Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Heather's Top 10 Things to Do at HeroesCon 2013

Believe it or not, this will be my first ever HeroesCon as just as fan.  My HeroesCon experience started behind the Info Booth and I have decided to take year off to just enjoy all there is on the Charlotte Convention Center floor.  I picked an excellent year to do this in that HeroesCon will be in two halls which means a bigger Artists Alley and more exhibitors! Without further ado, my HeroesCon 2013 Top 10 Things I will be doing:

Drink and Draw
1.  Drink and Draw: I've been working this excellent fundraising event the past two years and I am happy to just
hang out, eat, drink, and bid on art to support the great cause of Team Cul de Sac.  For those of you that may be unfamiliar, Team Cul de Sac's creator, Richard Thompson, was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and Asheville's own Chris Sparks assembled a wonderful art book in support of both Richard and research for a cure.  Be sure to stop by the Hilton bar after the show closes on Friday!

2.  The Art Auction: Even if you don't win (or even bid on) a piece of art, this is a fun event.  There's so much art to enjoy, you'll want to get there before the auction starts on Saturday night to view all of the pieces contributed by various guests of the show.  

3.  Panels: I've heard rumors of a Wolverine panel featuring my two favorites Jasons and I was able to strong arm Seth into confessing that he will be moderating a Hawkeye panel.  I am reading so much Marvel this year! As always there will be a ton of panels to choose from no matter what your reading selections of the moment may be, so be sure to set aside some time to grab a seat.  

4.  Artist Alley (Guests and Small Press):  Where do I even start? No, really, I need some help mapping out who to see and where to go! I need to assemble my sketch and art "wish list".  

5. Indie Island: It's like a convention within a convention.  Discover new creators and check out the new works of old favorites.  If you can think of a crazy comic idea that you want to read, someone in Indie Island has probably already made it! 

Nick Cardy painting at the Live Art Stage
6. Live Art Stage: Want to see where all the magic happens for the Art Auction.  Stop by the newly enlarged Live Art Stage in the center of the convention floor and watch works of art come together before your very eyes.  

7. Westin Bar: The best place to wind down after a long day at the show and hang out with your friends before heading to bed.  Although it seems like some nights at the con are more like power naps than a full night's sleep.  

8.  Sunday Art Auction:  There's so much great art that the auction has evolved into a two day event concluding with an auction on the con floor by the Live Art Stage that even has it's own place on the map this year.  

9.  Cos-play Photo Shoot: On the Saturday of the con, tons of cos-players will be gathering at 2pm for their
Wonder Woman!
annual group shot.  If you love seeing your favorite characters in real life, this will be a great place to gather to snap photos and see for yourself all the amazing costumes people have assembled to celebrate their love of comics.

10: The Heroes Store Booth: The heart of the convention for many reasons for me.  Admittedly, this will be the best place to find my husband who has been working tirelessly to have the best stock pulled for both grown-ups and kids.  Seriously, the kids' stock is great.  No worries about your little reader stumbling across books they don't need to read for years when they have their own boxes to hunt through.  


Saturday, May 25, 2013

HeroesCon: Where to Eat 2013 Update

Greetings my fellow HeroesCon attendees! Is it lunchtime yet? That's a question you'll overhear from me this year as I will be at my first HeroesCon as fan.  I will be out from behind the Info Booth and in the wild for my meals! In place of doing a whole new post, I have just added some additions to last year's post which you can find here.

Have I mentioned my love of food trucks and that Charlotte is graced with some amazing trucks? We now have a grilled cheese truck, y'all! Few foods make me happier than a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.  Well, perhaps an elaborate and delicious cupcake, but really, dessert is a totally separate food group.  Cupcake Delirium and Roaming Fork are generally parked on Pecan Street (the side street that runs on the Crisp side of the Heroes store) on Friday nights while others gather in the food truck lot on South Blvd.  If you're interested, be sure to check the twitter accounts of the specific trucks for location information.

Food Truck Additions and Favorites:
Papi Queso: @papiquesotruck
Cupcake Delirium: @onthegocupcakes
Roaming Fork: @roamingforkNC
Maki Taco: @makitacotruck

Walking Distance Additions:
Queen City Q: You're in North Carolina, you might as well stroll on over to take part in what seems like one of our main food groups, BBQ.  For those of you of the non-Southern persuasion, BBQ doesn't mean hamburgers and hot dogs, but rather smoked meat like pork shoulder, brisket and chicken.  Queen City Q also has a wide selection of traditional sides like collard greens, potato salad, and green bean casserole.

Worth the Drive Additions:
JJ's dogs have the Renzi stamp of approval
JJ's Red Hots: A hot dog joint with something from everyone now that a veggie dog has been added to the menu.  Seth and Rico can probably give you feedback on most dogs on the menu between the two of them.  I love the salmon sliders myself and their onion rings are delicious.

Bean Vegan: Bean is now open and there's a familiar face behind the counter with vegan chef, Charles, who some of you may recognize from the Info Booth at HeroesCon.  There's a lot on the menu to make both vegans and their meat eating friends very happy.  I recommend the pulled BBQ sandwich and the cowboy cookies (these are up there with some of the best cookies I have ever eaten! If you go to Bean, bring me some cookies!)

Heroes Neighborhood Additions:

Phat Burrito: That's right, Rob Ullman, there are two locations for you to choose from, one just down the block from Heroes.  Pick up a comic or ten and enjoy a pleasant stroll to work off that gigantic burrito you're about to consume.

The Central Burger at Joe Hooper's
Photo by Rico "The Belly" Renzi
Joe Hooper's Beverage and Sandwich Exchange: Seth and Rico love this new restaurant that features insane burgers and other delicious bar food.  They even top their Central Burger with a giant ball of fried mac and cheese.  Unhinging python jaw optional?

Hubee D's: If you're a fan of the delicious banned meat of Chew, be sure to check out Hubee D's, another Fat Friday favorite of some unnamed Heroes staff members.

Happy HeroesCon and happy eating, my friends! See you in two weeks!

UPDATE: I've been informed by Heroes' one and only, Shelton Drum, that not only will HeroesCon be taking place June 7-9, but Taste of Charlotte will also be going on in uptown.  This event gives you an opportunity to sample a number of Charlotte restaurants, just a short walk from the Convention Center.  For my vegan friends, ZiZi's Vegan (which is located more in the University area) will be set up, giving you another excellent vegan option!

I also had some suggestions from friends on some restaurants I missed on the first round.  Be sure to stop by Rick Fortenberry's booth at the Con and thank him for suggesting Mac's Speed Shop, Bill Spoon's BBQ, and Brooks Sandwich House.  The caveat to Brooks is they are only open Monday-Friday, 7am-3pm so you'll need to hit that for lunch on Friday or Monday.