Not to mince words, HeroesCon is my San Diego. Scheduled for June 3-5 at the Charlotte Convention Center this year, I recently caught up with Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find Creative Director Rico Renzi, to discuss what to look forward to at HeroesCon 2011. Anyone that has read my past con reports knows how much I always enjoy this family friendly/comics focused con, and will not be surprised to learn I will be in attendance again this year. Thanks to Renzi for the interview and for giving us the scoop that Farel Dalrymple is returning to the con this year. I was also enthused to learn the con is trying a Friday night event this year, as well as introducing a new section of the convention floor devoted to comic strip creators.
Tim O’Shea: How are things shaping up with less than a month to go before the con, starting to panic? Planning-wise, how do you and Shelton Drum (con founder/organizer and owner of Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find) divvy up the heavy lifting of making this con happen?
Rico Renzi: HeroesCon is like breathing to Shelton so I’m pretty sure he’s not panicking. This is my first time doing anything like this so, yeah I think there’s some pressure on me. Maybe I get a pass since this is my first year though? Dustin Harbin has been a great help showing me the ropes on a few things, especially the floor plan. Deciding where everyone is going to sit seems like the hardest job to me right now. Aside from that we get great help from our warehouse manager, Seth Peagler. Whether I need someone to brainstorm with or edit my blog posts, Seth is my guy. Also, Andy Mansell has been instrumental in planning and coordinating our programming. These guys keep me sane!
HeroesCon is one of my favorite comic book conventions. This year the convention will be held from June 19-21 (Father’s Day Weekend), in Charlotte, N.C. With the date fast approaching I caught up with Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find’s Creative Director, Dustin Harbin, to find out what’s planned for this year. I have to agree with Harbin, who described “the straight up 100% comics vibe, without all the actors and movie stuff and all that” as being part of what makes the con appeal to folks like myself.
Tim O’Shea: A few years back, Wizard tried to create a con to compete with HeroesCon–but that’s far from what happened. Ultimately how much do you think the industry rally to support HeroesCon (as opposed to Wizard) helped bolster the reputation of HeroesCon?
Dustin Harbin: Ha ha, welllll we have made a point of not really making a big deal out of that whole kerfuffle. Just in terms of being classy, I guess. But to comment directly to the second part of your question, I think we had a pretty great reputation with most of our guests and exhibitors, and that whole thing just ended up advertising to the larger industry how well-liked we seem to be.
That’s maybe a distortion though–obviously I’m predisposed toward thinking that HeroesCon is very well-liked–but it was really the very public efforts of a lot of creators that really got people riled up. Cully Hamner and Tony Harris and some others immediately came out with pretty direct responses, and then a lot of pros that had never attended the show before threw their hats in the ring, like Greg Rucka and J. Michael Straczynski.