Monday, May 20, 2019

TONY'S TIPS #303

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder: Femme Magnifique: 50 Magnificent Women Who Changed The World; One Dirty Tree by Noah Van Sciver; and MAD magazine #7!
                                                                                     

Thursday, May 16, 2019

UPDATES

I'm pushing back my first garage sale of the year to May 31-June 1. I need the extra time to either do all the preparation myself or convince myself to hire an assistant I can't afford. This further delay pains me more than I can express. As to the why of it...

I'm not feeling too good on multiple levels, the least of which is some kind of flu thing. In addition, I'm tired of the madness that is the comics industry and especially how that madness expresses itself online. 

I'm tired of wanting to vomit every time I think about the Dumpster Traitor and the vile Republicans who support him and their own evil agendas. If you're a Republican and take offense at that, that's just too fucking bad. I consider you the biggest threat to all life on this planet.. 

I'm tired of planning my daily work schedule and not accomplishing what I want to accomplish. God dammit I'm exhausted!

I'm going to put a bunch of stuff on hold while I do the stuff that really needs to be done sooner rather than later. Hanging out on Facebook and Twitter is part of what I'm putting on hold, though I will use both for any announcements I have to make. Don't expect me to respond to even legitimate posts and know I will be swift to block trolls and other creeps.

I won't be doing any interviews or podcasts unless someone offers me a platform that truly blows my mind. That's not likely to happen.

I'm not putting Tony Isabella's Bloggy Thing on hiatus, but it's not a priority for me at the moment. I have several paying gigs I need to do before I start blogging as frequently as I have in the past. I also have several promises to keep, even if they don't put a dime in my pocket.

I'm not sure if I will be posting my usual birthdays, historical notes and remembrances on Facebook. That platform's inability to offer me easy access to my previous posts in those areas is making the process far more time-consuming than it used to be. I'm going to make every effort to continue the work I've started with this, but that's not a dead certainty.

I do plan to post my daily Things That Make Me Happy on Facebook and Twitter. In these terrible times, I need to express whatever joy I can find in my life.

If you have anything important to say to me - important being convention invitations, paid gigs and things that will brighten my day - send me an e-mail. I'll respond as swiftly as possible.

It's my hope that I will emerge in June with my spirits high and my shit together. 

Thanks for your patience and continued support. I'll be back as soon as possible. 

Tony Isabella





Monday, May 13, 2019

TONY'S TIPS #302

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...Black Lightning cookies; James Warren, Empire Of Monsters: The Man Behind Creepy, Vampirella, And Famous Monsters by Bill Schelly; Rick Norwood’s Comics Revue; and Geekerella by Ashley Poston: http://blog.talesofwonder.com/?p=1431
                                                                                  
                                                                               
                                                                                 


Saturday, May 11, 2019

BLACK LIGHTNING BEAT 5/11/19

This is what started things on Twitter. I posted this in reference to the new Batman and the Outsiders title:

Don't try to put a silver lining on DC reducing Black Lightning to Batman's support negro. It's insulting to the character, his fans and the creator with whom he wouldn't exist. For authentic Black Lightning, read Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands and watch the brilliant TV show.

Well, that brought the Batman fanatics, Comicsgate clowns, Isabella haters and just plain racists out in droves. Some falsely accused me of using the “N” word. Of course, though “negro” starts with an “n,” but it’s not the “N” word and the phrase I used it in is one common in film criticism.

Some mocked the sales of Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, which, as I have said, were less than I’d hoped for. On the other hand, DC didn’t go back to print on the first issue when it sold out rather quickly. As it routinely does for other comics.

Nor did it allow more than one variant cover during the entire six-issue Cold Dead Hands series. Every issue of the Detective Comics arc introducing the new BATO had two. The first issue of this new BATO series had three.

Factor in that DC set the new BATO in motion before Cold Dead Hands came out and one could suspect DC editorial had no interest in my reboot of Black Lightning being successful. I suppose it’s decidedly inconvenient for the creator of the company’s most iconic black super-hero to still be alive. How inconsiderate of me.

I’m not planning to spend weeks refuting all the inaccuracies and outright lies of the Twitter trolls or the stories on biased comics gossip sites. But, having a few free moments on my hands in the wee hours of this day, I posted this on Facebook:

Over on Twitter, now-blocked trolls have been trotting out the false narrative that I hate the thought of anyone other than me writing Black Lightning. To be honest, I wish I could write Black Lightning until the day I die. But here's some facts of which the trolls are likely unaware, not that they would note them if they were aware of them.

1. I praised Gerry Conway recognizing that Black Lightning would not join the Justice League in a story he wrote.

2. I praised Mike W. Barr's writing of Black Lightning in the original Batman and the Outsiders.

3. Over the years I have praised the Black Lightning writing of Brad Meltzer, Dwayne McDuffie, Grant Morrison, Adam Beechen and Sholly Fisch in various Justice League and other titles.

4. Among the people I have told they should pitch a Black Lightning project have been McDuffie, Gail Simone, and, in a moment of foolishness on my part, Trevor von Eeden. That was before I learned Trevor had a much worse relationship with DC than I did and was, to be kind, mercurial. There have probably been others, but I never knew there would be a quiz.

5. I praised the Black Lightning shorts written and created by my friend Lynell Hakim Forestall.

6. I believe I praised the Black Lightning appearance in the former incarnation of Young Justice.

7. I have regularly praised the Black Lightning TV series writers. Because they are amazing.

8. One of the many Black Lightning projects I pitched to DC was Black Lightning: Freeland, which would have been set in the TV series universe and mostly written by the writers of the TV series.

9. At various conventions in the past I have said that, if the time came when I couldn't write Black Lightning (a time which, despite DC being stupid, has not yet arrived), and if I could choose my successor, I would seek to find a writer of color, male or female, that I felt would honor the core values I instilled in my creation.

10. I can't think of a "10." This is a terrible click-bait list.


None of the above will sway the minds of those who attempt to hurt me on Twitter and elsewhere. I’ll be called a SJW. I’ll be called a racist. I’ll be called a bitter old has-been who was never a good writer. The venom has been spectacular, though not surprising in the least. None of that works.

You see, I know my true character. I know my talent. I know my true worth. I know the truth of Tony Isabella. So do the many thousands of fans and readers who write to me. I’m not going anywhere and neither are those wonderful fans and readers.

You lose, fools and haters and liars. You will ultimately always lose. Wallow in your venom. It’s where you belong.  

I’m working on my garage sales and a lot of other cool stuff. I’ll be back here as soon as possible.

