Looking back on our complete HeroesCon
Heroes Convention was founded in 1982 by Shelton Drum, owner of Charlotte's Heroes Aren't Hard To Find comics shop. Since then the convention has become famous for its comics-first and family-friendly atmosphere, where fans can mingle directly with professionals and exhibitors. Boasting an incredible guest list built mainly on reputation and goodwill, HeroesCon is known nationwide as a "must" on the summer schedule, drawing fans, exhibitors, and creators from every region of the country to the Charlotte Convention Center.
Without further ado, let the 2008 coverage begin...
HeroesCon Photos ... Round One
Thursday at HeroesCon ... The contention floor begins to take shape!
HereosCon Podcast - The Con Takes Shape
The Related Recap Episode #10
Episode #010 - Run time: 16 min, 14 sec
HeroesCon Photos ... Round Two
Friday at HeroesCon ... Day One ... The doors are open!
HeroesCon Photos ... Round Thee
Friday at HeroesCon ... Day One ... More from the show floor!
Our good friend Max Ink shares a couple photos!
HereosCon Podcast - Friday at HeroesCon
The Related Recap Episode #11
Episode #011 - Run time: 41 min, 46 sec
HeroesCon Photos ... Round Four
Saturday at HeroesCon ... Day Two Begins
More photos on the way later tonight!
HeroesCon Video ... A Walking Tour of HeroesCon
If you look closely, you'll see Matt Wagner, Jim Rugg, Wonder Woman
Dan Didio, The Joker, Colleen Doran, Erik Larsen, Robert Kirkman
and many, many more.
It's a bit grainy, but we thought we'd share it anyway.
The upload to YouTube didn't do this one justice.
More coverage on the way later tonight!
HeroesCon Photos ... Round Five
Saturday at HeroesCon ... More Photos from Day Two
HeroesCon Photos ... Round Six
Saturday at HeroesCon ... Our Final Saturday Gallery
More photos coming later tonight!
HeroesCon Photos ... Round Seven
Saturday at HeroesCon ... Scenes from the evening's auction!
The HeroesCon Annual Art Auction is one of the most well-known and enduring traditions on the convention circuit. Fans come from all over the country for the chance to bid pieces of original art not available anywhere else. The art is donated by guests of the show to help defray the cost of putting on the convention. This year's HeroesCon Art Auction took place for the first time in uptown Charlotte's coolest club, The Alley Cat and Comic Related was there...
HereosCon Podcast - Saturday at HeroesCon
The Related Recap Episode #12
Episode #012 - Run time: 42 min, 43 sec
HeroesCon Photos ... Round Eight
Saturday at HeroesCon ... Scenes from the HeroesCon Podcasting Panel
We're launching this gallery of photos from THE FUTURE OF PODCASTS IN THE MEDIA HeroesCon panel in conjunction with this evening's podcast sharing the full audio from the presentation.
Heidi MacDonald of The Beat moderated the panel featuring a who's who of comics podcasting talent including: Jimmy Aquino of Comic News Insider, Charlito of Indie Spinner Rack and Adam Murdough of Comic Geek Speak!
HereosCon Podcast - The Podcasting Panel
The Related Recap Episode #14
Episode #014 - Run time: 59 min, 53 sec
HeroesCon Photos ... Round Nine
Looking Back on HeroesCon ... Our First Sunday Gallery
HeroesCon Photos ... Round Ten
Looking Back on HeroesCon ... Our Second Set of Sunday Photos
HeroesCon Photos ... Round Eleven
Looking Back on HeroesCon ... Our Third Set of Sunday Photos
HeroesCon Photos ... Round Twelve
Looking Back on HeroesCon ... Our Final Round of Photos
HereosCon Podcast - Sunday at HeroesCon
The Related Recap Episode #13
Episode #013 - Run time: 36 min, 32 sec
Looking Back on Heroes Convention 2008
by Chuck Moore
As I sit here in a hotel in Chicago, Illinois just a few hours before Wizard World Chicago opens it's doors for preview night (and just a few short days after HeroesCon closed), I wanted to take a moment and look back on the recent Charlotte NC show. Now that a few days have past and the immediacy of the convention experience isn't quite so immediate, I thought it would be good to share a few parting thoughts on the show.
I have three simple words with which I will describe Heroes Convention for anyone who asks me how it went. Those words are... Best Con Ever! At some point this weekend, I will be proudly wearing my Indie Island t-shirt on the Chicago show floor.
I've been to quite a few conventions over the last few years, but this was my first chance to experience HeroesCon. At the start of 2008, the show wasn't even part of my travel plans or, quite honestly, even on my radar. It was just another show that I had heard good things about but didn't want to drive that far to visit. Having experienced it this last weekend, I couldn't have been more wrong and it was all Chris Pitzer's doing that got me to the show.
