Tuesday, June 11, 2013

HeroesCon 2013

To be perfectly frank - I wasn't 100% sure if I wanted to go to this years HerosCon. I was on the fence. I didn't want to make the three hour drive by myself. Then, out of the blue, I got an mail from and old friend. A plan was made.

I went thru the personal "Archive" trying to figure out what I wanted signed and by whom. They had more creators there, than I was actually aware of. I guess that the point, to get more exposure, increase awareness - get the word out about things you may not have heard about and get people interested.

I couldn't remember the last time my friend and I just hung out without kids, wives or some "event" giving us an excuse to get together. This was genuinely cool and then I really started looking forward to; and getting excited about the Show. If it were possible for us to have had a "love child" on our last adventure, that kid could have driven us. It was that long ago since we road-tripped.

The drive to Charlotte from Raleigh was a wet one. Tropical Storm Andrea was on the tail end of visiting our area and she left a lakes of water in parking lots everywhere. Rain. Gray sky's. very tired windshield wipers.. Then, somewhat suddenly, the Sun broke thru. A gorgeous day fought its way out after a sloppy start. While trying to park we had a possible Jim Steranko sighting.

After parking, we got tickets easy-peasy (ie. very small line) and waited for the magic moment to strike where they let the riff-raff into the convention hall. Grabbed a couple of copies of The Women of Geekdom Calendar. Flipped thru it as we waited. There was maybe a couple hundred folk in front of us in the line. It flowed quickly and I did not feel pushed around in the herd. I get edgy when that happens I like some space and personal distance. Things that are too crowded wigs me out. I don't shop on Black Friday for this very reason.

So now we were waiting for the turnstiles to start moving...
Cos-players always amuse me and they did not disappoint. They were milling about getting like the rest of us. There were blocky pixelated Minecraft characters (Not to be confused with the German game Meincraft). Indiana Jones, Deadpool, Stormtroopers and even a little kid dressed as a Storm-trooper. He was more like a Lego mini-figure of a Storm-trooper.

The requisite cleavage queens were in attendance making infants everywhere very thirsty. However, the oddest Cos-player I saw by FAR was the large black fellow dressed as Storm. He had the flowing cape the big classic head-dress and a booming baritone. The juxtaposition was frightening. I would have made my usual snarky-jokes, but I was afraid I'd wind up as a greasy spot on the floor. Maybe he was there because he lost a bet....

Once in the hall my biggest priorities were to visit with Steranko and Roy Thomas. Mission accomplished. Both guys were genuinely into the scene and seemingly happy to mingle and spend some time with the fans. They are fine, fine ambassadors for the hobby and consummate professionals.
Much respect!

So the strategy was to get the signings and then work our way from one end of the convention hall to the opposite side before lunch. A quick first pass. To ID the guys who had the wall books I was craving, from the guys with glorified dollar boxes. After visiting with my childhood driving fetishes - the Bat-mobile and the DeLorean from Back to the Future; it was time to get to work and fill up my back-pack.

Lots of stuff there....
My gracious it was overwhelming. I walked around until my feet hurt.
I got some of my favorite Mylar bags there. Saw some of my favorite vendors there. Earl Shaw and Tomorrows Treasures were in attendance. My fellow day-tripper found me hawking over some bins and he brought me a beer. Not that this was unheard of, I've killed many a brain cell in this fashion with this friend. But I found drinking beer and looking at comics kind of oddly disorienting.

I even saw Shelton Drum on the floor. The MAN for putting this show together for the past 31yrs. I would have said "Hi" - but I didn't have the heart to bother him on his busiest weekend of the year.

Over the years, I have gotten GREAT deals off of all of these guys. Unfortunately, I didn't find anything I couldn't live without this go-round. I was in a very specific Silver Age Key Book kind of mood.

After much hunting, and internal debating - I finally got a book on my bucket list. I even found some good deals on a couple of T-shirts to bring back home to my kids.

Then it was time to go home.

In closing - What a great "Little Comic Show".
I have been able to make the HeroesCon in Charlotte two of the last three years. Its wonderful. No disrespect; but Charlotte isn't quite the same draw in the way that New York, Philadelphia, Chicago or San Diego are. I get that. The "Big City" shows certainly get exposure and interest from the all fans, vendors and science fiction and fantasy celebrities in attendance.

And deservedly so, I love that stuff and its a BIG DEAL. The signings, appearances and the event spectacle of it are really cool and all, but if you are there just for the BOOKS - then Charlotte is the show for you need to be at. You need to make the special effort to get to the Charlotte show!

I could actually walk around without feeling claustrophobic. Perhaps the availability of beer made people more tolerable for me. It was a strange sensation drinking beer and looking at comics.

The plan, the drive, the show the return trip. Smooth as glass.
Fantastic little day trip!

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