Thursday, July 26, 2007

NOW DISCUSS :: The Greatest Convention Of All Time, Ever.

Here's something I'd like to hear from Heroes-dom assembled on: I can say with some authority that next year's HeroesCon is going to be the biggest one ever. We're already at full-steam, guest list wise, and it's still just July. There's plenty more to come, and you can expect some sweet announcements over the next couple of months. Programming will be through the roof, Indie Island will be bigger than ever, and all signs point to standing room only all weekend.

So, since we have all this time to really concentrate on making a great, world class event next year, what you you do? How would you improve the convention? Guests you'd like to see, panels you'd want to attend, whatever--believe me, we listen very carefully to this kind of thing. After all, all our magical famousness comes from being such a convention-of-the-people, so lets hear those opinions! Negative opinions are okay too, but let's just keep it nice and clean for everyone's benefit, okay?

Now discuss!


Shawn Reynolds said...

I was actually thinking about people I'd like to see at Heroes Con last night. Here is my "wish list": Tara McPherson, Brian K. Vaughan, Ed Brubaker, Jeff Smith, Garth Ennis, Steven Dilllon, Paul Hornshemeier, Alex Maleev, Brian Lee O'Malley, Brian Azzarello and that is all I can think of right now, but I'm sure I will think of some more later.

RichBarrett said...

How about Darwyn Cooke, Cameron Stewart, Brandon Graham, Hope Larson and a second request for Bryan O'Malley? I think they're all Canadians. Is that doable? Maybe the can all carpool.

Phil Southern said...

in no particular order of how much I'd like to meet 'em:

Steve Ditko
Dave Gibbons and Brian Bolland
Alan Davis
John Romita Jr. & Sr.
and of course all of the folks who've been coming, from Nick Cardy to George Tuska to Tony Harris and Jim Mahfood.

Dustin Harbin said...

A couple of these are real possibilities--I think Bryan Lee O'Malley wants to come; he and Hope Larson are moving to North Carolina later this year, so that's looking pretty probable. They're real sweet folks, too.

I like all these Canadians, too--it's more expensive to fly from Canada though. I'd LOVE to have Darwyn Cooke. I have a very slight in with Cameron Stewart, who's in a studio with Kagan Macleod (Infinite Kung Fu). Brandon Graham I invited 3 years ago for the first Indie Island, but he had to cancel at the last minute. I'll renew my invite.

I'd like to see Brian Bolland too--transatlantic flights are pricier than Canadian flights!

Shawn, half of your list is a) a real possibility that I can't mention publicly or b) misspelled.

Shawn Reynolds said...

At least I spell better than Merkle.

(I realized as soon as I hit the submit button that I had misspelled a couple names. Forgive me.)

dialhforhero said...

From two of my favorite Vertigo books, a short wish-list: Becky Cloonan and Pia Guerra.

Oh man, I'd LOVE to see Cameron Stuart, Kagan Macleod (Infinite Kung-Fu, how I love thee) and Chip Zdarsky.

If you could convince the fine folks from the Royal Academy to fly south for the summer and give them their own little panel, I'd be so happy. I don't know, tell them Myrtle Beach is within walking distance. Canadians: they love them some Myrtle Beach.

My favorite panel that I've personally attended was w/ the Hernandez Bros. during your 2006 convention. They talked about growing up together, music, breaking into the business, etc.

Also, an Image / VH1-inspired "Behind the Music" panel.

I'm supposed to be working on paper emergencies right now, not posting to blog. oops

Tim Schleining

Neil said...

The only thing that I could suggest would be to have a "guest of honor". You know, someone who US fans (or maybe just East-coasters) don't get opportunities to see. For example, Ben Templesmith is the "guest of honor" at SDCC this year. This would probably have to involve paying for all or part of thier travel expenses though.

Another thought: Have some sort of system for connecting artists and other guests who may need to share tables, rooms, carpool, etc. I talked to a couple of people who would of liked to have been a guest last year, but couldn't afford to do it by themselves. If they could have split those costs with someone, it would have been easier. Just a thought.

Other things that you do that I'd like to see continue:

1) Cheap rooms at the Westin through a group rate
2) low admission rates and special rates for kids and families
3) focus on indy artists and publishers
4) fan friendly atmosphere

You guys (and gals?) do a great job. My wife and I and our 6 year old son are making it a tradition to attend the con every year. See you in 08!

Dustin Harbin said...

Thanks for the kind words, Neil! We work hard on it. As far as the guest of honor thing, that's probably out--while we're all in favor of honoring anybody, the implied slight to our other "regular" guests would be too much for our bleeding hearts to handle. I don't know--if Steve Ditko called us up, maybe; Shelton's a pretty massive Ditko fan, so that rule might go out the window.

