HeroesCon is well underway! Held at the Charlotte Convention Center, it runs until Sunday. Guests span the gamut from mainstream superstars—Fraction and DeConnick—to the book world—Jeff Smith—to alt.comix icons—The Hernandez Bros. So there is something for everyone here. It’s part of what makes this one of th eocmic book parties of the year.

Among the something is a pretty great panel line-up as well. Although I’m on three panels, my temptation is just to spend all day listening to comcis folk talk on a variety of subjects, form the grand comics database to comics education. .

Here are the panels I’ll be on:


6:00 pm
Room 207AB
The Beat’s HEIDI MACDONALD sits down with some of the brightest stars in the field of ONLINE comics. Join Heidi as she discusses the current state of e-comics with JASON HORN (Ninjasaur), EMI LENOX (Emitown), KATE LETH (Kate or Die!) and DEAN TRIPPE (Something Terrible).


3:00 pm
Room 207AB
HEIDI MACDONALD from The Beat sits down with IVAN BRANDON, FRANK BARBIERE, VAN JENSEN and MATT KINDT and the topics are: how did they break in, successes, drawbacks, the hard work—the whole story. Don’t miss this eye opening panel.


3:30 pm
Room 206
TOM HEINTJES of HOGAN’S ALLEY moderates this important discussion as to the state of Comics Journalism with TOM SPURGEON of COMICS REPORTER, HEIDI MACDONALD OF THE BEAT and CHRIS SIM of COMICS ALLIANCE. This promises to be a provocative and informative hour that you don’t want to miss.

Note on the above panel: Tom and I have done these journalism/criticism/blogging panels together so many times that I have suggested we start adding novelty attractions like puppet shows and dunking tanks. What say you???

I would also like to give a spotlight shout-out to this year’s MEGAPANEL. Each year Craig Fischer and Ben Towle put on a full length discussion of am important comics topic and this year it is:

Comics Regulation, Comics Censorship: Past and Present
Cartoonist Ben Towle and writer Craig Fischer team up with a cadre of expert commentators to examine those moments when political and public outrage over the content of comic books disrupted the body politic. A discussion of the recent South Carolina Fun Home controversy, where legislators in the House of Representatives tried to reduce state funding to the College of Charleston as a penalty for using Alison Bechdel’s lesbian-themed graphic novel in a campus program. Dr. Consuela Francis, a comics scholar and professor in the English Department at the College of Charleston, and Christopher Brook, the Legal Director of North Carolina’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Then we’ll reconsider one of the most controversial figures in comics’ history: Dr. Fredric Wertham, author of 1954’s Seduction of the Innocent (published 60 years ago) and outspoken critic of what he considered the negative effects of comics on children. We’ll be joined via video by Dr. Bart Beaty (the author of Fredric Wertham and the Critique of Mass Culture [2005]) and Dr. Carol Tilley (the author of an article about distortions in Wertham’s research) to chart the latest developments in “Wertham Studies.”

Finally, Craig will conduct a career-spanning interview with legendary industry figure Denis Kitchen. We’ll zero in on the censorship hassles Kitchen tackled as a publisher and distributor of underground comix, on his role in the founding of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in 1986, and on his involvement in the CBLDF’s highest profile case, the conviction of artist Mike Diana for obscenity in 1994 (20 years ago). Join us for a thought-provoking exchange of ideas…and for a cake decorated to look like the seal of the Comics Code Authority!

This panel is sponsored by the ACLU of North Carolina 

Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg — there will be much much more. I’ll be at table AA1226 (as soon as I finish typing this) so please stop by to drop a hot news tip, show off your costume or just set hey.