Monday, February 29, 2016

CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY (March 4)

Following most excellent weekends at Pensacon in Pensacola, Florida and Wizard World Comic Con Cleveland, I will be once again visiting with the very cool Cleveland State University Comic Book Club on Friday, March 4, at 3:30 pm.

Moderated by Roman Macharoni, the Comic Book Club meets in Room 134 of the CSU Main Classroom, 2121 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115. From Macharoni:

The Main Classroom is the building directly east of the Student Center, at the corner of Euclid and 22nd. There is now a large honors college plaque at the front to make it more distinct. The room we're in is along the rear of the building, at the Chester entrance. There is direct elevator access from there, and we're the second room on the right down that corridor. We'll have a sign up by the door with our flyer as well that day.

Though space might be limited, the event is open to the public. I had a great time on my previous visit with the members of the club being exceedingly kind in regards to my long-winded answers to the questions they asked. I look forward to talking with them and also getting their takes on some of the fascinating new developments in the current comics world.

My next convention appearances will be April:

Saturday, April 2: Gem City Comic Con (Dayton)

Sunday, April 3: Gem City Comic Con (Dayton)

Saturday, April 16: Fantasticon (Toledo)

Sunday, April 17: Fantasticon (Toledo)

******************************

March is coming in like my personal lion. In this bloggy thing of mine, I’ll be posting multi-day convention reports on Pensacon and Wizard World Cleveland. That’s just for starters.

After various delays, I’ll be returning to my Tony’s Tips column at Tales of Wonder. While I fell behind schedule due to personal and technical matters that had to be dealt with, I expect to be caught up by the end of this week. The column runs weekly, but it may run more frequently during the catching-up period.

The blog and the column are just the tips of the Isabella writing iceberg. I’m working on some amazing stuff and will share details with you as soon as I can.

In the meantime, Marvel Masterworks The Champions hit better comics shops everywhere last week with Black Lightning Volume 1 due out by the end of the month. I wrote new introductions for both of these collections of my 1970s work. I think you’ll enjoy them and, yes, I do get a slice of the publishing pie if they sell as well as me, Marvel and DC all hope they sell.

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

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Sunday, February 28, 2016

WIZARD WORLD CLEVELAND SUNDAY UPDATE

I’m having a grand time at Wizard World Cleveland. I’ll be writing about both this convention and Pensacon over the next several days of this bloggy thing of mine.

The short story: I’m getting to spend a few moments with dear old comics friends, as well as some customers of my Cosmic Comics shop from the 1970s/1980s. I’m meeting comics creators and readers that I had never met before. I appeared on three panels on Saturday, all of which were fun, informative and well-received.

A special joy was that Sainted Wife Barb, son Eddie, other daughter Giselle, other daughter Lauren, two of their friends, and boyhood friends Terry Fairbanks and Mike Hudak all were at the convention yesterday. They attended panels, shopped the vast vendors area and had a great time.

Today’s show hours are 10 am to 4 pm. I’m not scheduled to appear on any panels, but I will be coming to the convention for at least the first three hours. Depending on how I’m feeling - the concrete floors are hard on my back and legs - I may stay longer. I’ll still be giving out the glossy signed fliers for Marvel Masterworks: The Champions and Black Lightning Volume 1...and the handy directory of where you can find me online.

I won’t be at my table (B-17) all the time. I want to do a bit of shopping and spend some time with some of the other guests. But I will be there most of the time.  

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

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Saturday, February 27, 2016

WIZARD WORLD CLEVELAND UPDATES

My Wizard World Cleveland weekend got off to a rocky start. There were a few bumps along the road as I traveled to war-torn downtown Cleveland, a minor medical issue and a few other mishaps. But I’ll be back at the show today (Saturday) and for at least a few hours on Sunday.

Wizard World Cleveland is at the First Merit Convention Center of Cleveland, 300 Lakeside Avenue in downtown Cleveland. The remaining show hours are:

Saturday, February 27, 2016: 10 am to 7 pm

Sunday, February 28, 2016: 10 am to 4 pm

I’ll be appearing on three panels on Saturday.

