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On this day in music history: October 7, 1969 - “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 is released. Written and produced by The Corporation (Deke Richards, Freddie Perren, Fonce Mizell and Berry Gordy, Jr.), it is the Gary, IN based family groups’ debut single for Motown Records. Originally titled “I Wanna Be Free” when it is first written, the song is originally intended for Gladys Knight & The Pips, then Diana Ross. After Motown puts the group under contract, label founder Berry Gordy, Jr. hears the demo recording, and then helps the rest of the writing team come up with a new concept for the song, re-writing the lyrics and tailoring it for the group. Recorded in August and September of 1969, the basic track and vocals are cut at The Sound Factory in Hollywood, CA and features musicians Freddie Perren and Joe Sample (keyboards), Wilton Felder (bass), Gene Pello (drums), Louis Shelton, David T. Walker and Don Peake (guitars), and Sandra Crouch (tambourine). Led by producer Deke Richards, the group spend weeks, recording and re-recording their vocals until Richards feels they have achieved perfection. The single is backed by the J5’s cover of the Smokey Robinson & The Miracles classic “Who’s Lovin’ You” that is produced by Bobby Taylor, the man actually responsible for bringing The Jackson 5 to Motown. Following several high profile television appearances to promote the single, including a now legendary performance on The Ed Sullivan Show in December, the record catapults The Jackson 5 into national and international stardom. “I Want You Back” spends 4 weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart beginning on January 10, 1970, and for 1 week on the Hot 100 on January 31, 1970, shooting past the two million mark in sales in the US. The song is also a huge hit internationally, peaking at #2 on the UK singles chart, selling over six million copies worldwide.  In time, the record is widely regarded as one of the greatest pop singles of all time. “I Want You Back” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

A WORD ABOUT CONDUCT AT HEROESCON HeroesCon is dedicated to providing a fun, safe and harassment-free convention experience for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion. We will not tolerate harassment of anyone in any form. Convention participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from HeroesCon without a refund at the discretion of the convention organizers. Exhibitors, sponsors and guests are subject to our anti-harassment policy as well and in particular, exhibitors should not use images or material that surpasses a PG-13 rating at their booths. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use over-sexualized or excessively gory clothing/uniforms/costumes. If you are being harassed, witness someone else being harassed or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the HeroesCon staff or a volunteer. We are happy to contact our security or local law enforcement, provide escort, a safe place or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the convention. All attendees, exhibitors and staff are subject to this anti-harassment policy and are expected to follow these rules at all HeroesCon events.  This policy goes for the show floor and after-hours events at our host hotels as well. Thank you! -Shelton Drum
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I’m back from a wonderful time in Charlotte this past weekend. Thanks a bunch to Shelton Drum, Rico Renzi and the Heroes crew for having me! Heroes is easily one of my favorite shows, and it continues to be amazing.

Above is a look at some of the art I made over the weekend:

Magik. Pen & ink on 9x12" bristol.

Two-Face! I drew this for Heroes Drink and Draw event that they held on Friday. Hot dogs vs. T-bone steaks. The drawing was made on a small (roughly 4x4") coaster.

‘Reign of the Superwomen.’ Acrylic/mixed media on 20x30" illustration board.

This was the auction piece I painted on Saturday; a gender-flipped painting inspired by the 'Reign of the Supermen’ arc that followed the Death of Superman comics of the early 1990’s. I had a lot of fun working on it, but it took a super long time and kept me away from my table for long spells. Apologies to anyone who missed me on Saturday. I’ll likely do something a bit smaller in scope next year.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table to say hello. It was great getting to meet new fans and creators alike, as well as see some familiar faces. Until next time… 

Thanks Heroes!