Con Review: Motor City Comic Con 2011

Since 1997, I have been attending “Motor City Comic Con”, a comic book convention held in Novi, Michigan.  Like most comic book conventions, there’s a dealer room, artist alley, panel rooms and guests.  They bring in Media guests from all sorts of medias from TV shows, movies and wrestling.  And let’s not forget the long list of comic artist that they bring in.  Held every May, Motor City Comic Con is an event I look forward to attending each year.

This year, Motor City Comic Con was held on May 13th - 15th with some great guest, such as Brent Spiner, Dean Stockwell, Ernie Hudson, and Felix Silla.  Each of which known real well for some great roles. Brent is best known for his role on Star Trek: The Next Generation as Data, Dean was Al on Quantum Leap, Ernie was Winston in Ghostbusters, and Felix was Cousin Itt in the Adams Family TV show.  These were all shows that I personally enjoyed growing up.  There were so many other guests there, some that meant just as much to me and some I was just hearing about for my first time.

There’s always a handful of great artist there, as well.  In the past they’ve had Stan Saki and Mark Bode on their guest list, which have always been great.  This year, though, I personally didn’t know any of the comic book artist even though they did have a long list. To name a few who were there they had Aaron Lopresti who has worked for Marvel, DC and Image comics, Franchesco who is best known for his renditions of attractive SuperHeroines, Jim Beard who is a Comic Book historian and scripter who has worked for DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW and more, and Justin Chung who is a professional illustrator who’s worked on Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Star Trek, and a lot more.  The artist are usually in an area that runs right alongside the Dealer room.

Motor City Comic Con’s Dealer room is my personal favorite thing about this convention.  Comics, T-Shirts, toys, animation cels, original comic art, video games and so much more!  Every year I come to Motor City Comic Con more so for the dealers then I do for the guests.  This is the only convention where I feel this way, as I’ve made friends with a lot of the dealers who show up for the convention.  So when I go there, the first thing I do is hit the booths where I know I’ll find TMNT stuff that I want and/or do not already have.

My two favorite dealers are Art-Toons and Stylin Online.  Art-Toons have all of their wonderful animation cels from Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Trigun, Heavy Metal and so many more!  This time, I even saw a rare animation cel from an old movie called “The Point”.  Their booth is always filled with eye candy and I always end up buying from them.  I have been dealing with Art-Toons since 1996 and see them as really good friends.  I recommend shopping through them to anyone I meet who loves cartoons!

Stylin Online is a T-Shirt booth and also the BIGGEST booth at the convention.  T-Shirts hung so high that you can see them from any point in which you stand at the convention.  They started off at Motor City Comic Con a little over ten years ago and now travel to all of the big conventions around from New York City Comic Con to Comic Con International.  Their booth design was first tested at Motor City Comic Con to see if it would work for their set up at Comic Con International.  Their deals are great and they always have a ton of shirts to search through for what fits you.  I always make sure to get a few shirts from them at Motor City Comic Con. Luckily for me, since I don’t have to pay for hotel or travel, it really is my best time to do shopping.

Both of these booths are ran by great people that I feel deserve the praise they get for the work they do at these conventions.  They’re nice to the attendants, supply things with high demand, and remember their costumers to know what to bring for the show that will most likely sell.  These two booths keep me coming back every year, to see what they have in store for me and to catch up with these good friends.

Friday is my shopping day, as I first go over to Stylin and pay for a few shirts.  This time I got a blue shirt with Michaelangelo’s face on it that says Cowabunga, and I got a Shirt that has “I Ninja Turtle NY”.  It doesn’t say Ninja Turtles though, it has a picture of Raphael’s face.  These were shirts I did not already have.  I went straight from there and put a down payment on some animation cels at Art-Toons, as they let me take some of the ones I had on lay a way home adding seven new animation cels and one original background to my collection.  I did add two more cels to the lay a way group before I was done for the day.  After that I shopped the rest of the floor.

