Heroes Con has come and gone, and remains one of our favorite shows of the year. We had such a good time this past weekend, it was probably criminal. Well, lock us up then, because it was worth it! One wild thing was that we were drawing basically non-stop from Friday to Sunday. By the end of the weekend, we had done over 30 commissions (including one that couldn’t quite get finished and will have to be mailed when it’s done). That amounts to more than 10 a day, and more than 1 sketch per hour. That’s nuts! We’ll be posting them through the blog, here, and you can see what we did. More talky after the bump...
Poison Ivy by Comfort
Batgirl by Adam
Black Canary by Comfort
John Stewart by Adam
The drive from Flint, MI to Charlotte, NC takes about 10-11 hours straight through. With stops for food and potty breaks, it’s closer to 12-13. So we decided to break it into two days on the way down so we’d be rested when we got there. And it worked; when we got to the hotel Thursday around 3:30, we were wide awake, in great spirits, and ready to have an awesome weekend. We were sharing a room at the “official” convention hotel with Jeremy and Kelly Dale and Nate and Amber Lovett. These four are some of our favorite people, and such great artists (well… not Amber, but she’s still awesome! Go, Amber!). But the Lovetts weren’t going to arrive until around 3-5 AM, so we and the Dales went over to the con center to set up, then struck out for food (after a while spent doodling and catching up).
Dinner was a blast, but just as we were finishing up there was this kind of sad Poison cover-band that started playing at the restraint. A bunch of fading 40-something year olds with bad 80’s hair trying to hit on young women and playing covers of “Talk Dirty to Me.” Come to think of it, maybe it was the real Poison. How the mighty hath fallen. We still love “Unskinny Bop,” so whatever – don’t stop a-rockin’!
Friday morning we started the weekend with muffins and doughnuts, then entered the con and sat back to see what would happen. We had no idea what was coming for us.
We were hit with so much business Friday it was shocking. Primarily in the form of commissions and Uniques sales. And yet it was so much more than expected. How much more? We sold out of Uniques #9 the first day. The. First. Day. Cool as that was, it isn’t really what you want. You want to have enough books on-hand to sell out the very end of the very last day (the idea being that you have exactly enough to fit a crazy demand). You never want somebody to come to your table wanting something and have to walk away empty-handed. Still, though – a whole issue sold out on day one. That’s crazy.
TPB’s were doing better than hot-cakes, too. We nearly sold out of Uniques vol. 2-3 by the end of the weekend. We were so surprised and so happy to see just how many people came to us saying we were on their list of people to seek out after last year’s Heroes. We’re actually on people’s checklists of things to buy, now! And not just a couple people, either. It was wild, and so humbling.
Ice by Comfort
Fire by Adam
Mockingbird Sketch Cover by Comfort
Hawkeye Sketch Cover by Adam
Namor sketch cards by Comfort and Adam
Friday night we went out for Italian with a small group that quickly ballooned into a very big group. We caught up with some old friends and finally got to talk and connect more with Thom Zahler, creator extraordinaire behind the wonderful Love and Capes series. This is a great guy, and we’ve sort of met before here and there, but it was nice to get to talk more. We love making con friends. We also connected up again with Marc Lewis, a fine colorist who, as of this weekend, is now going to be part of the Uniques Tales team. We never stop working.
We retired to the big hotel for the night. It was our first time staying in the official hotel (usually we stay on the cheap 15 minutes outside the city) and it was really nice knowing we didn’t have to drive anywhere when we were done. Adam wandered off with CGS’ Adam Murdough and the wily Mongoose to find a coke that wouldn’t cost $4, and wound up hanging in Mongoose’s room for hours talking about 80’s cartoons (Hoo-ah, Spiral Zone!), Dr. Who, and whether Serenity was a worthy successor to the Firefly TV show (Adam hates Serenity but loved Firefly desperately).
Meanwhile, earlier that day Comfort had decided to create a piece for the Heroes charity auction. In the last hours of the show that day, she’d laid out a sketch and put down a watercolor wash, and for Friday night she sat herself down in the hotel lobby with a huge box of markers and colored pencils and set to work finishing it. It was so awesome when it finished! She had a whole crowd around watching her, and by the time Adam got back down to the lobby she was wrapping up. It was a really fun night, but we were beat and one short trip on an elevator and we were in bed. So easy! We could hardly believe the convenience!
Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn for the Heroes Charity Auction by Comfort. Full size, this was over 20" wide!
J.D. as Hulk by Adam
J.D. as Darkseid by Adam
Dazzler by Comfort
Power Girl by Adam
Saturday was just as nuts as Friday. We started getting commission requests basically from the moment we sat down (and we still had a couple to finish from the day before!) and were signing and selling more books right quick. The only problem we had was that the space in front of our table kept turning into Photo Alley. See, Jim McCann was sitting across from us (the writer of Hawkeye and Mockingbird and a really fun, great guy) and there were a number of Marvel cosplayers who all wanted to come by and meet him. Including, naturally, an amazingly good Hawkeye and Mockingbird. Which was really cool, because they all had really neat looking costumes. The only problem was that everybody wanted to get pictures, and the horde of photo-takers choked off the aisle and made it impossible for anybody to get through to actually see our booth or anybody else around us.
