Detroit Fanfare has been going on for a few years and this was the first year I was able to go. Not even as a spectator, but rather a great chance to attend as a media guest for ComicUI. We will recap each section of the event in detail as we experienced it, starting off with the most relevant. Articles may be updated with photo galleries as we go or embedded into the post itself. Still trying to get a good collection of those together.
We started the morning off at 9:00 AM at the hotel/convention center and lets just say, but the time we left, we were spent mentally, physically, and monetarily. This was an exclusive press tour first thing and that gave us a window into the convention before most exhibitor’s even arrived.They took us down a few back hallways to reach the rooms and without paying attention, you could have gotten lost in this place and never been found. The tour lead us through 4 main areas: the comic book room, the artist room, the performance stage, then lastly the famous people arena. Each one was just as different as the last but we found ourselves spending most of the time in a few select places, mostly where the money could be best spent.
The first place I feel we should share is was what I’ll nickname the ‘comic book’ room, as in most of the vendors in here were selling dirt cheap comic books and tons of other knick knacks. It was also where we would meet Chris Yost and Ryan Stegman later. I knew it would be my favorite place the moment we stepped in. The first person we came across was an elderly lady in a rocking chair, knitting with a cup of tea beside here. This was the last sight I’d expect to find at a comic con, but lo and behold, it was the first thing we got hit with in the morning. We spent probably the most amount of time in this room, as it was easier to buy books at half price or 50 cents than artwork that was $10-$20.
I also had a mission, purchase Scarlet Spider #16 written by Chris Yost and cover by Ryan Stegman (an homage to his Superior Spider-Man #1), my two main “objectives” at the convention. After buying a lot of cover price variant cover comics at a place called Comics & More, a local comic shop who had brought in a bunch of books that were both relevant and pricey. He probably got the most of my money at once, since cover priced comics cost more than 1/2 off or 50 cents at a time. The guy had a great personality too and was selling blank Superior Spider-Man #1 variants, which Brian of course got the most use out of.
Second up, we moved on to the half price comics and the first one I pulled was my sought after Scarlet Spider book and from there I breathed a sigh of relief. I could have sufficed with a single Thor: The Dark World Prelude book by Yost and Superior Spider-Man #2 for Stegman, but why settle for second best when I could get what I want? Exactly, I didn’t. It was here I purchased a set of Ultimate Fantastic Four books that tell the story of Ultimate Thanos in the War of Gods storyline, so that was pretty successful as well. Brian was able to round out his Daredevil collection as well, which left us both extremely happy.
From there we walked around and found a business that sells comic book frames for walls. Not just cheap frames, but wooden ones that hold comic books that are both CGC rated/sealed and just regular books. I can’t fathom ever getting into CGC ratings myself because I don’t ever expect to sell or profit off my collection. Its more of a sentimental/visual thing that makes me proud and excited at the same time. However, I think I may get the triple book frame for my DFF collectibles and another few individuals for my other random signatures. This was by far the best non-comic book booth I came across that day and can’t wait to place my order soon!
Lastly, we ventured into 50 cent territory to see what random books we could pick up for the lowest price. It was here I got my hands on Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr’s Eternals (missing #3 still…) and some severely kick ass Inhumans books. Black Bolt would be one of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe, and this goes back since before War of Kings even, and I couldn’t pass up a chance to collect those bad boys. We had a scare with Brian as he discovered a box of $4 Skottie Young variants and there were a ton he didn’t have. Thankfully we got out without being asked to leave and taking out a loan.
Finally, we spent a ton of time around Ryan Stegman’s table in this room, mostly because we wanted signatures on our books, but also because we got to interview him. I picked up a poster of Superior Spider-Man #18’s cover (Superior and Spidey 2099 fighting) and Brian, the lucky son of a bitch, got him to draw a custom Spider-Man/Spider-Bot cover on his #1 variant. It was at this time, when he was doing these 5 minute sketch covers, at which we confirmed an interview with him later in the day, definitely solidifying our Media Presence at Detroit Fanfare.
While the sketches were being done, I moseyed over to see Chris Yost’s booth, which sadly had hardly anyone there. I don’t know if it is because people care less and less about who wrote a film and the other players involved other than the director/actors, or that they didn’t realize this was the man who helped create X-23, wrote the second biggest Marvel movie release of 2013, and was one of the biggest contributors to Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Either way, I was blown away by his humility upon meeting and finding out he is also a film school graduate from the Midwest, then ended up in Advertising before leaving out to California. I respected the hell out of him even more after that and saw the immediate parallels to his life and mine at that moment. I can make it to Marvel, you just watch. Around this time we met up with a friend, Gregg (co-founder of Comic Garbage) and we left the comic book room.
As we left with the extreme amount of added weight to our backpacks, I cannot say I regret one decision in the Comic Book Room of Detroit Fanfare. It was worth every penny.