Report from the Field: MC3

by Joseph Overaitis

102622E-1024x536 Report from the Field: MC3The GoCollect readers deserve nothing but the best. Rather than sitting back, this reporter was once again sent into the field to gather the what’s what in comics, pop culture, and collectibles.  Our readership is diverse, but through hard work, some scoops and interesting insights were obtained that we can share now. Here is some collector news and insights obtained through interviews and observations from the Motor City Comic Con (“MC3”).

MC3 Is Prepared

I can report that there were no incidents like the one in New York.  The staff take this event seriously and come prepared.  Rules must be followed by all.  At last year’s show, tv reporter and con supporter Jay Towers organized early access to the Christoper Reeves Superman Reunion celebrities before the show opened.  Security and staff made sure even the reporters were orderly. The staff is always proactive rather than reactive.

At this year’s MC3, some lines for celebrities were getting long.   In response to the long lines, the event coordinators modified the layout to accommodate the lines.  The staff also anticipated where possible problems would occur and placed extra volunteers (who are great) where they would eventually be needed. This type of professionalism allowed fans to have a great experience and for journalists to report on better things than line scuffles.

Wakanda Fever

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The Lexus LC500 convertible that will be on the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” red carpet was available for the very first time to be seen by the public at MC3. Many fans loved the car and talked about their interest in the movie.  Those that collected comics even talked about how the film was impacting their buying.

Fans raved about the trailer and the views they had of Namor. They believe he is going to be important to Marvel’s future and were looking for keys at the show and online that they could afford.  Others said that Shuri would be an interesting take on the legacy of the MCU’s Black Panther. These two heroes were repeated over and over again.

The name missing was Ironheart. Fans knew who she was, but did not seem to be as excited about her inclusion in the MCU.  One fan said it best when they talked about the death of Chadwick and the storyline death of Tony Stark.  One replacement they could accept, but two were just too much. Not one retailer mentioned ANY Ironheart books being sought after by buyers. That is not a good sign for Ironheart speculators and investors.

Celebrity Sightings

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Many of our readers collect signatures on their collectibles.  A signature enhances the value of a collectible while at the same time providing the collector with a priceless memory.  Celebrities are great at cons. The MC3 was no exception.

Fans were also interviewed to determine if any unique experiences could be documented.  The following were some celebrity con superstars at the MC3 that fans should seek out in no particular order.

Christopher Sabat

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The anime actor was one of the show’s big attractions.  His fans think of him as more than a mere voice actor and waited patiently (even being moved by staff to an additional holding area) to see the Dragonball Z legend.  Fans had talked for weeks about his appearance.  The age range was wide, but all left more than impressed with their encounter.  Fans tossed around “no bigger star” and “he’s the man” while one fan was left speechless.

Christopher Sabat more than delivered to his fans. In fact, many said he was the only reason they came.  GoCollect has documented increasing lines for anime actors and Christopher Sabat is one of the best in the industry. He also sells products at these shows.

Alice Cooper

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The music icon was in rare form at the con.  Long lines did not stop him from taking in all the stories from his fans.  He may not get to spend time interacting with them on the road, but he more than made up for it at the show.

Normally, when an attendee has long lines the fans’ interaction with the stars is not as long as the fans would like.  Alice Cooper’s time spent with fans was not reduced even though his lines were well attended.

Alice Cooper’s staff would have made Henry Ford proud.  They worked with assembly line proficiency to expedite the process. The time saved by his people was then able to be spent with his fans. That additional time was valued by all.

Kevin McNally

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There are too many credits to list for Kevin McNally.  Most of the fans at the show knew him as Mr. Gibbs from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.  The man is also now known as one of the nicest people ever to visit the MC3.  Every meeting between Kevin and fans was as if two long-lost friends were getting reacquainted by telling stories.  Everyone kept repeating how nice he was during the show.  Even staff could not stop praising how pleasant he was to everyone. Some things may seem too good to be true, but Kevin McNally was awesome to his fans.

Nice guys like Kevin McNally should never finish last. Disney+ would be well served to create a one-off episode showing the day in the life of Mr. Gibbs and the pirate crew getting ready for one of their untold exploits with an unseen Capt. Jack Sparrow appearing at the end in silhouette in the vein of the Marvel One Shots.  Fans want more Pirates and they love Mr. Gibbs. Seems like an easy decision for Disney to make – deliver more Pirates to the fans.

Cassandra Peterson

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The MC3  press release announced that Cassandra Peterson would not be appearing in her Elvira costume for the event. That was truly a reward for fans. It allowed them to experience how nice and interesting she is in person.

