Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Previously in Tony Isabella’s Bloggy Thing:

I flew to Atlanta/Freeland to attend the Black Lightning season two wrap party. It was sensational, which you already know from reading yesterday’s bloggy thing. I would be visiting the Black Lightning set on Monday and Tuesday, but Sunday was a day of rest for me and the fine folks who work on the show. We continue...

I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in midtown Atlanta. Although my room was comfortable enough, the best rating I can give to the Inn is...adequate. On the plus side, they had a room for me as soon as I arrived, which was a few hours before the stated check-in times. On the minus side, the hotel proceeded to text me at least once and sometimes twice a day to ask how I was enjoying my stay.

Pluses: My room was near the elevators and across from the vending machine with its one-dollar cans of Coke. Despite the proximity to the elevator and the intersections outside my window, the room was fairly quiet. The room was a decent size. The bed was comfortable.  The bathroom was clean and fit my needs. The room had a microwave, coffee maker and refrigerator. The housekeeper straightened up the room every day.

Minuses: Instead of a comfortable non-desk chair, which would have been nice for reading or watching TV, the room had a large ottoman that benefited me not in the least. There was no silverware, which would have made using the microwave more of an option. There was no safe in the room. The hotel restaurant had a limited, unimpressive menu and its hours of operation were equally limited.

Fortunately, the Chinese Buddha was just across the street from the hotel. I had lunch there on Saturday. Good food (and a lot of it) and a low price for the lunch special. One of my 2019 resolutions is to stop eating at the first sign I’m no longer hungry. The very nice server was concerned. I said I was trying to lose [redacted] pounds in the first two months of the year. She said I only needed to lose half that. She was already going to get a good tip, but she got a better one. Yes, I’m prone to the flattery of beautiful women and handsome men and just about anyone else. I’m exceptionally  needy. I’ll stop talking about this now.

Sunday was a day of rest for the cast and crew. When I experienced the long days they put in during the week, I understood this was a necessity. I slept in, something I almost never do and then kind of sort of lazed around all day. But not completely.

After a visit to the hotel’s less-than-stellar breakfast buffet, I went to work in a manner of speaking. A former Black Lightning crew member who had written a spec script for the show and gotten some positive feedback on it sent it to me for my thoughts. Normally, I do not look at such scripts. But he had contacted me in advance to get the okay to send it to me. He's also part of what I consider my extended Black Lightning family, so that was another factor in my agreeing to do what I almost never do. So, that morning, I read his script and accompanying character backgrounds.

For the most part, I liked the spec script. Since the writer lives in Atlanta, he came over to the Hilton Garden Inn. We talked about it for an hour or so, and also talked about his aspirations to do some comic-book writing as well. I gave him what encouragement and information I had to offer. It’s been a while since I had a chance to exercise my editorial chops.

I spent the rest of the afternoon reading Salim Akil's script for the second season’s premiere episode. That episode was so amazing I asked for and received a copy of the script to study. This is self-training. Someday soon, I hope to try my hand at writing TV shows, movies and cartoons.
I also took advantage of my “day off” to call Larry Lieber, one of the comics people I love most in this world. I’m a fan of his work, especially on Rawhide Kid, and a fan of the man himself. We talked for a half-hour or so and made plans to have dinner when I come to New York for March’s Big Apple Con. It's always terrific to spend time with Larry.

The rest of the day? I had a phone conversation with Bob Ingersoll on this and that. I did some work on the new albino super-hero I’ve been creating. This hero was originally intended to appear in the ongoing Black Lightning title I want to write, but, with DC Comics apparently not interested in my writing my creation, I’m working to upgrade the character into a headliner.

I spent way too much time watching Law and Order: Special Victims Unit reruns, part of a marathon called “Special Vixen Unit.” Near as I can figure, what made episodes eligible for this marathon was that Mariska Hargitay or Kelli Giddish had to wear a sexy dress for at least one scene in each episode. Reaching much?

While I was waiting for Chinese Buddha to open for dinner, I took a walk around the area. The hotel is near Georgia Tech so there are lots of students, lots of student housing, lots of restaurants and shops for students and lots of students riding rental scooters at breakneck pace. Fortunately, my spider-sense warned me if they came too close and thus I escaped injury.

I didn’t feel like eating alone in the restaurant, so I ordered a meal to go. After I told my server I had a microwave in my room, he was kind enough to give me extra plates, forks, spoons and napkins. The meal was large enough that I was able to have it for late-night snacks on both Monday and Tuesday.

After supper, I watched as much of the Golden Globe awards ceremony as I could stay awake for. For part of the show, I was on the phone with Saintly Wife Barb. I wish she could have been with me on this trip, but her own work schedule didn’t permit it.

Some quick notes: I was delighted Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won for best animated movie. It deserved that award and more. I’m hoping it brings home the Oscar.

I thought Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg did a pretty good job as the hosts of the show, but that the show itself was uneven. Less jokes about past Hollywood and previous/potential host scandals would be my call for next year. It’s not that I’m against calling out these scandals. I just want it done with better jokes.

I was disappointed Black Panther didn’t win anything and even more disappointed Black Lightning wasn’t nominated at all. As much as comics and especially super-hero comics drive movies and TV these days, our work still doesn’t get the respect it deserves from Hollywood and the critics.

One last general note about my time in Atlanta. I have mastered a new skill. I was able to use my Lyft app to get to the wrap party, the studio and the airport. Celebrate with me that this old dog has learned a new trick.

One last note. Due to some personal stuff - nothing bad - over the past few days, I’m running behind on the bloggy thing, some of the other things I post online and responses to people who have emailed me or sent me private messages. I’m determined to be all caught up by the end of the week and/or weekend, so, once again, I thank you for your patience.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

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