I recently attended Heroes Convention (June 15-17, 2018) held annually in Charlotte, NC. The event attracts many comic book and web comic fans from across the region. There is a large variety of artists, vendors, and writers manning booths. While the main theme of the convention is tied to comic book heroes, there was an abundance of art, merchandise, and cosplayers related to Japanese anime.
The front half of the convention center hall was dedicated to vendors selling a wide assortment of merchandise including clothing, figurines, comics, key chains, etc. For every booth catering to the super hero fanatic, there was another with a variety of anime-themed wall scrolls, trinkets, and other items. I recognized a handful from previous Japanese conventions around the state of North Carolina. Get Some Game (a hobby shop I frequent in Charlotte, NC) had a booth selling everything from Harry Potter wands to Mobile Suit Gundam models. The owners are great people and I stopped by to say hi and see what they were selling. As I walked further through the area to the artist alleys, I passed by a number of people cosplaying as characters from Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, and even Samus from Metroid. It was surprising to see people dressed as anime characters at a convention better known for comic enthusiasts.
Toward the rear of the hall, I visited my friend John Hartness, writer and creator of the Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter series. While speaking with John, I noticed a booth nearby with anime pictures. The artist had some amazing original Dragon Ball Z fan art. He was selling drawings of Frieza and the Ginyu Force to a customer. While many people attend this convention to meet and purchase artwork from artists in the comics community, there was a noticeable amount of anime-inspired pieces also for sale.
I high encourage anyone interested in super heroes, anime, fantasy novels, and even Star Wars to visit Heroes Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center June 14-16, 2019. You will not be disappointed with the quality of original art, books, merchandise, and panels offered. The amount of highly skilled artists and creators attending Heroes Convention was truly impressive.