Sunday, June 23, 2024


If you are one of the many fans who have written me hoping that I’ll be appearing at a convention near you, you’ll be disappointed this year. So will I. I was looking forward to meeting you and the other fans in your area. Sadly, the convention invitations haven’t been coming my way and, just like you, I don’t understand why this is the case.

One would think most conventions would be eager to have a 52-year comics industry creator on their guest rosters. I have history and stories to share and, from what the audience says, I tell them in an entertaining and informative manner.

I don’t think I’m a particular expensive guest. I ask for hotel and travel expenses, a modest per diem for food and incidentals, and an easily accessible booth where I can sign for the fans and sell some stuff. I don’t charge an appearance fee.

According to one fan, a promoter told him old comics guys like me don’t want to travel to conventions. It wasn’t that long ago that my Saintly Wife Barb and I flew just over 12 hours each way to be guests at an event in Singapore. If a convention is within, let’s say six hours of me, I can drive there.

I know one convention promoter who won’t invite me any longer to a convention I did several years in a row for him because I was “mean to Republicans online.” Which I don’t deny. But, save for answering questions from the fans about social issues in my stories, I don’t generally do politics at my appearance. Maybe I wear the occasional LGBTQ supportive t-shirt, but that’s pretty much it. Of course, the same promoter has no problem hosting toxic actors who actually do include their hate-driven politics in their presentations. I guess it’s a soul of the beholder thing.

For whatever reasons, I’m not getting the invitations...and I can’t afford to attend conventions on my own dime. I can’t afford to lose money attending conventions. With one exception that I’ll mention directly. But that one is a father-son vacation.

Here’s the slim pickings for the rest of 2024...

Friday, July 12: G-Fest (Chicago)

Saturday, July 13: G-Fest (Chicago)

Sunday, July 14: G-Fest (Chicago)

Sunday, August 4: NEO Comicon (North Olmsted, Ohio)

Friday, September 20: Literary Cleveland (1:30-3:00 pm)

Saturday, September 21: Flaming River Con (Cleveland)

Saturday, November 9: Akron Comicon

Sunday, November 10: Akron Comicon

G-Fest is the convention I attend with my son Eddie. I’m not a guest and, unless I’m called upon at the last minute, I don’t appear on any panel presentations. We go to commune with my Lord and Savior Godzilla, hang out with fellow kaiju devotees, attend panels and, in my son’s case, eat his weight in Italian beef sandwiches. Which are excellent in Chicago. One year, we also went to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs play. Another year, we had dinner with some comics friends who lived in Chicago. It’s a vacation and not a work event.

NEO Comicon is a terrific convention held in the Soccer Sportsplex, a venue which has turf instead of the usual concrete. It always has a fine guest list and wonderful vendors.

Literary Cleveland will host Inkubator, its free annual conference for writers. I’ll be on a panel on comics writing. The organization is hoping to provide insight on the process, craft, and publication paths available for writing comics to help local writers who may be interested in learning more.

Flaming River Con is a nerd and pop culture con, celebrating queer culture. This event is dedicated to LGBTQIA+ geek culture, focusing on queer vendors, art, comics, books, zines, podcasts, panels, and workshops. The all-day activities include non-profits, programming, cosplay contests and Pokémon parties! It’s a family friendly event with free entry, though a $5 donation is suggested. This is a life-affirming event that fills me with joy.

Akron Comicon is, of course, one of my favorite conventions. I get to hang out with old friends and meet new ones.

I’ll have more details on all of the above events as we get closer to them. Today, I simply wanted to let you know I’ll be attending them and am looking forward to seeing you at them.

I am, of course, open to appearing at other conventions and events, including giving talks at libraries and schools. E-mail me and we can work out the details.

I’ll be back soon with more stuff. 

© 2024 Tony Isabella

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