Saturday, February 10, 2018


My 2018 convention schedule kicks off with my first outside-of-the-USA convention in three decades.

Action! is “An all ages event celebrating comics, horror, anime, sci-fi, and cosplay!” It takes place on Sunday, February 18, from 10 am to 6 pm at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts, 401 Riverside Drive W in downtown Windsor, Ontario, Canada. I love the event’s “mission statement” as presented on its website.

ACTION! is a one-day celebration of comic books, horror, sci-fi, fantasy and anime/manga presented by The Comic Book Syndicate and St. Clair College.

[The Comic Book Syndicate is a TV show and web series about comic books. At some point during the convention, I’ll be interviewed for that series. Let’s hope the opening credits post a warning about frightening images. Think of the children!]

The show will play host to vendors, exhibitors, retailers and  cosplayers who also specialize horror, anime/manga, sci-fi/fantasy, and video games, creating an all-inclusive pop culture experience to delight and entertain fans of all ages. As always, you can look forward to meeting comic book creators and publishers working in the industry both professionally and independently.

Event chair Jolie Inthavong and community liaison Michael Poirier contacted me and made my appearance possible. The government of the United States issued me a passport so I could travel to the event, so my country has to share any blame if I act out. The only person off the hook is cosplay director Becca Tremblay. I haven’t spoken with her yet, though I certainly hope so.

Action!’s guest list offers a great deal of variety. It includes a small press publisher specializing in genre fiction; cosplayers who have risen to the top of their craft; cartoonists and writers from Canada and the mysterious land known as Michigan; plus podcasters, gamers and a Star Wars group. Some of the guests are of particular interest to me:

Megan Kearney is an award-winning cartoonist. She’s releasing her first original graphic novel in 2019 from Papercutz. Which makes us cousins of a sorts since I write script adaptations and additional dialogue for that publisher’s Garfield books. Papercutz is one of the very best publishers of great kid-friendly material from overseas. They do terrific comics.

In looking over Action!’s guest list, this item stood out as being of particular interest to me:

The Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI) is a non-profit organization based in London, Ontario.

As part of their awareness mission their gambling program in partnership with their HIV-AIDS program, created an Indigenous made comic which debuted at Forest City Comic-con on September 23rd, 2017. The book is a double-sided comic created to help bring awareness on to Indigenous issues. On one side is the story of education and HIV awareness called Nurse Hope, and on the other side is the story of a girl named Raven who learns a hard lesson about gambling and how her community is there for her.

This comic was created to help educate people about only some of the problems that are faced within the Indigenous communities, and more importantly hold a message that there are solutions to these problems. It’s about the strength and support you can find in your friends, family, and community programs. The comic was drawn by Indigenous artist Sonawahes Antone with backgrounds by Maximum Creative Inc. AIAI would like to acknowledge that funding was also provided by The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, AIDS and Hepatitis C Programs.

The Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians (AIAI) represents approximately 20,000 First Nations citizens from seven member communities and is unique among provincial associations because of the diversity of their members. The Oneida, Mohawk, Delaware, Potawatomi, and Ojibway communities from all across Ontario are represented by AIAI, and while they may all have different languages, cultural practices and a wide-spread geography, are united through AIAI to collectively protect their Indigenous and Treaty rights.

The diversity of comics creators, comics and readers is one of the many reasons I consider right now to be the for real Golden Age of Comics. Expect to hear me talking about that often during the many conventions I will be attending this year.

What else can you expect from me at Action!? Outside of a very few posters and prints, I won’t be bringing items to sell. But the convention organizers and I let vendors know that early on. I expect there will be no shortage of Isabella-written stuff like Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands and Black Lightning Volume One and Black Lightning Volume Two at the event.

There will be no charge for my signature at Action! This may not be the case during some of my 2018 and many of my 2019 appearances, so now is the time to get Tony Isabella to deface your comics and books.

One thing. If you have a lot of things for me to sign and there’s a line of other fans with things to sign, I’ll sign some of those things and then ask you to go to the back of the line so I can sign items for those fans who only have one or two items. There will be lots of fun stuff at Action! and I don’t want fans to miss any of it because they’re standing in line for my signature.

If you feel you must pay something for those signatures, consider making a donation to The Hero Initiative. That fine organization is there to help comics creators when they need a helping hand. They deserve your support.

Want a photo with me? No charge there either, though I will ask you to send me the photo for possible use when I write my bloggy thing report on Action!

Cosplayers! Don’t be strangers. Very often at conventions, I don’t get a chance to wander the floor admiring your work. Come see me. We’ll have some laughs, take some pictures and let your inner hero (or villain) out for everyone to see.

As always, I’ll do my best to answer your questions about my work. Please keep in mind that, because of non-disclosure agreements and my not wanting to ruin upcoming surprises for you and just plain common sense, there are questions I can’t or won’t answer. 

That pretty much covers my prelude to Action! For more information, you can visit the event’s website or Facebook page

Thanks for stopping by the bloggy thing today. I’ll be back as soon as possible with more stuff.

© 2018 Tony Isabella

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