A sort of con bulletin board is an idea we've talked about before, but it sort of ties into a future planned Heroes bulletin board, which is the next step after getting this blog up and running, and working out any kinks that might present themselves. In the meantime, potential guests who are thinking about coming should e-mail me or Shelton. People looking to buy space in Artists Alley should act sooner than later, as it will definitely sell out way early next year, due in large part to even more Indie Island guests.

All of the things you'd like to see continue will, absolutely. Except the family-friendly part. We're going to an all "teen-slasher" film star format next year, and will be hosting Hawaiian Tropic girl tryouts. No, not really. But one day...

RichBarrett said...

Man how did I forget Chip Zdarsky in my request for Canadians. Good call, Tim!

Becky Cloonan and Pia Guerra would also be great.

How about David Lapham? Does he do cons?

Dustin Harbin said...

What does Chip Zdarsky do? Prison funnies? I've never read it before. Is it good?

Dan Morris said...

Chip Zdarsky is pretty damn funny though his comics aren't exactly family friendly.

As for my dream convention, barring people who are dead that I would like to see for one day like say Jack Kirby, I would definitely like to see some of the following.

-Agree with the previously mentioned guests of Steve Ditko, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, and Ben Templesmith
-David Mazzuchelli, David Mazzuchelli, David Mazzuchelli
-I'd like to see some European folks like Moebius, Lewis Trondheim, Igort, etc.
-I remember hearing something about him maybe showing up in 2006 and he didn't but I'd love to see Sammy Harkham and while I'm talking about current cartoonist I like to add Kevin Huizenga
-Dan Clowes
-Chris Ware
-David Mazzuchelli would be a cool guest
-Grant Morrison, Peter Milligan, and some of the other Vertigo writers would be cool
-Steve Rude
-Maybe see if we can convince actual publishers to set up booths again that aren't the regulars like Image, Top Shelf, and Adhouse. It's great seeing them there but I'd like to see publishers like Fantagraphics, Oni, and even the big two have actual booths at the con again.
-Have I mentioned I would like to see David Mazzuchelli?

As for programming, I'd like to see some more panels moderated by guests. I love the panels that we do and we should continue to do those but I also think that the guests led panels bring in something entirely different. As mentioned before one of my favorite panels was the Hernandez Brothers panel moderated by Peter Bagge. There was this great relaxed atmosphere and it really added alot. I'd like to see more of that. I'd also like to see maybe a mini-comics workshop where people at the end make minis.

Dustin Harbin said...

No swear words on the blog, Dan. We've got a wide audience, including young peeps, and not all of them appreciate the PG language.

Dustin Harbin said...

Your sailor-talk aside, I'd love to see David Mazzucchelli--he's one of the last pro's I'd be super-nervous to meet. Chris Ware very politely refuses my invitation every year. I'm working on some Britishers, but can't say more at this time.

Programming is a good subject: I, too, like the Bagge-Interviewing-Los-Bros model, but it's a hard one to pull off. For one thing, a lot of the artist pro's are choked with sketch lists. So if an artist is doing sketches at the show, it's really hard to get them to do anything else, because they're so swamped already. The writers are all into it, though--they don't have much to do besides meet people and sign autographs, so their time is a little more open. You're a lot more likely to see Greg Rucka walking around at a show shopping than you are Adam Hughes. Although Adam is famously busy at shows.

Patrick said...

Hi Dustin:

This past June was my 4th year in a row at Heroes Con. My wife and I are from PA and we love the convention.

I am happy to see Guy Davis and Evan Dorkin already singed up for next year. I hope Dave Johnson will be able to make it also.

Some of my top hopefuls would be Mike Allred, Humberto Ramos, Bruce Timm, Alex Ross, Carlos Pacheco, Gary Frank, Phil Hester, Paul Grist, Leinil Yu, and Steve McNiven.

Guys I haven't seen for years: Jeff Smith, Mike Mignola, and Walt Simonson...

And just to name a few more:
Eric Wight, Alex Maleev, Neil Gaiman, Stan Sakai, the Kuberts, Robert Kirkman, Paul Dini, Dan Jurgens, Darwyn Cooke, Pia Guerra, Kurt Busiek, Geoff Johns, Ed Benes, Judd Winick, Grant Morrison, J. Scott Cambell, Becky Cloonan, Brian Wood, Brian K. Vaughan, Cory Walker, Ryan Ottley, Paco Medina, Jim Cheung, Salvador Larroca, Ariel Olivetti, Jeph Loeb, Steve Dillon, Tom Beland, Charlie Adlard, Mark Millar, Jim Lee, Frank Quitely, Terry Dodson...

Michael said...

Wow - those have been some fantastic names. I'd definitely echo Darwyn Cooke and Cameron Stewart.