11:30 AM: DIVERSITY IN THE INDUSTRY (Room 26BC). A panel geared to spark awareness and imaginative thinking to assist with social and creative enrichment through “paradigm breaking” (thinking out of the box) approaches towards a directed effort in diversifying the industry market with fresh new characters and content, presented by AHR Visions, LLC

2:00 PM: FROM THE AVENGERS TO AGENT CARTER TO JESSICA JONES AND SOME DUDE NAMED DEADPOOL! (Room 26A). Marvel Comics at 77 with Danny Fingeroth and me.

5:00 PM: HOW TO WRITE COMICS (Room 26A) with Fred Van Lente, Marc Sumerak, Danny Fingeroth and me.

I’ll be signing Isabella-written stuff at Artist Alley Table B-17. While I’m not bringing anything to sell, I will be handing out and signing fliers for two new collections of my 1970s comics writing. Marvel Masterworks: The Champions shipped this very week and Black Lightning Volume One will be shipping in March or thereabouts. You can also pick up a directory listing where you can find me online.

I’ll sign anything I’ve written and most items that have my name on them. There are exceptions, but fewer as I get older and much more forgiving. If there’s a line and you have more than five items for me to sign, I’ll sign the first five and then ask you to go to the back of the line. If you’re patient, I’ll sign everything you want signed...without charge.

I’ll happy to pose for photos with fans, crossplayers and guests. All I ask is that you send me the photo via e-mail with permission to use it in a future bloggy thing or on my Facebook page. There is no charge for photos.

I’m happy to answer questions about comics, my career in comics and just about everything else. Please understand that I cannot discuss the ongoing discussions between DC Comics and my own legal representative...or any concluded discussions between myself and other comics publishers. Except for this: I am very happy with my relationship with Marvel Comics and am optimistic I will be equally happy with my relationship with DC Comics.

If you would like to do an interview with me or have me appear on your podcast or other online show, I will do my best to accommodate you if that is at all possible.

I have no set times at my table. Besides the panels, I have a few  meetings and other things that will take me away from Artist Alley. My current plan for Saturday is to spend as much time at my table as I can and to stay at the convention as close to closing time as I can. If you miss me, please try again.

My Sunday hours at the convention are undecided at this time. I am hoping to be at my table when the show opens. However, I may only be at the convention for three or four hours that day.

This bloggy thing of mine will be presenting my convention reports for both Pensacon (last weekend) and Wizard World Cleveland (this weekend). I hope to be entertaining and informative.

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

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Thursday, February 25, 2016

WIZARD WORLD CLEVELAND (February 26-28)

If you’re within reasonable driving range of Cleveland, Ohio this weekend, please consider joining me, dozens of guests and thousands of fans at Wizard World Comic Con Cleveland on Friday, February 26 through Sunday, February 28. This is the second year from the event and, in 2015, in the middle of the worst winter weather to hit the area last year, the convention was a huge and surprising success. I had a great time, the fans had a great time and some of my fellow Artist Alley exhibitors reported sales so great that they actually ran out of stuff to sell.

Wizard World Cleveland will be held at the First Merit Convention Center of Cleveland (formerly known as the Cleveland Convention Center), 300 Lakeside Avenue in downtown Cleveland. The show hours are:

Friday, February 26, 2016: 3 to 8 pm

Saturday, February 27, 2016: 10 am to 7 pm

Sunday, February 28, 2016: 10 am to 4 pm

The guest list is nothing short of awesome: Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers); Matt Smith (Doctor Who); Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy); Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street); Elizabeth Henstridge (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.); Chloe Bennet (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.;  Joe & Anthony Russo, Emmy-winning directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and other Marvel productions; Eliza Dushku (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse); Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy); Corbin Bernsen (Psych); Henry Winkler (Happy Days); Brent Spiner (Star Trek) and more. I’m hoping I get a chance to meet and chat with all of the above, but especially the Russo brothers who, like me, were born in Cleveland.

The comics guest list is equally impressive: Neal Adams, Fred Van Lente, Michael Golden, Geof Isherwood, Phil Ortiz, Jose Delbo, Greg Horn, Joe Corroney, James O’Barr, Guy Gilchrist, Dany Fingeroth, Victor Dandridge, Martin Egeland, Shawn Forney, Steve Geiger, Dirk Manning, Milo Miller and Ted Sikora (creators of the Hero Tomorrow movie and the Apama comic book), Tim Smith III, Marc Sumerak, Renee Witterstaetter, Thom Zahler and dozens more.

