Search Results for: heroescon

HeroesCon stays relaxed and fun

As usual, southern hospitality is keeping HeroesCon at the Charlotte Convention center a laid-back relax-a-con as opposed to some of the more frantic offerings on the con schedule. Heroes organizer Shelton Drum gave us the literal bird-eye view of the show last night — pre-reg was high, and the show floor is completely sold out, another vindication of either the “fantasy economy” or the appeal of the comic-con entertainment model. The incredible guest list — from Mike Mignola to Sammy Harkham — doesn’t hurt either.

The Marvel and DC contingents are rather modest here — Marvel sent an editor or two and DC’s Mark Chiarello and Ian Sattler are around — so there are no Cup O’ Nation panels or news wars …which is kind of a pleasant break from other shows. That leaves comics the main spotlight.

We ran into Rantz Hoseley who is here to announce a new version of Longbox, his digital comics reader, which will be available next week. Digital comics are still a hot topic, so his timing is right, although some observers think Longbox needs to play catch up with some other digital readers at this point.

Today was walk around day. Tomorrow we’ll be hitting a few more panels. A couple of pictures to hold you until then.


The view from above of the massive, massive artist’s alley before set-up.


Generations: artists Will Sliney and Irwin Hasen in the bar on Thursday.


We’ll be mostly wandering around tomorrow, but if you need to find us, try the Templesmith/McCool outpost at AA-416 in Indie Island.

Help the CBLDF at HeroesCon and beyond

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund needs volunteers for HeroesCon You get free lunch, so it’s a good deal.

They also need some volunteers in their New York headquarters as they recently moved and need help getting things sorted. YOU can contact them for either matter via Facebook.

HeroesCon: Stuff People are Doing and Groovy Art They are Selling

You told us; we htmled it:

§ Archie Comics:

Archie Comics artists, writers and editor Dan Parent, Ian Flynn, Tracy Yardley!, Jim Amash, Jon Gray, and Paul Kaminski will be Heroes Con 2010 Comic Book Guests in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend, June 4th through the 6th. Look for them in Artists Alley for signings and sketches! They will also be selling graphic novels and single issues at convention special prices!

Paul will be raffling a free one-year subscription to for each day of the convention at table AA-231!
Jim Amash will be in Artists Alley table AA-219
Ian Flynn will be in Artists Alley table AA-218
Jon Gray will be in Artists Alley table AA-230
Paul Kaminski will be in Artists Alley table AA-231
Dan Parent will be in Artists Alley table AA-217
Tracy Yardley! will be in Artists Alley table AA-232


§ BOOM! Studios:


BOOM! Studios Booths #514, 516 & 613
BOOM Kids Booths #414, 513 & 515

Friday, June 4, 2010 
All Day Signings – Keith R.A. DeCandido, Michael Alan Nelson, Will Sliney, Declan Shalvey, Johanna Stokes, Travis Hill, Allen Gladfelter & Amy Mebberson 
11:30am – 12:30pm – Mark Waid Signing at BOOM! Booths
 2:00 – 3:00pm – Chris Roberson signing at BOOM! Tables 
3:00pm – The New Horror Comics Panel with Michael Alan Nelson 
- ROOM 208AB
 5:00 – 6:00pm – Mark Waid & Peter Krause Signing at BOOM! Booths

Saturday, June 5, 2010
All Day Signings – Keith R.A. DeCandido, Michael Alan Nelson, Will Sliney, Declan Shalvey, Johanna Stokes, Travis Hill, Allen Gladfelter & Amy Mebberson
11:30am – 12:30pm – Mark Waid & Peter Krause Signing at BOOM! Booths
2:00 – 3:00pm – Chris Roberson signing at BOOM! Tables
4:00 – 5:00pm – Mark Waid & Peter Krause Signing at BOOM! Booths

Saturday, June 6, 2010
All Day Signings – Keith R.A. DeCandido, Michael Alan Nelson, Will Sliney, Declan Shalvey, Johanna Stokes, Travis Hill, Allen Gladfelter & Amy Mebberson
11:00am – 12:00pm – Mark Waid & Peter Krause Signing at BOOM! Booths
12:00 – 1:00pm – Family Friendly Comics Panel with Mark Waid
& Roger Langridge – ROOM 208AB
2:00 – 3:00pm – Mark Waid & Peter Krause Signing at BOOM! Booths
4:00 – 5:00pm – Chris Roberson signing at BOOM! Tables

heroes stuff.JPG

§ Van Jensen:

Van Jensen, the writer of Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer, will be set up at the Top Shelf Productions booth in Indie Island. This is the Heroes Con debut of Pinocchio, which came out in October. Some news about the sequel, due this fall, will be released over the weekend. Fans also can come and pose for photos with Pinocchio (or at least a 3-feet-tall puppet of him). Van is debuting Nebraska #2, the second in a series of mini comics about growing up in a town of 300 in the Midwest. He’ll also have a limited number of prints of Coming of Age, a two-page story originally published in the Wide Awake Press anthology Jabberwacky.

