My Thoughts on HeroesCon 09

The most negative feedback I've heard about HeroesCon comes from a rather interesting source, Creative Director Dustin Harbin. "I flubbed updating all the seating locations correctly." I'm here to tell you Harbin, if a creator is going to complain to anyone, it's to the journalist from CBR who shows up at your table and introduces himself. Any creator I encountered over the weekend seemed quite pleased to be at the show, no complaints. And I had a blast, as I do every year I attend the con.

After attending this year's con, I left with a newfound appreciation for the panel coverage all the news sites provide. I only covered a few panels, and I was overwhelmed at all that I had to take in (and all that I almost missed, thank you digital recorder...).

In between panel coverage, I had numerous great moments with or around creators:

  • Finding out Roger Langridge's dream project would be a comics adaptation of Beckett's Waiting for Godot using Laurel & Hardy (and buying Fred the Clown from him)
  • Walking by Chris Claremont as he regaled a fan with what I can only guess may have been a Jim Shooter as EIC recreation, slamming his fist on the table and yelling: "Kill Iron Man! Kill the Avengers!"
  • Standing with my wife in the Westin hotel elevator and watching as Mice Templar writer Bryan J.L. Glass boarded the elevator as a small child/complete stranger told him in detail of his plans to spend the day at a water park. There was a split second where I think Glass contemplated tagging along.  (I'm extra appreciative of Glass for not shunning me when I reminded him of my failure to follow-up on my commitment [at a con last year] to interview him.)

  • Buying a copy of BOOM's Incredibles for my son, getting Mark Waid to sign it and realizing letterer John Workman was standing in front of me, chatting with Waid. Leaving the BOOM panel and promptly finding Tom Scioli (the issue's cover artist) to sign it as well. But then, the real payoff to this comics? As my son read the issue today, started studying the cover, asking questions that ultimately led to my son asking "Who is Jack Kirby?"
  • Seeing a flicker of light go off in the eyes of some really young aspiring creators in a panel audience when Chris Schweizer explained the concept of minicomics to them
  • David Petersen referencing Joseph Campbell in a panel and not going on about the George Lucas connection too much
  • Consoling myself about missing the Jeff Smith/Alec Longstreth panel by getting to chat with Longstreth at his booth. (Look for an email interview with Longstreth in the coming months.)
  • Talking with Ben Towle, Craig Fischer and Roger Langridge over a few beers on Saturday night (Yes, we really discussed Dazzler at one point). And getting to repay Towle for a drink round he bought, with my Sunday purchase of Snooker and Farewell, Georgia
  • Catching up with folks like Marc Nathan, Sandy Jarrell and Thom (Love and Capes) Zahler
  • Having the pleasure to speak with Colleen Doran, the kindest and most intelligent creator ever. No really.  And go to her blog, because I thought I had a great shot of Carla Speed McNeil in her pith helmet. But I didn't get Jeff Smith to worship at McNeil's feet. Go now, this photo must be seen.
  • Last, but not least, after reading about his work for years and never being at the same con as him, I finally got to meet Jim Ottaviani and got to buy T-Minus: The Race to The Moon from him

People who were there, but I missed seeing:

I always love the number of strollers and kids I get to dodge at the con. I am serious. I want to see kids at cons. I want more cons where parents feel motivated to bring their kids. The industry needs more HeroesCons. But for now, I'm just feeling lucky that we have this HeroesCon. And if I'm lucky, they'll see me there next year.

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