Saturday, November 19, 2011


Today’s blog (and tomorrow’s) are pretty much all about me. On the
bright side, I’m posting them on the weekend when most of you have
better things to do than listen to me anyway.

Several readers and retailers have asked what it means that Diamond
- our friendly comics distribution monopoly - has canceled orders
on Grim Ghost #6 and other Atlas Comics titles. My answer is that
I don’t know what it means. Whatever the problem, it’s my hope it
gets resolved quickly so that those comic shops whose owners read
past the first 200 pages of the Previews catalog and ordered these
books can get them for their customers.

What I can tell you is that Grim Ghost #6 has been printed. I know
this because I have my comp copies. I’m really happy with how the
issue turned out. I think it represents some of my best writing.
I’m eager to hear what the readers think of it. I can also let you
know - readers and retailers alike - that the issue is available at
the Atlas Comics online shop.

On a related note...

If you’re one of my readers who tell me how much you’d like to see
me writing comic books on a regular basis again, I hope that you’re
buying Grim Ghost. If you tell me you’d like to see me writing
comic books and what you really mean is that you’d like to see me
writing for DC or Marvel, you’re spit out of luck.

This isn’t a “line in the sand” sort of proclamation. It’s not me
saying “never” to my writing for DC or Marvel again. It’s just me
giving you my honest appraisal of the possibility. Wisely or not,
neither place has shown any interest in having me writing for them.
Wisely or not, even if such interest were shown, I’m not sure I’d
be able to make anything of that interest.

I write Tony Isabella stories. I think Tony Isabella stories are
pretty good. Even if I weren’t Tony Isabella, I’d buy them and, I
have no doubt, enjoy them. Now look at what DC and Marvel publish.
Do you really think I’d fit into those companies?

Even if I wanted to write some editor’s or other writer’s stories,
I don’t think I’d be any good at it. I don’t want to write small
fragments of universe-spanning stories that strike me as far more
marketing than creativity. I want to write those stories that are
entirely mine. Me, me, me.

My Atlas Comics editors quickly realized that I’m at my best when
I’m allowed to write my stories my way. They were pleased with the
results. I was pleased with the results. The critics and readers
were pleased with the results. Everybody won.

If an opportunity came along at one of the bigger publishers for me
to write my stories under decent working conditions, I would surely
consider it. But, as I said above, I don’t see that happening in
the near or even far future. Which brings me back to what I must
impress upon you:

If you want new Tony Isabella comic books, you have to buy the Tony
Isabella comic books that I’m writing now. I know it sounds crazy,
but, maybe, just maybe, it’s crazy enough to work.


The holidays will be upon us before we know it. If you’re looking
for a gift to bestow upon that special comic-book fan in your life,
might I suggest 1000 Comic Books You Must Read? The book is now in
its second printing and available via Amazon and directly from the
publisher. Not that you’d know this from anything the publisher’s
done since the book was originally published.

Krause Publications has kept me completely out of the loop when it
comes to my book. I only learned about the second printing when I
ordered copies of the book for myself. I was never informed when
Krause decided to offer the book digitally. Add to these slights
the “Hollywood accounting” that came into play with my most recent
royalty statement and you can see why I won’t be writing any other
books for Krause under its current management.

Back to the issue at hand, Krause and F+W Publications have done a
lousy job promoting my book. They failed to send out review copies
in a timely manner or, in several cases, at all. Since the book
was first solicited through Diamond Comic Distributors, they have
never re-solicited it. That my book turned out to be such a great
seller is mostly due to promotion by myself and my comics friends.
Amazon sold a whole bunch of comics, as did the comics shops which
ordered it. I’m very grateful to my friends and the comics shops
for their efforts on the book’s behalf.


I have two confirmed convention appearances on my 2012 schedule at
present. The first of these is the East Coast Black Age of Comics
, Saturday, May 19, 2012, at The Enterprise Center, 4548
Market Street, Philadelphia, PA. As we get closer to this stellar
event, you can learn more about it by visiting the ECBACC website.

My other confirmed 2012 appearance is the Akron Comicon, Saturday,
November 10, at the University of Akron Student Union. Information
on this show can be found at its website.

I hope to add several more appearances to the schedule early next
year. If any convention promoter would like me to appear at his or
her event, they should contact me via e-mail [] to
discuss the details. While I don’t charge an appearance fee, you
will have to cover my fairly minimal expenses.


I turn 60 years old on December 22 of this year. Whenever I think
I’m perfectly fine with that, something happens to make me somewhat
less secure in my dotage. This week, it was receiving my “Golden
Buckeye” card from the Ohio Department of Aging.

On one side of this card is my “Ohio Best RX Prescription Discount
Card,” which is good at 2700 pharmacies if I have no insurance or
if my Medicare Part D formulary doesn’t cover a drug prescribed by
my doctor. This side of the card does bupkis for me: I have good
medical benefits through Sainted Wife Barb’s employer. I won’t be
eligible for Medicare for another five years.

The other side of the card is the “Golden Buckeye” part. It’s my
“pass to discounts and activities” and my “link to elder caregiver
and aging services.” Now that makes me feel old.

I’m cranky at 59.92 and, to be honest, I’ve been cranky for a good
many years. I don’t see me getting any less cranky when I hit 60
or 61 or 62 get the picture.

Maybe I should start interviewing caregivers now.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2011 Tony Isabella


  1. Tony,

    I hope you don't mind, but I am posting a link to 1,000 Comic Books You Must Read on Amazon.

    It's a really good book, and must admit, I need to buy another copy. I loaned my copy to someone...and I never got it back.

    This book is a keeper. If you like Tony's blog, you will LOVE his book. It's a must-have guide for people who read comics.

    Buddy Scalera

  2. I'm doing my part to bring in the New Tony Isabella Age. Grim Ghost is one of the three monthlies left on my pull list (down from 30+. Thanks, NuDC!). I hope the 6 delivery doesn't get delayed much longer. Still need to track down that zero issue.

  3. "The Ohio Department of Aging"? (We have nothing like that in NY; at least they've never sent me a membership card.)
    So they start out with prescription discouonts and elder care, but what's after that? Just remember, Tony, Soylent Green is people!

  4. Bob...I've only glanced at the Golden Buckeye website, but it seems I can get discounts at places and stores I never go to.