§ HeadHunta Studios a new Atlanta-based studio, welcomes newest members Koi Turnbull and Derrick Fish who will both be at the studio’s booth and debuts their first 64-page full color Studio Art book: Weapons of Mass Distraction (WMDs).

HeadHunta’ Studios will arrive with an army of amazing creators and will dazzle you with a wide array of books, exclusive prints, original art and a chance to meet up with:

Greg “Dark One” Williams; Artist and Creator of Animal Mystic, Raptor, and Frostbite. Greg has been published in over 30 titles to date.
Koi Turnbull: Artist on Superman Confidential, Wolverine: Killing Made Simple, Fathom, New Warriors, and many more!
Chris Walker; Writer on Tiger Style and Raptor
Kevin Stokes; Artist on Tiger Style, Hidden Worlds, Splitsville and Departure
Derrick Fish: Artist and creator of The Wellkeeper and Dandy & Company, and is a regular pinup contributor to books like Atomic Robo and PvP
Ben Fisher; Writer on Hidden Worlds, Smuggling Spirits, Hexen Hammers, and Splitsville
Nathan Massengill: Inker on JSA, Deadpool, and Deadpool Team-Up, and he’s done a ton of stuff on Bat-books in the past, like Detective and Nightwing.
John Rokk: Artist and Animator
John McGuire: Writer/Scripter on Tiger Style, Frostbite, and many other books

Along with new products and announcements, all weekend long HeadHunta’ Studios can be tracked down at the Artist Alley Tables AA-824 thru AA-828. That special and magical place will be home to signings, exclusive prints, buying books and a chance to get commissions or a sketch!

Be prepared to see more announcements from the guys of HeadHunta’ Studios as new titles and issues will be making their way into the world…


§ Ben Towle:

For the third year running, Craig Fischer and I are doing another one of our two hour “mega-panels.” This year it’s DEFECTIVE COMICS: A Celebration Of Superhero Oddness and it’ll be held Saturday at 3:00 pm in Room 208AB. Here’s the official skinny:

Defective Comics: A Celebration of Superhero Oddness

Let’s face it: superheroes can be kinda dopey. For every cultural icon like Superman or Spider-Man, there’s five thousand off-beat B-listers (Bwana Beast? Sonny Sumo? Razorback?) lining up to die in the next big crossover event. For Heroescon 2010, Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean cartoonist Ben Towle and Thought Balloonist blogger Craig Fischer host a lovingly critical look at just how bizarre the superhero genre can be.

The event will include a presentation by Towle on the sad-sack super-man in Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library; a panel discussion with Colleen Coover, Evan Dorkin, Jeff Parker and Chris Pitzer; a talk by Crogan Adventures creator Chris Schweizer about art-comix creators crossing over into mainstream superhero comics; and clips from some of the weirdest and worst superhero films of all time. Excelsior?


§ Jim McCann:

Janet Lee & I will be there and we have an exclusive, limited print for RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN. They’ll be available at our table (AA-726) and are limited to 314, signed and numbered, for $15.

§ Shannon Smith:

Any small press and minicomics folk that would like their books reviewed at file under other are invited to save themselves some postage and drop off copies with Shannon Smith at Indie Island table AA-429. Every item will be reviewed at (Either in a post-HeroesCon article or in their own individual review depending on the amount of time and attention each work deserves.)

§ Eva Ink Artists:

As usual, this show features includes the likes of artist/writer Michael Golden, fine art painter Mark Texeira, illustrator Steve Scott and Eva Ink friends like Robin Dale co-producer of the “Creator Chronicles” documentary series and amazing painter Joe Jusko.

In addition to an outstanding artist alley and exhibitor list, Heroes this year will also be debuting a gallery show in connection with the convention, with a Friday night reception open to the public.

“Super! The Fine Art of Comics,” which had a continuing run from April 28-June 6th at “Twenty-Two Gallery” in Charlotte will have a closing reception on Friday June 4th, starting at 7 p.m. and going until late! Pieces will still be available for final purchase at this time and includes works by Michael Golden, Mark Texeira, Steve Scott, Mark Bagley, Mark Brooks, Chris Brunner, Eric Canete, Steve Ditko, Steve Epting, Ron Garney, Randy Green, Sanford Greene, Cully Hamner, Tony Harris, Adam Hughes, Georges Jeanty, Casey Jones, Joe Jusko, Jack Kirby, Jason Latour, Ton Lyle, Jonboy Meyers, Jason Pearson, Brandon Peterson, Budd Root, Stephane Roux, Andy Smith, Brian Stelfreeze, Karl Story, Dexter Vines and Chrissie Zullo.

For more information on the gallery show, visit or e-mail [email protected]

§ Other people with blog posts and such:


Chris Sims

From the HEROES Con Panel Schedule: The site has become one of the more popular sites online for fresh weekly comic art. Join “twartists” Tom Fowler, Chris Samnee, Francesco Francavilla, Ron Salas, Declan Shalvey, and Andy Kuhn, with moderator Chris Sims of Comics Alliance , for a discussion and multi-sketch demonstration. All sketches to be donated to the HeroesCon Art Auction!


