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I’m already jealous of those attending the Feb. 28 release party for Spider-Gwen #1 at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find in Charlotte, North Carolina, and not only because it boasts an appearance by creators Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi, and and an after-party performance by Texas indie band Married With Sea Monsters (aka The Mary Janes).
You see, the event also features the release of an exclusive 7-inch white vinyl of “Face It Tiger” by The Mary Janes, with gorgeous art and design by Rodriguez and Renzi. The jacket itself is suitable for framing, but add the record and, well … I’d like multiple copies, please.
Shelton Drum, owner of the Charlotte, North Carolina, comics store Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find and founder of HeroesCon, has been collecting original art for years from such creators as Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Wally Wood, John Romita and Frank Miller — but that’s only for starters. And beginning Friday, the public will be able to say that art on display for the first time in an exhibit at the William King Museum in Abingdon, Virginia.
Called “Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find: the Comic Art Collection of Shelton Drum,” the exhibit features private commissions and original pages spanning from the 1950s to today; there’s also original HeroesCon promotional artwork from the likes of Mike Mignola, Darwyn Cooke and James Jean.
“I’m apprehensive, but excited,” Drum said. “I’m honored and pleased that I can share my collection but it wasn’t something that I thought was going to happen anytime soon.”
Staged with the help of the Out of Step Arts Collective, the exhibit continues through June 29. An opening reception is scheduled for Feb. 6.
This weekend, I made my way up to Charlotte, N.C., to catch up with my pals Johanna Draper Carlson and KC Carlson, who also drove down to attend the 35th Anniversary of the Charlotte MiniCon. I enjoyed attending the Minicon (seeing folks like the always photogenic and hilarious Dustin Harbin [yeah, I had to photograph him…again], as well as Jason Latour, Matt Wilson, Bridgit Scheide and Rich Barrett). Yet as I was in the middle of having fun, I realized I wanted to enjoy it as a consumer, not cover it as a journalist. So if you are looking for coverage of the Minicon, I highly recommend Johanna’s coverage over at Comics Worth Reading.
A few months back when I interviewed Dustin Harbin regarding this year’s HeroesCon, I made a mental note to follow-up with Harbin in another interview, where we could just discuss his creative projects/process. This interview was conducted via email several weeks back. Late last week, Harbin let me know that while he’s remaining as Creative Director at Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find and Heroes Convention, he will be reducing his hours at the store and has “gone full-time with cartooning”. My thanks to Harbin for another interview, I’m happy to say this one was even more fun than the last.
Tim O’Shea: How much are you paying Tom Spurgeon to pimp your work? Seriously, Spurgeon praises many talented storytellers, but he seems to be your number one fan. Did you buy him a lot of meals when he came to HeroesCon in 2008 or what?
Dustin Harbin: I remember having to argue with Tom just to be able to bring him a water: I tried hard to buy him a drink at the hotel bar, but he was leery of my seductive ways. I think Tom is like a lot of us–he’s a passionate advocate for people he thinks deserve wider recognition. I’m not basing this just on the very VERY kind attention he’s showed my comics so far, but he’s the reason I discovered Richard Thompson’s work, who you’ll agree Tom is an even more vociferous a supporter of. I don’t know what attracted Tom’s good feelings, but I’m incredibly grateful for them.