Have a great Mother’s Day weekend.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

Thursday, May 9, 2019

TONY'S TIPS #301

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...my review of Avengers: Endgame. Warning: it does contain spoilers!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

NO GARAGE SALE THIS WEEKEND

THERE WILL BE NO VAST ACCUMULATION OF STUFF GARAGE SALE THIS WEEKEND. 

I will serve no garage sale before its time. While I could CERTAINLY throw together a garage sale by this weekend, it wouldn't be the garage sale I want to have. It wouldn't be the kind of garage sale that makes driving in from Akron or Cleveland or Columbus worthwhile. So I'm taking a little more time to do it right.

Here's my updated garage sale schedule:

Friday, May 17 (9 am to 1 pm)
Saturday, May 18 (9 am to 1 pm)

Friday, May 24 (9 am to 1 pm)
Saturday, May 25 (9 am to 1 pm)

Friday, May 31 (9 am to 1 pm)
Saturday, June 1 (9 am to 1 pm)

I'll have more details and my June dates soon.

Hope to see you next weekend.

Tony Isabella

.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

SOMETHING GARAGE SALE COMES THIS WAY

If you reading this on Saturday, May 4, I’m celebrating Free Comic Book Day at the magnificent Rubber City Comics, 74 E. Mill Street,  Akron, Ohio. Voted the city’s best comic-book shop for three years running, the store is open from 10 am to 5 pm. I’ll be signing and otherwise expounding on the comics art form and industry during that time...except when I’m going through the countless comics for a dollar that the store has put on sale. If you’re anywhere in the area, come on over!

My legendary Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales will commence the following Friday and Saturday. Due to inclement weather and a few of life’s other annoyances, I’m just starting work on the first sale tomorrow (Sunday).

Am I up to the challenge of throwing together an outstanding garage sale in just five days? Of course, I am. I’ve survived nearly half a century working in comics and not only am I still alive, I’m also mostly sane.

Normally, when plugging my garage sales, this is where I would be writing about all the wonderful stuff that will be available for purchase. I can’t be definite about that at this time.

There will be Isabella-written comics and books on sale. There will be boxes of dollar comics, quarter comics, more expensive comics,  magazines, manga, hardcover boxes, trade paperbacks and as many of our popular $10 mystery boxes as I can put together between Sunday and that special moment when I open the garage door to welcome the legion of comics fans waiting to hand me their money in exchange for bargain-priced wonderment.

This first garage sale of 2019 will run 9 am to 1 pm on both Friday and Saturday. If you come late, I won’t push you out of the garage at exactly closing time as long as you’re buying. That buying part is key to this. Because, as much as I might enjoying speaking with you, the dozen other things that I have to do before the end of the day will still have to get done.

My second garage sale of the year will be the following week. I’m not exactly sure of the days and hours of that one. My neighborhood is having a two-day garage sale on Thursday, May 16 and Friday, May 17. Their hours are approximately 9 am to 5 pm...and I’m not sure I’ll be able to stay open that long. I’m working on getting someone to assist me those days, so that I can accommodate the longer hours and also be open on Saturday, May 18.

For now, I’m only planning out my garage sales a month in advance. If you keep reading the bloggy thing and follow me on Facebook and  Twitter, you’ll be able to stay in the loop.

May and June are going to be all about my garage sales and writing a book. I’m not going to carve this in stone, but it’s unlikely I will be appearing at any conventions in either month. If you’re a convention promoter who thinks you can talk me off this position, e-mail me and send you my appearance requirements.

My appearance and garage sale schedule as of today:

May 10-11: Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale (9 am - 1 pm)

May 16-18: Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale (TBD)

May 31-June 1: Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sale (9 am - 1 pm)

July 12-14: G-Fest (Chicago)

July 17-21: Comic-Con International (San Diego)

August 4: NEO Comic Con (North Olmsted, Ohio)

August 16-18: New Mexico Comic Expo (Albuquerque)

September 21: Flaming River Con

November 8-10: Grand Rapids Comic-Con


Garage sale notes:

I don’t charge for my signature on Isabella-written stuff you buy directly from me. As for Isabella-written stuff you didn’t buy from me, my garage sales are among the only 2019 events where I’ll sign those items for free. It’s possible I’ll sign for free at G-Fest to celebrate my lord and master Godzilla. It’s possible I’ll sign for free at San Diego’s Comic-Con International, but that’s uncertain at this time.

After my May garage sales, I would be open to hosting comics creators at those events. Anything you make at those garage sales is all yours, though, if you’re an artist, it would be nice for you to gift me with a sketch for my blog.

Come June and thereafter, I might also have some convention-style panels at my garage sales. I did this a couple years back with area pals Mike W. Barr and Tom Batiuk. It was great fun, so I’d like to do it again.

Convention notes:

I’m attending Comic-Con International at my own expense because my wife and daughter want to attend. If I have any business reason to attend, it eludes me. However, I hope to enjoy seeing old friends, making new friends, maybe doing some panels if I’m asked, maybe doing some signings for charity. I don’t think I’ve ever been less excited to attend Comic-Con, which is not a reflection on the event itself. I’m 100% open to having a great time.

I’m not a guest at the Flaming River Con, which will take place in the Cleveland Public Library in downtown Cleveland. I’m attending to show my support for the LGBTQ+ comics community. From the con’s Facebook page:

Flaming River Con is the Midwest's first Queer Geek Con! Your queer destination for everything geek, nerd and fandom. With vendors and sponsors, we're bringing you comics, cosplay, drag, panels, art, books, podcasts and more!

Our mission is to foster, showcase, and celebrate LGBTQIA+ voices and the community, and combat bigotry by increasing the visibility of queer and marginalized persons within geek culture.


One last convention note:

If your convention or other event isn’t on my list, don’t assume I’ll be attending just because I’ve attended in the past. The only way to confirm that I’ll be at your convention or other event is to e-mail me. I’ll send you my requirements. Hopefully, I’ll be able to add you to my appearance schedule.

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

© 2019 Tony Isabella

Friday, May 3, 2019

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2019

Free Comic Book Day is tomorrow. This year, I’ll be appearing at a new-for-me venue. On Saturday, May 4, you’ll find me signing and talking about comics at Rubber City Comics at 74 E. Mill Street in downtown Akron, Ohio. Voted Akron’s best comic-book shop for three years running, the store will be open from 10 am to 5 pm. If you’re in the area, come on over!
                                                                               

I’m sure my bloggy readers already know all about Free Comic Book Day, but, just to touch all the bases, here’s a quick explanation from the official Free Comic Book Day website:

Free Comic Book Day is an annual event founded on the belief that for every person out there, there’s a comic book they’ll love. Every year, on the first Saturday in May, the industry comes together to give away free comics and encourage fans, both old and new, to flock to the best place in the comic book community: local comic shops. These are the hubs of our community, where fans can come together and discover new comics, make lifelong friends, and find a sense of commonality.
 
