We got to sit down and chat with Tony Isabella, co-creator of Black Lightning with Trevor Von Eden! We talked with him about creating the character, the TV Show, the current comics take on the character, his work for Marvel and Ghost Rider and so much more!
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Tony Isabella – Interview
Kenric: . [00:00:00] All right, guys. Welcome back to the show today. It’s super exciting. Well, because we have the creator of black lightning. We have the man that tried to introduce Jesus into the Marvel comic book world. And for some reason they had a problem with it.
Tony Isabella, thank you so much for coming on.
Tony: Happy to be here,
Kenric: man. You have been in and around comic books now since what? 1972, somewhere around there.
Tony: Well, I was, I was very involved in comics, fandom her three, four years before that, people keep telling me, Hey, I just saw a letter by you and one of my old comics, but also it’s almost 50 years of the professional and well, over 50 years, if you count, when I was writing for just about every family that would have me,
Kenric: what, what was it like to have Roy Thomas call you up and say, Hey, I like what you’re doing.
What’d you come [00:01:00] and be an assistant editor here?
Tony: Well, actually I called Roy. I was working at, Roy and I, you know, we’re friends. we had communicated, you know, through letters and phone calls and everything for a few years. At that point, I was working for the Cleveland plain dealer, which is horrible.
It was a horrible newspaper. Then it’s a more horrible paper now. It’s basically the paper of the rich and the powerful. we went on strike. I, done a picket line with my fellow, journalists, although I was actually, my official title was copy assistant. So I did, you know, write stuff for the paper.
the publisher called up his good buddy, the mayor and said, Hey, people there in front of my building some about it. So we were attacked by Monica policemen. a copy editor, knocked me to the ground or horses landed like inches from my face. You never want to see your horses. [00:02:00] I dusted myself off, went home, Roy Thomas and said, Roy buddy, is there even an entry level job at Marvel?
And as it turns out, Laurie had been talking to Stan about me before this and, and had, had suggested the stand that I could be the right person help stand on certain projects, like someone’s stands personal projects. And he was launching a line of Marvel comics that would be sold on a weekly basis in, great Britain.
So, Rory said, yeah, we’ve got something. And, two weeks later I was a Halloween, 1972. I started working Marvel comics.
Kenric: That’s amazing. What was it like working for Marvel back in the early days like that were you see in, in the hallway still?
Tony: Oh, well, that’s the thing I’m working with Stanley. The guy who inspired my own interest in comics, you know, I [00:03:00] was getting to the age when you’re supposed to grow out of comics, even though I really loved them.
I was on a really boring vacation trip with my family to, to OEMs in New York, this little town in upstate New York, best known for being within driving distance of Cooperstown baseball hall of fame, and at every stop along the way on this trip, I would buy comic books and, my parents got very upset with me spending my souvenir money on comic books.
and I didn’t see any problem with it. It was my souvenir money. but when that’s the only answer to New York, I was still, you know, I, we went to my granddaughter, uncles, cigar and magazines shop. I immediately headed towards the comics at which point I was informed by my, by my mother, because I will only be allowed to buy one more comic on this trip.
Well, he is smarter than right there is. Which of course all kids are. I said, I would show [00:04:00] them, I would outsmart them. I would get a quarter comment. The problem was is that I had all the DC quarter comics that were out at that time. I wasn’t interested in the Archie quarter comics. but there was fantastic four annual number one, which is which now I consider the greatest comic book ever made.
Then I was thinking, I was thinking, you know, geez, I’ve only read it one issue, a fantastic board. And I didn’t like it. Right. The number seven curdle master of planet X. so amazing. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast, but I know
Kenric: isn’t that weird.
Tony: Remember the important stuff for sure. Ask me for animal number one.
And it’s an incredible comic has got this long. Story with sub Mariner tech in the human race. He has got pin up pages back page. So the characters, it reprints. Yeah. Origin of the fantastic four. And it had a new updated version of when Spiderman first [00:05:00] met them. And I must have read that comics a different time on that trip suddenly occurred to me.
It just flashed in my mind. This is a job and people get paid for it. I want that job. And so after that, you know, I, I spent a lot of time actually studying the comics. I read and, you know, made up my own stories and everything usually acting them out with, with those marks army men that every kid of my generation had.
Nice thick plastic ones, not the cheap cardboard ones you could get from the ads on the back of comic books. and, eventually as I got into Thomas fandom, I, I got a cat your secrets behind the comics by Stanley, which came out, I think in like 47. And so my first few dozen attempts at writing the script are in this really awkward two column format where the.
[00:06:00] Prescriptions are on one side of the page and the dialogue and captions on the other. and I really studied, how to do comics. I basically taught myself how to write townish wrote comic book stories for a bunch of band things. took a writer’s type test at Marvel at one point, which, didn’t get me immediate work.
But again, it was one more reason where I felt I would be a good fit at Marvel. Right. So, yeah, I trained myself from basic basically, you know, for almost 10 years before I started working at Marvel.
Kenric: Yeah. That’s nuts. Were you a Marvel guy or a DC guy when you were growing up and reading? When I
Tony: first grew up, when I, when I first started buying comic books, I was a DC guy because, you know, Marvel wasn’t really on the radar at that point, because I am oldest.
I was born in 1951 and Marvel didn’t really hit, [00:07:00] you know, Marvel fantastic until like 1961. but once I got into Marvel, I was more a Marvel guys and a DC guy. my allowance would only go so far, so I basically. Stop buying all, but like five DC. Yeah, I think I was still reading green lantern, justice league challenges of the unknown tune control and Legion of superheroes.
so I was a Marvel guy, you know, I wanted to work in comics and I, wasn’t going to be particular about where I work in Congress. If I could have gotten a job writing. You know, a little lot of stories or Harvey comics I would have. but Marvel was what I had my sights on. And, you know, I had, you know, there were people, there were people at DC that were very kind to me.
Carmine Infantino was very helpful to young fam Marie Bolton off, Dick to your Dano at Marvel. Besides Roy, Steve angle, [00:08:00] heart, you feel correspond. But Marvel was where I wanted to be. because back in the seventies, you know, Marvel with a few exceptions, you know, you know, things like that, lash and, and, the stuff Neil Adams and Daniel Neil were doing, Marvel was in D C.
They have all over the place. They were better comics. In fact, when I, when I finally went to work for D C a few years later, it was really evident to me that Jeanette Kahn. Well, she loved the, who was publisher at the time I came over DC. So she really loved the DC characters. It was pretty evident to me that she liked the Marvel books better than VC books.
And she was very confused. So they were better books.
Kenric: Right. Is there anything you would just the character development and the storylines, or what do you think caused that?
