Tuesday, January 16, 2024




I have always tried to give back to my fans, but I have to realize things are changing for me. I seem to have aged out of the comics industry. Outside of writing for John Lustig’s LAST KISS, I have no paying gigs in the field. Unfairly, my bills do not recognize this sad fact of my life. The bills keep coming.

When I started in the industry, none of the creators were charging for their signatures. That didn’t change for me until sometime in past several years.

The trigger came for me at a Wizard World convention. Some comics creators had started charging a minimal fee for their signatures. A few bucks at most. Most of them would sign any one item for free.
I wasn’t charging. I overheard a fan clutching his autographed photo of some “C” TV actor - and I am being kind - telling his friend, as the fan snorted derisively, that he would NEVER pay for a comic creator’s signature. He was quite delighted paying $40 for a background zombie’s autograph/photo, but not for the signatures of comics creators. I began charging for my signature on the spot.

I was charging $5 per signed item with the first item signed free. I was not charging for photos of or with me. After a year, I raised the charge to $10 per item with the first one still free. I stopped offering one free signature when, three days after a convention, I saw a comic book I had signed for free at the convention on eBay with a much inflated price.

I have toyed with raising my signature price to $15, but have held off doing that. Often the money I make from signing is what keeps me breaking even on the events I attend.

Some fans would also ask me for sketches. I combined funny writing with very bad drawings of “Godzilla.” I can’t draw arms or, really, much of anything. I have given these sketches out for free. Which is a practice I’ve now ended. I’m changing the name of the monster I draw. As soon as I get a logo designed and figure out what paper and stock to use for my sketches, I will be selling them online and at conventions. I’m thinking $50 for originals and $20 for prints. That’s likely too high, but, hey, no one is putting a maser cannon to your head.

Sometimes I get requests for signatures and sketches by mail. Most of the time the people requesting these recognize I’ll be charging for these. Sometimes they assume if they send me a self-addressed stamped envelope with a piece of paper in it that I’ll comply with their requests. Please look above to remind us how I’ve seemingly aged out of the comics industry and how my bills keep arriving at my house on a regular basis. I can only dream of a time when I also receive monthly royalty checks for my past work. These days, when I receive these “give me something for free” letters, I throw them in the trash.

I do recognize not everyone can come to a convention to get their Isabella stuff signed by me. So I will sign items and do sketches by mail. Keep in mind that I’m not yet offering sketches and prints by mail or elsewhere. But here’s how the other part works...

Send the items you want signed to:

Tony Isabella
840 Damon Drive
Medina, OH 44256

Include $10 per item and return packaging with the postage already affixed. That way, I can sign your items and place them in the next day’s outgoing mail.

If you have a certain spot for my signature, tell me where it is in your cover letter. If you have a certain pen or pens you want me to use for my signature, send them with the items. Let me know if you want the pens back or not.

If you’re a high-end collector, keep an eye out for CGC’s special signings with me. I get together with them, sign the comics as you request and they verify my signature and grade the items prior to slabbing them. This is more expensive than sending items directly to me, but I know many collectors prefer this way.

I’m working on other things to help my financial situation. I hope to have my Ebay store up and running before the end of the month. It will offer cool things from my Vast Accumulation of Stuff. Watch for the launch date.

If I can figure out how to do it, I might even launch an Only Fans page. Get your minds out of the gutter. It won’t have sexy photos and videos of me. I’m thinking new and unseen columns, remembrances of my comics career, videos on comics, my life and the world around us. If that doesn’t bring in enough cash, well, I have been told I have a cute ass and good legs.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff.     

© 2024 Tony Isabella

No comments:

Post a Comment