There will be over fifty different FCBD comics available at comics shops throughout the country and the world. Not every comics shop will be participating. Not every participating comics shop will be offering every since FCBD title. Most shops will have some sort of limit on how many free comics you can get.

It’s important to note that these free comic books are not free to the comics shops. They pay for them. So, if you’re visiting a shop to get some free comics, help that establishment stay in business by buying some comics from them as well.
                                                                                  

Many comics shops will also have special sales on Free Comic Book Day. For example, at Rubber City Comics,  all of the comic books in the shop that are priced $10 and under will be only $1.00 each. New comics. Old comics. Only $1.00 each. Indeed, the store says it has a ton of these dollar comics. NOTE: Sale does not apply to CGC-graded or pull list comics.

Full disclosure. Since I’ve never weighed comic books, I cannot say with any certainty how many issues of comic books comprise a ton of comic books. But I bet it’s a lot.
                                                                              

Many stores will have comics creators in attendance. Some will hold costume contests. There’s no costume contest at Rubber City Comics, but don’t let that stop you from cosplaying as your favorite comic-book characters. Black Lightning. Spider-Gwen. Superman. Daredevil. Zatanna the Magician. Captain Marvel. Nancy. Garfield. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle of your choice. Apama. The Tap Dance Killer. Sailor Moon. If nothing else, you’ll put a smile on my face and, in all probability, see yourself in all of your cosplaying glory in a future installment of this bloggy thing.
                                                                               

I will be bringing some Tony Isabella stuff to sell at Rubber City Comics. I’ll have copies of Black Lightning, Black Lightning Volume Two, Black Lightning: Brick City Blues, Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, copies of the script for Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1, my entertainingly obsessive July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic-Book Life of Tony Isabella Volume One, and quite probably one or two surprises.

Because it’s Free Comic Book Day, I’ll sign any Isabella stuff you purchase from me, purchase from Rubber City Comics or bring to the event from your own collection for free. That gives you more money to spend on all those $1 comic books in the shop.

Full disclosure. You might have to battle me for some of those $1 comic books.

Two more notes:

R2-D2 will be at the store. Because...why not?

There is free parking in the city decks and on the streets.

As I said above, Rubber City Comics is open from 10 am to 5 pm on Free Comic Book Day. I hope to be there from start to finish. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

Thursday, May 2, 2019

COFFEE! COMICS! STORYTELLING!

I ran a storytelling workshop this past Saturday. The workshop was sponsored by the Cleveland Public Library and the Ohio Center for the Book. It was held at the Rising Star Roastery, located on the near west side of Cleveland. Over a dozen comics fans, several of them artists, attended this workshop.

After being introduced by Valentino Zullo, I explained the concept of this particular workshop. I had written three sample pages for my students in three different genres: horror/western, romance and super-hero. I asked them to select a script page and produce a rough layout for that page. While they were doing this, I would answer questions, discuss my career, and offer storytelling tips I believe will serve them well.

The key storytelling point I wanted to make is that everything has to be in service of the story. The writing. The art. The coloring. Everything. 
 
Writers need to think about what they ask an artist to draw and how much copy they are writing for a page. Artists have to make sure the story flows and not get caught up drawing stuff they like to draw. (I recounted the tale of one 1970s artist whose main interest was in drawing women. He would sometimes emphasize a minor female background character to the detriment of the storytelling.) And colorists have to learn to work with the story and not overpower it with fancy computer techniques.

Everything has to be in service of the story.

A more minor storytelling tip. If an artist is working from a full script, they should lay in the copy (captions, dialogue, whatever) in the layout stage of a page. That will save them time when they do the finished drawing and also prevent any problems with correct reading order and spacing.

I also gave my students an incentive. If, after the workshop, they wanted to take their rough layout, do a finished penciled page of it, scan and e-mail it to me, I would consider them for an actual paying gig. Drawing an eight-page story at the admittedly low rate of $50 a page. If I placed the finished story in a paying market, they would receive additional money for their work. I’m making that same offer to any interested artist reading today’s blog.

I deliberately threw my students into the deep end of the pool with these pages. I gave them no instructions as to the page layout or the size of the panels. I kept the descriptions to the minimum that was required. I did show them some sample layout pages and, where necessary, I also gave them a few pieces of reference material for the horror/western page and the super-hero page. Normally, when I’m working with an inexperienced artist or an artist I haven’t worked with before, I give more layout and panel directions. However, my layout and panel directions are seldom carved in stone. Unless I’m going for a specific effect, I don’t expect the artist to follow my directions blindly.

Just south of this paragraph, you will see the three sample pages I wrote for the workshop. If you want to take a shot at them, you are invited to do so. At the end of June, I will select the best of the penciled pages and hire that artist to do an eight-page comics story. If you’ve ever wanted to draw a comics story, if you’ve ever wanted to work with me, this is your chance.

Here are the sample pages.
                                                                         
HORROR/WESTERN PAGE

Panel 1. In a dimly-lit abandoned and decrepit saloon, an enraged Dracula menaces the Lone Ranger and a lovely young woman. Drac is stalking toward them with murderous intent. The Ranger has his hand on his gun and the woman is backing away.

DRACULA: You’ve hounded me across this vast land of yours, Ranger, but it ends in this decrepit hovel.

DRACULA: No mortal man or weapon can deny the lord of vampires from what he desires.

RANGER: Stay behind me, Abigail.

Panel 2. A snarling Dracula leaps as the Lone Ranger draws his gun. Movement is key in this panel as there is no copy.

Panel 3. In mid-air, Dracula is riddled with bullets. The vampire is clearly in agony.

DRACULA: Arrgh!

Panel 4. The Lone Ranger stands over Dracula as the vampire begins to dissolve painfully into ash.

DRACULA: How...

RANGER: Silver bullets. You should have studied up on me.

RANGER: Like I studied up on you.

Panel 5. The Ranger starts to turn when he hears a voice from off-panel right.

ABIGAIL (off-panel right): Oh, Ke-mo sah-bee...

Panel 6. The Long Ranger is horrified as a vampiric Abigail grabs him and tries to bite him.

RANGER: Abigail?

