Thursday, December 1, 2011


I’m not always grumpy.  I’m usually quite pleasant when I attend
comics conventions, though I slip on rare occasions.  When I go to
my local library or post office, I’m friendly and appreciative of
their fine service.  Likewise when I shop at local stores.  I can
be fun to be around.  Not always - I am mostly human, after all -
but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?

When I attended Wizard World Mid-Ohio Comic Con last October, I was
interviewed for something called The Richard Crawdaddy Show.  The
host is a puppet.  However, I didn’t want to be interviewed by the
puppet.  If I wanted to talk to puppets, I would go into politics.
But “Richard” has a co-host and I was perfectly fine with her doing
the interview.  You can watch it here.

Two things need clarification.  If you’re not from Cleveland, you
probably don’t get the whole East Side/West Side dynamic.  When I
was growing up and even into the 1970s and 1980s, it was as if the
two sides of the city were separate cities.  Date someone from the
other side of town and your friends would look at you like you were
crossing an ocean whenever you saw her.  I don’t know if it’s still
the case, but I quipped about it to start the interview with sort
of a funny grumpy tone. 

I thought the young lady did okay for someone who had never read a
comic book in her life.  However, I made the second biggest error
of the interview when I said the Bayeux Tapestry told the story of
the Battle of Waterloo.  It is, of course, the battle of Hastings.

The biggest error was in those captions superimposed over the show
during my interview.  The ones that misspelled my name as “Toni.”
I think we can all agree I’d make an ugly-ass woman.

My interview starts around the 14:08 mark of the half-hour show.
There are some interesting interviews before my bit and some good
costume shots.  The second Mid-Ohio-Con episode of the show has an
interview with Thom Zahler, the creator of the most excellent Love
and Capes
.  You can watch that episode here.

Brad Hamlin conducted a terrific interview with me for the equally
terrific Mystery Island website.

Okay, I was maybe a little grumpy in places, but I prefer to think
of it as being sure of my facts and opinions. 

Daniel Alvarez was quite taken with my introduction of the Christ-
like “Friend” during my 1970s run on Marvel’s Ghost Rider.  So he
sent me a bunch of questions via e-mail.  You can read that interview

I try to respond to convention appearance and interview requests as
quickly as I can.  When it comes to conventions, I’m thankful for
those promoters who invite me and offer support for my appearance,
such as hotel and travel expenses. 

When it comes to interviews, I prefer to do them via e-mail because
that allows me to fit them into my schedule better and think about
the questions before I answer them.  I understand that I’m going to
be asked many of the same questions I’ve answered dozens of times
in the past and I accept that.  But I sure do love it when someone
asks me something I haven’t been asked before.

While I’m being relatively warm and fuzzy, I want to thank a whole
bunch of people I don’t thank often enough.

I want to thank the readers who have bought and been entertained by
my work for almost four decades.  You’ve kept me writing during my
brightest and darkest days.

I want to thank the creators, editors, and publishers who’ve sent
me review copies over the years.  I know finances have gotten much
tighter for all of us, so I understand why fewer companies send me
copies of their comic books and books these days.  They should know
that, regardless of whether or not they’re still sending me stuff,
I appreciate their past largess.

There are so many things I want to write about in this bloggy thing
of mine.  I want to review more books and comics and movies and TV
shows.  I want to write more about comics industry issues.  I want
to write about my own career and the wonderful talents with whom I
have worked.  Mostly, I want to keep writing this bloggy thing for
as long as I I can keep writing about all of the above and
then some.  Thanks for sticking with me. 

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.   

© 2011 Tony Isabella


  1. When I read the title to your blog today it reminded me of an episode of The Simpsons last year, where they introduced a brother to mob boss Fat Tony named Fit Tony. I'd almost want to draw up a version of Soft Tony and Warm Tony.

  2. Gee, Tony, I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to be interviewed by a creepy-looking puppet!

  3. Richard...I am not adverse to running drawings of myself in this blog. Why should Archie and his pals hog all that free fan art action? :)

  4. Keep on writing Tony! I grew up during the 70's and to me that was my Golden Age of comics. We'll never see the likes of 100 page DC 50 cent comics or $1.50 Tresury Editions from Marvel ever again. That was a time when reprints were popular and you could discover a character's history without breaking your wallet.

    I read your message board and your blog first thing each time I get on the internet. It wouldn't be the same without you.

    Yer fan since the 1970's

    Late Night Ferengi