Thursday, November 16, 2017


Black Lightning - the TV series - will make its debut on the CW on Tuesday, January 16, at 9 pm EST. I suspect I’ll be asked a whole lot of questions about it at my convention and other appearances in 2018. Before we get to that list of appearances, let’s talk a bit about what it takes me to get to a convention.

In 2018, most conventions I drive to will have to provide me with the following: travel expenses, hotel expenses, a per diem of some sort for meals and an appearance fee. If a convention is flying me in, it will have to provide airfare for me and a companion. I’m not a cheap date, but I am a fun-within-reason date.

When a convention meets my conditions for an appearance, I will not charge for either photos or signatures. Unless the convention wants to hold some sort of special event to recoup some of the expense of bringing me to its show.

I’m always happy to do panels and presentations at conventions as long as they aren’t back to back and have been cleared with me in advance. There are panels I won’t do simply because I have seen how easily they can degenerate into unpleasantness.

Obviously, there will always be conventions exempt from paying my appearance fee. You don’t know to need which ones they are. That’s between me and them.

However, I have announced that I will not charge an appearance fee for conventions in New York City proper. My goddaughter Kara lives in New York and my “other daughter” Giselle - my daughter Kelly’s best friend since kindergarten - is moving there later this year. There’s been some confusion about this and there are conventions in locations that are not exactly New York City that might get a pass because of the confusion. Still, going forward, the "no appearance fee" thing will only apply to conventions in New York City proper.

On the other hand, if your convention is in some city I really want to visit, if it’s in a warm place when my home town isn’t warm and if you’ll cover a few extra days of lodgings so I can actually have a mini-vacation, I’m open to waving my appearance fee.

There will be those who criticize me for charging this appearance fee. There will be conventions who won’t have me as a guest because of this. I’m not going to be debate this over and over again. But, just this once...

I’ll be 66 years old on December 22. I’m in relatively good health and intend to keep writing until they pull my keyboard from my cold dead hands. However, in my field, there is never a guarantee of a next job after the job you’re working on. I’m working to put money aside for my retirement or any health problems that arise. So, yes, I am charging an appearance fee. Indeed, in the unlikely event I end up at some convention that hasn’t met my conditions for my appearance, I will be charging a nominal fee for autographs.

We live in a convention world where “Zombie #3" gets paid to come to conventions. I’m not asking for the kind of money a convention will pay for a bonafide movie or TV actor. But the money they would pay “Zombie #3"? Yeah, they can pay me that, too.

If you’re a convention promoter I haven’t scared off, or somebody who would like me to speak at a library or school, you can e-mail me to start the process going. I do hope to keep my appearances to two a month, but that’s not carved in stone.

One more thing. There’s always a slim chance that I will be needed elsewhere on a weekend when I have scheduled an appearance. My first loyalties are alays going to be to Black Lightning, DC Comics/Entertainment and the CW. If I do have to cancel an appearance - something that most conventions are familiar with because they deal with actors whose schedules can change quickly - I will do my best to make it up to that convention as soon as possible.

That said, here is my still-in-progress 2018 convention schedule. I’m looking forward to all of these events:

February 18: Action Windsor

February 23-25: Pensacon

March 9-11: Cleveland ConCoction

April 27-29: announcement pending

May 5: The Toys Time Forgot (for Free Comic Book Day)

May 19: East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention

July 13-15: G-Fest

July 19-22: Comic-Con International (This one is just a maybe right now, but I’m leaving the dates open.)

August 17-18: TerrifiCon

August 19: NEO Comic Con

November 3-4: Akron Comicon

November 9-11: announcement pending

If you would like to see me at a convention or other event in your area, please have the promoter of that event contact me directly. I’ll respond as quickly as possible.

My regular bloggy things will resume on Monday.

© 2017 Tony Isabella


  1. Mitch got you for Terrificon? I am so ridiculously thrilled!

  2. I emailed the people who run the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle and sent them a link to this post. Keeping my fingers crossed for a Tony visit to the Northwest!

  3. I was at a Megacon many years ago. If they invite me and can meet my requirements, I would be happy to return.