All photos are copyright 2009 by Patrick Sun. Unauthorized use without written consent is prohibited.
Heroes Con typically takes place in Charlotte, NC, on Father's Day weekend at the Charlotte Convention Center downtown (which it did this year). Heroes Con is a nice friendly place to take the whole family to enjoy comics, etc. This year I made an effort to take even more photos, and so I did. This year's photo album has over 1400 photos.
Since I took so many photos, I had to split them up into quite a few sets which are now hosted on Flickr (click on the area's photo):
The Ringo Award, the Art Pieces
and the Art Auction
Lots of Panels
and Booth signings
Raffle and Miscellaneous
A Whole Bunch of
Stelfreeze, Cully artwork
Artists doing art:
Sketching, drawing, painting
By uploading the photos to Flickr, I could maintain the original resolution, either 4000x3000 (Canon A650 IS) or 2592x1944 (Canon S2), and Flickr then allows the viewer to pick out various sizes for each photo if they want to see a smaller size, or the max size. I tried getting most of the guests at their tables, much like a yearbook photographer trying to get photos of all the classmates for this year's convention. As mentioned earlier, I am using the Canon A650 digital camera for the close to medium shots, and my old Canon S2 IS digital camera for the shots in the art auctions on Saturday. Also, the art auction photos and panel photos vary in quality due to lighting conditions. My newer Canon SX10 died on me the night before Heroes Con, so I couldn't bring it with me. Grr...
Here's a mini-con report:
Friday: My friend Patrick and I got into Charlotte around 2 p.m. and checked into the Westin hotel (so glad to be back at the Westin this year, it just feels like home), and then picked up our Heroes Con badges. Convention Hall A was the new venue inside the Charlotte Convention Center, and it was a larger space, and there were so many dealer booths and also many creators tables and publisher booths. Totally spaced on the panels for Friday, so I didn't go upstairs to check out any of the panels, but I rambled around, talking with old friends and snapping a few photos of the guests who showed up for Heroes Con this year. Checked out the Gaijin Studio setup and chatted with the gang there. Caught up with Chris Samnee and picked up my pre-con 2-character sketch (featuring Huntress and Lady Blackhawk). I also commissioned a pre-con painting of Batwoman from Gene Gonzales, but time would run out and I was totaly fine with Gene doing the sketch after the convention, and sending it to me. Also caught up with Shannon, a very savvy and determined art hound. I really need to get the hang of setting up pre-con sketches, it takes the sting out of having to get up super-early in line to get a primo spot on sketch lists, as I think I'm just getting too old for the rat race of sketch-hounding at times.
The art auction pieces were started in the drawing area, and it was fun to see the pieces get put up on the boards. Dustin asked if I saw the cover of Creative Loafing where they used one of my photos from last year's Heroes Con, and pointed me to the Creative Loafing booth, and I picked up 2 of this week's issue. Noted that Steve Epting was in a signing area all weekend, so it was impossible for me to get on his sketch list, so I had to pass on by. Epting was joined by Ed Brubaker at his table, while Brian Michael Bendis and Matt Fraction had their own signing area setup, as did Chris Claremont. It was a good way to manage popular guests with big lines of fans. Jeff Smith also had a big line, but wasn't set up with his own signing area, so the lines would sprawl in front of his neighboring guests, but they managed as best they could the lines and foot traffic. We found Kevin later in the afternoon, and ended up having dinner at Merts once again, and I went with a pork BBQ plate and sidestepped the beef ribs plate that I didn't enjoy last year. Went back to the hotel and did some web-surfing in the lobby of the Westin in 30-minute increments, and then finally went to bed.
