Thursday, April 4, 2013


Today’s bloggy thing is pretty much about me, me, me.  It’s not so
much a matter of ego as it is sorting out recent/upcoming events in
my life so that I can remember and organize all the stuff I have to
do over the next few months.

Let’s start with Tricon, the Tri-State Comic Con, which I will be
attending with my son Eddie on Saturday, April 6 at the doubtless
spectacular Big Sandy Superstore Arena, One Civic Center Plaza in
Huntington, West Virginia.  The show runs from 10 am t0 6 pm, but
VIPs can get in at 9 am and Early Birds at 9:30 am.  Tickets cost
an extremely reasonable seven bucks and kids under 10 get in free.
Here’s what I’ll be doing at the show:

I’ll be selling copies of my best-selling 1000 Comic Books You Must
and signing them on request.  I’ll also be signing any other
Isabella-written or Isabella-edited items which readers would like
me to deface with my signature.  No charge for autographs and also
no limit on how many items you’d like me to sign.  However, if you
have a bunch of stuff for me to sign and there’s a line behind you,
I may ask you to wait a bit so I can accommodate those with just a
few items.  I don’t want them stuck in front of my table when there
are more than likely other guests they’d like to see as well.  In
fact, given the great names on the guest list, I’m certain there’s
other guests they’d like to see.

As much as possible, I’ll be checking out the exhibitor tables for
issues of Rawhide Kid I need.  I’m collecting all the Johnny Clay
issues, even the ones that are all reprint.  It’s the thrill of the
hunt, amigos.

I also hope to have some quality time with my old friends who will
also be at the show and to make new friends as well.  It’s one of
the main reasons I attend conventions.

Depending on my signing line, I’m happy to look at samples of your
artwork.  Keep in mind that I am not an artist and will be looking
at your work from a storytelling perspective.  If you would like me
to keep you in mind for any future projects I may launch, you will
need to give me some sort of sample portfolio to take back to the
home office with me.

I’m also attending conventions in May, June and July.  We’ll talk
about those in a near-future bloggy thing.


Tony’s Tips, the Comics Buyer’s Guide column I wrote for a couple
of decades, has found a new online home.  It will appear weekly at
the Tales of Wonder blog.  The focus on the column will be comics,
comics and more comics...with the occasional side trip into my life
as a fan and my career as an industry professional.  The first new
column was posted on Monday, April 1, and new columns will appear
every Monday.  Check it out.

You should also check out the general Tales of Wonder site.  I’ve
been buying items from the company for several years now and have
recommended their prices and services to friends even before they
hired me to revive Tony’s Tips.  Gee, I should ask them if there’s
an employee discount.

I’m thrilled to be writing Tony’s Tips again and, judging from the
e-mails I’ve been receiving and the comments on the blog, many of
you are thrilled as well.  I’ll keep writing the column as long as
you keep reading it.


Some local to my home town of Medina readers have asked if I plan
to blog about the current situation with the Medina City Schools.
In a nutshell, the District has an arrogant, incompetent and quite
arguably dishonest superintendent in Randy Stepp.  Complicating the
situation is a Board of Education mostly filled with - you guessed
it - arrogant, incompetent and arguably dishonest board members.
Stepp has received incredible perks from his position and many of
them have come without board oversight.  This has been playing out
at a time when our school district is in financial trouble, has cut
vital programs and services for the students and is attempting to
pass a school levy next month. 

Three previous levies have failed to pass.  I voted against two of
them because I didn’t trust Stepp or the school board to use that
money wisely and for the benefit of the students.  The only way I
would vote for the May levy would be if the three culpable members
of the board resign before April 15.

I would make Stepp’s being fired or quitting a condition except I
don’t know how much that would cost the district.  He has already
gotten a quarter of a million dollars for his personal educational
growth and the district may be on the hook for any tax liabilities
that may incur due to Steep’s generosity to himself.  Apparently,
the board members couldn’t be bothered to keep an eye on what this
crumb bum was doing.  If a new board is elected, they should strip
Stepp of any spending power.  The man shouldn’t even be allowed to
buy a pencil without strict oversight.

My local readers have asked me to write about Stepp because I have
had a number of run-ins with him since he was the principal of the
high school my children attended and since he was promoted to his
current position.  I am searching my electronic and physical files
for documentation of these run-ins.  That’s one of the main reasons
I haven’t written the piece yet, though I continue to work on it in
and around my other paying gigs and projects.

The other main reason is that the piece will anger some of the very
people who requested it.  Because you can’t separate the failings
and malfeasance of Steep and the school board from the Republican
majority that rules Medina.  The attitudes and conduct of Stepp and
the board members reflect the attitudes, conduct and positions of
the national Republican Party, a brew made even more unpalatable by
the presence of our local Tea Party nut jobs.

If my non-Medina readers want to get up to speed on this situation,
I direct them to the Medina City Schools Outrage Page on Facebook.
You could literally spend days reading all the news and comments on
the page.  It’s like staring at a grisly accident.

Some closing notes.  The (Medina) Gazette for April 3 reports that
“Five years ago this week, Medina School Superintendent Randy Stepp
turned a four-day national conference for school board members into
a weeklong stay with his family at Orlando’s Universal Studios with
taxpayers footing most of the bill.”

The Medina teachers, recognizing the financial problems of Medina
schools, have approved a contract that gives them no pay increase,
has them paying more for health care and requires then to teach an
extra class each day.  They will only be getting the pay increases
they earn from their additional education and longevity.

Steep, that prince of perks for himself, has cut the work hours of
school cafeteria workers by 15 minutes a day to avoid paying their
health care under current law.  Because who cares if the folks who
prepare and serve food to kids are healthy.

More on Stepp soon.  In the meantime, come back tomorrow and we’ll
talk about my upcoming garage sales.  I guarantee that bloggy thing
will have more laughs than this one. See you then.

© 2013 Tony Isabella

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