Robert Ullman
Steve Epting
Evan Dorkin

We just received our latest order of H.O.F. buttons and magnets, so we’ll have those at the show, along with the new craft items Sarah’s been making, the fabric Devil Puppet handpuppets, pencil cases, bookmarks (as always, half of all bookmark proceeds go directly to Emily Dyer’s Pokemon/DS game/ice cream/whatever she wants to buy fund). I expect to bring a few Milk and Cheese vinyl figures, which will be on sale. Book-wise, the usual, and I’ll have singles of the Beasts of Burden mini-series in case folks need them, or want to get an issue signed by Jill and I. I will have a copy of the Beasts of Burden hardcover collection to show off (unless I forget it), but we won’t have any available for sale (You’ll have to wait until June 16th, which can’t come fast enough as far as I’m concerned).

Brad Gulgar
Chris Samnee
Grant Gould
Guy Davis
Keith Yonai

Chris Schweitzer

This weekend is HeroesCon, one of my favorite comic shows, which takes place in Charlotte, NC. In addition to tabling and doing sketches, I’ll have a slew of new things to pick up – a numbered “Mummy” print (300 made), a John Carter print, an Innsmouth print, a sort-of-new mini-comic called “Robot Teenager Goes to a Barn Show,” and lots of original art for sale. So come on out! It’s a big year, with lots of great folks in attendance. In addition to Mike Mignola and Guy Davis, they’ve got folks like Kate Beaton, whose history comics shouldn’t be missed, and a bunch of my students will be there, too. So if you’re in the Charlotte area, come on out!


Scott Morse. He’s sellin’ stuff like this! Holy crap!
Liz Baillie
Joe Lambert
Uko Smith
Raina Telgemeier


Jim Rugg
Dave Dwonch and Super Ugly
Perpetual Flights Studios
Mr. Cow
Cully Hamner
12 Guage Comics

It isn’t too late to make it to one of the best comic conventions you’ll ever attend! 12-GAUGE will be attending HEROES CON in full-force, so grab the nearest plane, train, or automobile (I don’t recommend hitch-hiking these days) of your choice and join us in Charlotte, NC for lots of fun! Look for signings with MICK FOLEY, REBEKAH ISAACS, TONY SHASTEEN, JASON PEARSON, BRIAN STELFREEZE, CHRIS BRUNNER, JASON LATOUR, RICO RENZI & other bad-ass guests all weekend long.

Colleen Coover


Tom Fowler
Mike Rhode
Cat Staggs
….and probably more here tomorrow.

Anyway, in case you haven’t figured it out yet…ALL the cool people are going to HeroesCon, and it’s gonna be a good time.

HeroesCon Day 1

Img 4791
Alas no time for a full report right now due to wifi cutting out. We’re having a swell time down here in Charlotte. It’s odd to see indie mainstays like Dan Nadel, Alvin Buenaventura and Randy Chang running around in the middle of an old fashioned comic book convention — one person we spoke to likened it to a “peanut M&M” — indie in the middle with a superhero shell.

Friday was a quiet day that allowed for lots of time for visitng and chatting. We spent the afternoon watching Amanda Connor draw Red Sonja, and asking Jaime Hernandez about his creative process.

We attended two panels — the Journalism panel we were on and the “State of the Industry” panel immediately after. We’ll have a fuller report on those in a bit, but let’s just say this convention is happening at a very very interesting time.

[Above, Alvin Buenaventura, Mike Dawson and Jaime Hernandez]

HeroesCon: Top Shelf

Super Spy CoverTop Shelf told us they will be out in force this weekend with more cartoonists than they’ve ever brought along before. Safety in numbers.

Alex Robinson — Too Cool To Be Forgotten
Jeffrey Brown — Incredible Change-Bots
Matt Kindt — Super Spy
Andy Runton — Owly
Robert Venditti — The Surrogates
Liz Prince — Delayed Replays
Aaron Renier — Spiral-Bound

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HeroesCon: Image

Image confided their plans to us:

“HeroesCon is a darned fine funnybook show,” Image Comics Publisher Erik Larsen said. “In an age when outside media like movies and video games have taken over most conventions, Shelton Drumm and his dedicated team consistently keep Heroes focused on what matters most to those of us in the world of contemporary pictorial literature – a bona-fide COMIC BOOK convention that’s fun for the whole family!”

In addition to the overwhelming number of Image creators attending, Image will be spotlighted on a total of three panels including the State of the Industry Discussion, Friday at 1:30, featuring Image Comics Publisher Erik Larsen in room 207. Saturday brings Tori Amos’ COMIC BOOK TATTOO panel at 12:00PM and The Image Comics Show at 4:00 PM, both in room 217BCD. This Image Comics Show’s HeroesCon debut features Erik Larsen, THE WALKING DEAD’s Robert Kirkman, THE NIGHTLY NEWS’ Jonathan Hickman, PERHAPANAUTS’ creators Todd Dezago & Craig Rosseau and a number of announcements, including the first word on Whilce Portacio’s other big project.

