Friday, April 8, 2016

FANTASTICON (April 16-17)

Old Bloggy Tony will be on the road once again. My next convention appearance is FantastiCon on Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17, at the Seagate Convention Center in Toledo, Ohio. Convention hours are 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. You can buy tickets online or at the door.

I’ll be at FantastiCon to meet and greet the fans, answer as many of your questions as I can, sign comics and other Isabella-written items, hand out fliers promoting the newly-released Black Lightning Volume One and Marvel Masterworks: The Champions, offer Isabella items and other things for sale, and appear on a panel with some of my comics industry friends. I’m looking forward to doing all of the above and hope to see many of you at the event.

The FantastiCon guest list is headlined by the great Michael Dorn, who played Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and some of the Star Trek movies. I’ve long admired this actor’s work on Star Trek and in many other roles. Maybe this will be the convention I actually get to talk to him for a bit.

Comics guests include Mike Grell of Green Arrow and Warlord fame; Keith Pollard, who drew Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and Thor over at Marvel Comics; Arvell Jones, the co-creator of Misty Knight when we were doing Marvel’s Iron Fist together; noted writer Dirk Manning and more. The K.I.T.T. replica car from TV’s Knight Rider will be on display. Also in attendance will be fan groups like the Great Lakes Ghostbuster Coalition, the Mandalorian Mercs, the Star Wars-inspired 501st Ohio Garrison and, also from Star Wars, the Apollo Base Rebel Legion.

Artist Alley will be hopping with a variety of talents. The back-again-to-thrill-us-anew Caliber Comics will be there. So will Jim Beard, writer of modern pulp novels featuring heroes like Captain Action. I’m looking forward to meeting Dan Fogel, a writer, editor and publisher of Adult/Underground comic books like Cherry Poptart and the author/publisher of the indispensable Fogel’s Underground Comix Price Guide.

There will be cosplay, a Fantasticon tradition and one of the most fun elements of any convention. The event will have a kid’s contest and an adult contest. I wonder if we’ll see any cosplayers dressed as Black Lightning, Misty Knight or Tigra.

On Saturday at 4 pm, I’ll be part of a Marvel and DC Comic Creators Discussion with Mike, Keith and Arvell. I suspect we’ll have cool stories to share and believable or outrageous answers to questions you might have for us.

Getting down to Tony stuff...

Because I’m still in negotiations on various things, I likely won’t be able to answer every question you might have for me. But I will answer what I can. I’m expecting there will be some announcements later this summer on the stuff I can’t talk about yet.

I will not be charging for autographs through the end of the year. If there’s a line of fans waiting to get my signature and you have  a large amount of items for me to sign, I’ll sign a few right off the bat and ask you to go the end of the line while I sign for your fellow fans.

In the past, and continuing to this day, there have been items that I won’t sign. Notably so-called comics history books with errors of facts about me and my work. I have mellowed considerable in recent years, but there are still some items I won’t sign. If you stick to comics and books I wrote myself, we’ll be fine.

What will I be selling at FantastiCon? First and foremost, I have to have copies of Black Lightning Volume One on my table. I’ll also have the classic two-sided Superman poster I helped design for the 1988 International Superman Exposition in Cleveland.

Depending on what I find in my Vast Accumulation of Stuff between now and the convention, I’ll have a box of Isabella-written items and a box of random dollar comics. Sales on those items were very good at last weekend’s Gem City Comic Con.

I can be available to appear on your podcasts and other programs. It’s always best to set those appearances in advance. I recommend e-mailing me early in the week.

I’m always very willing to talk to artists, editors and publishers  about doing projects with me. However, because I have all sorts of paying work and personal projects on my desk and in production, I’d be most interested in paying gigs.

That covers all the salient details of my Fantasticon appearance. As I said up top, I’m looking forward to meeting the fans in the Toledo area. I know we’re going to have a great time.


Can’t make it to FantastiCon? I’ll be doing a bunch of other shows and events this year. Here’s the list to date:

Saturday, May 7: Toys Time Forgot (Canal Fulton)

Saturday, May 21: East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention

Friday, June 17: Indy PopCon 2016

Saturday, June 18: Indy PopCon 2016

Sunday, June 19: Indy PopCon 2016

Friday, July 15: G-Fest (Chicago)

Saturday, July 16: G-Fest (Chicago)

Sunday, July 17: G-Fest (Chicago)

Thursday, July 21: PulpFest (Columbus)

Friday, July 22: PulpFest (Columbus)
Saturday, July 23: PulpFest (Columbus)
Sunday, July 24: PulpFest (Columbus)

Friday, July 29: Monsterfestmania (Akron)

Saturday, July 30: Monsterfestmania (Akron)

Wednesday, August 3: Euclid Library

Saturday, September 17: MECCA Con (Detroit)

Saturday, October 1: Cleveland Comic Con 2016

Sunday, October 2: Cleveland Comic Con 2016

Friday, October 21: Grand Rapids Comic-Con

Saturday, October 22: Grand Rapids Comic-Con

Sunday, October 23: Grand Rapids Comic-Con

Saturday, November 5: Akron Comic Con

Sunday, November 6: Akron Comic Con

I could see myself adding an event in August, September, November and December. If you’re a promoter who would like me to appear at your convention, you should know I require the following: hotel and travel expenses, a per diem for meals and a booth/table from which I can sell and sign stuff. I know all those expenses can add up and I won’t be offended if your budget doesn’t allow for them. But it’s what I need to keep my budget in check.

I’m contemplating another addition to the conditions listed above. Many comics conventions also have celebrity guests from movies and TV. In the future, I may ask conventions to arrange opportunities for me to meet, interview and be photographed with a celebrity per show. I seldom get the chance to meet these celebrities. This would address that and give me material for my blog and elsewhere. I am still working out the details of this in my mind, but I’m thinking I would give the convention a list of three to five celebrities and then they could work out something with one of them.

I’ll be back on Monday with another installment of “My Other Bucket List,” followed by reports on my March visit to the Cleveland State University Comic Book Club, my appearance at the Gem City Comic Con  and more surprises. See you then.
© 2016 Tony Isabella

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