Friday, June 10, 2011

Seth Reflects on HeroesCon '11

     Before I start my post about HeroesCon '11, I'd like to mention that the past few weeks have easily been the most physically grueling and emotionally exhausting weeks of my life.  Other than the obvious mammoth that is HeroesCon, the main reason for my weariness was the unexpected loss of Heather's incredible mother.  I know Heather appreciates all the support she's received from friends and family, but I'd like to take a quick opportunity to mention that I also appreciate it more than I can adequately express.  Going through a loss at any time is difficult, but going through it the week before the busiest professional week of the year adds a whole other degree of complication to it.  I'm particularly grateful to my boss Shelton Drum for understanding my need to be with Heather and her family as much as I was, right up through the funeral.  That's something I'll always appreciate.  Now on to my Con thoughts!

     This is the first year I've been writing for a blog other than Heroes' own, and this affords me a new opportunity to reflect on the Con in a new way.  As difficult as it is to be a part of the organization of the Con, and as physically demanding as the month leading up to the event always is, there are inevitably countless little moments that occur at HeroesCon that make me want to work even harder at my part of it.  This was my fifth year being a part of the HeroesCon management team, and every year in spite of the stress I'm reminded why I love comics and the people who help make HeroesCon work.  It's always the effortless, unplanned things that I remember, and this year was no exception.

     From a 'professional' standpoint I'm very happy that this year marked my first foray into more writing and editing adventures.  Heather and I co-wrote the introduction to the first ever Sketch Charlotte Anthology, which was sold by several group members at the Con.  In addition to that I was humbled to write the introduction for Henry Eudy's "The Pretentious Pervert" sketchbook of lovely ladies.  Heather mentioned how gratifying it was to introduce Henry and his work to the living legend Irwin Hasen. That too stands as one of my favorite moments of the con.  I also got to introduce Henry to another living legend, Roger Langridge, which was another treat for me.  Heather and I love pushing artists we love, and we both admire the hell out of Henry and his work.

     Though I departed Friday night's Drink and Draw function quite early, I was happy to co-create a one page strip for Team Cul de Sac with my friend and Heroes' cohort Justin Crouse, another fine cartoonist.  Hopefully we'll work on some other silly comics in the future.  Another highlight of Drink and Draw was being able to talk with Richard Thompson, who is as kind a man as he is a skilled cartoonist. And I'd be remiss not to mention that it was truly an honor to help edit the HeroesCon program book with Rico Renzi, my friend and tireless Con organizer.  My first HeroesCon was 1994, and to help put the Con and the book together is something I've always aspired toward.

     Aside from the sense of accomplishment that presently accompanies the ever-present exhaustion, I'm thinking a lot about the people I met and talked to, and the ones I see only at conventions throughout the year, but who always make things more enjoyable for me.  There were state of the industry and conventions conversations with Shannon Smith, Joey Weiser, J. Chris Campbell that got me thinking and planning for next year's con.  There were humorous talks with guys I have humorous talks with all the time, Jason Latour and Chris Brunner, who also introduced me to their talented friends Paul Azaceta and Robbi Rodriguez, both of whom were kind enough to start my collection of Rocketeer art.  There were brief talks with Cliff Chiang, Darwyn Cooke, Ryan Sook, John Arcudi and Geof Darrow, all creators whose work I highly respect.  There were several talks with the incredible Stephanie Buscema, whose painting of the Thing was a great score for Heather and I at the art auction. And there were plenty of laughs with the great HeroesCon staffers and volunteers who make my job a little easier and more enjoyable.  Finally, I have to mention my friends Steve Saffel and Dana Hayward, who were full of their usual kindness, encouragement, and insightful conversation.

     At the end of it all though, we're really all there because we love comics.  Much like my assessment of Free Comic Book Day, I walk away from HeroesCon '11 thankful that I was in a place of positivity and love for comics.  For someone who works on the retail side of the industry and also writes about it for two blogs, events like HeroesCon do a lot to help reinvigorate me and my appreciation for the form of comics.  I guess it has never really dwindled much in my life, but we all need weekends where we're reminded of the joy that comics bring us when we allow it.  Don't forget, next year marks the 30th anniversary of HeroesCon.  You better believe me when I say that Shelton, Rico, myself, and the rest of us are already planning big things.  Now, I think, I can take a nap.  


  1. Nice post, Seth! I only was only at the show on Sunday, but I had a fantastic time. Thanks for helping the show be great!

  2. It was great to get a chance to chat with you Seth. Thanks for all you guys do.

  3. Great post, brother.

  4. Great post, Seth! And great job... y'all put in so much effort to make great things happen. And they do happen, for sure!!