Friday, January 11, 2008

My 1st Comic Book Convention

One of the first full blown comic book conventions that ever I attended was the 1984 Heroes Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. I had previously been to smaller mini-cons, most of which had been held by Heroes Con founder/organizer Shelton Drum, but after a stint in the Air Force, the '84 show was my real introduction to "larger" scale comic conventions.

Among many standout guests who appeared that year (including Star Trek's Ensign Chekov- Walter Koenig and Cerebus creator Dave Sim) were the DC comics "Superman trifecta": Julius Schwartz, Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson. I must admit that I've tended to judge every subsequent comic pro that I have been fortunate enough to meet against these three men.

They really made quite a positive impression on me!

"Julie" Schwartz continued to appear at Heroes annual summer con for many years up until his passing and Anderson has appeared several more times there as well, but sadly Curt Swan passed away the very summer that he was set to make a return appearance in Charlotte.

These men and so many of their peers, folks who created the golden and silver age of comics that has thrilled generations of fans were always courteous, jovial, engaging, respectful and humble towards their fans every time that I observed them. Schwartz was somewhat bombastic, but that seemed to be part of who he was, Anderson & Swan were surprisingly humble in the face of fan adoration. Their contributions to the Superman Legacy, DC comics and fandom in general has been more than adequately (and justifiably documented), but one thing that summed up the impression that they made on me beyond those traits that I've already cited was their ... professionalism. These men never came across as primadonnas, and if any such group of pros could have deserved to suffer such an affliction, it would have been the legendary "Swanderson" team and their minority whip, Julie.

I have continued to be a regular Heroescon attendee and have also been to venues in much larger cities. At this point, I couldn't even really tally up the number of celebrity comic creators that I've had a chance to meet . . . . . this is a great hobby after all, but that 1984 Heroes Convention is, has and will remain one of my favorites ever. And let me add a "thank you" to my pal, Shelton for hosting all of those shows over the years AND for bringing so many awesome comics pros to the Queen City of the Carolinas.

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