Motor City Comic Con 2017
When you hear the term, “Comic Con,” there are normally four shows that you think of: San Diego, New York, C2E2, or Wizard World. For us living in Michigan, we have Motor City Comic Con. This is our annual Mecca of a show. We do have other shows such as Cherry Capital, Grand Rapids, Monroe, Fantasticon, and Your Comic Con, but every year the nerds/geeks in the Mitten State look forward to Motor City.
This year was different than the last number of years that I have attended this con. That is because I was honored to have a press pass. I will not say that I could just walk up and talk to any celebrity I wanted to, but I could ask for a set time if the celebrity was interested to talk. Although I was not able to interview any big media stars that attended the con, I still had an amazing time.
You see, going to these conventions you get to meet different people. People who you only see at the cons. They go from stranger to acquaintance, from acquaintance to friend, and then some from friend to family. For most people either attending or working the show, they refer to it as their “Con Family.” It is amazing to have that feeling of friendship with artists, writers, crafters, and vendors because since this is a family, we all help each other out. To prove this point, comic writer and friend, Dirk Manning, wrote a book for El Arto Press (who were also at the show). Whenever he would sell the book, he would tell the people who bought it that they could and should go over two aisles where the artists on the book were set up, Chris Sanchez and John Marroquin. And they would say the same thing but directing the buyers to the writer Dirk Manning.
Motor City always tries to show love to all type of comic book fans. In attendance this year, to name a few of the more well known from Marvel and DC: Neil Adams, Allen Bellman, Dave Gibbons, Frank Cho, and Simon Bisley. But there were so many great indie creators or new additions to the big two: Jay P. Fosgitt, Kasey Pierce, Josh Werner, Dr. Greg Wright, Trico Lutkins, Stefani Manard, David C. Hayes, Seth Damoose, Dan Dougherty, Darryl Banks, Misty Bondy, Jason Westlake, Jeremy Clark, Katie Cook, Ryan Stegman, and so many more amazing people. For the full list of comic guests, please click here. There were some amazing crafters as well, like 734 Designs and Terri-rific. If you’re interested in seeing the full list of crafters, please click here. And then there were some main staples for vendors, like Big Ben’s Comix Oasis and Styline.
The media side of the event was something of legends. The reason I start that way is because you had Karolyn Grimes (Zu-Zu from “It’s a Wonderful Life”), Barbara Eden (“I Dream of Genie”), Big Van Vader, Sting ( the wrestler, not singer), Tony Todd (“Candyman”), Michael Rooker (Yondu from “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Marky Ramone, and the Bad Boy of Basketball himself, Dennis Rodman. There was also a number of group or reunions – Weird Science (Kelly Le Brock, Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Michael Smith), American Pie (Shannon Elizabeth, Mena Suvari, Thomas Ian Nicholas), Might Morphin Power Rangers (Amy Jo Johnson, Jason David Frank), Walking Dead (Michael Rooker, Scott Wilson, Tom Payne, Robin Lord Taylor, Khary Payton, Jason Douglas, Austin Amelio), and even Star Trek: The Next Generation (LeVar Burton, Wil Wheaton). Again, there were many more celebrities there, and if you want to see the full list click here.
I can honestly say this was probably one of the more fun-while-busy cons I have been to in the past rolling year. I got a few autographs for my personal collection and picked up new books. But there’s something different about Motor City Comic Con that separates itself from anything else. For me, there were a few situations.
The first special moment was when I got to meet Wil Wheaton and get his autograph. I asked him for a specific signature. His response was, “There are few things I won’t write…” and he gave a lengthy pause. I was starting to become a little bummed. However, he then added, “But that is not one of them.” He was funny, friendly, and made you feel like you had known him for years.
The second came when I got to meet the best big man in wrestling, Big Van Vader. Now for those of you that don’t know me, I was an indie wrestler. Vader was the man that made me think it was possible for me to be a wrestler as a career. And before you say it, yes I know it is scripted and choreographed. But still, I was heartbroken when I heard towards the beginning of the year that Vader might not have long to live, as per his personal Twitter page. But when I saw he was going to be there, I had to meet the man! I got his signature, got to shake his hand and also got a picture with him. Again down to earth and very humble. I guess sometimes meeting your idols can be a good thing.
The third is probably more the next guest’s con moment than it would be mine. I got to meet Amy Dumas, WWE Hall of Famer, best known as Lita. When I got to meet her and shake her hand I made the statement “I thought it was amazing when you came in at the same time as Essa Rios.” And she was surprised that anyone remembered they were brought in together. Then after she signed an autograph for me, I was getting ready to leave I made mention that “I dig the Luchagors as well.” For those of you that do not know, the Luchagors was her punk rock band that released one album in 2007 but kept active until 2014. Upon making that statement, she said: “First you mention Essa and now the Luchagors, you are a true fan!” She came around the table and gave me a hug. That made the day for the late teenage-early 20s Dave the Nerd.
The fourth moment happened after the con. I was walking out to my truck, getting ready to leave and a gentleman in front of me was pulling a suitcase and carrying luggage. He was walking towards me, and as he got closer I began to recognize his face from the different films he was in: “Goonies,” “Rudy,” “Lord of the Rings”; that’s right Mr. Sean Astin. I asked him if I could at least shake his hand because he was an actor that was in a couple of my favorite movies. But he also voiced my favorite of the Ninja Turtles in the 2012 series, Raphael. He graciously shook my hand and then started asking me how the con was and if I had a great time. It was amazing that someone with the celebrity status that he has would be so open to talking to someone without any celebrity status like me, outside of a con, when he did not have to. It shows you what type of person he truly is.
So to wrap this up, I would say it was an amazing event. Motor City always puts on a heck of a show and tries their hardest to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves. Was there things that I would change? Maybe. But at the end of the day did I enjoy myself and have a memorable time? You bet your life I did! I hope to have just as much fun next year as I did this year.