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By Lee Roberts

Heroes Con 2012 30th Anniversary Recap


Another year come and another year gone too fast for Charlotte’s local comic convention Heroes Con. I got to say I really love going to this con each year and though I was greatly saddened that I wasn’t able to attend for the amount of time I would have liked, I walked away with more done in the little bit of time I was there than I expected. Now I gave you a rundown about what the con is about in another blog, but in this blog I just want to talk about my experience while being at the con.
This one to be exact http://www.shakefire.com/blogs/lee-roberts/2012/06/21/comic-cons-smallville-season-11-gets-a-cool-guest-news-for-comics-and-c

Let me take you back in time, a week, to be exact Friday June 22, 2012, 10:30AM at the Charlotte Convention Center. I walk in already wearing my badge because I picked up my pre-ordered badge on Thursday (and let me tell you this is one of the greatest things Heroes Con has to offer, yeah I know it has nothing to do with getting autographs, head sketches, meeting your favorite artist/writer, or finding that lost comics or figure but I’ve been to many cons where I’m only allowed to get my badge the day of and when the con starts on a Friday at 11am but I’m forced to stand in line that day so I get there at 8am like everyone else and still end up way in the back where I wait and wait for hours and finally get into the con around noon I’m already tired and irritated and missed the opening, so getting the badge the day before so all I had to do was walk up to the entrance line I was thrilled), so now I walk into the center, got my True Believer Pass on, got my bag on my back filled with comic books to be signed, and my camera around my neck for the photos.

Today is going to be a great day (well a great 3 hours because I got to be at work at 2:30) but none the less, a great day it’s going to be. Let me tell you this, one of my joys in life is riding the escalator down on the first day of a con. It might sound corny but if you think about it (that is if you’re a con goer but if it’s your first you’ll soon learn) that the first day going down that escalator there’s all the anticipation of what will be done first, get the autographs, who will be first, the more popular known artist like Mark Bagley or maybe one of the lesser known local artist? Maybe go to a booth to look for figures while everyone else is standing in line, get to the comic racks to get that one title that’s on the must have list? It’s this anticipation that builds as I go down the escalator on the first day after it’s been a year of waiting since my last appearance at the con and I got to say I love it. I’m giddy like a little school girl and if I could do a little bounce while clapping and giggling without the fear of falling down the escalator taking out other fanboys who will in turn beat me for messing up their first day at the con, I would.

The excitement is abuzz, chatter feels the air, I’m hearing people talking about getting George Perez to sign my Wonder Woman, or someone saying I really hope I can find Seripus Star Wars figure, and so much more as I ride down those moving steps to fanboy joy. As exciting it is to ride down the escalator waiting to enter Heroes Con full on, it’s nothing compared to when I step through the doors to see all those rows and booths just waiting for me to hit them up.

Now as I said, I only had 3 hours at the con today so I have an actual mission instead of my normal there are artist I want to see and figures I want to get but I have 3 days to do it. My mission is this, get the autographs of Skottie Young, Clayton Crain, Joe Quinones, Jonathan Hickman, Steve Epting, Louise Simonson, Ed McGuinness, Ryan Stegman, and if I have the time I’ll go to the Hand Made Stuffs booth to finally get my Harley Quinn that I’ve waited 2 years to get. Walking in I want to stop, I want to look, there’s comic books everywhere, when I first enter I instantly see the Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find booth with a statue I’ve been wanting for years, the Harley Quinn Mini Statue where she is sitting on a deck of cards (and let me tell you it was one very hard act to force myself to walk by without buying her).

Though I move on because I have a mission and my mission was to first get Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting’s autographs on my Fantastic Four and FF titles but as I get to their tables I see they are not there. Doing a quick check at my list I see that Mark Bagley is only a few tables down in the same row so I rush to get in his line that’s not that long. Now I got to confess, I was a idiot and didn’t bring what I should have for Mark Bagley to sign, I brought only 2 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man #50 and #100, I should have also brought my issues of the death of Spider-Man and so many more. But I’m happy, it only took me a few minutes to get through his line to get him to sign my two issues. Next up was Skottie Young, an artist that I’ve admired his work since first seeing it and after seeing his rendition of Harley Quinn I had to have him do a sketch of her and because he canceled 2011 Heroes Con appearance I had to wait another year to get the sketch. So let me tell you this, when I learned 2 weeks before that my time was taken away from me where I would only get 3 hours on Friday I was a little depressed because I had so much to do and I didn’t know if I would be able to get the sketch that I’d been waiting and looking forward to.

When I got to Skottie Youngs booth I laid down my issues of Oz and he quickly signed them. There was so much going through my head, what should I say to him, I love your work? He hears that all the time so say something cool, something that’s not going to make me sound like a fanboy who is stalking him, but it’s too late cause he’s signed the books and I just go, thanks I really love your work. But before I leave I say can I ask you a question? Of course his answer is. Would you do a head sketch of Harley Quinn? Oh yeah sure, let me get your name and I’ll put you on the list. I tell him my name and I see that he already has a huge list of names on there so I ask how long do you think it will take to get her done? Now I feel a little rude for asking that but he answers by midday Saturday. I think he could see that I was let down because he says maybe by morning. So I tell him, that’s really cool but I’m working and today is probably my only day to come to the con. So he says, ok, here’s what I’ll do, I’ll get to yours today so give me a few hours and come back. I feel like an ass for it but I also feel honored that this artist would make the effort to give me a piece of his work like that. Thanking him I walk on to find my next person.

Ok, I won’t go artist by artist, I got most of them, Ed McGuinnes everyone wanted so my first attempt at getting his autograph on my one issue of Captain America #25 failed after I stood in line for a little over an hour and didn’t move an inch, so I left and went back to Jonathan Hickman. Here’s where some more disappointment hit me when I found out that Steve Epting would not be there, neither was Louise Simonson, or Ryan Stegman. But as much as that sucked it helped cause by this point it was 1:30 and I only had 30 minutes left to go so I go back to Skottie Youngs booth and guess what he’s just started working on my Harley Quinn sketch. Now I’ve seen this many times before but I don’t think I’ll ever be less amazed at how these artists can create such drawings that look so amazing and beautiful and not only draw them while talking and joking around but to do it within minutes. So for the second time in the same day I stand by the booth of Skottie Young looking down without saying hardly anything but this time it’s because I stand in awe as I watch him draw.

This is also why I love Heroes Con, I get to watch, even for small bits of time, as artists draw out characters that I love, ones that I buy each week, and I know their work only in the mass printed scale, I see it being done in front of me. He finishes my sketch of Harley Quinn and I’m really stunned at how cool this sketch is and I now have a piece of artwork that I will cherish for many years to come. But sadly I had to leave.

So my second day was even shorter than my first and this time it was only for one thing, Stan Lee. Even though I had bought the True Believer Pass I would not get the honor of handing Stan Lee my issue of The Amazing Spider-Man #33 to have him sign. The only thing I get to do is have my picture taken with him and even though I got there at 8AM, stood in line until they let us in at 9:30AM, to stand in line again until little after 10AM before Stan Lee got there, to the line moving quickly until I was next and was told “walk up, stand next to him, the picture will work”, I was thrilled. I only got a second to stand next to Stan Lee, the creator of Spider-Man, my most liked comic character, I was glad, and I also got a “Good job” from Stan Lee. This was a very short time experience but I got it and I am glad.

As for the autograph, I had to pass on my issue of The Amazing Spider-Man #33 to my best friend Matt so he could get it signed. So while I worked, my best friend Matt and his wife Karen was nice enough to wait in line to get my comic signed by Stan Lee and this I’m very grateful for but I’m also greatly sadden because I was not the one to do it. Still here it is, ain’t it beautiful?

Ok, let me get on with it cause this has gotten a little long winded. Heroes Con was great, I got 67 comics signed, 2 head sketches of Harley Quinn (by the way Stephane Roux really does a great Harley Quinn, I was told he did by others as I went on my search for new Harley Quinn stuff), got my Hand Made Stuff Harley Quinn, Marvel Legends Spider-Man white suit figure, Avengers Dissembled graphic novel, price guide, my badge signed by 8 artists, and of course my pic with Stan Lee and Amazing Spider-Man #33 signed by Stan Lee. Those are what I got, but what I didn’t get is a list that makes me sad because I did want them. If I had the money I would have gotten the Green Lantern Power Battery prop, the Harley Quinn Statue, I forgot to look for the Crossed titles that I want, I forgot to bring other issues of Death of Spider-Man issue #160 white blank cover variant to have Mark Bagley do a sketch on, and so much more. But as sucky as that is, Heroes Con turned out to be one of my most productive years this year, I got to stand next to Stan Lee, I got his autograph on a comic he wrote, and I have sketches of Harley Quinn that I love, so thank you Heroes Con.
Now only a year to wait for Heroes Con 2013.