I’ll be appearing on two of Danny Fingeroth’s panels on Saturday. They will both be held in the very comfortable Room 26A.

2:00–2:45pm: From the Avengers to Agent Carter to Jessica Jones and Some Dude Named Deadpool! Marvel Comics at 77 with Spider-Man’s Danny Fingeroth and Captain America’s Tony Isabella.

5:00-5:45pm. How to Write Comics with Marvel Zombies’ Fred Van Lente, Power Pack’s Marc Sumerak, Black Lightning’s Tony Isabella and Spider-Man’s Danny Fingeroth.

My pal Danny does a great job moderating these panels. I know you will enjoy them as we give you some comics history and more than a few laughs.

I’ll be signing Isabella-written stuff at Artist Alley Table B-17. While I’m not bringing anything to sell, I will be handing out and signing fliers for two new collections of my 1970s comics writing. Marvel Masterworks: The Champions shipped this very week and Black Lightning Volume One will be shipping in March or thereabouts. The flier was designed by lifelong friend Terry Fairbanks and printed on really nice glossy and sturdy stock. In addition to the flier, you can pick up a directory listing where you can find me online. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new friends.

I am willing to sign anything I’ve written and most items that have my name on it. There are exceptions, but fewer of them as I get older and more forgiving. If there’s a line and you have more than five items for me to sign, I’ll sign the first five and then ask you to go to the back of the line. If you’re patient, I’ll sign everything you want me to sign...and without charge.

I’ll happy to pose for photos with fans, cosplayers and guests. All I ask is that you send me the photo via e-mail with permission to use it in a future bloggy thing or on my Facebook page. There is no charge for photos.

I’m also happy to answer your questions about comics and my career in comics and just about everything else. Please understand that I cannot discuss the ongoing discussions between DC Comics and my own legal representative...or any concluded discussions between myself and other comics publishers. I can only tell you what I will tell you here: I am happy with my relationship with Marvel Comics and I am optimistic I will be happy with my relationship with DC Comics.

If you would like to conduct an interview with me or have me appear on your podcast or other online show, I can accommodate you. If you contact me in advance via e-mail so I know what I’m getting into.

I’m still figuring out when I’ll be at my table, but my best guess is as follows:

Friday: 3-4:30 pm, 5:30-7:30 pm

Saturday: 10 am-1 pm, 3:30-4:30 pm, 6-7 pm

Sunday: 10 am-noon, 1-3pm

I’ll likely take short breaks during my signing times, but I’ll do my best to post accurate return times. As I did at Pensacon, I may also be giving away my free, badly-drawn, impromptu “sea monster” cartoons. I did over 60 of these last weekend and people seemed to get a kick out of them.

In addition to the guests and the panels, you will see incredible cosplay at Wizard World Cleveland and lots of it. If you’re coming to the convention in costume, especially if you’re a character who I created or worked on, please stop by my table. If I can find kind souls to take photos of us, I’ll post those photos in some future bloggy thing.

In addition to the guests, the panels and the cosplay, Wizard World Cleveland will have a vast array of interesting vendors from all of the fandoms represented at the convention. I love wondering around the vendors area and looking at the astonishing variety of really cool stuff being offered. It might not all be comics stuff, but I look at all those non-comics fans as potential new readers for the comics I love and write.

I’m exciting about Wizard World Cleveland. I hope to see you there this weekend.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE

I’ll be flying to Florida Thursday morning for Pensacon, also known as the Pensacola Comic-Con. The show dates are Friday, February 19 through Sunday, February 21. I’m thrilled to be among the terrific guests coming to the event and look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new friends. For show hours and programming locations, visit the Pensacon website.

Monday’s bloggy thing told you all you need to know about what I’ll be doing at Pensacon. One thing I didn’t mention then was that I’ll be bringing and, on request, signing, the flier shown above, which was designed by my lifelong pal Terry Fairbanks with the blessing of both DC and Marvel Comics. The flier was printed on nice glossy stock by Printing Partners of Brunswick. I’m only bringing 200 of them to Pensacon, but I think they’ll make a pretty spiffy souvenir for my Pensacon fans.

