The 30th Anniversary HeroesCon 2012 was this weekend and I usually write a long Con Report for the purpose of documenting what I learned from the experience. Unfortunately, HeroesCon hit at a very busy time for me – both the lead up and the weeks following have been and will be packed with a heavy amount of both work and vacation time. So, I’ll keep it short and bullet a few thoughts. Truthfully, there are some people that have written much more interesting reports such as Ben Towle, Henry Eudy, Josh Latta and Dustin Harbin. Go read those.
• This was my 3rd year appearing in Indie Island and 7th or 8th year of just being at HeroesCon in general. Thanks to the Stan Lee Factor this was by the far the busiest I’ve ever seen it. Especially Saturday. Maybe even too busy from the standpoint of the average joe who wants to walk around and check out as many artists and vendor booths as possible. Also from the standpoint of an artist like me who occasionally wants to step outside and get a coffee or something. It almost wasn’t worth doing so on Saturday. It was great to see so many people in attendance though. The Heroes folks put on an amazing show and the more people that witness that the better. In fact, from where I sat, having a lot more people in attendance didn’t seem to affect one cog in the wheel at all. Seemed to run pretty damn smooth to me.
• I made 3x the sales revenue I’ve made at any previous HeroesCon. I can’t really say if this is because of the bigger crowds or not because I had more variety of stuff to sell this year with my Animal Alphabet flash cards and some AlphaBeast prints and that variety of product really makes a difference.
• I can’t help but feel I could have done better though. I unfortunately did not have Nathan Sorry vol. 2 ready like I had planned. I sold a lot of Volume 1 but obviously I could have moved some second volumes if I had them. I also didn’t get my act together in terms of my AlphaBeasts. I only had prints of the first three and people seemed to really like them but were interested in either a whole set or seeing what I had for other letters. Something to think about for SPX in September but I’m still just not sure what I want to do with those things yet. Everyone also seemed to say that their biggest sale day was Friday but since Fridays are usually a good day to walk around that’s exactly what I did most of the time and was barely at my table all day. Oh well.
• I was on a really fun panel about Webcomics on Saturday. It was moderated by Dustin Harbin and featured Danielle Corsetto, Tom Scioli, Rich Tomasso and myself. We all come at the webcomics thing a little differently so it was a good mix of panelists and Dustin is a really interesting and entertaining moderator. He purposely steered the conversation away from a lot of the usual questions and instead focused on stuff like how we use webcomics as a publishing platform. I can talk about the medium of webcomics and digital comics all day so it was fun. The panel was scheduled at the end of the day on Saturday but the next day a number of people that had attended stopped by my table to say how much they enjoyed it.
• Last year was kind of a huge year for me at HeroesCon. I appeared on my first panel, I moderated a panel that I had come up with the idea for (Design in Comics), and I did a piece for the Annual Art Auction that blew my mind by selling for way more than I would have imagined someone would pay for it. It was also the first year that I felt like a legitimate cartoonist while manning my own table. As fun as the show was this year there was probably no way it could compete on a personal satisfaction level. But again, due to being wrapped up in a number of work related things leading up to the show I probably didn’t prepare well enough to make this a big show for myself as it could have been. Also, man was I tired the whole weekend. It’s possible I’m also old.
• My Daenerys Targaryen painting I donated to the auction didn’t make it into the main event on Saturday night but it did sell at the silent auction the next day.
• I didn’t do as many sketches this year and the ones I did were all either Honey Badgers or X-men characters (plus one of a Honey Badger vs. an X-men character). I was pretty happy with the ones I did though. Sketching at a table is a lot harder than it looks. In my foggy unpreparedness, it only occurred to me on Sunday to bring the original ink drawings of my AlphaBeasts to sell but I didn’t move any of them. I’m sure with a better presentation and more time on the table I might have sold a few. This was the first time I ever even attempted to sell original artwork and for some reason the idea of doing that seemed like selling one of my kids or something. Maybe not that bad. Like selling one of my dogs, we’ll say. Either way, probably for the best that no one bought any.
• I held back as much as I could on buying stuff and now I of course wish I had picked up more. I also focused a lot on staying behind my table which I always go into these things saying I won’t do. Whether you’re walking around or sitting at your table you always feel like you’re missing out on something I guess. There’s a number of people I would have liked to have seen/chatted with/bought stuff from but I either never came across them or never had a chance to stop by (Colleen Coover, Ramon Perez, Scott Campbell to name a few). It was great to see/meet/and get to talk with folks like Van Jensen, Dusty Higgins, Nathan Fox, Stephanie Buscema and Rob Harrigan, Rob Ullman, Rob Venditti, Robert Wilson (seriously was this a RobCon?) Brad McGinty, Christian Sager, Josh Latta, Jared Cullum, Ron Salas, Chris Pitzer, Ed Piskor, Danielle Corsetto, and my Sketch Charlotte friends Brigit Scheide, Henry Eudy, Brandon Padgett and Eraklis Petmezas. Plus some others I did not intend to leave out.
• This was supposed to be short but of course I’ve gone on forever. I’ve got to thank show organizers Shelton Drum and Rico Renzi (two of the coolest and nicest guys in comics) for putting on such a great convention and for allowing me to be there. Also thanks to Dustin Harbin for inviting me to be on that webcomics panel. And thanks to everyone who stopped by and bought something and/or told me how much they are enjoying Nathan Sorry. It is still pretty amazing to me to meet people that not only read my comic but make it a point to stop by and tell me that they do.