Heroes Con 2009!!!
Holy crap, I had an awesome time at this year's Heroes Con. If you were to ask me what my favorite part of the convention was, I'd be hard pressed to pick just one! Here would be the top contenders:
1) My Panel with Jeff Smith on Friday, moderated by good ol' Dustin Harbin. I have been lucky enough to interview Jeff before on Indie Spinner Rack, so I didn't have to ask him the same interview questions that he always has to answer about Bone and stuff. We talked more about RASL and his new book, Little Mouse Gets Ready which is hilarious and great. Jeff also interviewed me, during which he kindly heaped some praise on me, causing quite a few people to swing by my table throughout the rest of the weekend. Anyway, we recorded the panel, so I think it will eventually turn up on ISR, or you can also read this write-up of the panel over on Comic Book Resources.
2) Dinner with Greg and my CCS homies. Dustin took us to a great place for dinner on Friday where we got some real Southern cooking. It was some of the best quality time I got to spend with Jason Lutes this weekend, which I was really excited about. We are going to be co-teaching a class in the fall, so I wanted to get to know him better. Talk about a laid-back, super-intelligent guy!
3) Sitting at the bar, talking about the Beatles with Jeff Smith. One of the great things about Heroes Con is that there aren't a ton of places to hang out around the convention, so everyone pretty much ends up hanging out at the hotel bar every night. I had been drinking at dinner (remember, I am a FEATHERWEIGHT) and then I drank a few beers with Steve Hamaker, so I was pretty drunk. I announced that I was going to go upstairs and go to sleep, but then Jeff Smith said, "Aw, come on man! I'll buy you another round and we can talk about the Beatles." (???!?!?!?!)
Jeff is a huge Beatles fan, as am I, so we talked for like an hour about various albums, the four Beatles, stories about their recording techniques, listening to them growing up, etc. etc. etc. I got pretty worked up, and we were laughing a lot, and playing air guitar and singing and everything. The only word I can think of to describe it, is "EPIC."
I mean seriously, I'm like FRIENDS with JEFF SMITH now. We've hung out like half a dozen times. We are like old pals! That's so crazy, I can barely wrap my mind around it. Life is so rad... ANYWAY, if you're sitting there reading this, going "How can anything possibly compete with this awesome moment?" then check THIS out!
4) Getting to meet DON ROSA! For those of you that don't know, Don Rosa is the greatest living Disney Duck artist. He basically picked up where Carl Barks left off and he drew the Uncle $crooge comics which were my favorites when I was a kid. Don was nice enough to do a sketch for me of Uncle $crooge and I bought a print which he signed (which will soon be framed and on my wall!) and I gave him some of my comics. I know the "Heroes" in "Heroes Con" is referring to super heroes, but getting to meet a real cartooning hero of mine was one of the highlights of this show.
5) Getting a blizzard with Roger Langridge. At last year's Heroes Con, there was an extremely awkward moment when a bunch of us (including Chris Duffy) were heading to the car, to go get some blizzards at a Dairy Queen out by the airport. En route, we ran into Roger Langridge who asked if he could come along. Every seat in Greg's rental car was already spoken for, including the TRUNK, where I rode, so we sadly had to turn him down. It was a total bummer, and I have felt guilty about it ALL YEAR. So in the first five minutes of Heroes Con this year, I walked up to Roger and told him that we were going to take him to get a Blizzard!
It was fun, and I think Roger had a good time, but somehow this Dairy Queen is cursed, and we ended up missing our friends Liz & MK by just a few minutes, and they were upset that we didn't wait for them. (The worst part of EVERY convention is trying to coordinate plans when there are so many people in town and you can't hang out with all of them). Luckily, we used this as an excuse to go BACK to the Dairy Queen the next night and get MORE BLIZZARDS, thus breaking the curse forever!
6) On Sunday there was a screening of a documentary all about Jeff and Bone, called The Cartoonist. I got to see it (and somehow ended up moderating the Q & A session afterwards with Jeff and Colleen Doran). It was really neat to get to see this movie, as it's not out yet. It had a bunch of Jeff's animation stuff from the 80s, which I've always wanted to see, and a great set of interviews with all kinds of comics luminaries. Keep an eye out for this one!
7) When I got back to my table after watching the movie, I found Liz Baillie standing on a chair, wearing my hat, with a recycled napkin-beard taped to her face, yelling stuff like "WEEZER!" and "STAR WARS!" to anyone who walked by. Yeah... she had been impersonating me for TWO WHOLE HOURS. There are a lot of photos of this and even a short video, to give you a taste. I guess at one point someone bought an issue of Phase 7 from her, and she signed it "The REAL Alec Longstreth." Haw! Anyway, that's where we got the amazing photo above, of Jeff cowering between the two Alecs.
Liz has a great write up of the show over on her blog and most of the links in this entry point to various Flickr sets from the weekend. Check them out!
In closing I just want to say thanks to Dustin for all his hard work setting up the show, and for all of the other volunteers for making it such a great weekend. Also, thanks to everyone who swung by and checked out my comics! Heroes was my last show of the summer and it was a great note to end on. Now it's back to the drawing board!!!