ABIGAIL: Did you use all your shiny bullets?
                                                                           
ROMANCE PAGE

Panel 1. A pretty young woman sits next to an older man on a hotel bed. Sunlight comes through the windows.

ALLY: Quick question...

Panel 2. Close-up of the older man looking troubled.

HARRY: What’s a “comics industry veteran” doing spending the night with a brilliant young editor in her twenties?

HARRY: My best guess is parallel dimension.

Panel 3. The young woman makes the older man face her.

ALLY: Actually, I wanted to know when your panel was. But...

ALLY: That you said “brilliant” instead of “beautiful” goes a long way toward answering your question.

HARRY: You do know our timing stinks, right?

Panel 4. Ally and Harry.

ALLY: Yeah. At 60 years old, you’re starting your first job in TV in Los Angeles. And I’m...

HARRY: ...going back to New York after the con so you can be even more brilliant.

Panel 5. Ally and Harry kiss. NO COPY in this panel.

Panel 6. Ally and Harry.

ALLY: We’ll figure it out. If nothing else, we can do this again.And again. And again.

Panel 7. Ally and Harry.

HARRY: Same time, next Comic-Con?

ALLY: Same time, next Comic-Con.
                                                                          
SUPER-HERO PAGE
Panel 1. Elasti-Girl and the Chief (of the 1960s Doom Patrol comic books) are looking up at a multi-story apartment building with fire and smoke coming from its windows. Elasti-Girl is in costume. The Chief, sitting in his action chair wearing a headset with goggles device, points up at the building’s roof.

CHIEF: The firemen are pulling out! They can’t contain that blasted inferno!

CHIEF: There are four people trapped on the roof!

Panel 2. A family of four (father, mother, boy, girl) are fearfully clinging to one another with smoke partially obscuring them. There is NO COPY in this panel.

Panel 3. Elasti-Girl is growing to giant size while, below her, the Chief shouts out his concern.

CHIEF: Rita! You can’t grow tall enough to reach them.

CHIEF: The strain could kill you!

Panel 4. Close-up of Rita straining as she grows.

RITA (thought): Hey, he was the genius who *uhn* named us the Doom Patrol!

Panel 5. The family climbs into Rita’s huge hands.

FATHER: Hurry, kids!

Panel 6. Rita looks down at the family in her hands and smiles at the relief on their faces.

MOTHER: Your hands. They’re so soft.

RITA: Thanks! It takes a truckload of moisturizer, but I think it’s worth it!  

If you decide to try your hand at any or all of these pages, have fun with them. If you want to submit one or more finished pencilled pages, scan them and e-mail them to me. Sometime in June, I’ll pick an artist for the eight-page script. At the moment, that script is one of three stories I’m writing for an anthology I have in mind.

My next public appearance will be on Free Comic Book Day, Saturday, May 4. I’ll be at Rubber City Comics in downtown Akron, Ohio. Come back tomorrow and I’ll have more information for you.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY IN APRIL

April turned out to be a far more challenging month than expected.  In between and around appearing at the Great Philadelphia Comic Con and doing a comics storytelling workshop for the Cleveland Public Library, I had numerous real-world household and physical problems with which to contend.

April was also a month in which I started making plans to retire. Don’t get excited. I’m not planning to retire. After all, based on my history to date, I have to be ready to go twenty years from now when I am asked to write my fourth Black Lightning series for DC Comics. It just seems prudent to think about these things.

I’m starting to downsize. This involves cancelling several magazine subscriptions, ordering fewer new comics and books and being more than a bit ruthless in putting my Vast Accumulation of Stuff into my Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales. I’m also hoping to eat healthier and exercise more regularly to downsize my very huggable but overweight body. I love challenges.

I’m making decisions about my appearances and conventions, about my book and comics projects and more. I’ll talk about those a little later this week.

You know the drill. We live in a terrible world. We have the worst President in the history of our nation and Republican cowards who are too frightened to challenge him. Because of that worst asswipe, bigotry is on the rise in our country.

I have mourned the deaths of good people. I mourned the death of a friend who turned out to not be dead after all, just hacked by an anonymous hacker. I mourned the loss of my friendship with a crazy person I have tried to help at considerable cost to myself. It has been difficult for me.
                                                                           

But, as a wise man once said, “Justice, like lightning, must ever appear, to some men hope and to other men fear.” I cling to hope, even in the worst times. One of my hope-building tools is to think about something which makes me happy every day of my life. I post these happy things online every day. Then, at the end of the month, I collect them for a bloggy thing.

These are things that made me happy in April.

April 1: The sun is shining brightly outside my office window with snow falling off trees. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

April 2: Al Lewis playing a sympathetic gangster's henchman on Decoy (1957). Especially when someone compared him to Dracula. He played Grandpa on The Munsters.
                                                                              
April 3: Black Dahlia Avenger by Steve Hodel, former LAPD homicide detective and the son of Dr. George Hodel, the killer of Elizabeth Short and others. His multi-book investigation is a fascinating, frightening look at pure evil allowed to flourish through police and government corruption.
                                                                               

April 4: The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara, which uncovers the suppressed Hollywood history of Milicent Patrick, the artist and actress who designed the Creature from the Black Lagoon. It’s a riveting real-life detective story.

April 5: Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot. She’s the city’s first black female and first openly gay leader. My concerns about her record re: police accountability aside, I congratulate her on her victory and wish her and her city better times.

April 6: Marooned Lagoon by Paul Gerrish with great illustrations by Scott Shaw. This delightful tale of young animals separated from their families in the aftermath of a hurricane is the kind of book that turns kids into readers and which parents will enjoy reading to their kids. I loved it!
                                                                                     

April 7: I ordered a Marvel Collectors Corps box on a whim. I got cool Funko figures of Captain Marvel and Nick Fury, a t-shirt and a Captain Marvel glass. I’m keeping the figures, but the other two items will be offered at my first garage sale of the year (date to be determined).
                                                                                

April 8: Pre-Code Classics: The Crime Clinic Volume One from Great Britain’s PS Artbooks. A different take on crime comics starring a prison psychiatrist and a priest with art by Leonard Starr and John Prentice. More please.
                                                                                

April 9: Finding decent copies of my 1000 Comic Books You Must Read on the secondary market at prices that make it possible for me to sell them for cover price. I’ll have them at my garage sales and at conventions to which I can drive.

April 10: Now in its third season, The Jim Jefferies Show is doing single-subject episodes to wonderful effect. It’s a terrific mix of comedy and compassion, information and opinion.