And it went like this for nearly two hours.
During the highest-traffic part of the day.
We love Jim McCann. We didn’t really get to know each other, but he got sketches from us (being so excited by sketches we did for a friend of ours) and he instantly struck us as an exceedingly sweet guy. And we read the first issue of Hawkeye/Mockingbird and actually really, really liked it, largely because of the writing. But we were ready to fire arrows into some people to clear the dang aisle so business could resume! And we think our neighbors in the aisle would have been happy to see it happen. Not that we’re bitter; this is all meant in good fun. Please don’t think we actually want to fire arrows into cosplayers.
Hawkeye & Mockingbird by Adam (it was a heavy Hawkeye/Mockingbird weekend!)
Hawkeye & Mockingbird by Comfort
Goblyn Queen by Adam
Catwoman by Comfort (those are li'l bat-symbols on her panties)
Green Arrow & Black Canary by Adam
Saturday night we went out for Chinese and were delighted that our group included Danielle Corsetto, creator of Girls with Slingshots. We’d only briefly met Danielle at the CGS Super Show earlier in the year, but now we got to actually talk in a relaxed setting. She’s so much fun, and her comic is so very good. It’s our new favorite web-strip; we’re pretty sure the humor was written specifically for us. It’s great, seriously. As was the sesame tofu we had.
Two full bellies later, we went back to the hotel for the big Heroes Charity Auction, hosted by the ever-delightful Allison Sohn and the hilarious Scott Adsit of 30 Rock fame (one of our favorite shows). It was a fun, crazy, and funny night. All the high-rollers showed up in smoking jackets, and the duel between Adam Hughes and Mark Brooks over who could fetch a higher price on their pieces ended in a tie at $8,000 each. That’s eight thousand dollars apiece for their artwork. Unbelievable. Jeremy Dale’s ‘Gotham City’ piece fetched an astounding $1100, and Comfort’s went for a very impressive $350. We’ve been told it’s unheard of for somebody’s first piece in the show to take in that much money, and based on what other pieces went for we believe it. It was a really fun night, and we all walked away feeling happy.
Oh, and also sleepy. Adam pretty much immediately crashed after such a long day, while Comfort kept drawing away to finish one last commission before the night was done.
Nightwing Sketch Cover by Adam
Shi & Black Canary by Comfort
The Shadow by Adam
Wonder Woman as a Star Sapphire by Comfort
General Grievous by Adam
Sunday was almost identical to Saturday, although there were perhaps even more commissions that day than the day before. There was even a repeat of Photo Alley, to our dismay. It didn’t last as long as Saturday, but Sunday’s crowd was a little more sparse so the net effect was probably the same. Oh, well – there are no sour grapes from us, because in the end we still did really well.
How well, you ask? Here’s an idea: Last year at Heroes was a very, very good show for us. It was one of our highest earners of the year. Typically, prints account for around half of our total take for any given show. This year, we sold less than half the prints we sold last year, and yet came within $100 of the money earned. All the difference was made up in commission and book sales. That’s never happened before, guys. We’re hoping it marks the start of a trend, but that’d be a ridiculous assumption. Heroes has always been an art show and not a print show. This year was just kind of extreme.
Sunday night we went out to the after-show party at the Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find comic store (one of the most impressive shops we’ve ever seen). As with past years, there was free food and good company. In fact, the food was even better this year than it has been before. Or maybe we were just more hungry than usual. We talked to a bunch of people and wandered around, weaving in and out of conversations and post-show recaps. We met and talked with Todd Nauck, who’s work we’ve both loved for a long, long time. And after very briefly meeting on Thursday, he still remembered both our names (which he really works hard to do, and that says a lot about character). He remembered Adam’s name, too, which never happens. Nobody forgets “Comfort Love,” but “Adam” is a much more bland name and harder to hold onto. Anyway, great guy and we hope to connect again sometime and get to know him and his wife a little better; they seem like great people.
The Lovetts hit the road that night to get back to their little boy at home, and we split for the hotel room to relax for a last night with Jeremy and Kelly, along with Bryan and Judy Glass. These really are some of our favorite people. We wish Flint, Atlanta, and Philladelphia were closer. Or, you know, the same city. But then we might never get anything done, so maybe it’s for the best.
Egon Traps a Ghost by Adam & Comfort (we really needed Slimer reference, apparently!)
Elven Rangers by Adam & Comfort (spreads across facing pages in a fan's sketchbook!)
Monday morning we went for breakfast with the Dales before starting the trek ourselves. On the road at 11 AM, back at our apartment at 12:30 AM. It was a long, long day on the road. We’re glad to be back, glad to be back to work on Rainbow, and glad to be back with our poor kitties who missed us so. We’ll sign off for now, but be back tomorrow for the release of the next Uniques Tales story. Now enjoy some costume pics we got from Heroes, and take care for the next 24 hours or so.
See you soon!
Adam & Comfort