The Spawn and I left Mondoville a little after noon today for our annual pilgrimage to Charlotte for the HeroesCon comic convention. We took a different route to get here, going out of our way in order to have lunch at one of the Spawn’s favorite restaurant chains, but really, it didn’t take too much longer than usual.
The hotel we stay at has kind of an odd arrangement — it’s actually two hotels, in separate wings of a large, L-shaped building. We’ve previously stayed at the Ramada Inn side, and I could’ve sworn that was where I booked our room. However, when we arrived, we were told that our reservation was for the Clarion Hotel, and that the check-in desk for that hotel was over there, about 50 feet down a hallway. So we walked over there, and sure enough, they set us with the room we are now using as our base of operations. I’m not sure why they do it that way — they have separate uniformed staff in each wing, different stationery, and as I’ve mentioned, separate lobbies. I wonder which one gets the pink half of the drainpipe.
After alerting Mrs. M to our safe arrival, we headed over to the Convention Center for an initial walkthrough. The crowd seemed pretty intense — I think Friday is a bit more of the hardcore nerd and collector day (the kind of folks who will take a workday off to go to a comic convention), with Saturday drawing more of the family and cosplay crowds. We navigated around a bit, and the Spawn bought a few items connected to her current pop culture obsession, Transformers. She got a few comic books and a small “cassette” Transformer that is apparently the head and torso of some larger entity. She said she bought the toy because the dealer said he probably wouldn’t be able to sell it without the rest of the set. We moved along, and the Spawn told me she felt sorry for the toy.
“Um, it’s an inanimate object, you know.”
“Yeah, but it’s there by itself. It could get lonely.”
So back she went. But she spent her own money on them, so what the heck.
Meanwhile, I saw Jim Steranko holding court at his booth, with a pretty good queue waiting for their moments with The Man. It reminded me of my own meeting with him a couple of cons ago, and it made me smile. A little later, we passed a booth with a lot of Donald Duck and Scrooge-related art, and an older fellow sitting there. A sign identified him as Don Rosa.
After we passed, the Spawn whispered to me, “Is that the real Don Rosa?” I told her I imagined so, but we could ask. Having ascertained his identity, the Spawn did a bit of fangirling, telling him that her corner of the Internet regards him as the fount of all things Duckburgian. He took the compliment gracefully, but said he was merely following in the (webbed) footsteps of the great Carl Barks. After we moved on, the Spawn said, “I can’t believe it. The way people write about him, I thought he was one of those legendary guys who died in the 50s.”
“Yeah, you might not want to tell him that if we run into him again.”
As we walked down another aisle, a man in his 40s addressed the Spawn, who was wearing a T-shirt from her sorority. “Where are you a [member of the sorority]?” When the Spawn replied, the guy said, “I was married to a [member].”
“Well, really I guess she was an alum,” he said, “We met after college.”
“It’s OK — we think you’re in for life. Nice talking to you.”
“Yeah — you don’t see a lot of sorority letters at these things.” We said goodbye and went on our way.
And I guess the guy was right — I don’t recall seeing anyone other than the Spawn wearing Greek letters in our trips here, although she ran into an alum just last year. Still, the Spawn has been into comics almost all her life, and I’m glad to have a kid who can do Greek and geek simultaneously. I think it’s pretty cool. And so is she. Screw the stereotypes.
After our traditional Friday night dinner at the Carolina Ale House, we came back to our hotel for the evening. Further reports tomorrow.