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Comics A.M. | Big crowds, long lines at Motor City Comic Con

Motor City Comic Con

Motor City Comic Con

Conventions | More than 30,000 people descended upon the 24th annual Motor City Comic Con over the weekend, with attendees reportedly waiting for up to two hours just to get into the parking lot, and then another one to four hours to get in the doors of Novi, Michigan’s Suburban Collection Showplace. Comics legend Stan Lee and The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus apparently contributed to the long lines, but the site was also hosting two other events and undergoing construction of a hotel, leading to a parking shortage. According to The Oakland Press, some fans parked as much as a mile away; traffic was backed up for miles. For the first time, the convention offered advance tickets, allowing attendees to pay extra in exchange for not having to wait in line. However, because of a mess-up, even those who pre-ordered had to wait in line. Related: Lee talks to USA Today during the convention. [The Oakland Press]

Legal | A German man who was arrested in the Christchurch, New Zealand, airport after customs officers found manga-style drawings of child sexual abuse on his laptop has pleaded guilty to importation charges and has been sentenced to 10 months in prison. New Zealand law prohibits possession of drawn images of children being exploited. “Whether it is an actual child or a cartoon, every image depicts a child being sexually abused, degraded, exploited and tortured and nothing excuses this offense,” said Shane Panettiere of New Zealand customs. “The reality of child sexual exploitation imagery is grim enough, but undertaking a commercial enterprise around this activity is horrific.” [Anime News Network]

Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival

Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival

Events | Tim Hodler posts an insider-y account of the demise of the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. [The Comics Journal]

Events | Taking a look at the bigger picture, Heidi MacDonald chronicles the troubles that seem to be afflicting a lot of indie comics festivals of late. [The Beat]

Digital comics | I talked to Valiant’s marketing and communications manager, Hunter Gorinson, about the company’s approach to digital — why it doesn’t have a branded app, how it’s approaching older properties, and whether it is considering digital-first comics. [Good E-Reader]

Creators | Michael Cavna talks to Craig Yoe about his latest anthology, Comics About Cartoonists: Stories About the World’s Oddest Profession. [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Candorville creator Darren Bell reminisces about his grandfather, Emmett Roscoe Bell Sr., who died at the age of 94 and whom he memorialized in a recent strip. [Comic Riffs]

Manga | Shaenon Garrity writes about Moto Hagio’s classic sci-fi manga A, A’: “Hagio was always the unfrilliest of the Year 24 Group, the classic shojo artist least interested in making her art cute. In A, A’, her characters have sharp faces and intense eyes, and her settings are mostly austere space colonies and washes of starry sky. But she composes each page with the hand of a master, leading the eye and the heart exactly where she wants them to go. The path she lays out in A, A’ is less harrowing than in some of her longer, more ambitious manga, but through the sci-fi action and romance runs a shudder of loss.” [Anime News Network]

Review | Stuart Kelly reviews the first volume of China Mieville’s Dial H. [The Scotsman]



The Saturday experience at the Motor City con was pretty much a wreck. I was lucky to find a parking space immediately. That didn’t save me from the sunburn I got from two hours under the sun.

I was infuriated with the traffic situation. This was the worst traffic I ever had to deal with, heading to the Con, even on a Saturday. Of course, it’s likely that Stan Lee’s presence (Saturday was his only day) was a big part of that. Still, I was absolutely outdone by the time I finally got to “creep” into the parking lot. I’m glad that I had an advanced ticket. Some of the promoters pointed out that we didn’t have to wait just as I was grudgingly heading to the back of the non-ticketed line. It took a while for my simmering road rage to calm down.

I was glad to finally meet the folks there I wanted to meet, like Stan Lee, whom I got to take a photo with and he signed a Marvel DVD for me. I think the meet & greet was overbooked, so you scarcely had any time to say “hi!” to Mr. Lee as the handlers were ushering everyone along at a rapid rate.. “Next!”

At least I can say I accomplished a bucket-list item in meeting Uncle Stan.

The funny thing is with everyone talking about Stan Lee contributing to this I have to think back to the first Detroit Fanfare. They had Stan there and while there was some confusion it wasn’t near as bad as this mes was.Of course the organizer of that show was on site and taking charge of the situation. Their first year was done much better than this show.

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