Motor City Comic Con 2024 Marks Another Successful Year

Whether they beamed in, teleported or journeyed through space and time, droves and droves of fans attended the Motor City Comic Con in Novi May 17-19. 

This con marked the first time Charlie Carden, a Grosse Pointe native who lives in Grand Rapids, attended since 2019. He and his wife April co-hosted the panel called “Star Trek Tech: Fantasy is Reality.” The couple heads up the U.S.S. Grand Petoskey, a Grand Rapids-based chapter of the Starfleet International Fan Club. Carden also co-hosts the podcast called Secret Friends Unite! He was impressed with the con’s success since he last attended five years ago.

“My wife April and I were delighted to host a room full of Trekkers to talk about ‘Trek Tech,’ a reflection on how ‘Star Trek’ has influenced real life technology since the show’s inception in 1966,” he said. “We had a room full of 40-50 people in an interactive chat on the subject. It was a blast!” 

RELATED: Motor City Comic Con Offers Fun For Everyone

Kyla Cleere, of Madison Heights, attended Carden’s panel with her brother Luke. 

We also enjoyed the ‘Star Trek Tech’ panel,” she said. “Maybe I will finally get my brother into ‘Trek’!”

A highlight for them was meeting Tom Kenny, the voice of the titular character on “SpongeBob SquarePants.” 

Cleere cosplayed as Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen and her brother cosplayed as the Haunted Shopping List from “SpongeBob SquarePants.” 

“We met Tom Kenny – who was awesome – and got our photo with him,” Cleere said. “My brother and I dressed up as ‘SpongeBob’ characters, and my favorite part of the con was just seeing everyone’s reactions to our cosplay and making people happy. We got stopped for photos or interaction every couple of minutes. As always, it’s such a fun group of people to be around. I’m already looking forward to the fall convention.”

Besides Kenney, the celebrity guest list included Oscar winner Helen Hunt (“Twister”) – in what was her first convention appearance ever – Cobie Smulders of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy”), William Shatner (“Star Trek”), Carla Gugino (“The Fall of the House of Usher”), Ernie Hudson (“Ghostbusters”), Jennifer Morrison (“Once Upon A Time”), Karen Allen (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”), Tom Wilson (“Back to the Future”), Zachary Levi (“Shazam”), Heather Graham (“Scream 2”), Gates McFadden (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”), Denise Crosby (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”), Giancarlo Esposito (“Breaking Bad”), Felicia Day (“Supernatural”), Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Galactica”), among others. 

Dave Marchand, of Warren, has met Shatner in every decade going back to the 1980s. He finally got his photo taken with the 93-year-old actor who’s best known as Capt. James T. Kirk. 

Since MC3 began in 1989, Marchand has either volunteered or worked as a vendor or just attended as a fan. He’s only missed one year in the con’s history.

“It was an awesome show,” he said. “Very busy.”

This was the first time Michigan State University alumnus Jason Hildreth, a Chicago native who lives in West Virginia, attended MC3. Hildreth – who has been attending cons for more than 18 years, most notably the bigger ones like the San Diego Comic-Con and the New York Comic Con – really had a good time. 

The show definitely deserves the reputation it has across the convention circuit,” he said. “It is a well-run convention with a very good range of different areas. There are some conventions that are more of a yard sale and this is definitely not that! It also had a diverse Artists Alley where some conventions have very few comic creators – even in the Artists Alley. The celebrity area from the photo ops to the celebrity tables themselves were run like a well-oiled machine where the volunteers knew what to do, which is not normally the case at many cons.”

Hildreth shared some of his favorite moments from MC3. 

“Meeting celebs that either did their first convention (Hunt) or are infrequent (Allen),” he said. “Talking to the fans in the lines and getting to know people who also are avid con-goers along with running into many con-goers that I see at another con somewhat close to Michigan, such as Steel City Con in Pennsylvania.”

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