Man, oh man… HeroesCon is simply the best.
It’s just so daggon fun. We did the math before we went, and this is the seventh year we exhibited. We went a few times as a fanboy before that, so really, we’ve been watching this grow into one of the best shows in the US. (And yes, that was a period.)
What makes it so good? Just having a good time! I’ve never been a word guy, so I’ll apologize for this rambling reportage in advance. I’ll sprinkle some good ol’ photos in there to keep it interesting as well. So, here we go in a chrono-sort of order.
I opted for the cheapskate way and decided to drive down early Friday morning. The storms that night didn’t help, as our pooches don’t like storms. So, I found myself hitting the road at 3:30 freaking AM. I don’t mind that too much, though. I always like driving around when others aren’t. A weird solitary relaxing thing. However, having to work a show until 7pm makes for some yawning!
But we (me and the comics?!?) arrive, I do the load in, park the car, and actually get to check into the hotel at around 9am. Where the hell else does that happen? Fantastic! I head back over to the show and proceed to unpack and organize my space. Usually the air isn’t hitting full force at these times, so I’ve learned to take a hankypanky (thanks J Chris and Duane!)
And I change shirts after I’m hopefully all done sweating. I only mention that because it became a weird shirt-off showdown between Alec LongstrechArmStrong and myself. Don’t worry. He wins. But that might be why there are pics of me shirtless on the internet. I recall Dharbin asking if I hit a tanning booth.
Shortly after getting my game on, the Pittsburghers show up. By that, it’s good ol Jimmie Rugg, Tom Scioli and Ed Piskor. Did I mention we had an AWESOME island within Indie Island? We did. Also included in our Island was our bud C. Scott Morse, Jim FoodOne Mahfood, Nathan Fox, Paul Maybury and Atomic Robo Scott Wegener. I’m an ass. I never got around to talking to Scott. So, sorry.
Friday is pretty casual. Not a mad rush (unless you’re an Adam Hughes Fan?). So, we glide into the day, meeting and greeting. Two of the first people I met at the show was our main squeeze Dustin Harbin and Neil. Neil’s a sweetie. He brought us both gifts that shall remain unspoken.
During the show, good ol’ Tom Spurgeon stopped by to chat for a bit. Here’s his thoughts on the show. If you ever get a chance to chat with Tom, you should. Other chatters we’d like to name drop from the weekend: Tim O’Shea, Johanna Draper Carlson, Mr. Phil Jackson, Andrew Chapel Hill Neal, Marc Nathan, Justin Gammon, Adam Daughhetee, the fanaticon guys, Bryan Deemer, Darrin from Comic Envy, Chuck Moore, Shannon Stewart, Bob Schreck and countless others who I’m afraid I’m forgetting. Sorry.
During the first day, Frank Miller from Richmond Comix swung by to surprise me as I was talking to the Goodins. It was a nice surprise, since this was Frank’s first time to Heroes. The big kicker is that Frank is a pretty big Scott Morse fan. Going back to purchasing his first piece of art from the Telstar Travelling Art Show! So,Frank was all curious when the Morse was going to show. See, Morse was running a bit late due to some airline cancellation.
Fast forward an hour or two, and Mr. Morse shows up to a semi-line awaiting him. He barely has time to settle in before people are curious to see what goodies he might have brought!
Later that night Morse, Frank, his daughter Jess and myself would head out to Phat Burrito for some quick and easy grub. Nothing too crazy since I was coasting on fumes. That said, we did make it over to the 22 Gallery art show… which was pretty awesome. Lots of fantastic art including some great Kirby and Ditko. Didn’t last long as sleep was calling me!
Most of Saturday now seems a blur. The big stand out during the show was my inclusion on a panel called Defective Comics: A Celebration of Superhero Oddness which was moderated by Ben Towle and Craig Fischer. The other panelists were Jeff Parker, Evan Dorkin, and Colleen Coover. When it was my turn to talk, I didn’t say too much other than I was there to hear Evan rant. And did he ever! Well, not really ranting.. more like just being Evan. If you’ve never had that chance, you’re missing something. I guess my big moment was when Ben asked me who I thought the lamest superhero might be, and I told him the first that came to my mind was Forbush Man. And Evan exclaimed “He was SUPPOSE to be lame!” Well, I then rebutted that I guess I was curious to read the new Arsenal comic and off the conversation ran!
Later that night I had a chance to talk even further with Craig Fischer. He’s quite an interesting person. He kept our conversations constantly moving and knows a fair amount about film and comics. Our other gang of talkers was Roger Langridge, MK Reed, Chris Schweizer and Tom Spurgeon. Jim Rugg and I had a deep conversation as well. But the bourbon might have been talking, too. (Jim has been acting more like an AdHouse EiC of late. Just saying! Also, I like this. His thoughts, opinions and advise are valuable.)
Honestly, I forget if it was Saturday or Sunday, but I got a chance to chat with Hope Larson and her Mom. That was nice.
Did I mention how awesome Joe Lambert is? Well, he is.
Saturday Dinner! We did Mert’s. It was crowded. We had a reservation. Didn’t help, since 1/2 the group couldn’t make it there in time. But it all worked out. Great conversations, food and times were had. I’m glad Sammy ended up joining in, since he is always a pleasurable conversationalist.
I hit the hay rather early since I’m old, and I had to be ready for SUNDAY! Which I put in all caps to emphasize the excitement of shopping before you’re stuck behind a table. Morse and I made our way in right when they opened and straight to Frank Miller’s 1/2 price boxes. Man… Did you see that Heckle & Jeckle he found? That cover is awesomeness. I wandered a bit (since I had already bought my comics from Frank) and was really coming up empty. I found a First Issue Special with The Creeper that I don’t ever recall owning. I bought Jim Rugg a Steeltown Rockers #1. That was about the glory of it all, which was kind of leaving me sad.
Then J Chris shows up, and puts it into 2nd gear. Following him around, I scored the Dave Cooper series Body Count. And then we found the Grendel Tales issue that printed my letter. (It was also a Dave Cooper comic!) I borrowed that to show a few people, since that had been one of the topics of discussion the night before. Later on I would find some awesoeme graphic novels. And when I got back, the Image Fairy had left a bundle on my chair!
Sometimes I forget to mention how much I love Top Shelf. All these guys are awesome. Rob V. rulez!
Sunday being Sunday, we’d all take turns venturing out to hunt and gather our obscure needs. One time I even won a piece of art!
The end of the show was the typical flurry of activity. Last minute purchases, trades, conversations and packing. When asked how well I did, I’d say “Well, I got it all out in one trip.” Which, as a solo guy, makes me happy. As Josh Latta noted, we now deal with the Post Con depression. I’ll look back on this one as one of the best. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, BIGBIG thanks to Shelton, Dustin, Shawn, Phil, Seth and ALL the volunteers who make this show so great. You feel like family. Family that I WANT to visit.
On the way back home, I saw a 2nd rainbow, to bookend the first that happened the day before the show started. Now, is that magic, or just weird weather?