Monday, May 20, 2019


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


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


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:

Saturday, May 11, 2019


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


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

Tuesday, May 7, 2019



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


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