Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review: The 2011 Detroit FanFare

The 2011 Detroit FanFare @ Cobo Center, Detroit, MI, 9/24/2011
I went to the 2nd Annual Detroit FanFare and was unimpressed. The first one was buzzing with energy, but I think that may have had more to do with the fact that it was held in the much smaller Hyatt in Dearborn, MI. Cobo is cavernous, much larger than the Suburban Showcase in Novi where the Motor City Con is held. I enjoyed the fact that it was in Detroit proper and was closer to my house. The convention (which will be referred to as “con” from here on out) was sparsely laid out, with the focus being less on comic books and more on creators and media guests.
While I appreciate the low ticket price (early bird cost: $10), getting in was not smooth. Volunteers, none of which knew anything but their specific function, were not helpful. Stand in this line to get your “ticket” scanned, stand in this line to get your bracelet...wait, which line do I stand in to get inside?? Are you in line? Which line is this? They didn't even rope off a line to get In until almost 9:30. Showtime is 10. Clowntown.

I didn't see Peter Weller (Robocop), but he was there. I strolled by the area where they do autographs and did see Kelly Hu, though.
The Bruce Campbell panel was roaring. I didn't attend, but was eating lunch in the lunch area in the back of the hall which was right next to the panel area.
I didn't get to see Tony Isabella or Tony Harris, as neither were at their booth when I strolled by. First time was too early, the second time was too close to panels that they were part of. Poor planning on my part...oh well. I did speak to Alex Saviuk briefly, which was cool because I enjoyed his tenure on the Spider-Man titles way back when.
A lot of my favorite dealers from other states were not in attendance. I love the ½ off and “nick and dent” boxes of trade paperbacks and hardcovers, and those were few and far between. There were some ½ off boxes, but it was all the same excess publisher stock from table to table. I was disappointed but managed to hold on to a lot of my money.
Had lunch with my fellow message board friends Ferjo Byroy (left) and Steve Topper (right).
The independent and professional creators were all selling their wares, and I picked up a handful of graphic novels that I had never heard of. Kevin Eastman of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame had a long ass line all day, and it seemed to only get longer as the day went on.
The cosplayers were out, and I am always floored by the hot chicks who get all dressed up. Hot chicks do not really read comic books, at least not in my experience. Maybe they read Manga or something. 
I did appreciate the Nightcrawler and Magik couple, as I loved the X-Men in the '80s.
So yeah, I had fun, but was disappointed at the amount of sand that I dug through with no gold. 
OK, this was weird. Stormtrooper/ Muppet hybrids. WTF???
I hope that this was just a case of sophomore slump and that the Detroit FanFare will be back next Fall, either at Cobo again but with increased retailer presence or back at the Hyatt in Dearborn. I still like it better than the Motor City Con, in any case. 

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