This year marked my seventh year as a member of the capable HeroesCon management and organization team. Every year there are countless little moments that make me (and the rest of the staff) happy to be a part of this incredible comics community. This year, more than any other year, I was especially heartened and humbled by our 3rd Annual Drink and Draw. It was at our first Drink and Draw back in 2011 that I met Richard Thompson, the genius cartoonist behind the award winning Cul de Sac comic strip. It was Richard for whom Team Cul de Sac started, in an effort to raise money for Parkinson’s research. And it is Richard’s humor, humility and general kindness that made us want to continue to do more to battle this disease.
This year, thanks in part to a spacious new venue (the Hilton), an appropriately Southern soundtrack from Jack the Radio, and the creativity of professional and amateur artists alike, we raised over $7,000 for Team Cul de Sac and the Michael J. Fox foundation! The combined total from money raised in the first two years was under $3,000, so that alone should let you know the extent to which our fundraising increased this year.
Planning for this year’s Drink and Draw began earlier than ever before. Team Cul de Sac founder Chris Sparks, my wife (and fellow Drink and Draw organizer) Heather and I had a few meals together in Asheville this past Spring, and talked at length about what we could do to bring even more money and awareness to Team Cul de Sac at HeroesCon’s Drink and Draw event. Chris took those brainstorming sessions and turned them into original art from Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Jim Borgman (Zits), Mark Tatulli (Lio), Roger Langridge (Snarked), and more, all for us to auction at the Drink and Draw. In addition to these pieces, Chris brought an Art Spiegelman signed and sketched edition of Maus, and Bill Watterson signed editions of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and Team Cul de Sac: Artists Draw the Line at Parkinson’s.
With all the art produced and auctioned off at the Drink and Draw, we not only raised a sizable donation for Parkinson’s research, but sent a strong message that the philanthropic efforts at HeroesCon have never been more vibrant than they were this year. I look forward to working with Chris to bring even larger things to HeroesCon 2014′s Drink and Draw.
Thanks to all the fine volunteers who continue to come back every year to help us run the event (Heather Peagler, Brian Purvis and the rest), all the artists who still draw for us after a long day on the convention floor, and everyone who donated money for the various pieces produced that night. Thanks to Chris Sparks for his perseverance, Richard Thompson for his ever-present inspiration, and Shelton Drum for giving us so much time and space at HeroesCon to continue to raise money for this worthy cause.
If you’d like to continue to support Team Cul de Sac throughout the year, please visit them HERE. The battle against Parkinson’s disease needs more than just our annual event to help fight it. We hope to see you next year at Drink and Draw. We’ve already started planning, so trust me when I tell you – HeroesCon 2014 is going to be bigger and better than ever!