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HeroesCon Misc.

Heroes Poster 08
The Spurge, who will be he Iron Man of Moderation*, has the best overall round-up of the show. We should note that we’re told that Michael Golden (above) and Mark Texeira will also have new art prints at the show.

Bryan Lee O’Malley will have STICKERS!

Ad01Mini Cvrlo

And Jim Rugg will have a sketchbook and an AFRODISIAC mini. Full details on his con going experience here.

* That was a cool oxymoron!

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HeroesCon: Low Key Comics Party

LkcconcertflyerLow Key Comics will be premiering Snug Comics #1 at their rock show/party party Saturday at heroes Con: Details below but more info here.

Low Key Comics presents: Snug Comics
featuring Calabi Yau, Young Tom Fury, Battle Beasts, and the Lights, Fluorescent
Saturday, June 21st 9PM
Snug Harbor
1228 Gordon St.
Charlotte, NC 28205

18+ $7 – 21+ $5; free minicomic with admission!

Calabi Yau:
Young Tom Fury:
Battle Beasts:
The Lights, Fluorescent:

They’ll also be premiering two comics at the show:

Everyman #2: Justin Crouse’s satiric look at superheroes continues when James Johnson, our garbageman-turned-superhero, tries to turn his luck around by using his newfound powers for fun and profit…but first, he’ll have to tangle with the town’s protector, Titan. Check out the book that PLAYBACK:stl’s Byron Kerman says is “not just LOL-funny…it’s gloriously subversive.”

Journal Sanders: Kentucky Fried Sketchbook vol. 1: Juan Ruvalcaba left behind his hometown of Chicago for a career in Hollywood, and this daily sketch-diary is the result. This first 100-page collection is a look at a Spring packed with the pangs of Hollywood corporate politics and general boredom in the big city. Think American Elf for the sarcasm generation.

This week…HeroesCon!

Hc Logo Rgb
This weekend’s big event is definitely HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC — and The Beat will be there. This is our only non-local con appearance this year aside form San Diego, and we can’t wait. Shelton Drum throws a good old fashioned comics convention with a laid back vibe that have made it a favorite for years and this year should be no exception. The guest list includes every one from Al Feldstein to Nicholas Gurewitch, with stops for Adam Hughes, Jaime Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke.

Hc08 Ii-Banner Langridge

HeroesCon is also notable for Indie Island, an enclave of indie publishers and cartoonists from Bryan Lee O’Malley to Evan Dorkin to Laura Park. At MoCCA we were shocked by the number of indie guys who closed their conversations with “See you at HeroesCon!” but Bodega, PictureBox, AdHouse, Buenaventura and Sparkplug will all be there.

We’ll be on THREE panels as follows:

12.00 PM– NOON
COVERING COMICS: Criticism, Reportage, and Gossip | Room 219
The digital age has allowed a deeper understanding of comics criticism and reporting than has ever been possible before. Tom Spurgeon of the Comics Reporter moderates this discussion featuring some of the leading lights on the comics journalism scene, including Heidi MacDonald of The Beat, Tim Hodler of the Comics Comics magazine and blog, Matt Brady of Newsarama, and Johanna Draper-Carlson of Comics Worth Reading. From industry reporting and journalism to criticism and good ole gossip, this is sure to be a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the comics news!

[Oh boy, wonder what everyone will talk about?]
5.00 PM
Heidi MacDonald moderates a panel of cartoonists, writers and artists hand selected by Tori Amos to reinterpret her music into sequential art. Features previously unseen images exclusively from the forthcoming book from Image Comics!

1.00 PM
Heidi MacDonald of The Beat moderates this panel featuring a who’s who of comics podcasting talent: Jimmy Aquino of Comic News Insider, Charlito and Mr. Phil of Indie Spinner Rack, Brian Christman and Adam Murdough of Comic Geek Speak, and most likely a bunch more guests from our Podcast Arena!

Our schedule is dwarfed by Tom Spurgeon’s, as he is seemingly moderating almost every panel…but they all sound so great!

We have a few picks in the jump, but…really they all sound great. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this weekend HeroesCon is the place to be.
[Read more…]

HeroesCon over view

You can find out all you need to know right here. Rosario Dawson will be a guest once again, and Jerry Robinson has joined the list. Here’s a late update:

Like we just said three days ago: the guest list is a slippery beast; you never can be sure who’s going to decide to cancel at the last minute–or in this case, show up . . .

And so it is that while we hated to announce Joe Simon’s cancellation, we’re also excited to announce that Jerry Robinson, best known for his formative work on Batman, Robin, and The Joker, will be attending HeroesCon 2007!

