Detroit Fanfare – Bizarre Bazaar
Lastly, at Detroit Fanfare, they had two areas that we only perused through once and at the fastest pace possible. These two were the Stage area and the Bizarre Bazaar, which had a high amount of traffic but very little to offer us.
The Bizarre Bazaar as it was called, references all the oddities of the convention. What I could make of it were custom street signs (for decoration) and other non-comic related knick knacks. What I missed (or rather don’t miss) was the bootlegger section for movies, they didn’t have any of that on the comic book floor or the artist alley. In hindsight, actually, by removing the riffraff from the comic book/artist sections, it really made the convention that much more easy to navigate and avoid the people who are attending the convention for all the wrong reasons.
The main draw to the bazaar room, was actually the SUPER famous people who were in attendance. These consisted of Billy West (Futurama), John DiMaggio (Futurama/Adventure Time), Brian O’Halloran (Clerks, he wasn’t even supposed to be there that day), Maurice Lamarche (Pinky & the Brain), and Jeremy Shada (Adventure Time). These voice actors (and one screen actor) drew in tons of people to DFF and made the lines that much longer. Although they were not giving out interviews, we didn’t see the need to wait several hours in line for a signature from any of these people. Mind you, that doesn’t mean we don’t respect them or want to meet them, but it just goes to show that many people who attend these conventions are starstruck (totally how I used to be) and don’t fully experience what conventions have to offer.
In fact, the lines for the voice actors extended out of the bazaar and into the stage room. It was here a few players from the Detroit Lions were present. I’m not a huge fan of baseball nor have much knowledge of Detroit, but one of the players has a comic book out and he was there promoting it as well. He only had a few hours, as there were playoffs on Sunday he needed to be in attendance for. We were given some heads up about more players arriving, but decided against fighting through the lines to get to them. Perhaps this was our loss for not venturing into these areas more, but I feel we didn’t miss a whole lot.
I apologize for not having photos or more coverage of the final two areas of the Detroit Fanfare show, in fact I think it hurts our presence there. Moreover though, I’m confident we’ve made up for it in terms of how much of a presence we made on the Comic Book section and the Artist Alley, in which we left no stone unturned. Through our interviews with Chris Yost and Ryan Stegman (each will be released the next few days), we met our goals that we set for ComicUI and surpassed them by the quality of conversation we had with these guys and even the shop owners on the floor (kudos to Green Brain comics for bringing some unique items to sell). Overall, it was a great year and I hope we get invited back next year, now that we know what we’re in for.