HeroesCon has been a main-stay in Charlotte, NC since 1982, and this year it came to town from June 14-16. The convention is organized by local comic shop Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find. This is the fourth year myself and Michael Connally have covered the event, which usually takes place in mid-June and is held at the Charlotte Convention Center. The Con definitely has the feel of some of the earlier conventions from the 90s that focused on what started them all: the comics. HeroesCon is a wonderful convention to take dad, or your kids, to since it falls around Father’s Day, but it is also a great start for people new to conventions, individuals wanting to complete their comic collections, or those just looking to have a good time! Check out a rundown of all that HeroesCon has to offer!
Inside the convention center, there were aisles spanning from aisle 100-2200. Artist Alley took up over half of the convention center spanning two full sections of aisles 100-2200! Each year there is an artist(s) of focus and this year Stan Sakai of Usagi Yojimbo and Sergio Aragones of Groo who made the trip. The line for their signatures were somewhat long, but they moved quickly with many fellow fans to speak with while waiting.
Other artists who attended the event were: Neal Adams, Tim Sale, Klaus Janson, Charles Vess, David Williams, Skottie Young, Bill Amend, Tamra Bonvillain, Katie Cook, Miny Lee and many more! All of the artists present (including Sakai and Aragones) were extremely friendly and would take the time to talk to each fan. I never felt a sense of being rushed or that an artist was merely going through the motions. Each artist had a plethora of their work to view, pre-sketched material for purchase, or you can bring your own material for them to sign. With taking up half of the center, the comics are definitely the focus of the event which makes it a perfect experience for sharing with a loved one.
Do you have a comic on your list that you just can’t seem to find? There’s a good possibility that you can find it at HeroesCon. Numerous comic shops in the region set up at the Con. It is a really cool experience as they bring a wide variety of comics ranging from rare to current titles. This is a great way to experience comics with the family as I have been able to find Golden Age comics for my father while also finding 90s era comics I have been looking for. While the convention does have a couple booths with graded comics, there are also the booths that have ungraded comics, and the vendors have an extensive amount of knowledge regarding each title.
What I also found comforting is that when I had asked a vendor about a specific comic, they let me know that they did not have it, but directed me to another booth who they thought would. This goes back to the idea of being family-focused. It wasn’t about the competition between shops, but about finding what I was looking for. This is what makes the comic community different from other businesses.
Toys sure have changed over the years, but there is something about the extreme detail used with retro toys. While there were booths with recent toys that the current younger generation would enjoy, the vintage toy section was one of my favorite areas. Seeing toys that I either owned, still own, played with, etc. in its original packaging was completely nostalgic. It made me think of going through the JC Penny’s catalog around Christmas looking at the new toy line release, or the awesome commercials that would play during Saturday Morning Cartoons. This is definitely another family-friendly aspect of the Con. There was a grandfather-father-son combo at this booth and I overheard the father telling his son about which toy(s) he had when he was child, and the grandfather even remembered what lengths he went to in order to find some of the toys. They also talked about the price differences between then and now!
There was plenty for the younger kids, such as a virtual reality booth that can be seen in the photos below, there were also other gaming booths. Some focused on more modern consoles, of course, there would be one for retro gaming! NES, Atari, SNES, Sega Genesis, etc., if you were looking for a game to add to your collection or just a stroll down memory lane, HeroesCon had it! Maybe you have a child who has no idea what gaming was like when they couldn’t play online, have endless lives, respawn anywhere, and may not know the pure frustration of an extremely difficult NES game which many times could not be beaten without a Nintendo Power. This is a great place to show them.
What would a ComicCon be without Cosplay? Individuals come out in full force with Cosplay, but keeping with the family-friendly trend, the outfits, while extremely well done, are tamer than some other cons. You will see a large number of families who Cosplay together (like the group above). I definitely saw a handful of fathers with their young children Cosplaying together, which culminates on Sunday with a Cosplay contest. There are three main categories: adult Cosplay, child Cosplay, and family/group Cosplay, which is so much fun to see the added emphasis on the family event.
Special Shout Out
While at a booth purchasing Pennywise and Jason Voorhees sketches for my cousin, artist Kirk Manley was extremely fun to speak with. He apologized for my wait while he was speaking with other customers (which was honestly only five minutes) and gave me a complimentary sketch for my wait! He gave me his The Flash sketch since I was wearing a Reverse Flash t-shirt. The man was cordial and fun to speak with. You can check out more of his work here.
HeroesCon has a lot to offer, with a classic convention feel. The city of Charlotte is a beautiful place with a lot of variety and options, which makes it a great place to come and visit. If you live in the region (or a four-hour radius) I would highly recommend Heroes Con next year, which will be June 19-21! With Father’s Day being on Sunday, June 21, 2020, HeroesCon would be a great place to take the family! Have you been to any local conventions? What’s your favorite part of conventions? Leave your thoughts in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!
Enjoy a comprehensive gallery from HeroesCon below!