Tony: The more, the more dramatic artwork? there’s a story that goes around it. The DC wood. Look at these Marvel books and wonder why they were outselling DC books.
And one editor [00:09:00] concluded. It was because of Marvel, artworks had bad artwork. And I’m thinking that artwork curvy, decode, dynamic, you know, dot Dickey errors. I mean, gene Colan John , these, these guys knew how to tell a story. So it was the exciting visuals plus, you know, the better written dialogue. you know, comic book dialogue, isn’t, you know, like real life,
Tony: and, and people who try to make their time and group dialogue real generally means boring comics. you’re
Tony: people, right. You know, just, you know, movies plays the best movies, the best place, best comic books have sharp, witty dialogue. and that’s what Marvel had back then. It still amazes me to this day that when I started at Marvel, we had this staff of maybe seven or eight writers, you know, Steve Gerber, Don McGregor, he van Gogh, Hart, Marvel.
And, and even though we were all [00:10:00] following in the Marvel tradition, there was no mistaking, a dominant Gregor story for a Marvel than story or Steve Gerber story. Everybody had their own voice. And, and I would say that Roy Thomas was editor. Never tried to make us all sound a light. so I think that was one of Marvel’s strengths at that we were allowed to have our own voices.
Kenric: you started you scripted, I want to ask you about the ghost writer thing, because I think it’s very interesting because I agree with you, you introduce son of Satan, you introduce this whole thing, but then you don’t want to bring in. Jesus and everything else. And it’s, it’s kind of weird. You would want it to be one sided.
And I was like, man, it makes sense what you were trying to do, but then they never actually published it. Correct.
Tony: Well, here’s what happened. Three separate editors knew what, where I was going with.
Tony: Give credit to [00:11:00] Steve Gerber because I had ended an issue of ghost driver. We jibed blaze in a horrible predicament.
He had lost his protection against Satan things, ready to grab a soul and take him down a Hill. And, and I’m talking to the bulk and I said, boy, I wrote it. I don’t know, let me get them out of it. And Steve, because back then it was a group of us Gerber, diamond burger, a few other people, we would give suggestions to each other.
You know, we were awful to each other and Gerber said, why does shave God Bevo? And that’s the only boom, when am I, you know, popped into my head. So, so I had ghost writers saved by ’em. The friend also known to be Jesus pretty much, pretty much the white Jesus who never actually existed in history. Right.
And, and I just, I just ran with it. And, and Roy Thomas was the editor at the point that point followed by Len Wein and Marvel Quinn. Every one of them knew and approve of the direction I [00:12:00] was taking the character, which was at the end of this two year story I had planned. Annie blaze would essentially, and this would be in Marvel speak right now.
It wasn’t going to be explicitly religious, but he would basically accept Jesus as his Lord and savior and destroy saying this power over him for all time, because the more superhero I got with ghost writers, the better the book. So, right. So my plan was to get Satan out of the book I hadn’t planned, you know, the only then each I plan from.
What Johnny blaze has been before that you would have seen him, you know, I probably would have added a priest
Tony: the cache. You would have seen him go to church, not as a big plot point, just because that’s what people do. I’m not a religious person myself, but as part of my, you know, philosophy of diversity, Is that if we have readers out there and we do have religious readers up there, they should see [00:13:00] themselves reflected in our comic books in a realistic way and respectful way.
So my plan was basically, you know, I, you know, I was a big fan of the very short lived Simon and Kirby books, doc, man, which started Hollywood stunt man. And that was my plan for Johnny blaze after. You know, he had, he had freed himself, a Satan, which was to turn him into more of a white half superhero.
Right. you know, having, you know, I thought it would be really nice, really good stories with this, you know, essentially white hat, Roy Rogers, kind of rough around the edges superhero, dealing with, you know, Hollywood, which is not exactly a bastion. Oh, no
interesting contrast, interesting stories and exciting stories. but you know, Marvel got more and more [00:14:00] chaotic right after Roy. you know, when I have as much as I love linguine and Mark Wolfman, I don’t think they were up to the job. I’m not sure anybody was up to the job. And what happened was, I did by issue of ghost rider where this happened again, this has been approved by Mo by Roy, by lamb and by Marvin, but he knew this is where I was going.
Right. But Marvin was getting ready to leave. And Jim shooter took it upon himself. He was an assistant editor. He decided he was offended by this story and, you know, denies this right. Completely. But that’s shooter, despite all the good things he did, you can’t handle that. He screwed up and he keeps trying to rewrite history to, to hide a screw up.
So he denies that he did this, but the fact of the matter is to be overly this to my face. He was offended by my use of Jesus. I was going to rewrite, [00:15:00] the book was ready to go to the printer. He pulled it back so that he could redo the two or three key, stages and, and ended up making the Jesus Christ figure a demon in disguise, which makes absolutely no freaking sense.
If you read the previous two years of the book, and I was ready to, I was getting ready to leave anyway, because DC had made me an offer. I didn’t see Marvel getting more, being anything less than even more chaotic in the future and the chance to, to go to DC work with some editors. I really admired like Julie.
Yeah. And Marie Bolton on, at the time. DC comics was offering me things like Batman and justice league. And they really did pursue me. Conway, Marvel, Gary Conway was new editor. He lasted there like three weeks. and Jerry, had initially offered me a hundred pages of work a month at Marvel, which is more than I wanted.
Right. [00:16:00] you know, Not fast enough to do a hundred good pages a month. I wasn’t interested in doing anything other than my best work. There are writers who can pick one or two titles, and that’s where they put their best work and they just knock out the rest. I’ve never been that kind of writer, right.
Everything I do gets my best every time out. so I, Jerry down, in fact, I accepted the offer at DC. Ask him not to announce it until I’d had a chance to tell Jerry face to face that I was leaving Marvel. And what I found out was, you know, when I got the Marvel, Jerry essentially fired me because again, he had thought that he was going to be able to hire some other people and have plenty of work for me.
And it turned out those other people had ironclad contracts. So, not only was there no additional [00:17:00] work for me, but he couldn’t even keep me out of the title. I was already writing because among, besides the people that he was contractually obligated to keep busy, he needed a lot of work in itself.
Cause that’s what Marvel editors have traditionally done. You know, a Elisa at that point is that they grab most of the best books for themselves. So I was Jerry thanked me for taking it so well because Jerry didn’t know that I’d have a job at DC. Unfortunately, unfortunately, Jerry trying to do me a good turn calls up DC comics called up son of a bitch named South Harrison.
And I will preface this by saying that. Dan teach us there’s good and evil and everyone. Right. And there was definitely good with solid Harrison. He was great at production. He and his wife founded a summer camp for disadvantaged [00:18:00] children. But when it came to me, Sal decided that well, since he’s not working at Marvin’s cool anymore, we don’t have to honor what we offered them.
