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.
The Long Road Back From Heroes Con
Heroes Con was a pretty intense blast – the right focus on comics, talking to people and not spending shit tons of money to get there – all important things. As the big conventions (ie Heroes Con and New York Comic Con or whatever weird name it is changing into) focus more and more on the pop culture, Heroes Con is a great show about comics, for comics fans and creators. It is the sexy point of being large enough to get comic’s big stars to do signings there but it is also small enough for a creator to tell you how they got too drunk to remember their name or hotel.
Nerdcenaries which for the weekend consisted of Editor In Chief Luke Herr, Contributor Joe Hunter and Intern Ziah Grace (who assisted with providing memories) (and also friendternet Jordan Witt) ended up tabling for most of the weekend stuck between some kind of inhuman monster and an abstract comic painter. We won’t link to the monster because for god’s sake we’d rather – I wouldn’t say wish him dead, but I might say he makes money equivalent to the value of what he creates which would mean he makes the same amount of money as the average Chinese factory worker.
Nonetheless, thanks to our interns brilliant sales techniques of trying to actively talk to convention goers and eventually offering free sketches we turned some profit or at least to the point of earning enough money to act less responsibly. Though you most likely care less about the business side of things than the good and the bad and the nerdy.
The Lines – Registration is one of the easiest things to do and the lines to get in and out of there are fast. While it is totally reasonable to come early to the convention there isn’t any reason to camp out like you might need to at SDCC.
The Creators – Any of them worth their salt are ready to talk and have a good time. This is a laid back show, they know it and they didn’t seem to be pushing much. Some of them will even just come up to hang out. Lee Weeks ended up doing a magic trick out of nowhere.
Getting Around – As far as I saw, except around 1 or 2 areas due to the Stan Lee line, it was easy to get around. There weren’t major stoppages, cosplayers tried actively to not bump into people and it was just generally open.
Panels – You get actual creators instead of editors and business men. This means that for people currently working there is enough time to ask your questions. We ended up seeing WRA and a few other panels and it was nice. The one disappointment was nobody seemed to ask Stan Lee real questions but it is pretty fine that way.
The Little Guys – Not everyone at the convention can be a god of the industry, so to speak but Heroes Con treats everyone well. For it being the first year at the convention, Nerdcenaries had a great spot with lots of traffic that might have been lost if we’d been inside. The crew was more than happy to help us find chairs.
Food – Besides Bojangles (which is amazing), it was pretty difficult finding good food in the city. Mert’s, a BBQ restaurant we tried to go to every night at the convention was booked up. This meant that we had to eat stand-in food which was typically disappointing. Fuel Pizza which was across the street from the center was bland and overly greasy. Fitzgeralds was chain restaurant level fare and there wasn’t much that was all that good (though when we got to Mert’s it was pretty amazing).
Exploitation – There are some people who make really exploitative art whether sexually or creatively where it is just horrible for everyone. There was a lot of that. It sold well. It was depressing.
Wireless – Yeah, you had to pay to use the wireless even at the hotel – unless, ironically, if you were in the lobby.
Everything – Ziah had about 6 hours of conversations on Batman: Odyssey. Street Sharks and Space Jam with other people. I’m not really sure how it happened.
Thanks to all of our friends and new connections who were there suck as: Joe Carroll, Patrick Dean, Justin “Luthor” Peterson, Lee Bretschneider, Maris Wicks, Ben McCool, Lee Weeks, Jojo Seames, Andrew Ihla, Ming Doyle, Neil Cicierga, Kevin Church, Robin Kimball, Chad Bowers, Curt Franklin, Chris Haley, Chris Schweizer, Catie Donnelly, Paul Tobin, Colleen Coover, Matt Fraction, Brian Clevinger and everyone else who didn’t get to the list.
The Dream of Ghost Rider
Our editor in chief Luke started with a simple idea – Batroc the Leaper would be amazing as Ghost Rider and thus started the Ghost Rider sketchbook this year at Heroes Con. The convention is a pretty amazing place to get sketches because of the fact that there is a variety of artists with different styles. Overall about $40 or so was spent on the sketchbook art. Not bad for the first year – and remember just because they haven’t made it big yet doesn’t mean they aren’t great at drawing.
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