So I’m going down the escalator into HeroesCon on the first day, and it’s a little bit awkward because I’m carrying my poster-sized blow-up of the Count Dante ad, and this guy right behind me notices it.
“Hey, is that for sale?”
“This?” I say, nodding to the ad. “Nah, this one’s mine. It’s… precious to me.”
“Oh, that’s cool. Hey, are you Chris?”
“Hey man, I’m Matt Fraction.”
I think it’s safe to say that from that moment forward, HeroesCon was freakin’ awesome.
It was, without question, one of the most fun weekends I’ve had in quite some time, and that’s only partially because I was wearing a badge featuring Batroc Ze Leapair for three days. Like I mentioned, I was ostensibly there with Jim Shelley to promote Flashback Universe and my upcoming story there, but to be perfectly honest, I spent most of my time just bumming around the show trying to fill out my Legion run. And yes, as you may have read over at Phil’s, I did indeed spread them out on my bed at the hotel and roll around on them like Scrooge McDuck.
That, my friends, is just how I roll.
Of course, that’s not to say I didn’t spend some time at the booth, too, no matter what you may have heard from Jim. See? I’ve got evidence.
Pierre, incidentally, is one of the nicest guys I ever met, in addition to being a pretty fantastic artist. The guy spent 27 hours on a bus to get to Charlotte from Quebec, and was funnier and more charming right after that ordeal than anyone probably has a right to be.
As for me, I ended up doing a surprising amount of what could probably be considered the worst sketches ever for people, including a Shrinking Violet to remind Johanna Draper Carlson of her cosplaying days, and a pretty awesome “Hulk eating a sandwich” for a friend of Matt Wilson.
Yes, that’s right: CRACKED Magazine‘s MW himself, and in addition to being every bit as funny in real life as he is on his blog, he’s also the first person I’ve actually met from the magazine. Clearly, this was a meeting that had to be recorded in a photograph attempting–at my suggestion–to parody the Camp David Accords:
It’s the new face of Internet Comedy, suckers. Believe it!
Also, in one of the most surreal moments of my life, I did a sketch for Cliff Chiang.
Let’s go through that one more time: I, a man so bad at art that he had to rip someone off just to do stick figures, did a sketch for Cliff Chiang, the mind-blowing artist of Human Target and Dr. Thirteen. I mean, it’s not like he sought me out to get me to do one, but still, it was a wierd feeling:
Incidentally, it was a picture of All-Star Wonder Woman uppercutting a bear.
It wasn’t all crayon drawings and Legion back issues, though: I caught the DC Nation panel on Saturday, and I’ve got to say: Dan Didio is a really likeable guy on those things, even when he gets to the point where I’m pretty sure he’s totally lying about the Flash. He’s extremely affable and if he’s not genuinely excited about the things coming up from his company, he’s awfully good at acting like it. I didn’t manage to ask (read: totally chickened out) why he said Swamp Thing couldn’t cross over to the DCU because he was a “Mature Readers” character when the biggest DCU story of 2004 featured Superman on the cover of a book where a character got raped on the freakin’ Justice League Satellite, but I did ask whether we were ever going to see that last Bob Haney Teen Titans story with art by Mike Allred that they have just sitting in a drawer somewhere.
Answer: No. There is, as it turns out, no balm in Gilead whatsoever.
The biggest news, at least for me, was that Dwayne McDuffie’s going to be coming on Justice League, thus ensuring that a) Firestorm’s going to be on the team, and b) that book’s actually going to be readable again.
After the panel, I was walking back to the booth when a mini-comic caught my eye with a title that I just had to ask about: Ninjasaur. I walked over, picked it up, and leafed through while I had the following conversation with creator Jason Horn:
“So, he’s a dinosaur that is also a ninja?”
“Yeah, and he fights a ninja who is also a Nazi.”
Of course, the best part of the con for a fan–aside from finding out that there is, in fact, a such thing as the Bizarro Legion–is getting to meet the creators, and they were great. I got to fulfill a lifelong dream of meeting Kyle Baker (and got an awesome sketch of Cowboy Wally) and got John Workman to put a big “KRAKADOOM!” in my sketchbook. And appropriately enough, that one comes right after a piece by Don Rosa, where I requested “Donald Duck as mad as he gets.”
Really, everyone was great, but I just have to say: Matt Fraction and Jeff Parker are probably two of the nicest guys I have ever met in my life.
I posted my picture with Parker last night, but what I didn’t mention–at least, to you guys; I totally told Campbell–that the sign was actually his idea, and that he wrote it after he literally jumped over his table when I asked to get a picture with him. And that was after he did a great sketch of the happiest MODOK anyone has ever seen for me.
As for Fraction, man, that guy is on point. At one point, I was loitering over at his booth when someone brought over a Marvel Encyclopedia that he was getting Marvel creators to sign the title page of, and I pointed out that Christina Strain–the awesome colorist of Runaways among other things–had caught onto the fact that it looked just like a yearbook, and written “Have a great summer,” to which Fraction responded with the classic:
Long story short: I now have a copy of the Casanova hardcover that advises me, on the title page, to Raise Hell This Summer. Those guys are awesome.
(NOTE: This picture may have been edited to further convey the sheer amount of radness it is depicting. Not pictured: Ten thousand wailing guitars)
Special thanks to Dr. K for providing a picture of me with Matt Fraction where I do not look like a platypus.