Going to this convention over the years I’ve seen a lot of booths come and go through this convention.  A lot of these booths, I don’t know nearly as well, though I keep my eyes open for anything TMNT.  I did find many booths with old toys, such as Ghostbusters, Thundercats, Star Wars, Star Trek and many more.  I even did make a few finds on old TMNT toys, picking a few up for my collection.  It was over all a good time, with lots of smiling faces.  Keeping the shopping up at the top of my list of things to do when I first get to this convention.

After the shopping it was saying hi to people at the event.  Checking out their lay out of the guest area.  Wolfman Mac’s Chriller Drive In was set up in the same area they’ve been in for the last few years.  Down the way from them was guests who also did things that related to old horror movies such as Tom Sullivan who did special effects art of “Evil Dead” and “Army of Darkness”.  Also in that area you could see an Echo 1, a car made up to look like the Ghostbusters ride from the first movie.  It’s not the original one, though it still looks cool.

The next role down of guests, was some of the stars people would line up to see such as Brent Spiner, Kate Mulgrew and George Takei.   This was one of the areas I spent a lot of my time on Friday talking with Felix Silla. Felix has been in a lot of movies and shows and every time I talk with him I learn something more about his acting career.  This time I learned that Felix was even in Ghosbusters as someone had a picture of him in the background of the Court scene.  They brought the still in and gave him copies of the picture they caught from the film.

Though for all of the Turtle fans reading this, Felix has told me of his connection to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Felix was flown out, a number of times for the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle films.  Though he was never used in the movie, he was paid for his time.  They had him there to be a stunt double for Splinter, in case they needed him.  This is something I’ve never seen mentioned in any Ninja Turtle interview or behind the scene look.  It would of been cool to say that Splinter was Cousin Itt from the original Adams Family series!  Though it’s still cool to know that he was connected to the film.

One other guest I spent a lot of time with was over in Artist Alley.  His name is Dave Aikins and he’s an artist for a lot of Nickelodeon books such as “SpongeBop Squarepants”, “Dora the Explorer” and “The Backyardigans”.  Though Dave is also the only official Ninja Turtle guest that was at Motor city Comic Con this year.  Back in 2005 Dave did a TMNT book called “Four’s a Crowd” this was one of the children books released by “Simon Spotlight”, the story can also be found in a hardcover groupings of the Children Turtle books also released in 2005.  Dave has been attending Motor City Comic Con for years, and is always a wonderful person to stop and talk with.  He did have the Hardcover Turtles Book at his table for sale.

For this convention, my biggest surprise came on Friday when I met up with Ryan Jean. Ryan is a friend of mine who I’ve known online for years, but never got the honor to meet before.  He was working at Motor City Comic Con and really caught me by surprise.  When I first met Ryan online, he ran a Ninja Turtle website where he shared information about the voice actors from the original cartoon series.  He also designs and runs Rob Paulsen’s webpage.  Rob, Barry, Townsend and Cam all know Ryan.  To get the chance to meet Ryan really did make the con for me as I’ve always enjoyed talking to him online and feel his story is one that should be shared with everyone!

Other Turtle fans were at this convention as I saw a lot of people wearing Turtle Shirts.  Another fan that did stand out in the crowd to me though is a guy name Michael, who recently met my folks at another convention and already knew who I was because of “Totally Obsessed”.  That convention was HorrorHound back in March, my mom called me and handed the found to Michael so he could get the chance to talk with me.  So when he found me on Saturday at the convention center, I knew who he was right away.  His friend and him spent a lot of time talking with me at the convention and at the Saturday Con party.  It’s always good to meet fellow TMNT fans and I did enjoy getting the chance to talk with them.

Overall, this year’s Motor City Comic Con was fun, with a lot of great people to talk to, tons of eye candy to enjoy looking at, and a few surprises for me which made the event all the more exciting!  As always I’m looking forward to Motor City Comic Con next year! 

Entertainment Earth



Cant wait for the new comic! I am interested what changes will be made considering this is a reboot.

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