Heroes Con 2011 – Day 1

After a relatively quick (but pretty bleary-eyed) early morning drive from Winston-Salem, I arrived at the Charlotte Convention center just in the lick of time to get set up for what has got to be America’s best-loved regional comics convention, Heroes Con.

Friday is pretty much always a slow day at Heroes and today was no exception. With Heroes Con, though, this is actually an asset to attendees; it’s a time that you can get onto the floor early and actually have the kind of face time with comics “heavy hitters” like Darwyn Cooke or Tim Sale that you’d never be able to get at somewhere like the San Diego Comic-Con.  Interestingly, I heard about as many people balking at the high prices for sketches from pros of that ilk as I did people recounting tales of high-dollar purchases of those exact same sketches.

Prices aside, this brings up an aspect of Heroes Con that doesn’t get nearly enough play as far as I’m concerned: its amazing emphasis on ART. Just hearing banter from people walking by my table, everyone was discussing who had gotten sketches and commissions from whom, who was charging what for sketches, showing off commissions and sketches, etc. I haven’t done a ton of conventions, but in my (admittedly-limited) experience this is unique.

So, how were sales? Well, I’d actually considered not setting up a table at all this year since I don’t have a new book to hawk, but I’m sure glad that I didn’t go with that plan. As mentioned above, Heroes is a fantastic show for art sales and I sold a ton of stuff today. I’m likely forgetting stuff, but I sold the original artwork to the cover of Amelia Earhart: this Broad Ocean, the original cover artwork for the Wide Awake Press anthology Jabberwacky, around four originals of my animal alphabet drawings, maybe three superhero mini-pinups, one random illustration, and a couple of commissions. You can’t argue with that…

Here’re are the two commissions I did:

Razorback vs. Spider-Man…

Ambush Bug fleeing from Quantis (“The Koala that Walks Like a Man”).

Post-Heroes, I walked across the street to the Drink & Draw going on at Fuel pizza. The event there was a fund-raiser for Team Cul de Sac and it was great. I got to hang out with a bunch of folks from Sketch Charlotte and draw pictures to raise money to fight Parkinson’s disease. We ran out of our benefit zine, Favorites, but I’ll have more at my booth at AA-544 tomorrow as well as at the Cul de Sac panel discussion. Here’s my quick and sloppy drawing of Richard Thompson’s “Uh-Oh Baby” that I did at the Drink & Draw:

Luckily, it was purchased quickly and sent some funds to a noble source.

The Westin bar was..well.. the Westin bar: too many comics folk trying to be served by too few bartenders. But that’s as much a tradition as the Heroes Con art auction. Bring on Saturday!


  1. Shannon Smith says:

    We treat the Westin Bar/lobby as BYOB.

  2. Richard Thompson says:

    Good to see you, however briefly, Ben. Thanks for that Drink & Draw piece, which Mike Rhode bought and proudly showed me. Quick and sloppy’s always the best way to draw.

  3. Ben says:

    @Richard – Yeah, great to see you as well! I sure loves that Uh-Oh baby character.

  4. Ben says:

    @Shannon – Great to see you in person at the show!

  5. Mike Rhode says:

    I did buy the Uh-Oh Baby, altho I find it disturbing! It was a great sketch – I liked the sepia ‘wash’ especially.

  6. Ben says:

    @Mike – What’s “disturbing” about a giant baby in diapers smashing a city? Great to see you, and glad you like the sketch!

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