A report from the Motor City Comic ConWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite news of NBC not picking up Toledoan Adrianne Palicki’s “Wonder Woman” pilot, the disappointment over the “Smallville” series finale and the child pornography charges against professional comic artist Justiniano, the 2011 Motor City Comic Con opened its doors for three days of industry enjoyment.
Once considered the third-largest comic convention in the country, the event still draws a healthy bumper crop of comic and media stars and a good-size audience to approach them.
This year’s Con boasted industry names such as James Robinson, Tim Sale, Geof Darrow and the legendary Howard Chaykin.
On the media side, the show welcomed Kristin Bauer (“True Blood”), Ernie Hudson (“Ghostbusters”), Star Trek alumni Kate Mulgrew, Brent Spiner and George Takei, and many others.
Motor City has become top-heavy with TV and film personalities, but the balance between those media and comic books is a fascinating one and the mix of attendees creates an eclectic atmosphere. Whether you want to find that near-fine copy of “Amazing Spider-Man” No. 129 or simply snag autographs from Bobby and Cindy Brady, a short drive to Novi, Mich., is all it takes.
Recently, the Con has attracted an ever-growing number of families to walk its floors. This past weekend, parents and their kids were out in full force and the number of children — many of them strutting about as their favorite characters — was staggering.
While this is potentially a good thing for the comic industry, the plethora of exhibitors with adult-oriented material on display may easily cancel out the gains. Word to con promoters: Think about cleaning up your act a bit. When one artist who was placed next to a table displaying oversized almost-nude drawings has to put out a desperately handmade sign that reads, “We have kid-friendly stuff!” you may have a problem on your hands. Why not consider an “adults-only” area off to one side of the con floor?
Overall, the 2011 Motor City Comic Con was a fun time and a chance for industry professionals of all stripes to congregate away from the deafening din of the big city conventions. Next year’s event, with some tweaking, could prove just as engaging for all concerned.