By Trent Pitts
Once a summer in a hotel ballroom in Charlotte, North Carolina, comic fans and creators gather together to celebrate art and battle over who will take the pieces home. The event is the annual HeroesCon Art Auction and it's an event not to be missed for the comic fan.
The auction is made up of donated pieces, many of which are made on stage at the con itself. The con is so well regarded by the creators who attend it that the quantity of pieces donated was too great to sell in a single night. This year's "auction" was actually the traditional Saturday night event as well as 3 mini-auctions at the show on Sunday.
Saturday night is still the main event. The auction is fun, but for a really memorable experience I recommend adding alcohol (to one's own taste of course.) It's the end of a long day and most everyone is unwinding. For a fan you may wind up sharing a wall with a pro and discussing greatness of the Eric Canete Hellboy piece or you may wind up in a bidding war with your favorite penciller over the Brandon Peterson Poison Ivy.
The experience created might go something like what follows:
The auctioneer gets to the Canete piece pretty early. It's a nice splash of cold water to remind everyone what the evenings about. It's like the Stones opening with Jumpin' Jack Flash. You know it's real and there's still enough hits to fill hours.
The beautiful pieces are rolling off one after another and it gets hard to chat, drink, and bid. Is that a Templesmith Weapon X? That looks sweet. Should you bid on it or point it out to your buddy? To the auctioneer they look remarkably similar.
You're a little offended that people keep raising their hands while you're trying to buy stuff. Did everyone come here wanting the Francavilla Groot?
The fiancée likes Harry Potter. You like Skottie Young. Bid?
The fiancée doesn't feel the same excitement you do at the hundreds of dollars on the line everytime you raise your hand. Why save money for a house if can't have a Phil Noto above the mantle?
Still not winning anything. It's looks now like some people are wearing smoking jacket and monocles while lighting up $100s. Back to the bar.
Did you miss the Peterson Ivy?
The Powell's gone too?
It's time to get your head in the game. You need all your wits about you to score the Rocket and Groot painting by Stephane Roux.
The fiancée has now forgone trying to communicate with you and is instead using your translator known as best friend. She seems to be sending encouraging messages and may have her eyes on the Stelfreeze.
She may have been saying She-Hulk instead.
No she was saying, "Sit down". Shame because they're rolling off an unused Wonder Woman cover by Cliff Chang, a Tarzan by Alfredo Torres, an Andrew Robinson, and a David Petersen.
There's a too much going by to keep up with. The room is dwindling down. Pieces are pulled down and sold faster than you can process. It seems like a Jeremy Bastian, a Geoff Darrow, and a Chip Zdarsky all went through but you had to have imagined that Mike Wieringo Fantasic Four page right?
The room empties and it's your time to strike. You can still grab the Charles Vess or the Ryan Ottley.
Oh your wallet is empty too. Those tickets you've been trading for booze have depleted your cash reserves and you can't even make an attempt at the Joe Quinones.
You might be leaving empty handed but it's a memory you can't get anywhere else.
Oh and there were also still the mini-auctions on Sunday. Be clear headed for those and maybe you'll come away with a steal while everyone else is sleeping off Saturday night's main event.