After-Action Report: HeroesCon ’09

I’m not sure, but if I had to point to a single moment that defined this year’s HeroesCon for me, it’d probably be sharing an elevator with Cobra Commander and the Baroness.



It was shortly after this picture was taken, which was slightly unusual in and of itself, as I don’t usually take pictures with the cosplayers. It’s not that I have anything against them–they add a nice bit of color and even the bad ones are fun to have around sometimes–but it’s just not something I go for. Unless it’s a picture-perfect life-size Cobra Commander, in which case I am all about capturing some treasured memories.

Anyway, I was heading back to the hotel with Dr. K, who played the role of the Official ISB ConBuddyâ„¢ over the weekend, and we spotted Double-C about fifty yards ahead of us on the street. I mentioned how impressed I was that he hadn’t even bothered to take the helmet off, since it was like 93 degrees outside, and Dr. K said “Yeah, that guy’s dedicated. He’s going to be in character until he gets to his room.”

“Then we have to hurry up,” I said, “because I totally want to catch the elevator with this dude.”

So we did, and just after the doors closed, I turned to him and said “I’m really excited to be sharing an elevator with you.”

When he responded, it was in the perfect half-hiss, half-shriek of Cobra Commander: “Thisss sssort of thing doesn’t happen every day! Life is FULL of little sssssssurprises!

The only thing that makes that story better is that when I recognized the guy when he was out of costume on the floor the next day–okay, okay, I recognized the former Baroness, I admit it–and struck up a conversation, I found out that underneath the mask, Cobra Commander has a super-friendly Southern accent. Fan-tastic.

Aside from that, HeroesCon was pretty much the same as it always is, which is to say a huge amount of fun. A couple of people even recognized me, including Douglas from, the home of the truly amazing X-Men Hookup Chart, and Vee, who gave me a page of original Tania Del Rio/Jim Amash Sabrina the Teenage Witch art as a present.

Also as usual, the pros were great. I may have mentioned before that Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick are maybe the nicest couple I’ve ever met in my life, and Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting are always great to talk to, but even the folks I’d never met before–Ed Brubaker, CB Cebuslki, Dean Trippe, Paul Maybury, Love and Capes creator Thom Zahler, Roger Langridge, and yes, even Brian Bendis, about whom I may have said some very angry things during my early days of blogging–were all just super-nice.

Also–and bear with me here, because I’m not done dropping names yet–I got to meet Let’s Be Friends Again’s own Chris Haley.

Haley, of course, is a great artist, and I’ve been after him to do some stuff for the Action Age for a while now, and I was hoping that meeting him at the con would allow me to intimidate him into doing some pages, forging the same kind of I-Yell-At-You-Until-You-Draw-Something relationship that I currently have with the phenomenally talented Matthew Allen Smith and Rusty Shackles.

Unfortunately, that hit a snag when it turned out that Chris Haley was taller, tougher-looking and more heavily tatooed than previously advertised.



That picture, incidentally, was taken during an outing to BBQ King, a drive-in not too far from the convention center that was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We piled six people–including your friend and mine, Rachelle into Dr. K’s car to head over there, and I swear to God, they make their BBQ chicken by deep frying it first, and it is the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. If I start living right, I might just wake up there when I die.

And if I ate there as much as want to, that day would probably come a lot sooner.

As to what I ended up picking up at the con itself, it was a much lighter haul than I brought back last year, mostly owing to the fact that I blew most of my con budget on Friday to get the Cliff Chiang piece I posted yesterday. It feels like it’d be gauche to say exactly how much I paid for the piece, but I will say that for me, it was a significant but not insane chunk of cash, and I don’t regret it, especially since Chiang was nice enough to throw in prints of the faux-LP covers and the “Atomic Bombshells” postcard set. And at the risk of repeating myself, it’s worth noting that in addition to being incredibly talented, Cliff Chiang is an extremely nice guy.

Aside from that, I came home with a copy of Fred Chao’s Johnny Hiro and the fun-looking trade pxaperback of Super Human Resources (solicited this month in Previews), and two (2) issues of Life With Archie.

Plus, I got to show off Rusty Shackles’ fourteen finished pages for The Hard Ones and give some folks a sneak preview of an Action Age project that we’ve yet to announce, so that stuff was fun.

All in all, not a bad show. And now I’m done with the obligatory diary-style nonsense post for the year. I’m sure you’re all relieved.

17 thoughts on “After-Action Report: HeroesCon ’09

  1. I, for one, miss the random diary-style posts of the early days of this blog. It helped give the ISB a unique voice, one which was honed with much praise of battery-wielding Batman and ROM: Spaceknight.

  2. Im hoping since no one ever meets me that people will eventually assume Curt and Chris are all just one person.

  3. I have no problem making things awkward. You look good, Sims.

    And sounds like you had a great time.

  4. I was a little disappointed that you weren’t wearing a high-collared black and red shirt with a ruby medallion to be perfectly honest.

  5. “If I start living right, I might just wake up there when I die,” is probably the best thing I will read all week – at least. Thanks for that! And separately, I was at a reading with Fred Chao like a week or two ago… which means we are now officially one person away from hanging out!

  6. Hey, yesterday was Glenn Danzig’s birthday. No picture of Satanika kicking somebody in the face?

  7. I say this with no sarcasm whatsoever: you look like you’ve lost weight.

    If I have, it was pretty much undone by BBQ King.

  8. I’m writing to talk about both pictures.

    Picture A: Awesome, particularly the synchronized villain pump.

    Picture B: Chris Haley is H-O-T.

    Yeah I said it.

  9. yeah, I own the page of Green Arrow / Black Canary #1 where Batman is wearing an autopsy smock and about to tear into the body of Arrow with a bone saw. I love it so.

    Before I got it framed I took it to Chiang and he personalized it. One of the coolest cats I’ve met at a Con.

  10. Yup – I got those faux LP covers from Chiang too, and similarly, came away with the feeling that he was the nicest dude around. This was my first con, and I too saw double C and Baroness – Did you see the 8 year old Nova? I think he was my favorite.

  11. Oh man, that Nova kid was awesome. Did you see him when people took picture? He totally busted out a Human Rocket pose.

    Also, I heard he ripped out Annihilus’s guts on Friday afternoon.