Long recognized as the character, it was time for Cassandra to shine.  Fans were not disappointed.  Warmth and compassion exuded from the actress in ways that being Elvira would not have allowed. The world may be entertained by Elvira, but they left more impressed by the inner beauty and strength of Cassandra Peterson.   I may not have been a fan of Elvira when I entered the con, but after watching her interact with fans I can now say I am a fan of Cassandra Peterson.  She deserves to shine at these conventions and after talking to her fans, she did.

Arthur Darvill

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The Dr. Who and Arrowverse packed in the fans. That though can be said for most of the celebrities at the show. Where Arthur Darvill delivered was in overall fan interaction.  Arthur Darvill maintained a level of energy that made his first-to-last fan feel special.  Why he made the list was what fans described as an “it” factor of being able to listen to his fans.

One fan said they felt he was actually really engaged with his fans during the event.  Another group leaving the con said it was well worth the wait because of his personal interactions with fans. A Dr. Who/Super Hero star like this is desirable to con hosts, but the way he treats his fans makes him a must-see. Fans loved him and said they would visit the star again if given the opportunity.  That says a lot.

Must be Mentioned!!!

Daman Mills

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Daman Mills is a very talented actor with numerous anime credits.  That is one reason to see this star, but then there is the story of his inclusion in MC3 told to GoCollect that makes him a must-must-see.  Many fans did not know this, but he was never supposed to be at the show.

Another actor had to drop out and he got the call to show up the day before the show.   He made his flight and then basically rushed to the con, staying there for the whole event.  Every fan had his undivided attention.

His attendance rate at his booth was one of the highest at the show.  He practically never left. There is a reason for that type of treatment.

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Daman Mills is a true fan-at-heart of the anime genre.  He saw a bit of himself in every fan that came to meet him.  He could relate to them on a level rarely seen and he gave a bit of himself to every one of his fans.  Daman made his fans feel beyond special after meeting him. His eyes lit up with every encounter.

If you have the opportunity of seeing Daman Mills at a con in the future, please do so.  You will receive a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a celebrity who probably feels more from meeting you than you feel from meeting him.  That says a lot because his fans really love him.

Retailer Challenge

Retailers were interviewed to determine what was selling in their booths.  In addition, questions were asked as to what people were looking for that they did not have in stock. Patterns emerge that show where the market is at that time and where it might be going. Those reports will appear in my next article.  An interesting wrinkle was added to interviews that will truly benefit the reader.

One retailer was chosen to be put on the spot.  I paid the retailer $25 to pick out a book that they personally would buy with that money.  No conditions or requirements were put on the retailer. No guidance was provided or direction on the challenge was given. The scenario provided was that if they had $25 what book would they purchase.  This task was done with the eyes of an investor.

THIS BOOK WILL BE GIVEN AWAY TO ONE LUCKY READER.  I will cover the shipping.  There will be no cost to the winner.  The winner will be the person who guesses what retailer made the selection in the comment section for that article.  If multiple people picked the correct retailer, then those individuals will be placed in a hat and a winner will be selected. Finally if no one is correct, then everyone will be placed in a hat and the winner will be selected.  Readers may not have been able to attend MC3 so GoCollect is bringing it to them.

So What is Next

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MC3 allowed us to get out and talk to investors, collectors, and retailers.  This allows us to see some trends that may not be as recognizable by just reviewing the sales data.  These reports will also help readers to see books that may be heating up and others that may be cooling down.  That information will be provided in my next field report installment.

The celebrity report is one that actually produced some interesting data.  Normally reporters go to an event to write a story, but sometimes stories emerge when covering the event.  That is what usually occurs at MC3.   The staff provides reporters with great access to the show and we maximized that opportunity.  Many times people want to just be an attendee and get autographs, but that is not what is expected of journalists. A trend emerged that collectors and investors should take note of.  That report includes interviews with celebrities and attendees.

Finally, an Odds and Ends segment will finish off the installments.  In that installment, we will provide how you can contact an Eisner-winning artist to purchase some of their art as well as to see the OFF-RECORD TOP SECRET  awesome future plans they have in the works.  Following that artist’s site may be one to watch in the future.  The artwork I saw for sale was impressive and yet reasonably priced.  Interesting products/services and their vendors will also be mentioned. Finally, another artist’s work will be given away to one lucky reader.  That will consist of one actual signed comic book page.

Want more Market Analysis?

A lot of information was gleaned from MC3 and now it will be shared with our readers.  Reading pays off with knowledge and the chance to win some cool swag …until then!!!

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*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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