Thursday, January 12, 2023


Earlier this week, I was a guest on New Day Cleveland, a terrific morning show airing on Fox 8 from 10 am to noon weekdays and hosted by Cleveland broadcast legend David Moss and the charming Natalie Herbick. It was a honor to be interviewed by Moss, who I’ve watched for decades on Cleveland media. If you’d like to see the interview, which ran five and a half minutes, you can find it here.

At the tail end of the interview, the show posted my blog address. Since that might attract some new readers to the blog, I figure I should introduce myself to those new visitors. Here’s the short bio I send to conventions and other venues that invite me to appear at and speak to their attendees:

creator and writer of Black Lightning; creator of Misty Knight and Tigra; writer Captain America, Champions, Daredevil, Dracula, Ghost Rider, Grim Ghost, Hawkman, Iron Fist, the Living Mummy, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Star Trek and many others.

TONY ISABELLA, like Superman, was born in Cleveland, Ohio.  The 50-year comics industry veteran was an editor and writer at Marvel and other publishers. At DC, he created Black Lightning, the company’s first prominent African-American super-hero.  With Bob Ingersoll, he wrote the prose novels Captain America: Liberty’s Torch and Star Trek: The Case of the Colonist’s Corpse. He’s the author of 1000 Comic Books You Must Read, one of the most successful books of comics history and nostalgia ever, and the odd-but-strangely-cool July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic-Book Life of Tony Isabella Volume 1.  He was the lead reviewer and a contributing editor of Comics Buyer’s Guide for two decades.  He was a comics retailer and distributor for twelve years. He has done ghost-writing for several syndicated newspaper comics strips. He received the Inkpot Award at the 2013 Comic-Con International in San Diego, a Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award at the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention in Philadelphia in 2017 and became the second Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Elkhart Hall of Heroes Museum in Elkhart, Indiana in 2018. Cleveland Magazine named him one of that city’s most interesting people of 2018. 

Tony’s most recent mainstream comics work was the six-issue Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, marking his return to his creation. He writes on a variety of subjects for “Tony Isabella’s Bloggy Thing”. He also speaks at colleges and libraries on comics history, comics writing and diversity in comics. Of late, he has been writing gags for John Lustig’s Last Kiss, which runs on the Go Comics website.

Most notable...Black Lightning was a weekly, live-action series on the CW for four seasons. The show drew much of its inspiration from Isabella’s work on the character. He made a cameo appearance on the show’s third season finale.

While developing new projects for comics, TV, movies and more, he is also writing a ground-breaking graphic novel that will challenge superhero tropes as well as prose books that include a “memoir-of-sorts” and compilations of his writings on comic books and his beloved B-movie monsters.

Tony has heard of something called “retirement,” but it is an alien concept to him. His all-grown-up children Ed and Kelly having left the nest, he lives in Medina, Ohio with his saintly wife Barbara and their cat Simba. Except for Simba, they all have much better and saner jobs than Tony. The cat doesn’t need a job. She has Tony.

I have two Facebook pages. My personal page is Tony Isabella and, for fans of Black Lightning who are interested in depictions of my creation true to the hero’s core values, we present Tony Isabella’s Authentic Black Lightning Group.

My Twitter account is @thetonyisabella.

Circling back to this blog, you can expect a variety of topics. I write about comic books, magazines, often-cheesy monster movies and prose non-fiction and novels. I write about comics history and my own experiences in the comics industry. I write about politics and social issues from my progressive liberal viewpoint.

I post a lot of cool content on Facebook and Twitter, including birthdays, historical notes, remembrances and more. I’m thinking of doing some “Better Know Tony” blog entries to explain my borderline obsession with what I post online.

During the summer, roughly May through September, I do garage sales at my home in Medina. As will happen when one is a life-long fan of comics and such, I have a Vast Accumulation of Stuff that needs to be downsized. I hold the garage sales twice a month on Fridays and Saturdays. Follow my social media for scheduling information on the garage sales.

Here’s my still evolving appearance schedule for 2023:

February 24-26: Pensacon (Pensacola, Florida)

May 20: East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention (Philadelphia)

July 30: NEO Comicon (North Olmsted, Ohio)

October 13-15: Monster Bash (Pittsburgh)

November 4-5: Akron Comicon (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio)

If you’re a convention promoter, someone who books guests for radio or TV or someone who books speakers for libraries and schools, and would like to have me appear at your venue, you can e-mail me for information on my appearance requirements. I truly do love talking about comics and will do my best to accommodate you.

Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back soon with more stuff.

© 2023 Tony Isabella

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