November challenges have kept me from writing any new bloggy things. I should be back up to speed in December.
Here's wishing you a happy Thanksgiving!
Akron Comicon is one of my favorite events and my last convention appearance of the year. It will take place Saturday, November 5, and Sunday, November 6, at Emidio’s Expo Center, 48 E. Bath Road in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The show hours are 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday. One-day and weekend tickets are $10 and $15 respectively. Child tickets are $5 and $10 respectively. One child thirteen or under is FREE with a paid adult ticket. Considering all the wonderful people and things to be found at this convention, I think the ticket prices are among the biggest bargains to be found anywhere in the country.
Akron Comicon is centered on comics. Part of the event’s mission is placing an emphasis on what it calls “Comics Future.” This means striving to keep Comicon affordable for all families so adults have the opportunity to pass on their favorite comics traditions to the next generation.
Akron Comicon was founded by my friends Bob Jenkins and Michael Savene in 2012. Led by local creators Dan Gorman and Jason Miller, Altered Realm Productions bought the event in 2019. They continue the emphasis on honoring comic books and strips with a guest list dominated by comics creators. The 2022 comics roster includes Tom Batiuk (Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean), Mike W. Barr (Batman and the Outsiders and Maze Agency), Thom Zahler (Love and Capes), Ted Sikora (Apama the Undiscovered Animal), Craig Boldman (Archie), Sam De La Rosa, Don Simpson, Jay Fife, Matt Horak, Jason Moore, Dave Nestler and more.
Other guests include actor Gianni Decenzo from the hit Netflix TV series Cobra Kai and a host of horror hosts: Son of Ghoul, Leopold and Lenora, Drac and Carita and the Mummy and the Monster. Also at the convention: Hero Initiative, Akron’s own Rubber City Cosplay and Star Trek groups USS Lagrange and USS Renegade. I was named an honorary member of the Lagrange many years ago and, to honor their 40th anniversary, they’ve asked me to wear a red shirt. Hmmm...are they trying to tell me something?
Halloween 1972. On that day, I reported for work at Marvel Comics in New York City. to commemorate my fifty years in the industry, my talented friend Dan Gorman created a special poster showing all the monster-type characters I worked on during my years at Marvel. Both Dan and I will be selling the poster and, no matter which of us you buy it from, I’ll sign it for free.
Speaking of selling stuff...
At my Akron Comicon booth, I’ll be selling the usual mix of dollar comics, more expensive comics, books, magazines and stuff written by me. This will include the exclusive-to-me reprint edition of the first appearance of Misty Knight in a Marvel comic book.
When Misty Knight was set to debut on the Luke Cage TV series, my friends at the House of Ideas decided to do a “Marvel’s Greatest Creators” reprint of her first appearance in Marvel Premiere #21. They called me up and asked if I wanted an exclusive variant of the reprint, one with an exclusive cover and only available from me. The numbers worked and a limited print run of 1500 copies was made and delivered to me.
I’ve been signing and numbering the comics ever since. I’m selling them at a bargain price of just $10 each. Considering I charge $10 just for my signature, and you’re also getting an exclusive signed and numbered limited edition comic, that’s a deal.
Finally, for the first time, I’m bringing a whole bunch of terrific Godzilla items to Akron Comicon. We’re talking action figures and much more. These items were a big hit at my garage sales over the summer. Be sure to check them out.
Akron Comicon also has a full schedule of panels and other special events to entertain the fans:
11 am: Comicsburgh with Marvin Wynn, Grant Lankard, Heroineburgh & Casey WhiteNoise
Noon: The History of Horror Comics with Michael Walton
1 pm: Self Publishing 101 with Ted Sikora!
2 pm: Horror Writing for Comics with David Hayes!
3 pm: Meet Gianni DeCenzo!
4 pm: Cosplay Contest hosted by Rubber City Cosplay
11 am: Tony’s Tips Live! With Tony Isabella
Noon: A History of Horror Hosts in NE Ohio with The Mummy and The Monkey!
1 pm: Q&A with Sam DeLaRosa.
2 pm: Batman by the Decades with Chris Lambert
As I wrote up top, this is my final convention appearance of 2022. I’ll be hunkering down to work on a variety of projects through the end of the year and into February.
