Saturday, August 3, 2013


Terry Fairbanks, my friend for closing in on half-a-century and the
uncle of Sainted Wife Barb, was holding up the above sign when he
met Eddie and I at the Cleveland airport.  Terry does wacky stuff
like that all the times.  He sometimes walks around with a pocket
full of rubber bugs to delight children and freak out restaurant
workers.  Everybody loves well they should.

Eddie and I had headed for the Los Angeles airport in the wee hours
of the morning.  I had decided the best and safest way to transport
my Inkpot Award was to pack it in my carry-on luggage surrounded by
clothing.  While I was standing in the security line, I had a quick
moment of panic.

What if the security people thought this rather solid little item
was some sort of bomb?  Would they take my luggage away and blow it
up?  I was relieved that the award raised no eyebrows, though I was
surprised they didn’t at least open the bag to see what the oddly-
shaped object was.  As much as I love my Inkpot, it looked a whole
lot scarier in the X-ray image than my shoes.

My final Comic-Con panel was in the back of the plane.  In previous
blogs, I have discussed what a wimp I am when I come to flying.  I
try to time my first (of too many) restroom visits so that I will
be trapped in the back of the plane by the service carts and thus
be able to stand in relative comfort.

The flight attendant was very understanding when I told her I have
a tough time flying and hadn’t been on a plane in several years.
When she asked why I was flying this time, I told her I had been a
special guest at Comic-Con.  This fascinated her and we talked for
a few minutes about the convention and my career.

On a later trip to the restroom, I couldn’t use the “trapped by the
service carts” excuse.  But three of the four attendants were back
there and the other two had been told who I was.  Since they were
not serving at the time, they had many questions for me.  I spent
a good fifteen (maybe twenty) minutes back there.  It was the best
time of the flight.

I took Terry and Eddie out to lunch on the way home.  When we got
home, my cat Simba was happy to see him and didn’t start ignoring
me for a hour.  There were piles of mail, newspapers and packages
waiting for me.  Online, there were over 1200 e-mails waiting to be
read.  It was still good to be home.

Eddie did some laundry, took a nap, then headed to his house down
in Marietta, Ohio.  He had to work the next day.

Barb, Kelly and Giselle would be arriving Tuesday night.  Terry and
I would pick them up.

Our Comic-Con adventure was over.


Comic-Con 2013 will prove to have been a life-changing experience
for me.  That’s my prediction.  Being greeted by so many readers,
seeing dear old friends, receiving so much kindness for me and my
family from the Comic-Con staff and volunteers...I couldn’t stop
smiling the whole convention.

I wanted to show my family the best parts of my world.  They have
seen me through the worst parts.  Nothing about Comic-Con pleased
me more than the joy and wonder on their faces.

I was able to let go of a lot of anger.  I saw people who had done
me wrong and they weren’t having as good a time, as good a life as
I was having.  No matter what they had done to me, I still had the
best life I could have ever imagined for myself.

I’ll meet almost anyone halfway if they make the slightest attempt
to apologize for their wrongs and/or make amends for them.  When I
am asked if I will ever write my autobiography, my answer is always
going to be “no.”  There are people who, no matter what they might
have done, are people I have no desire to embarrass or hurt.  I’m
not going to be that guy.

There are people whose politics make me want to vomit, but who, for
other reasons, I really like.  They are welcome here and also on my
Facebook page as long as they don’t hurl their bile in my houses.
They have their own venues for that.

As requested by the amazing Wendy Pini, I will focus on the better
parts of my life and world in this blog and elsewhere.  That does
not mean I will ignore the bad or refrain from confronting it.  But
it does mean I will try to address it in a manner consistent with
the path I want to follow.

Going forward...

I have retained an attorney to represent me in legal matters within
the comics industry.  It is my hope that the publishers with whom
he’ll be dealing act in an adult and responsible manner.  I’m very
confident Marvel will do just that.  I wish I could be even half as
confident about another large company.

I have a sense my work assisting newspaper cartoonists is coming to
an end as more papers go under or reduce their days of publication.
I’ve enjoyed the work and working with these cartoonists.  I remain
available if they have further need of my services.  But working on
newspaper strips isn’t exactly a growth industry.

I’m also available for other work-for-hire projects if the working
conditions are reasonable.  I’m not expecting a flood of offers or
anything, but I don’t want anyone to think I’m against doing such
work.  Don’t be reticent to contact me.

In the meantime, I can keep myself busy pursuing my own projects.
I did some work on three separate projects yesterday and expect to
keep moving forward with these projects in between paying gigs and
my legendary garage sales.  My updated convention and garage sale
schedule will be posted in the next day or two.

Finally...writing ten bloggy things on Comic-Con 2013 may well have
pushed my self-indulgence beyond even my tolerance for my own self-
indulgence.  If I’m fortunate enough to attend Comic-Con 2014, I’ll
do my best to stifle myself.  You can help me out in that regard by
letting me know which Comic-Con bits you most enjoyed.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my report on PulpFest, which was held in
Columbus last week.  I’ll try to limit my PulpFest report to one or
two bloggy things.  Wish me luck.

© 2013 Tony Isabella


  1. It's not self-indulgent at all! Take as many blog entries as you like - you helped those of us who could not attend seem as if we were there! I thank you for sharing these wonderful memories!

  2. Well, I enjoyed every word of what you shared about Comic favourite parts were what you shared about your feelings. (But if I was your editor, I would not have removed a single sentence from these blog entries.)

  3. Michael Kelly SchurmanAugust 3, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    I, too, enjoyed all the ComicCon blogs, Tony. If you can't be self-indulgent on your own blog, well, you can...and that's it.

    I've only been to one con. I don't remember what they called it. It was in Dallas in the early '70s and I went mostly to hear Harlan Ellison speak. He had hardly started before women were ushering small children out of the room. I don't know what they expected, but it was pure and delightful Ellison.

    That con was crowded and, even in my twenties, I wasn't too thrilled about crowds. Nowadays I don't even consider crowds.

    That being said, your wonderful descriptions of the great time you had make me (even though I wouldn't be a special guest) rethink a bit of this. It sounds like fun.

  4. Regarding your upcoming legal adventures: Q'pla!