20 Dollars For Two Sandwiches & Water? A Heroes Con Reflection

L to R: Josh Latta and Rashy Rabbit

Greetings pals, comic nerds or people just googling Heroes Con hoping to find their name.  Welcome to my annual Heroes Con wrap-up extravaganza.  Ugh. I hate the word ‘annual.’ It always reminds me of  non-cannon comics filled with shitty art  that costs more.  It’s not everyday I can make a reference like that, in fact, it’s only 3 days a year when I can, and it’s at Heroes Con, America’s favorite comic book convention.

  Brad McGinty and Erin Cassavaugh 

I have been going to Heroes Con for 87 years, give or take, now, but this one really felt important.  I moved away from the south and don’t get to see my chums like Brad McGinty,  J Chris CampbellDuane Ballenger or Molly Coffee as much these days. Another reason is my ever-mounting debt.  I need to make some cheddar before they come and take me away. But mostly, it’s because it’s the love o’ my life Erin‘s first comic convention. That makes it real special, right?

Brad’s table featuring his famous xenomorph t-shirt. 

Speaking of the move,  it now takes a whopping 8 hours to get from Baltimore to Charlotte.  Knowing this, there was no way I was gonna leave on Friday at zero in the morning. Erin and I got a jump on the trip and hit the road Thursday night.  We drove until we couldn’t anymore or until we found a neat place to say. We went with the former. That’s for sure. We stopped at a Scottish Inn somewhere in Durham, I think.  and it smelled like mold being masked with a curry spray. Plus, the AC died in the middle of the night.  What a flappin’ shame, cuz we know when you share a room with J.Chris, Brad and Rob Ullman, some logs will be sawed and sleep will be limited. Oh wait, I jumped ahead. No matter. I guess I was done talking about Thursday night.

 cuddle puddle

Where was I anyway? Oh yes. We came rolling up on Friday morning and set up with my Wide Awake brethren, the aforementioned J.Chris, Brad, Rob and the now-mentioned  brilliant boy genius  Ashley Holt.  We were the most bitter block in Indie Island, and that’s really saying a lot.

 

Par for the course and other sports analogies I don’t quite get, Friday started off a bit slow.  Usually this sends me into a suicidal panic, but this year I rode it out and enjoyed time with my friends. Erin must really be good for me.  I am not quite as anxious as years past. I dunno. Maybe it’s the drugs. Just kidding. I didn’t have any… Sadly.

The handsomeRob Ullman

I didn’t get out on the floor to shop for coverless comics in the bargain bin or have any of my favorite creators stare me between the eyes. I stayed seated to hock my brand new Rashy Rabbit Vol. 1 (in full color) as well as a few prints and other chatskis I didn’t think anyone wanted or needed. *ed note: they didn’t.

All and all, people were stoked to see Rashy in color.  I’ll never go B&W again.

 J.Chris

That night, the boys and one girl of Dollar Bin put on this cockamamie after show party called McGintyfest named after Ben Towle. Just kidding.  Named after Brad McGinty. We played a little rockband, drank some great beer stolen by Wes Brooks from his stupid employer, listened to a reading from some awful Spiderman comic book and yes, we watched one of Brad’s cartoons. Erin and I turned in early due to our sleep schedule being thrown out of whack. Thanks again, Scottish Inn!  I guess you get what you pay for.

Henry Eudy a figure that looked like him and Robert Newsome

On Saturday, I got to spent a little time mingling and saw my boys from Athens, Robert Newsome and Patrick Dean. Robert  was selling his homoerotic fanzine about men in panties hugging and Patrick was in full effect with cheap drawings that were so funny they made me jealous.

Dude, there was quite the crowd on Saturday. Thanks in large part to Stan (the man) Lee’s appearance. I don’t think he makes many cons these days, what, with him being dead and all, but I gotta give credit where credit’s due. Stan demands a crowd.

 Molly Coffee knows her shit.

