Who Let The Nerds Out? Heroes Con 2011 In Review


Hiya, folks. I just got back from Heroes Con and, boy, are my guts tired. No doubt from being puked out so much. Welcome to another Heroes Con wrap-up extravaganza brought to you by Bud Light and a lifetime of resentment.

All is quiet on the nerdly front.

Oh boy, where do I start? Oh yes, the beginning. My main man and love of my life, Brad McGinty, recently moved to Minnesota – so I was pretty stoked that he made the trek back to Atlanta to meet up with a coupla dogs in tow.  We felt kinda guilty leaving my ol’ lady to care for 5(!) dogs, poopin’ and ah’ peein’ the joint up, but you know, comics.  Anyway, Brad met me bright and early and, like we do every year, we met up with everyone’s best friend, J. Chris Campbell, in Greenville.  This year we shook it up a bit and picked up fellow letch Duane Ballenger too. Thank Gawd that we all travel light and without toothbrushes, ‘cos we were all packed in there tight and one thing you can count on, we will bring back a lot of junk.

The lovely Heroes Con staff.

Our comic caravan arrived at the Charlotte Convention Center, only an hour late. That’s a new record for us. We frantically set up our books so we could, I dunno, stare at them and freak out. Yeah, Friday is usually pretty slow, but cripes, I thought about burning my comics in a fit of rage and becoming an accountant.   Actually, it’s pretty nice for the early birds because I doubt there is any other convention where you can walk right up to the big names and get in some face time. Friday is good for this.  It’s also nice to have some time to walk around and see my pals like Ben Towle, Meghan Ansbach, Patrick Dean, Robert Newsome, Stephanie GladdenJohn Miller,  Joey Weiser, Drew Weing, Chris Schweizer, Andy Runton,  Chris Pitzer, Rob Venditti, Justin and Jason Gammon, Van Jensen, Heather McKinney, The boys (and girl)of Dollar Bin,  Dean Trippe, Jason Horn, Rich Tommaso, Hunter Jin Clark, Tucker Weston, Scott, Fletcher and the rest of the usual gang of idiots.

L to R : Sailor Moon,  Patrick Dean, Spider-Man 2099.

Robert Newsome

Sorry, didn’t mean to drop names that soon, but these things happen. Me and my butterfingers! Ho! Ho!

I like this gentleman’s bangs.

That night, I hit the booze pretty hard, so I spent most of my time spitting in Meghan’s face.  I wish that was a joke.

I have total disdain for my fans.

*side rant* Neal Adams was in attendance and he was charging 5 dollars just to sign something. Five dollars. Way to gouge the only people in the world that gives a shit about you, Neal. Mark my words, fans. I will never take advantage of you.

That’ll be 5 dollars, please.

Women in comics. L to R: Shannon Smith, Ashley Holt.

J. Chris Campbell and Brad McGinty.

Saturday fared much better for my table mates, Shannon Smith, J.Chris, Brad, Ashley Holt and I. We actually all sold some funnies, but not all that much. If I can be as so bold as to speak for everyone, sales weren’t all that hot on comics. Don’t cry for us yet though, we all spent the day drawing like mad. Y’see, this really isn’t a comic show. It’s a sketch show. As Shannon Smith pointed out, all the people that come to Heroes already have a pull box. They come to this show to get sketches. I’d always prefer to sell the actual comics to new readers, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Thor by Brad mcGinty

Thor by Josh Latta

Thor by J. Chris Campbell

Money has been a little tight for me this year (read: I am broke) so I stayed off the floor as much as I could to not taunt myself with shiny trinkets and other ephemera that I don’t really need. However, I did find myself constantly hovering around the Handmade Stuffs booth. I love toys, or more specifically, I love weird, off-model toys.  Jennifer’s custom plushies are adorable, brilliant and may even win the best in show ribbon, as far as I am concerned. Do yourself the favor and check out her work and buy something. She even does commissions. If I didn’t have such a hard-core coke habit, I would have bought one of each. Oh well, C’est la vie!

Lion-O by Handmade Stuffs.

There was another booth I kept finding myself drawn to:  Stephanie Buscema.  Holy crap, are you guys hip to her? Stephanie’s work puts me in mind of one of my all time faves, Mary Blair.  I am really in love with her work. I didn’t meet Stephanie, but I met her husband and I am in love with him too. What a righteous dude. I bought this charming Dr. Doom voodoo print from him and it’s become one of my most prized possessions.

