Tuesday, December 11, 2018


The holiday season is upon us with all its attendant madness. Here in Medina, I’m also working on my 2019 appearance schedule. Which means it’s time for our continuing bloggy thing on what it takes to get me to your event.

Here’s where we start. If you want me at your convention or other event, you must e-mail me. Don’t contact me on Facebook or Twitter. E-mail me and I’ll send you my appearance requirements.

In 2019, most conventions I drive to will have to provide me with the following: travel expenses, hotel expenses and appearance fee. If a convention flies me in, it needs to provide airfare for me and a companion...and an aisle seat. At 67, I’m not as spry as I used to be and, even when I was younger, I was a nervous flier. Think of my companion, who will be either a family member or a friend, as my comfort human being.

Besides appearing at your event, I’m willing to do two panels a day as long as they aren’t back to back. I can do a solo presentation. I can host or appear on panels. I can do a performance of one of my stories, using audience members to “play” some of the characters. In the case of the last, I will need someone to prepare the story for projection on a large screen.

I will do pre-event publicity with your local radio or television stations. Ditto newspaper reporters.

Those are the bare bones of my appearance requirements. I’m not a cheap date, but I am a fun-within-reason date.

My 2019 schedule is starting to come together. Shows in italics are tentative at this time.

February 2-3: North Texas Comic Book Show

February 22-24: Pensacon
March 9-10: Big Apple Comic-Con

May 18: East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention

July 12-14: G-Fest

July 17-21: Comic-Con International
August 16-18: New Mexico Comic Expo

November 2-3: Akron Comicon
November 8-9: Grand Rapids Comic-Con

Pensacon, Akron Comicon and Grand Rapids Comic-Con are very likely. It’s just a matter of working out a few details.

Comic-Con International is very iffy. That’s an expensive event to do on my own dime and, at this time, the convention hasn’t invited me and no publisher or other company has arranged to bring me to the event. I want to attend. I am bone weary of Black Lightning panels and promotions taking place sans the guy without whom there would be no Black Lightning. I’m trying to figure out how can I afford to attend. Suggestions are welcome.

With the exception of the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention and G-Fest and my garage sales, I charge for my signature. The first one is free. After that, they are $5 each. If you’re bringing a comics-grading company person to witness the signature, the price is $10 each. Those prices could go up. When I have raised the price in the past, it’s been because actual fans have urged me to do so. But, at the moment, I think those prices will stand.

If you want me to sign something for you via the mail, here’s the procedure for that.

My address is:

Tony Isabella
840 Damon Drive
Medina, OH 44256

Send the item in a package that includes a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return mailing. That way I can sign it and pop it back in the mail immediately.

Let me know how and where you want the item signed. Do you want it personalized? Do you want it signed on the cover or on the splash page inside the book?

As with other items, I’ll sign one item for free. Additional items will cost $5 each.

There are some thankfully few folks who criticize me for charging appearance and autograph fees. There will be conventions who won’t have me as a guest because of this. I’m not going to be debate my policies beyond this:

I’ll be 67 years old on December 22. I’m in relatively good health and intend to keep writing until they pull my keyboard from my cold dead hands. However, in my field, there is never a guarantee of a next job after the job you’re working on. I’m working to put money aside for my retirement or any health problems that arise. So, yes, I am charging these fees.

We live in a convention world where “Zombie #3” gets paid to come to conventions. I’m not asking for the kind of money a convention will pay for a bona-fide movie or TV actor. But the money they would pay “Zombie #3"? Yeah, they can pay me that, too.

Of course, there are other ways you can contribute to my financial well-being and that’s by buying my books. The titles currently in print are:

Black Lightning Volume 1 ($19.99)

Black Lightning Volume 2 ($19.99)

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands ($16.99)

July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic Book Life of Tony Isabella Volume One ($17.95)

And, coming in February of 2019:

Black Lightning: Brick City Blues ($19.99)

One more thing. I also speak at libraries, schools and other venues. In 2019, to name one example, I’ll be speaking at a prison. Obviously, getting an appearance fee and expenses helps my ability to give these talks. However, whenever possible, I will work with these institutions. I’ve had a pretty good career and life. Paying back seems like a small enough thing to do.

If you have any questions related to today’s bloggy thing I haven’t answered above, feel free to e-mail me. I’ll do my best to answer in a timely fashion, even at this busy time of the year.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2018 Tony Isabella


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