But you know, like, whatever. I did a lot of drawing. The thing about Heroes Con is it’s a sketch fest. The people that come to this show, they all have pull boxes. They come for sketches. To sweeten the pot, I did a free sketch with the purchase of Rashy.  One was so vile, vulgar and disturbing, I won’t show it here. Thanks for letting me difile you book, Henry Eudy!

 sketchbook sketches

I didn’t get out on the floor much, but I did manage to swing by Dave Cooper‘s table and meet him. He was nice n all, but man, I was super intimated  by him. The last thing I wanted to tell him was the fact that I am an artist too. This guy’s work was a game changer for me. I love, love, love his work. Thankfully, he was only really interested in what Erin was saying anyway.  Can’t say I blame him.

That night we decided to do something different so we went to Phat Burrito then got rip-roaring drunk.  That reminds me, thanks Wes Brooks and Jerrod Cullum. Thanks to you too I didn’t pay for a drink this weekend.  Erin threw caution to the  wind and bought a glass of wine at the bar. It cost her 15 bucks. 15 clamaroos.  Think how many Spawn no. 1’s she coulda bought with that!

At the art action, we bumped into artist/former Baltimorean Paige Pumphrey and her husband Phil Balsman. I knew these cats from the internet and I can attest they are just as charming in person.  We were all whooping it up at the art action and proceeded to get shushed and shamed at the action when Stan Lee hit the stage presumably to take the credit for someone else’s work.

 Phil, Erin, Paigey

I sure am glad everyday is NOT like Sunday, cuz it always depresses the shit out of me.  The sight of everyone packing up. The thought of all the hard work excitement and preparation coming to an end. What do I look forward to now? Huh? Tell me.

We too, had to bail out early. Heart breaking as it is. 8 plus hrs is a long time and hardly a way to make a living, but Erin needed to get back to her Library. Y’see, there are the things called ‘regular books’ and they don’t have pictures. There are also these things called ‘jobs’ that most of us don’t have. Anyway, we made  a mad dash around the floor to convert some of the cash into crap.  I am glad we did. On our rounds we bumped into Stephanie Buscema and her main man, husband Rob Harrigan. I really like these too, and am a big fan too. I really got fired up after talking to them and felt better about my lot in life, so, like thanks, dudes! I would really love to see you guys more.

 Stephanie Buscema’s wonderful print

So, that’s pretty much it.  I guess this is the part where I give shout-outs to some of my friends that haven’t gotten them while showing pictures of the things I got. *Yawn*bring a comic book.  Here we go: It was great to see you, Scott Elingburg, Fletcher Martin, Justin and Jason Gammon,  Jamie Ouzts, Jamie Walker, Andy Ruton, Tucker Weston, Joey Weiser, Hunter Jin Clark, Stephanie Gladden and John Miller.

 

It was great to see you,  Rich Tommaso, Brad Rader, Rich Barrett, Gabe Dunston, Heather Mobley Peagler, Seth Peagler, Ted Tarver, Brandon Padgett and Adam & Shawn Daughhette and The Dollar Bin.  It was nice to see Dean Trippe, Jason Horn, Jennifer Bennett and Eraklis Petmezas.

Thanks again, J. Chris, Rob Ullman, Ashley Holt and Brad McGinty.

Special thanks, of course, goes out to Rico Renzi for inviting me, and the hard-working staff and volunteers of Heroes Con.  Thanks for the good times, and until next year…


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About Josh Latta

Mr Josh Latta was born in 1853 to a family of tamed Pleistocenes. he was raised as a small child, entering into adulthood on the eve of his 7th birthday as was the tradition of the day. in 1867 he undertook a course in multi-reptile wrestling ending his career as 'croc-tussler' after an unfortunate shallow-river related accident cut short the life of a young crocodile. moving to rural Sheboigan in the fall of 1872, he made a good living raising fancy roosters and painting murals across the town depicting the various lascivious secrets of the townsfolk. driven out of town in the spring of 1873 he found his way to Utah where he was Flaneur in Residence at the Foundation of Gentlemen and Cultured Guinea Pigs (now the Foundation of Water Fowl and Cultured Guinea Pigs) until a scandal involving twin milkmaids and a churn of cream called for his resignation. Latta entered into the history books in 1899 for his lifesize construction of Monument Valley in matches.


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