Archive for the ‘Slice of Life’

OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SUPERIOR :: Stephen Pilker, Architect?

November 23, 2007 By: Heroes Online Category: Slice of Life

I was sitting down to breakfast this past Sunday with The Charlotte Observer when an article in the Arts & Living section caught my eye. The headline reads “The Magicians of Muzak.” I thought, “I know a guy who works there. He’s a regular at Hereos.” And sure enough I looked up at the picture and saw Steven Pilker, “audio architect” extraordinaire for Muzak.

The article is about what Muzak does and how hip and edgy they are. Seriously. Yes, that Muzak. The elevator music people. They are the people responsible for most of the background songs you hear playing at stores. It is an interesting article. I was surprised to find out that the main headquarters is in Fort Mill, South Carolina. You can check out the entire article here. We here at Heroes already knew that Steven is hip and edgy and we are glad that he is getting the recognition he deserves. That leaves me pondering, “Does hanging out with him make me hip and edgy by association?”

I like to think it does.

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SLICE OF LIFE :: Fistacuffs!

November 19, 2007 By: Dustin Harbin Category: Comics Industry, Slice of Life


Okay, so I’m not sure how many of you out there know about this, but it’s double-definitely worth checking out. Sam Hiti–whose book Tiempos Finales I recently reviewed–does a thing on the side called Fistacuffs, which is a gladiator-style cartoonist-on-cartoonist tournament. Basically, cartoonists whip up completely original characters and pit them against each other anonymously, with participants and some viewers voting on the outcome. Some pretty big names have contributed fighters in the past, including Guy Davis, Paul Pope, Kagan McLeod (one of my favorites!), and a TON of others. The fight is totally anonymous, so it doesn’t turn into a popularity contest, and everything is kept PG, so it’s even okay for your kids to look at.

ANYway, the fourth tournament is now going on: this time it’s a 3-on-3 team tournament. I can’t tell you which team our staff member is on; heck, I don’t even want to tell you which staff member, just in case. But regardless, go check it out. You can even vote for your favorite team, but I’m pretty sure you have to have a valid Blogger profile, and your profile has to link to a valid blog or sweet website, to keep cheaters at bay. All those voting rules are on there, if you scroll down a little. But even if you don’t vote, it’s just a cool thing to look at! Enjoy!

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SAY WHAT? :: Jeff Smith Visits Novello Reading Festival!

October 17, 2007 By: Dustin Harbin Category: Other Events, Slice of Life


Well, it’s a little last-minute, but if you didn’t already know, Bone creator Jeff Smith will be appearing at the Novello Festival this Saturday, at the Book Brunch, scheduled for 9.30 am Saturday morning in the ImaginOn. If you’re a fan of a) Bone, or b) really awesome kids’ libraries (I mean, really awesome), or c) awesome stuff in general, you should go. I believe the admission is free, and Jeff Smith is one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet–I think you get bonus points if you’re a younger Bone fan. I’m an older Bone fan, and sadly get no bonus points.

And while we don’t have anything really scheduled with Jeff, he and Shelton are old pards, so you never know who you might see shopping in the store this week. Ooh, I’m starstruck just thinking about it! Tee-hee! What’s extra cool is today Jeff’s Shazam hardcover came in–synchronicity!

Anyway, the library site is kinda murky on exactly what Jeff’s doing and when, but that’s the best information I’ve got after doing some research. I’m not sure why the library didn’t let us know earlier–but I didn’t want you guys to miss it. The ImaginOn is really, honestly, the kind of place that makes me wish I was 8 years old when I walk in. Just a gem for kids. And whether you’re a new or old fan of Bone, this is a great opportunity to meet one of the most respected and successful cartoonists of his generation in person. Can you tell I’m starstruck? Okay, anyway, see you there!

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REPORT :: Flaming Lips Live :: Verdict? Rock!

October 04, 2007 By: Dustin Harbin Category: Other Events, Slice of Life


Oh yes, baby. Although it took a lot of standing in line (for Shelton), and a lot of helping a friend get his towed truck out of hock before the show (me), it was well worth it. I’m here to report that the newly upfitted Amos’, which before was just a very large dive, is big enough to hold a pretty darn big show, which is what this one was. But heckfire, why not just read about it on Flickr? That’s where all the photos (all 6!) are anyway. See you there, compadres!

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SLICE OF LIFE :: Comic Stripped!

August 29, 2007 By: Dustin Harbin Category: Other Events, Slice of Life

Heads up! The Levine Museum of the New South, located on Seventh Street here in uptown Charlotte, will be opening its new exhibit “Comic Stripped: A Revealing Look At Southern Stereotypes In Comics” on Saturday, September 8. Shelton and fellow blogger Andy Mansell consulted with the exhibit’s curator, Dr. Tom Hanchett, and helped put the museum in touch with some of our local cartoonists, including Dennis the Menace‘s Marcus Hamilton and Gasoline Alley‘s Jim Scancarelli. The exhibit will cover a host of Southern-inflected cartoons, including Doug Marlette‘s Kudzu, Walt Kelly‘s Pogo, Al Capp‘s Lil Abner, and much more. Marcus will be giving a lecture, there’ll be food and music on hand, and much more–don’t miss it! More information available on the Levine Museum’s website.
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Don’t Forget :: Toronto Comic Arts Festival This Weekend!

