Author Archive

PHOTO REPORT :: Shelton At XCON World

November 07, 2008 By: Shelton Drum Category: DISCUSS, Other Events, Photos

Last Saturday was maybe the longest day ever working comic conventions. I do remember staying up all night prepping for HeroesCon back in the day, but this was waking up at home at 4am and hitting the road before 5 for Myrtle Beach.

I arrived at 8am, just after sunrise. I went ahead and walked out the 20 yards or so from the conference center to the ocean because I knew once I got started setting up and the show opened I would not get another chance. I didn’t want to drive all the way to the coast and have to admit I didn’t set foot on the beach! Needless to say, it was a beautiful morning. Not a cloud in the sky with a daytime high of 75 degrees, on NOVEMBER 1st! What a great day to be at the beach…I wish I could have spent the day out there, but duty called.

I was impressed by the cool sand sculpture the con had commissioned on the beach. Jabba the hut, Jar-Jar Binks, Stimpy, a Bat-signal and ole Shellhead’s helmet. Pretty cool.

The day was great. A first time con is always an unknown, but Chad put everything he had into it. The show drew a little over 300 fans for comics, art and gaming. I had good traffic and better than average sales all day. It helped that the dealers’ room was diverse and I was one of only three comic sellers. Our buddy Brett, of Brett’s Comic Pile and the Virginia Comicon came down from Richmond, along with Chad’s Apocalypse Comics. The ratio of fans to sellers was just right. Chad is already planning next year’s show and I expect it to just get better and better.

I was loaded and ready to drive over to Atlanta for Wes Tillander’s Atlanta Comic Con by 8pm. As I suspected, the sun was down and I had not gotten back outside to the beach. I was really wishing I could have stayed and enjoyed the awesome weather the next day. Atlanta is not a short hop from the beach–I arrived in Hotlanta at 3 am! Thankfully the clocks fell back an hour overnight for daylight savings time and I managed to get about 5 hours sleep before I had to get up and set up the comic display again.

Atlanta was better than it has been the past few shows. Wes had a good crowd, possibly due to having Georges Jeanty as the special guest. I had quite a few new faces coming by the table looking for Buffy Season Eight comics and other back issues drawn by Georges. The newly built travel stock of just the “good stuff” has been well received and Seth and I just keep tweaking it every week to make it even better.

I was loaded and on the road back to Charlotte by 7pm (another day without seeing the light of day), and in my driveway by 10:30pm. It’s a good thing I love old comics and seeing old friends at the shows, cause driving 14 hours, working 24 hours (including loading and unloading the van 6 times) in a about 43 hours is crazy! I went to bed early Monday.

And I’m not done travelling yet–my schedule is packed this winter. Next up:

Big Apple Con — The National, Nov. 14-16 NYC.

Virginia Comic Con — Richmond , VA Nov. 23rd

Charlotte Comic Con — Dec. 27th — The Crowne Plaza uptown.

Happy Holidaze!


SLICE OF LIFE :: Iron Man Movie = Awesome

April 11, 2008 By: Shelton Drum Category: Reviews, Slice of Life

I’ve been disappointed by most of the comic book movies. For the most part they have been enjoyable, but never live up to my expectations for story content, characterization, and honor to the source material. If a producer wants to do a superhero story, why not make it as close to the comic as possible? I was blessed this week with an opportunity to see Iron Man and I can emphatically say… Finally, someone has nailed it!

Iron Man is as close to perfect as a superhero movie has been. The origin is right. It is properly paced to give it time to develop. The motivations are correct. The casting is incredible. The sets are cool as they can be. The Iron Man tech is so believable! Subplots, characterizations and motivations are all right on target. There is real drama, lots of suspense and tons of humor, just like all good Marvel comics I fell in love with. I don’t want to give anything away, but just know that the trailer doesn’t do it justice. There is cool stuff going on all the way through. Anybody off the street (I call them “civilians”) will enjoy this movie, but there are plenty of comic book references and homage to satisfy all of us “vets.”

I can’t say enough good things about this movie. Everyone, please go see it Friday, May 2nd and we can all discuss how cool is at Free Comic Book Day (shameless plug for our annual party extraordinaire) on Saturday May 3rd. I’m so excited!


TOP TEN :: Best Ever Comics Artists :: #2 :: Steve Ditko

September 21, 2007 By: Shelton Drum Category: DISCUSS

Most people who know me know that I’m a big Spidey fan. And while I’m also a big fan of Stan Lee, John Romita, and Jack Kirby, there’s only one man that could have made Spider-Man work if you ask me: Steve Ditko. Spider-Man stood out right away in the Marvel universe, because he was so different than all the other characters–he was this nerdy teenager who dressed up in a weird spider costume and fought crime, meanwhile juggling school, girls, and all the other pressures teenagers face. I love Jack Kirby–some stories suggest that Jack Kirby had a lot to do with the initial idea of a “spider man”–but can you imagine Kirby doing a book like that? Steve Ditko brought the kind of energy and imagination to Spider-Man that only he could, not only in the look of Spider-Man, but often in the plotting of the book, and many people say, most of the creation of the character. Only Steve Ditko could make something as crazy sounding as “a teenage crimefighter with the proportionate strength of a spider” not only work, but become an overnight sensation. Steve Ditko only did 38 issues of what many consider the greatest comic ever, but he’s still hailed as one of the greatest comics artists of all time to this very day.

Mike Wieringo :: 1963-2007

August 13, 2007 By: Shelton Drum Category: Comics Industry, Heroes Aren't Hard To Find, HeroesCon, HeroesCon News

The Heroes family is in mourning today: Sunday, August 12, fan favorite artist and HeroesCon regular Mike Wieringo suffered a heart attack and passed away. Mike was the artist behind many popular runs on big-name characters like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Flash, and many more. He was also the co-creator, along with writer and close friend Todd Dezago, of Tellos. He was just 44 years old.
The unbelievable news of Mike’s death overnight was the first thing I heard this morning—it’s still impossible to accept. He was a fan at the 1985 Heroes Convention, his first one, and I had the opportunity to meet him that year. He was of course an aspiring young artist, and I thought he showed a lot of promise. He never missed another con after that first trip. I watched him work on his art from year to year, and was so proud of him when he got those first independent jobs; then practically overnight he was a pro. His art took on a life of its own, and besides his artistic talents, he became one of the most universally respected and loved creators in the industry. And at the same time, Mike was becoming a part of our/my family. He was like a brother or a son to me, and established himself as firmly with my staff and the fans. He would have done anything for me—and many times, did–and I would have for him. That’s one of the things that being a family means, doing things for one another out of love.
In many ways, Mike embodies everything that I love about comics; in a very real way, he represents our closest friends and “family” members. When we refer to the HeroesCon “family”, it’s Mike Wieringo that we’re talking about. When we say that we’re excited to see everybody this summer, it’s Mike Wieringo that we can’t wait to see. And when we talk about how much we love and cherish the many pro’s and fans that make what we do possible, it’s Mike Wieringo that we’re loving and cherishing.
And next year, when we come together again and remember the friends we’ve lost, it’ll be Mike Wieringo that we’re missing. I am proud to have known Mike for the past 22 years and to have c­alled him friend and brother. Thanks for the wonderful art, support and memories, and most of all, for your friendship. Rest in peace, Mike.