Charlotte MiniCon returns this weekend with more than 50 artists in attendance, comic vendors and more. The best part? It's free if you register online and bring a non-perishable food item for Second Harvest Food Bank. The event takes place Saturday at the Grady Cole Center from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
And don't be fooled by the "Mini" moniker. Huge guests are taking part this year, including Skottie Young (who designed the below graphic), Jason Latour, Rich Case, and Charlotte's own Andy Smith (not that Andy Smith).
One guest, in particular, was able to talk to Comic Afterthoughts about his experience with the convention - and what's ahead for his work in comics. Dustin Harbin is a Charlotte-based artist who has recently worked on projects like Diary Comics for Toronto's Koyama Press. Harbin's experience with this event goes back to his time working for Shelton Drum.
"I have attended the Charlotte MiniCon for the last ... four years? Five?" Harbin said. "I worked for [Drum], the owner of the MiniCon and the store that puts it on, Heroes Aren't Hard To Find, for 14 years between 1996 and 2010, and then he's been gracious enough to include me as a guest since then at the Charlotte MiniCon as well as its big brother, Heroes Convention."
The MiniCon, considerably smaller than the big Charlotte convention in June, has its own special qualities. One is the crowd it garners.
"A small, one-day show is usually more locally oriented, and has a lower entry fee so you see a lot of casual shoppers who might just be there for something off the beaten track to do on a Saturday," Harbin said. "I love that - it makes for a mix of people, from people who are very familiar with comics to people who might really be considering them and the people that make them for the first time."
Cassie Hart Kelly
J Chris Campbell
John Hairston Jr
Out of Step Arts
Rebel Stars Studio