only to ask.  If they ask me to any of their other shows, I’m
sure we’ll be able to work something out.  They earned my good will
this year.  Kudos to them.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2011 Tony Isabella


  1. I have to admit that I did not know what to expect at the show this year, and was fully prepared to be less than amused. I'd heard plenty of complaints from both dealers and fans about Wizard shows over the years and that worried me. It's nice to know that my fears were groundless. I, too, had a great time working the show and will be back for more next year and for as many years in the future as they will have me there.

  2. Hopefully they will continue on this road, and not revert back to their not-so-old ways; especially when it comes to they way they treat their volunteers and handle their actions and responsibilities behind the scenes. Glad you enjoyed the show, but WW has a long way to go before proving that they're not still the heartless, money-grubbing, short-term thinking ruthless company they are known for being. Talk about the perfect Dorian Grey experience.

  3. While I don't insist upon the use of real names, know that not signing your real name diminishes your credibility in my eyes.