I am a giant fan of Heroes Con. Charlotte is my hometown, and this convention is near and dear to my heart, since it was the very first convention I attended, and where I bought my very first comic book (Ultimate X-Men Volume 1, #2) back in 2001. The LCS that runs it, Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, has been my LCS since I first stepped in for a Dragon Ball Z manga back in high school. I’ve attended the convention it sporadically since then, and only in the past few years have I become a devoted attendee again. It’s one of the best comic conventions in the country, not to mention one that is still just about comics. I talk about San Diego Comic Con a lot (especially years when I’m able to make the trek out west) because I’m a big pop culture junkie in addition to a comic book junkie, so I certainly love that kind of con too, but there’s really just something about one that manages to stay devoid of all the TV and Hollywood stuff.
Recently (even in just the few years since I’ve started attending regularly again), HeroesCon has noticeably grown. The floorspace is twice what it was in 2012, and it shows, yet they still manage to keep the comic-centric feel to the convention. And even after 2012’s insane crowds when Stan Lee was in attendance, this year seemed even more bustling, if that’s even possible. But it’s still much more chill than San Diego, where everything seems like a minimum 45 minute wait. The problem with this being my hometown con, though, is that I usually can’t devote an entire weekend to it like I do when I travel to San Diego or New York. So I only get a day or two of awesomeness. But sometimes, you can manage to cram a wonderful con experience into an afternoon.
This year, I got to meet the talented Laura Truxillo, whose Hawkeye print I’ve had my eyes on since I first saw it on tumblr a week or two ago. She was super nice and we chatted about Coulson and how much we can’t wait for Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And speaking of Hawkeye, I also got to meet the wonderful Matt Fraction, who had one of the longest lines at the convention, for good reason. Hawkeye has been a fantastic book so far and only has room to get better. His table was right next to his wife’s Kelly Sue DeConnick, who has been doing great work on Captain Marvel recently. Meeting the two of them was one of the highlights of my con, and I say that not even knowing if I’ll be able to make it to Sunday. I also got my first ever commission from Mara’s Ming Doyle, and I have a feeling that it’s the beginning of a long tradition of commissions for me.
Next year, I know that I’d really like to be able to spend more time in Indie Island, if I’m completely honest. HeroesCon is a great place for indie artists to put their work on display without being overshadowed by the big Hollywood machine. Or for artists and writers in general, for that matter. I’ve noticed in the few times I’ve gone to SDCC (this year will be my fourth time) how lonely it is on the comics-only side of the convention, compared to the mass of people on the TV/Movies side, and it’s a relief to see that a convention without all of that can still be a huge draw. And for once, I’m going to actually go to a panel. I’m not sure what it is about HeroesCon, but I tend to find myself in the thrall of people more than at other cons (I plan my entire experience around panel times in San Diego). I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but it’s definitely a part of the HeroesCon experience that I’m looking forward to taking part in when 2014 rolls around.