Letters to Holly

Monday, June 22

Geek Show

Friday night saw us wolf down pizzas at the new local Italian place. Your Sis drove to Your Parents' house and back to show off the bike. They trust her on it, and that was the biggest worry we had. We watched another Netflix film (the third Bourne movie), and I packed it in early. I had a big Saturday to prepare for.

Because it was HEROESCON, the Charlotte nerd prom. I woke up extra early to get a haircut, clean up, grab croissants, and hit the road by 9. I've been close to ten times now, I'd say, and it's become more fun as it's national prominence has grown. It's known as the friendliest show for creators to mix with the commonfolk; we're well behaved and patient. The organizers have the set-up down by now, and they have enough contacts to get big-name creators to appear.

The con floor.

A heavy-looking Iron Man costume.

Panels are available to hear the latest on comic/movie plans and attendees can ask direct questions about specific characters.

Big-time comics writer Brian Michael Bendis does not take criticism well.

Illustrator Adam Hughes is a top draw at every show. He and many others do free sketches.

My haul.

1. The con program. I carried it all day and cracked it open maybe twice.

2. My MapQuest directions based on the address on the Heroescon website. They led me instead right to their store.

3. The directions they wrote for me to get to the con.

4. My list of items I found at booths to return and buy later. It's a gamble. The items might not be there. So I wrote down the other booths where those same items are. There's two reasons for this: a) I might find it cheaper at another booth; and b) If I buy the item later, that's less time I'm carrying it around. And that leads me to my epiphany. Why don't cons offer airport lockers? Let's make our own, I say -- a do-it-yourself coat-check for con items so they aren't clobbered by the heavy foot traffic. And we'll call them Con-Tainers. We'll be gabillionaires.

5. Creative Loafing Charlotte had the con as its cover story.

6. I bought a bundle of three minicomics from the Center for Comic Studies booth. I was directed there by my publisher J. Chris Campbell of Wide Awake Press. The CCS booth was often obscured by the lines to see creator Jeff Smith. He never had a small line.

7. A set of Japanese monster postcards for a guy whose work appeared with mine in in the Athens Fluke con anthology.

8. A card for Tariq Hassan one of the Revolver Studios artists. His acrylic stuff looks like watercolors, and I don't know how he manages that.

9. My scrawled-while-driving directions for getting home. It's hard to find 85 South and 74 West without road signs.

10. CCS brochures for their cartoon programs.

11. The animated Bizarro figure I've wanted for two years.

12. Viking No. 1 sold to me by a creator sales pitch.

13. Bossk and IG-88 bounty hunter figures. The first booth has Bossk for $12. The second had him for $5. It pays to window shop.

14. A promo card for Capes and Babes, a webcomic. It was handed to me by the creator while I waited to talk to John Anderson who co-colored ...

15. this issue of E-Man. I know John from an online forum.

16. A promo card and lottery ticket for a free trade drawing by Ultimate Comics. The promo girl caught a group of us standing near the Adhouse Books booth, and we all signed up. None of us won. I knew exactly where the booth was because I had jotted down their location on my shopping list. I told the girl they were right under the Aisle 300 sign, and she gasped. She finally had an easy way to direct people there.

17. I bought David Mack's kids book, and he explained how it began as a book inside his Kabuki comic. I confessed I didn't know the comic, and he signed and handed me a stack of Kabuki issues. Free. The man knows how to win over fans.

18. The Wonder Girl and Starfire min-statues I wanted for a while. This was a good con for getting long-sought knickknacks.

19. A copy of Fell volume 1 and the two Justice trades. These were bought at one of the many booths offering books for either 50% off or buy one, get one free. This was the show for trades.

20. "I Will Feast on Your Whore Heart," a string-bound mini that caught my eye.

21. Two minis by Josh Latta, another Wide Awake artist.

22. Two little toys made by another Wide Awake guy.

23. The card handed out by the Imaginism people.

24. The card for Girls with Slingshots, a webcomic by Danielle Corsetto whose portfolio was really good. We also chatted in the Starbucks line, and I sold her on their shaken iced tea lemonade. I think we were sparking a little, and then I remembered that I couldn't convince Your Sis to come along.

The convention center also hosted a car show next door, and the bouncing vibrations from the car stereos pounded us all day. The artists inking sketches complained that the tables were vibrating.

I had dinner with people I know from online and drove back home, returning at 11:30. I was dead tired, my feet hurt, and my voice was shot, but it was as fun as I hoped.

The next day, Your Sis tackled her closets, and I weeded the garden. I was officially asked to join the theatre board of directors by email, and by email I declined. I cited my full dance card and offered to help with publicity in any way I feasibly can. If I was asked a few weeks back, I might have jumped at it. I was told the board had moved their meeting times to evening so I could join them, but they scheduled it the same night as a rehearsal. I couldn't go anyway.

Oh, I also invented a new drink at the soda shop: Sweet iced tea with dashes of Tabasco. I call it a Hothouse Flower. You can feel the spice in your throat, but the taste is hidden.

I debated running this morning and crawled out of bed only because Your Sis woke up early. I ran. It hurt. I was on my last quarter-mile, right as I turn to go up the rassem-frassem hill when I spied a runner in white turning the corner downhill. It was Your Sister. As soon as she saw me, she threw up her hand to playfully hide.

I thought something was wrong. Your Sister doesn't run. I thought the house/school/cats were exploding/collapsing/stepped on by Godzookie. I stopped and turned to follow her, and she said she wanted to give running a try. Did I mind? DID I MIND?! I turned off my stopwatch and iPod and jogged alongside her. We slowed to a walk a few times and did about a half mile. I'm thrilled by this. I never thought she would run with me. Even if this doesn't happen again, we had this morning. I'm proud of her.

No comments: