Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I was at the Derby City Comic Con in Louisville, Kentucky over the
weekend.  I wrote about the show yesterday, but cut short my report
to post my initial comments as quickly as possible.  Here are some
additional thoughts...

Chuck Moore, the show director and owner, and his staff put on an
exceptional event.  There were lots of creators, especially of the
small press and self-publishing variety.  There were also creators
who have worked on such famous characters/series as Green Lantern,
Archie, The Walking Dead, Batman and others.

The convention programmed six panels for the event, which is quite
a feat for a one-day show.  There were panels on creating comics,
small press comics, steampunk in comics, comics reading and even a
short film.  There were charity events, events designed for younger
comics fans as well as vendors and other exhibitors.  The fans got
a great deal for their $10 admission ticket.

I answered a lot of questions about Black Lightning, working with
Stan Lee, the Champions, Ghost Rider and other things from my 41-
year comics career.  A few questions, always asked in a friendly,
respectful manner, struck me as frequently-asked questions that I
should write about in the blog from time to time.

Do I still review comic books and related items?  This is asked by
fans who - sadness - don’t read my bloggy thing on a regular basis.
While I can never guarantee a review will appear here, I read any
review items sent to me and, if I have anything to say about them,
write about them here and elsewhere.

Do I dislike DC Comics? Yeah, I do because it’s a corporation with
a record of mistreating and screwing over creators, albeit not all
creators.  As I’ve stated previously, Marvel has treated me fairly
and DC has not, but I realize the exact reverse is true for some
other creators.

Does my dislike of DC affect my reviews of their comics?  Well, if
it did, I wouldn’t review those comics.  That I don’t care for most
DC Comics is because I don’t think they are well-written or well-
drawn.  I don’t like every Marvel comic I read, either, but, on an
overall basis, I think Marvel does much better super-hero comics.
There is more individuality in the Marvel writing as opposed to the
editorially micro-managed sameness of the DC books.  If DC starts
making better comic books, I’ll be as happy as anyone.

Am I retired? Not in the least.  While I’m not writing comic books
at the moment, I am writing other stuff and hope to return to comic
books in the future.  In the meantime, I’m always willing to talk
with comics publishers, editors and artists about projects of all
kinds.  If there’s something you’d like to discuss, e-mail me and
I’ll respond as quickly as I’m able.

Moving on to some reviews...

The Horror Show [Broken Icon Comics; no price on cover or inside]
was one of two comics I was given at Derby City.  Written by James
Maddox with art by Todd Beistel, this 20-page black-and-white comic
features a done-in-one story about a scary reality show that goes
horribly wrong. 

From the story standpoint, The Horror Show is a good take on a not
uncommon concept.  The writing is good, though I could have used a
bit more fleshing out of the characters.  The art is also good and
carries the story well.

I wanted to give you more information on the publisher and how to
order this comic, but, when I went to the website listed within the
comic, I kept getting malware warnings.  Visit there at your own risk.

On the other hand, if you see Broken Icon at a convention, be sure
to check out this and the company’s other titles.

The other comic book was Jungle Ways #1, “a Connan Bell comic” with
no cover price or company name that I could see.  It’s a full-color
kid comic and, while flawed, still fun enough for me to recommend
if you can find it.

Li’l D is the human hero of the story.  He’s moved to an island of
mostly animal people, some of whom are his classmates.  He makes a
friend, runs afoul of some bullies, makes another friend and starts
to find his place in this odd community.

The story runs 22 of the issue’s 24 pages with the other two pages
going to the cover and a back cover that’s just a duo-tone version
of the cover with the creator’s email address.  The writing and art
are suitable for fairly young kids, but there are a few moments of
actual tension.  I liked the mix.

The story needed more character development and more information on
this island society.  I would have removed the sub-plot involving
yet another character and her situation to spend more time with the
already-introduced characters.  The other character has potential,
but there was no compelling reason to get her into this first issue
of the title.  If I get any more information on ordering this comic
book, I’ll pass it along to you.

After the convention, my son Ed and I went to Champions for a quick
bite to eat.  The restaurant was a little pricey, but the food was
delicious and I wouldn’t hesitate to go there again.  We went back
to our hotel, checked in with Sainted Wife Barb, and then headed to
the Tonic Tours Presents Derby City Comic Con Post-Show Blowout at
Patrick O’Shea’s.

The shindig was held on a private floor of that establishment and
what an amazing venue it was! The brick walls, which were cracked in
places, and the decor really made the place feel like some sort of
high-class speakeasy from the past.  There was gorgeous art on the
walls and much fun to be had.

Eddie talked me into doing a shot of bourbon to go with the beers
I had...and then proceeded to mock me for needing two swallows to
finish the shot.  That’s right.  This relative tadpole mocked the
61-year-old man who hadn’t done a shot in at least a decade.  It’s
true I’m far from a world-class drinker, but that was never one of
my life goals.  On the other hand...

Old Man Tony was up and ready to hit the road an hour before Eddie
was awake.  Then, on the portion of the three-and-a-half-hour drive
from Louisville to Columbus when I was behind the wheel, Ed conked
out.  I didn’t mind.  His snoring was more melodious than most of
the radio stations we were able to pick up on the trip.

I was back at Casa Isabella in Medina, Ohio before 1 pm, unpacked,
answered e-mails and set up my schedule for the next couple weeks
before I leave for Comic-Con International in San Diego.  I’ll be
writing more about that later this week.

Next year’s Derby City Comic Con will expand to two days, Saturday
and Sunday, June 28-29.  Keep checking the show’s website for the
updates on this highly-recommended convention.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another “Rawhide Kid Wednesday!” Don’t
miss it!

© 2013 Tony Isabella

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