Monday, June 18, 2012

Heather's Top 10 Things to do at HeroesCon

There's a lot to see and do at HeroesCon every year and there's just no way to see and do everything that's packed into the Charlotte Convention Center.  Everyone has their favorite or "must do" list of things you just shouldn't miss.  To help you narrow down what shouldn't be missed at the 30th Anniversary HeroesCon, I have assembled my personal Top 10 (plus some bonus picks).  
ONE: Art Auction: Do you love great art? Who doesn’t? To see and buy wonderful art for your very own, be sure to be at the Art Auction in the Westin Hotel ballrooms on Saturday night. A bonus is watching the Smoker's Jacket Club (I'm sure they have a more official name, but the jackets are what make them easy to spot) bid against each other and just have a roaring good time.   

 TWO: Drink and Draw: Heroes added this event to their line-up last year and it is the only place to be the Friday night of HeroesCon.  Not only can you drink and draw (or just drink), you can pick up the awesome art produced that evening in the form of coasters or Bristol board. It’s an excellent opportunity to pick up very affordable pieces from some of your favorite artists.  Last year’s proceeds went to the excellent cause of fighting Parkinson’s Disease by way of Team Cul de Sac.  This year’s Drink and Draw returns to Fuel Pizza across from the Convention Center starting at 7pm on Friday night and wrapping up whenever everyone has put their pens and pencils down.  This year’s proceeds will go to the great cause of finding a cure for Parkinson's Disease.   

THREE: Panels: Outside of the convention floor, there's a great opportunity to get insight from creators on the HeroesCon panels.  Running each day of the con on the 2nd floor of the convention center, these panels feature writers and artists across the spectrum of  comics.  There's a panel for all interests: super heroes, indie, all ages, group panels and "conversation with" panels.  Chances are, if you can think of a topic, Heroes' own Andy Mansell has probably already put together a panel on it.  Seth and I will both be dipping our toes into the panel pool this year by moderating three panels of our very own.  Seth will be moderating a B.P.R.D. panel featuring Jason Latour, Mike Mignola, James Harren, and Paul Azaceta.  I will be moderating the Marvel's OZ discussion group panel featuring Skottie Young as well as a Jim Henson properties panel featuring Roger Langridge, Ramon PerezAmy Mebberson, and James Silvani.  

FOUR: Sketch Charlotte: There's a lot of a great local talent in Charlotte and a group of them gather almost every Thursday at the Showmars across the street from the Heroes store.  Group members that will be set up at HeroesCon are: Rich Barrett, Henry Eudy, Bridgit Schiede, and Herc Petmezas. For you visiting artists, Sketch Charlotte will have an open meeting for any out of town artist who would like to attend the Thursday before the con.  Just come by Showmars between 6:30 and 9 with your drawing tools.  

FIVE: Live Art Stage: Going hand and hand with the Art Auction, running on the show floor Friday and Saturday, you can watch the artists create the pieces that will be bid on Saturday night in the live auction and Sunday in the silent auction.  You gain a greater appreciation of the art up for sale when you have seen all the work that goes into it. 

SIX: Stephanie Buscema: You might say comics are in Stephanie’s blood with both her grandfather, John Buscema and uncle, Sal Buscema steeped in Marvel history.  Not only will Stephanie have lots of great art in the traditional format (that is to display on your walls), but she bringing notepads, tote bags, barrettes and jewelry all emblazoned with her amazing style.  It’s not a question of whether to buy something from her table, but rather how much to buy. 

SEVEN: Indie Island:  While in artist alley, be sure to check out the awesome section of indie artists all gathered behind golden draped tables. Browse mini-comics and independently published books to your heart's content. There's some great people on this golden island from Love and Rockets' Jaime Hernandez to Chris Pitzer of Adhouse Books to Rich Tommaso, who finished up a great Kickstarter campaign this spring to Top Shelf Books and all the awesome all ages books that come with them.
EIGHT: Heroes Kids Section: A new addition to the Heroes booth this year is a Kids Section! The staff (especially Seth) has been hard at work pulling a very special collection of all ages books that will be featured in their very own corner of the Heroes booth.  Be sure to stop by with your little ones to pick up some great books suitable for lovers of adorable comics, both young and old.

NINE: Handmade Stuffs: Do you like adorable things? Do you like cartoons and comics? If you answered yes to either question, then you must stop by the Handmade Stuffs booth and check out Jennifer's vast assortment of cute plush characters. 

TEN: Chris Schweizer: There are now three volumes of Crogan Adventures to choose from, so be sure to stop by his table in Indie Island and pick up a copy or three for your very own! Chris has also been known to rock suspenders at the con and this a style that no one should miss. 

Bonus Picks:
Info Booth: The best place to find me (and tell me how awesome these lists I keep making are!) You can pick up a great HeroesCon tee or three (trust me, you'll want at least three this year).  It's also the best place to get *information* about HeroesCon from cancellations to delays to the location of the bathroom and Stan Lee.  Speaking of Stan Lee...

Stan Lee:  Perhaps you've heard of a little man named Stan Lee or maybe seen his guest appearances on shows like The Big Bang Theory? Mr. Lee will be joining us at HeroesCon this year to sign autographs, take some photos and probably bestow some comic wisdom on us all.  His table won't be too far from the Info Booth, so stop by and say hello to us both! :)

What are you top things to see and do at HeroesCon? 


  1. I'm a long-time comic book reader; my parents bought me my first comic (Amazing Spider-Man 312) in 1989. I'm really excited and really nervous at the same time for this 30th Anniversary of HeroesCon. It'll be my first big convention (I've only been to VA Comicon once) and my wife and 5-month old daughter are coming too. My wife isn't into comics and she's going because she knows how much I've been looking forward to this and she loves me. This will also be our daughter's first road trip (about 6 hours from Norfolk, VA). I'm stoked, but I'm also kind of dreading it! Can you give me any pointers to make this a success?

  2. Planning is key. I decide on the creators that are "must-sees" and make their tables a priority to visit. This also helps with budgeting since so many of them are kind enough to put out sketch prices before the con.

    I also recommend checking out a couple of the panels. This is a good way to learn more about your favorite creators and books. It can also be a lot of fun to watch their interactions with each other and learn about new comics coming soon.

    If you can't make the live art auction Saturday night (it does get loud at times and with a 5 month old that might be difficult for you), check out the Sunday auction that takes place over by the live art stage. There's always lots of great pieces that didn't make it in the night before.

    When you've hit all of your "must-sees", take some time to wander around Artist Alley, particularly Indie Island to explore artists that are new to you. You never know what you'll find.

    We also have a lot of super friendly cosplayers which will give you some great photo ops with your daughter.

    If you have any other questions, please stop by the Info Booth where either I or one of our volunteers will be to help you out. I hope you have a great time with your family!