Ahh Motor City. . . just how do I go about reviewing you. . . what is it that makes or breaks a show?
I still don’t have the answer to that question even though I’ve been kicking it around for a couple of days. The main question, I guess is quite simply is it worth it to go. Do the experiences and swag make the trip and expense of the show worth it. Of course that answer is different depending on who you are and how far you are away from the show.
While the $25 single day ticket price is steep for what you get it is a worthy show for locals. It has a lot of good things going for it — a decent artist and celebrity roster, a dealer table price that is low enough to get lots of smaller dealers among the bigger names.
I had some great conversation with artists like Jake and Matt Minor (uhh, guys. . . if you read this I can’t find your facebook page. . . every time I try to open it I get some foreign language page) and Kevin Leen. I picked up a couple of great APs from Jake. I was able to troll through several small caches of cards from a number of small dealers. That was fun, and it yielded me a couple of Fred Willard Americana autographs for $2.50 each and a Tony Shaloub auto for five bucks! Ed Webb’s SciFi Cards was the only big dealer set up, but he had a great spread of cards including all the new premium pack stuff, which was cool since I hadn’t seen any of it in person yet. Ed and I worked out a trade. . . he got cash and I got a great Amber Shelton Manga Mandy sketch and a couple of cards from his bargain bin.
The celebrity area was pretty quiet. On Friday there were quite a few empty tables, and many of the celebs in attendance seemed bored. It was a great opportunity for folks to rub elbows with the guests at the show. Tom Savini had a cool Evil Dead prop display that was the highlight of the celebrity section for me.
So the question I still ask myself — was it worth it? For me. . . no. I spent $50 for Anna and I to get in the door, plus another $5 or something to park for one day, which is pretty steep. I only managed to spend $100 at the show despite coming prepared to spend much more than that. Thankfully I look to the trip as a mini-vacation and we did take in many other attractions in the area and made a great time of it, but looking at the show by itself. . . to make the five+ hour drive and pay the entry plus hotel fees as well as gas. . . it’s just not worth it for me.
It’s not a bad show, but I can’t put my finger on why Motor City isn’t a great show anymore. Years ago I preferred and recommended Motor City over Wizard World. A minimum of a day and a half was required to see everything presented at the show. . . this year I stretched it out to a bit more than half a day. The quickest area I’d recommend for improvement would be the show management. I requested a press badge for the show, but the request apparently went into the abyss, which happens. Unfortunately once I arrived at the show no one knew what to do to fix it or flat out tell me I couldn’t get a press badge, and no one I talked to over about a 30 minute period could even get the person they needed to talk to figure out what to do. Ultimately I pulled the rip cord and paid the fees to get in the door, which is fine, but sheesh — empower your employees — make a decision! Once I was in the doors — the show had been opened for over an hour and the management was still working on setting stuff up.
So. . . I guess if you are local the show is a must see. . . if you are traveling I’d suggest making a trip out of it. . . or hold out for Wizard World Chicago.