Saturday started with a nice breakfast buffet of mainly bacon for me, it was almost enough to sustain me throughout the day. The line was pretty long to get into Hall A, but at least it was nice for pre-registered attendees to get admission 30 minutes earlier over those who bought their badges on Saturday. I missed out getting on Clif Chiang's sketch list once again, but he was nice enough to offer a consolation signed print of Green Arrow and Black canary, for which I was thankful. Gene Gonzales was nice enough to let me park the print at his table. Spent the rest of the morning snapping lots of photos of the convention guests and also the exhibitors, plus the ongoing auction art piece creation process throughout the day. I managed to meet Carlton Hargro, the editor at Creative Loafing who selected my photo for this week's Creative Loafing cover, and I thanked him for the honor. I did a lot of walking on Saturday, and also caught a few panels when time permitted to snap some photos. More costumed attendees showed up, so I got some photos of them throughout the day. As the day wound down, got to see some very nice art pieces created for the art auction, which would take place in the evening. Patrick and I got Fuel pizza since time was of the essence if we wanted to get decent seats for the art auction. I was happy to see the Art Auction return to the Westin ballroom just because it's convenient, and has a lot of room, and it made it easier to show off the pieces to the attendees.
The art auction had so many pieces, and in the end, it took 4 hours to auction off most of the pieces (as others ones were assigned to the Sunday silent auction), and it featured a lot of pieces, which is great to see because people want to contribute to helping out Heroes Con in their own little way. It's never going to be easy to set the pacing of the auction because you just never know what will materialize for the art auction in the time alloted for setting it all up. Kudos go to Dustin and Allison for pulling yeoman's duty in MC-ing the event, and for a group of lovely ladies (Riki, Valerie, Supergirl, and others) for parading around the room with the artwork so people could get a better look at the pieces up for grabs. I think Mark Brooks tied Adam Hughes's record by getting a $5000 bid on his Scarlet Witch piece, followed by Frank Cho's Medusa with pulled in $4750. I think Stephane Roux's Zatanna brought in a final bid of $4500. I'm drawing a blank as to what Andrew Robinson's Superman piece was snapped up for at the end of the auction. Phil Noto's Batgirl went for $2400, while Brian Stelfreeze's Scarlett went for $1700 to a "Fan of Brian Stelfreeze" Yahoo group member. A Muppet piece surprised everyone, as well as pieces by Eric Canete and Chris Samnee, and many others. All in all, a nice night for the art auction. Patrick won an auction piece featuring White Phoenix by Rhiannon. Afterwards, we were exhausted and called it a night.
Sunday started a little rushed as we got up late, but the line wasn't too long at the start. Took part in the Heroes Initiative raffle process where you could buy raffle tickets for a chance for George Perez to do a head/torso sketch, as he would take on 7 sketch requests, plus an 8th bonus request if time permitted. Patrick got lucky and was selected for a sketch, and he got a Donna Troy sketch from George. I took it a little easy today with some panels (Brubaker/Epting, Jeff Smith/Colleen Doran and movie on Jeff's story of hitting it big with Bone, Waid/Perez, etc). Then it was time to wind it all down, did a lot of shopping from my current want list, and was pleasantly surprised to fill in some holes from my want list, and at good prices too. Nothing like shopping in the waning hours of the con. Snapped a few more photos,especially guests that I wasn't able to find on Saturday, and finally the convention was over. Took a short time to check out the US Open (golf) and then headed over to the Heroes stores for the Dead Dog Party and enjoyed some pizza, and conversation, plus I enjoy visiting the store, it's not only laid out well, but well-stocked too. Had a good talk with Trey, a long-time Heroes volunteer and former employee. Finally returned to the hotel, did some web-surfing in the hotel lobby, and met up with Shannon, and his friend Billy, and also Dr. Fantastic (John), and Hamza, a con guest. Had a fun time shooting the breeze and comparing notes on the weekend. I still can't believe how fast Heroes Con weekend goes, but it's usually fun and interesting.
My thanks go out to the entire Heroes Con staff for making this convention family-friendly and fun for all ages for those of us who enjoy comics and the various forms of entertainment that comes from the fusion of prose and art. Already looking forward to Heroes Con 2010.
Feel free to email me for corrections on guest identifications, etc.
FYI: My Dragon Con Links: