Around this time last year, I got a (possibly drunk) tweet from a friend, a North Carolina local, yelling at me for not being at Heroescon. I sited that I couldn’t attend due to cost/other commitments, but if the show was interesting enough, I’d make an attempt to go. Word of mouth, promises of the best BBQ and an exciting guest list won me over quickly, so instead of attending Dragon*Con this year, I flew down to NC to give Heroescon a shot. Here’s 10 things I’ve discovered from attending the show, and some photos of my experience. Spoiler warning: I really liked it.
10) Heroescon con is a LEGIT comics convention. That much is obvious, but by legit I mean the guests/artists in the alley are STRICTLY comics professionals. No wrestlers/voice actors/b-list celebrities. Which is refreshing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool when Reed Pop! snags an Avengers or Doctor Who related guest for NYCC or C2E2, but I rather talk scripts with Matt Fraction, then try to awkwardly ignore former wrestle Virgil for the hundredth time. Dude has not aged gracefully.
9) It is fairly impossibly to eat healthy in Charlotte, which sucks if you’re a vegan/vegetarian. But it’s also way easier/cheaper to score food in and around the convention center. Also Bonjangles was a place I may have eaten at every day of the con, and still have zero regrets about because their chicken and biscuits are amazing. I’ve also not checked my weight upon return from NC, fearing the results.
8) “You may not touch Stan Lee, but Stan may touch you.” The first part was was actually said to those who signed up for photos/autographs with the living legend, but the later was a unspoken truth. At least according to several of my female friends who met Stan the Man on Saturday. However his behavior was more amusing than offensive, which is nice to see, as he’s been married for several decades, and I would like to see it stay that way.
7) Speaking of men behaving badly, the rumors of Southern Gentlemen are greatly exaggerated. While I was the appointed purse/swag carrier for my friend cosplaying Black Widow, I noticed several men “sniping” photos of her. “Sniping” is the term where photos are taken of a cosplayer, usually from behind, without their constant, as said photos are usually of the girl’s back end. Believe it or not, cosplayers WILL poses for photos 9 out of 10 times when asked (not of their asses though). Also please, don’t ask any stupid questions. It’s awkward as hell when you come up to me and ask “Did you LET her out of the house dressed like that”, when “she” isn’t my wife, and this is the year 2012, where that sort of crap isn’t tolerated.
6) Using that to segway into a cosplay discussion, it’s worth noting that the number of cosplayers at the convention was quite small compared to some of the bigger shows I’ve been to. Although amongst the dozens of Black Widows, Hawkeyes, and Harley Quinns, there were some more obscure characters, like Clea (Doctor Strange’s ex), Ray Palmer, and Madam Viper. I have several friends from the Superhero Costuming Forum who invited me along for their photoshoot. The event brought out about 50 cosplayers in total, which is small compared to what they usually get at say Dragon*Con. Still, there’s some solid stuff in there, which is always nice to see. Feel free to guess where I am in the photo.
5) The type of panels you’ll see at Heroescon vary greatly from the ones you see at SDCC or NYCC. No one is plugging the “New 52” or “AvX” there. No, you’ll get Marv Wolfman and George Perez discussing their legendary “Teen Titans” run, the Immonens sharing stories on how they worked together. And Matt Fraction discussing his work on “Thor” and “Iron Man” with the likes of Bob Layton and Walt Simonson. Also a “War Rocket Ajax” podcast recording with Matt Wilson and a slightly hung over Chris Sims, in which Ponies, board games and Jason Stratham were all topics of discussion. Continue reading