It wasn’t very long ago that I expressed my gratitude to the folks behind Michigan Comic Con for allowing geeks in my home state to partake in yet another sizable event geared toward those of our persuasion. And after being one among thousands to file into Cobo Arena this past weekend, I can say that, perhaps like those of you reading this, I’d made memories to last a lifetime.
Aside from running into many friends I’ve made over the years frequenting the convention scene, I, of course, made a few new ones along the way. Not only that, but the late addition of Kevin Conroy to the guest list was something that was much appreciated, for I’ve yet to see him at a show in this area. Needless to say, the man whom many regard as being the definitive voice of Batman was easily among the most popular celebrities to appear – and yes, I did have the good fortune to briefly meet the Dark Knight himself.
Speaking of which, those who attended his panel probably walked away with more insight into his process than they may have expected. In addition to reminiscing on his time recording dialogue for Batman: The Animated Series, the Arkham Knight video game and various other projects, the Julliard trained Conroy amazed me by discussing his ability to get into the headspace of the Caped Crusader, something I imagine he applies to any role he takes on.
In case you didn’t make it to the panel, fear not, because we’ll be posting coverage within the next few days, so I strongly encourage you to keep watching this space. Believe me, he said some things that Batfans won’t want to miss.
As for other celebrity guests, Ray Park (Star Wars, X-Men) and Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Saw) proved to be among the biggest draws, as I anticipated. Naturally, Nichelle Nichols didn’t cease to work her magic by attracting Star Trek fans of all ages to her booth.
When it came to comic book creators in attendance, I must admit that I was more than ecstatic to see Chad Hardin, whom I view as being one of this decade’s definitive Harley Quinn artists, having a table there. But what I won’t soon forget was Ty Templeton illustrating a one of a kind sketch of Selina Kyle on my recently purchased blank cover edition of Catwoman #1. As a solid to those of you who may be intrigued by the process, it’s encouraged that you browse the accompanying gallery, for you’ll see how he progressed from the conceptual stage to the finished product.
Also in said gallery happen to be my favorite cosplayers seen around the showroom floor and Saturday’s costume contest. In keeping with that, the one and only Yaya Han was kind enough to pose in each outfit she donned over the weekend, so you’ll definitely want to check out those shots as well. Oh yeah, there also may be a little truck named Optimus Prime hiding somewhere among the bunch…
By now, you’ve no doubt surmised that I had a blast, but if I could offer any piece of advice to the organizers, it’d be to print programs going forward. I’m well aware of how some businesses want to go paperless, but a number of patrons expressed confusion by their absence. I mean, it’s not just that they make for nifty souvenirs, but you can’t expect for everyone to know that they have to pull up an app in order to know panel locations and times, where artists are seated, etc. Plus, not everyone was able to get reception in the arena – and there still exist those who don’t have smart phones at all.
That aside, I wholeheartedly wish for Michigan Comic Con to come back for a second go-round in 2019. As is normally the case when I get ahead of myself, I begin pondering which guests will show up next, in addition to all of the interesting new people I’ll meet. Here’s to hoping you’ll all join me next year.