They didn’t the first in a long string. Of of times when DC did not keep its agreements with me for bars, ghostwriter and Jesus. I did actually get Jesus into a comic many, many years later.
Tony: Marvel did. Marvel did a series of comics called Marvel’s comics, which were six comics that were the Marvel comics.
Published in the actual Marvel universe. And Tom braver asked me to write the Daredevil comic. We just
Kenric: we just had Tom on.
Tony: Tom’s great guy. Agree with him, [00:19:00] but I liked, sounds one of the guys I’ll never say no to that. He calls me up telling me I want you to do something. I’ll do it. So this one.
Is one shot issue. I did it with Eddie Newell and it was called dare hyphen devil. And basically since, you know, the guy writing the fantastic four comic, what everybody knew, who the fantastic forward. So he had her pretty much run with that, but nobody knew who Daredevil was so I could do whatever I wanted.
And basically what I did was make Daredevil a demon. Demon who lived within a stunt man, the demon during a war between the devil devil hell and heaven, got a glimpse of heaven and sent the rest of his existence, trying to earn his way into heaven. So you had, this demon. And, and his stuff, his stuff, [00:20:00] man, associate, I threw in a Jack Kirby like kid gang.
and although most people didn’t pick up on it, the mass bill and was Rudy Giuliani
died. I’ve never liked Rudy Giuliani.
Kenric: Apparently you’ve been right the whole time.
Tony: So here’s the thing. Here’s the thing. I mean, so. I accept that there was heaven and at least the Marvel comics that were published in the universe. so, yes, I eventually did get Jesus into a, a, a Marvel comics.
Kenric: That’s awesome.
That’s a great idea though. Daredevil is a demon inside of stuntman and he gets a glimpse of heaven, wants to earn his way into that. I mean, that’s a, that’s a great concept.
Tony: Oh, I really wanted to do more with it, but again, it was just a one shot. I’ve done one shots along the year, along the way that that really could like the, what if [00:21:00] when Stacy had lived, which is one of the most popular, what if they ever did?
And, I would have loved to not just written a sequel to that because I, when I wrote it. It was open ended so that I could do a sequel, right. People were writing in and saying that, you know, that’s so much better than what they did. You should do a mr. And mrs. Spider ban series, which I would’ve, I would’ve gladly done.
huh. Fortunately, no Marvel editor even was interested in my doing a sequel to the story, which. Was one of the many things in comic books that baffled me because the issue sold really well. And it’s time proving. It is one of the most popular issues of what is ever done. They reprinted it like, like a dozen times at this point.
Kenric: love those old white F’s we don’t definitely, I wonder why they didn’t, they, they haven’t done those in a long time. Right. I guess they did some a couple of years ago.
Tony: Yeah. They throw out a couple every now and then. But they’re [00:22:00] just, you know, the marble uterus has gotten so confusing as has the DC universe.
Right. that, that, I don’t think those what ifs as the, the, the current, whatever will ever have the impact that the original run had.
Kenric: Right? Yeah. You got a universe that’s going for 30 years and you’re pulling in those. What F’s, that’s fun.
Tony: I don’t even as much as a Marvel and even some DC characters besides black leggings.
That I would like to write again. I’m not actually sure if I could, because I don’t, I don’t understand what they’ve done to their universe. They confuse the heck out of me currently, apparently now at DC. Now I have not read these yet, but apparently there are characters who now remember being rebooted and that’s just too meta for me.
Kenric: Yeah. That’s kind of weird. Everything’s so bad.
Tony: And now with them, I kind of don’t like that.
Tony: Yeah, they’re not doing stories, they’re doing events. [00:23:00] it’s just, it’s just that the same. I mean, I would love, you know, I would love to come in, you know, taking characters that they’re not using, do something new and original with the character, you know, right.
Like six or seven issues and then turn it off, you know, unless I’m really enjoying it. although I tend to enjoy most of what I write. But, you know, basically give him six issues. Let me take a care of you. You’re not doing anything with turning it into a character that that has potential. and then, you know, maybe I’ll keep writing it.
Maybe we turn it over to somebody else. Right.
Kenric: somebody else, would you like it to be somebody that you can pick? You know what I mean? Like this guy?
Tony: Yeah. Yeah. So somebody who has, I’ve always said that, you know what, when it comes to my black lightning who silent, anything like that, that currently appears in Batman and the outsiders, because my black lesbian cares about his, [00:24:00] his family, his students in his community.
And doesn’t abandon them all to be Batman’s house negro They turn them into baskets. Batman’s house Negro. He lives in an apartment paid for by Bruce Wayne or I guess bought for him by Bruce Wayne. he, I assume Batman leaves the money on the nightstand.
when he visits, he’s not doing it, nobody in the Batman and the outside of the spoke, he’s doing anything for people. They’re all doing Batman’s missions, you know, things were Batman is too unemotionally, emotionally available for work. Yeah. And that’s, that’s when you think of how much black lightning means to people.
And I know this because I’ve been to conventions where, you know, and this has happened several times, someone will come up to me with [00:25:00] tears in her eyes and hugged me because black lightning was the first time they saw themselves. In a comic book.
Tony: Yeah. And, and yeah, when that happens, you know, you know, you get all this crap online, you know, jerks like the bleeding cool people.
So Julia is like what you do with black leggings. It’s not about ego, right? Granted, I don’t like what they’re doing with black lightning. but I love the TV show because the TV show has the same values as I get. Chris Williams is
Kenric: awesome. As black lightning.
Tony: Oh, yeah. I mean, so I was involved with Joe early on.
I wrote a core values paper for the DCS requests, had conference calls with Lehman, Mar rocket Keough, who are the show runners Senate day with the writers in Burbank. I visited the set several times. It was actually in the cameo in the third season finale. yeah, I mean the show treats me with incredible love and respect.
And I give it right back to them. They’re [00:26:00] they’re like my extended family. I’m going to need a much bigger house for Thanksgiving. Yeah. People who work on the show. And if I go to the step, I’ll have at least 50 of them tell me, thanked me for their jobs, which is an amazing feeling. But here’s the thing.
This character means a lot to people. He is important to people and DC does not treat him with respect. I want, you know, I want my black lightning in the DC comics, you know, even though my black lightning, when I rebooted him and cold, dead hands. Did a younger version than the TV show version, the same core values are there.
And I’m a core values guide. Yeah. I don’t think you can figure out who the characters are at their core and you stick with that. and you can do incredible stories with those characters. You don’t have to append [00:27:00] who they are every couple of years. Right.
Kenric: you don’t have to create fake controversy just to sell books.
