Thursday, June 28, 2012

Heroes Convention: Final Thoughts!

Man, I thought that I would have much more to say about this years 30th annual Heroes Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina (it was awesome), but self-editing whittled it down to this brief message that I believe is important. For many years now, the friendly folks behind this topnotch convention have turned a spotlight on independent, small press and self-publishers in a convention floor spectacle known as "Indie Island". It has proven to be a terrific and popular format at Heroes Con, and it is a great place to find stuff that is deserving of your attention or that you might not generally be aware of, but in all actuality this showcase would now be better named "Indie Continent", since it has swollen to gargantuan size and the "guests" who comprise this area number around two hundred plus; in other words the bulk of the attending professionals (or wannabes).

That is all well and good, but as "Indie Island" has grown, it has often pushed some of the marquee names and better known guests to the fringe areas along the sides of the show floor, and that is beginning to be a major problem. This year the lines for "Gentleman" George Perez (perennially popular for his stellar runs on Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, Avengers, etc.) blocked the table space for Joe Staton, Mike Zeck, Bob McCleod on Friday and then when they ran that line a different direction on Saturday, it once again blocked the table space of Paul Levitz, Mark Bagley, Alex Saviuk and others. Several of these established pros were obviously put out by this, and that's nothing against George, but this was Heroes thirtieth event and some of these guests have been staples in attendance for many years in Charlotte. They deserved better from an established event that they've long supported. It wasn't until Sunday that somebody finally pulled their head out of their ass, and assigned numbers to the fans in George's line, who were then told to frequently check back to secure their spot. Thirty years of experience should have been brought to bear to adjust to this developing situation, and it should not have taken until other guests complained or until the last day of the convention to implement a change. I think that it is high time for Heroes Con to better integrate their "big-name" pros with the vast horde of traveling gypsies who have come to dominate the show floor in Charlotte. I heard several of the guests that I've mentioned voicing complaints, and frankly a massive portion of "Indie Island" guests simply won't draw this type of crowd, ever, so let's be fair and spread the wealth of space in a more reasoned fashion next year. Peace!

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