Comic book lovers, rejoice: Stan Lee — yes, the head of Marvel and the granddaddy of modern comics — is going to be in Charlotte this weekend posing for photos and signing autographs at the annual Heroes Convention.
This 33-year-old comic assembly, organized by the good folks of Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, continues at the Charlotte Convention Center today and tomorrow.
Fun fact: Lee is the comic world’s version of Waldo. He has a clause in his contract that stipulates he must appear in any movie that stars one of his characters — if you were paying attention, you saw him as a mailman (in “Fantastic Four“), a guy who drinks tainted soda (in “The Incredible Hulk“), a man mistaken for Hugh Heffner (in “Iron Man“) and more.
But Lee’s not the only cool person you should be stalking this weekend. HeroesCon is one of the largest independent comic conventions in the nation — no flashiness here, folks. Just a huge gathering of some of the most talented comic creators and exhibitors, with plenty of fun cosplay.
Here are five Charlotte artists you must chat up while dodging the numerous Spider-Mans who are sure to be hanging out.
Who: Jason Latour
Where to find him: Artists Alley 902
Why: He’s been the creative force behind a few major assignments (“Southern Bastards,” “Loose Ends,” “Wolverine and the X-Men”), but earlier this year, he, along with artist Robbi Rodriguez and colorist Rico Renzi (also in Charlotte) unveiled the much-anticipated “Spider-Gwen.” Girl power!
Who: Dustin Harbin
Where to find him: Artists Alley 1003
Why: Harbin will be selling his brand-new book “Diary Comics,” a 236-page collection of his diary comics strips, plus “Behold! The Dinosaurs!,” a folding accordion book featuring, you guessed it, dinosaurs, laid out in the order of their place in time. “Jurassic World” has nothing on this 13-foot image.
Who: John Hairston Jr.
Where to find him: AA-38
Why: Hairston’s the artist behind the murals at Eight Sushi Asian Kitchen, the old Goodyear building on Stonewall Street and the soon-to-open arcade bar Abari in NoDa. He’ll have some prints on sale, but go to watch him paint live. It’s captivating.
Who: Bridgit Connell
Where to find her: Artists Alley 1023
Why: She’ll have print cards and sketches available, but, more importantly, she’ll be talking about her graphic novel, “Brother Nash,” coming soon from Titan Comics. She’s writing, drawing and coloring it herself — talk about making your mark in a male-dominated industry.
Who: Wolly McNair
Where to find him: Artists Alley 1622
Why: In addition to having prints, doing sketches and unveiling his graphic novel “Legend of the Black Pandas,” he’s also selling coasters with his artwork. Brilliant way to add some color to your coffee table without strewing magazines all over the place
Photos by Patrick Sun and featured artists.
Kim Lawson @