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2013-05-23 / Viewpoint

Need a little ‘comic’ relief ? Go to a convention

The VIEW from here


Gary Gould — Managing Editor Gary Gould — Managing Editor When I was a kid, I loved comic books. I was never an avid collector, by any means, but I always enjoyed picking up a copy of books like The Flash, the Fantastic Four, Thor, Ironman and Daredevil.

More recently I’ve enjoyed the more grown-up comic books — otherwise known as graphic novels — particularly The Walking Dead, upon which the hit AMC TV series is based. So I decided to take the opportunity last weekend to visit the biggest and best comic book convention in the state — Motorcity Comic-Con.

The event took place in Novi at the Suburban Collection Showcase. The trip there was uneventful and we went in with a game plan to look at lots of comic books, see the celebrities who were there to sign autographs and to get a good laugh out of the people dressed up in costumes for the event.

As we got closer to Novi, we began to see signs of the comic-nerd pilgrimage bound for Comic-Con. Cars with superhero bumper stickers and license plates were the first giveaway.

Yes, we were heading in the right direction. The drive to Novi only took an hour, but then we waited nearly two hours in line to park.

While waiting, we saw the hordes of comic fans who decided to park offsite and walk to the event filing past on the sidewalk. Many of these were what is commonly known as cosplayers — fans who go all out in costumes to become one with the comic convention.

OK, it was all in fun, I know. But I couldn’t help but find some serious humor (OK, I was laughing hysterically at times) in seeing full grown men and women dressed as superheroes, video game characters and science fiction icons. We saw our share of Batman costumes, Star Wars outfits and a few Doctor Whos. I’m all for people having fun wearing a costume to a comic convention, but my advice is wear something that fits.

Batman is NOT a 98 pound weakling and skintight bodysuits should not be worn by people who could stand to lose a few pounds.

The crowds inside were as bad as the one’s outside. There were wall-to-wall people, many more than last year according to some conventioneers. The reason for the draw? Comic book guru/godfather Stan Lee of Marvel Comics was there, as was Norman Reedus, a popular actor from The Walking Dead.

Stan Lee, it turned out, was sequestered away in another room so the only way to see him was to wait in a line for more than an hour. And while Reedus and the other celebrities were out in the open, my only attempt at shooting photos of them was quickly squashed by security. I did, however, manage to get a shot of Lou Ferrigno in passing with a sneaky camera move. Thankfully he didn’t see me and break me over his knee like a stick.

In all it was a fun trip, but I decided it would be awhile before I go to another one. The first lesson was arrive early, the second was bring money for a photo and autograph of a celebrity. And third, I will make sure I never put on a spandex jumpsuit, mask and cape to go to any event — because I know now the people who aren’t dressed up will probably be laughing at me .. . and quite possibly the ones who are in costume.

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