Sunday, August 9, 2015


PulpFest 2015 is Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16, at the Hyatt Regency Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. It’s a fun gathering for fans of pulp magazines and more. There is a large dealers room filled with magazines, paperbacks, new pulp fiction, comic books, etc. There will be panels, films, auctions and other presentations. For this year’s convention, PulpFest has added a new gaming track featuring a variety of games related to and inspired by the great pulp magazines.

While I have an interest in most of the above, my main reason for attending PulpFest every year is to see dear friends like Anthony “Tex” Tollin, Will Murray, Michelle Nolan, Ron Fortier, Rob Davis and others. It’s a relaxing show for me.

Unlike previous years, I’ll be part of the programming. On Thursday night at 9:20 pm in the Delaware Room, I’ll be on the “75 Years of Street & Smith Comics” panel with Tollin, Murray, and Nolan...all of who know a heck of a lot more about the topic than I ever will. My big hope is to not embarrass myself.

As I said, for me, PulpFest is a time for relaxing. I usually bring a small stack of books and other items that I haven’t been able to read at home. I get together with Columbus area friends that I do not see often enough. I’ll also be working on a story that I have  been anxious to write for months. This “relaxing” stuff is sort of a relative thing with me.

This year, there will be another possible diversion waiting for me. Matsuricon 2015 is taking place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center (which is physically connected to the Hyatt) the same time ss PulpFest. Paraphrasing the official website:

It’s an annual Japanese pop-culture event focusing on anime, manga and video games. It has American and Japanese popular culture, due to the natural overlap of fandom from both genres.

The convention considers itself a “family friendly” event. Most of its panels are all ages unless otherwise stated. If certain events are not appropriate for attendees under the age of 18, con staffers check the IDs of attendees before they enter these events.

Matsuricon’s goal is to promote the cultural awareness of Japanese pop-culture through related events, special guest speakers and cultural presentations.

Depending on what else is going on, I plan to visit Matsuricon for a few hours on either Friday or Sunday. If any of my bloggy thing readers or Facebook friends will be there, get in touch with me and maybe we can get together.

I’ll be arriving at the Hyatt on Thursday afternoon. If you want to get together with me, email me or send a private Facebook message. I’ll try to make myself available.

I won’t be doing another convention or related event until October, but I’ll talk about those appearances at a later date.


Briefly noted: The Man From Planet X [1951]

Turner Classic Movies presented an evening of alien invasion flicks from the 1950s and I recorded most of them. Lifted from Internet Movie Database, here’s the basic plot of this one:

As a mysterious planet hurls itself toward earth, an enigmatic extraterrestrial scout arrives on a remote Scottish island with unknown intentions.

This was a so-so movie. The most notable thing about it is seeing Patty Duke’s television dad (William Schallert) playing a crooked scientist who tortures the alien scout for personal gain. Because it’s always the right move to torture someone more technologically advanced than you are.

It was worth watching once, but that will suffice.


Barb and I went to the Medina County Fair last yesterday. I wrote a letter to the local newspaper about it:

My wife and I went to the Medina County Fair Wednesday night. We had a mostly nice time. The fair is terrific, a great place to eat delicious food that's no darn good for you and to run into friends you don't see often enough. However, I was dismayed at how many people I saw displaying, selling or wearing the Confederate flag. I wondered if these folks had always been racists and traitors to our nation...or if they came to those terrible ideologies later in life. Because if they claim that flag stands for anything else, they are being willfully ignorant of history.

The newspaper ran my letter in its Friday edition. That afternoon, when I went to the grocery store, I was approached by a gentleman who had read the letter. Once he established that I was “that comic-book guy” - the Gazette ran several pieces about me last year, so people often recognize me - and “the guy who wrote the Confederate flag letter,” he wanted to tell me something. What he told me was unexpected.

He had flown a Confederate flag outside his home on occasion, never giving it much thought until he read my letter. He said he’ll never fly the flag again. He’s neither a racist nor a traitor. He hates the thought of people judging him by that flag and was upset with himself that he never really considered what that flag stands for. We shook hands.

Maybe he was putting me on. If he wasn’t and if my letter got even one man to consider the evil that flag stands for, then I’m calling it a win for the forces of good.


I’ve been enjoying Zoo, the CBS television series based on a novel by  James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. Intrigued by the earliest promo ads for the series, I requested the novel through my library. I enjoyed the novel and decided to watch the series.

I’m six episodes into the series and enjoying it as well. However, my reason for mentioning it here is that the show has a comic-book connection of which I was unaware. Actually, two of them, but I’ll go first to the one I didn’t just learn ten minutes ago.

Jay Faerber, who has written such terrific creator-owned comics as Noble Causes and Dynamo 5, is a story editor on the series and has written two episodes. The first (“Blame It on Leo”) aired July 28. The second (“The Cheese Stands Alone”) is scheduled to air August 18. I enjoyed his first episode and am looking forward to watching his second.

The other comic-book connection? While checking facts for today’s column, I stumbled across Zoo: The Graphic Novel, an adaptation of the novel by Andy MacDonald. I hadn’t heard of this graphic novel before, but I have already requested it from my library. Look for some further comments after I receive and read it.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2015 Tony Isabella

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