It's Friday, the first day of the show, and almost immediately, I'm busy as a one eyed pervert at a burlesque show. Books and sketches jump off the table like it's on fire. It may be the busiest first day I've had. By the end of Friday, half of my books were sold and my sketch list was already filled half way through Sunday. Lots of folks from the various forums I'm on, like 11 O'Clock Comics, Comic Geek Speak, and The Bendis Board, stopped by and I received a lot of visits from folks who just happened to be walking by. Lots of familiar faces and I was finally able to match faces with names I've only seen on the internet. The attendees of this con seem to be hungry for the art. On top of sketches, I was able to sell a good number of prints. I managed to break away from the table for a few moments and find Gabriel Hardman's table. I've been looking at his art online and loving his work on titles like Agents of Atlas for Marvel as well as his original graphic novel Heathentown, written by his wife Corinna Sara Bechko. I knew that he was doing sketches for cheap so I hightailed to his location for a drawing of the Boris Karloff Frankenstein Monster. After reading Heathentown, I knew he'd knock it out of the park. Talking with Corinna and Gabriel was a real treat, too. I managed to stop by their table a couple more times and see them after the show. I wasn't stalking them, really. I swear.
I was determined to find a restaurant that served local cuisine. There's nothing I hate more than traveling across the country just to wind up at a chain restaurant that serves mediocre food the same way at a thousand locations. On the recommendation of CGS's Bryan Deemer, we go to Mert's, a small soul food place a few blocks up the street. It was Zack, Tony, Scott Bradley from Resolution Comics, and myself. There were three more tables there packed with friends and acquaintances and it looked like just about every diner was coming from the show.The place was phenomenal. They start you off with a mini loaf of moist, crumbly cornbread and butter. I had the pulled pork with cole slaw and yams. It was dreamlike perfection on a plate. The place was hopping, we had a short wait for our table, but the wait staff was moving fast and keeping up with the crowd all while showing unflappable courtesy.
Saturday at the show started off a little slow. Despite that, my sketch list for the weekend filled to it's brim. I hate to turn people away but it had to be done. It takes me at least an hour to knock out a full figure sketch and after almost five years of exhibiting I still don't quite have the hang of apportioning my time correctly. By the early afternoon the crowd picked up quite a bit. At the end of the day I was sold out of Scar Tissue trades and had only 6 copies of the Guns Preview Book left to sell.
The great Braxton Harrison, private eye, artist, and a buddy from various forums finally showed on Saturday, traveling from Atlanta, and we all went out to a nearby Mexican place. It was decent, nothing too special. It was next to a pizza place where a bunch of people we knew were going to go, but when we checked it out we saw it was cafeteria style, New York pizza, with few open tables. In my book, that's three strikes. On to the Westin ballroom for the annual art auction they have to raise proceeds for next year's show. For those who don't know, like me at the start of the con, artists at the show donate a piece of original art to be auctioned off. There was some beautiful art available and several pieces went for nearly $5000. Some of the bidding was fast and furious and the tone of the whole thing was laid back and fun. I hope to donate something to the auction next year now that I get what it's all about. The auction ended up going for almost 3 hours so a bunch of us who weren't bidding anyway, headed out early for some hang out time in the lobby. The service there was getting pretty swamped, it could take some time to get a drink, fortunately I have perfected the technique for fast service at a hotel lobby bar and waiting more that 5 minutes was rare. If I see you at a con, and I like you enough, and you ask very nicely, I may just let you know my technique for getting speedy service. Maybe. Saturday night we had to say goodbye to Braxton and Tony. It was great to see you, fellas, and I hope to see you both again soon.
This has been Part 2 of my Heroes Con Report. Part 3, the finale, is coming soon. Until then, enjoy a few pics from my Heroes Con set on flickr: