Event: Heroes Convention (http://www.heroesonline.com/heroescon/)
Location: Charlotte, NC
Dates: June 19-21, 2015
Venue: Charlotte Convention Center
Guests: Dozens of comic industry illustrators and writers
Size: Approximately 35,000 attendees
Overview: Heroes Con in Charlotte is one of our favorite comic conventions. It has been around for more than 30 years and has maintained its focus on comic industry guests and discussion panels.
The event takes place in the large convention center in beautiful downtown Charlotte and fills the cavernous rooms on the bottom floor with comic guests, vendors, and a large artist alley. Panel discussion rooms are held throughout the building, and because of the large number of attendees, several fast food restaurants are onsite including Einstein Brothers, Bojangles, and Starbucks so that fans never need to leave the building during the weekend.
Certainly the big draw for the convention this year was the appearance of Stan Lee. Nearly one entire wall of the 200,000 square foot hall was set aside for the zigzagging line for autographs and photographs with Stan the Man. Coca-Cola was even on hand providing free soda to help the wait be less grueling. However, in the end that caused a bigger dilemma when having to go to the restroom and then dealing with skeptical line monitors who wanted to send you to the end of the line rather than letting you get back in line where you were. Once finally through the ordeal of the line, Stan Lee proved to be a polite gentlemen with a wink and a smile and everyone left the line smiling themselves before immediately getting in another line to have their freshly signed comics certified and sealed away.
On our list of people to meet was writer Cullen Bunn. Unfortunately, the convention was held the weekend before the release of his first issue of Aquaman. We had hoped to take along issue #41 for his signature. Instead, we substituted a printed copy of the cover from the recent preview. At his booth, Cullen was joined by Brian Hurtt and the two were surrounded by copies of The Sixth Gun, their acclaimed western adventure series. As soon as we said we were Aquaman fans, and handed him the picture to sign, a broad smile spread across his face and he immediately began apologizing for what was going to happen to Arthur and Mera next and begging us to please be patient and give him a few issues to see what he was doing.
We proceeded to have a delightful conversation with Cullen and left definitely looking forward to seeing what was ahead for our heroic couple. Plus, we picked up a copy of volume one of The Sixth Gun signed by both Cullen and Brian.
We were pleased to meet Andy Runton again. He is the creator, writer, and artist behind the family-friendly series Owly (http://www.andyrunton.com). We met him a few years ago at DragonCon and it was great to have an opportunity to pick up copies of his latest books for our niece… and ourselves of course! We highly recommend this wonderful series for anyone buying books for children. Reading his books evoke the same whimsy and charm as Winnie-the-Pooh and The Wind in the Willows.
We had hoped to see Pat Broderick of The Fury of Firestorm fame, and while he was supposed to be on hand, we sadly missed seeing him somehow.
We were pleased to see that Aquaman was well represented by several vendors. Jay Brant of www.headsupstudios.com had a display of stylized prints featuring the individual members of the Justice League and we were pleased to see Aquaman on display with the other members. Jay was pleased we purchased the Aquaman print and commented himself that he thinks Aquaman doesn’t get the respect he deserves and said that he loves the look of "classic" Aquaman.
PopCycled Baubles had a Perler bead figure of Aquaman prominently displayed on their table. They shared that at their last convention, AwesomeCon, there was an amazing Aquamancosplay complete with a golden trident. Baby Rabiez (@baby_rabiez) had a string-art Aquaman key chain on display at their booth and were delighted when we said it was the one we wanted. They were keen fans and while packing up the purchase they delightfully explained this classic look is what Aquaman is supposed to look like.
We stopped by the table of Sajad Shah (@Sajad_Shah) when we noticed a beautiful print of the Justice League that featured Aquaman prominently placed in the group. When we told the artist that was what drew our attention, he then produced an equally great print of Aquaman himself as well as an original drawing of Aquaman. All were stunning.
As with most conventions this size, the cosplay was top notch and we were pleasantly surprised that several obscure characters were better represented than usual. Doctor Fate, Star Sapphire, Raven, Booster Gold, and Captain Boomerang were there along with the more traditional Batman and Wonder Woman costumes. There was also a unique Superman cosplay specifically representing the George Reeves version of the character and an interesting Captain America/Spiderman fusion combination costume.
Sadly we never saw any Aquaman or Mera cosplay, but there was a stunning Black Manta with glowing eyes representing the series. We did see two fans wearing Aquaman shirts. One was very familiar with the Shrine and follows it regularly while the other hadn't heard of the Shrine but said he would be checking it out since Aquaman is his favorite character.
In closing, Heroes Con is a consistently fun convention with great guests each year and we highly recommend that anyone in the area give it a try in the future!