Chris and I were talking about upcoming conventions he planned to attend in support of AdHouse Books when he started describing just how great a show HeroesCon was both for creators and for comic fans. He said quite simply, "you've got to go". I closed the e-mail, pulled up google maps, plotted the distance at about 6.5 hours and thought Why not? It was about this same time that Indie Spinner Rack was running a contest to get someone to drive the hosts (Charlito and Mr. Phil) to HeroesCon. HeroesCon show organizers were giving the podcast table space AND offering a prize package to anyone who could get these two to the show. As I listened to their podcast and heard how hard the organizers were trying to increase indie and small press exposure, I knew this was a show I wanted to see. I e-mailed Chris back and told him I would be there.
So, how was the show?
I know I shared quite a bit of my opinions in our podcast coverage and I think I was quite positive in those reports. I sincerely try not to fanboy out when I do reports and I've determined, after the test run last weekend, that podcasting will now be a standard part of our evolving convention coverage.
When it comes to conventions, I'm striving to tell it like I see it in those audio reports. Much to my surprise, I've already seen that people (for example this time Bill Gladman and Chris Carpenter) may sometimes hop in a car and head for the show based on what I report so I think it only fair that I be as direct and honest as I can in that coverage. If attendance is low, I'll let you know. If I think there was too much media and not enough comics, I'll let you know. If I think a show is in decline, I'll let you know. If I think a show is booming and something you HAVE TO see, I'll let you know.
In the case of HeroesCon, you clearly have a show on the way up that has established itself among the best of the best. It may not be the biggest show, but it has a style others should emulate. Simply, it's an event that is in it's prime and I can say with all honesty that, whether I were doing a comic website or not... I will never miss this show again.
I believe the success HeroesCon is experiencing is happening for all the right reasons. HeroesCon is a creator and comic focused show. There wasn't an overbearing presence of video games, movie hype or even retailers at this event. This show was focused on the comics and those who make them. Dark Horse, Marvel, Fantagraphics and DC did not have booths at this show and that was fine by me as the mix of companies who did have table or booth space (say AdHouse Books, Top Shelf Productions, Ape Entertainment, Oni Press, Sparkplug Comics, Image, Boom! Studios as examples) were well represented. In terms of comic retailers, there was a healthy mix offering a DEEP selection of back issues and trades with some nice discounts, but there weren't so many that it seemed to dominate the show floor. In truth, it was the wide mix of individual creator tables that stole the show for me.
The last few shows I've attended were a lot of seen it... been there... yea, whatever... I just wasn't all that excited about the new books I was finding (and yes, New York Comic Con was among those recent shows). At HeroesCon, I couldn't grab interesting books I found fast enough. Indie and small press shared a very balanced spotlight with the household name creators and that was a very cool thing to see.
All creators (except for a very, very lucky few) make their initial chops creating comics in the world of indie and small press. Most within the industry remember what it felt like to have a book you're proud of sitting on the table and see 300 or 3,000 people pass by, politely smiling and never even leafing trough your pages. Creators remember the time when people first discovered their work and fans started to get excited about something they created. There's magic in those early days even if it can only be seen in retrospect.
At HeroesCon there is a sense of those who have made it coming out in support, exploring and experiencing the work of those who are up and coming. From the Mike Weringo tribute over at Fuel Pizza to the art auction over at Alley Cat, there was a sense of comic community at this show that I haven't felt since I attended S.P.A.C.E. earlier this year.
This was part of the magic of HeroesCon for me. Certainly, many of the big name stars are in attendance. Honestly, looking back on the guest list you could substitute the word "most" for "many" but it was the diverse mix of creators that blew me away.
Some of the highlights for me were meeting people like Dwight L. MacPherson, Alec Longstreth, Liz Baillie, Jay Fife, Jim Rugg, Joshua Cotter, Julia Wertz, Tom Neely, Roger Langridge, Heidi McDonald, Tom Spurgeon, Jimmy Aquino, Chris Pitzer (face to face for the first time) and so many others. It was also about getting to see friends like Pat Lewis, Ed Piskor, Matt Kindt, Van Plexico, Charlito and Mr. Phil, Kathy Peterson, Jon Hodges, Kevin Freeman, Bob Hickey and Max Ink. There are a lot of people to mention, but in the interest of getting this report onto the site I'll save talking about them for another day.
HeroesCon, quite simply, was a great show. I would like to end this look back by thanking Dustin Harbin of HeroesCon for making me feel so welcome and all the volunteers and employees who helped Heroes Aren't Hard to Find put on this show. There are many lessons, both in terms of caring for creators and in professionalism, that the conventions circuit could learn from this humble show. They're doing something really right in Charlotte and I plan to support it through my site any way I can.
"If it's comic related, you'll find it here!"
What a great show!
Can't wait to get back there next year.