Monday, July 16, 2018


San Diego’s Comic-Con International kicks off this week. Thanks to a friend’s betrayal and the machinations of an unethical website, I find myself in the unique-for-me position of being somewhat glad I won’t be there this year. People being people, and the majority of them being good people with good intentions, would want to talk to me about things I’d rather not talk about at this point, or, at least not at the biggest event in comicdom.

There will be a virtual tsunami of comics news coming out of Comic-Con. This statement will doubtless be swept away in that tsunami. But I felt the need to make my preliminary positions known before Comic-Con. It’s not intended to be my final word on these subjects.  Indeed, I have decided to grant an interview to a reputable comics website at its convenience. It will be the only interview I give on these matters.

Saturday afternoon, Bleeding Cool ran an article discussing what they and Trevor von Eeden, the original artist of Black Lightning, falsely claimed was my payment for the first season of the Black Lightning TV show. Von Eeden supplied them with a scan of the check he received. There were serious errors of facts in the piece, not surprising given Bleeding Cool’s nature.

Von Eeden’s posting of the check and Bleeding Cool’s report on what they claim the check represents, both for Von Eeden and myself, is an unconscionable invasion of my privacy. I was literally stunned that Von Eeden did this and did this without consulting me. I have tried to keep him in the Black Lightning loop as much as I was able to do so without violating my agreements with DC Comics. I stuck my neck out on numerous occasions, much to the consternation of my DC associates, in attempts to involve him. In the wake of his actions, I am withdrawing from further communication with Von Eeden and will no longer appear with him at conventions.

As for Bleeding Cool, I was not surprised by its action. Where it once did good work, it has devolved into a morass of ill-sourced gossip and churlish attempts to pit comics creators against each other for its amusement and that of its visitors. “Let’s you and he fight” is BC’s Wimpy-like mantra.

I am loathe to discuss my business dealings with DC Comics in this statement. If there are differences between DC and myself, I have access to discuss them with DC. But I feel I must state the check as shown on Bleeding Cool does not represent what I received for my participation on the TV series. That claim is inaccurate and, quite frankly, simplistic. My relationship with DC is too complicated to be summed up by the amount on a single check. If Bleeding Cool did not engage in cheap-seats, hit-and-run pseudo-journalism, it would have the capacity to understand that.

I will have more to say on the above. In this blog, I will soon address the simplistic convenience of how creator credits are being determined in modern comic books and comics-related efforts. I will discuss the historical listing of credits. I will discuss my own credits situations. I will discuss how there are credits that are historically accurate and those which are the result of comics industry policies. It’s not a discussion I want to have more than once, so understand it will take me considerable effort and time to get it right.

In the meantime, enjoy Comic-Con and the wondrous news that comes out of it. If you get a chance to meet the cast, show runners and writers of the Black Lightning TV show, please give them my love. They have enriched me and my family in so many ways.

If you get to meet Jim Chadwick and Harvey Richards, my terrific editors on the award-deserving Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, thank them for everything they did to help me make my story better. I’d jump into the fire with them again any time.

If you meet Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, tell them you want to see more Black Lightning stories by me and that, like me, you never want to see Jefferson Pierce shown as subservient to any other super-hero. My creation is one of the most iconic black characters in comics.. He is a headliner and not a sidekick.

When the interview mentioned above goes online, I will alert you to its availability here, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2018 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. Rich Johnston, the front man of Bleeding Cool, must think he works for the National Enquirer or something. Doesn't he believe in doing some fact-checking anymore? What a weasel.