Tony: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You don’t. and so either though, I mean, I mean ever, right. You know, especially now with the construction industry in such turmoil, and fewer opportunities or especially older writers like me, I may have written my last comic book already. I hope not,
Kenric: but put a diamond in the rough, you put out a lot of good stuff.
Tony: Well, I, I, you know, I, it is very heartening to hear from people I heard from a Hollywood screenwriter who told me the story I did in, in Dracula live, which is basically Jonah says Dracula. And he says, he read that story for the first time, in like 40 years, when he got his comic books back from his parents and he called it America hole.
He says it still holds up, and inspired mistreatment [00:28:00] of, of, of, Western martial and something he had written. and he didn’t even realize it until you re read the story. And I get, yeah, I would say every month or so I get at least one or two things like that. And it’s been reveals. I mean, it’s, I’ve been doing this a long time.
I had been studying comics for a long time. I think that I can approach material objective. I can look at thing I can, I can find it’s mirror if I can find its laws. and it has nothing to do with what I might think about the person. I just heard of a comic by somebody. I really don’t like, but it was a good comic book.
And when I review it, I’ll, I’ll say that. Yeah. But, I look at my stuff. And I go, you know, I stepped us, hold up, not everything. I mean, she’s stories,
Kenric: let’s give you a product of the time. You can’t help that.
Tony: My stuff all’s up, Don Gregor’s [00:29:00] stuff holds up. I looked at some of the writers who were considered much bigger names in the seventies, their work doesn’t hold up.
so I mean, I’m happy with, with what I’ve done. I’d like to do more of it. It doesn’t seem likely,
Kenric: create her own like image or IDW.
Tony: But the problem is I have to make sure that these projects make enough money to pay the artists. Right. I, you know, I’m, I’m doing okay. I live a comfortable, modest lifestyle with my family, you know, with my wife.
our kids are grown. They have great jobs on their own. They’re out of the house. I just have to basically, you know, I get social security, which covers most of my bills. so I’m in pretty good shape. I don’t have to take out a lot of work, but I don’t have the kind of money where I can pay an artist.
Right. And I’m not, you know, I can write, I can write a comic book for free, [00:30:00] particularly watch her at Academy. But if I can’t pay the artists, right. One of the things that broke me, it broke my heart was Donna Gregor. And Trevor Eaton did a Kickstarter for a new saber graphic novel, and didn’t reach its goal.
And I think, Oh my God, Don McGregor, who, who, if you watch the black Panther movie, there’s so much add-on McGregor in that movie. And, and Trevor, Trevor, whose style has never stopped evolving, Trevor, who was the first artist on black lightning. So he should have some name value
Tony: and that kick started in the slide.
Tony: So, it would probably, you know, if that’s a, I have thought about it, I’ll probably do it at some point. right now I’m just kind of. Trying to decide, do I want to do comics? Do I want to write books, right? no. Right [00:31:00] now the only you really outside of, of the stuff I post online, the only regular gig I have is, is writing last kiss gags for John lusting.
And if you’ve never seen, this last kiss feature, which appears three times a week, he’d go comics and as syndicated to a few papers. it’s a, it’s a fun strip to do it’s, panels. You take throwaway panels from old romance comics out of context and write gags to them. And after years of doing this, he decided that he’d like, you know, to have a different voice in there every now and then I always liked my work.
and so I go, I’d probably done. Two dozen or more gags for him. Usually one of my gangs, if you’re about once a week and they’re fun, they’re great Spartan. so you know, but that’s really the only steady gig I have right now. you know, DC is pretty much, you know, DC is pretty much blackballed me, not the first time.
I’m sure the Marvel editors don’t know who I am
Kenric: put too fine. A point on it, [00:32:00] Tony, but you’d think D do you think your tweet kinda. Added into the black balling on that one or was it you?
Tony: Yeah, but no, that was happening a long time ago. That was, you know, when I did my second black line in series and got screwed over by them, they set out to, to me.
So they, they, they tried to destroy me. They were spreading all sorts of false shit about me. And, and I don’t have the means, stuff like that sort of thing, even now. I mean, you know, the, these chief shot websites I bleeding. Cool. and even the better website, like, resources and the beat, you know, they love when Tony says something that they can use for click bait.
Kenric: We’re still trying to figure that out. We don’t do clickbait. We, we, we always try to put people in their best light. We liked it. We liked the positive message more [00:33:00] than the negatives, you know,
Tony: among the things they’ve never covered is, you know, the love and respect that I get from the blacklight mean cast and crew and writers.
they’ve never covered, the Trevor choosing. So I got six ship here. Oh, they never covered that. Trevor and I did cameos in the black legging season for the alley. They didn’t cover my, running for a seat on the Medina County, democratic party, the Dyna democratic party central committee. they didn’t cover, the story of one of the black lightning fans.
Who’s been sending copies of the trade paper bags with my work to prison libraries and they’re meeting great a response from the librarians and the inmates here are prisons where those are the most popular books among the inmates. [00:34:00] you know, they never cover any of that stuff. They never cover. you know, if you follow my Facebook page, You’ll see all sorts of stuff about, you know, what my work has meant to people, what black lightening has meant to people and they never cover that stuff.
And, and, and yes.
Kenric: Do you think DC’s coverage and the way they’ve treated the character is. Like Marvel’s black Panther, right. Is, is like, he’s almost revered in a lot of ways throughout Marvel. And they haven’t really messed with them too much on who he is, how he does his business. And now they’ve catapulted him into the stratosphere with his own movie and they’ve made them more and more.
And you think DC really missed the boat with black lightening. They should have been treating it
Tony: more in that picture. Yeah. Court. They did. No black lightning cold dead hands, which is a [00:35:00] six issue series I did a couple of years ago was, was rebooted. The character had the same values as the TV show. they didn’t promote it.
there was promotion for it. Most of it was my doing more interviews than I’d ever done in my career for any project. when I suggested they also do well for one thing, If you look at the DC books, almost all of them have at least two covers per issue. They only gave me one variant cover for the 16 issues of black lightning colds at hand.
Kenric: weird. Usually there’s like, it was like four or five, six.
Tony: Well, it’s pretty good. The only reason I think they gave me the, the six issue series. and totally I can do whatever I wanted with it because they never intended. For me to be back on black lighting permanently,
Kenric: I’m trying to hit that nostalgic hit.
Tony: Okay. Yeah, they just had, they also felt that it would, they didn’t want me [00:36:00] being, they wanted me to be happy when the TV series premiered. Right. Cause apparently one branch of DC doesn’t know what the other is doing because I was already, you know, I mean, I, I wrote Jeff, John. Who is a wonderful human being and writer.