April 11: Hershey, Pennsylvania. Barb and I had a wonderful visit to this city and Hershey’s Chocolate World. I could easily picture us moving there.

April 12: The story of Milton Hershey, who founded both The Hershey Company and the city he built around it, is inspirational. A great man who used his wealth to benefit others.
                                                                             

April 13: The Great Philadelphia Comic Con had a great backdrop for my booth and let me take it with me. It’ll look great at my garage sales.

April 14: Hanging with Don McGregor and so many other amazing folks at the Great Philadelphia Comic Con. Sal Velluto, Lebeau Underwood, Christopher Priest, Rahadyan Timoteo Sastrowardoyo, Alec Frazier, Jay Justice, Raymond Ramos, Eric Moran and too many others to name.

April 15: Stan Konopka, Kat Bishop and all the other hard-working folks at the Great Philadelphia Comic-Con for making the weekend so terrific for Saintly Wife Barb and myself.
                                                                              

April 16: Gorgo vs. Konga. Craig Yoe reprints four Joe Gill/Steve Ditko stories in a fun flipbook format that includes introductions by myself and Mark Ditko plus opening comments by Yoe’s eight-year- old son Griffin.

April 17: The Flash by Mark Waid Book One. Rereading these comics via my local library. Waid had the goods when he started and he’s only gotten better since.

April 18: Roy Thomas speaking out over DC Comics not compensating him for the use of his creations Artemis and Hazard outside comics. Suffering in silence never benefits creators.
                                                                                
April 19: Barefoot Gen. I’m buying and rereading Keiji Nakazawa’s masterpiece in the handsome hardcover editions published by Last Gasp. These are keepers!

April 20: Harrow County by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook. I’m getting the whole series in trade editions from my library and enjoying them immensely. Great stuff!
                                                                            

April 21: Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell. This was recommended to me for my upcoming “Cheesy Monsters Raid Again” presentation for this July’s G-Fest. It was oddly entertaining.

April 22: MAD #7. Ian Boothby and Gideon Kendall devise the perfect ending for Avengers: Endgame.

April 23: MAD #7. Black Lightning gets a mention in the fun Aquaman parody by Desmond Devlin and Tom Richmond. It’s a stupid mention, but, what the hey, it’s still MAD.

April 24: Svengoolie: Seeing Rodan’s cameo appearances in Valley of the Dragons (1961).

April 25: Gotham’s penultimate episode had fast-moving developments almost on the level of Black Lightning. I’m really looking forward to tonight’s finale.

April 26: Jeopardy. I have been enjoying watching current Jeopardy champion James Holzhauer dominate the game. He’s funny, personable and smart. I’m rooting for him.

April 27: James Warren: Empire of Monsters. A brilliant biography by Bill Schelly, arguably our finest comics biographer.

April 28: My Coffee and Comics storytelling workshop was amazing. My thanks to my students and to the Cleveland Public Library for inviting me.

April 29: Michael Davis lives! His death notice was posted online by a hacker. I look forward to speaking with him in the hopefully near future.

April 30: Samantha Bee’s Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner 2 should receive Emmy awards galore and a Pulitzer Prize. It was on point and hilarious.

If all goes according to plan, I’ll be back tomorrow with a chance for a talented artist among you to pencil an 8-page script and get paid for it. Details tomorrow.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

TONY'S TIPS #300

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...Mike Grell: Life Is Drawing Without An Eraser by Dewey Cassell with Jeff Messner; Red Sonja Worlds Away: Volume 1 by Amy Chu with artist Carlos Gomez; and Nemu Yoko’s The Delinquent Housewife!
                                                                               
                                                                             


Friday, April 26, 2019

TONY'S TIPS #299

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...Pre-Code Classics: The Crime Clinic Volume One, a crime comic with a difference: Ditko’s Monsters: Gorgo vs. Konga, four stories, two introductions, edited by Craig Yoe's eight-year-old son; and Marooned Lagoon by Paul Gerrish with illustrations by Scott Shaw!
                                                                                
                                                                                

Thursday, April 25, 2019

I AM LIKE UNTO A GOD OF BIRTHDAYS

If you’re one of my Facebook friends or simply someone who visits my Facebook page, you know I have a passion for posting birthdays, historical facts and remembrances. The majority of these posts are related to comics in some manner. If you’re not one of my Facebook friends, you can still see these posts. Everything I post on that page is available to the public. Except for those unsavory sorts I have blocked because I don’t have time for their crap.

My interest in comics professionals birthdays began when I wrote and edited The Mighty Marvel Bicentennial Calendar, wherein I commissioned Marvel artists to draw insane images of our heroes doing Revolutionary War stuff. One of the features of this calendar is that it included the birthdays of a great many Marvel writers, artists and staffers.
                                                                             

Shortly thereafter, I began sending birthday cards to those Marvels artists and such with whom I had worked. Several of them wrote me back saying it was the first time they had received birthday cards from a writer or, for that matter, anyone else working at Marvel. Of course, back then, you could buy a decent card for under a buck and mail it for thirteen cents.

I continued this practice for a time when I moved back to my home town of Cleveland. I had to stop doing it because money was tight. I wasn’t getting much work. Also, no longer being on staff at DC or Marvel, my access to addresses was curtailed.

Flash forward to 1993. Comics Buyer’s Guide editors Don and Maggie Thompson published Comic-Book Superstars, a hardcover book listing the names, contact information and resumes of comics professionals who’d filled out forms handed out at conventions. The Thompsons had a fairly inclusive notion of what constituted a professional, but what interested me most about the book was...you guessed it...that the listings included birth dates.
                                                                               

Doing my best Tom Sawyer impression, I suggested to Don and Maggie that they start running birthday information in every weekly issue of Comics Buyer’s Guide. If they were living closer to me, I would have also tricked them into painting my fence.

Using Comic-Book Superstars and the weekly notices, I built my own “database” of birth dates. As CBG added new dates, I added them to my database. That exploded as I “mastered” the Internet. Now I had access to many other sources as well. My database kept growing and growing and growing.

I don’t recall exactly when I began posting birthdays on Facebook or when I added remembrances and historical notes. I do know that a great many people at conventions and on online tell me how much they enjoy them. Most also express astonishment over the quantity of these I post and wonder how I manage to find the time to do it. This is where I reveal my secrets...

I start with my “database,” a Word Perfect document that currently runs 167 pages. This document has only the barest of bones of the information I post. Here is my April 24 entry...

