On October 29th, I had the opportunity to attend one of the most exclusive parties in all of the Detroit area. I was invited to the pre-party for the Detroit FanFare comic book convention. After years of attending convention parties, black tie events, and media parties, I set my hopes very low as I have said the words, “Seen it all before,” many times in the past. Man, was I wrong.
The pre-party for the Detroit FanFare was held at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn in Dearborn Michigan where the convention was being held. The three-sixty view of the surrounding area that the hotel’s rotunda offered set the scene for a party that was going to hold the symbolic qualities for the comic book industry and comic book fandom that I will discuss later.
The guest list for the pre-party for the Detroit FanFare mostly included the comic book creators that would highlight the show, and the owners of the local comic book stores that had booths set up downstairs. When the guest of honor, Stan Lee, showed up, you could have heard a pin drop. There was absolute silence out of respect and reverence for the man that changed the industry so many years ago, and them a round of applause was raised that sounded like a series of bombs going off.
Dennis Barger Jr., the lead promoter and organizer for the Detroit FanFare took a few moments to address the crowd. He reminded everyone that the Detroit Triple FanFare was the original comic book convention. He pointed out the fact that over the years, the direction of comic book conventions had been taken off of the fans, and taken off of Detroit. The Detroit FanFare was not going to focus on media guests like other conventions, but on comic books, and the fans.
As he spoke, a strange sensation embraced all who were present. Instead of having the feeling that we were at a pre-party for a convention, we felt like we were celebrating with each other on the eve of a revolution. We had the initiative to storm the Bastille that had been erected by the promoters of other comic book conventions that cared more about the media guests than the comic book creators, and more about profit than people.
Dennis spoke about how the Detroit FanFare would be a message sent from the fans to the comic book collecting industry, the comic book industry, and to other comic book conventions that the fans of comic book were taking the convention back. The Detroit FanFare was also a loud statement to the comic book world that Detroit was taking back the comic book convention that the city created, and that all eyes in the comic book industry had better move to Detroit. As we had a full view of the area in teh rotunda, so to would the industry have a full view of the Detroit fans.
There were a series of awards that were announced at the pre-party for the Detroit FanFare. These are going to become annual awards that will point out all types of excellence in the comic book industry. These awards are destined to become very popular as the Detroit FanFare grows. Links to more information about these awards will be linked below.
Iron Man and War Machine were two guests that wowed the crowd almost as much as Stan Lee himself. They posed for pictures with everyone, and even attended some of the events the next day. The Detroit FanFare Girls were also a nice addition to the pre-party for the Detroit FanFare that also got the crowd going.
I have to say that I was impressed by the pre-party for the Detroit FanFare. Later on, when I had the opportunity to interview Stan Lee, he stated that it was one of the best industry parties that he had ever been to. He said that it invigorated him, and got him ready to help take the comic book convention back for the comic book fans. Viva la Revolución! Viva la Detroit FanFare!