Yeah. John’s is the reason I got even a halfway decent agreement with DC prior to my writing goals, enhance prior to the TV series because Jeff saw the TV series, potential black lightning and wanted me to be happy. and before DC ever asked me to write COVID hands or whether they said, we want you to write a six issue, black lightning series, I’d already written the quarter value paper for a for possible TV show.
we’ll tell you the follow exactly, but pretty close. and by the time I had written it and then it’s like, I think I’d written two issues of cold dead hands before they had [00:37:00] signed saleman Mara Brock Akil to run a black lightning show. And. You know, from, you know, within a week, I think of every and hired, you know, we had a big conference call where we talked for hours about the characters.
And like I said, they flew me in to talk to the writers in Burbank, where I had to remember that I had to answer questions about comic books. I wrote 40 years ago. and a lot of me and the TV series, but again, despite the fact that there’s this TV series, which has. Modestly, you know, 15 or 20 times more eyes on it than any DC comics.
Kenric: It’s got a strong bond.
Tony: Yeah. And, you know, they, they just never saw it and the making it worse. I mean, there’s not been a lot of merchandise on, on the show. And, and when I go to conventions, people keep asking for more of that. And most egregious [00:38:00] right now is that unlike all of the other CWDC show.
Tony: Those that have white stars, black leggings season two, did not kit blue Ray release did not get a general DVD release. It’s only available manufacturer on demand. You can order it from the Warner brothers store. You can order it from Amazon. I think either target or Walmart has
Kenric: the DC universe
Yeah. It’s not in the store. Weird. it, you know, the DVD and Blu-ray, you know, the second seat DVD there, hasn’t been an announcement of a third season. One yet is not available in stores. You have to get it from the Warner brothers store again, manufacturer on demand or through Amazon or through. well, I can’t remember what it was target or Walmart cause I ordered a bunch through them so that I could have therapies to [00:39:00] give out to people, but it’s done in stores.
You all find it in store. and again, it’s their one show with a black lead. And even, even if they’re not, you know, it’s just no matter what their reason for doing this, it is a horrible, horrible optic. Yeah,
Kenric: it is, it is a horrible big, but you have one show and then you don’t even promote it in that way.
And the way that you promote like arrow flash, I mean, and I kind of felt like black lightning was an afterthought during the crisis on infinite earths series. He was there.
Tony: He was there. They did, they did a red sky episode of, of, of the black lightning show. If you remember the term red sky from crisis.
Yep. Where, where, where there would be both super tied in the crisis, except not really. They’ll basically all they had was a red sky. so yeah, I mean, that’s the kind of thing that it’s just really, he pisses me off and, and, and I get angry [00:40:00] sometimes, which is why I basically, I believe I said. Talk about everybody works as the tenant in the yard.
Okay. Really need that because I don’t find any of them that attractive. but, no, it’s, it’s, it’s just ridiculous. and th the trigger for that was, of course, you know, them push, I knew they were going to do it because Todd knows current editorial does not have much imagination. they were pushing black lightning and to time that together ignoring the fact black lightning only is Lynn steward, but here’s the thing, Mike Barr, who’s a good friend of mine.
he created the relationship between black lightning. It could product as an adult with tonic friendship. It was, it was adult. Right. and. They’re knowing that they’re there pushing them into a romance that doesn’t fit either character, you know, Jefferson, Pearson’s committed to Lynn steward and [00:41:00] Katata is committed to her husband’s spirit and their sword.
Right. their friends and that’s all they should ever be. Good. Close friends who have each other’s back. But a romance that’s just Ascot writing, right? It’s that clever? it’s a cliche. and the one thing I tried to do when I wrote black leggings COVID hands, which I think is maybe the best comics I’ve ever written, it was to try to avoid all the cliches, you know, black light beam.
You know, I had black legging call and help and one issue except she never actually teamed up with me and the flash and the cyborg appear in an issue. And you never, there’s no panel of three of them together or black lightning with either one of them, because it wasn’t necessarily a story. Right? As part of this plot, this part [00:42:00] of black lightning’s, you know, counter counter attack on Tobias whale.
he didn’t need to see that, you know, we didn’t need to see the three of them together. they, they did their part. They did it well. And it may for a couple of humorous moments, and that’s through that. I try to, you know, I’ll be Facebook. Those are the core values that I will break rules in other ways.
and rules are of course in quotes. I don’t want to write time. It’s the same way I did in the seventies or eighties or nineties. I’m always trying to push it a little further. I have, you know, and I just hope I live long enough to do. I mean, I have a bucket list of over 300 things I want to write before I take the bucket.
I hope I get a chance to do silver bowl. I don’t understand why the other publishers haven’t realized that they could flap from the creator of black lightning comic
Kenric: right, right.
Tony: What was that? That’s the permits industry. It’s never been a logical step and probably never will.
Kenric: when you go back [00:43:00] through, because you’ve had a long career, but in the eighties you ran a comic book store, cosmic comics.
Do you, do you miss that?
Tony: No, not at all. I was the pad. I had the best store in Cleveland cause I was a horrible business fan. I got taken, I got taken advantage of by a lot of people. Including a scummy lawyer, who was my lawyer. And he screwed scrutiny in, in so many ways, and came to a bad end, which, you know, I didn’t really have anything to do with, but I wasn’t on the app.
and you know, I mean, I was terrible at it and running the store is so much harder today. You know, there’s so many other things to look at. The
Kenric: minimum orders that you gotta have so many orders to get your, your special variant comic. And then, then they’re stuck with like these hundred copies of something that doesn’t sell because they
Tony: now and now the [00:44:00] doors, because DC decided that that a pandemic was the best time to, to upset the applecart.
they’re they’re having, they’re having us pay more for shipping. Because they’re getting there. They’re, you know, they’re getting pretty much everything from diamond except the DC comics, which they have to order from these distributors that DC is selective. I don’t have anything again, it, I know I keep one of know, one of them is, is basically an outlet of Midtown comics in New York, which is fine store.
Right. And the other one is part of a. Pardon?
Kenric: That’s Marvel you, when you go to Marvel and you want to order books and they push you to Midtown comics.
Tony: Oh yeah. They do miss out on commerce is, you know what, when I get contributor, copies of books, they come from Midtown comics that, you know, it’s crazy. But, and then the other one is I think, discount, [00:45:00] comic book service.
And I buy from them all the time. And in fact, up until recently, they sponsored. A weekly Tony’s tips column that appeared at their tails of wonder a website. And I was the one who pulled it from there just because I wanted to bring my social media all pretty much under one roof for awhile.
Well, yeah, I mean, no, they, they never really gave me a problem with control. We set up a format that they liked. they never had any, you know, They never had any demands about what I cover or how I cover it. I, I, I played down the politics just because I didn’t want to write something that would call lose business.
