That’s the self-titled Corduroy Mafia at Heroes Con 2013. From left to right we have Brian Jones, me, Gene Gonzales, John Nacinovich and Royce Thrower. How we gave ourselves the name Corduroy Mafia is a tale for another time. Instead I present my HeroesCon 2013 summary.
The Drive Up:
Doralya and I left Friday morning. We planned to leave earlier, but a late start got us on the road at about 5am. Traffic was terrible, two different wrecks slowed us down and it rained almost the entire way. From now on, we plan to drive up the night before the con starts.
We usually stay at the Weston, but this year it was the Hampton Inn Charlotte – Uptown. What a great hotel! It’s super-clean with the friendliest staff I’ve ever seen. Free shuttle service and free breakfast made the stay even better. I’d definitely stay here again!
Main Goal of the Show:
My main goal was to meet (for the first time) and get a sketch from Rick Burchett. I’m happy to report that Rick is as nice as he is talented — yeah, he’s really that friendly! I hoped to get Rick to draw Jack Carter (Stallone) with Chris Mills/Rick Burchett’s character, Grave Digger (Lee Marvin). Rick said he could make that happen!
I then got Greg Rucka to autograph two of my Atticus Kodiac novels. I’ve been a Rucka fan since before he started working in comics — and was pleased when he teamed with Rick Burchett on Lady Sabre. Eric Newsome was at the table as well. Eric assists with the Lady Sabre website and more. Since I am a backer of their Lady Sabre Kickstarter, I knew the password to get an advance look at a Lady Sabre script! Eric also reminded me that he had done a Stallone sketch for the SZ! It was great talking to Rick, Greg and Eric.
- My original hardcover Berni Wrightson’s A Look Back
- My first edition Chandler by Steranko
- Two of my Greg Rucka Atticus Kodiac novels
- Road Trip by Sean Murphy.
All books autographed — mission accomplished.
- Dave Wachter (mini-head sketches): Lords of Flatbush and Bullet to the Head
- Drew Moss (busts): Get Carter and Rocky
- Jerry Gaylord: Get Carter and Demolition Man
- Mitch Gerads (head sketch): Expendables 2
- Mike Torrance: several sketch cards
- Gene Gonzales (head sketch): Get Carter
- Manny Aguilera: Over the Top and Demolition Man (surprise gifts from LittleJohn312 & Patricia), Get Carter.
- Rick Burchett is going to do my piece from home.
- The Inkwell Awards (and keeping with tradition, LittleJohn312 and Patricia joined me).
- Jim Steranko (again with LJ & P) – Steranko is a charmer and captivated the crowd with his great stories!
- Crime Panel: Greg Rucka (Whiteout), Jason Latour (Loose Ends), and Jason Aaron (Scalped) interrogated by Vito Delsante.
It’s only been in the last several years that I’ve made a real effort to attend panels. Without a doubt, they have made the con experience even more fun.
Drink and Draw:
Because of weather it was held in the lobby of the Hilton. Jack the Radio provided live music — they’re good! The place was packed, but the Hilton staff was very accommodating and brought out more seats. Patricia, Doralya and I enjoyed watching and messing with LittleJohn312 as he attempted to win some art — and he did!
As always the auction was a fun night. LittleJohn312 won a Wizard of Oz piece (as well as the companion piece that was in next day’s auction). The move to have professional auctioneers is helpful, but Alison’s presence as the Mistress of Ceremonies was missed.
Some HeroesCon guests had Kickstarter projects that I had backed. I made sure to swing by and congratulate each on their Kickstarter success:
- Greg Rucka / Rick Burchett with Lady Sabre
- Jeremy Haun with Bad Karma (I missed seeing Alex Grecian, B. Clayton Moore & Seth Peck)
- Eric Powell with The Goon movie
The biggest surprise is that we only ate at Fuel once. It was good to keep that tradition alive, but not over do it. The best meal we had was at Fujo Bistro — we will definitely hit that place again next year! Bojangles and Einstein’s Bagels also got our business. Sadly we did not make it to Mert’s.
The Drive Home:
We left about 5:30 and arrived home at about 12:30am. Traffic and rain were both light and we were exhausted, but in a good way.
HeroesCon this year was huge with twice the floor space as previous years. The wider aisles made movement easier. There were also additional sections this year with chairs and tables for con guests to sit, eat and visit. The bigger painting area was also a plus.
I’ve had to rewrite this sentence several times, because I come off like a real fanboy trying to say how “cool” it was to meet Rick Burchett and Steranko. Let’s just say it was great and leave it at that.
Seeing old friends and meeting new ones is always a fun part of the show. I won’t try to list them all because invariably I would leave some out.
Thanks to Shelton and his crew for another great HeroesCon — see everyone next year!