Despite being recently retired from my day job--which should mean I've got nothing but time--I've been too distracted over the weekend to do my usual HeroesCon reporting. So I'm going to play catch-up, and maybe Jason and the Commander will add their own commentary. My con experience has been changing over the years. I volunteered again this year, and the shopping aspect of it has decreased considerably (I bought no books this year, in any format). So I spent the first part of Friday at the Information Booth, helping attendees find vendors and creators on the floor. Then I went to help manage Jim Steranko's line. As Jason mentioned last year, Steranko loves to tell stories, and it was the slowest moving signing line I have ever seen. A great experience while you are in front of him getting your stuff signed--which costs $20 per signature, even if you have purchased something from his table--but an interminable wait before that. I was getting sore standing on the Convention Center's concrete floor, and finally begged off to attend a panel.
"Ed Piskor's Grand Design" was announced as a panel on Piskor's X-Men series. But surprise guest Chris Claremont largely took over the program (with the approval of Piskor and moderator Jason Wood). It was certainly appropriate, given that Piskor's series is largely inspired by Claremont's X-Men run. I have never heard Claremont before, and he definitely gives good rant. He's both experienced and successful as a writer, so he's entitled to some firm opinions. Piskor also provided insights into how he has constructed his series. The subject may seem an odd choice, given his previous focus on computer hacking and hip-hop music. But he made it clear that this series is being done out of love: X-Men comics are what got him into comics.
After a little time on the floor I attended some panels. "Horror Stories" was Part One of the Horror Showcase, focusing on writers. Joe Rauch moderated, with guests Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, and Brian Hurtt. Dorkin and Dyer may not come to mind as horror writers, but they had a lot of insight into the genre. Dorkin is a great talker (I've heard him before). All of them agreed that implying was much more effective than showing: if you don't explicitly describe something in the script, the reader will fill in something far worse in their imagination.
"Horror Artists" was moderated by Chris Brenneman, with artists Kelly Williams, Bryan Level, and Marie Enger (filling in for Christopher Mitten). They all came to horror from different directions--horror films were a common inspiration, but not the same ones. Enger said that everything scared her as a child: she wouldn't go into Walgreen's, for fear of seeing a Halloween mask! But horror allows the audience to safely experience things that would be unbearable in the real world.
After having dinner with Jason and some friends I volunteered to register auction paddles and record the results for the charity auction on Saturday night. Fun, but also pretty intense. Things sometimes move pretty fast, which is why they have three people recording the successful bids and bidder numbers. First time I've done that. It certainly makes the auction a different experience.
Aside from a bit of Information Desk duty at the end of the day (and visiting with Jason and Commander Bernson), I mostly got sketches for my sketchbook and did a bit of shopping. Here are the sketches. The first was a John Constantine from Brian Level (surprising that this was the first in my sketchbook, but I guess I haven't had a sketch from an artist associated with Hellblazer before).
Then a sketch from Wes Craig of Deadly Class (the only one I actually had on my list for the con):
And finally, the great Francisco Francavilla with Hellboy:
I also managed to find the vendor who had a Sandman statue that had caught my eye earlier in the con. He was ready to deal on Sunday, so this Sandman: Overture statue came home with me:
A fun weekend, as always. I was supposed to fly down to Florida today, but airline computer issues opened up some time for this post.
Heroes Con was once again a fun time. The guest list is always amazing. Meeting with Mark and Commander Benson is always a treat, and has now become tradition.
This year I had a press pass/ I'm part of a youtube show that focuses primarily on independent creators. So I spent a lot of time talking to a lot of folks in artist alley, primarily working on getting review material for the show.
I was able to do some shopping as well. For the first time ever, I stayed under budget!