Right. You know, my own blog. I don’t care if somebody doesn’t like what I write. but, you know, I, you know, I had a good relationship with them, but I’m glad that I [00:46:00] moved on from them only because. Now they are in the middle of this comic book, retail crisis that DC comics generated. And, you know, I’m not a big fan of monopolies.
I just think this was wrong time to
Tony: it. and I think a lot of comic book stores are being hurt by it. I hope it all turns up for the best. I’d like it to still be comic books. and who knows what goes, My, my very wise friend Mark Avenir said that probably the smartest thing anybody can say is, I don’t know.
Kenric: Right. So
Tony: people ask me about, well, what’s going to happen. Let’s fill it on here. Whoa. Frankly, in the past, when I’ve tried to figure out why DC does stuff, it just makes my head hurt.
Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. I can see that. I mean, I feel like you just, I don’t know, Tony, I just feel like you got the shit end of the [00:47:00] stick.
I’m way too much on a classic character. That is one was a really fun read. And then to the, now it’s obviously a great TV show that is still running strong and. You know, and, and, and you gave him that character at a time when there wasn’t a lot of black characters out there for them to enjoy it.
Tony: I mean, and that was, I had worked on black characters at Marvel and, and I really set out to create a positive character.
You know, I was aiming it at a younger market. but even then it was more edgy than any other DC comic at the time, back in the seventies, Here’s the thing, I mean, this is, this
Tony: one, the true shames of my relationship with DC comics, that there is only one human being on the face of this planet, without whom blacklight, you would not exist.
And that’s me, right. Everything important about [00:48:00] black lightning and Jefferson Pierce was created before I pitched him. The DC was created before artists were hired. It was created before an editor was assigned to the book. Everything is really important about black lightning, the core values of black lightning.
Those all came from me before I ever pitched the character to DC. so yeah, it bothers me that I don’t get the respect. But it bothers me even more. The black lightning doesn’t get it right again. Right. She’s had that experience that I described where, where people are in tears, because of what, what you created.
Ego goes out the freaking window. It’s no longer, I mean, it’s not about me. It’s about who this character is and what he means to people. And, and he’s not a difficult character figure out. I mean, I just told you what he’s about family doing this community. [00:49:00] How can you get that wrong?
Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. He’s a positive influence.
Not, not a negative,
Tony: right. but Hey, you know, it is what it is. you know, short of somebody, who’s the biggest Tony Isabella fan in the world buying, DC comics. And I don’t think that’s a T and T it would be nice if like, Hey, why aren’t you taking better care of Tony Isabella, back on his book, but you know, short of that, you know, I can’t argue logic with DC.
It’s easier to dismiss this, miss me. They have, you know, the, the comics press, you know, they love to denigrate me and use me to put bait. and. Can we talk about the positive thing that I’ve done with fans of black lightning you’ve done. And when I mentioned that they never covered that stuff, their response has been well, you [00:50:00] should send us a press release.
Thank you. When I say what you see, they can find that easy enough. Right. You know, they’re, they’re watching my feed. They’re reading my Facebook posts. They’re reading my Twitter posts presented,
Kenric: press feed for positive reviews and positive image, as opposed to just, yeah,
Tony: I’m a 68 year old guy. And if I had to have boat, every could thing I do, I would never have time for writing.
It has been difficult enough to re write. During this time. I mean, the sheltering at home, it got to be far worse than I thought it would. And that’s crazy because I mean, that was basically my life before the band. You know, I, I, I get up in the morning. I feed the [00:51:00] cat, I make lunch for my, my wife. she goes to work, you know, I, my commute to my office is across the hall.
I work in my pajamas. You know, it’s like, that was my life. I go out, you know, pants, right? Yeah. Well, no, I always wear the, and I do wear pants when I go out, you know, to go grocery shopping or, or to go to a restaurant or, or any of the little errands that come from, you know, just a life. but yeah, I’m not, you know, But, but again, with the, with the sheltering in place and, and my kids very often reminding me that I am in a high risk group being, you know, old and diabetic and all this stuff.
although I’m a type two diabetes, which isn’t as bad as type one and my numbers, my numbers are excellent. Every time I mentioned I use it, people go, [00:52:00] Oh no, no, my numbers are great. You know, when I was first diagnosed with this, they were up at like, 550, which then I should have been dead. Right. Then within a month, I got them down to around 100.
So yeah. Yeah. So I’m, you know, yeah. I’m not eager for death. Come November, we still have the racist in the white house. You know, maybe, you know, death won’t seem so lot attractive.
Tony: Right now I’m good with being alive. You know, when people call me a living legend, I think they’re being a little excessive, but I do like the living part of that,
Kenric: like you’re in a, well, I’m glad you’re.
You’re you’re healthier than you were before and you’re getting healthier. So that’s good.
Tony: Yeah. And I’m working through the writer’s block. I am, [00:53:00] I have some projects that I wanted to pardon?
Kenric: I said you’ll make a breakthrough.
Tony: Oh yeah, no, I will. I mean, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s probably not Jesus calling me home.
So, so yeah, I’m working through it.
Kenric: You probably thank you for trying to get them and go or anyways.
Tony: Yeah. Yeah. So they’ll have the, they’ll have me spell saying either with Gibby shooter tries to get in
Tony: body, blue body. Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s the, Anyway, but no, I’m, I’m, I’m doing good. I expect to do better. you know, I’ve raised a couple of great kids. My, my wife is, is a Saint, you know, so, so I’ve, I’ve, I’ve made lots of good friends all around the world. you know, I hang out [00:54:00] on Facebook as much as I do, just because you know, the love and respect I get from.
For by Facebook, you know, friends and, and, you know, from Twitter and you know, every now and then, you know, maybe I’ll get a note from, you know, I, I kind of close to Marvin Jones and place to bias whale on black leggings, nicest on the face of the earth and every now and then I’ll get a note from him.
I’ll get a note from one of the other cast members or anything. I’ll get notes from people who, who. No have gone on to do great things. A very noted columnist, you know, recently sent me copies of his novels and whether they scription that, you know, my work when he was growing up, meant a lot to them. So, you know, and I know, I know that I’ve affected people.
you know, I’ll probably never get to bill finger award, because it would not, it would be a controversial choice. I’m sure. Despite the fact that, you know, [00:55:00] people who are judges on it are good friends of mine, but you know, you see comic sponsors of finger awards, who knows really? I
Kenric: didn’t know. They did that.
Tony: Yeah, probably the biggest sponsor, although it is independent, I should, I shouldn’t knock the finger awards because I was actually a finger judge at the beginning. and a lot of people were, a lot of people were, were naming me as somebody who should get it. So I felt I should probably resign as a judge because, you know, it would look awkward if I ever got the award, but everybody, you know, there were like five people that I really wanted to see get the award that I was constantly, you know, mentioning and everything.
and you know, Don McGregor, Gary Friedrich, Elliot, Meghan, You know, people like that, I felt you’d get it. And pretty much everybody I really felt should get it. Got it. So I felt good leaving the judgeship, [00:56:00] my position as a judge because I accomplished what I set out to do. and they do a marvelous job here.