My first convention appearance of the new year will be Pensacon in Pensacola, Florida, February 24-26, 2023. If you are a convention promoter and would like me to appear at your event, e-mail me and I’ll do my best to make that happen. The same holds true should you want me to speak at a library or school, do a signing at a comic- book store, or act in your movie or TV show. While I’m not planning to do many conventions and such in 2023, I will try to accommodate any requests that come my way.
That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.
© 2022 Tony Isabella
In lieu of thinking about grim stuff as we launch into a new month, I thought I’d share a couple cool moments from near the end of the previous month. Local moments that made me smile.
Some clerks at my local post office are Black Lightning fans. One of them likes to introduce me to any other people of color who are there when I am. This time, the person was a fellow employee and he was thrilled to meet me. Black Lightning is his father’s favorite TV show and his son is also a big comics fan. He asked about comics conventions and I told him about this weekend’s Akron Comicon. He hopes to bring his son there. As I was leaving, this gentleman came out into the lobby and asked if he could take a selfie with me for his father and son. Which, naturally, I agreed to. Comics fans are my people.
Later that same day, I called the Medina Library. Some books I had requested had arrived. I asked for them to be put into one of the outside lockers so I could pick them up after the library closed. The librarian handling my request knew I was a comics writer. We spent a few minutes discussing Black Adam, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and DC’s League of Super-Pets. I haven’t seen the first two yet, but I recommended League to her.
In so many ways, I lead a comic-book life. If only it included real super-heroes that could save us from the likes of Putin and Trump and their followers. Sigh.
Here are the things that made me happy in October...
October 1: Though the comics industry does not treat me well, the comics community of colleagues, fans and fellow creators manages to remind me on a daily basis that I am loved, respected and valued in ways I can’t always talk about. Thank you.
October 2: The end of another garage sale season. I truly enjoy my sales and chatting with and selling to those who come to them, but it’s nice to be able to take the rest of October off from the work. And then start working on my 2023 garage sales.
October 3: A neighbor walking by our house complimented Barb on how nice our lawn always looks. Which thrilled her ‘cuz that’s all her doing. It’s not just laziness on my part. If I try to mow, my hands swell up like Popeye’s after he eats spinach.
October 4: Pure Leaf Raspberry Tea. As I try to wean myself off the Pepsi, this seems like a delicious and healthier alternative, at least until someone crushes my spirit and tells me it isn’t. I like the lemon flavor, too.
October 5: When a comic book, comics character, comics creator, comics movie or TV series is an answer on Jeopardy. Also...when a former comics reader asks me questions about their favorite comics from when they were young. The true Golden Age of Comics is right this very minute.
October 6: Hello Cleveland: Things You Should Know About the Most Unique City in the World by Nick Perry with illustrations by Jason Lock. A fun little book that will explain why so many of my future stories will be set in the city of my birth.
October 7: Young Sheldon. To help with the family finances, Missy is working in a comic-book store. I love Sheldon’s astonishment at this turn of events and Missy’s dedication to learning more about comics. This is comedy gold.
October 8: Lyle Lyle Crocodile. It’s a delightful movie filled with fun action sequences, great music, sometimes heartbreaking emotion and Brett Gelman playing the neighbor from Hell. There were a bunch of young kids in the audience and they loved it. So did I.
October 9: Bring it On: Cheer or Die is B-movie magic. Low budget notwithstanding, it’s got a good premise, adequate acting, decent kills and, best of all, characters who, once they realize they’re being hunted, stop making dumb horror movie moves.
October 10: The Simpsons: “Lisa the Boy Scout” is nothing short of brilliant. The episode is highjacked by Pseudo-nonymous, who demand a ransom to not show unaired clips that will destroy the franchise. Wonderfully weird clips.
October 11: My Facebook friend Mike Buckley, who was not at NYCC, nonetheless posted a hilarious series of accounts of his adventures there. All in good fun. If I did this, it would’ve involved tossing some people over a balcony. They know who they are.
October 12: At NYCC, MeTV announced original Svengoolie comic books coming next year from Frank Miller Presents. I know someone who has always wanted to write such a celebrity comic book. Hint: it’s me. Just saying. Pass it on. Start the hashtag.
[NOTE: Alas, it seems unlikely I will be writing a Svengoolie comic book in the future. Any other celebrity who wants me to take a shot at turning them into a comic-book hero should e-mail me.]
