Sunday, the final day of Heroes Con in Charlotte, is known for its languid pace, both as far as visitors and sales go, and today was no exception. Most of the Indie Island folks, myself included, had been up way too late the previous evening, thinking foolishly that the comparatively late opening time of 11 am was justification enough for rabble-rousing until the wee hours. Sunday this year fell on Fathers day as well, which is a nice facet of Heroes since it dovetails with Heroes’ “family friendly” rep and gives fathers a good excuse to bring their kids to the convention. But, as you can imagine, these father/son pairs aren’t really the most likely folks to make mass purchases of silk screened, hand-assembled, etc. minicomics–or really, non-superhero and/or non-kid stuff in general.
That was OK with me, though, since it gave me a chance to hit the floor for a bit and buy stuff. Since last night’s bar tab had effectively eliminated any chance at all of my breaking even money-wise at this show, the gate for stuff-buying was officially considered open. The first thing I bought was this badass drawing by Adhouse cartoonist Jamie Tanner:
You’re probably thinking, “Wow you just went out and slapped down some serious bucks for original art right off the bat?” Price tag for this piece: $5.00. Jamie was at the Adhouse booth drawing most of the day, and whatever he came up with was yours for $5.00.
I made the mistake a while back of mentioning to my friend Adam Casey that I thought those stupid US1 Marvel comics from the 80s were really funny and now he makes a point to find issues of US1 in the 50 cent bins and give them to me. This year I received #1, which gives me the first three issue run now. FYI: This is a comic book about a truck driver with a metal skull implant that allows him to hear CB radio conversations in his head. I read this issue, text material included, cover to cover behind my booth today. Thanks, Adam.
My friend, and comics professor at App State up the road in Boone, Craig Fischer did a bit of legwork for me and tracked down the first six issues of Steve Ditko’s Shade the Changing Man for a buck a piece. Art-wise, this stuff is a mid-era Ditko tour de force. Story-wise, it’s a tour de foolishness, however. I looked at Ditko’s awesome artwork over and over again, did a sketch of the character “Sude” in my sketchbook, read the first few pages of the first issue and then became too bamboozled to continue.
One curious attribute of mainstream cons is that you occasionally stumble on some good indie finds at dealers booths that apparently have no idea what the heck the stuff is and just throw it in the “get rid of it cheap” bin. Last year I bought two issues of Lloyd Llewellyn #1 in a quarter bin. This year there was a dealer with a bunch of graphic novels in long boxes for $3.00 each. Inside were odd items like a bunch of Sam Henderson books, and tons of Joann Sfarr, and lots of SLG trades. I bought Renee French’s Micrographica and Lilli Carre’s Tales of Woodsman Pete for three bucks each.
Speaking of “graphic novels,” this year there seemed to be a marked increae in the number of dealers with tons and tons of trades for sale. The trade paperback seems now to be here officially as a staple item (ironically, I suppose since they’re not stapled?). Lots of booths had trades, mainly just collections of stuff from Marvel and DC, for sale at anywhere from 30% to 50% off cover. These I guess are the new dollar bins of the post-trade/graphic novel environment.
Minicomics-wise, I got a ton of stuff in trade or that folks just gave me–too much to mention here–but, the two items I sought out in particular and am looking forward to reading were Rashy Rabbit by Josh Latta and Wysteria #5 by Brad McGinty.
Adhouse books’ Chris Pitzer had a bunch of personal stuff for sale from his collection and I scored an big “phonebook” editon of Viz’s Sexy Voice and Robo from him. I’ve been on the lookout for this for a while, thinking that it was available as digest sized versions, and am really glad that I finally got a hold of it, especially all in one book and on the cheap.
J Chris Campbell started a jam comic involving funny animals and potato salad. It was last seen in the hands of Top Shelf’s Andy “Owly”Runton, and will likely be completed at this year’s SPX.
All in all, I get the general vibe that this year’s show was a bit slower than last, not just because of those weasels at Wizard scheduling their Philly show the same weekend, but also maybe because last year’s show was such insanity that this year things were maybe in a bit of a “hangover” mode. Heroes con, though is known for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and us small press folks are there as much to hang out and put down a few beers after the show as to sell stuff. I had a great time and am definitely looking forward to next year’s show. Many thanks to Shelton, Dustin, Andy, and the rest of the Heroes crew for a great, fun show. Philly schmilly…
If you head over to The Pulse, there’s some coverage of several Heroes events, including the mini-comics panel from Saturday. It’s currently near the top and has an “Owly” thumbnail next to it, but here’s a direct link as well.
Also, I had a number of people who attended that panel come up to me later at my booth and ask for the URL for the mini-comics Co-op site that I mentioned in the interview, so here it is: