Apparently, Stan Lee’s superpower is the ability to turn Heroes Con into a complete zoo. The convention center lobby was packed like I’d never seen it before on Saturday morning, and apparently the extra hubbub was all for “Stan The Man.” Getting Stan Lee as a Heroes Con guest was a pretty big score, but honestly y’all: what is Stan Lee going to say in 2012 that’s any different than his basic schtick of the last 30 years or so? On the other hand, it’s Stan the Man! ‘Nuff said. Anyhoo…
Despite the extra crowds–who did indeed eventually descend onto the main floor once Stan’s deal was over–the general sentiment I heard from folks was that Friday and Sunday wound up actually being busier days sales-wise than the usually-busy Saturday afternoon. My sales were certainly slower on Saturday, although a lot of that may have been due to the fact that I was really engaged in trying to knock out a piece for the Heroes Con art auction before I had to leave for my panel at 1:00. I wasn’t really presenting a very welcoming face to passers-by since I was all hunched over in “drawing mode” all day.
Heroes Con does an art auction each year to help raise money for the next year’s show and I always try to contribute something since they graciously offer me a table every year. The big sellers in the auction tend to be either cheesecake lady superheroes or pop culture stuff, so I went with the latter since my women characters always wind up looking kind of like Olive Oyl. I decided to do a recreation of the movie poster for Star Wars. I was throwing that sepia wash on there literally at two minutes to one. Here’s the finished piece:
I mentioned our “Mega Panel,” Echoes of ’82, in my pre-Heroes post, but the general idea was a look back at a few significant comics/events of ’82 (since it’s Heroes’ 30th anniversary). The panel went well overall, although it ran a bit long. Even cutting out my planned “Critic’s Favorites” talk on Pacific Presents #1, it went to a bit over two hours–which is probably a bit much. Next year, we’ll maybe trim things down a bit time-wise. That aside, the whole panel went really well and I’d have a hard time picking any particular favorite part of it. I was, though, really impressed with the thoughtful and impassioned talk that Heidi MacDonald gave on the Marvel/Kirby situation–especially since she said she put it together in her hotel room the previous night! I’d never heard Louise Simonson speak before (she was discussing Warren publishing, which closed up shop in ’82) and I was was really impressed with how well-spoken, smart, and charming she was. Heroes Con panel organizer Andy Mansell gave a pretty fired-up talk about Master of Kung Fu. In an alternate universe, Andy is a “hellfire and brimstone” tent revival preacher.
By the time I got back to my table, the con was near closing so I didn’t take any more commissions on Saturday. My friend Jordan dropped by, though, to show off this hilarious Edith Keeler “action figure” from the old Star Trek episode, City on the Edge of Forever:
I left the convention area entirely for dinner and went out on the town with an old friend from my music-playing days in Charlotte. I’d intended to get back in time for the art auction, but alas one thing lead to another and I wound up hanging out in his back yard for a while knocking back Miller High Lifes and listening to metal. I took a cab back to the convention, by which time the auction had concluded, and talked with a few folks at the usual roaring Saturday night Westin bar party, but it was late and I was done for the night… Off to bed for me.
I heard later that my Star Wars piece sold for $400. Holy Cow!
Sunday got off to a pretty cruddy start: overslept, followed by a twenty minute elevator ordeal (everyone leaving simultaneously), a monster check-out line, then dropped and broke my art box, sending my drawing supplies careening all over the Westin lobby. Once I managed to actually get to my table and get some food in me, things improved, though.
Sales-wise, Sunday, which is often slow at Heroes, was really spectacular this year. I sold out of Amelia books, which (since Midnight Sun and Farewell, Georgia are out of print and I don’t have copies for sale) put me in the odd position of having no books for sale. I also sold a bunch of Animal Alphabet and AlphaBeasts originals. I’m down to maybe two animals and a dozen or so beasts.
I also got a few commissions on Sunday. Here are a couple. First is for a themed “Wolverine vs. the honey badger” sketchbook:
Also, here’s a Mad Men commission. The guy who commissioned this had me add two male figures in the background, but I think I actually like it best at this stage, with just the profile and the two women:
In addition to being Heroes Con’s 30th anniversary, it’s also Wide Awake Press’s 10th anniversary and WAP’s founder, J. Chris Campbell, gave me a “Ten Years of Pain and Suffering” anniversary calendar that has some really funny send-ups of us folks who’ve published stuff with them. Here’s a hilarious tribute/roast of me by Adam Casey:
As the show wound down on Sunday, I found time to leave my table and go buy some stuff. I bought a few minis that I haven’t unpacked yet, but I also bought a couple of really great pieces of original art. Here’s a Charles Adams-esque piece by the great Patrick Dean:
And here’s a beautiful page from Dustin Harbin’s Superior Showcase story from a few years back:
All in all, for a schmuck who’s not had a new book out in a couple of years, I had a pretty great show. A big thanks to everyone who reads my stuff and buys my comics and original art… and of course a HUGE thanks to the folks who organize and run Heroes Con! Its reputation as the funnest, friendliest, best-run convention around is well-deserved. See you next year, y’all!