HeroesCon is heralded as “America’s Favorite Convention” for good reason. This was my eighth time visiting HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC and it truly gets better every year. Although the guest-list wasn’t as impressive as last year, the organizers of this year’s event outdid themselves by leaps and bounds. Even missing the likes of Stan Lee, Scott Snyder and George Perez wasn’t enough to dampen the excitement in the Charlotte Convention Center. Each and every year since 1982, founder Shelton Drum and his dedicated team put on a fantastic event for comic book lovers.
What really sets HeroesCon apart from most other conventions is the family-friendly atmosphere and strict dedication to comic books. You won’t see too many games, fantasy or horror genres at this event. You won’t see celebrities from TV or movies or long lines to pay for autographs. What you will see are comic book creators, artists, writers, vendors and the like. Everything a comic book fan could dream of under one roof for one spectacular weekend. My favorite day to go is the first day, the show begins at noon on Friday. The crowds are light and it gives me a great opportunity to really browse around and chat with artists and vendors.
This year they nearly doubled the space on the convention floor, which made it easy to stroll up and down the isles without having to push your way through the crowd. Even at popular artists’ tables, the lines didn’t block thoroughfares on the floor. Vendors were nicely spread out and organized, which made them extremely easy to navigate through even on the busiest days. Another welcomed sight was the addition of tables for guests to sit, rest and enjoy a snack from the expanded concession areas. If so inclined, one didn’t even need to leave the convention floor to seek sustenance this year. Even I didn’t leave to grab a Coke and a slice from one of my favorite pizza joints across the street.
Another notable feature of HeroesCon that should not be ignored is their Artist Alley: a massive area dedicated solely to artists and creators to share their work and be noticed. This by far is my favorite part of the whole event. It’s where we make contacts around the comic book industry in order to bring you the amazing coverage of indie comics, and feature up-and-coming new artists and writers. But it doesn’t end there: Mr. Drum also groups the independent artists and writers into their own section called “Indie Island”. That section happily seems to grow larger every year as well.
HeroesCon prides itself on a family-friendly environment free of overly sexualized images and scantly clad “booth babes.” Yes, it really is fun for all and quite inexpensive for such a large event. Just $40 gets you in for all three days–try getting that bargain in San Diego. For those that pay in advance, you even get a convention exclusive print from a different renowned artist each year.
This event holds a special place in my heart because it was the first comic convention I ever attended. Not only that, it is put on by Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find, one of the best comic book stores I have ever visited AND the store I buy my comics at each week. It’s easy to sing their praises when they literally provide everything a comic book fan would need throughout the year.