Superheroes – and mortals – descend on Charlotte Convention Center for HeroesCon

Catwoman chatted with Colossus as they waited in line to talk to an artist.

But she was quick to strike a pose. “I’m classic Catwoman,” she corrected.

She, Colossus, and thousands of others descended on the Charlotte Convention Center Saturday for the weekend-long, 31st annual Heroes Convention, better known as HeroesCon.

Attendees didn’t need costumes to peruse the thousands of comic books for sale or talk to comic artists, although several dressed up: Spider-Man, Batman, Captain America, the Green Hornet, the Ghostbusters and many, many more – from superhero to villain – were at the Convention Center Saturday.

This year, organizers doubled the convention space because of the event’s popularity, said Seth Peagler, a convention organizer.

He said 20,000 to 25,000 people attended last year. “We’re hoping for the same if not more this year,” he said. HeroesCon will be open for its last day Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

One hundred fifty-five vendors filled 255 booths at the center, which Peagler said is “substantially” more than last year’s number of vendors.

Several artists drew and painted pieces of comic art for an auction Saturday night. Among them was Brian Stelfreeze, a comic artist who has attended Charlotte’s HeroesCon since 1988 and has worked for nearly every American comic book publisher.

“It’s a pure comic convention, really one of the best, no, the best comic book show that happens in the country,” Stelfreeze said as he painted an image of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts from the latest Iron Man movie. “It exemplifies the comic book experience. ... It’s for everyone who loves comics.”

Orima Amkrah, 23 of Charlotte, dressed up as Storm from “X-Men.” Instead of flowing locks, she sported a tall white mohawk, and she wore white mesh contact lenses over her eyes to appear iris-less.

“I’ve always identified with Storm. She’s such a strong female role model,” Amkrah said, adding that she admired her ever since reading comic books and watching “X-Men” on TV as a kid.

She said she’s loved the convention so far this weekend. “It’s very fun to talk to and look at all the people who have dressed up,” Amkrah said. “It’s the human incarnation of all your favorite characters. ... It’s just a really fun, positive place to be.”