Once again the floors and halls of the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan were full to bursting with attendees for the Motor City Comic Con. Attendance records had the revelers matching MCCC 2016 numbers at a staggering 55,000 people, making it the one of largest in the nation. The event was packed with 47 celebrity guests including Sean Astin, Michael Rooker, Billie Piper, and Anthony Michael Hall, and featured 38 panel discussions, 213 comic guests, 141 exhibitors and 36 crafters! The impact was felt to the crowd as it surged in the aisles, stalls, halls, and lines of the convention floor.
As always, the draw of prominent comic book creators was enormous, and in the spirit of keeping the “comic” in Comic Con, this year saw legendary artists Neal Adams and Dave Gibbons, and fellow superstars in their own right like Ed McGuinness, Jason Fabok, Joe Prado, Kenneth Rocafort, and Yanick Paquette. I was fortunate enough to snag a Neal Adams signature last year, and lucky enough to get one from Watchmen co-creator and artist Dave Gibbons this year. I was able to stop by and see some of my favorite local indie creators as well like Jeremy Bastian and Brian E. Lau of Cursed Pirate Girl and Staunch Ambition, respectively.
MCCC 2017 also had major media guests out in full force and they continue to be a huge draw at the convention. Among them were Goonies and Lord of the Rings star Sean Astin, Dr. Who alumni Billie Piper and John Barrowman (who also brilliantly plays Malcolm Merlyn in the CW “Arrowverse”) , Guardians of the Galaxy and The Walking Dead star Michael Rooker, and Hellboy and Sons of Anarchy star Ron Perlman. The prominence of guests from the immensely popular The Walking Dead series has been a consistent part of the convention for the past few years, and this year was no exception, seeing its stars Austin Amelio, Jason Douglas, Khary Payton, Ross Marquand, Scott Wilson, and Tom Payne practically taking over the convention. LeVar Burton, a personal favorite of mine, and of any fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, was also in attendance and I was lucky enough to snag a picture with him.
This year had its first press conferences in the history of the convention—one with the trio from Weird Science, and the other with guest Michael Rooker. Although unable to attend, press conferences are a good sign of the things to come for the ever growing Con, as they will hopefully urge content creators and studios that the Motor City Comic Con is a great location to present new content and news. Further, the convention continued its tradition of great guest panels, and I was able to attend for guests Sean Astin, John Barrowman, and Billie Piper. Panels at most comic book and media conventions are an excellent way to gain insight into the minds, creations, fandoms, and personalities of a variety of guests—from artist to actors. Sean Astin’s panel made for a large and happy crowd, and gave attendees a glance at a truly gracious and humble actor, whom even after starring in one of the most successful and beloved film trilogies of all time, referred to himself as a “journeyman actor” and even lauded the spirit of the “middle America” crowd. In stark contrast to the intimate and low-key tone of Astin’s panel, actor John Barrowman of Arrow fame gave guests what could only be described as an on-the-spot performance drenched in raunchy comedy. Further, he played to the large crowd with a snappy wit that had most guests laughing (save those parents covering their children’s ears from his colorful language) and gave on the spot inspirations to fans who admire his Out and Proud nature. Lastly, Penny Dreadful actress Billie Piper had a tamer panel that delighted fans, and one that wasn’t short on all things Doctor Who, undoubtedly her most famous series.
Finally, no convention would be complete (or possible) without an outpouring of fans—and with attendance at 55,000 plus, they came out in spades. One of my favorite parts of any comic convention is the particular group of hardcore fans who pour their time, sweat, and love into creating the myriad of costumes and props that filled the Showplace. One of the very few things that makes waiting in line for the various guests, panels, and even food vendors bearable is the plethora of great cosplay on display. Following is a collection of some of my favorites from the show floor.