Charlotte Heroes Con Review: The Social Dynamics Of Comic Fans

The 2022 Charlotte Heroes Con wrapped up yesterday. The event was from Friday, June 24 — Sunday, June 26. This is a major occasion for the Con. Why? Well, it is the first full Heroes Con since before the pandemic! In 2021 they have a mini Con, but not nearly what is has been.

However, 2022 is the 40th anniversary of Heroes Con, and it did not disappoint! If you are convention fan, I highly recommend the trip to Charlotte. Michael Connally and I will be covering some various aspects from the convention across a few articles. For this one, let’s take a look at the outstanding social aspect of comic fans.

Heroes Con And The Social Dynamics Of Comic Fans

The previous attendance record is 40,000 set in 2016. But each day I attended, announcements were made stating new daily records. At the time of writing I am waiting on the final count, but I am assuming it will exceed the previous record.

There was a bit of a long line getting in on the first day for pre-ordered tickets. However, fans waiting outside took it all in stride and shared their eagerness for the event. The line moved quickly anyways. And, the wait is worth it!

If that makes you somewhat hesitant, the convention is free for kids 18 and under! The owner of Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find Comic Book Store, and organizer of Heroes Con (Shelton Drum), also honors ticket purchases from the 2020 and 2021 conventions which were not able to happen. Drum is an example of the wonderful dynamics of us comic lovers.

Fan Fun For All

We all know how awesome comic fans are. I mean we ARE the fans. What is great about Heroes Con (and a majority of others) is that it gives us a time to all be in our element. Heroes Con is a respectable size, and there is much that can still be covered across the three days.

However, it is not so large that it covers multiple buildings. Heroes Con focuses on the comics, writers, and artists. Well-known individuals such as Chris Claremont and Jim Steranko are there. There are newer writers and artists also there to gain exposure.

As previously mentioned, Heroes Con is free for kids 18 and under! The owner of Heroes, Shelton Drum, believes in exposing as many people to comics and share the same love that he has. All kids need is a ride, which turns out to be cost-friendly for parents who may consider buying a ticket.

At Heroes Con you get to see all ages. From fans from the Gold and Silver Ages to those in superhero onesies who may not even know they are fans yet! All ages interact like kids during Christmas. My dad has been a comic lover/collector since he was a kid. He was able to come to the convention. It was actually his first (which he loved)!

Embracing Our “Nerd” Label

What I love about Heroes Con is the fact that it isn’t overwhelmingly big. Again, they pull good numbers, but you can find yourself running into some of the same individuals over the three days. This creates not only a comfortable environment, but a connected one. Everyone is in a good mood. Why? We, again, are all in our element.

Being a comic fan, I am sure at some point you (like me) have been called a comic nerd (come fight us!) Anyways, Cons are the perfect place for us to fully embrace our “nerdiness”. The social dynamics of comic fans are unique, strong, and exciting.

We all have such a strong bond over shared interests no matter the age. Connally and I had just as much fun trying to find World’s Finest #54 for my dad as we did when looking at comics we still have from the 80s and 90s and seeing how much they are worth.

My dad’s first major drawing he made as a kid is of Batman. The image comes from World’s Finest #54. He has the inside, but was looking for the cover. Go figure we found just the cover for #53, but the search is part of the fun. Fans are all eagerly looking for specific issues. Bumping into one another with a friendly “I’m sorry” receives courteous replies back. We are all just happy to be there. There are knowledgeable vendors galore who know their content. Many of the vendors know their inventory off the top of their head without even having to look as well.

The best part is seeing the continued love of the comics we share over the ages. Full families, kids and parents (including my dad and me) being able to share the hobby we all know and love. Comics continue to connect us all.

Of course the Cosplay game is strong. Again, ages ranging from little ones all the way through retirement can be found. This is our time to shine!

Yes, a majority of Cons have this, but Heroes has a sense of community to it. I had my Batman shirt on and asked Two-Face to take a picture. There is a resounding “are you serious, Batman?” because I was the arch enemy! Of course we share a laugh and he takes the picture.

Everyone is willing to stop and let you take a picture of their well-crafted and thought-out costumes.

Of course the pictures are never standard or dull. They always come with the must-have poses. You can’t Cosplay and not act out the part, right?

The amount of time, energy, and thought that goes into Cosplay costumes is amazing.

The mutual respect, excitement, and curiosity that comic fans have for one another is always on display at Heroes Con.

Friendly Writers/Artists

Again, there are writers and artists who range the gamut. You do not feel like a number at Heroes Con. The lines for larger known figures such as Steranko and Claremont are long. But, it’s not just due to their notoriety. They are having conversations with each of the eager fans waiting for a signature. Comic fans love their writers/artists, and the love is returned.

In artist alley, fans can watch the artists create their majestic works right in front of them.

Artists and writers are always willing for fans to snap a picture of them working. Being able to witness their craft is amazing and impressive.

The artists/writers all gladly answer questions with the intention of being helpful rather than focusing on sales.

I cannot stress the atmosphere created by the writers and artists not being pushy. More so, they thankful for you stopping by and asking about their work. This all adds to the comfortable feel of Heroes Con.

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There will be a few more articles coming your way involving the latest from Heroes Con. Look for Connally and I to cover the current state of the comic economy and if graded comics are helping or hurting the field. In a week or two (once things settle from the convention) I will be posting an interview with Heroes Con founder/organizer, Shelton Drum!

If you have ever considered Heroes Con, but were on the fence, I highly encourage the event. You can check out everything Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find by clicking the link. Heroes Con will be back in Charlotte June 16-18 of 2023! Mark your calendars!

Source: Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find

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