I’ll also be bringing 200 of the fliers to Wizard World Comic-Con Cleveland, February 26-28 at the Furst merit Cleveland Convention Center in downtown Cleveland. I will post my usual preview of the event early next week. You can also visit the convention’s website to check out the great guest list, programming schedule, show times and ticket prices.

This is looking to be a really amazing year for me and this bloggy thing of mine. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

TONY'S TIPS #146

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, DC Comics Bombshells and Eric Larsen’s Savage Dragon!

Monday, February 15, 2016

PENSACON: PENSACOLA COMIC CON (February 19-21)

Even if I weren’t going to Florida in the middle of a freezing Ohio winter, I would be excited about being a guest at Pensacon aka the Pensacola Comic Con. The convention is so big it’s spread over four different locations. The guest list is amazing. The show dates are Friday, February 19 through Sunday, February 21. For show hours and event locations, visit the Pensacon website.

It appears I’ll be spending most of my time at the Pensacola Bay Center, 201 E Gregory St, Pensacola, FL 32502. The convention site has this information:

The Pensacola Bay Center is a 10,000-seat arena with over 20,000 square feet of exhibition space and 12 versatile meeting rooms with 13,000 square feet of meeting space. The Pensacola Bay Center continues to be one of the busiest facilities in Florida. Recently, the venue was ranked #1 in Florida and #16 in the world for ticket sales for locations with seating capacities between 5,001 – 10,000.

At the Bay Center, badge holders can visit the vendor floor, meet  guests for autographs and photos and attend panels and workshops.

Friday, February 19, 2016:  1:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Saturday, February 20, 2016:  10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sunday, February 21, 2016:  10:00 am – 6:00 pm 

I’m scheduled to appear on two panels at the present time, though I’ll make myself available to be drafted for other panels if anyone asks me to be on them and they interest me. I’ll likely attend the panels that interest me, even if I’m not invited to participate on them. My scheduled panels are:

Saturday, February 20 (1 pm): THE STORY CRAFT OF COMIC BOOKS. Also on that panels are Ryan Patel, Victor Gischler, Barry Gregory, Mike Grell and Kelly Yates.

Sunday, February 21 (4:45 pm): WRITING FOR NOVELS VS. COMIC BOOKS. Also on that panel: Chris “Kiku” Kubiak, Nancy A. Collins, Victor Gischler and Rikki Simons, all of whom have doubtless written more novels than I have.

I don’t know where I’ll be set up for autographs and photos. I am willing to sign anything I’ve written and most items that have my name on it. There are exceptions, but fewer of them as I get older and more forgiving. If there’s a line and you have more than five items for me to sign, I’ll sign the first five and then ask you to go to the back of the line. If you’re patient, I’ll sign everything you want me to sign...and without charge.

I’ll happy to pose for photos with fans, cosplayers and guests. All I ask is that you send me the photo via e-mail with permission to use it in a future bloggy thing or on my Facebook page. There is no charge for photos.

I’m also happy to answer your questions about comics and my career in comics and just about everything else. Please understand that I cannot discuss the ongoing discussions between DC Comics and my own legal representative...or any concluded discussions between myself and other comics publishers. I can only tell you what I will tell you here: I am happy with my relationship with Marvel Comics and I am optimistic I will be happy with my relationship with DC Comics.

Wherever I’m set up for autographs and photos, I’ll do my best to be there as much as possible...and also to post when I’ll be back from breaks and panels and other things. Hey, there are guests I’d like to meet as well. Including some I’ll probably be too shy to go up to. We’ll get to them in a moment.

If you would like to conduct an interview with me or have me appear on your podcast or other online show, I can accommodate you. If you contact me in advance via e-mail so I know what I’m getting into.

Other convention events will be held at the Crowne Plaza Pensacola Grand (right next door to the Bay Center), the Rex Theater and the Saenger Theatre. There are some after-hours events. Badge holders will be able to ride a free trolley to and fro. I may show up at a few of these, depending on whether I’m hanging out with old friends or new friends.

About that guest list...

I’m looking forward to seeing friends like Mike Grell, Dave Dorman and Bob McLeod. I’m excited about meeting Facebook friend Nancy A. Collins for the first time. I will pay my respects to Sensei Neal Adams, who has taught so much to all of us in the comics industry. I’m always thrilled to meet other comics fans and professional on account of you are my people.

