Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lunches, Sketches, and Duckies, oh my!

The Hero Initiative booth proved to be *the* place to be at this year’s MegaCon in Orlando! With nothing but the best in top notch talent, fun events, and tons of new merchandise, the booth was busy from open to close.

On Friday, lucky fans who had won eBay lunch auctions had the privilege to sit down one-on-one with Stan Sakai, Joseph Michael Linsner, Dick Giordano, Chuck Dixon, and John Romita, Jr. These artists were all happy to meet with their fans, chat over tasty turkey wrap lookin-things, and sketch the fan’s choice of characters as a memento of the occasion. On the convention floor, the booth hosted Josh Blaylock, Jeremy Dale, Tone Rodriguez, and Chris Moreno, with a surprise visit from George Perez, who stopped by after his wife Carol’s belly-dancing class.


Joseph Michael Linsner with fan


Stan Sakai with fan


Chuck Dixon with fan


Dick Giordano with fan


John Romita, Jr. with fan and sketch


George Perez surprises everyone with a visit after Carol's class!

On Friday, Joe Quesada, Editor In Chief of Marvel Comics, a Hero Initative Board Member, the conventions’ Guest Of Honor, and all-around cool guy, was honored by receiving the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando's prestigious Sun Award. The honor, given to those "dedicated individuals who have contributed to the enrichment and overall growth of the region's culture, community outreach and economic, development," ranks as one of the institution's highest honors. On Saturday, the accolades continued as he was the recipient of a proclamation by the Mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer, who declared that March 8th would be known as Joe Quesada Day in honor of his work with charities such as the Hero Initiative!


Joe Quesada receiving his Sun Award

Friday night brought the second annual Hero Initiative Bowl-A-Thon, and the good times had by all guaranteed that this event will become a tradition at MegaCon. Chris Moreno, Mark Texiera, and others joined fans in an evening of bowling, pizza, and beer. While a few lucky fans took home sketches, signed books, or a bowling pin signed by convention attendee artists, everyone took home an evening of fun bowling side by side with their favorite artists and creators.


YAY BOWLING!

Saturday saw record crowds at the convention center, and most of the attendees stopped by to visit with Joe Quesada, Jeremy Dale, Josh Blaylock, Gary Friedrich, Herb Trimpe, Tone Rodriguez, and Chris Moreno. The fun continued into the afternoon, which found fans eagerly awaiting a signature or a sketch from John Romita, Jr. Also that afternoon, fans were only too happy to try and dunk Derek Donovan and Joe Quesada in the Hero Initiative dunk tank. Both of them took the plunge several times while they were in the tank! Fans able to dunk the artists were rewarded with their choice of a one-of-a-kind rubber duckie, personalized by an artist in attendance at the Con. Everyone who attempted to dunk the artists took home a variant cover Fantastic Four comic, provided by the Coliseum of Comics.


Joe Quesada bravely awaits his fate....


and emerges sopping wet after the first fan dunks him!


A host of one-of-a-kind duckies awaited fans who dunked Joe or Derek!

Sunday wrapped up the fun by making the Hero booth the hotspot of the convention floor. Joe Quesada, John Romita, Jr., and George Perez (in another surprise appearance) entertained fans throughout the morning, and then they made room for Adam Kubert, David Finch, Steve McNiven, Sanford Greene, Nathan Massengill, Josh Blaylock, and Jeremy Dale to finish out the afternoon.


John Romita Jr. signs for one of his fans...


and is all smiles for the camera!


David Finch does a sketch for a lucky fan


Adam Kubert is hard at work sketching for his fans.


A few of Adam's sketches in progress

Hot selling items at this convention were the brand-new 3-Minute Sketchbook and the Atomic Comics’ Hero Exclusive Cover for Red Hulk. Fans were also able to view two of Mike Weiringo’s final pages which were graciously loaned to Hero, as well as those same pages inked, as a special preview to the What If? Book ‘Ringo was working on at the time of his passing. Several artists donated their time and energy to finish the book in tribute. Marvel has donated the book to Hero Initiative, and it will be sold at its completion to benefit the charity.


One of 'Ringo's pages, inked and ready to go!

The other hot item this year was the first of the Hulk 100 Project covers, which were also on display. Fans will remember the Ultimate Spider-Man 100 Project last year, which met with such success that we’re doing it all over again with the Hulk! Did you miss out on the opportunity to own one of the one-of-a-kind Spider-Man covers? Not to worry, after all the books are collected, they will be scanned and compiled in a book similar to the Spider-Man covers, and then you’ll be able to bid on your favorite at upcoming conventions and on eBay. Keep your eyes peeled for the announcement, which will be made on www.heroinitiative.org!


A few of the Hulk covers that we had on display!

As a reminder, several artists collect donations for HERO at their booth throughout the year. So when you see some of them collecting for token autographs or sketches please donate graciously. Special thanks to Greg Horn who turned in his take of better than $1000 for 2007, and Arthur Suydam who accepted donations at his table for Hero as well. Greg Horn and Arthur Suydam are two of Hero Initiative's HEROES. Please thank them when you see them at the next Con.


Thanks to Arthur Suydam for his donation!

With that, we move onward to the next big event.. Wizard World LA!

Yay for comics!
Tabitha
& Kevin

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