April 24:

Boston News-Letter (1704)
Library of Congress (1800)
Annie Oakley joins Buffalo Bill’s Wild West (1885)
Allen Saunders (1899)
William Brooke Joyce/Lord Haw-Haw (1906)
George Wunder (1912)
William Castle (1914)
First Herblock cartoon (1929)
Richard Donner (1930)
Howie Schneider (1930)
Francis aka Francis Bertrand (1937)
Dick Matena (1943)
Pantera Bionda (1948)
Al Vey (1953)
John MacLeod (1957)
The Sky at Night (1957)
Randy Griffith (1960)
Djimon Hounsou (1964)
Randy Carpenter (1965)
Warren Craghead (1970)
Eric Kripke (1974)
Eric Balfour (1977)
24 Hour Comics Day (2004)


Most of the above posts were repeats from previous years. Using my Facebook “memories” and “activity log,” I cut-and-paste them with whatever updates, such as cheery birthday greetings sadly becoming remembrances, are necessary. Since I’m always adding new birthdays and such to my database, I usually have to write some new posts. The posting and writing of these usually takes an hour. We’ll get into why I do this a little further down the column.

On April 24, after I had done the above and spread out through the day, I added items to my April 25 entry. I have regular sources I check over day.

First and foremost is Maggie Thompson’s Turning Points, the weekly column she writes for Scoop. I have file folders of all her columns from August 2014 to the present. I check them to see if there are items she lists that I don’t have. When I find such items, they are added to my database.

I also check out Scoop’s weekly Celebrity Birthdays column. This has been a great help in adding birthdays for the stars of comics-oriented movies and TV shows. Not every celebrity gets added to my list. I haven’t added any stars from The Walking Dead because it’s not a TV show I watch. I may watch it someday, but not until I’m caught up on the comic books.

Wikipedia is another source for me. On April 24, after I looked at Scoop’s Turning Points and Celebrity Birthdays, I went to Wikipedia and studied its “April 25" entry. A lot of my historical notes are from Wikipedia.

You can pretty much guess what interests me by what history notes I post. I’m fascinated by true crime and disaster stuff. The Great London Beer Flood is an example of the latter. I also have a minor interest in real-life western characters. That came about because I got a kick out of how various Marvel western stories got it so wrong when it came to real-life figures.

My last stop of the day is the Grand Comics Database and its Comics Calendar. Most of my raw data on foreign comics creators comes from that calendar, though I get more information by following up on the calendar entries at Lambiek Comiclopedia.

If I come across additions for my database from other comics blogs and websites, I’ll check it out and incorporate it if it meets my standards for inclusion. But, at the risk of sounding vain, nobody in comics posts more birthdays, historical notes and remembrances than I do.

My database is not completely free of error. But, when I am informed of an error or discover it on my own, I correct it.

As to why I do this...

The history of the comics industry is all too often a tragic history of creators being screwed over by publishers, editors and even fellow creators. I’ve seen frankly terrible people try to erase creators from comics history. I’ve seen some of these people try to do it to me. But I’m not gonna let that happen to me or any other creator on my watch.

That hour-plus a day I spend on the birthdays, historical notes and remembrances is my contribution to celebrating comics creators of the past and the present. I invite my Facebook friends to share my posts wherever they like.

In most cases, we can’t do anything about the wrongs done to these creators. But we can sure as hell remember them and what they do or have done in comics. That’s worth the time I spend on this. It's s worth doing it every day I can do it.

If you want to join in this frankly holy work, all you have to do is e-mail me a few days before the first day of every third month. On June 1, I’ll create an updated document of my database and send it to any one who requests it. I’ll repeat this on September 1 and December 1. It might take me a few days to send it to every one who requests it, but I will send it to them.

This is the story of how I became like unto a god of birthdays and more. And now...I have to go change the kitty litter.

Balance is everything.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

COFFEE AND COMICS (April 27)

I love comics. I love making comics. I love reading comics. I love talking about comics. Every now and then, someone asks me to talk about comics somewhere other than at a convention or online. Like the “Coffee and Comics” storytelling workshop I’ll be doing for the Ohio Center for the Book in conjunction with the Cleveland Public Library. It happens on Saturday, April 27, 10:00-11:30 am at the Rising Star Coffee Roastery, 3617 Walton Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio.

Comics are a visual medium. A comics writer must know how to write a script for an artist and the artist has to know how to turn that script into art that carries the story through however many panels and pages said story requires.

Writers have to think visually and recognize what an artist can and cannot fit into a panel or a page. That often means killing one’s darlings to keep the story moving. Artists have to think about the story as well. It’s not enough to draw great pictures. Those images have to keep the story moving.  Whether you’re a writer or artist, telling the story is job one.

For this workshop, I’m going to provide my “students” with random script pages for comics stories in various genres. At the moment, I plan to write pages for a super-hero story, a horror story and a romance/slice-of-life story.

While I answer questions about comics storytelling, the artists in the class will be asked to rough out a page layout. I don’t expect anyone to finish penciling a page in an hour-and-a-half, but that rough layout should be doable. Of course, where this workshop gets more interesting is what happens next.

Members of the workshop will be encouraged to e-mail their finished pages to me. I’ll be going over every “submission” with the intent of hiring one of these artists to draw an eight-page story for me. I don’t know where the completed story will appear, but the artist I choose will be paid the admittedly low rate of $50 a page for the work. I’ll retain all rights to the work, but that initial $50 page rate will be considered an advance against any future money earned by the completed story. If you come to my workshop and do the work, you could end up as a published artist.

******************************
Free Comic Book Day is almost upon us. This year, I’ll be making an appearance at a new-for-me venue. On Saturday, May 4, you’ll find me signing and talking about comics at Rubber City Comics at 74 E. Mill Street in downtown Akron, Ohio. Voted Akron’s best comic-book shop for three years running, the store will be open from 10 am to 5 pm. If you’re in the area, come on over!

Outside of these appearances, I’m sticking close to home for the rest of April, May and, perhaps, even June. I have a comics script to write for an educational institution; three years’ worth of one of my favorite comic strips to read; an introduction to write for the collection of the aforementioned comic strips; pitches to write for a medium new to me; and a somewhat personal book to write. In between the above, I’ll be working on and holding my Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales.

Here is the most current version of my appearance and garage sales schedule for the rest of the year...

