Detroit Fanfare 2012 is done, but how was it? 2 days (3 really) of fun and events, signings and sales. Some good guests, some great attendees, and a big variety of vendors made for one interesting weekend. So, let’s get down to the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The weekend kicked off Friday, with a preview night where guests got to check out the sizeable artists/creator room and the vendor room (which was also lined with artists and creators). One immediately noticeable ting about the show was the ratio of artists/creators to vendors. There were roughly a dozen comic book vendors (given, many had multiple booths worth of space, but it’s still the same person) compared to several dozen artists/creators. Deals were to be had though, and there were a lot of smaller artists and creators that you don’t get to see at some other shows. Friday night was just 6-9, so things were brief, as to be expected for a “preview night”.
Saturday is when the festivities really kicked off. This was a long day for a show, going from 10-7. There were plenty of signings, talks, and events to make it well worth the $15 admission. Plenty of convention exclusives were available, although one of the more sought after Big Dog Ink exclusives was not actually available for sale, and was only offered to dealers. Attendance was solid enough that you felt like you were at a big time event, but small enough that it was easy to get around. The Hyatt (or by the time you read this, the former Hyatt) where the event was held offers free parking and is easy to get around, making this overall a very visitor friendly event.
The celebrity and guest list was small, but for an event of this cost it was a good deal. Flash Gordon, Darth Vader, and Spawn/Black Dynamite all hanging out and signing autographs. An exclusives table near the front door gave visitors a chance to not just grab signing material for this show and exclusive variant covers from this year, but variants and exclusives from past Fanfare shows as well. After the show floor closed for the night at 7, people prepped for an evening of fun, including a 24 hour game room with PS3s, 360s, and Wiis on the top floor of the hotel, a viewing of Flash Gordon with Sam Jones in attendance, and an after party with a full bar, DJ, and costume contest.
Sunday saw the usual markdowns for people seeking out great deals, and foot traffic was surprisingly brisk. For a day when the Lions were playing, show attendance was very strong and this gave the last day a fun atmosphere. Overall, the show definitely could have used a larger variety of dealers, particularly those with a wider variety of stock, but the booth cost was a bit high for a show of this size to attract all that many people. Admission was very reasonable, and the free parking was a nice bonus, so if you didn’t get a chance to come this year keep an eye out for next year.
Overall Grade: C+