Detroit FanFare was a really fun show. It was located at the Hyatt Dearborn (which has since changed ownership) and ran 3 days. They had a slew of comic people and artists, and some very special guests. My husband commented that when he first saw Star Wars: A New Hope as a kid, he never imagined that he’d be meeting Darth Vader someday.
While still a small event, only in its third year, it definitely had a lot to see and do. Everyone was very friendly and helpful, even if there was some confusion the first day with badge pickup. Frequent followers of my blog know that I typically stick to the Anime conventions, and are probably wondering what this post is about. Well, I’m just one of those all around geeks really. Sci-Fi, Comics, Manga, Anime, Video Games, Tabletop games; I love it all. This was my first comic convention amazingly, and will not be the last.
The following were taken over the course of all three days.
The opening “event” was a small Zombie Walk around the parking lot. These were the fast moving zombies, so it was hard to get ahead to get some shots, but it was still fun to watch.
Back inside, we headed through the Ballroom to check out some of the artists. I immediately saw this beauty hanging out:
Then we bee-lined for the MichLUG table to check out the LEGO display. I could have spent most of the day getting all the details.
After that, I had to check out the pinball machines. They had several traditional ones, and this digital version which loaded any of over 100 different games. Chris selected the Back to the Future one. He said it was quite cool to have the variety, but would have liked some force feedback motors as the “feel” of it wasn’t there.
I opted for the original style with proper paddles and steel bearings.
On the way out of the hall we bumped into Darth Vader (well, one of them anyway).
Bob Camp and Dave Aikins had a how to draw session. Paper and crayons were provided, and both kids and adults seemed to have a good time. Both gave some background on the shows they worked on and their current career along with the tutorials.
Amusingly, Dave walked around to check out everyone’s work after the Spongebob walkthrough. He gave enthusiastic praise to all of the kids. Stopping by us, he looked at Chris’s art and said, “Oh, hmm… yeah. I don’t think drawing is for you.” Mind you, Chris had the look on his face of “I know it’s awful, haha”. Then Dave moved over to mine, looked back at Chris, and said “I think we know who the artist is in the house.” :rotfl: BEST moment ever! We’ve both agreed round fluid cartoon characters are my thing (that and laying a line that doesn’t need erasing aka being stuck with a crayon) and more detailed sketch and then ink into precision is his area.
Back in the Ballroom – we checked out some more booths.
Watched Dave do some decidedly NOT Nickelodeon artwork
Caught a Muppet Stormtooper in the hallway
Listened to Josh Blaylock‘s panel
Before settling in to watch Dave Santia show off his speed painting skills.
A panel with THE Darth Vader himself – David Prowse, and Admiral Motti – Richard LeParmentier.
We also sat in on the delightful Allen Bellman‘s panel. I could sit and listen to him all day. He had some excellent stories about working at Timely/Marvel as well as his life in general. How he got into comics, working with Stan Lee, his wife video recording Bruce Springsteen for a little gig when he was still unknown and then not keeping the tape (because, who knew?). I heartily recommend sitting in on a panel if you get a chance.
There was a mermaid in the hotel pool throughout the weekend. The kids would sit by the edge and stare in silence, absolutely captivated.
I stopped by the autograph tables to get a proper photo of Richard and David. Both were wonderful to chat with. Very patient and had no problems with me getting their picture (I sadly had no money for an autograph) and talking to them for a bit.
Before heading through the Ballroom one last time.
I was slightly surprised at the lack of cosplayers. Those that were there were fairly good though.
The game room was on the top floor in a circular event space area that was more interesting to me for the view than the games!
Ryan Stegman had a great panel. He was very cool about discussing anything that wasn’t Spoilers! (though admitted he has to watch himself very closely at conventions lest he accidentally let something slip.)
Lastly we sat in on a special painting session by Dave Santia again. This time doing Flash Gordon and Darth Vader, with both sitting in the room. “No pressure!” he laughs.
First – Flash Gordon
Not a clean way to make a living.
Flash himself, Sam Jones, admiring the work and thanking Dave.
Next was a Darth Vader painting.
A Stormtrooper watches
As does Darth Vader (David Prowse) himself.
Signing it for the auction.
It was great convention. I loved how it focused on comics and the creators of them rather than how many big names they can pay to come out. The dealer’s room was a great mix of vendors and artists. Looking forward to next year!
More images (and all for sale) in the Gallery