Saturday, May 23, 2015


My goal for 2015 was to make two appearances a month, commencing in February. Most of these would have been convention appearances and others would have been at comic shops, libraries and schools. As with many plans, it went awry.

I had some health concerns with which I am currently dealing. You needn’t fret about them. I’m not. But, given those concerns and an unexpectedly heavy work load, I figured it prudent to scale back my original appearance strategy.

Though adding another appearance or two before the end of the year isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility, here’s the list of my confirmed appearance at this time:

June 26-28: IndyPopCon (Indianapolis)

August 13-16: PulpFest (Columbus)

October 16-18: Grand Rapids Comic-Con

October 24: Cleveland Comic Con

November 7-8: Akron Comic Con

If you’ve been reading the bloggy thing this year, you’ll remember that the passage of anti-LGBT legislation in Indiana, legislation posing as being enacted in the name of “religious liberty,” caused me to initially cancel my IndyPopCon appearance. I changed my mind because the convention expressed its support for inclusion for all in the most powerful of terms...because the still-terrible law was softened somewhat...and because I felt I could use my appearance at the convention to increase awareness of the issues facing those in Indiana and elsewhere who believe in equal rights for all.

With the blessing and encouragement of the IndyPopCon management, I offered to share my table with any local LGBT group interested in coming to the event to promote the ongoing battles in Indiana and elsewhere against discriminatory laws. I wanted to use my celebrity standing - small though it might be - to help in that fight. Much to my disappointment, no group has contacted me to take advantage of my offer.  With IndyPopCon a month away, I don’t expect that to change. Sigh.

Since it’s unlikely any advocacy group is going to come forward at this late date, I’m currently figuring out what I’ll be doing with the table space. What you’ll probably see are items for sale that will include Isabella-written items, the two-sided Superman poster I developed for Cleveland’s International Superman Expo of 1988 and  whatever boxes of fun stuff I can put together between now and when I hit the road for Indianapolis.

I can change these latest plans if an advocacy group comes forward. I’m not expecting that to happen. Since I’d still like to promote an end to discriminatory laws, I’ll now extend an offer to include information on the ongoing fight on my table. E-mail me a sample of the flier or other material you’d like to place on my table. If I find it acceptable, I’ll tell you where you can send the material for inclusion in my IndyPopCon packing.

During the con, I’ll be doing at least two panels or presentations. What these will be and when they will be scheduled during the show hasn’t been determined yet. As soon as I know, I’ll share the news with you here and on my Facebook page.

IndyPopCon has some terrific guests this year. I’m looking forward to meeting Gila director Jim Wynorski...and more of the fine folks from The Asylum. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends like Joe Corroney and Scott Shaw! I’m looking forward to seeing friends and readers I haven’t seen in years or who I’ve never met face-to-face. Please don’t be shy about stopping by my table.

I’m always happy to sign Isabella-written stuff for both fans and retailers. I never charge for my signature. However, on the chance I have a long-ish line and you have a whole bunch of comics for me to sign, I may have to sign just some of your items and ask you to go back to the end of the line for the rest. If you have less than a dozen items, I can sign them all without making that request of you. That sound fair to you?

Here’s what I won’t sign...

I will not sign comic books I didn’t write or edit, even if Black Lightning or other Isabella creations appear in them.

I will not sign Black Lightning merchandise unless DC Comics paid me royalties on the merchandise. Sadly, that includes all but a few action figures and trading cards.

I will not sign “DC history” books because those books are filled with knowing misinformation about myself and others.

I will not sign articles of clothing for reasons I won’t get into at the present time. Besides, my signature always looks terrible on these. Even more so than usual.

I will not sign body parts. Being asked to sign a fetching young lady’s breast in Dallas over three decades ago was probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience...and it wasn’t unpleasant. However, as I have been happily married for 31 years and am now 63 years old, I think my signing body parts would just be creepy.

Moving right along...

I’m happy to answer questions at my table and on my panels. I’ll do my best to answer them all, though, on occasion, the answer might be “You’ll have to buy my new book.” Heh, heh, heh.

I love cosplayers, especially those appearing as characters I have created or have written. I’m delighted to pose for photos with you. All I ask is that you send me a scan of the photo with permission to use it in this bloggy thing or my Facebook page.

As we get closer to IndyPopCon and, indeed, the other conventions on my schedule, I’ll have more to say about them. Keep reading the bloggy thing for those updates.


Looking ahead to 2016...

Unless my income takes a dramatic upswing before the end of 2015, I’ll probably only be able to attend conventions willing to pay all my hotel and travel expenses...and provide a table where I can sell and sign things. I understand it’s a tough market for conventions and that some events won’t be able to meet these requirements for me. Trust me, I’ll take no offense if that’s the case with a show or other event.

Obviously, I would love to go to Comic-Con in 2016 and every year after that. I’ve even offered to be Mark Evanier’s PA at the show. Maybe DC Comics will fly me out so they can announce that they have decided to honor their agreements with me. In the unlikely event of that happening, I’ll be the guy on stage with the grin four times than my head.

I would sure like to attend G-Fest XXIII in 2016. It’s the largest regular gathering of Godzilla and Japanese monster devotees in the world. I’m not sure how I can make that trip work for me, but I’ll do some thinking on it.

Other dream trips would be to England or Japan. As dreams go, they would be much better than the one in which my son Eddie and I were working for a coroner’s office. Our job was to put together “body boxes” that looked like comic-book boxes, fill them with personal belongings and remains, and then ship them to someplace or another.  I told Eddie about this dream and he came up with his own somewhat morbid spin on it. When I die, we could have someone make a coffin that looked like a comic-book box and seal me in a Mylar bag. The only thing I could add would be to line the coffin with acid-free backing boards.

But I digress...

The dream trip that I believe is within my reach is the one I hope to take when I finish writing my new book. I envision going to some secluded cabin and spending a week reading and relaxing. If there were a decent-sized TV and a DVD or Blu-ray player, I would bring along a stack of movies as well. Odds I could handle three or four days of such relaxation - a week at most - before I’d be chomping at the bit to get back to writing.

That’s all for today. If you’re a convention or event promoter who would like be to be a guest at your convention or event, e-mail me with the details.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2015 Tony Isabella


  1. If you ever do make it to Japan, I'd be happy to give you the grand tour.

  2. Tony: If you're serious about that getaway - let me know. I could use some vacation time meself (which means finding someone to mind the cat and the house), and I'm about as secluded as it gets without actually going off the grid. (Surrounded by trees and ten minutes' walk from the ocean.) Mi casa es su casa.