Friday, June 22, 2012

Con meets club culture at Chop Shop Saturday

In the past few years I’ve grown to enjoy pop culture conventions. It wasn’t something that was even on my radar a decade ago, but since my first in 2003 I’ve been to Wizard World Philadelphia, a “Buffy” con in Knoxville, and comic book and horror conventions.

It all started when actor James Marsters (who played Spike on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”) made his first appearance at DragonCon in Atlanta. He’s become a regular guest at the Labor Day weekend convention, which my husband and I have also set an annual marker for on our calendars. This year I’ll take my best friend from high school to her first Con. Last year I added Eliza Dushku to my collection of Buffy autographs. This year I’ll add Rose McGowan’s sig to the “Death Proof” poster Rosario Dawson signed at HeroesCon a few years ago.

HeroesCon, which is taking place at The Charlotte Convention Center this weekend, has become another permanent “X” on our calendar and, unlike DragonCon, it’s close and family friendly enough that we can bring our children along. 

There’s plenty of late night adult entertainment for the comic book set during HeroesCon though, including a new offsite entry from NoDa’s Chop Shop. The NoDa venue/bar celebrates HeroesCon’s 30th Anniversary with the folks behind the White Trash theme parties. The Con-themed/geek culture concert and party features the rocking house band Iron Cordoba (no strangers to costumes themselves) with hip-hop artists Aswell (of Mr. Invisible), Shadow, 10:Teal, and Wolly Vinyl as well as alien bellydance from Naima Sultana, freak show stunts from Ms. Collette and Billy ½, and makeup and airbrushing from the Get Dead Crew. DJ Grandbastard will spin as well.

Prizes, food, games, and dance competitions are also on the menu. Cosplay is also encouraged. And a video game character dance-off is also mentioned on the website if that helps you narrow your costume choices. Doors open at 8 p.m. and it’s free.