Report: Motor City Comic Con 2007

We can’t get to all the conventions, but if you want to go and tell us about it, we’re very happy to share. Such was the case with iFanboy regular Nate Smathers, also known as Mister S and his buddy, Roblaw, who attended the Motor City Comic Con this past weekend..

Click through for the full report with pictures!

If you ever want to do some convention coverage, or have a good comic book related story, please feel free to email us.

And so it was with brand new sketchbooks (seriously, with price tags and all) in hand, Roblaw and I decided to take our chances at the Motor City Comic Con. It was my first con, and Roblaw’s first in a long while, so neither of us new what to expect.

Now, the main reason we went was to meet Stan Sakai, the writer/artist/letterer/creator of Usagi Yojimbo — one of my personal favorite books. We feared long waits, over zealous mouth breathers, and high prices for sketches and autographs. We were very, very wrong. It being a small con, the waits were short, the people were fantastic (for the most part), and the creators were more than friendly.

Stan Sakai happily signed our floppies and trades, and then we had this exchange:

“Mr. Sakai, I have a kind of strange request. Would you draw Usagi on the cover of this Captain America?”

Stan Sakai
“Oh, do they reference Usagi in here?”

(He flips through the pages)

“Oh, no, but I just thought it would be really cool to have Usagi on the cover.”

Stan Sakai

“Yes, I really would.”

And so he flipped open the book, to an ad for some Marvel card game that happened to have Cap in it, then flipped back to the cover and began drawing. He drew circles and intersecting lines with his pencil, and it took a few minutes for me to realize that that STAN SAKAI WAS DRAWING USAGI YOJIMO WEARING THE CAPTAIN AMERICA COSTUME! He flipped back and forth a few more times, then began inking. In just a few more minutes, he handed me this:

I mean, how cool is that? Seriously. Ok, so we’d been at the con for all of 35-40 minutes and already the coolest thing has happened… I bought a print and a sketchbook, both hand signed/numbered. Then on to Guy Davis. We had met Guy Davis before, and I think he actually remembered us. He, like Stan Sakai, is a very peaceful, soft spoken, genuinely nice guy. It really made me sad to see that quite possibly my two favorite creators were not very busy on this day. Guy Davis chatted us up as he drew two beautiful sketches — pencils, inks, the whole nine — he probably used 5 or 6 different tools, just for a con sketch! We actually came back later to visit him again, and he drew us two more!

This is just one example, and here’s the man himself, at work of course.

We then searched around for David Finch, artist on Moon Knight and The New Avengers, blah blah blah. He had the longest line of any of the comics folk (um, duh), and he was charging for everything. 40 bones for a sketch, and he was drawing everyone the exact same profile shot of Moon Knight — pencils only, no ink. We got to the front of the line, and he begrudgingly signed our books. Whilst we were in line for David Finch, I snuck out to visit Jason Howard. We talked some more about him visiting my school (I neglected to mention that I was laid off) and he drew me an awesome sketch of The Astounding Wolfman. I also picked up a sweet Invincible print.


We were still in line for David Finch, when a legion of storm troopers, clone troopers, sand people, jedi, and the dark lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader, walked by. And a random guy carrying nothing but the new Mouse Guard hardcover. I stopped him, and asked which vendor was selling it, as I had not picked one up yet. He then told me that David Peterson was a couple rows over, and was signing and selling for 20 bucks! That’s 5 off cover, people. Um, hells yeah. Turns out he’s a nice guy too.

With out autographed copies of Mouse Guard clutched to our chests like a high school love note notebook, we ventured back for Guy Davis, take two. Mr. Davis was again, totally cool and was kind enough to draw us each another fantastic sketch. We talked some more about the con, the death of Roger in B.P.R.D. He’s really not coming back, I’m afraid.

After a final hour or so of searching out cheap floppies and trades, we called it a day. I still can’t believe how much quality comic talent we have here in Michigan, and that so many of them are such nice people, even after hours of signing and drawing and answering the same questions over and over. I (and Roblaw, methinks) can’t wait for the next one. Who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing you in Chicago.

Thanks for the report Nate!


  1. Dare I comment on my own stuff?

    Yes, yes I do.

    Thanks ifanboy for putting this up.

  2. I was there on Saturday.

    Michael Golden was charging $150 for “convention sketches”. I’m a big fan of his from the Micronauts series back in the ’70’s, but WTF?

    Anyhow, it was my first con ever. My 2 year old son had a blast. He was dressed as the Hulk and enjoyed growling at all the stormtroopers.

  3. I’m loving the sketches. Glad you guys had a blast! 🙂

  4. Great stories and that Stan Sakai is awesome.

  5. i miss the motor city comic con! they always have the best crappy tv personalities there, like carlton from the fresh prince and the soup nazi who is actually a really nice guy. they usually don’t have good artists there, figures they’d wait until i move to have some good creator guests.

  6. thats too cool. Guy Davis is one of my favorites and i love Usagi. wish we had something like that “small con” up here in the frozen north. oh well.

  7. Being from the frozen North (of MI) myself, it was worth the drive.

  8. Cool sketches. Sounds like it was a pretty good time.

  9. I also attended the con on Saturday. Took my nephews and niece. The one nephew had been there with me couple times before, the others were first timers. They all had a blast.

    Think the best part for the niece was the meeting of ‘Cameron’ from Ferris Beuller’s Day Off (Alan Ruck). Surprisingly nice and cordial. Most celebs I’ve seen there are not too happy to be there to begin with.

    My nephew spent his entire stash on a Captain America #100 (first solo issue) for $30. I am so proud…

    Bill Loebs was there. Managed to talk to him for a bit and got a sketch of Wolverine MacAlister from Journey. He had been working on it almost 3 hours before I had to leave, and took my address so he could send it to me once he got it done to his liking. Awesome.

    All in all, I managed to get some pretty good deals on some silver age Fantastic Fours, and the kids had a good time checking out the fun costumes.