It’s Monday, and HeroesCon 2008 has come and gone.
And we had FUN! And is FUN everything? Well, it’s a big part of it for me. Yes, it helps to make some dough for the outlay of expenses. And, we covered our bases in my mind. I figure how “successful” the show was will be a part of reports that will be popping up in the days ahead. We covered Josh’s ticket to the show, other travel expenses, and in my mind some of the other associated costs, so a big THUMBS UP for Heroescon. Keep in mind that we attended this show even before AB was around, so we DO have some love for this show. Like Chuck will mention in one of his podcasts, this show makes us all feel like family.
Here are some memories and thoughts in no particular order…
For a good recap, check out Chuck Moore’s Comic Related. He’s got video, photos and podcasts. Does Chuck ever sleep? (And he’s off to Chicago next!) By the way, I love the music that Chuck uses. Great job! And, it was a pleasure to meet you Chuck. (I’m listening to Chuck’s first cast as I type this, and I’m lovin’ it.) *While at lunch, I realized I should also point your nose in the direction of the Dollar Bin Guys, since I believe they have recorded ALL the panels. Should be some good listening in the weeks to come. Oh.. and we all already hit ISR, right?
Going into the show, I wanted to schedule a few dinners with people ahead of time, just so we had a plan. The first such outing included Josh Cotter with Stuart and Kathryn Immonen. When Josh asked me how I knew these fine people, well, that good ol’ internet. The M&Ms (as I thought of this AM) and I had sent some emails back and forth preshow about industry type stuff, and I thought it would be swell to take them to the Penguin, like I had been taken oh so many years ago. And you know what? They’re good people. Is it because they’re Canadian? Could be. I had a delightful time, and would stalk them at the show, due to their new, and lovely banner.
After that night of deep fried goodness, we headed back to the hotel and what would become the main “after show event”, which is partying in the hotel lobby. There were two main hotels for the show, the Westin and the Hilton. The Westin is nice, but those drink prices could sting. We hung around and talked with Tom Neely (actually, we did that earlier, now that I think about it.) and Jim Rugg, Mike Dawson, Pat Lewis, Tom Spurgeon, jeez, just about everybody was there, which made it difficult to actually leave and go to bed! One of the highlights during that nights talk was Jim Rugg asking what people thought was THE Jack Kirby comic. My take on that question is I guess if we had to put one in a rocket to shoot into space and someone said “We need a KIRBY!” what would you choose. Jim said it was this one I think (don’t have it in front of me.)
Tom said it was the Kamandi where he fought the big bat men. Jim then made the promise that he would have both comics to me before noon the next day so that I could decide which I thought was the KIRBY comic. (This meant that he knew he could find them in the dealer’s boxes and that the hunt was on!) Granted, I’m not a professional Kirby guy or anything, it was just a VERY neat thing that can happen at a show like this.
One of the other meals we had planned and I enjoyed was our Irish outing with Mike Dawson, Josh (he was EVERYWHERE!), Alex Robinson & Kristen Siebecker, Charlito and Mr. Phil from ISR and Dustin Harbin, the creative director of the show (In case you didn’t know). At one point during the dinner, I was crying from laughing so hard (See the first photo above.) The food was good, and I had a boxty for the first time.
But I know you don’t care about the food! You want the comics! Well, one of the neat things that came together at the last minute was the SUPERIOR SHOWCASE #3 signing that we had on Friday afternoon. Dustin thought it would be neat (and ended up being tight!) to have all four creators sit down and sign people’s copies of the comic. And it was fun! Granted, everyone was already within 15 feet of each other on the floor, but to have them at the table was special. In fact, the last comic that got sketched in was mine! I got three of the four cartoonists to do something! Can you guess who didn’t do something? Can you?
Haw! I’m just yankin’ Dustin’s chain. He’s BUSY at this show, and it was cool he took the time to do this signing thing. In case you don’t recognize them, that’s Roger, Jim, Dustin and Laura during the screaming throngs of fans!
The other cool thing I enjoyed watching at the show was Josh Cotter create his puking robot for the art auction. I’ve always been a fan of the auction, and have donated, created, and bought things for as long as I can remember. The thing I haven’t done is the LIVE ART, which I would find intimidating. But Josh… man, he created what I think is one of the best things ever created at the show.
