It’s May and that means one thing for many pop culture fans in the Detroit area. The 24th Motor City Comic Con is just around the corner. An event science fiction, horror, TV, of course comics, and even more genre fans in the Motor City can call their own is now near enough to start making plans for May 17-19.
The Motor City Comic Con has marked the calendars of fans for almost a quarter of century and that makes it one of the most important shows in the country. You can check it out at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
This year the biggest draw is the arrival of Stan Lee. He is certainly one of, if not the, most well-known names in comics. Any fan can tell you he co-created The Hulk, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Iron Man, X-Men and far more characters than could be named. Many of his characters have exploded into major motion pictures.
Most credit his use of naturalistic and relatable characters as the reason why comic books continued to evolve and gain some level of legitimacy.
Lee is a name so big that Motor City Comic Con has multiple levels of tickets to see him … a basic autograph ticket and two VIP ticket categories. It is no surprise then that early ticket sales already suggest his appearance will increase attendance this year. Advance autograph and VIP packages are sold out. All further Stan Lee autograph sales will be at Stan Lee’s booth at the convention. A limited number of Stan Lee Meet and Greet packages may be available soon.
Lee will be at the show Saturday, May 18. Froggy Photo Booths will take picture for Stan and fans earlier in the day … if they have tickets for it … and there will be plenty.
Detroit has always been a big comic book town. Motor City Comic Con show promoter Michael Goldman says the Detroit area has the highest number of comic book stores in the country.
Comic books are not the only thing that this show features. There are plenty of other fandoms included. Anime and manga are not far behind. There are three days of viewing for anime fans brought to them by the Anime Club of Michigan.
There’s always plenty of room for fans of the two biggest science fiction franchises ever, Star Trek and Star Wars. Those two are popular every year. Other franchises like Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica are also part of the show. You’ll be able to meet Colin Baker, who is best known as the 6th incarnation of The Doctor in Doctor Who and Edward James Olmos who played Admiral William Adama on Battlestar Galacticia
In recent years, however, there has been an increase in the romantic vampire genre across the country, and Detroit is no different. With this in mind the Motor City Comic Con has tried to attract guests and vendors to please and possibly help grow this fan base. For example, Meaghan Rath from Being Human will be at the show.
Other big name draws include:
- Lou Ferrigno who starred as The Incredible Hulk
- Eddie McClintock from Warehouse 13
- Walter Koening a.k.a. Pavel Chekov and Marina Sirtis a.k.a. Counselor Deanna Troi for the Trekkies
- Carey Elwes from The Princess Bride, The Crush and Robin Hood: Men in Tights fame
- Alex Winter from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Also appearing are the Boondock Saints stars David Della Rocco, Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus. Reedus also plays Daryl Dixon on AMC’s The Walking Dead. And from Revenge of the Nerds, Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong … who himself is from the Detroit area … will also be at the show.
Another Detroiter Ryan Stegman will also be there. He recently worked on Marvel’s most well-known character Spiderman.
Check out George Perez, who was one of the most recognized artists from the late 1970′s and 1980′s. His work includes a lengthy run of the comic last year’s block buster The Avengers was based on. He is also the co-creator of The New Teen Titans, one of the 1980′s best-selling comics, and Crisis on Infinite Earths, one of the biggest stories in the history of DC Comics.
Tony Moore, the original artist on The Walking Dead comics, will also be in attendance. That series has become one of the most watched television shows in the country.
Another comic book illustrator whose work has gone onto get major success in other media is David Lloyd. Lloyd worked with writer Alan Moore to create V for Vendetta, which opened as a major motion picture in 2005. He also did the art for Marvel’s Night Raven.
Other notable artists include:
- Dan Rosa, who is best known for his work on the comic book exploits of Scrooge McDuck
- Mark McKenna, whose work has been featured in the pages of such publishers as Marvel, DC, Archie and Image Comics
The show also gives a boost to regional creators. Sitting alongside many of the better known names in Artist Alley will be many self-published and small press writers and artists. Many are from the Detroit area. This platform helps the areas lesser-knowns gain exposure.
Goldman says Artist Alley was expanded by 20-25% this year and still filled up. One artist who comes almost every year is Chris Yambar, who created Mr. Beat and works on The Simpson’s comics.
Besides just buying stuff, and meeting people, there are plenty of other activities. There is, as always, a costume contest sponsored by Specs Howard. The theme this year is “Damn It Jim It’s A Costume Contest.” That should bring out the Trekkies and some terrific costumes.
There will be gaming events every day and viewings of the J.W. Westcott Story, The Sheik, Battles, Bouts and Brawls – The Story of Pro Wrestling in Detroit the Surrounding Areas – Yesterday, Today and Beyond and Detroit Television Memories.
The Motor City Comic Con is a great Detroit show that goes beyond just satisfying the areas fandom’s appetite. About 30% of the attendees come from outside the Detroit region, Goldman says. That boosts the local economy thanks to increased hotel stays and restaurant visits.The show also requires hundreds of volunteers to help keep it running smoothly. Ticket takers, set up, line security and many more of the smaller jobs are done by local volunteers.
The show opens Friday May 17 12:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Saturday it’s open from 10:30 am until 6:00 pm, and Sunday from 10:30 am until 5:00 pm.
Tickets for one day cost $25 for adults and $10 for kids. Kids are free on Sunday. Three-day passes are $55 for adults in advance and $60 at the door. Three-day passes for kids are $20 either in advance or at the door. Kids 5 and under are free on all days.
More information is available as well as advance ticket orders at the Motor City Comic Con website.
See you there.