April 27: Cleveland Public Library Coffee and Comics

May 4: Rubber City Comics (Free Comic Book Day; Akron)

May 10-11: garage sales (9am-1pm each day)

May 17-18: garage sales (9am-1pm each day)

May 31-June 1: garage sales (9am-1pm each day)

July 12-14: G-Fest (Chicago)

July 17-21: Comic-Con International (San Diego)

August 4: NEO Comic Con (North Olmsted)

August 16-17: New Mexico Comic Expo (Albuquerque)

September 21: Flaming River Con (Cleveland)

November 8-10: Grand Rapids Comic-Con (Grand Rapids)

Some notes on the above:

My Coffee and Comics workshop. I’ll have Isabella-written stuff for sale. As always, I don’t charge for my signature on items purchased from me. However, as will be rare from here on in, I’ll also sign Isabella items you bring to the workshop for free.

Free Comic Book Day. I’ll have Isabella-written stuff for sale at Rubber City Comics. In keeping with the spirit of FCBD, I’ll sign other Isabella items for free as well. Keep in mind that there are items I won’t sign, such as any of DC’s current “Black Lightning as the Batman’s support Negro” comic books.

Garage sales. As long as folks don’t take advantage of my generous nature, I’ll sign Isabella items you bring to the sales for free. But don’t be a dick about it. Buy some stuff.

Garage sales. There will be garage sales throughout the summer and maybe throughout September. However, I don’t schedule garage sales too far in advance because it’s likely I’ll be adding some conventions to this schedule.

G-Fest. That’s more my vacation convention than a working one. If you let me know in advance that you want to purchase something from me, I’ll bring it to the event. Depending on what I’m doing at the time, I’ll also sign other Isabella stuff for free.

Comic-Con International. I’m still not sure why I’m going to this convention, though I’m sure I’ll enjoying appearing on some panels, making new friends and reconnecting with old friends. I don’t plan on signing at the convention, but, if I do, it’ll be for a worthy charity or to bring some traffic to a friend’s booth. I suppose if Marvel asks me to sign at their booth or if there’s some specific Black Lightning event that doesn’t include writers and editors who don’t understand the character, I’ll also sign there. Within these limited parameters, I’ll be signing for free. But, if I’m signing for a worthy charity, don’t be a dick. Toss a few bucks into the collection jar.

I will be charging for my signature at NEO Comic Con, New Mexico Comic Expo and the Grand Rapids Comic-Con.

I’m not a guest at the Flaming River Con. I’m attending to show my support for the comics LGBTQ+ community. In that spirit, I’ll sign Isabella stuff for free there.

******************************
One last thing. If you’d like to have me as a guest at your event, you must e-mail me. That’s how I organize my life.

If you’d like to hire me, you must e-mail me. See above.

I don’t mind an initial face-to-face conversation or a phone call. But e-mail will still be how we seal the deal.

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

© 2019 Tony Isabella

Sunday, April 21, 2019

ALL THINGS IN MODERATION

I welcome your comments on this bloggy thing of mine. However, given the age we live in with its online spam and trolls, no comments will appear until I approve them. I try to check the inbox every few waking hours. Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

TONY'S TIPS #298

This week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...I'm doing a storytelling workshop. Plus my reviews of Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick; Giant Days Volume Nine by John Allison and Max Sarin; and Masao Ohtake’s Hinamatsuri Volume 1!
                                                                             
                                                                                 


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

TONY'S TIPS #297

Last week in TONY'S TIPS at Tales of Wonder...Man and Superman 100-Page Super Spectacular by Marv Wolfman with artist Claudio Castellini; Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1-2; and Exorsisters by Ian Boothby and Gisele Lagace!
                                                                               
                                                                               

Monday, April 8, 2019

THE GREAT PHILADELPHIA COMIC CON! (April 12-14)

My next convention appearance will be The Great Philadelphia Comic Con on April 12-14 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, Pennsylvania. From the show website, here is the event’s mission statement:

The Great Philadelphia Comic Con! is dedicated to producing celebrations of comics and pop-culture by providing unique access to talented artists and a family-friendly experience for fans of all ages. Our show motto “Get UR Geek On!” represents the diverse and unique nature of our fans – be they fans of Comics, Movies, TV, Anime, Gaming, Cosplay or more.

The show hours are:

Friday, April 12: 1-8pm
Saturday, April 13: 10am–7pm
Sunday, April 14: 10am–5pm


There will be over sixty guests from comics and other media at the show. Looking over the comics guests, I’ll be joined by such great creators as Neal Adams, Larry Hama, Don McGregor, Walden Wong, Joe Caramagna, Christopher Priest, Bob Almond, Sal Velluto, Joel Adams, Buzz, Bob Camp, Stan Konopka, JK Woodward, and many more. Attendees can also expect a vibrant Artists Alley congregation.

The media guest list is impressive with multiple performers from a bunch of great TV shows: The Expanse, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek Deep Space Nine (my personal favorite Star Trek show), iZombie and others. The legendary Alice Cooper will be there, as will Nick Frost and John Wesley Shipp.

The Great Philadelphia Comic Con will also feature cosplay, gaming, panels, discussions, workshops, photo opps, and the incredible Kids Zone by Incredikidz. The Inkwell Awards, which promote and educate about the art of comic book inking and show recognition for inking  artists, will be awarded on Friday afternoon at 5 pm.

There are cosplay contests for adults and kids. The adult cosplay contest is Saturday from 5 to 7 pm. The kids cosplay contest is on  Sunday at noon in the Kids Zone.  Both are open to costuming pro and novices alike with no registration needed.

John Wesley Shipp, the Flash of two Flash TV series will be sharing his memories of both shows and answering questions on Friday from 2-3pm. Someone should ask him about his truly memorable performances on the legendary NYPD Blue where he played an officer on steroids. I enjoyed the original Flash series, but it was NYPD Blue that made me a Shipp fan for life.

Other interesting panels and events include a Cosplay Dating Game Show on Saturday, a Black Panther question and answer session that same day, and a Tony Isabella question and answer session in Panel Room 2 on Sunday from noon to 1:00 pm. While there might be a few questions I can’t answer due to non-disclosure agreements, I pride myself on answering even the hardest questions.

During the show, I’ll be in a booth at the head of the show. With Saintly Wife Barb there to help me out, I’ll be selling a variety of Isabella-related and other items as well as signing comics and other things for the fans. We’ll be debuting my spiffy designed-by-Thom-Zahler banner at this convention. It’s sweet!

I plan to bring all four of the Black Lightning trades to the show. I’ll also have July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic-Book Life of Tony Isabella Volume One; two different Black Lightning posters; Daredevil and Luke Cage mini-posters; and a few copies of my script for Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1. Space permitting, I'll be selling Beano and Commando issues from England.

Here’s my signature policy...

Any items purchased from me: no charge.

All other items: $5 each.