Other "yes" votes to: Mike Mignola, Guy Davis, Kurt Busiek, Stan Sakai, Grant Morrision, Brian Bollard, either or both Romitas, Mike Allred, Maleev, Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Mazzuchelli, Pia Guerra, Perez (again), Paul Hornschemeier (again - love the man!).

Michael Lark

In the probably not likely, but it would be WAY too cool - Tim Fish and Tom Beland.

Chad Blevins said...

For the most part, I'd agree with what everyone else has said on here, but here are a couple of names I didn't see (or at least I don't think I saw them):

1. Marko & Jelena Djurdjevic
2. Aleksi Briclot
3. Ashley Wood
4. Ben Templesmith
5. Kent Williams
6. Tim Bradstreet
7. John Van Fleet
8. Dave McKean (mos' def)
9. Nic Klein
10. Erik Gist


Krusty said...

What about trying to time something with the upcoming release of the Watchmen movie? Alan Moore and/or Dave Gibbons? Or some people attached to the movie?

Jason Wheatley said...

All the suggestions I've read so far have been pretty darn good. (Take that, Dan, you potty mouth!) Rather than just fill this space with repeats of pretty much the entire comment section so far, I'll mention for now just the first name who popped into my head who hasn't already been mentioned: Brian Bendis.

I don't remember exactly what all the details are regarding his not wanting to come here for our fantastico show, but I'm sure we can smooth it over. Perhaps a peace offering of some sort, or maybe we can just get Michael Oeming to work on him. I think if we got him as a guest, that would be s-w-e-l-l, swell.

Cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cooper said...

Again, not wanting to throw in with the "I agree with..." (although I will chime in for a second or third with Ennis), but I will say that I'd still love to see Herb Trimpe show up. I would give various parts of my anatomy to have him sign or sketch up some old school GODZILLA and/or HULK stuff...
And as much as I love that Heroes is comics-centric, as a Gentle Giant junky, I would totally freak over a Heroes-exclusive (fill-in-the-blank)...

Edwin said...

I'll second the request for a Fantagraphics booth and I would also like to see DC & Marvel setting up table space again; heck, I'd like to see an Archie publications booth.

Joe Kubert
John Romita Sr.
Neal Adams
Frank Cho

are my guest wishes.

Dustin Harbin said...

It's surprising how many of the names on this list are on our own wish list, or are in the works. But we're very tight-lipped about people we're working on, lest we run them off. So stay tuned for more announcements, especially a couple of weeks from now when people have gotten back from San Diego and are starting to wake up enough to answer the phone.

As far as Bendis goes, that is a perpetual invite. As far as I know, the only reason he hasn't been is his monstrously busy schedule--I'd love to have him as a guest next year, and am working in that direction pretty much constantly.

I would probably poop my pants if we got Alan Moore, but he very famously doesn't do shows, not to mention visit the country at all. I think he might still have some sort of legal mumblety-peg blocking him, although that story's old.

Russ-man said...

Here I go bloggin' again:
Leinil Yu
Frank Cho
Greg Pak
Carlos Pagulayan
and of course....Art Adams

Robert Ullman said...

Damn I would love to talk to Darwyn Cooke. He's one of few creators I'd go all fanboy for.

Dustin Harbin said...

You know who I go all fanboy for? Rob Ullman. And totally in the wrong way, too.

By "wrong way", I mean "mistook him for Darwyn Cooke".

Daniel Von Egidy said...

I add to this list Oliver Coipel, Chris Bachalo, Pascal Ferry, Duncan Rouleau, Richard Starkings, Marc Guggenheim, Kaare Andrews, Paul Pope,Mark Bagley,Stuart Immomen, Tony Daniel, Dwayne McDuffie, and Ivan Reis.

Mark said...

Just to add to the chorus, put me down for Vertigo creators. That's the main element in my comic reading diet. I'd love to see DC do a Vertigo panel at Heroes. I enjoyed the DC ones this year, but I don't actually read the stuff they were talking about. Wasn't Harlan Ellison a featured guest of some sort just a few years back? Lots of smart conversation on the panels that year. I enjoyed Warren Ellis's visit a lot, too. More like that, please!

Dustin Harbin said...

Ooh, Warren Ellis would be nice again, wouldn't he? I just finished reading an Avengers issue that Leinil Yu did, and I'm thinking he'd be a great person to have that we've never had before.

Jason Wheatley said...

Add me to the Leinil Yu votes. I go ga-ga for his neat-o drawings.

Big Dog Studios said...

All great guest suggestions, especially Ditko & Simonson! I wouldn't mind seeing John Byrne, Kevin Nowlan, Drew Struzan, or Frank Frazetta. And if you're feeling really lucky...Bill Watterson!