I'm sure that we're all familiar with the best (and my personal favorite) comic con for artists, writers, and fans alike: Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. Last summer was the first time that I attended this show, and it was a wonderful way for me to dip my toes into the world of comics from a creator's point of view. I got to feel out how I fit into the industry, and the direction that I needed to take my art and my ambition. I got to meet Bryan Lee O'Malley, Hope Larson, Chris Brunner, Robbi Rodriguez, and Nicholas Gurewitch, all of whom I am a huge fan (though I totally fan-spazzed all over O'Malley). I may not have done the best job of promoting myself that first year, but I think that I managed to do an even poorer job this year.
I almost didn't even make it to Heroes this year, due to a severe lack of funds and a lot of discouraging, complicated life stuff. However, good won out over evil and John and I landed at the Con on Saturday, just in time for Chris Schweizer's panel discussion with Roger Langridge, David Petersen, and (***super-gasp***) Jeff Smith. After that, I worked the SCAD booth from 2-4, spreading the love of learning about comics to the masses. I reached out with all my feminine charms and promoted the hells outta SCAD, its awesome students and its double-awesome professors. At 4:15, I went to check out the line for Jeff Smith's booth (he had a signing scheduled for 5, but I knew that I'd have to be there early to make sure that the line wasn't cut off before I slipped my way into it. Lucky thing I got there early, too, because I was only about eight people from the front of the line, and they cut it off only about eight people behind me in line.
Meeting Jeff Smith was the ultimate of awesome. I held it together, unlike last year when I met O'Malley (still kicking myself for blurting out "I'M A HUGE FAN!"--ugh). Jeff Smith is such a pleasant dude, and I was really delighted that he recognized me from the crowd (and by "from the crowd," I mean that I was sitting with my fellow SCADians in the front row as close to center as I could, because I didn't want to miss a word of the panel discussion). He signed my big One Volume Bone and my Rasl issues, as well as issue #4 that I bought from his booth. While I was in line, I kept eyeing the trade for Monster Society of Evil (I really want it and I really wanted to get Steve Hamaker to sign it, too), but my super-tight budget wouldn't allow for it. Golly, I also wanted Bone and Beyond so incredibly bad. And I want The Art of Bone. And Stupid Stupid Rat Tails and Rose. Gimme more BONE!!!
Well, meeting Jeff Smith was obviously the highlight of this con for me.
After that, the con was pretty much about to close, so I think that I stopped by the 12-gauge booth and said hey to some of my Gaijin buddies, then headed to dinner with John and my fellow hungry SCAD folks. That night highjinks ensued; I had a blast talking to everyone, hanging out with Brunner and Rodriguez again, chilling with John and Rachel and Doug Dabbs, and being slightly embarrassed when a certain chick made a certain comment that made it quite clear that her man was unavailable. Which was just kinda weird.
It was fun watching Brian Michael Bendis put up with the hordes of fans grouping up to take a picture with him in the lobby of the Westin. Bendis is someone that I suppose I'd like to meet, but I don't honestly have a clue what I'd say to him.
Sunday, me and the millions of SCAD girls that piled into our hotel room (Cara, Julie, Erin, Areta, Rachel, Irene, and...I think that was all....) got up relatively early to pack it up and check out of the hotel. We dragged ourselves to the Con, probably getting there about 11:30 or so, and I hung around with John buying a couple of discount trades, grabbing polaroid art from Brunner and Rico, and trying to get the rest of the books I had brought to the Con (most notably Tattoo; notable because it's like carrying around one of those cement blocks that you prop a car up on when you're ripping it off) signed and stuff. If you've ever wondered what Eric Powell looks like, he's basically Jonas but quieter. I still love Stuntkid's art, but was once again unable to buy a print from him. I hung around the Temple tables, trying not to cramp their style before wandering off again.
John and I left Heroes Con a little after 1pm so that he could make it back to Atlanta in time to celebrate Father's Day with his pops, so I hope that the rest of the Con went really well, and I hope that everyone had a swell time!!
In preparation for next year's Con, I've decided to save money each week that I will save in an "exclusively for HeroesCon" jar, so that I can just spend gobs and gobs of money to my little heart's content.
If you've read this whole thing, you either really love me or you really love comics. And I love you for that.