Artist. Designer. Awkward wad of nerd. Fights off existential terror and self-loathing with Godzilla films.

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HeroesCon 2013

I spent this past weekend at HeroesCon, neck-deep in nothing but comics culture and nerdery. We got up at 3:45am Friday morning to drop my girlfriend’s mother off at the airport before we drove the three and a half hours to Charlotte, so I spent all three days of the con sleep-deprived and overwhelmed, much like everyone else there, it seemed. This is basically how I am now that I‘m back in the real world:
Last year was the first time I’d ever been, wandering aimlessly and trying to put copies of the first issue of Burst Reach into the hands of artists and writers I admired. This year, however, I shared a table with my friend, comics mentor, and convention veteran sketch monster, Jeremy Massie. This is basically my third con appearance, and, like I said in my previous blog post (I think??), I had no idea what to expect at all.
The truth is? I think I did better in one day at ETSUcon back in April than I did in all three days at Heroes. Everyone was saying that Saturday would be massive, that I’d be slammed with sketch requests and people buying things from me, but it turns out actually that I sold more books and drew more sketches on Sunday alone. I barely had anybody Friday and Saturday. This, ah, well, um, led to a bit of an existential crisis Saturday evening. I had packed so much, unrealistically thinking that Burst Reach 3 and Other Sleep would sell really well. I DID manage to get rid of all of my leftover copies of the first two issues of Burst Reach, which was a great relief, but still, I could feel despair closing in as I sat at my table watching hundreds of people walk by without so much as a glance in my direction or worse, standing in front of my table in order to get a look at the insanely cool collage pieces at the table next to me while awkwardly pretending I wasn‘t sitting there.

After some talking about it, I understand completely now. HeroesCon is just HUGE. It is packed with hundreds of artists and vendors, some who are new to things, others who are con veterans, heavy-hitting Marvel powerhouses like Paolo Rivera and first-timers like myself, all of whom are scrambling and struggling for the attention and money of con-goers. Why would you want a copy of Other Sleep from me when Sean Murphy is just about 20 feet away with Punk Rock Jesus and some killer prints at his table? So it makes sense that I did better at smaller cons with fewer artists. I mean, come on, I was at the same convention as Jim Steranko and Eric Powell, who was I to think that I’d do well in their presence?

It wasn’t all existential pain and self-doubt, of course. On the first day I got a personal inking lesson from Paul Maybury, who is a great artist and great person to chat with. I got to watch my girlfriend who’d never been to such a massive con run around, meeting up with old friends and making new ones while formulating a plot to leave me for Matt Fraction and Ben Templesmith. She had a blast all three days, and it made me extremely happy to have been able to bring her along with me and watch her having so much fun. And some good friends of ours came down on Sunday and we ate at Pinky’s Grill with them, which was fantastic.

I did some pretty fun sketches for people, too.
And saw some fantastic costumes.
And, despite not making much money at all, I got a TON of stuff.
(not shown: two shirts, a badass Ultraman poster, and a few other comics and stuff)

And on top of all that, here are some other highlights:
-After two days of searching for each others tables, I finally met up with Alejandro Bruzzese. Check his work out, it’s killer stuff.
-After seeing Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick together, my girlfriend claims that they’re exactly like she and I. Her words echoed in the back of my head when I got my copy of Hawkeye #1 signed by Fraction and felt like I was having a conversation with myself. That said, she still wanted to kidnap him.
-I saw Nate Bellegarde’s original pages for Nowhere Men and swooned.
-Did I mention Pinky’s Grill? That place is amazing. I like fried pickles now, how did that happen?
-I got to watch Massie draw this strange sketch request of Burt Reynolds playing cards with a lion:
-Supermag by Jim Rugg is a thing of wonder. And when I gave him a copy of Burst Reach 3, he complimented the look of Stranger Rains!
-The Out of Step Arts table may be my favorite. I got a great Paul Maybury shirt last year, and this year got a Toby Cypress shirt and a couple of Liz Suburbia’s minicomics. He’ll be at Rob-Con next month, too, so be sure to stop by!
-There was a Republican convention going on at the same time, and the juxtaposition of cosplayers and nerds with old white men in suits made for some fun people-watching.

…And I think that’s about it. I’m going to disappear for a while to work on chapter 7 of Other Sleep, and will resurface sometime in July as Rob-Con approaches!

[Brett]

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Reader Comments (1)

Hey, thanks! It was good seeing you again. I think we're averaging about once a month at this point. haha

And don't worry, that existential crisis stuff is pretty common. I go through it at least twice a month. Paul almost didn't come this year after having his worst Heroes Con ever last year. Turns out he had his best Heroes Con ever this year, so you never can predict those kind of things. Sounds like you are able to keep things in perspective, though. Just keep on working and improving.

June 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOut of Step Arts

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