Heroes 2011 Preview: Creators You Should Visit

So after a lot of thinking back and forth, I finally decided this week that I am going to go to Heroes, which I hear tell is one of the best comic shows on the east coast. This will be my first trip there, so I don't have a lot of advice for anyone new in terms of how best to enjoy the show. It's being held in Charlotte, North Caroline from June 3rd to the 5th, and if you like comics (and why are you reading this if you don't like comics?), then you should probably go!

While I don't know the show itself, I am very familiar with some of the creators who will be there, and as a service to those who want to seek out good comics that might otherwise fall under the radar, here's a handy guide to help you. My apologies in advance to anyone I missed--there's just so many good comics to be had this weekend that I'm bound to overlook a few here in the mix.

Without further ado, here's a sampling of creators to find when you make it to Charlotte this weekend:

Carolyn Belefski won't be at the show in person, but she has an an entry in the Dollar Bin Anthology 4. Carolyn runs the Curls webcomic and I've previously reviewed these three anthologies in which she was a part.

Evan Dorkin is one of the brains behind the cool Beasts of Burden series, which is one of the few talking animals-in-a-human-world comics I actually like. I just picked up the new hardcover, and I can't wait to read it. Definitely a person you want to say hello to at Heroes.

Dustin Harbin was, I think, the first person who I supported a Kickstarter project for. Harbin made a beautiful Sunday Comics-like creation with the funds, and I got a cool sketch out of the deal. He's got a new collection ready for Heroes. No reviews on Panel Patter just yet, but he's a cool guy and you should go see what he has to offer.

Dusty Higgins and Van Jenson from the excellent Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer will also be in town, so if you have no yet picked up their book (shame on you), now's the time to do it at the show! I will be grabbing the sequel, if they have it.

Roger Langridge has done the best job, hands down, with the Muppets since the death of Jim Henson. He's off the book now, but the man has so many other sides to his creative personality. Go see what he's up to, particularly his new Snark book from Kaboom!

Mike Maihack, the creator behind Cleopatra in Spaaaace!, will be on hand along with some of his web-comicing friends. I've been a Cleopatra reader since the start, and he's liable to have a book or so available to help you get started with the series.

David Malki! and Wondermark probably don't need me to promote them, but I will anyway. I love the quirky combination of 19th Century-style art and 21st Century-style problems. Yes, you can read all of Wondermark on the internet for free, but the book collections have nifty extras!

Paul Maybury is the illustrator of Dogs of Mars, a new comic I picked up on Comixology. There's a brief review of it tomorrow here on Panel Patter, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he has going on at Heroes this weekend.

Mike Norton does nice superhero work for DC and Marvel, but I know him as the guy doing the webcomic Battlepug, which is a rather twisted story that as of yet, does not significantly involve pugs but does involve homicidal seals. Either way, he's another person worth checking out.

Jeff Parker is one of the nicest guys working in superhero comics, and he has great non-capes projects as well. Criminally underrated in my opinion, he's also a great conversationalist at shows. Here's my Underground review, which I named my best comic of 2010.

Jim Rugg hails from my old neck of the woods, Pittsburgh, but if you don't like Pittsburgh, don't hold that against him. Rugg is probably best known (and rightfully so) for Afrodesiac, but he's also the guy who worked on Street Angel, a personal favorite, as well as the Plain Janes series from late, lamented Minx.

Ben Towle is not only a fine conversationalist on Twitter, he's a fine cartoonist as well. I loved an early work of his, Farewell, Georgia, and I'm looking forward to seeing what else I can get from him at the show. Please note he's doing 1980s Marvel-DC sketches on request. Make him use those reference books!

Joey Weiser was one of the first indie creators whose work I really got into. His work has an all-ages feel to it, and that's not a bad thing at all because the stories work on multiple levels. He'll have the remaining Mermin's on hand, along with other things. Perhaps Cavemen in Space or even the Ride Home.

These are just some of the folks who will be at Heroes this weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing them at the show and catching up while I give them some well-deserved cash and spend time finding new artists to rave about here on Panel Patter. If you're near the Charlotte area, why don't you join me?