I mean, I, I’m still amazed at how they find people that nobody knew existed. to give this award to, well, I can’t, boot merchants, and I want to say you’re Joan merchants and who was, a wonder woman writer, the fact that they found here and, and she got the award, the fact that John groom got the award, things like that, It means a lot to me, it’s a worthy cause and I may get it, you know, I I’m sure I’m sure I’ll get the finger award at some point.
I just rather get it, you know, why I’m alive because it involves a free trip to San Diego.
Kenric: That would be nice.
Tony: Yeah. I mean, you know,
Kenric: it was a nice place to visit
Tony: it. Is it I’ve enjoyed my trips. You know, to the, to the big convention and everything, but you know, [00:57:00] at a time when, I mean, I can’t really say business reasons for going, because I’ve never in my life gotten a job as a result of talking to somebody at the Comicon.
Right. It’s a very expensive trip. I mean, between airfare and the hotel rates, which just go up every year and meals and stuff like that, it
Tony: ridiculous. It’s a few thousand dollars
Tony: And, and, and I looked at, you know, I look at well, a few thousand dollars that can let, that could like fix the year, you know, fix the air conditioning, put some new windows in the house, you know, stuff like that.
Kenric: drove down there, me and Johnny drove down there in 2017 and it’s still costing me like $2,000, but we drove from Washington state. Yeah.
Tony: Yeah. It’s expensive. Hmm. I mean, I still, you know, well, who knows if there’s going to be convention again anytime soon, but in past years I’ve done quite a [00:58:00] few conventions.
There’s some I do for free either because they’re, you know, I mean, I almost, I have to pay the expenses just about any convention I do. and most conventions pay me an appearance fee, but there are always going to be conventions. I don’t charge an appearance to do. East coast black comics. She mentioned a bill Adelphia, Neo Comicon, which is held in, North homestead, Ohio, which is a charity then, and has the most comfortable convention floor of all time.
Cause it takes place in a sportsplex. And so instead of being on concrete, you’re on turf. That’s really comfortable on the beat.
Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. That’s does
Tony: I never thought about things I never thought about before I became a senior citizen.
Kenric: Right. Right now it makes a huge difference.
Tony: Yeah. [00:59:00] So what other questions do you have?
Kenric: You know, Tony, we’ve, we’re coming up on an hour. I think. I think we’re good. I think we’re good for now, but you know, you’re a wonderful man to talk to. I feel like I would love to have you back on any time you have stuff coming out that you, you need help promoting on, reach out, let us know. We will love to help you out
Tony: and do let me know when there shows up online somewhere so that I can promote it on my vast social media.
Kenric: Yeah, we definitely will. Don’t worry. We’re going to edit out.
Tony: Because we know the new sites aren’t going to cover it.
Kenric: They never do. W w you know, because we try not to be negative in any way. We want to show the positive.
Tony: And this was a fun interview. You let me out off, edit out my mistake.
Kenric: Yeah, no, well, we we’ve already timestamped it and everything, and we’ll, we’ll edit that right out.
Don’t even, don’t even stress on it. We’re not here to. Yeah, I wouldn’t want [01:00:00] to, yeah, I don’t do that. We don’t do that to anybody. You know what I mean? Because if we don’t like you, we don’t have you on period, that’s it? You know what I mean? So we were excited to have you come on and, and so we’re not here to do anything.
That’s going to put
Tony: you in a bad, I’d been, I didn’t hold, I, you know, I, you know, I get a lot of offers for podcasts and stuff like that, and I haven’t been accepting them, but, but I’m going to start accepting more of them just because, To be honest with you and it’s going to sound egotistical. Comics needs me right now, whether I’m writing them or not, comics needs me.
they need somebody with my viewpoint on this stuff,
Kenric: afraid to express their viewpoint and not worry about the PC backlash.
Tony: I, I don’t, I don’t, you know? Yeah. D C you know, I probably said a dozen things. It’s an interview. It will piss off some of the people. And it’s kind of like, you know, it’s like when they say, well, you’ll never work for us again, I [01:01:00] haven’t worked for you in two years.
And before that I hadn’t worked for you for 20 years, you know? Have you got a threatened me, make it a threat. That actually mean something.
Kenric: Make it real. Yeah.
Tony: We’re going to send somebody over to break your legs. Right. you know, I still would shut up, but you know,
Kenric: so you’re not, there’s nothing going to come out of anything.
Tony: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t. I don’t know what’s going to have with at T and T owning DC. you know, you hear all this speculation. I’m just hoping for the best, whether I worked at comics or not, there’s an awful lot of talented people in comics.
It’s an awful lot of really good hearted retailers who are working for very little money to keep the comic books out there. you know, There’s a, there’s a documentary I just watched, I believe it’s [01:02:00] on Amazon prime, called, my comic shop country. I think it’s called no. and it’s a beautiful, beautiful piece of work.
It talks about, it talks about losing a comic book shop that you loved it visited. I think like a dozen comic shops across the nation. it really made me remember how important these comic shops are, to the, to the comic book industry.
Kenric: It’s a safe comic book shops. Not only are they important to the industry, but it’s also a safe, one of the few.
Truly safe havens for people of all creeds. You know what I mean? No matter if you’re black or white or Asian or Brown or Latino or whatever, or if you’re gay or straight or trans or any of that kind of stuff, it’s one of the few places that all those cultures and all those different people can actually come in and mix.
And they’re just there because they love comics and it’s, it’s, [01:03:00] it’s sad to see something go away.
Tony: This is my definition of diversity in comics. As I said earlier, we have readers of every kind imaginable, and they should see themselves reflected in our comic books in a positive manner. So for the village, you can
Tony: on them.
All you like
even Nazi, they have sensitive feelings
Kenric: mad when you did you, how much did it bother you? Cause it bothered me. I don’t know. I’m assuming it bothered you. Maybe, maybe it didn’t, but how much did it bother you when they had captain America spout? The words hail Hydra.
Tony: Oh, that’s so stupid. That’s that shock value storytelling. and again, you know, it’s that, it’s that captain America’s core values and like, if [01:04:00] they will all be changed, you know, in another year or so, but no, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s stupid out of character storytelling.
Kenric: I knew it was coming. Right. Cause, cause it, because it dropped before the book came out, like, you know, they didn’t, they weren’t, they weren’t able to contain it. And then I knew it was, that’s the only reason that I picked it up just to, and now I regret picking it up because you know what I mean? I fell into the hype, but it’s still pissed me off.