This was a full size sheet of the illustration board they used with acrylic paint. He spent around 1.5 hours on it, and does it sing! Later that night, it would be one of the final pieces in the art auction that was loads of fun. I was second highest bidder, and lost to a Dad who bought it for his daughter. Man, it doesn’t get better than that! The girl stopped by on Sunday to meet Josh, but he had to take off to catch his flight. So, I put one of Josh’s stickers on the back, and wrote his name and HEROESCON 2008 on there to help everyone remember. What a cool thing to have hanging in your bedroom at such a young age!
I didn’t come away empty handed from the auction, though. I won a fantastic painting by Jason Latour of a skeleton dude with a gun. Later I found out that it was Jason’s THIRD painting, which makes me sick. He has some talent folks. The other piece of art that caught my eye was the original work of the Indie Island poster done by the uber-talented Scott Campbell. I was in it for a bit, but having not known that the piece was going to be in the show, I hadn’t “planned” to spend that type of money, and thus it went to an even better home.
Yes, Mr. Fancy Tux Wearing MC has got one fantastic piece of art to gaze at lovingly. But since he built Indie Island, it only make sense that he be able to gaze at it every day.
Like I mentioned above, Josh had to miss Sunday due to the plane, so our pal J Chris Campbell scooted on over and kept us company. We love the JCC, and we tickled each other’s fancies all day long. One of the highlights was him giving Chris Staros of Top Shelf a BOX FULL of newspapers from when Elvis died. It was crazy! (A note: Please ASK Chris if he wants such things before bringing them, though, as publishers tend to have enough stuff to lug away from these shows.)
And here’s one of last memories of the show… A nice lady is looking at all our goods on the table and ends up buying a set of JCC’s fantastic buttons. As we sit there and talk, she mentions that her son is sitting in Artist Alley and his room mate was in that book that had deer-guy on the cover. (I had some posters sitting on the other side of the table.) So, I think about the guest list, do the roomie connection, and yep, here I am talking to Paulo Rivera’s mother. For those who might not know, Paulo’s roomie was Reid Johnson, who did the Thrustman story in SUPERIOR. And who was the model for Thrustman? Paulo. So, we sit there and talk about her son, comics and other things when up walks Paulo’s dad. How cool is that? Both his parents are at the show. Ends up she’s from West Virginia (like me), but we’re both from different parts. And, I had seen his dad at the auction the night before, and wondered who he might have been, since he was hanging around a group of young cartoonists.
Anyway, I just enjoyed that moment, and it’s moments like that which makes Heroes special.
Other quick shout outs of things I’m glad happened:
- Finally talking with Frank Santoro. This guy is a WEALTH of comics knowledge. If I ever have a production or historical comic question, I know I can hit him up and more than likely get the right answer.
- Discovering Daniel at Steam Crow Press. I stumbled upon him by being mesmerized by his little Steam Crows. Well, actually, I SHOULD have been mesmerized by his booth display. Y’know.. the industrial smoke stacks!
- Talking shop with our pal Marc Nathan who will be rockin’ the world with his Baltimore Comicon in September.
- Hanging with and purchasing the goods from Duane Ballenger of WAPPIE fame. That man is a marketer! His way cool pencil case was a hit with Josh Cotter!
- Meeting the swell shop owners from Florida. There were TWO different shops that came up to me and introduced themselves and told me a bit about their stores. And can I say, WOW! They have it going on. I don’t have their cards in front of me, but I’ll be back to link them. Who knew Florida could be that cool. (OK. They are: Store 101 and A Comic Shop.)
- Chillin’ with Andrew Neal of Chapel Hill Comics fame. We tend to laugh at the same jokes.
- Oh! And FINALLY getting a chance to visit the HEROES AREN’T HARD TO FIND store. What a store! Great selection, fantastic fixtures and genius storage!
Check out my photo set for other highlights from the show.
And finally, a BIG, BIG thanks to everyone who makes the show so enjoyable. Shelton, Dustin, all the staff and volunteers. I may not say it enough, but YOU make this show great, and I enjoy the hell out of it.
If I forgot to mention you in this report, it is because I suck. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat, trade or hang. Hopefully we’ll all see each other again next year.