Also we’re pleased to announce the return of the Time For Heroes convention portfolio! Last year these were gone in a single day, so be sure and get your hands on this very limited portfolio of all new, exclusive art from some of our closest friends: Jason Pearson, Brian Stelfreeze, Karl Story, Cully Hamner, Randy Green, Rick Ketcham, Brandon Peterson, Craig Hamilton, Keron Grant, Ed McGuinness, and Dexter Vines. All printed on very high quality paper, and ever-so suitable for framing! These are strictly limited, so don’t miss out!

Complete guest lists here. Programming, here. And don’t forget Indie Isle!

Oh and there will be a PARTY.

And finally, Friday night at the Westin is the place to be! BLVD Studios members: Tommy Lee Edwards, Bernard Chang, Sean Chen, and John Paul Leon will be hosting the officially designated After Hours Party –there will be a cash bar, two bands and more comic book pros than you can shake a stick at! Not good enough? Well, how about this: Rosario Dawson will be in attendance as well, hosting a sneak preview of her brand new independent film, Descent! There will be an admission fee in the form of a donation to see the movie, and all proceeds will be donated to charity. After a long day of walking the con floor, the After Hours Party will be a great place to hang out and unwind.

Heroes Con is well known as the most downright pleasant stop on the US con circuit. If you are anywhere nearby, you owe it to yourself to go.

Breaking Down the Latest Convention Controversy

Heroes Con 2014. Photo taken by Alex Añé

Heroes Con 2014. Photo taken by Alex Añé

OK, comicsphere, we need to talk about conventions.  This convention hubbub that’s flared up in the last week or so is a fairly complex one.  Just for the sake of the arguments that are still going on, let’s break this down into the individual issues that are affecting creators that are exhibiting at comics shows.

Issue #1 – CCINO

Yes, I’m borrowing from political rhetoric.  “Comic Conventions In Name Only.”  Ever been to an alleged comic convention that had little-to-zero comics programming, few (if any) comics publishers exhibiting and pretty much all the comics content was artists alley and anyone selling comics in the dealers area?

Alas, I’m old enough to have gone to the old Chicago Comicon prior to Wizard buying it.  I’ve seen it go from a comics-first show that would have the odd (and quite popular) Babylon 5 or Kevin Smith panel to the current celebrity autograph show-driven event.  I never attended a Creation convention, but based on how people described those, I’m tempted to call Wizard’s Chicago edition a Creation show with an artists’ alley.  Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on your perspective.  That Wizard show in Chicago looked viable under the heavy autograph emphasis the last time I was at one, but that’s been three or four years back.

If you are an artist exhibiting at a convention (or a writer, for that matter), it is not a horrible idea to have some product that ties in with the theme of the headliners.  If it’s Star Trek and Doctor Who as the top billed guests, you’re probably going to have a lot of people shuffling through looking for Star Trek, Doctor Who and perhaps some general science fiction/fantasy material.

Oh, you’ll still get a few people showing up for comics specifically, but I’m under the (third-hand) impression that number is starting to drop off as the prices go up.

If this sort of a “comic convention” isn’t working out for you, there’s no law that says you need to go to this type of convention.  Certainly there are enough of them out there.  Some people do quite well at this sort of show.

I was on a comics trivia panel at the Chicago convention (that Wizard bought) from either ’96 or ’97 until something like 2009.  I think we were the last comics panel towards the end and every year, we weren’t sure if the panel was going to be accepted.  We moved it over to C2E2, a more comics-centric show, when it showed up in 2010 and I don’t recall hearing about Wizard asking to bring an edition back.

There’s nothing wrong with picking and choosing which convention you get a table at based on programming and the crowd attending.

Issue #2 – Conventions as a Social Event vs. Buying Event

This one’s also been brewing for a while, but whereas it used to be conventions were the easiest place to pick up your back issues, mail order has come a loooooooooong way since e-Commerce kicked in.  The thing is if you’ve picked your convention right, that social component ought to include connecting with creators.  For the dealer room, well… you better have a good sense for what that crowd is looking to buy.

Are there more cosplayers than there used to be?  Probably.  The average costume is definitely better than it used to be.  Is there a certain percentage of cosplayers who show up so they can be seen in costume and that’s the primary reason they’re there?  Yes.  Not all of them, but a few.  This is part of the shift towards conventions as more of a social experience.  And guess what?  They paid their money and they get to come to the show.

The cosplayers aren’t the only people who come to the show for social reasons, though.  They’re just a type of attendee that’s easier to spot.  Plenty of people in street clothes are there to take in the sights and buying something isn’t necessarily their first priority.

Issue #3 – Are there too many conventions?

Again, that depends on your definition and whether you want to be emulating the schedule of a band on tour.  There’s more comic-labelled conventions than there ever have been before.  Last Sunday in Iowa, you could go to a small show in Iowa City and see Phil Hester or go to a small show in Davenport and see Mike Grell.  The two shows were roughly an hour’s drive apart, with a combined population in the metro areas of just a shade over 700,000.  Now, we’re talking very small shows here, but that’s the extent to which the convention space is getting over-crowded and regional shows are popping up all over the place.

