«

»

Jun
22
2015

Heroes Con 2015 Wrap-Up

I’m back from yet another great Heroes Con. It’s the last show for a bit that I’ll have attended as a “civilian.”  Oyster War will be out this fall and so I’ll most likely be tabling at any shows I go to for the next year or so. I don’t have any big take-away from this year’s show other than that it was–as usual–really well-run and a blast to be at. There’s a reason Heroes is one of comics folks’ most beloved shows.

Here’s just a few thoughts/highlights from my trip:

  • The show seemed to be really, really well-attended this year. I’ve never seen a line at Heroes like there was on Saturday. Even an hour or two after the show opened there were still people lined up all the way down the side of the convention center. IMG_20150620_111532
  • There were a lot more cosplayers–and maybe a lot more women?–this year than in years past. It’s not like there have never been cosplayers or women at Heroes before, but this was the first year that it really stood out to me as a noticeable demographic shift. That’s all good in my book.
  • Our “Mega Panel” on Saturday wasn’t very well attended. I went into it expecting a light showing crowd-wise just because of this year’s subject matter, but it was still a bit of a disappointment. The people that were there seemed to enjoy it, though.IMG_20150620_144615~2
  • Among the original art pieces that Craig Fischer showed at the Mega Panel were these two gorgeous Denys Wortman originals. Apparently James Sturm has literally boxes and boxes of Wortman originals that were given to CCS. IMG_20150620_125759 IMG_20150620_125812
  • Speaking of Originals: it’s worth a trip to Heroes just to look through the incredible array of original art you’ll find at Bechara Maalouf’s booth. Seriously. Did I mention he’s got literally dozens of Kirby pages in portfolios you can just flip through and look at? One of these days, when I win the lottery…IMG_20150621_112811 IMG_20150621_112817 IMG_20150621_112830
  • I bought this beautiful Drew Weing original from Set To Sea. Check out how he’s handled the reflection of the sponge and rigging! IMG_20150620_180055
  • I spent more time at the art auction than I have in years past–mainly just because there were some folks I knew hanging out there (and in some cases waiting to see what their pieces sold for). As usual, I registered for a bidding paddle but never actually bid on anything since everything I was interested in was way way out of my price range. Here’s a Bob MacLeod New Mutants piece that was out of my price range before I could even get my paddle in the air:IMG_20150620_210339
  • At the art auction I ran into Craig Hamilton, who I haven’t seen in years. He told me he’d abandoned comics work entirely and had gotten a job doing those hand-lettered chalk signs you see at bars, restaurants, and grocery stores. He then totally blew my mind my showing me that his Dr. Strange piece for the art auction–which appears at first glance to be an oil painting–is actually done with sign chalk on a black chalk board:IMG_20150620_223809
  • Speaking of the art auction: It’s long been known that paintings of superhero ladies in revealing outfits fetch the big money at the Heroes auction. This year, though, I heard at least two different artists wondering if maybe the bounds of good taste aren’t being stretched a bit in this department. That one of this year’s big five-figure sellers was basically a spread-legged crotch shot of Emma Frost wasn’t unusual, but I wonder if the current spotlight on making the comics community less toxic to women isn’t fueling some of this talk. I also heard at least one female exhibitor grousing about the boob-a-rific “You hit the jackpot, tiger” Mary Jane Watson that serves as the Heroes’ website splash page.
  • I attended two panels on craft/technology: Kyle Webster’s panel demoing his Photoshop brushes and a panel on color flatting with Manga Studio. Both of these panels were well-attended and had lots of people asking questions. I’ve thought for a long time that there’s a lot more interest out there for panels on the actual craft of comics-making than many con organizers may think. I’d love to see more of this. Maybe I’ll pitch something along those lines for next year’s show.
  • I didn’t buy as many books as I usually do at Heroes, but here’re a few items. That last book that’s open to a spread is the new Pope Hats from AdHouse.IMG_20150621_121103 IMG_20150621_131738 IMG_20150622_094932

As usual, the best part of Heroes was seeing and hanging out with a lot of folks who I only really see at Heroes once a year or so. See you next year everyone! (And also as usual, a big thanks to everyone who keeps Heroes running like the well-oiled machine it is, including but not limited to: Shelton Drum, Andy Mansell, Rico Renzi and all the Heroes volunteers!)

4 comments

  1. Jay Perry says:

    I also hate that the MegaPanel didn’t have a great attendance, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope the poor attendance doesn’t keep you and Craig from continuing to do them.

  2. Ben says:

    Thanks, Jay! No, we’ll certainly continue to do them. Attendance varies each year it seems, depending on the topic. See you next year maybe!

  3. Mark Sullivan says:

    Hi, Ben! Sorry I didn’t get a chance to talk to you at the show. I only caught a bit of the Mega Panel myself–which I regret, since it’s usually a highlight for me–because I was working as a handler on Saturday, getting panelists to their panel on time. It was fun, but ironically it kept me from actually attending many panels.

    I was talking to someone about the cosplayers, and had a different impression. It seemed like there was actually a smaller percentage than some years, although since the crowd was so large there were a lot. And you tended to notice them when they stopped traffic.

  4. Ben says:

    Sorry I missed you, Mark. I’m surprised you got to any panels at all, given how busy you guys are. And, yeah, my observations about this stuff are purely anecdotal. Maybe I’m just used to the superhero cosplay and this year there seemed to be a lot more coming from other areas–gaming, anime, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>