On Saturday January 25, 2014 the Charlotte MiniCon returned to the Grady Cole Center. With over 2,500 guests in attendance, comic book lovers of all ages came out to enjoy the day. Admission to MiniCon was free as always, though a donation of a non-perishable food item (even pet food) was encouraged. Five tons of food, in fact, was collected for the Second Harvest Food Bank, a local non-profit organization.
The MiniCon was founded by Shelton Drum in January of 1977. In 1980, Drum would go on to found Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find and the annual Heroes Convention, which is also held in Charlotte. Said Drum, “We did the MiniCon for a while and then focus shifted to Heroes. But we brought it back in 2007 and it has been growing bigger ever since.”
Founder Shelton Drum
The convention focuses primarily on comic books, highlighting the writers and artists that bring them to life. One such writer, David Pinckney, traveled all the way from Atlanta, Georgia to attend the single-day MiniCon. “I actually found out about it on Convention Scene’s website!” said Pinckney. He was there promoting his comic book, No West to Cross, which is the story of a female gunslinger, “…the first cowgirl in the wild west.” Interestingly enough, though published a year ago, Pinckney has never met any of the artists associated with his work. “I utilized websites like Pencil Jack and Digital Webbing to find artists to work with. “I have team members located in Nebraska, Florida; it’s pretty cool.”
Artist John Hairston, Jr. works on a portrait at MiniCon.
Someone else who drew a sizable crowd was gallery artist, John Hairston, Jr. from All City Studios. “This is my favorite environment,” said Hairston. “I’m among my people, if you know what I mean?” Hairston has been working conventions for 12 years. Painting free-hand on canvas at the MiniCon, he claimed he always knew he wanted to illustrate comic books, yet his work crosses the line into fine art. “I get a lot of commissions from a Con like this.” I, for one, could have stood and watched him paint all day!
Amberle Linnea and Kristin Jann Fischer.
It’s no secret that the cosplay scene in Charlotte is very impressive. Characters of every kind lined the stage at the Grady Cole Center to register for the costume contest, while Charlotte cosplay legend DJ Spider played that funky music. Fan favorites included Kristin Jann Fischer, who looked positively painted into her Black Widow costume, even going so far as to adopt a spot-on Russian accent as she chatted up the other guests as Natalia Romanoff. Amberle Linnea wowed the room with her homemade rendition of Hunger Games character Effie Trinket. Painstakingly piecing together over 1,000 tiny butterflies–including those on her eyelashes and body–Linnea laughed, “You should have seen me trying to ride in the car on the way over here. This dress doesn’t bend!” That’s dedication.
Charlotte MiniCon 2014
All in all, it was a fun day. The Grady Cole Center had plenty of upper deck seating for those needing to take a break. They also had a concessions booth set up in the lobby. Charlotte MiniCon was a shopper’s paradise. We know of various sports’ seasons, wedding season, award season and so forth. For me, the annual Charlotte MiniCon each January is a fantastic way to kick off my “convention season” of the new year. Up next for Shelton Drum and his crew will be their annual 3-day Heroes Convention June 20-22, 2014.
Photos courtesy Garrett Marks
May 24, 2010 by Colin Solan
Filed under Animation, Anime, Art Show, Collectibles, Comic Books, Convention News, Horror, Manga, Movies, North Carolina, Other, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Television, Top Stories, Webcomics
Press Release: Heroes Convention is preparing for one of the LARGEST Guest Lists in it’s 28 year history this June 4-6! Pack your bags and gas up the car, because this will be one of our greatest shows of all time! Making their First Appearance at Heroes Con this year are J. Scott Campbell, Brian Bolland, Humberto Ramos, Jimmy Cheung, and Rob Liefeld! They’ll be joining the Heroes Con Family of regular All-Stars like Adam Hughes, Tony Harris, Frank Cho, Brandon Peterson, Mark Brooks, Tommy Lee Edwards, Phil Noto, Cully Hamner, and tons more!!
Long-time favorites like Ron Garney, Rick Leonardi, and Michael Golden are returning, as well as West Coast heavy-hitters like Mike Mignola, Tim Sale, Dustin Nguyen, Eric Canete, and Sean “Cheeks” Galloway. It’s insane!! Now we just have to figure out where to put everybody! One thing is for sure, this all points to a stellar Art Auction on Saturday night!!
Jim Rugg and Chris Pitzer hit the road to talk about their latest creation: AFRODISIAC. Each stop will include a signing, talking and LOVE! Plan your Valentine gift giving and pick up an autographed copy of the book!
Jim Rugg, with Brian Maruca, is the artist and co-creator of Afrodisiac. They also worked together on Street Angel, the saga of a thirteen year-old skateboarding homeless ninja girl. He also provided the art for PLAIN Janes and Janes in Love, which were written by YA Novelist Cecil Castellucci, as well as the brand new One Model Nation, which was written by Dandy Warhols frontman Courtney Taylor.
Chris Pitzer is the man in charge at Adhouse Books. He’s responsible for putting out a wide range of accessible yet unique books, many of which have been best sellers here. Some of the finest Adhouse books include: Pulphope by Paul Pope, Process Recess I, II, and III by James Jean, Mesmo Delivery by Raphael Grampa, and many more.
6pm – 9pm
Velocity Comics, 904 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23220-3809
6pm – 9pm
Chapel Hill Comics, 316 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
3pm – 6pm
Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find, 1957 East 7th Street, Charlotte, NC