This gives the creators a choice of where they want to go.  You don’t have to go to every show and you have the option of trying to be the big fish in the small pond or hitting a larger show.  A lot of people swear by the smaller, regional shows as a better way to get noticed.  Then again, you do need a certain baseline level of attendance.

It does mean there’s room for regional conventions to develop a personality.  MOCCA, SPX and Heroes Con are all cons that come to mind as having a personality, where you might know whether you fit the demographics or not.

I don’t have evidence, but I suspect a CCINO in a region with no other conventions is going to get the comics exhibitor a better response than a CCINO in a region that has a more comics-centric show.

Again, this falls under the category of know where you’re going. However, since there’s so many conventions, everybody can’t be at all the medium-sized shows and there absolutely is opportunity in spreading it around a little.

Issue #4 – What have you been doing lately?

OK, this is a touchy subject.  If you’re not currently working, that raises a couple questions from a convention exhibition standpoint.  First off, what do you have to sell that an existing fan doesn’t already have?  Particularly something with a moderate price point.  Original art is a little too expensive to be an impulse buy like a comic, tpb or print can be.  What’s your name recognition level at right now?  If it’s dipping, you’re going to have to work a little harder.

Let’s be honest.  Comics as an industry has a problem with sending creators out to pasture at early ages.  After a couple years out of the spotlight, it’s not always as easy sailing at conventions.  It’s probably a good idea to be working on something new or new-ish you can show off.  It’s not that difficult to have some comics online and Print On Demand is getting better all the time.  If you have the mailing list/social media followers, Kickstarter works for a lot of people.  Don’t be a slave to publishers when it comes to your own profile, take ownership.

Issue #5 – Table factors

There are some things you can’t control.  Is your booth/table in a prime spot?  A spot with low traffic or in a place where people are walking through primarily on their way somewhere else and not interested in stopping can be a killer.  Is your table next to the obnoxious or creepy guy people are veering out of their way to avoid?  Not much you can do about those things.  You can, however, work on your display and your interaction skills.  And if you’re not a name talent, that display and your interactions are what are going to make or break the show for you, more than anything else.

In any given instance, you could have all five issues in play at the same time.  I’d say a lot of conversation is about knowing your audience and figuring out which show they’re going to be at.

The thing that’s confounding people about all the media guests is a two-edged sword.  Media guests absolutely do draw a wider range of people.  It gets the guest count up for the show and it sells tickets.  We probably wouldn’t have as many regional shows if it weren’t for the media guests.  That draw is factor and it’s unlikely to go away any time soon.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 8/11/14: Watterson pages sell for $74,040

Happy Monday, people. Hope you enjoyed that Supermoon.

§ I have several excellent candidates for the new indie chart analyst here, including some writers I wasn’t previously aware of, so I’ll be sifting through those this week. In the meantime, Chris Rice…paging Chris Rice…

§ I promise I will do a San Diego wrap-up piece even if no one cares about it. Hopefully tomorrow.


§ Those three pages of “Pearls Before Swine” art that included work by Bill Watterson (along with creator Stephan Pastis) went up for auction on behalf of Team Cul de Sac at Heritage and the three strips sold for a total of $74.040 to three separate collectors who wish to remain anonymous. The money is going to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The strips were displayed at Heroescon a few months ago and they were very cool; I’m sure the folks who bought them are very pleased with their purchase.

§ Not a Buzzfeed piece! Not an Upworthy piece! Graphic novels: a misunderstood medium! It seems one woman in Massacusetts, Boston U. lecturer Laura Jimenez, thinks folks just don’t get how much information is in those graphic novels!

To create these pointers, she surveyed “expert” graphic novel readers, including “the guys who hang out in gaming shops and can talk about every issue of Aquaman,” she said in a recent BU News article. The strategies she developed from those conversations all involve ways of extracting information from the page that go beyond merely comprehending the words. Jimenez’s experienced readers would approach a novel by first skimming the whole thing to absorb its overall aesthetics. Then they’d turn back to the first page, where they would “study the background, setting, and time period”; then they’d consider the characters, and examine the colors to “determine the mood of the book.” Only then would they settle in to read it.

§ In all the excitement over those gazillion WB movie dates, folks seem to have forgotten that Guillermo del Toro is chugging along on his “Justice League Dark” project, and so far, no one has told him to stop! It’s not known if Constantine will show up, esp. with his own V show coming along, but according to Del Toro, the cast may include “Etrigan the Demon, Deadman, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, Constantine, The Floronic Man, and many, many others.” If WB makes a movie with The Floronic Man in it, all will be forgiven.