August 17, 2007 By: Dustin Harbin Category: Comics Industry, Other Events, Slice of Life

Hey, just a reminder–if you’re going to be in the neighborhood of oh, say, Toronto, Ontario, Canada this weekend, you’d be a fool to miss this year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Scheduled for tomorrow and Sunday (August 18-19, 2007) the show boasts a pretty impressive guest list, including Darwyn Cooke, Paul Pope, Chester Brown, Seth, James Jean, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and on and on. Why not check out their site for the whole thing? All this typing is making my fingers hurt–besides, I’ve got to get this week’s Heroes Hotline done so I can catch a plane up to Toronto, where you can meet me if you’re bored with all these talented types. Although I charge for signatures…

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Slice of Life :: Flight of the Conchords!

August 16, 2007 By: Dustin Harbin Category: Slice of Life

For some reason, musical theatre—along with clowns and mimes—falls into the category of things that really creep me out. While I can suspend disbelief to such a degree that I embrace wholeheartedly the notion of a radioactive spider resulting in super powers, I cannot wrap my head around the idea that there is ever a time in the normal course of one’s day when it is appropriate to burst into song without the faintest whiff of irony.

But I do make one exception.

Flight of The Conchords is the story of a digi-folk duo of the same name, comprised of Bret McKenzie (vocals, guitar) and Jermaine Clement (also vocals and guitar) two New Zealanders who come to New York in the hopes of hitting the “big time.” Their clueless manager, Murray, whose real job is cultural attaché for New Zealand, is one the main reason why, thus far, they are met with limited success. Too, Bret and Jermaine are not all that ambitious.

Each half-hour episode consists of a wafer thin plot, tent-poled by two incredibly funny musical performances, in which the main conflict of the story (often unrequited love . . . or lust) is encapsulated within the confines of a two-and-a-half-minute pop ditty. All the songs are written by Bret and Jermaine and are delivered in such a way that it’s difficult to tell where the sincerity ends and the irony begins.

While the whole premise of the show does hinge on their brilliant musical numbers, it’s the incredibly nuanced dramatic performances of the entire regular cast that makes me laugh ‘til I cry.

Here’s a link to some video clips from the show (WARNING–while Flight of the Conchords isn’t exactly Andrew Dice Clay, it’s still an HBO show, so be warned before you click this link).

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SLICE OF LIFE :: Toronto Comic Arts Festival!

August 10, 2007 By: Dustin Harbin Category: Comics Industry, Other Events, Slice of Life

Next weekend I’ll be attending this year’s Toronto Comic Art Festival, aptly located in Toronto, Ontario. I’ve been curious about this somewhat new convention for a while now; it has a hugely positive reputation among creators and the attending public (just like us), is run by a well-respected, pro-active comics store (us, too), and promotes appreciation of and participation in comics and the comics industry (that’s so us!). Their guest list isn’t too shabby either, including Darwyn Cooke, Paul Pope, James Jean, Chester Brown, Seth… et cetera. With any luck I’ll be bringing back some guest list announcements for HeroesCon; but I’ll definitely be up there promoting the show, hobnobbing, and generally trying not to embarass us in front of Canada, or pee myself while talking to Chester Brown. Wish me luck! For more info check out the TCAF site! Not to mention The Beguiling, the store that organizes the show–besides being a nice shop, they sell TONS of original art on their site.
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SLICE OF LIFE :: Phil Has Big Plans This Weekend!

August 10, 2007 By: Phil Southern Category: Other Events, Slice of Life

In the next week there’s some good stuff happening in and around town; it looks as if it’ll be a busy weekend for this hirsute individual.

Perhaps the second greatest submarine movie of all time will be playing this Friday and Saturday at the Ballantyne Village Theatre. Is it The Hunt for Red October? Or Run Silent, Run Deep? Maybe The Enemy Below? These are all good guesses, but, sadly, quite incorrect. I speak of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. At 9:40 and Midnight, you’ll be able to partake in a tale of war and remembrance, of vengeance and loss. Don’t you judge me, you unterseaboot snobs! And best of all, we have a limited number of free passes available in the store–come by beforehand to pick yours up, and then enjoy the show!

Additionally, there are some excellent shows coming up in the next week at local watering hole Snug Harbor :

Tonight (Friday, August 10) local boys Bullship will be playing with Chapel Hill’s North Elementary. I have it on good authority that Dustin Harbin will be in attendance, and will almost certainly be accepting any beverages our customers would like to purchase for him. For those of you who’ve never heard Bullship, Dustin describes them as “…kind of like the weirdest, oddest, most relaxing music you’ll hear in a rock club this year. Kind of.” Thanks, Dustin.

On Saturday, August 11, former Guided by Voices guitarist and current solo artist Doug Gillard will be playing with Charlotte’s own Fence Lions . See who Creative Loafing’s John Schacht called “a master axe-man with an uncanny ear for just the right hook in just the right place.” You’ll also get the chance to check out Fence Lions, one of the best of the recent crop of excellent local bands. Swing by the store if you want to give a listen to their new CD. If you like what you hear, they’ve got another show coming up in September.

Next Wednesday, August 15, Snug Harbor will feature the Charlotte version of a supergroup, Nitehawk . Current and past members of Snagglepuss, Tyre Fyre, Babyshaker, Buschovski and The Houstons are part of the most over-qualified cover band in Music History. It’s like Damn Yankees, but, y’know, good (Rusty swears to me he enjoyed it!). Plus, if they make lots of money, my girlfriend gets paid more, and I am all around happier. Thusly, you receive most excellent customer service. It is the circle of (retail) life.

Snug Harbor is located at 1228 Gordon St., just up Pecan Avenue from our store. We’ll see you there!

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