Since 2012, attending Motor City Comic Con has become a springtime tradition of mine and, in that time, I’ve seen the show grow from a moderately sized convention to a pop culture juggernaut that has become the largest of its kind in the state of Michigan. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if they surpassed the 60,000 mark when it came to attendance this year. If so, that’d make it one of the biggest shows in North America. [NOTE: Since publishing this article, they’ve been confirmed to have exceeded 55,000, which is still very impressive.]
And who could blame anyone for showing up, be they diehard geek, casual moviegoer or just plain curious? Boasting a handful of cast members from The Walking Dead, Hellboy himself in Ron Perlman, as well as DC TV stars such as Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham) and John Barrowman (Arrow), to name but a few, how could you not want to be in the presence of such royalty?
On that note, I had the good fortune of attending the first press conference in the event’s history, which kicked off the weekend in style with none other than Mr. Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) opening the floor to questions. Although he didn’t really divulge anything about what lies ahead of him, it was pretty interesting to learn a bit about his uncredited role in The Bone Collector.
Aside from celebrities and a multitude of vendors populating the showroom floor, many notable comic book artists were in attendance, including legends Neal Adams and Dave Gibbons (seriously, never did I imagine that I’d ever get my copy of Watchmen signed, but it happened). It was also great to talk at length with such incredible talents as Yanick Paquette, Joe Prado, Kenneth Rocafort, Ed McGuinness, Chris Burnham and Christopher Franchi, among others. Not only that, but it was quite special to be one of the first to own a copy of Brian E. Lau’s Staunch Ambition #2.
Normally, I’m not really one for panels unless a big reveal is in store – or a star from a movie or TV show I’m an avid viewer of is involved. Thus, I attended John Barrowman’s and, believe me, it was worth it. Despite not giving up any Arrow spoilers, he served up what could’ve easily been an 18 and over panel. Seriously, it was like being at a standup comedy special that bore a TV-MA rating.
Raunchy humor aside (that was much appreciated), I have to admire how he has the ability to encourage everybody to be themselves and to make each of his fans feel special. Yes, he’s willing to strike the silliest of poses with anyone who lays down cash for a photo op, but the thing you have to realize is that he just made that person’s year and, for that, I applaud him.
All in all, I had a blast as expected and I encourage all in the Metro Detroit area to venture to the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi for next year’s event, which has already been slated for May 18-20, 2018. Be sure to mark your calendars, because the experience will be worth it.
For more from 2017’s Motor City Comic Con, be sure to check out our exclusive interviews with Aly Michalka, Jason Fabok and Ani-Mia.