Monday, June 18, 2007

Heroes Con Report—Part 2


Suzanne had the camera with her on Saturday while she was visiting her good college friend Sandra (a yearly tradition) and so I don't have any photos from the con until the art auction that night. More on that in a moment.

The day went by really fast. Christian was feeling better but was still a little out of sorts. We hit the dealers with the 50%-off trades early and often. I had to make a couple of runs back to the hotel to drop off my heavy purchases. Which, of course, made room for more. By the end of the day, my shoulder was killing me. Christian asked me why I didn't just use both straps. I said, "Because I'd look like a dork." He shrugged and said, "You're at a comic convention, dude." So I used both straps and it the difference was amazing. Plus, it freed up both hands for looking through books. I picked up a lot of trades that day but the one I'm most excited about it 100 BULLETS Vol. 1. I'd heard a lot about it but never tried it. After reading the trade that night, I'm hooked. I ended up picking up the next two volumes on Sunday and can't wait to read them. Amazing stuff.

After lunch, Christian went back to his room to relax for a while. (Lunch was pizza, which was something we ate a lot of over the weekend. I think Christian had it four times to my three. Ugh.) I took the chance to attend one of the S.C.A.D. presentations. This one was BLACK AND WHITE COMPOSITION and was a discussion of using graphic black and whites in the design of panels and pages. It didn't sound that appealing but the instructor (Shawn Crystal) knew his stuff and was enthusiastic. He also made some good recommendations for books to try. One of them was 100 BULLETS. Turns out Eduardo Risso is a master of light and dark composition.

I can't remember when but, at some point, I attended the WRITING FOR COMICS presentation as well and it was pretty fascinating. The instructor, Mark Kneece, was funny and kept things entertaining. After the presentation, I went up to ask him about correspondence classes at S.C.A.D.—there aren't any, alas—and he said he'd be glad to take a look at the story I'm writing, if I wanted, and make comments. That's got me pretty excited.

Christian came back in time for the QuickDraw Contest at 2:30 and we gave it our best shot. Christian did a really impressive full-page illustration of Spider-Man. I did a hero shot of Bender 2.0, which was a rendering of what I imagine Bender would look like if he was re-conceived as a robotic superhero. We didn't even place. Sigh. I wasn't too dejected but it was sad to remember all the T-shirts I'd won at cons past and the idea that I'd lost it made me a little glum. To tell the truth, my heart wasn't really in it. I felt kind of old in that room with all those young bucks drawing their hearts out. We laughed and decided we'd give it another shot before we left on Sunday.

We gave the dealers another go-round and checked out some artwork from some of the artists. Christian ended up buying a FIRESTORM page from Jamal Igle and a Hitch/Neary THING/SHE-HULK page. I reluctantly passed because I'd promised Suzanne I'd skip the original art this year. After that, we headed back to the hotel and skipped the last couple of hours of the show in favor of reading and napping. I didn't make it very far into my 100 BULLETS book before passing out. Those damned comfy beds again!

Eventually, Suzanne got back from her day with Sandra and the three of us cruised by the art auction (which hadn't really gotten rolling yet) and I managed to get some photos of a few of the better pieces (above) before heading out to dinner. Pizza again. Poor Christian. We were trying to do dinner on the cheap which isn't easy in downtown Charlotte. The pizza was great though and we had salads to offset the damage. Guinness to wash it all down and then back to the hotel to watch what was left of the art auction.

As mentioned, I managed to snap pics before dinner of what I thought were the best pieces. I ended up missing a few (Adam Hughes' record-breaking $5K painting of Obi Wan Kenobi for instance) but these were my favorites. There was Mike's Wonder Woman marker drawing (went for $600.00), Tony Harris' Phantom of the Opera, Nick Cardy's pen and ink Batman, Tony Moore's zombie painting, Cully Hamner and Karl Story's Iron Man illustration and a 300 Spartans painting by some guy I should know but can't remember his name. I managed to fix most of the lens distortion, but couldn't do anything about my fat thumb in the WW piece without cheating. (Sorry, Mike.)

We caught the last half of the auction and it was a hoot. Rosario again hosted with her uncle, Gus Vasquez (who turns out to have a tremendous singing voice) and they were charming as always. I won't go into too much detail but I was devastated when the Tony Moore zombie painting went for a criminally low $200. If I had been a registered bidder (in fact, this prompted me to quickly GET registered) I would have bought the thing myself or at least driven the price up to a more respectable level. I mean, look at that thing! It's awesome! I chalked it up to the late hour and the fact that a lot of the earlier pieces had gotten the big spenders out of the way. So I ran over and got registered so I could bid on the Nick Cardy Batman piece. The World War II vet has always been a favorite of mine and he's only gotten better with age. Unfortunately, others had the same idea and the bidding quickly climbed out of my price range.

After the auction, we swung by the bar to say goodnight to Todd and Craig, who were deep in conversation with fellow creators. We didn't want to interrupt, so we just waved and walked on. Craig graciously came running over to say nighty-night and then Suzanne and I went up to our room. Another day down.


Denis said...

Sounds like another fun, if tiring day! I'm surprised at how familiar it all reads. I've never been to an American comics convention, but my experiences at Irish gaming conventions run along the same format. I guess some things just don't change.

Maybe one day I'll find out for myself!

Ink Blatt said...

A good time was had by all. If anyone asks me about the Con I'm sending them to your site for the definitive scoop since I was broken for most of the weekend. Ugh.

Glad you snapped some shots of the auction pieces. My little camera phone crap doesn't do any of 'em justice.

Eric said...

I sat at the end of the table from you when you drew the Bender 2.0. It looked pretty awesome, and I was sure after I saw it that I wasn't going to win.

I drew a threat. Two years ago, I drew Blue Beetle and shortly after, he got shot in the head. Last year I drew Captain America (and won the QD for the first time since I was 12), and then he got shot in the head. I explained this on the page and said that if they didn't declare me a winner, I was going to draw the biggest stick man hero battle with all the big companies' major characters, and that if the judging artist didn't pick me, he'd have trouble finding work.

Sorry you didn't win. I didn't either....

todd said...

yeah, i learned ther both straps rule a while ago, while carrying comics in new york. also, my chiropractor--who is also a really good friend--told me that if she ever caught me being cool and using only one, she would beat me to within an inch of my life. also, carrying my wallet in my back pocket. don't do that!
as for saying goodnight on saturday night, sorry if i was rude--i didn't know that you guys were going to bed or i woulda broke away to say goodnight too. i thought you'd be there for awhile. sorry. my bad.
love your day-by-day con coverage!
talk to ya later!

Todd said...

I must see this Bender 2.0.

Matt Wieringo said...

Todd, you were not rude at all, man! Suzanne and I are very concerned about not horning in on conversations at the cons. We did the same to Mike when he was talking to Erik Larsen last year. He asked why we didn't come over and I said, "Were you talking business?"


"Well, there ya go."

Besides, ask Craig why he really came over to say goodnight. You'll laugh.

Craig Zablo said...

I was at Heroes this weekend and will be posting my report in a day or so. Mike told me you were at the show, but I never did see you.

I was at the first part of the auction and so I missed how cheap the Tony Moore piece went for. Craig Hamilton did the "300" painting.

Glad you turned on to "100 Bullets" -- it's great stuff!