We’re at T-minus three days and counting from the opening of Heroes Con, the biggest and best comics convention in the Southeast… and one of the very best anywhere in the country for us “indie” comics folk. So, here’s my official pre-con post/roundup:
WHAT I’M SELLING
This’ll be the first major convention I’ll be at with my most recent book from SLG, Midnight Sun. The good folks at the Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find store in Charlotte have been stocking the book since it came out in December, so I reckon most folks in Charlotte who want it have already purchased it, but for any folks what don’t have it yet, I’ll have plenty of copies there for sale, signing, etc. Look for the handsome “mini-banner” mentioned in last post!
I’ll also have my usual spinner rack of mini-comics. Alas, with the personal time constraints of being a new dad (egads, “dad” still sounds weird!) and the two GNs I’m currently working on, I’m pretty much out of the mini-comics biz for a while… so get ‘em while you can, folks–I likely won’t be edditioning more of most of these and what I’ll have at Heroes Con is the very last of what I’ve got printed!
WHERE I’LL BE
I’ll be in Indie Island, at booth AA-610. You can see my location highlighted on the map below. I’m easy to find. Unlike at any other mainstream-ish con the indie folks at Heroes are in a prime spot, dead center of the convention center floor!
If you can’t find me, though, it’s likely because I’m being obscured by crowds gathered to see the far, far more notable folks near me. To my right will be Brian Ralph Kazimir Strzepek, and on my left Dan Zettwoch and Kevin Huizenga. Yikes! I may hide my comics under a burlap sack out of shame.
PANELS I’M PARTICIPATING IN
First up, on Saturday from 3:00 until 5:00-ish, is the MAD/E.C. Comics panel I’ve mentioned before. Craig and I are really pulling out all the stops for this one, so if you’re expecting the usual “guys sitting around talking” sort of panel, you’re going to be surprised. Original art! Handouts! Previews! Presentations! Cake! (Well, maybe cake…)
[SAT., 3PM] – NOT THE USUAL GANG OF IDIOTS: EC COMICS PANEL
Part 1: Kurtzman for Beginners
In the first half of this look at two of EC Comics most important creators,
we present a Harvey Kurtzman retrospective that’s a veritable smorgasbord of
presentations and events, including an overview of Kurtzman’s career by
Thought Balloonist blogger Craig Fischer, and a close reading of
“3-Dimensions!” a MAD story by Kurtzman and Wally Wood, by MIDNIGHT SUN
cartoonist Ben Towle. Plus: a sneak peak at the new Kurtzman COMPLETE HUMBUG
collection, forthcoming from Fantagraphics!
[SAT., 4PM] NOT THE USUAL GANG OF IDIOTS: EC COMICS PANEL
Part 2: A Chat With Al Feldstein (and Friends)
Ben Towle and Craig Fischer host an in-depth interview with Al Feldstein, EC
artist and writer and MAD MAGAZINE editor extraordinaire! Along for the ride
is a pair of celebrity funsters-FRED THE CLOWN and FIN FANG FOUR cartoonist
Roger Langridge and CUL DE SAC comic stripper Richard Thompson-ready to
roast and grill Feldstein about The Lighter Side of Editing America’s #1
Then, Sunday at 1:00 pm, I’ll be moderating a panel on minicomics. The minicomics panel is starting to become an institution in its own right at Heroes Con. It’s a tradition, I tell’s ya! Be there. Here’s the skinny:
MINICOMICS: The Best Little Comics In the World | Room 219A
Join cartoonist and educator Ben Towle for a minicomics panel featuring the awesome might of Dan Zettwoch (IRONCLAD), Alec Longstreth (PHASE 7), Rob Ullman (GRAND GESTURES), Liz Baillie (MY BRAIN HURTS), and Joe Lambert (BAIT & SWITCH). Who better to ask what the deal is with these little handmade comics? Learn the answers to this and other questions in this informative panel!
WHAT AM I LOOKING FORWARD TO?
Well, first and foremost–and this is what makes Heroes the bestest con ever in my opinion–I’m looking forward to hanging out with the ever-evolving gang of folks that have been attending Heroes con for years and yucking it up on the floor, and of course at the Westin bar after-hours. Just a few of those folks and where to find them:
Duane Ballenger | AA-510
J. Chris Campbell | AA-510
Craig Hamilton | AA-1013
Josh Latta | AA-508
Brad McGinty | AA-508
Chris Pitzer | BOOTH 623
Chris Schweizer | AA-506
Rob Ullman | AA-503
…and most likely, a few members of the usual crew that I’m forgetting.
WHAT AM I LOOKING FORWARD TO BUYING?
Heroes is one of those rare conventions at which I actually usually make money, so, yeah, I buy stuff! (Oh, who am I kidding? I buy stuff even at conventions where I lose money…) Here’re a few things that’ve caught my eye that I’m definitely going to seek out:
Fred the Clown # 5 1/2 – Roger Langridge, one of the absolute, 100%, best cartoonists living and working today (do you get what I’m saying to you?) is going to have a new mini of Fred the Clown stuff available. It’s all stuff, I think, that’s been serialized online, but I’m all about the treeware.
I’m also really hoping to get a hold of one of Roger’s famed “Muppets minis.” I mentioned the existence of such a thing to a friend at SPX last year and he promptly went to Roger’s table and got the last copy for himself. For this, he will die.
Superior Showcase #3 – Adhouse Books - OK, I actually already have this. I saw it at the local comics shop and couldn’t resist, but if I hadn’t, this’d be on my to-get list for sure. This issue is of special significance since one of the contributors is none other than Heroes Con “creative director”/grand poobah Dustin Harbin. Dustin is a fantastic cartoonist and it’s awesome to see his work getting some exposure here.
(Note the Langridge cover. Boo-ya!)
Smokers of the Marvel Universe – Chris Schweizer – The title says it all. Chris’s minis are always great, and I’m sure this’ll be no exception.
Like any red-blooded heterosexual male, I’m looking forward to Rob Ullman’s Teeny Bikini #4. Suddenly I’m in the mood for a piece of cheesecake… I don’t know why.
Just re-read the entry above, but substitute the book mentioned for this one: Bird-Doggin’ - A Collection of Girly Drawings by Brad McGinty. I’ve never actually seen any “girly drawings” by Brad, but his comics—be they about my personal favorite, Millionaire Hobo, or the spraypaint-huffing rape-happy “Starchie”—never disappoint.
Local illustrator (and my occasional racquetball partner) Kyle Webster will have freshly-minted copies of the book he’s been hard at work illustrating: Light Children. These first pictures of the finished book look great:
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
That’s a rhetorical question. The answer would be “nothing.” Get to Heroes Con!