HeroesCon '04: The Untold Story - Part 1
That title's a pretty big misnomer, since these stories have been told many, many times. Still, if you're new, you might not have heard them. So by popular demand, here is the whole sordid story of HeroesCon '04 (with a few names removed) in a special two-day ISB event!
The whole thing started when the boss recruited me, Tug, and Josh to work the booth at HeroesCon. The last con I'd been to had been a lot of fun--it was a small show in Atlanta where we mostly goofed off and got roughly thirty-eight sketches from Phil "The Thrill" Hester. He's the nicest guy in comics, and if you haven't read the Wretch, you need to. So anyway, I was looking forward to it.
We'd agreed to take Josh's car, because he's got one of those little screens on the visor hooked up to a DVD player and an X-Box. Unfortunately, by the time we were on the way to the con, the screen wasn't working, along with the air conditioner. If you've been in the Dirty Dirty during summer, you'll recognize this as Warning Sign #1.
Regardless, we get there without too much trouble, and we get our first fun experience. It's pretty common for dealers (or their erstwhile employees) to wander around the floor and check out what other people are selling. We are, after all, usually looking to finish up a few runs.
So while the Boss is being hit up for a loan, this dealer comes over and starts prowling through our dollar book section, which at the time was made up of hot books we just had too many of lying around. Like, you know, full runs of Crisis and a ton of X-Men books. Now this guy is known for, shall we say, creative pricing. I've heard he was known to charge fifty bucks for Darkhawk #50, which I'm pretty sure is a sign of Madness on a Lovecraftian scale.
Anyway, this mug grabs a stack of books that we all know he's going to jack up and sell, and starts haggling with the Boss for them. The boss stands his ground, though, and gets him to cough up most of the cash before getting fed up and handing him off to me. So I go over and make a quick count of the books, which come to $47. So he drops 40 on the counter and says:
"Come on, man. What is seven dollars to men like us, eh? Come on."
That guy's a winner. He ended up paying the full amount, and we almost put a sign up that said: "Dollar Book Section! Books So Good Even ***** Paid a Dollar!"
A quick word about the Pros:
The creators I've met at cons have in general been overwhelmingly nice and accommodating (although Josh can tell you the story behind this picture with little to no coercion), and HeroesCon was no exception. Jason Yungbluth was a real standout. He'd done some cross-promotion with the store's website, and he was really nice. In addition to being exactly as I thought he'd be (and I mean that in a good way), he did some great, hilarious sketches for us, and he deserves as much success as he can get, which would certainly be magnified if you picked up Deep Fried v.2 #1 from your local shop.
There was one pro, though, who looked like he was about to snap at any second. I'm not sure if he was actually angry at someone (possibly me), or if it was just the way his face sits, but he looked like he was about four seconds away from leaping over his table and beating the next guy who asked for a sketch with a Bristol board. He was perfectly civil, though, and I'm still a big fan of his work, but those eyes... like a caged tiger.
I would be remiss, though, if I didn't talk about John Cassaday. He stopped by the booth before doing his big signing and did some great sketches for Tug and Josh. He was very polite, and I think he's one of the best artists working today, but what really struck me was--and this is going to sound incredibly gay--he is the most handsome man I have ever seen. I mean, seriously. It's astounding. That little picture they have in Wizard doesn't even come close to doing him justice, and if the other pictures on that page are any indication, he's probably the best-looking man in comics.
All right, so now that I've got some explaining to do to Melanie, I think that's a good place to wrap it up. Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story, featuring appearances by Paris Hilton and Drunk-Ass Katie, when HeroesCon gets.... a little sexy.