If you haven’t been (it was my first,) HeroesCon is basically two shows in one, a mainstream con chock-full of longboxes, and a chewy center of small-press – “Indie Island.” But the two intermingle in strange ways. Of course there are plenty of confused-looking people in Iron Man shirts who mistakenly wander over, flip through your mini, grimace, and toss the thing down again – but plenty of open-minded folks happen by as well.
There’s this sketching thing that happens, where most of the mainstream artists sell like an 8×12 inked picture of Dazzler to you for some small sum of money (or large – Bill Sienkiewicz apparently wanted $300 for a penciled head shot). If you’re a poor-type indie cartoonist, you’d have to be a fool to not get in on the action! $10-$15 bought some folks a Wonder Woman, a robot chasing a flamingo, a X-men “fastball special,” a mermaid, an Impulse, and some monsters of course. I still did plenty of sketches when people bought books, these were more elaborate. I’ve got to work on my speed though; I spent at least an hour (and restarted once) on that Wonder Woman.
There was this dub show happening in the same building, you could hear the bass rumbling through the walls and supposedly Ice Cube was wandering around at some point. Michael Jordan too. This is all hearsay. But some dude from 30 Rock WAS there, this I saw.
Downtown Charlotte sucks pretty majorly. There’s a dozen highrises and a major convention hall, but not a single goddam coffee shop for blocks. At night, the streets are aswarm with young, aggressive-looking polo-shirted packs of dudes tailing packs of fake-tanned, big-sunglass-wearing dudettes into all these rasty-looking clubs. And a neverending stream of berimmed SUVs rattling your skull with bass. Bleh. We wandered around for an hour on Friday night looking for anything cheap besides the shitty pizza place across from the convention center, but everything in Charlotte closes around 9? After vast wanderings, we ended up eating shitty pizza across from the convention center.
The hotel bar wanted $6.50 for a beer – note to self; bring a case of something cheap next time. Also some peanut butter and jelly. I think I got a mild case of food poisoning from an undercooked veggie burger at Harper’s, cripes.
Another side effect of HeroesCon – for the entire weekend, anytime three or more people were confined in a small space, the conversation somehow turned to the X-men. On the car ride up, late at night with our roomies, on the drive back. I fully take responsibility for my part in this. I was in a shuttle with Chris Claremont at one point; I shook his hand and thanked him. Then for some reason he started riffing on ideas about zombies fighting animals, it was weird.
I was on a panel about minicomics with most of Wide Awake Press. I walked into the room and almost had a heart attack when I saw hundreds of eager-looking people, ready to absorb knowledge about minicomics craft. It was the wrong room of course, those guys were there for something called “Dark Reign;” our panel had a reasonable twenty folks or so, whew. I don’t know how it all came out – maybe it was interesting to listen to our trench stories of silkscreens gone wrong and bizarre stapling decisions? Mega ups to Brad McGinty, Josh Latta, Rob Ullman and especially J Chris Campbell who exhorted people to go to my table – and it actually worked! I feel like a douche for not returning the favor – I owe you one, J Chris.
And Ultra Highfives to Dustin Harbin for hosting us. And the killer afterparty.
I talked to tons of awesome people at the con, but I’d end up just listing names and who wants to read that? You are all awesome.
Here is a Flickr, my camera was acting up though so I don’t have much.