October 13: It’s not on the same level as NYPD Blue, but East New York is winning me over with great performances from Amanda Warren, Jimmy Smits, Olivia Luccardi and, especially, the ever-entertaining Richard Kind.
October 14: The Werewolf by Night special was fun, but I agree the breakout star was the Man-Thing. More please. Note to Kevin Feige: I’m available to play Man-Thing’s wacky next door neighbor if this goes to series.
October 15: CSI Vegas: In the October 6 episode “The Painted Man,” J.P. Manoux gave an outstanding performance as awkward horror fan Gene Farrow. It was a deep-dive into an odd man out that forced the stars to rethink their prejudice towards such.
October 16: Still Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate (2019) was one of the fruits of recent streaming surfing. Nostalgic and still funny. The series was an American classic, even if it did give a boost to Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign.
October 17: Our Colors by Gengoroh Tagame. The award-winning author of My Brother’s Husband is a coming-of-age tale of a closeted young gay man and the regrets of an older gay man who becomes a mentor of sorts to the younger man. Heartwarming and hopeful.
October 18: Reboot. Two episodes in, I’m enjoying the show. Props to the wondrous Rachel Bloom for becoming her character so well I didn’t recognize her until the first episode’s end. Also loving the performances of Keegan-Michael Key and Judy Greer.
October 19: DC League of Super-Pets. What a delightful, satisfying movie. Suitable for all ages without playing down to kids. Action, drama, humor. I’ve done the math and it’s ten thousand times better than the Snyderverse.
October 20: The Cleveland Guardians honored their new name with an exciting season of baseball. While they lost to Satan’s team in the ALDS, they were strong contenders. They should add an exorcist to their 2023 roster.
October 21: The finale of the Jeopardy Second Chance Tournament’s first week was the game at its best. After a close two-day contest, winner Jessica Stephens goes to the 2022 Tournament of Champions. Another Second Chance series starts on Monday.
October 22: Forbidden Worlds #94. Robert Hughes hasn’t quite nailed his greatest creation in “Herbie and the Spirits,” but it’s close. Ogden Whitney did nail the visual. This wonderful early tale can be found in PS Artbooks’ Forbidden Worlds Volume 15.
October 23: I’m making good progress going through closets to find and donate things that no longer fit me. The next step will be to downsize what does fit to get what I laughing call my wardrobe into just one closet.
October 24: In manga creator Mero Okano’s Donald Duck Visits Japan, the Three Caballeros are sent to Japan to learn how to better serve customers. The art is off-model, but the culture is fascinating and their comical determination is heartwarming.
October 25: Funko’s 90s Coca-Cola Polar Bear has arrived! This is the first of two figures I ordered for Casa Isabella’s Christmas mantle. I prefer Pepsi, but Pepsi doesn’t have any cute creatures in its ads. Unless they hire me.
October 26: Funko’s Coca-Cola Santa will be joining 90s Coca-Cola Polar Bear on the Isabella Christmas mantle this year. I’m open to suggestions for New Year’s Day figures.
October 27: The Green Glove Gang. On Netflix, Barb and I watching this Polish comedy about three “Robin Hood” thieves hiding out in a nursing home. A different tone than we’re used to, but the ladies and their crimes are great fun.
October 28: Out of the Blue by Garth Ennis and Kieth Burns. Of all the fine things Ennis has written, I’m most fond of his war comics.This story of a Royal Air Force pilot and new husband is dramatic with action, conflict and dollops of dark humor.
October 29: Rowan Ward. They were everything I want from Jeopardy contestants. Brilliant. Personable. A smile that lit up the place when they questioned correctly. I’ll be rooting for Rowan when the Tournament of Champions begins next Monday.
October 30: Wil Wheaton did multiple fandoms proud when he won the latest Celebrity Jeopardy contest by a large margin. He moves on to the semi-finals. The contestants this season have been big fun and great players. Host Mayim Bialik has also been terrific.
October 31: Ok, yes, Tracee Ellis Ross' 50th birthday bash was not a costume party, but it was cool to see Kim Kardashian as Mystique with fellow X-Men Magik and Selene. Who could have imagined such a thing back in the 1970s? 10-31-22.
My bloggy goal this month is to bring you more bloggy things than have been the norm of late. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.
© 2022 Tony Isabella