The 2022 Charlotte heroes with wrapped up yesterday. The event is from Friday, June 24 — Sunday, June 26. This is a major occasion for the Con. Why? Well, it is the first full heroes with since before the pandemic. In 2021 they have a mini Con, but not nearly what has been.
However, 2022 is the 40th anniversary of heroes with, 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 in 2016. But each day I attended, announcements are 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 is a bit of a long line getting in on the first day for pre-ordered tickets. However, fans waiting outside take it all in stride and share their eagerness for the event. The line moves quickly anyway. 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 with (Shelton Drum) also honors ticket purchases from the 2020 and 2021 convention that did not happen. Drum leads the example of the rest 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 with (and a majority of others) is that it gives us a time to all be in our element. heroes with is a respectable size, there is much that can still be covered across the three days.
However, it is not so large that it covers multiple buildings. heroes with focuses on the comics, writers, and artists. Well-known individuals like Chris Claremont and Jim Steranko are there. There are newer writers and artists also there to gain exposure.
As previously mentioned, heroes with 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 a ride, which turns out to be cost-friendly for parents buying a ticket or too.
At heroes with 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 of him (which he loved)!
Embracing Our “Nerd” Label
What I love about heroes with 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 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 he 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 friendly “I’m sorry” with 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.
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 have 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 with.
Again, there are writers and artists who range the gamut. You do not feel like a number at heroes with. 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.
Always willing to snap a picture of them working is amazing and impressive.
The artists all answer questions and allow great photos even with the intention of being helpful rather than focusing on selling.
Other writers and artists are not pushy and are thankful for you just stopping by. This all adds to the comfortable feel of Heroes Con.
There will be a few more articles coming your way involving the latest heroes with. 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 (eleven things settle from the convention) I will be posting an interview with heroes with founder/organizer, Shelton Drum!
If you have ever considered heroes with, but were not sure, I highly encourage the event. You can check out everything Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find by clicking the link. heroes with will be back in Charlotte June 16-18 of 2023! Mark your calendars!