Adventures In Charlotte

Boy did we EVER have a good time at Heroes Con! Jeff, David & I went on a perilous journey where we made new friends & learned valuable
lessons – no wait that’s a Disney film. It applies to all Disney films, just pick one.

But I guess we DID we did meet great people. And we now know to never, NEVER visit a motel where most of the people staying there consider it their primary residence and the clerk is missing several fingers (though in no discernable pattern). So maybe it was a bit Disney-esque.

That’s how it all began

We drove through the night, only to discover that our room at the Westin wasn’t available – EEK! It was still only 4 am & I wasn’t going anywhere without a shower, so we drove until we found the nearest motel. AMAZINGLY they had a vacancy. Maybe we should have driven in the opposite direction.

We only stayed in the room long enough to clean up. The guys actually crashed for a couple hours – I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It was the nastiest place I can remember being & you are talking to a girl who put herself through college staying in a variety of $100 a month cockroach infested one room apartments. If you don’t believe – Jeff took pictures.

I cleaned up the best I could – (the entire fixture from the bathroom sink came off in my hand) and sat at the desk and did a crossword until the boys roused themselves.

On to the Con

It was all worth it though – we got to the con good and early & proceeded to have a GREAT time! I got in line to get a Phil Noto Sketch & David lined up for a chance to get on Tony Harris’ sketch list. In between his wanderings trying to find out where the heck James Jean was, Jeff dutifully split his time keeping us company while we waited.

Sitting there waiting for Noto I had an excellent opportunity to chat the uber-cool guys from Gaijin Studios. I know I’m still new to the con thing, but I’m fortunate enough to be able to say that I have not yet encountered anything other then people being friendly. Jeff says that is because I have breasts *laughing*, but I think the creator community as a whole is genuinely good people.

Later, I got J. O’Barr to sign my copy of The Crow – now NO ONE is allowed to borrow it. Oh, & we were first in line to meet John Cassaday. He did a neat-o Superman head sketch for David & signed my Astonishing # 1.

It KILLS me though – by the time he got there for the signing I was soooo hungry (and remember I’d been up most the night) that I was feeling a little faint. This prohibited me from being the all out gushing fan-girl that I might have been.

I love the work Cassaday is doing on Astonishing right now. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned the page & had a goosebump moment. Plus he is so GOSHDARN cute. If only I had found the strength to fawn more *laughing*

Other than that, Friday was pretty uneventful – it was all about “the sketch”. After David & I successfully made it onto our respective sketch lists, we were able to breathe a sigh of relief & just wander.

Anyone who reads this junk knows I am ALL about the independents. I spent time Friday & Saturday at the Desperado Publishing booth talking with creative Director, April Doster & Publisher, Joe Pruett.

April & I hit it off famously. She was so bright & bubbly & enthusiastic – it was contagious. I picked up a handful of books from them – Beyond Avalon, The Atheist, The Stradust Kid & the re-launch of The Flaming Carrot.

I am kicking myself for not getting more of their books. I enjoyed everything I read. In fact, I enjoyed them so much it might warrant further discussion in another review.

We were very grateful to crash at the hotel that night. Sometimes I have trouble sleeping out on the road, but the Westin has a better bed & shower than I do. I swear if I could, I would have slept standing up in that fabulous shower. What? Horses do it.

Saturday – Back To The Action

Feeling refreshed & perky once again I headed back to the con with Jeff & David. I was able to pick up my Noto sketch that day. I asked for a Rogue & Gambit. I could not have been more excited when I picked it up.

My face HURT from smiling so big – I was just so happy. I immediately ran over to show it to April (it is SO nice to meet another normal gal who appreciates comics) & anyone else who would look.

I stumbled across Phil Noto’s work in the Danger Girl. I loved the series & was tickled to see “Hawaiian Punch” on the shelf at the comic shop. It had a J. Scott Campbell cover & I wasn’t paying the slightest bit of attention when I bought it, so I was surprised (&, frankly, a little annoyed) when I opened the book & didn’t find J. Scott artwork.

By the end of the book though – I thought hey this is REALLY neat! Then by the time I got to the end of “Viva las Danger” it was more like – J. Scott who? I was officially a fan.

It was delightful to meet Phil Noto. He was kind & gracious. And he created an original piece of artwork that I can treasure. It hardly gets better. The sketch is posted for all to enjoy.

The other noteworthy thing about Saturday was meeting David Mack. Well, okay I’d met him before, but this time I was ready. I have a stunning limited edition hardback version of Kabuki: Circle of Blood.

The way the chapters are laid out created one blank page between the end of one section & the beginning of the next. I asked if he would do a sketch on that page & I trusted that he would know what belonged there.

He was only at the con for a very limited time yet he made time to do a brush & ink Kabuki portrait on the page. Wow! What a nice guy for doing it for starters & if you could see how perfectly it harmonizes with the facing page – it looks like it always should have been there. Pure magic…

Overall Impressions

Let me take the time to re-iterate – I have NO idea what I am talking about when I recap our trips to conventions – I’m still learning. So keep in mind I write with limited knowledge but vast enthusiasm. But I have to say – I LIKE these small/medium & medium/large sized cons.

I have yet to attend a huge Wizard con & while I’m sure I will enjoy myself (because I enjoy myself where ever I go), I am quickly developing a fondness for the intimacy of the smaller venues.

What a pleasure it is as a fan to not just meet a creator that you admire, but to talk with them & perhaps have the opportunity to take home a sketch. It feels like a relatively relaxed atmosphere.

Again I could be TOTALLY making this up, but Heroes Con seemed like a comic book “purist” convention. There were lots of artists & creators & not so many TV/Movie “stars” & gamer stuff. Even the vendors were heavy on the books & light on the toys.

Deals abounded too. David, determined to share Captain America with me, picked up hefty run of Cap books for next to nothing to share with me. This was a super place to shop for back issues.

Heading For Home

We got up Sunday & headed for home. It’s a shame we had jobs & lives to which we were required to return. It would have been nice to stay one more day. I had a very enjoyable experience at my first Heroes Con. This is definitely one I will mark for a return visit.

Now if I have the opportunity I will regale you with tales of praise of the books I picked up from Desperado Publishing. So until then – keep reading!


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