Then we get to the celebrity guests I would love to meet, but will be too shy to approach: Denise Crosby, who I especially loved in Key West; Michael Dorn because who wouldn’t to spend some time with Michael Dorn; Amber Benson because who wouldn’t want to spend some time with Amber Benson; Basil Gogos, who painted the best monster covers of all time; J. August Richards, whose Gunn and Deathlok are two of my favorite TV characters; Bruce Boxleitner, because I would follow his John Sheridan into any battle any time; and the wondrous Claudia Christian, whose Susan Ivanova was my favorite character on Babylon 5, the greatest science fiction series of all time. There are lots of other great guests as well, but you’ll have to go the Pensacon website to see them because I’ve embarrassed myself quite enough for one blog.

Pensacon, here I come!

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Sunday, February 14, 2016

VALENTINE’S DAY UPDATE

Here’s wishing a happy Valentine’s Day to all the lovers out there and online. I’ll be spending my day with Sainted Wife Barb and our children. I hope you have someone to hug today.

Yesterday, I posted some of my goals for the immediate future and I’ll have some more of those between now and the full-scale return of the bloggy thing on March 1. However, today, I wanted to update you on my 2016 convention and appearance schedule.

Here’s where I’ll be this year:

Friday, February 19: Pensacon (Florida)

Saturday, February 20: Pensacon (Florida)

Sunday, February 21: Pensacon (Florida)

Friday, February 26: Wizard World Cleveland

Saturday, February 27: Wizard World Cleveland

Sunday, February 28: Wizard World Cleveland

Friday, March 4: Cleveland State University Comics Club

Saturday, April 2: Gem City Comic Con (Dayton)

Sunday, April 3: Gem City Comic Con (Dayton)

Saturday, April 16: Fantasticon (Toledo)

Sunday, April 17: Fantasticon (Toledo)

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)

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

This schedule is fairly complete. I’m definitely not going to add any additional appearances from March through July. August is wide open. I would be willing to add an appearance in September. There won’t be any additional appearances in October. I would be willing to add an appearance in November and one in December.

Over on Facebook, I have been discussing charging for autographs, as well as charging some nominal appearance fee to conventions and other venues. There’s a lot for me to consider here.

However, for all of the conventions and appearances listed above, I will not be charging appearance fees or charging for autographs. That will also be the case for any other events that I add to the above schedule this year.

This year.

I’ll be hitting 65 on December 22. Depending on what else is going on in my life - work, health, and so on - I likely won’t be doing as many appearances in 2017. Gather your autographs while you may.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a bloggy thing preview of Pensacon, the Pensacola Comic Con being held February 19-21.           

© 2016 Tony Isabella

Saturday, February 13, 2016

SATURDAY THE 13th STATUS UPDATE

Overwhelmed. That's my status at the present time. There's so much going on in my life and career, as well as the lives and careers of my wife and kids, that I get more than a little dizzy trying to sort it all out. I could be Triplicate Girl and not get a grip on it all. Yet, determined cuss that I am, I plod on. My immediate goals:

Get caught up with my TONY'S TIPS columns at the Tales of Wonder website. 

Promote my upcoming appearances at PENSACON (Pensacola Comic Con) on February 19-21 and WIZARD WORLD COMIC CON CLEVELAND on February 26-28. Look for more details on the Pensacola convention on Monday and on the Cleveland convention on Tuesday.

Move forward on a long interview for a major comics magazine. This interview has literally been years in the making and I'd like to get it wrapped by the end of March.

There are other immediate goals, but I have to save something for the daily updates I hope to post between now and the full-scale return of the bloggy thing on March 1.

Don't stop thinking about tomorrow.

Your friend in Godzilla,

Tony Isabella

Thursday, February 11, 2016

UNDER THE WEATHER

Health-wise, it's been a bad few weeks for your Bloggy Tony. Nothing serious, but just enough to slow me down to a crawl. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so I expect to be back up and running soon. Unless it's that other kind of light. Then all bets are off.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

TONY'S TIPS #145

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art of Darwyn Cooke, Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova and Doctor Strange!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

TONY'S TIPS #144

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...How many different Avengers teams does it take to confuse (and delight) Tony? Find out at: http://blog.talesofwonder.com/tonys-tips-144/