On the road again. I’ll be appearing at Fanboy Expo Orlando, August 20-22, at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive. This is courtesy of my friend of decades Alexi Vanderberg’s Bard’s Tower in coordination with the convention itself. I attended a Fanboy event in Knoxville, Tennessee a few years back and had a terrific time. I’m looking forward to this event.
The convention’s hours are
FRIDAY, August 20, 2021
EVENT HOURS: 4pm – 9pm
SATURDAY, August 21, 2021
EVENT HOURS: 10am – 8pm
SUNDAY, August 22, 2021
EVENT HOURS: 10am – 6pm
You can find the celebrity guest list and the comics creators guest list at the Fanboy Expo website. You will also find information on tickets, photo ops, fan packages, dealers and location there. I’ll talk about the guests in a bit.
For the first time, I will be meeting and greeting fans and signing their books and comics at the Bard’s Tower booth. You will also be able to buy a nice selection of Isabella-written stuff. Which, if you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend you do so now. DC Comics is letting all of my Black Lightning trades go out of print. They won’t be as readily available as they have been in the past.
Which is a damn shame.
Three other authors will be at the Bard’s Tower with me: Jodi Lynn Nye, Dan Wells and Brian D Anderson. Nye is a New York Times best-selling writer, author/co-author of approximately forty published novels and more than 100 short stories. Her humorous series range from contemporary fantasy to military science fiction. Nye began collaborating with Robert Lynn Asprin on the MythAdventures series in 2003. Since Asprin's death in 2008, she has continued the series and is also writing sequels to his Dragons, or Griffen McCandles, contemporary fantasy series.
Wells is best known for his John Cleaver series (including I Am Not A Serial Killer), his Mirador series and his NY Times bestselling Partials Sequence. His first published novel, I Am Not a Serial Killer, became a major motion picture in 2016.
Anderson is best known for his The Godling Chronicles, Dragonvein, and, with co-author Steven Savile, the Akiri series. His books have sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide and his audiobooks are perennially popular. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of my fellow Tower dwellers.
At this time, I know of one panel I’ll be appearing on at the show, assuming that a panel with the title “Tony Isabella” will feature me. It happens on Sunday, August 22, 12:15 pm - 1:05 pm in Panel Room 2. It looks like Panel Room 1 is empty at that time. So you might as well take a load off and come to my panel. I do my best to keep loud noises to a minimum so you can nap.
If you want to discuss business with me or interview me during the convention, it’s best to contact me before I leave for the event on Thursday. E-mail me and I’ll send you my cell phone number to make communication easier. On a similar note, you’re better off texting me instead of calling me because it’s hard for me to hear you when I’m on the convention floor.
Let’s talk about the other Fanboy Expo guests. The comics guests: Peter David, Guest of Honor Dave Dorman, Nik Ranieri, Tom Nguyen, Keith Champagne, Michael Duron, Frank Fosco, Tim Jacobus, Anthony Hary and Lisa Kulick.
The celebrity guests: Ashley Eckstein, Matt Lanter, Barry Boswick, Catherine Bach, Lee Arenberg, Kevin McNally, Tom Berenger, Donnie Dunagan, Peter Behn, Bret Iwan, Jim Cummings, Margaret Kerry, Jess Harnell, Blayne Weaver, Carlos Faro and some wrestlers.
There’ll be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cast reunion celebrating the 1987 classic TV series. Guests include Rob Paulsen (Raphael also Yakko Warner & Pinky), Townsend Coleman (Michelangelo), Barry Gordon (Donatello & Bebop), Cam Clarke (Leonardo & Rocksteady) and Renee Jacobs (April O’Neil).
There will also be a very special Chips! cast reunion with guests will be Erik Estrada (Officer Frank Poncherello) and Larry Wilcox (Officer Jon Baker). I’ll be the only guy asking the talented Mr. Estrada about his roles in Chupacabra vs. the Alamo and King Cobra. Because that’s just who I am.
Now for the disease-ridden elephant in the room.
Florida. It’s arguably one of the dumbest and most insane states in the union, competing for the top “honors” with Texas. Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is playing to his extreme far-right basis by attacking and legislating against every reasonable precaution that cities and schools and such can take to minimize the spread of the Covid-19 virus and its even worse Delta Variant. He cares not that cases, hospitalizations and deaths are spiking to levels equivalent to the state’s worst numbers...with a rising number of those being children. It’s a scary time to be in Florida.
Why am I going there? Because I agreed to attend when I foolishly believed we had turned a positive corner on Covid. I should have realized Republicans would turn masks and vaccines into a goddamn political culture war. Because that’s who they are.
I’m not going to disappoint the fans who are expecting to see me at Fanboy Expo Orlando. I’m not going to disappoint the promoters who are bringing me to the show. Because that’s also who I am.
Most likely, I’ll be wearing a mask except for when I’m posing for pictures and for when I’m on my panel. When I get the feeling of the convention, I may opt to remove the mask when I’m at the Bard’s Tower booth chatting with fans and signing their books. I’m fully vaccinated and in good health for a man of my age. I’m good about social distancing and washing my hands. I’m taking a risk, but it’s what I feel is a reasonable risk. However, since wearing a mask is not just about protecting me, I do expect I’ll be wearing one most of the time.
What I definitely want to impart to you is that I very much want to be at this convention. I want to see old friends and make new ones. I want to do my part to make the convention enjoyable for the many fans who will be attending. I hope to see you there.
Blogging will be scarce through the end of August. But I will post new content as often as I can.
Be safe, be sane, be good to your fellow denizens of planet Earth and, for the sake of all that’s decent, do not vote for Republican candidates. They remain the greatest threat to American democracy and excellence. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.
© 2021 Tony Isabella