Items signed in front of a grading company witness: $10 each.

Photos are free.
 
After a winter that just wouldn’t go away, Barb and I are looking forward to our trip to Pennsylvania. We’re going to visit Hershey  on our way to Philadelphia and then, doubtless bloated with candy,  we’ll make our way to the convention.

If you want more information on the Great Philadelphia Comic Con, head over to the event’s website. That should have the answers to your questions.

I’ll be offline until sometime after we return from Philadelphia. Check back here then for much more bloggy thing fun.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

Monday, April 1, 2019

THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY IN MARCH

This isn’t an April Fool’s Day column. I’m not remotely an advocate of April Fool’s Day, what with every online amateur trying to come up with some bogus malarkey they believe is hilarious. As I’ve said in the past, April Fool's Day is for the weak-minded unwilling to make a year-round commitment to the lifestyle.

It’s especially problematic for me when it falls on the first day of April since the first day of any month is when I post the many things that brought me joy in the previous month. If you find humor in the items listed below, I’m fine with that. But each and every one of them is a honest representation of something that made me happy. I’ll forgo my usual spiel about why I need to post these things every day and just get to them.

March 1: The smile on Saintly Wife Barb’s face when I gave her an autographed to her photo of Joey Fatone as the Rabbit from The Masked Singer. We watched the show every week; the Rabbit was one of our favorite performers.

March 2: Landed a nice copy of Captain Marvel #6 (1968) on eBay for a decent price. It has a letter from some fan named Tony Isabella.

March 3: Breakfast at Twisted with Barb and Kelly. When our local Medina  Eat ‘n’ Park closed, the trendy eatery hired some of its employees and began serving breakfast every day. Great food and prices. We’ll be back.
                                                                                

March 4: The Life of Frederick Douglass by David F. Walker, Damon Smith and Marissa Louise. A magnificent biography in comics form. Should be in every personal, public and school library.

March 5: I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation by Natalie Nourigat. Not only is Nourigat’s personal journey interesting, but she packed this slim book with a plethora of useful information for those also seeking careers in the field.

March 6: I am the Night. Six episodes of unrelenting suspense with a surprisingly satisfying ending. Great acting and great writing. It’s inspired me to research the subject further.

March 7: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee did brilliant pieces on America’s second most evil family - the Sackler monsters - and the idiocy of Brexit. Comedy does a better job putting news in context than the news media.

March 8: The New Yorker hotel. Living in way-too-white Medina, it was life-affirming joy to hear and see so many folks from all over the world during my stay there.
                                                                                  

Match 9: Isn’t It Romantic starring Rebel Wilson. I saw it at the AMC25 on 42nd Street and was thoroughly entertained. It’s funny and heartwarming. I’m gonna watch it again with Barb as soon as I can.

March 10: Big Apple Comic Con 2019. The venue was...let’s be kind and call it “vintage”...but the fans certainly got their money’s worth. So many great guests, dealers and panels. I had a blast and a half.

March 11: Big Apple Comic Con was very successful for me. I sold a lot of stuff and signed a lot of stuff.

March 12: Saintly Wife Barb joined me for the weekend. We had great meals and spend fun time with our niece Kara, our “other daughter” Giselle and Giselle’s boyfriend Kadeem.

March 13: This was the fourth trip in a row where I hadn’t gained any weight while I was away.

March 14: Bill Biegel and Biegel’s Plumbing. Bill has been our go-to plumber for a couple years now and always comes through for us. He heads the Raymond Biegel Memorial Tournament here in Medina and he’s a fan. We are everywhere!

March 15: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee aired a segment created by female animators sexually harassed by Chris Savino, creator of The Loud House. It was a great way to deliver vital information about sexual harassment in the industry. Well done.

March 16: From the Big Apple Comic Con: moderating Q&A session for Mike Colter of Luke Cage fame and much more. Great questions and great answers. A sincere pleasure to be there with him.

March 17: From the Big Apple Comic Con: seeing the original art for Black Lightning #1 (1977) for the first time in decades. Trevor von Eeden’s pencils and Frank Springer’s inks still look fantastic and were not done justice by DC’s lousy printing back then.

March 18: From the Big Apple Comic Con: the smile on Saintly Wife Barb’s face when a fan asked to sign 1000 Comic Books You Must Read because it was dedicated to her.
                                                                       

March 19: The season finale of Black Lightning. It exceeded all my high expectations, even in the scenes I watched being filmed. I’m eager to see what comes next.

March 20: Blue Heron Brewery Event Center in Medina, Ohio. My sort of nephew-in-law Mike is brewmaster. Barb, Kelly and I went there on St. Patrick’s Day. We enjoyed great food and had a great time.

March 21: DC’s 100-Page Walmart comics. Save for the rare misstep - that Superman torture porn tale - these are fun. I think I actually enjoy haunting my local store for them.

March 22: Had a nice dinner with dear friends who helped me get my troubled head back on track. My bipolar comics career is still one huge pain in my ass, but I’m coping with it.
         
March 23: Rereading Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa. It is every bit as powerful the second time around as it was the first.
                                                                              

March 24: My new mug.

March 25: Captain Marvel. The Marvel Cinematic  Universe does not disappoint.

March 26: The Simpsons: “Bart vs. Itchy & Scratchy.” A very funny send-up of males hating on female heroes. Topical as well. Plus: it had a House Hunters joke.
                                                                                    

March 27: Editor Shelly Bond’s Femme Magnifique: 50 Magnificent Women Who Changed the World
. A wonderful anthology and the perfect gift for the young women in our lives.

March 28: Exorsisters by Ian Boothby, Gisele Lagrace, Pete Pantazis and Taylor Esposito. Clever, dangerous, funny. The next issue can’t come soon enough for me.

March 29: Full Frontal’s scathing takedown of “magically malicious” Mick Mulvaney and exposure of our government’s despicable betrayal of immigrant soldiers.

March 30: Adam Schiff and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Smart leaders who don’t back down when attacked by the Dumpster President and his cowardly, immoral Republican Party.

March 31: My transgender friends who live their truths despite the obstacles put in their paths. I admire and support you. My world is better for you being in it.

My next convention appearance will be The Great Philadelphia Comic Con on April 12-14 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks, Pennsylvania. There will be over sixty guests from comics and other media at the show, a vibrant artists alley, cosplay, gaming and more. As we get a little closer to the event, I’ll tell you more about it. For now, for more information, visit the convention’s website.

I will be back tomorrow with my too-long-delayed review of Captain Marvel. See you then.

© 2019 Tony Isabella