Heroes Report

After several days of recovery, my brain seems to be working again. As such I think it’s time to write up a brief (as if that were possible for me) report on my weekend in Charlotte.

Heroes-Con itself is wonderful. For those of you who boil with rage – as I do – when locked into the clusterfuck of traffic trying to get past the Michael Jackson’s Danceoff booth at NYCC, or cry a tear of sadness – as I do – at the shows where ex-wrestlers and washed up TV actors outnumber the comic pros 2-1, then Heroes is the show for you. It is 100% comics focused. There’s an Artists Alley, there’s a cluster of back-issue and merchandise sellers, there’s some (entirely comics-centric) panel rooms, and that is it. It’s really a breath of fresh air.

I’m moving out to LA this summer and had planned to only hit up Heroes this year, but after having such a great time, I’m going to make every effort to hit that show every year if I can.

Finally got to meet the writer and artist of Secret – Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim. Well, I met Ryan briefly in NY two years ago, I think, but this was the first time since landing this gig that I’ve been able to hang out with them. I roomed with Ryan and also Manhattan Projects artist Nick “Deep Cheeks” Pitarra, all insanely cool dudes. And due to some crazy luck, the guy who was supposed to be sitting next to Ryan didn’t show up for the show, so yeah, free table! I even got to be on my first panel with all three of them, which was great. Even if I’d gone the night before without sleeping before doing so.

Despite being a “professional,” I took my portfolio of recent work around to the colorists and some artists in attendance for some impromptu reviews. One should always be learning and striving for betterment: Laura Martin (an idol), Matt Wilson (fast-becoming an idol), Jason Latour, Brian Stelfreeze (who gave the BEST lesson on Color Theory to an audience that collected people throughout like lint in a dryer), and I’m sure I’m forgetting somebody were all shockingly supportive of my work. Thanks to you all.

Valiant was the only big publisher with a booth that I noticed at the show, and I was lucky enough to meet the whole editorial staff and a good handful of the creatives – all really, really cool people. Checked out X-O and Harbinger while I was there. Read them if you haven’t, they’re an excellent start from a publisher that really loves what they’re doing and knows their shit.

People I got to meet who are awesome, in no particular order: Dave Marquez, Ryan Browne (go read God Hates Astronauts if you haven’t – it’s HILARIOUS), Joe Eisma, Kevin Mellon, Justin Jordan, Dan Leister, Mike Whoslastnameescapesmesorry, and many others who have slipped my brain. Almost all of whom had very kind words to say about Secret. Very humbling.

Lastly, best part of the weekend: I finally met Matt Fraction, who has long been my favorite writer in comics. I picked up the last few Casanova issues and got a copy of the color version of the first trade. Cool enough, but the best part was when he told me really liked the work I was doing on Secret. He even signed my Casanova trade with this:


Too cool and too kind.

Now, all that seems fine and dandy but it really should be added: getting to and from Charlotte was a goddamn nightmare. On Thusrday, I got diverted to Cleveland where I sat for about 5 hours before finally making it to Detroit where I had long-since missed my connecting flight. And, of course, if the delay is weather related they don’t compensate you IN ANY WAY, so I just sat up all night in the airport to catch a 7am flight.

Sunday night I spent another night in the airport, but this was planned. However, due to yet more flight delays it took me 8 hours to get home after flying out of Charlotte, rather than the 3 is was supposed to take.

Needless to say, I will be avoiding Delta Airlines from now on.

So in conclusion: Heroes was like a sandwich with shit for the bread and bacon and Krispy Kreme donuts for innards.

See you next year, Charlotte!

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