With Further Ado #254: Unpacking HeroesCon – Part 2

I’m still grinning ear-to-ear after that fabulous time at Charlotte’s HeroesCon. Shelton Drum and his team sure put on a great show. Here are a few more highlights.

Back Issue Magazine’s 20th Anniversary & Michael Eury

Michael Eury is a fantastic individual. I’ve been devouring his professional writing ever since he was doing the text pages in DC Comics. As the story goes, he was a fan who always wanted to be a comics professional, inspired by Julie Schwartz and his title of editor.

Michael worked hard to become an editor at DC Comics and Dark Horse. For the past 20 years, he’s been creating pop culture books, and currently for TwoMorrows Publishing, he is editor-in-chief of two magazines – RetroFan and Back Issue Magazine.

Back Issue Magazine is celebrating its twentieth anniversary; so, HeroesCon provided the platform for a fantastic panel. Many of the magazine’s writers (and I’m proud to be one of them) gathered in Charlotte for a 20th Anniversary Panel!

The nation is all about Work-from-Home now. (Earlier this month, The NYTimes reported that the nation’s businesses are only at 49% their pre-pandemic occupancy.) The writers of Back Issue Magazine have always been working at home, so it was a quite a treat to get everyone together for a change.

Michael Eury was in the spotlight again on the second day of the convention. I had the pleasure of moderating a panel focused on his latest TwoMorrows book; The Team-Up Companion.

TwoMorrow’s describes it this way:

The Team-Up Companion examines team-up comic books of the Silver and Bronze Ages of Comics – DC’s The Brave and the Bold and DC Comics Presents, Marvel’s Marvel Team-Up and Marvel Two-in-One, plus other team-up titles, treasuries and treats – in a lushly illustrated selection of informative essays, special features, and trivia-loaded issue-by-issue indexes. Go behind the scenes of your favorite team-up comic books with a specially curated and all-new creator recollection from Neal Adams, Jim Aparo, Mike W. Barr, Eliot R. Brown, Nick Cardy, Chris Claremont, Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart, Steve Gerber, Steven Grant, Bob Haney, Tony Isabella, Paul Kupperberg, Paul Levitz, Ralph Macchio, Dennis O’Neil, Martin Pasko, Joe Rubinstein, Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman. And many other all-star writers and artists who produced the team-up tales that so captivated readers during the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s.

The panel turned into a fantastic celebration of the book, of Michael’s scholarly research /hard work and fans’ love of team-ups!

Michel Fiffe

You might know him from his brilliant series, Copra (now celebrating 10 years in print), maybe you know him from the beloved Bergen Street Comics or even his Marvel work, but Michel Fiffe is a one of those focused and committed creators that does it his own way. He’s part visionary, part entrepreneur. And he’s bursting with creativity. I met him at HeroesCon for the first time (Don Simpson introduced us), and I found out he’s a very nice guy too.

Even though Michel is all about pushing the envelope, he also knows his comics history. When I was researching for my Back Issue Magazine article on DC’s Thriller, I found that he loved the process and had written extensively about it. Find out more about Michel and his work here.

Bill Turner

I spotted him out of the side of my eye, but then he was gone – “quick as a flash”. Or quick as The Flash. I could’ve sworn I saw ITHACON founder Bill Turner at HeroesCon. When you think about it, it was kind of a team-up for Bill and Shelton to meet –the two longest running convention founders meeting up. Just the kind of thing that fans love. I wonder if Michael Eury will put that into Volume 2 of his Team-Up Companion?

Anthony Snyder

It was great fun to catch up with art dealer extraordinaire Anthony Snyder. He’s also quite the entrepreneur, and it was just fascinating as he told my daughter Cassie and son-in-law Eric his origin story. He shifted from the NYC advertising agency scene to building this business. Of note – it’s a hokey truism, but we could see how his supportive spouse must have be integral to his success.

And when you want to buy me some original Murphy Anderson Hawkman art for my next birthday – you can find it, and lots more – here on Anthony’s site.

One More Cosplay Photo

I think this cosplay was the star of the show. Or the Starro. Looked hard to navigate with this, but I thought it was brilliant!

The OTHER Comic Shop in Charlotte

During this trip, we also managed to visit another comic shop in the greater Charlotte area. And this one has one of the best comic store names I’ve ever seen.

Parker, Banner, Kent, & Wayne was founded by Matt Milburn over a decade ago. He had just moved to North Carolina after a long stint running a comic shop in Florida. This store, which divides its focus pretty evenly between comics and gaming, is upbeat and fun. The passion that the owner Matt brings is evident in the store and in the staff.

I really liked the three spinner racks located in the front windows. They stocked these with reader copies of 70s and 80s comics and sell ‘em all for just 50¢ each. Poking through these “lost treasures” couldn’t have been more fun.

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And during the rest of my time on this trip – I had so much fun in Charlotte kayaking, listening to live music and visiting a craft brewery or two. What a great town.