§ This piece by Dave Itzkoff for the NYT from last week about the creators of Rocket Racoon contains some VERY interesting information about Marvel’s “settlement” or whatever you want to call it, with Bill Mantlo, who, you will recall, is in a hospital due to brain trauma he suffered many years ago. His brother Mike explains that this agreement was not Marvel’s idea:

Michael Mantlo, whose brother created Rocket Raccoon with the artist and author Keith Giffen in 1976, said he was grateful that Marvel had arranged the “Guardians of the Galaxy” screening for Bill. But he did not know a movie was planned until comics fans contacted him on Facebook a few years ago.

Michael said he had then contacted Marvel executives and told them, “If you’re making a film with Rocket Raccoon, you need to talk to me about the use of that character.”

“The negotiation started at that point,” he said, “and we managed to secure a very nice contract for Bill.”

I’ve been hearing of late that lawyering up and making a good, discrete case for yourself is the way to get some of that equity, which for the movies, anyway, seems to be enough for a few nice dinners. On the other hand, someone at San Diego — I honestly forget who— told me about how a character they created was used in Arrow, and the check was two figures. Which is just how it worked out. YOu gotta know when to hold em, and know when to fold em.

Bernie Wrightson is in hospital but doing well


He was just at HeroesCon, running around, smiling and putting this amazing work (done with Scott Hampton) in the auction (I know it doesn’t photograph well but it had everyone amazed), but according to social media, legendary horror artist Bernie Wrighton has been hospitalized following a series of small strokes. Steve Niles has been updating Wrightson’s condition and says he’s doing well. The initial report came from Wrightson’s wife, Liz.

Okay, y’all first: Bernie is in the hospital, having suffered a series of SMALL strokes. Tests are happening; surgery may be in the cards. His cognition and spirits are good, but convention appearances look unlikely for the next few weeks. Overall he is okay, as we got him to the hospital FAST. Send good thoughts and all that… -Liz

Good thoughts are indeed going out.

The Beat is 10 today!!!

I actually don’t remember the day I started this blog—it was June or July somethingth 2004- so I’ve arbitrarily decided today will henceforth be The Beat’s anniversary. Ten long years of late nights, sleeping five hours, web crashes, Vietnamese Instant Coffee, Amon Tobin, Luke Vibert, Vitalic, Tipsy, Mahler, Stravinsky and Amy Winehouse. Ten years of stopping whatever else I was doing at some point to say “I gotta do The Beat now.” Ten years of watching the graphic novel industry grow, 10 years of a new golden age of comics, the rise and fall of manga, the rise and rise of comic book movies and TV shows, firings, hirings, 10 days that shook the world. Ten years of the internet changing every week or minute. When I began there was no Tumblr, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Youtube, no smart phones. People were so starved for entertainment that they actually read websites run by one person in their pajamas.

This is the third and final home for The Beat. Originally it was party of the Pulse, which was part of, a site now little spoken of, but in its day it was an exemplar of the kind of smart, current writing about comics that only the internet could provide. IN honor of its origins, I’ve changed the background color to the original Beat background, JUST FOR THIS ANNIVERSARY WEEK THOUGH, so please enjoy it, take snapshots, and so on. The Beat was a persona I developed at The Pulse, first for a weekly column, and eventually a blog. It was the early days of blogging and everyone thought it was the future of journalism. In reality, it wasn’t even the future of writing about what you had for lunch.

The Beat is actually more like 12 years old, if you go by the column that started it, but I forgot to celebrate two years ago, so here we are. I did dig up two pieces about San Diego from The Pulse days that kind of observed and classified a lot of how the rest of the decade would go. Part one here and part two, with my favorite headline of all times, “The Cromlech’s Secret.” What did a cromlech have to go with Comic-Con? I’m not sure any more, but back then you got to be really self indulgent.

In 2006 the Beat left Comicon for Publishers Weekly, where despite having the highest traffic it ever achieved, I couldn’t get a single person in the IT department to lift a finger to fix the many issues that had come up with the database. I wrote all about that here. (I didn’t write the postcript though, which was that after fighting tooth and nail with one particularly annoying web person at Reed who said she didn’t support WordPress sites, she ended up getting a new job where she converted a website to a ton of blogs using the very same template I used for The Beat. Why am I always right about these things?)
Both of the previous iterations of The Beat had been done in by web admins who just didn’t take or didn’t have the time to fix things when they went wrong. When I took the site back myself, I resolved to learn how to do basic maintenance myself (with the help of Media Temple’s always polite techs and my developer Ryan Dickey and his partner Ron Croudy.) And thus I’ve entered the door to a happy world where just this weekend I updated WordPress, made a sitewide backup, crashed my server entirely for about an hour, discovered the error log was getting out of control, and repaired a broken table in mySQL to stop the error messages. I’m lovin’ it.
In this day and age it’s pretty crazy for one person to try and run a news site all by her or himself. It’s still only a part time job for me, but one that takes up a lot of my waking time, and has given me more satisfaction and amusement and opportunities than any other job I’ve had. I’ve had some other great writers and columnists who have added immeasurably to The Beat Experience, and more to come, but it’s still mostly my site. Despite the absurdity of a one-woman shop, The Beat is still in the top 10 comics news sites, and to be honest that still boggles my mind. That there are more than ten comics news sites, that is.
It takes an insane amount of work to keep going, though. Luckily I like to stay busy.

