Monday, July 8, 2019


Comic-Con International: San Diego, also known as San Diego Comic-Con, happens July 17-21 at the San Diego Convention Center. July 17 is the preview night. I’m a firm believer in mission statements for such events, so here’s this one:

The SAN DIEGO COMIC CONVENTION (Comic-Con International) is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation organized for charitable purposes and dedicated to creating the general public’s awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms, including participation in and support of public presentations, conventions, exhibits, museums and other public outreach activities which celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.

You can find out about attending the convention, the exhibit halls, the incredible programming, the equally incredible special guests, directions to the event, publications and exclusive items sold at the convention by going to the Comic-Con website. I won’t attempt to duplicate the Herculean effort that goes into providing all that information. No one does it better than Comic-Con itself.

What I will be doing today is letting you know about my Comic-Con plans. That’s probably the only area of knowledge in which I know more than the Comic-Con website.

I’m not being brought to Comic-Con by any publisher or by the event itself. Like most attendees, I’m coming in on my own dime, joined by my Saintly Wife Barb, my daughter Kelly, Kelly’s roommate Lauren and my goddaughter Vanessa. I am forever surrounded by capable and beautiful women. It’s my special gift.

My family and I can get into Comic-Con every year because, back in 2013, the convention gave me its coveted Inkpot Award and has not asked for it back yet. To get it, they would have to pry it from my cold dead hands. Not happening. However, I would remiss if I failed to mention and thank the Comic-Con staffers and volunteers for the many courtesies and kindnesses done for me and my family. They have made my journey much easier for me.

I have few concrete plans during Comic-Con. I will be appearing on just one panel:

That '70s Panel
Friday July 19, 2019 10:00am - 11:30am
Room 8

It was a time of change in comics, with a new generation intermingling with the old and taking command. Hear what the comics industry was like in the 1970s from Mike Friedrich (Iron Man, Justice League of America), Tony Isabella (Black Lightning, The Champions), Trina Robbins (Wimmen's Comix, Wonder Woman), Arvell Jones (Marvel Two-in-One, Iron Man), Louise Simonson (Creepy, Power Pack), Walt Simonson (Manhunter, Thor), and moderator Mark Evanier (Groo the Wanderer, Blackhawk).

Although I’ll certainly be attending other panels as well, the one I am most interested in is this one:

Black Lightning Special Presentation and Q&A
Saturday July 20, 2019 5:00pm - 5:45pm
Ballroom 20

Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) and his family return to the small screen this fall! At the conclusion of season 2, Lightning (China Anne McClain), along with her father Black Lightning, had seemingly taken down Tobias Whale (Marvin “Krondon” Jones III), as he's exiled to a black site for lockdown. Lynn's (Christine Adams) desire to save the pods almost costs her her life, while Khalil's (Jordan Calloway) and Jennifer's (McClain) relationship seemingly comes to an end once Tobias pulled his coattail-or shall, we say, spine? And we can't forget Anissa, a.k.a. Thunder (Nafessa Williams), who continued to fight her way through Freeland's corruption. Hear from some of the series stars for a lightning round of a season 2 review and a tease of what's to come for season 3! In addition, this supercharged series stars Damon Gupton and James Remar. Based on the characters from DC, Black Lightning is from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti, Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil, and Sarah Schechter. Black Lightning returns this fall to The CW on Mondays (9/8c), with the last two seasons available for streaming on Netflix. Black Lightning: The Complete Second Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 1.

Beyond those panels, my plans are to catch up with old friends and make new friends. I hope to meet with someone from the publishing house who has bought the contract to my 1000 Comic Books You Must Read with an eye towards convincing them to do a new and expanded edition of that classic volume or, failing that, give the contract back to me so I can find another way to publish that edition.

I am not scheduled to do any signings at the convention. I would be available to do such signings for charitable organizations at the event. I would also be willing to do them at the booths of comics publishers I’ve worked with, though it’s unlikely I’ll be asked to do that. Not everyone loves me as much as you do.

I am always willing to meet with any publisher or producer that would like to explore working with me. I’m a friendly, hardworking, and frankly terrific writer. A meeting isn’t a contract or even a promise. Maybe we can work together, maybe we can’t. I will never be less than honest with you about what I can do and what I would be willing to do.

Here’s a tip. I can do a lot.

If you would like to meet with me for that or any other reason, you should e-mail me as soon as possible. I don’t take a computer with me when I travel. I’ll be home through Wednesday of this week - I’m attending G-Fest in Chicago - and return sometime on the following Monday. I’m home on the Tuesday before Comic-Con, but flying to the event early Wednesday morning.

The best way of reaching me during the convention is by cell phone text message. If you don’t have my cell phone number, e-mail me and let me know why you want to get together with me. I will e-mail my number to you. Better yet, if you send me your cell phone number, I will send you a text message giving you mine.

My Comic-Con dance card is very open. If I can help you with some advice based on my 47 years working in the comics industry, answer some questions about my career, look at your latest published work or other such things, don’t be shy about contacting me. I will try to make time for you in between looking at old (and new) comic books and other cool items I can’t afford.

For several reasons, I’m thinking this could well be my last Comic-Con. I want to make it as fun and productive as possible.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

No comments:

Post a Comment