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Reviews and commentary by Tony Isabella
"America's Most Beloved Comic-Book Writer & Columnist"

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for Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Eddie and Tony

Continuing my Mid-Ohio-Con 2009 report...

I was up early Sunday morning, partly because I was going to check out of the hotel before I went to the convention and mostly because I was too excited to sleep. That's how much fun the first day of Mid-Ohio-Con had been for me.

The Hampton Inn was charging me $21 a day for parking. If I took my van out of valet parking before 5 pm, which wasn't likely, I would be charged $10 for Sunday. A minute later and I would be charged the full $21. However, as I learned from the helpful desk clerk, parking is free at city meters all day Sunday and, at seven in the morn, you can have pretty much any parking space you want. I parked about ten steps from the hotel.

Before the convention opened for the day, I wholesaled all of my remaining hardcover and trade books to a show exhibitor. Those sales alone covered all my expenses for the weekend and then some. By the day's end, all I would have to take back to Medina would be my luggage, my supplies, most of the original art I'd brought, the promotional stuff for 1000 Comic Books You Must Read, and a single box of Archie comics and digests. Even the dozen or so bags of Halloween candy I'd brought to the show would be gone before the end of the convention.

My son Eddie had always wanted to see me "in action" so he and his college friends Jake Householder and Trebor Shankle came to the convention for my "Tony's Tips Live!" panel. I've done this panel at Mid-Ohio-Con for years, but, this particular year, I had somehow managed to not prepare for it.

Every year, as part of this panel, I ask trivia questions and award prizes to the fans who answer them correctly. Since I hadn't prepared questions in advance, I decided all the questions would be multiple choice questions based on me. After all, I would know all the answers to those questions without having to look them up. Or so you would think. That was my first bonehead move.

Prior to driving to Columbus for the show, I had printed gift certificates good for merchandise at my booth. It was when I was walking to my "Tony's Tips Live!" panel that I suddenly realized I had sold all the hardcover and trade paperback books I had brought to the convention. That was my second bonehead move.

I'll let the suspense build for a bit here.

My "Tony's Tips Live!" panel is pretty much like my columns. I talk a little about this and that, recommend some comic books and other things, and answer questions from the audience. Whenever I run out of things to say - note I did not say "intelligent things to say" - I ask a trivia question.

My spur-of-the-moment solution to my lack of prizes problem? I would give cash money - five bucks - for each correctly answered trivia questions. I'm pleased to say most of the fans who won the money chose to donate it to the Hero Initiative. That most worthy organization received another $35 from my readers, in addition to the donation I had made the night before.

My first trivia question was:

What Tony Isabella-written super-hero told a super-villain he could "stick a flag in his navel and call himself 'The Spirit of '76'?"

The choices were:

A) Black Lightning B) Luke Cage C) It the Living Colossus

The second was:

In my first issue of Daredevil, what was DD carrying in his bully club?

The choices were:

A) breath mints B) condoms C) subway tokens

The third was:

Which of these three Mid-Ohio-Con guests has Tony known the longest?

A) Mark Evanier B) Marv Wolfman C) Mike Grell

The answers? Forget it. That would just delay me telling you about my third bonehead move of the panel.

After asking those first three Tony Isabella trivia questions, my mind went blank. The only thing that saved my lame ass was that Bob Ingersoll, that titan of trivia and my best friend for most of my adult life, was in the audience. So while I rode the struggle bus for a few minutes, Bob started writing questions about my own damn career for me.

That worked really well until we got to the last of the seven questions Bob wrote:

Which member of the Justice Machine was Tony's favorite member of the team?

A) Challenger B) Talisman C) Titan

My fourth bonehead move of my panel? I had to ask Bob for the answer to this question.

While I wallow in my idiocy, here are the answers to the four questions given above: Luke Cage, subway tokens, Mark Evanier, and Talisman. If you got them all right, you're smarter than me. Or, at least, a pretty good guesser.

I'm going to post the rest of Bob's questions on the official Tony Isabella message board. Check them out at:

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back tomorrow with more of my Mid-Ohio-Con 2009 report.

Tony Isabella

<< 10/13/2009 | 10/14/2009 | 10/15/2009 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Message Board. Also, read Heroes and Villains: Real and Imagined and view my Amazon Wish List.

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Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.

Please send material you would like me to review to:

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840 Damon Drive
Medina, OH 44256

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