The other day at HeroesCon I was on a panel with Tom Spurgeon (who started Comics Reporter a few months after The Beat started), Chris Sims and Tom Heintjes talking about “comics journalism” or whatever. I said that in todays climate, in a time of increased competition, I had to be less self-indulgent, which sort of surprised Tom, I think. But it’s true. I wish I could just post nonsense about Clive Owen and dear, dear Gerard Butler all day (two early fixations of the site, the Hiddleston/Cumberbatch of their day, a personal touch that no one would go for today) but there are a dozen tumblrs and TMZ/Buzzfeed rip-offs to do that. You know how at the end of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Lo says “I wish that we’ll be in the desert together again”? Sometimes I wish I could just be in the cloud with Old Yeller dog food again.

Everything changes. I think it’s more important than ever to be a source for accurate information about the industry and exposure for new comics projects, because tehre’s more meaningless crap out there, too. People complain when I cover non comics stuff, but when I started the site I covered every comic book movie WAY more than I do now. (I was digging through the 2004 pictures archives and there were hardly any comics — just endless photos of weird comics related things and movie stuff.) It’s less fun, and yet more rewarding, doing the site now because more people depend on it. With great power comes great hosting bills.

Running this site hasn’t gotten any easier since I started. The main reason is that there is so much more news of comics and comics culture to cover! Sales are up, outlets are up, schools are up, awards are up, women are up, kids are up, webcomics are up, countries that were just mucking around when I started now have actual comics cultures. Conventions have gone from 200 to 2000*. We have transmedia and motion comics now, although those can usually be ignored. We have comics on the web evolving into a new artform, tablets giving readers a new experiences, and the cloud changing the idea of ownership entirely. And Disney bought Marvel and Amazon bought Comixology. And still every day, men and increasingly women are slaving over a table with ink stained fingers, hoping to pay the rent and touch a heart or two. They don’t want to be forgotten. That’s one of the reasons I’ve fought tooth and nail to keep most of the beat archives up all these years. Other websites are lost to the sands of time, but I’ll keep this site up as long as I can physically do it. No one wants to be forgotten.

When I started this, I believed that comics were not only a “legitimate artform” but an artform of the future. Given their growth in the last ten years, I think I was right about that, too. And the best is yet to come.

Even though I sometimes wish I was back in the desert with Old Yeller**, there’s no turning back. There’s a new icon here around Stately Beat Manor.

When there’s a job to be done, it gets done.

There are hundreds of people I need to thank for helping me over the years, and I would sit here for another decade trying to think of them all. So I’ll just thank the basics: Rick Veitch and Steve Conley at The Pulse for getting me into this web thing; Calvin Reid for his unstinting support; my parents, Suzu and Philip, for all they have done for me; and Ben McCool for making me laugh. And Todd Allen, Todd Alcott, Torsten Adair, Steve Morris, Mark Coale, Bruce Lidl, Maggie Siegel-Berele, Jessica Lee, Cindy arias, Shannon O’Leary, MK Reed, Kate Fitzsimons, Zainab Akhtar, Michel Fiffe, Marc-Oliver Frisch, Rich Johnson, Paul O’Brien, Padraig O Mealoid, Henry Barajas, Matt O’Keefe, Jeffrey Gustafson, Jason Enright, David Carter, Chris Rice, Jeff Trexler, Aaron Humphrey, Amy Chu, Laura Sneddon, Serhend Siricioglu, Brett Schenker, Brandon Schatz, Joshua Rivera, Nicholas Eskey, Kate Willaert and the rest for their great writing and insights. And all my awesome advertisers, who make this possible.

And always you, dear reader. As long as they have wifi in the desert, I’ll be here.

** god that sounds horrible

Heroes Con 2014 Was So Nice That Two Couples Got Engaged

by Alexander Añe

I’ve been going to conventions for years, and the only thing that’s been the same is that one person who says, “But you really have to go to Heroes Con.” There’s always someone praising Heroes Con, and now, I am one of them. [Read more…]

Creator cancels on con to take care of adorable kittens

While the party is going on here at HeroesCon, a few faces are missing, among them writer Steve Niles, who had to cancel due to deadlines, and also the fact that he is caring for two young rescue kittens. Niles has been plastering his Facebook page with pictures of the young cats and after one look, you can tell why he wanted to stay home. As delightful as HeroesCon is, watching kittens romp and play might just be even more delightful.

Here’s more kitten porn from the Niles Files.



Niles actually has a 9-critter menagerie including his giant turtle Gil, seen above with Yob. Could you leave the house with this floor show?


Niles also has an art collection featuring Gil. This is a piece by Bill Sienkiewicz which is a great reminder that Bill Sienkiewicz can draw nearly anything and make it amazing. 

And luckily for fans, Bill Sienkiewicz IS at HeroesCon!