Photo: heroesonline.com
HeroesCon, also known as Heroes Convention, is an annual comic book and pop culture convention held in Charlotte, the largest city in North Carolina. Founded in 1982, it is one of the oldest and largest independent comic book conventions in the United States.

The history of HeroesCon dates back to 1977. That year Shelton Drum, owner of the comic book retailer Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, organized a one-day event called the Charlotte Mini-Con. The convention turned out successful and became an annual event. In 1982, Drum expanded the convention and gave it a new name, the Heroes Convention. What started as a small local con became a full-fledged convention with industry guests. The inaugural Heroes Convention featured famous comic book authors such as Jackson “Butch” Juice, Mike Zack, Marv Wolfman, George Pérez, and Romeo Tanghal.

The guest of honor at the 1984 convention was Stan Lee, a renowned comic-book writer, editor and publisher who have co-created numerous Marvel characters. Since then, every edition of HeroesCon has featured comic book writers and artists. One of the convention’s most frequent guests is Joe Quesada. He first appeared at HeroesCon in 1992 as a comic book artist and since 2000 he has been making appearances as the editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics.

The popularity of HeroesCon among comic book fans and industry professionals proved to be true in 2005–2006. Wizard Entertainment announced a comic book convention in Atlanta on the same dates as HeroesCon was supposed to be held. Many fans and several comic book creators thought it was an attempt by a large, corporate convention to force out a smaller independent event (Charlotte is only a four-hour drive from Atlanta, so many fans would have to choose between two conventions). As a result of a public outcry, many comic book authors signed up to appear at HeroesCon and Wizard Entertainment had to push back the Atlanta convention.

Unlike many other pop culture conventions, HeroesCon hasn’t shifted its primary focus from comic books, although it does feature other aspects of pop culture. Its programming is built around panels, autograph sessions, workshops and seminars with comic book professionals. The convention is known for its relaxed, family-like atmosphere. Fans can meet comic book professionals in an informal setting without feeling too much pressure. Of course, there’s also exhibitor space for comic book dealers and collectibles vendors.


Photo: bleedingcool.com




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