HeroesCon 2013: Naps And Drinking

It can be rough out there trying to break into the comic industry. It is all about knowing people, doing good work and in the long run spending lots of money. That last part is the tough one because of the economics of the system. Paying for convention tables, paying to print work, paying for hotels, paying for travel, paying for food and even paying for other people’s work because you need to stay up to date on comics – it can suck.

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Secret Convention Items: Cyclops Visor

Every year hundreds of thousands of people go to comic book conventions and unknown to them, like the fast food joints they eat at while at the cons, there is a secret menu of items. This is Secret Convention Items.

Cyclops Visor

Cosplaying has been a tradition for thousands of years with roots in the theatrical arts – we those early actors not playing characters in costumes – that idea which defines the cosplay?
A more recent trend though has been for functional costume parts from realistic extending adimantium claws to glowing Lantern Corp rings and Kryptonite hearts.
This week though we discuss the working Cyclops visor.
Cyclops, a member of the X-men uses his optic eye beams that have incredible force to knock back his enemies and to destroy obstacles. Due to an eye injury though, Cyclops must wear glasses to control the beams, lest they destroy things on accident.
Jared Blackman created 10 pairs of special Cyclops visors that are able to control and manipulate optic blasts according to him. That said though, nobody living has optic blasts to try out so the jury is still out. Also they may just be stunner shades.

Secret Convention Items: Batroc Daredevil

Every year hundreds of thousands of people go to comic book conventions and unknown to them, like the fast food joints they eat at while at the cons, there is a secret menu of items. This is Secret Convention Items.

Batroc Daredevil
Not the depressing lack of a beard and mask.

For those collectors who like less action in their figures, Marvel and DC have done a fairly good job of creating lines of higher class busts and maquette figures for the richer members of the fandom. Ranging from $20 plastic figures to $40,000 lifesize statues, this ability to bring in this shrine to the comic gods is quite hard to resist.
In particular the Bowen designed Mini-Busts stand out as a special object of desire and fascination creating figures of a myriad of characters from ones that people want to others that seem to be a waste of space. Along with all of these figures are the rare variants, hidden in box by some retailers to make the sale even better. Of course the rarest variants are the unofficial ones – messed up paint jobs, incorrect models and all of this variety of error which brings us to the object of this week’s Secret Convention Items – the Batroc Daredevil.
The Batroc Daredevil is essentially a Daredevil figure mistakenly (or purposefully depending on whom you ask) painted as Batroc the Leaper. The characters have little in common making the entire idea rather ridiculous and for the most part there is very little hate between the two to make the piece ironic.
As for the origins, it is hard to figure out if this was a custom piece that got in box or if this was yet another weird manufacturing error. Based on the fact that Batroc is a figure with arms and the telltale mustache and mask is gone, it gives validity toward the custom figure origin though it paint the picture that the customizer was extraordinarily lazy or making a weird point.
For now the only one in existence was picked up by accident by George’s Comic Hut, an outfit that commonly only exists at smaller conventions when the weather isn’t too bad in the Memphis, Tennessee area. Based on the last encounter the price of the bust is hovering somewhere around $800.00 or for a complete run of Devil Dinosaur in at least near mint.
Join us next week as we tell you about the Jack Kirby Civil Action Figure

Secret Convention Items: Zemo Block

Every year hundreds of thousands of people go to comic book conventions and unknown to them, like the fast food joints they eat at while at the cons, there is a secret menu of items. This is Secret Convention Items.

Palette Of Baron Zemos
A Palette Of Baron Zemos Composed Of 2 Zemo Blocks

The Marvel Legends line of toys which began in 2002 has been a staple of toys for the comic fan and collector alike with character from a wide variety of series and even allowing more obscure characters to have a time to shine. Coupled with variant figures and special build a figure series the Legends stand as one of the great toy collections – minus a few figures.
In 2006 the Marvel Legends 14 line was released with figures such as the extremely rare Luke Cage and it’s even rarer variant, the first appearance version of Iron Man and the alwats hella confusing Psylocke. Coupled in with the set though were some less favorable figures – Falcon, Longshot and the turd of the set – Baron Zemo.
These series of toys starting with 9 also contained the build a figure pieces allowing those who purchased all of the figures in the series to create a bigger figure. Some of these like Apocalypse, Galactus, the Sentinel and Giant Man (inexplicably in the same set as Ant Man thereby meaning Ant Man has his own foot) are still sought after pieces.
The problem was somebody believed not only that people would want all of Series 14 of toys, but that they would want a Mojo, the cyber-spider tub of green fat as a reward.
As previously mentioned, the variants were also a popular add-in offering palette swaps of the characters or even fully different cosmetic changes such as Thing with a trenchcoat, Sentry Jesus, ionic Wonder Man and more. The Baron Zemo also had a variant though – a maskless Zemo.
If you are unfamiliar with the history of comics and characters, Baron Helmut Zemo was a Nazi who fought Captain America. In one of their earlier fights, the Nazi was tossed into a vat of boiling glue without his mask resulting in horrific burns which is why he wears a mask. Somebody thought – “You know what my kid wants? A Nazis with a burnt face and no mask. Oh, and we can couple that with the horrific head of Mojo for the best nightmare fodder ever.”
While the completionist and collectors begrudgingly bought the Nazi, mostly the mask on version, thousands of Zemos piled up and were sold in massive blind box toy sales where $400 would get you a cardboard boy of Marvel Legends and other figures, mostly the shitty ones. Eventually collections consolidated and the first Zemo Block was created and recorded for sale in 2007 with 480 Zemos weighing in at a total of 720 pounds and standing at a height of 5 feet high setting the standard for a Zemo Block.
Most conventions actually have a list of Zemo Block holders and their prices (it turns out that you can mention you have a block for sale) that way they can be sure to bring it with them since carrying an extra 720 pounds that might not sell is less of a hassle.
Now prices range anywhere from $700 to $3000 depending on the seller and the show but due to the immense weight for shipping and the shame that comes from owning a Zemo Block, a sign of bad salesmanship, these Blocks are not listed online. Unexpectedly if you find a variant only block, the price circles down to around the $500 -$800 area because melted Nazi faces sell horribly. The variants are seen as an impurity in the collection and cause the price to go down.
Now you might say – what can I do with 480 facially scarred Nazi figures?
I have no idea but since when was collecting based around things making sense?

Join us next week when we discuss the rare Daredevil Batroc bust.