The third and final day of Heroes Con 2006 in Charlotte, North Carolina was a laid-back affair. Crowds, creators and vendors alike were relaxed and the show was looking to close without a hitch (except for Bryan Hitch, of course).
Many vendors were slashing prices in order to minimize the amount of stock they would have to return home with while others didn't need to even consider such a measure. "I think this is the least amount [of books] I'll be going home with after a con," said Brian Wood, writer of Vertigo's "DMZ" and Oni Press's "Local."
Some of the talk the previous two days had centered around whether or not organizer Shelton Drum would be able to duplicate this year's successful show in 2007. Astute observers of the comic scene may remember that Wizard Conventions had announced a competing show to be held in Atlanta this year on the dates of the already announced Heroes Con. Creators rallied around Drum's homespun convention from all across the United States, even drawing creators rarely seen in the states, like the aforementioned Hitch and Warren Ellis.
Some of that speculation turned more positive as word spread across the convention floor that Wizard had done it again. WizardWorld Philadelphia had been announced for the same weekend as Heroes Con 2007 (June 15-17). The general feeling, especially among retailers, was that Wizard was going to lose this one again, not just for pulling the same thing, but because they had seen unimpressive profits at the Philadelphia show a few short weeks ago.
Other than that, it was very much business as usual.
Some convention-goers who thought they may have missed a chance to see and chat-up Rosario Dawson, who was scheduled only for Friday and Saturday, were surprised to find her working the 12 Gauge comics booth. She was promoting her new comic series, "OCT: Occult Crimes Taskforce," and was handselling the book like any other creator at the show.
Marvel's C.B. Cebulski hinted to fans that were enjoying his "X-Men: Fairy Tales" that there might be a follow up in the works. "Avengers: Fairy Tales" would cast Captain America as Peter Pan and Kang as a captain Hook figure. A direct sequel to the X-Men version may also be in the future.
The panel schedule didn't let up either, as many would be creators attended Paul Jenkins' writing workshop. Publisher's Weekly's Heidi MacDonald and librarian Michelle Gorman held a lively discourse with many creators about getting graphic novels into public libraries and acclaimed indie creators Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez were interviewed before a crowd by yet another acclaimed indie creator, Peter Bagge.
As the convention closed at six that evening, and tables were stripped bare and wares packed up, fans, creators and retailers alike were slow-moving and not just a little weary, but it was a good kind of tired. It looks as though Charlotte could well be a contender for a must-hit convention locale along with San Diego and Chicago.