|Venue||Charlotte Convention Center (1995–present)|
|Location||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Organizer||Shelton Drum/Heroes Aren't Hard To Find|
|Filing status||for profit|
Heroes Convention, or HeroesCon, is a comic book convention that takes place in June (often over Father's Day weekend) in Charlotte, North Carolina. The convention has been held since 1982 and it is one of the largest independent comic book conventions in the United States. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2012, it is also the oldest of those events that is still taking place. The convention has a history of charitable work, donating to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Charlotte Firefighters Burned Children's Fund. HeroesCon is organized by Shelton Drum, owner of Heroes Aren't Hard To Find, a comic book retailer near the center of Charlotte, North Carolina.
HeroesCon focuses primarily on comic books, almost to the exclusion of TV, movies, and video games seen at most other major so-called comic book conventions. Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, HeroesCon features hours of other programming on all aspects of comic books and pop culture. HeroesCon features a large floorspace for exhibitors., including comic-book dealers and collectibles merchants. Like most comics conventions, the show includes an autograph area, as well as areas where comics artists sign autographs and sell or do free sketches.
Annual events include the "Quickdraw Contest," in which artists create drawings on the spot for prizes; and an art auction.
Shelton Drum had been running an event called the Charlotte Mini-Con, a one-day event held at Eastland Mall (near his comic book store), since 1977, but in 1982 decided to expand the event and rename it the Heroes Convention. (Drum opened his first retail location in 1980.) The show grew from being a very small trade-show environment (held in a Holiday Inn ballroom) to being a true convention, with special guests at the 1982 show including Mike Zeck, Butch Guice, and New Teen Titans creators George Pérez, Marv Wolfman, and Romeo Tanghal.
The 1984 convention featured Stan Lee as its guest of honour, and since then each year of the convention has had an array of famous guests. Due to a death in Drum's family, no HeroesCon was held in 1986. Joe Quesada has appeared at the convention frequently since 1992, first as an artist, then as editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. George Pérez has also been a frequent guest of the show over the years.
Since 1995, the convention has taken place at the Charlotte Convention Center. The 1995 edition attracted 9,000 attendees, and featured guest Todd McFarlane, who signed over 2,000 autographs at the show.
The 2010 show hosted the closing ceremonies of the comic-themed art show Super! The Fine Art of Comics (curated by Shelton Drum), on display at the Charlotte gallery Twenty-Two.
The 2012 Heroes Convention — the 30th anniversary show— was held June 22–24 and featured special guest Stan "the Man" Lee.
Controversy: Wizard World Atlanta
In 2005, Wizard Entertainment announced that they would be holding a comic book convention in Atlanta from June 30–July 2, 2006, the same dates on which HeroesCon was scheduled to take place. This caused an outcry amongst the comic book community, as Atlanta is only a four-hour drive from Charlotte, and several comic book creators, including Matt Fraction (also a former Heroes Aren't Hard To Find employee), voiced concerns about an attempt by a large, corporate event to force out an independent comic book convention. As a result of the outcry, many comic book creators, including Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch, Greg Rucka, Tony Harris, Scott Kurtz, Gaijin Studios and Art Adams, signed up to appear at HeroesCon 2006. In mid-August 2005, Wizard announced that they would be pushing back their Atlanta convention until 2007.
- ↑ Spencer, Jason. "Comic book heroes coming to NC," Spartanburg Herald-Journal (18 June 2009).
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Hargro, Carlton. "Best. Convention. Ever," Creative Loafing (17 June 2009), p. 25.
- ↑ Brown, Hillary. "My Weekend at HeroesCon or, Why I Missed AthFest for a Comic Book Convention," Flagpole vol. 22, #26 (Jul 2, 2008), p. 9.
- ↑ Spencer, Jason. "Festival grows with comics Heroes, villains: This convention's for you," Spartanburg Herald-Journal (3 June 2010).
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Hargro, Carlton. "Revenge of HeroesCon," Creative Loafing (02 June 2010), p. 23.
- ↑ Hargro, Carlton. "Home is for Heroes," Creative Loafing (18 June 2008), p. 39.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Howard, Natalie. "Our Hero," Creative Loafing (May 2, 2007), pp. 24-26.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Bishop, Bart. "Heroes Comic Con celebrates 30th anniversary," Spartanburg Herald-Journal (June 21, 2012).
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Fernandez, Don. "Comic book hero: Little guy slays threat from weighty Wizard," Atlanta Journal-Constitution (13 Aug 2005), p. A.1.
- ↑ "Heroes Con & Wiz Atlanta, Drum's Not Changing Dates," Comic-Con.com (7/22/2005).
- ↑ Matt Fraction on HeroesCon/Wizard World, Comic Book Resources (July 22, 2005).