Friday, June 14, 2013


There are some things in life that are so incredible, so perfect, that you may not want to experience them a second time.  The realization hits that repeating the event or activity couldn't possibly exceed your initial experience, and in some ways may actually diminish it.  It could be the best restaurant you've ever dined at, a Broadway show that succeeded beyond all expectations, or meeting your favorite celebrity or movie star.

Would that be the case with Heroes Con?  I think the picture above says it all.

In 2004 our family attended our first Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC.  Without a doubt, it was the best "pure" comic book convention we had ever attended.  And yet, the 2005 show was even better.  2006?  Yep, more guests, more things to see, more vendors.  Fast forward...

It's 2013, and Heroes Con continues to improve upon the prior year's event, like they have always done.  Of course, one of the reasons for this phenomenon is the peerless leadership of Convention Grand Master Shelton Drum, and his incredible team of staff members and volunteers, all of which contribute to making Heroes Con "America's Favorite Comic Convention," as stated on their website.  Unlike many other convention organizers, Shelton looks at each year's convention as an opportunity to make the next year's event even better.  No detail, big or small, is overlooked in making this show so successful each year, whether it's the late guest addition of the legendary Jim Steranko, or making a variety of the coolest and most collectible convention badges ever. 

One of the new additions to this year's show was the "Passport to Fun" scavenger hunt.  All attendees under 12 received a passport book that could be stamped by different vendors throughout the convention floor, including the Heroes booth itself.  Once all pages were stamped, each participant could pick a free book from the Heroes Con Kids Library!  One of the activities to complete in the passport book was the "Quickdraw Contest," in which different age groups had 20 minutes to draw anything they wanted, which was a great way for the kids to show their own artistic talent!

My son was in the back row working on his interpretation of a Green Arrow/Hawkeye crossover.

Another aspect of Heroes Con that makes it so "kid friendly" is the guest list, which always includes publishers, writers and artists that create all-ages comics.  KaBOOM Studios, the all-ages imprint from Boom Studios, had recent issues of many of their popular titles on hand, like Peanuts, Garfield and Adventure Time.  My son was especially thrilled to meet Andy Hirsch, one of the artists from the monthly Garfield comic book.  Papercutz also had a booth at the show, with a huge variety of all-ages graphic novels and comics.  The publisher even featured a special "Kids Day Sale" on Sunday in which customers could buy one book, and get the second one at 50% off!

Andy Hirsch from the "Garfield" comic book series.

While Archie Comics was not "officially" present at the convention, the publisher was still well represented by artists like Ian Flynn, Jim Amash and Dan Parent.  My son brought several recent issues of Sonic the Hedgehog to be signed, and walked away a very happy fan.  He also picked up some trade paperbacks of Mega Man, whom he only recently became familiar with because of the "Worlds Collide" crossover event.

Ian Flynn of Archie Comics signing Sonic and Mega Man!

For myself personally, I was happy to meet Dan Parent, who has drawn some great Archie-related events over the past couple years, including the Archie/Kiss event, the American Idol storyline, and the current Archie/Glee Crossover that has been so much fun to read. 

Dan Parent of Archie Comics.

Stay tuned for the second part of my Heroes Con review, which will feature a small sample of the immense guest list, convention panels, and some of the activities on Indie Island!


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