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April 26th - 28th, 2013

I believe it was the 5th show for Motor City Nightmares, but it was our first time there.  Weíd been hearing about for a few years, but never took the plunge in setting up there.  Until now.  Not having to get a hotel room because we were able to crash at our buddy Don Englandís house really made that decision a lot easier.  And with it only being about 5 hours away, it should be a pretty easy one to do.  Joining the Kitley clan for the journey was our buddy and Liquid Cheese Head Honcho Dave Kosanke, who also found it hard to pass up a ride to the show when it was going to be a cheap trip.  So early on Friday, we headed out to my former home state of Michigan.

They had a pretty decent guest line up for this show, with names like Michael Rooker, Kane Hodder, Dee Wallace, Michael Berrymen, Ken Foree, Doug Bradley, Heather Langenkamp, and quite a few others.  Honestly though, there wasnít anybody that I was dying to see, or that I hadnít seen many times before.  Keep in mind though, you have to understand that Iíve been going to conventions for over 25 years so while those guests might not have been a big deal to me, for an area that doesnít have many, if any,  horror cons, the guest list they did have was pretty good and had the potential to really draw the people in.  And that is exactly what it did.

Talking with some of the regulars at this show, it seems the number of people coming to this show has gotten bigger and bigger over the last four years.  That tells us that the staff running the convention are putting on a good show, making both the attendees and the dealers happy, for them to come back again and again.  It also means that they are advertising it to make sure that people know about the show.  Canít stress how important that is to conventions.  So once we got there, there was already a line starting to form to get in.  THAT is always a good thing to see for dealers coming into the show for the first time.

We find our table which happens to be right across from Ken and Pam from Cinema Wasteland, with Don England and Steve Bejma right off to our left.  Also there was our buddy AJ Wager with his lovely wife Amy, from Meatspider Studios.  As always, he artwork just blows me away.  While we had a few squabbles with the dealers on both sides of us, since we were on an end cap, for the most part it was a stress free show.  Once those doors opened, the people started to pour in and pretty much stayed steady throughout most of the day.

One of the great things about doing a show in a new area, you get to see a lot of new people.  Sure, we get our regular convention goers who travel a bit more to other shows in other states, but there are still a lot of people that donít travel too far, so they never make it to that many shows.  So we got to meet a lot of new people, had some really fun and interesting conversations throughout the weekend.

With all the conventions that we do each year, we see a lot of the same dealers, as well as a lot of the same type of merchandise being sold at them.  So it is a rare thing to come across a new dealer that not selling the same old stuff youíd see on a half dozen other tables, but offering something so unique and cool, that it just blows your mind.  Well, we found one of those that this show.    His name is John Juan and his company is D-Tritus.  While we took a bunch of photos of the work he had displayed at this show, by no means can you really get a good look at the incredible detail that he puts into his work.  Taking misc. electronic supplies that he comes across, he transforms them into small works of art.  You can find his Facebook page HERE, which shows even more photos of his work.  We spent quite a bit of time at his table looking closely at the incredible detail and work that he puts into each piece.  They are all just amazing.  And well priced, especially for the amount of work that is put into them.  Plus, all of these are basically coming from items that are thrown away and/or discarded.  As John Juan puts it, it really is the darker side of green art.  Take a few minutes to really look at the photos that we took, as well as going over to his Facebook page and checking out his work.  It will not be time wasted.

In the past, I use to only collect movie memorabilia such as posters, lobby cards, and stuff that I would decorate my home office with.  While I always thought some of the artwork that I would see at conventions were cool, I never would buy any of it.  But over the years, since I have become good friends with more than a few artists, it really has made me appreciate these pieces of art more than I had before.  So I would start to pick up a piece here and there.  It would have to be something unique as well as done well.  These pieces of art started to make their way into being displayed in my home/office, right along my other memorabilia.  As a matter of fact, as I write up this report, I have 5 pieces of art hanging in my office right now.  And it continues to grow.  So now at shows, I stop and take a look at these artists that are set up, where in the past I would just walk on by.  You can really see some amazing stuff when you just take the time to stop for a minute and see some of these items that these artist have pour their heart and talent into.  One artist at this show that we stopped at was Ray Kukurka.  Being a big fan of classic horror, the first print of his that we noticed was called the ďEvery King of PeopleĒ, which consisted of three characters, one from THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE, one from THE MOLE PEOPLE, and lastly one from THE SLIME PEOPLE.  Such a unique and cool idea.  But while we had stopped and started to look around, I noticed another print that was even better.  He had painted a portrait of an older Boris Karloff as he is pulling off part of his face, which is revealing the famous Creature beneath.  Such an incredible piece of art.  We knew that we were going to at least pick up a print of that piece before the weekend was over.  But before we could, my son had gone over there and picked up both prints for me.  Iíve taught him well!  And now, I have his Karloff print on display in my movie room.  You can check out his work on either his website (HERE) or his Facebook page (HERE).  So the next time youíre at a movie convention and you see an artist set up there, take a few minutes to look around.  You might be more impressed at what you see than you thought.  And even better, pick something up from them if you like their work.  Not only do you go home with a nice piece of art, but it also shows these artists that what they are doing matters to fans like us and for them to continue their passion.

The only Q&A that we got to somewhat go to was the LORDS OF SALEM panel, but the room was so small and already packed, we were just able to snap a few photos from the back.  So we donít have our usually amount of photo coverage of the celebs as we normally do.  Of course, we canít take them while they are at their table unless we pay for it.  And that is something that we have never done before donít plan on doing it anytime soon.

Throughout the 3 days of this show, I was amazed to see the consistency of the crowds.  Even on Sunday, when it is usually a skeleton crew of people walking around looking for those last buys before they hit the road, there was a quite a line waiting before the show opened and it was pretty busy throughout the day.  In fact, something happened on Sunday that I have never experienced in all my years as a dealer.  With most shows, on Sunday the dealer room is usually open until 5pm, but in most cases, dealers pack up way before that.  If it is a good show, maybe youíll wait until about 4pm until you start packing up.  It really depends on if people are not only still wandering around the room, but also if they are still buying.  But if it is really slow, dealers will start packing up as early as 1pm or 2pm.  But crowd at this show was still big enough here on Sunday, and more importantly, they were still buying stuff, that we actually stayed open until the very end of the show at 5pm!  Wouldnít have believed it if I hadnít been there.  What this tells me is that there are local people that are just dying for a horror con, but donít travel outside of their state.  So when one comes to town, as they say, they come out in droves.  So we made our plans then to make sure that we were going to be back next year for another Motor City Nightmare.  Weíll see you there.

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS

        

 

D-TRITUS ARTWORK