Thursday, June 25, 2009
HEROESCON :: Whoa Nellie, That Was Some Show
Well as I write it's Thursday afternoon, and most of us have gotten our voices back and don't groan and complain about our sore legs anymore. After months and months of hard work, HeroesCon 09 is by all accounts an unqualified success. We've heard pretty much 100% positive reports from all the dealers and pros we've talked to, not to mention from those who bought small press tables. And fans as usual have been ever-so effusive with their praise. I have to tell you right here that there is nothing NOTHING that we like better than hearing from you guys after the show--it makes all the late nights and sore legs worthwhile.
I'll write a short con report here, but for the full story I suggest you consult the TONS of photos we uploaded to our Flickr page this week, many of which are slowly but surely being outfitted with little descriptions, etc. That will probably take awhile (there are 245 pictures so far); but in the meantime feast your peepers on this con link roundup I put up to help you out. Lots of good reports there as well--heckfire, you could burn a solid 8-hour day reading the Twitter search by itself. NOT THAT I DID THAT OR ANYTHING.
This year we were in Hall A, which posed a bit of a challenge in changing our seating plan--even more challenging when we moved things around to create a big space to hold a Red Cross Blood Drive, but I flubbed updating all the seating locations correctly. So that was the big problem on Friday, but fortunately most of the people I had to move around were very patient with me and I sure did appreciate it.
In fact, that was probably the only real problem all weekend, except that finding a particular person throughout the weekend could be tricky if they'd been moved a couple of times. Friday had a good turnout, and Saturday was great, although at first it was hard to tell--our hall this year was 20,000 square feet larger than last year's, so at first I was worried until Shelton reminded me.
Another thing we did this different this year was to set up some stanchions where we knew there would be massive lines pretty much all weekend long, which proved to be a good decision on our part. We try to be pretty careful about no playing favorites, no "guests of honor," that kind of thing, but when 200 people are in line, you've got to put that line somewhere, you know?
All in all the pros seemed to have an even better time than usual--as someone that answers maybe 75% of the complaints in the room, I just plain didn't hear that many. Maybe people were just going over my head to complain to Shelton about me? IT WOULDN'T BE THE FIRST TIME, NOSIR. We kind of pride ourselves on our hospitality, so maybe shouldn't feel surprised, but it's still nice to have so many guests come up and thank us for having them--heck, it's US who should be thanking the PROS, am I right?
All this friendly mutual-thankiness-society goodwill came to a head Saturday Night at our Annual Auction, where I started out reprising my role from last year of auctioneer, but was quickly heckled off the stage in favor of the lovely Allison Sohn, who--let's face it--is just a better auctioneer than I am, all around. She was DYNAMITE up there--not only does she know all the artists, but all the bidders as well, and would occasional cajole them into bidding wars. I hope we can trick her into doing it again next year--this year's auction raised an incredible 20% more than last year's, which was already among our best ever! WHAT?! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Allison Sohn...
That's not a great picture of her, but you can gaze on her up close in this one, in the aforementioned giant Flickr set! Anyway, after a long and successful auction, many of us retired to the Westin bar, and then magically awoke the next morning with no idea how we'd ended up back in our rooms, or even if these were, indeed, our rooms. But fortunately HeroesCon didn't open on Sunday til 10.30 for pre-reg, so by then we were looking sharp again.
Sunday is typically the "deal-making" day of the show, as traffic is typically down from Saturday. Dealers want to haul home as little as they can, and clever dealhunters are out in force looking for bargains. This year was no exception, and even the staff had a less stressful day. We gave away a bunch of door prizes, the Quickdraw contests drew over 200 fans, the panels seemed to go off without a hitch. The most talked about panel was without a doubt Rantz Hoseley's unveiling of his new Longbox application, which has been compared to a kind of iTunes for comic books--the early scuttlebutt is incredibly positive, especially compared to past initiatives of this kind. There's even rumor of interest from the "Big 4" companies, which is great for Rantz. Also talked about was the screening of the upcoming Jeff Smith documentary "The Cartoonist," Ben Towle and Craig Fischer's Ditko panel, Andy Mansell's panel-by-panel look at Brave And The Bold #4 with creative team Mark Waid and George Perez. Jeez there are so many good ones, I can't list them all.
In fact, I'd better wrap this up! For the complete skinny, check out those Flickr pictures and con links, which tell the tale better than I could. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this image from our Dead Dog Party, former employee Matt Fraction ringing up current employee Matt Knapik for a copy of Casanova. Priceless!