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Weekly Geekly Reader Heroes Con Edition


Do- Expect a comic book centric experience at HeroesCon. While some anime and gaming and other geekly pursuits are represented, the bulk of the show is all about the comics, whether its the staggering amount of talent signing and drawing at their tables or the dealers showing off their deep stock of back issues; HeroesCon is a comic book convention, through and through.



Don’t- Eat at the convention center. This is a general rule of thumb for any convention but especially so here. Not only are there several delicious alternatives within walking distance of the Convention Center including a full food court at the EpiCentre Mall only a few blocks up College St. but all weekend I heard horror stories about the snack bar. I know its only anecdotal evidence but it was enough to scare me off. I have yet to go to any con where the food at the snack bar was worth it either monetarily or gustatorially.



Do- Bring back issue want lists, as HeroesCon’s vendors are, like the show itself, comic-centered and almost anything comic related can be found there. A good example: I collect Treasury Editions, those oversized anthology comics that came out in the late 70s/early 80s and usually at a comicon I find one or two guys who have a few. At HeroesCon I found no less than seven dealers with Treasury Editions, and several of those had a wide variety to choose from. And all of the dealers I did business with were willing to cut deals and haggle, especially if more than one item was involved in the sale.



Don’t- Forget to go online and see what else is going on in Charlotte that weekend. Charlotte hosts a lot of conventions, festivals and events. Last weekend during HeroesCon the “Taste of Charlotte” food fair was going on just blocks from the convention center so a group of us had a great time eating our way down the street. There were blues concerts and a music event with MC Frontalot and a lot more going on than just the con itself. Again this rule applies to almost any destination con. Plus the Drink and Draw event and the Art Auction are musts which brings me to...



Do- Bring more money than you think you will need. The Art Auction is incredible both in size and quality and you will be tempted to bid on something. My biggest regret of the show was not having the money to bid on several pieces I loved. Don’t be regretful



Don’t- Miss the panels. Among this year’s highlights were a gathering of six Marvel writers, a look at the future of Green Lantern with the creative teams surrounding that branch of the DC Universe, an open Q and A with Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner and a live podcast hosted by Jim Rugg, Jasen Lex and Ed Piskor interviewing Sheldon Drum, the man who started HeroesCon and manages the Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find stores in the Charlotte area. Every panel I attended was interesting and well moderated and easily accessible. I know getting into some panels at NYCC and San Diego Comicon can be an ordeal but HeroesCon didn’t have any of the issues with panels those shows do.




Do- Reserve any artist’s commissions you want for HeroesCon ahead of time. There are a lot of artists at HeroesCon and as DC and Marvel don’t have booths at the show, it makes for an ideal environment to get sketches from some of the best in the business. Unfortunately, a lot of the most popular artists are totally booked for commissions before they even arrive at the show. Try to get in touch with the artist you want a commission from well in advance of the show, either through email or Facebook to avoid getting shut out. Also, be patient with the artists. You’ll get better art that way.




Don’t- Forget to be comfortable. Wear comfy shoes and clothes, bring bottles of water and empty bags to fill with con finds. Also bring cash. Although almost every vendor and artist has some sort of credit/debit card solution, the wifi isn’t the greatest on the con floor (and this applies to almost every con I have attended) and cash eliminates this problem. If you are shopping for original art or posters bring a cardboard mailing tube to keep your new-found treasure safe.




Do- Try to attend with friends. Any bigger con is a better experience with a group of  friends, whether its a extra set of eyes to find bargains on the show floor, a saved seat in a panel room, or just someone to BS with when you are waiting in line. The Buddy System applies at the bigger shows too.





Don’t- Forget to check out con exclusives. I know SDCC exclusives can be a tortuous endeavor to obtain, but with some advance planning and scheduling they can be had. The exclusives at HeroesCon weren’t as plentiful as the offerings of a SDCC but made up for it in quality: all 3 day pass holders got a signed Eric Powell Goon print, the official HeroesCon 2013 T-shirt featured a beautiful Rocketeer drawing by the late Dave Stevens, and Mondo and Francesco Francavilla teamed up for an exclusive Black Beetle print for the con.




and finally...


Do- Actually go to a comic convention. I was a comic fan for decades before I ever went to my first comicon and I regret waiting that long because the friends I have made in this community are worth far more than whatever social anxiety was holding me back. Just go!!!