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.
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.