Brant was a fan of comics as a kid and it stuck with him into adulthood. These days he's also an aspiring comic creator. This column discusses his personal journey from fandom to the annals of the creative society that is the world of comics. Brant's current comic series is Wannabez and this is his journey. (If it's you're first time joining him, you can visit the link at the bottom of the article to start the journey from the beginning.)
2009 CONVENTIONS AND SHOWS Part 2
Heroes Con was... an adventure. That's the best way to describe what we here at CR call "the con that must not be named". Not because it was a bad show, quite the contrary-but because of the problems we faced getting there and during the show that really plagued the trip for us. Had the con itself not been so great it would have been a nightmare of a trip. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I had never been to Heroes Con, or Charlotte for that matter, but I had always heard it was a great show. For years I had wanted to attend that con because of all the great things I'd heard about it from friends, colleagues, and recollections online. It seemed like a show full of energy and very indie friendly, things I really wanted to experience. But for various reasons, I was never able to go. Until last year as part of Team Comic Related!
Becoming a part of CR has opened my life to a world of friends, conventions and fun times all around. Through CR and good friends, I have been able to attend cons I wouldn't normally have been able to go to, Heroes Con being one of them. So when I was asked to go and be a part of the show in some capacity for CR it was a no-brainer for me. Why wouldn't I go?
So then it was set. In June 2009 I would be traveling to North Carolina for the first time (though I lived in South Carolina for a year as a kid), and attending what I had heard for years to be a show not to be missed. So all good times right? Oh, so wrong.
If you haven't heard the road trip tapes or our account of the show afterwards, go look up those episodes of The Related Recap and Zone 4 in the podcast archive. And yes, Heroes Con can be blamed for the first 2 hour Zone 4 podcast, a trend we haven't been able to successfully disperse with since.
To make a long story short, because of a GPS being apparently set on a scenic route, what should have been a 7-8 hour drive took us 12 hours as we drove into the wrong state, went down some back roads that make Deliverance look like a vacation, and had us all pulling our hair out in frustration and exhaustion when the trip was all done. Did I mention we didn't learn our lesson on the way there and it took us 12 hours to get home too, as we went 3 hours in the wrong direction? Yeeeaahhh....
Then of course while we were there we lost about 75% of the audio coverage we got while there, which included some great interviews with very talented creators that will sadly never be aired.
But it wasn't all bad, mind you. We had an amazing time at the con. It was the first con I was at as a part of CR at the CR booth, going around doing interviews and so on and so forth. I was also there for Haven and a little for CXP, so I was making those spiels as well throughout the weekend. I had the opportunity to talk to a bunch of creators, some who I had known online but had never met in person. Meeting Pamela, and the Soares, and the guys from Highburn, Jason Martin, and so on and so forth were highlights of the weekend for me as I had conversed with all of them online for years. Oh, and of course finally meeting Ray Dillon and Renae De Liz in person after conversing with them on Digital Webbing for years. They, of course, got married a month later at San Diego Comic Con as we covered here on CR.
One night I overheard a couple of people talking about Haven and inserted myself into their conversation and we ended up talking for a long while about Haven, though sadly theirs was one of the CR audio interviews that was lost for good. Sorry guys!
This con marked the biggest CR crew ever to hit a con, too, with Darren, Jackie, Chuck, John and myself all present and accounted for, doing interviews, manning the table, taking photos and so on and so forth.
Chuck also got to be on the podcasting panel, and John and I sat in and listened. I forgot to mention that our table was right beside Comic Geek Speak as well, so we got to talk and joke with them all weekend and had a lot of fun doing so.
The cool thing about Heroes Con is that it has a lot of the bigger guys, like artists and writers from Marvel and DC and Image, but also has the mid-size companies and all the indie guys intermixed with each other in a way no other con does it. Usually the cutoffs of these three sections are very distinct at other cons I've attended or heard about, with the bigger companies in one concentrated section, the mid-size guys beyond them, then the indie guys shoved in an artist alley way in the back or off to the side. At Heroes Con it's all equal footing, and that makes it a completely different experience than other shows.
We had a ton of fun hanging out with each other and with other creators, and it was among my favorite shows ever, though that long haul carrying all our stuff from the hotel to the convention floor was brutal!
Another thing that came out of the show was a realization for CR of who we were and where we wanted to go from there. And ever since then we've constantly been working towards that goal.
The show was a complete success in many ways for all of us despite the hardships we faced. And while creatively it wasn't a furthering of anything for me personally, as a member of Comic Related and even with Haven it was a step forward on my overall journey.
Past Columns - Start the Journey at the beginning! Click here to check out all the past Journey of a Wannabe columns.
Brant W. Fowler / Writer, Letter, Creator, Reviewer, Columnist and Comic Related PR Coordinator
Brant W. Fowler has been a professional comic book letterer and logo designer for three years, and has been a freelance editor for the past five years. He has also worked with graphic design, writing and many other area of skills for several years honing his talents. You can learn all about what he's up to by visiting Gonzogoose Design. Brant is also a member of the core operations team at Comic Related.
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