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The Lookout | April 18, 2021

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Motor City Comic Con marks 30 years

Motor City Comic Con marks 30 years Comic Con Comic Con Comic Con Comic Con Comic Con

By Shauna Stocken
Editor in Chief

In 1990, the Motor City Comic Con hosted its first version of the pop-culture convention, welcoming 2,000 guests.

This year, Comic Con celebrated its 30th anniversary, with over 65,000 fans attending during the three-day convention May 17 to 19. It was held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

Lansing resident and MSU graduate Heather Barber, 47, attend her seventh Comic Con on Saturday, May 18, along with family and friends. 

“I was a horror nut as a child, but it changed in college because then I started loving Batman and things like that,” Barber said. “Then I liked both. This convention gives you the chance to explore all sides.

“You get to meet people (actors). You get to buy art. You get to dress up. You get to do all of it.”

Barber said for this year’s Comic Con, she was focused on meeting her favorite actor, Doug Jones, who is commonly known for his role in movies such as “Hocus Pocus,” “Hellboy,” “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Shape of Water.”

“People know Doug (Jones) not through what his face looks like,” Barber said. “They know him through his love and expression, and the way he can make anything – any creature – come to life.”

While Barber and her group didn’t dress in costume for the event, returning couple Mike and Sarah Berg celebrated Comic Con as one of their favorite onscreen couples.

“We usually dress as the same thing – the Joker and Harley Quinn – but we try to put a spin on it,” Sarah Berg said.

The married couple of 27 years have attended the Motor City Comic Con for the past six years. Mike said the two “dig the attention and the after-party.”

“I just think that this is a great opportunity for everybody from all walks of life,” Mike said. “This is a non-judgment zone; just enjoy, have fun and break away from reality for a bit.”

Along with celebrity guests and fans dressed in costumes, the event center also featured an artist alley, crafters and exhibitors.

Robert Tietjen, president of the shop “Bob’s Got U Covered,” has attended Comic Con since 2016 with his pop-up shop.

After reading the book, “Escape from Corporate America,” Tietjen said he set out to change his life and career through utilizing his passions.

“We started with making superhero-related jewelry and stuff, and we slowly turned to horror,” Tietjen said.

Tietjen and his business partner Clay Sander create and sell horror and cosplay masks, as well as unique framed silk art, stickers, hats, Lego mini-figures and much more.

“This has been a busy event, especially very busy in comparison to past years and events,” Tietjen said. “I think our display has a lot to do with it.”

The shop’s display features a staged poker game, set at Camp Crystal Lake, with life-sized horror villains.

For more information on the convention and how to get involved as an artist, seller, or guest for the coming year, visit