Sorry for the bad pic, I made my own camera.

I take my own beer to the lobby.

That night – wait, do you guys even really care what I do at night? I sure hope so. That night, I got to hang out with some new friends that I made as well as my bedmates and Ashley.  We took our annual trip down to Phat Burrito. It wasn’t very good. The company was, though. We all bought beer and booze once we got away from the convention center. Seriously, what’s the deal with the lack of places to buy beer in town? No matter. I turned in a bit early (2 instead of 5 am.) What a mistake I made. I awoke to the sound of Shannon Smith puking and came to find out that Brad and Meghan went swimming in the fountain. I was made jealous by both these activities.

L to R: Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass.

L to R: Aquaman, Dr. Strange and Superman.

Sunday was actually a pretty strong day, sales-wise.  I think it’s because it’s the day the creators walk around and buy crap from the people they partied with the night before.  I did even more sketches to the point that I think I might as well just give my comics away and do the sketches for cheddar. It might be the only model for these shows. Anyway, Sunday was nice and I got to spend some time talking to my  brand new friends Holly Schwartz, Wes Brooks, Tara Harris, Molly Coffee and Hatuey Diaz.

My contribution to a Sesame Street VS Muppets sketchbook.

Hatuey and Molly live in Atlanta. Why haven’t I met either of them until now?  Looks like you two have a new stalker! I also had a great conversation with Rich Barrett about self-promotion. I think most cartoonists need to give this topic another look.

L to R: J. Chris, Brad, Josh, Shannon.

That’s a lot of facial hair.

It’s time to pour a 40 oz to my homies that weren’t able to make it this year, Rob Ullman, Pat Lewis and Sally Bloodbath. You were all sorely missed.

Heather McKinney

So that’s pretty much it. The end. Oh wait! Lemme tell you about some of the crap that I got.

Nerd X-Mas.

Spazz 4 by Emi Gennis

I’ve talked about Emi before, and I will talk about her again. I love her comics. Honestly, given a stack of comics, I will read hers first.  I love the Wikipedia strange deaths and her autobio stuff. I also love the fact that she draws herself peeing a lot.

 

Rocking So Hard by Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith is the hardest working woman in comics. Just kidding, Shannon is a guy, but he does always have something new and I always look forward to it. Shannon’s work is getting stronger and stronger.  I am really into the copyright infringing stories featuring Spiderman and Hulk, I mean, Thunk.

Nathan Sorry by Rich Barrett

I think Hollywood is gonna snatch Rich up before too long. He’s too good at spinning suspenseful yarns to be in the comic ghetto.

Chester 5000 XYV by Jess Fink

Yowsa! Every other page in the masterpiece has a Victorian-era girl banging a robot or another girl.  God bless you, Top Shelf booth.  To use the illustrious Hustler rating system, I give this three boners up.

My Buscema print.

Essential Fantastic Four vol 4 by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee

It’s my annual Heroes Con tradition to buy one of these cheap trades at the cheap trade booth. This year was no different. I had to roll the dice and pick FF vol 4 over Thor vol. 1. Why you ask? Well, I am gonna tell you, don’t be so pushy. I always loved the Fantastic Four in spite of, or possibly because of the fact that I never actually read it.  All I know is that I have flipped through it 85 times already.

Donald Duck figure and April O’Neal print. You figure out which one’s which.

Star Wars Star Tour figure Donald Duck as Han Solo

I am pretty much, in life, scanning everywhere I go for Disney ducks.  I caught a glance of this bizzaro amalgam in some random 5 dollar bin. I think it’s a pretty cool figure, but I don’t know why they gave Donald the hair.  I mean, all they had to do was put him in the vest and belt and we would have all figured it out.

Duck Tails By Henry Eudy.

The Pretentious Pervert and Sordid Tales  by Henry Eudy

This is what I want and so rarely see. Filthy, scummy mini comics made by jerks.  Why not? It seems to me the mini comic scene has been curtseying to an imaginary child audience.  Tips for cartoonist: Relish your underground!  We can do anything we want. I say we do.

Character Witness:  Portraits by Ashley Holt.

Ashey Holt’s caricatures are always spot-on.  They are sympathetic and sensitive to his subject even when Ashley isn’t.  He never is.  He’s a great cartoonist and all-around crank.

Well folks, it was nice to see all of you.  Thanks to everyone that came by and said hi. Until next time, true-believers! See ya in the funny papers.

 

All pictures ransacked from Robert Newsome and Heather McKinney.

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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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