When I read it, I was like, how can you do this to a character? And like, you know, Jack Kirby and, Johnny helped me out. Who was the other guy? Jeff Simon. Joseph, yeah. Yeah. You know, they must be turning in their grave. Those guys fought the Nazis in world war II and then
Tony: yeah. Yeah.
Kenric: instantly what I thought when you, when you, when you went on your, when you went on your rant about black lightning being the curator and being pissed off about how they’re treating the character.
That’s what I thought [01:05:00] about. I was like, you’re totally right. I mean, it’s, you can’t just shit on a character because you want, it
Tony: amazes me that there are sand. I mean, okay. We cool there they’re vile and QuickBase, right? So it doesn’t surprise me that they take an antifungal Isabella stance, but you know, the fans who, you know, I can’t help, but think there are probably creators.
Who, if they stood up for the creators, these fans of you, you know, would be applauding them with me. No, you know, with me, I express my opinion on a character. I created a character that in many ways I have devoted my life to, and somehow that’s wrong. I don’t think so.
Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. It’s easier to be the negative.
Kenric: You know, it’s harder to stand up for what you believe in and then express that. And then people want to naysay that? I think it drives me nuts, [01:06:00] you know?
Tony: Well, I generally don’t. I generally do not read Thomas. Yeah. But that doesn’t stop people from telling me, did you see this? And then sending them to me and I keep telling him, no, you don’t really have to do this.
Yeah, I don’t care. I don’t care. You know, one of my favorite lines that I’ve used in response to this, the, you know, somebody was, was denigrating me, you know, what does he does besides black lightning? and I said something like, you know, yeah, right after all. I’ve only created one character that has become a hit TV story, a hit TV series.
And they’ve created how many, you know?
Kenric: Yeah, it’s true though. I mean, how many comic book writers out there have wrote comics for decades [01:07:00] and never had one of their creations even begin to remotely take off. So many of them more than, than has stuff that’s taken. And so, and you’ve created a character that is in the forefront of, of the psyche right now, and is one of the most important characters that come out of the seventies based on what it stands for, what he stands for.
And so. Yeah. Do you have to have more than just the one? Fuck. No, you don’t. That’s a bullshit argument.
Tony: I thought I’d tell you though. I mean, the black lady mean TV show is just a blessing. It just, you know, it was, you know, my wife and I, you know, we’d be, you know, we’d watch the show. Why is, you know, as, as it aired every week, And, and it just, you know, it was always a through, we used to pause when my credit line came off.
It, it really, when you think about [01:08:00] it, it’s only like that I can think of two of those CW shows where the creators are actually in the opening credits, black lightning and the very excellent star girl. Which credits Jeff Johns and Lee Lee motor were having created, Courtney, in the stars and stripes comic a few years back.
those are the only two shows you don’t see the creator green arrow credited on arrow. You don’t see Gardner Fox and Hubbard credited for flash. You don’t see. I want to say auto bender and Al loss, super girl. you just so you know, you don’t see ’em whoever came up with the first, I can’t remember who created the Kathy cane or the Cape, chain, that woman, but yeah, you don’t, you’re not seeing the credit there.
but with black lightning and you do what star girl. [01:09:00] and I know that means a lot to creators to me. Like there should be far more credit for creators. I love the fact that Marvel credits because as many people as it does at the end of it shows and movies, you know, it was a big thrill before black lightning came out to see my name in the special thanks to credit to Luke cage because I created Misty Knight.
Kenric: I was going to ask you about that.
Tony: well, I’ll just have to come back and we can talk.
Kenric: Yeah, we should, you know, we do a thing. You don’t be fun, Tony. And if you’re, if you’re, if you’re open to it, which we can edit this out if you’re not. So don’t worry about it. we do a series of books. Or a series of shows where we bring the creator on.
And we did this with Frank Gogel. Who’s done a dead end kids and now has a new book out called no, no heroin. [01:10:00] Yeah. He’s a great kid. He really is. You don’t, you should check out dead. Right. Okay. And then we had, Stephan Frank on for silver and Joseph and Kevin, Joseph for tart. And, and we’re going to have the guys that are doing Canto with image comics on here.
In a couple of weeks. And what we do is we take one of their books that they created. And then we actually do a DVD commentary on the book. And we go page by page and talk about the panels and how you came up with what was going on and what you were thinking about. And, and we just, so people can get their copy of this favorite of that book, and they can follow along with us and have that interaction with the, with the creator and the writer of the book that they might not usually have.
Tony: No, I I’d be willing to, you know, now, this Thursday, the Ohio center for the book book club, which is on zoom, is doing black lightning, cold, dead hands. And I’m actually gonna be in, you know, when we have first time doing a zoom conference, [01:11:00] assuming assuming my son come, comes over and shows me how to put this camera on my computer.
But yeah, no, I’d be, I’d be up for something like that.
Kenric: Like I said, if you have time and you’re interested in doing something like that, it might be cool. If you find out you don’t have the time. That’s okay too. You know what
Tony: I mean? Yeah. There’s all sorts of, I mean, like, I was, I was hoping to do annotations for every issue of black lightning, cold, dead hands, and never got around to it because there’s all sorts a little bit, in that book.
That, that I think people would be fascinated by,
Kenric: we can do that book or any book that you want to do, in your repertoire. We’d be, we’d love to have you on and do, and we, and cold, dead hands would be great. I’d be a great one to, that’d be a fun one to do and to read and then to actually sit there and talk to you about page by page.
Kenric: totally geeky, but it’s a lot of fun at the same time.
Tony: Let’s, you know, [01:12:00] If you have a chance, I’ll let you have a few of these DVDs.
Kenric: Well, they’re not DVD. We don’t put them, we call them. We just, we compare them to a DVD commentary. We put them out on the podcast and we tell people, okay, this is the book.
This is what we’re doing. And then we, we flip page by page and we’ll say, we’re on page one. And then, and then you, and I will talk about the page and what you were thinking about and kind of just. Kind of go through page by page. It’s it’s actually a lot of fun we can send you over. we can, we can send you over a one.
That’s an example of what we did.
Tony: Yeah. Just send me the link to it and I’ll check it out.
Kenric: Yeah. Yeah. You might have a lot of fun with it.
Kenric: Tony, thank you so much for coming on, man. This has been a treasurer and a blessing.
Tony: This has been fun. And gosh, I’m sure that I didn’t offend anybody, you know, easy going guy, [01:13:00] everyone who is mentioned during this hour.
It’s just going to be so appreciative that I, I remembered them.
Kenric: Your cards close to your chest. I think it will be wonderful.
Tony: Have a great evening weekend