I have often said that the more comic books invade our popular culture (gaining mainstream acceptance), the further away we move from fandom.
The San Diego Comic Con and metro Detroit’s own Motor City Comic Con (in Novi) have become hot houses for comics-related media such as TV shows and comic book-inspired movies, but comic books – that is to say, the medium itself – is losing some ground to its flashier visual cousins.
That’s where it seems Detroit Fanfare 2010 wants to take you – back to comic’s roots, and what better way to do that, than to have Stan Lee, co-creator of “Spider-Man,” “Hulk,” “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four,” as your guest of honor?
The comic book convention will be held Oct. 30-31 at the Hyatt Regency, 600 Town Center Dr., in Dearborn. This is very important, for two reasons.
The first: location. Having the convention in Dearborn means that metro Detroiters can actually attend a comic book convention that’s 10 minutes or so from Detroit proper. That’s huge. In my experience, these events are usually held quite a ways from the city.
Second, where Motor City Comic Con rolls out its celebrities list (some fans have called them washed-up actors on the convention circuit), Detroit Fanfare 2010 has strong comic book-related names Guy Davis, Gary Reed, Jim Starlin, Rich Buckler and others. If you haven’t heard of them, good. I think that’s the idea.
The organizers didn’t call it the “first annual,” and maybe that’s because this is an experiment in form, a way to bring fandom back, and there is a possibility that it might fail (I’m certainly not wishing this).
I love my comic book movies and it’s great watching G4’s coverage of the San Diego Comic Con and all the big announcements coming out of it, but I miss the smaller, cramped, closer-to-the-fringes conventions that often lead to lifelong friendships and the discovery of comic book artists and writers you may not have encountered, or discovered otherwise.
Word’s going to spread pretty quickly via Facebook that Stan is coming, but Stan’s not the big news here. Don’t let the wagging of the dog’s tail distract you.
It’s all about the secret handshake and frankly, I think us geeks have let Hollywood and television, plunder and repackage our medium to fit the general populace, making us feel as if we should be grateful that it has become “respectable.” Sure, I’m as happy as the next guy that AMC network is producing a “Walking Dead” series or that a “Green Lantern” movie is in the works, but comic book readers are, generally speaking, bookish, and in order to enter any of our beloved worlds, you’ve got turn the page – you’ve got to read. You’ve got to immerse yourself.
Fandom is about immersion, discussion, discursion, and connecting with like-minded individuals. Detroit Fanfare 2010 seems to address at least one of our complaints: “Where have all the comic book conventions gone?”
Well, here’s one. Let’s be sure to support it.
For more information, visit www.detroitfanfare.com.
1) Detroit Fanfare 2010, www.detroitfanfare.com