OK yes Heroescon took place this weekend (6/22) to be exact but this is the first day that I’ve had consistent internet access that I didn’t have to worry about paying for. And yes this was my third comic convention of the year (thus far), but this is the one that is closest to me and one that my dad and I can go to together. But even more than that last year’s Heroescon was my first every comic convention and I was blown away by just how well run the con is, the range of guests, the panels, and just how easy it was to navigate through the con without feeling like I was swimming up a waterfall. And this year was Heroescon 30th anniversary with some rather big name guests.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with it Heroescon is held in the Convention Center in Charlotte, NC. It’s a relatively small con compared to something like Emerald City Comicon in terms of number of people that attend, but…for me that’s one of the things that makes it so great. It makes it easier to navigate and actually stop and talk to an artist/writer and as one person told me this weekend, people just seem friendlier. They tend to be more mindful of their surroundings when taking pictures, they apologize for stepping on you or blocking your path by accident, and it just seems more…cheerful which in large part I attribute to the con staff. There were a few hiccups this weekend, but by and large the con staff and volunteers were well organized and easy to find and ask questions about where some booth was. It’s also a really affordable con ($30 for three days) with some really cool perks–like if you preorder your pass you get in to the con 30 minutes early each day and you get a limited edition print which this year came presigned. No extra cost. How cool of a bonus is that?
Even though it’s a smaller con they’re able to get a pretty wide range of artists from comic books to graphic novels to webcomics to artists/illustrators showing what they can do to the rest of the world. And this year since it was their 30th anniversary they went out and got two of the biggest names in the comics world–Stan Lee and Jaime Hernandez (who designed the poster at the top of the post.) I’ll write more about Stan Lee on Day 2’s post, but Jaime impressed me greatly. Not just because he’s a fantastic artist, but because he was genuinely happy to sign stuff for fans and you could see his eyes light up when he was talking to fans. The thing that impressed me the most was a dealer/gallery owner that wanted to get a bunch of drawings and get stuff signed to sell and Jaime said something along the lines of “ya know I’m really here to meet the fans.”
The second best moment of this first day, stopping by the Team Cul De Sac booth. If you aren’t familiar with Team Cul De Sac it was put together to honor Richard Thompson (one of the best artists/writers out there and nicest) and to raise money for the Michael J Fox foundation to battle Parkinson’s disease. They did this by having artwork contributed for an auction and a book and you can tell that Richard is well liked and thought of by the number of different artists that did pieces. I mean seriously there’s fan art, there’s art by Danielle Corssetto, pieces by other comic strip artists, and even a piece by Bill Watterson of Calvin & Hobbes fame. I picked up my book from the booth from Chris Sparks (who organized the entire thing and is also one of the nicest guys out there) who wrote a great little inscription in it for me and even remembered me from last year. This is just an absolutely beautiful book and one of the coolest things ever.
I also got to meet other great artists, such as Jeffrey Brown! Who did stuff like “Cat are weird and other observations” and “Darth Vadar and Son.” I got to take a moment and ask if him if George Lucas got a copy (answer was yes) and if he liked it (also yes) and he hinted that perhaps we’ll see a second book in the series. And my mind is blanking on who else and what else I did this day but be assured it was awesome.