Some of the characters are from a galaxy far, far away, and some of the artists are from New York and Los Angeles. But at the Detroit Fanfare Comic Con in Dearborn, there were also quite a few artists from Detroit. One of them is John Marroquin, Jr., who has had a table at Fanfare each of the four years the convention has been put on. Earlier today on this cold, cloudy October 26, several of Marroquin's fans dropped by his table to buy his prints throughout the day. "I've sold a lot of Venoms," Marroquin said. (Venom is a character in the Marvel Universe who has tried to pass himself off as Spiderman).
Marroquin had lots of advice for first-time Fanfare booth-holder Kelly Guillory, who recently premiered her graphic novel Blood Money: The Road to Detroit (coauthored with Jamie Acocella) at Flaco Shalom's Untitled Bottega. "They made me feel very welcome," Guillory said of Marroquin and other comic book artists at the convention. "Kind of like Detroit's art scene," she added. Among the people who stopped at her table was Brian O'Halloran, who starred as Dante Hicks in Clerks and Clerks II (and is expected to reprise the rôle in the recently announced Clerks III).
Another artist with helpful advice for Guillory was Ken Krekeler, from Birmingham, Michigan, the artist behind Westward and Dry Spell. Krekeler described Westward as "a steam punk version of Inspector Gadget." Like Marroquin, Krekeler also sold a lot of Spiderman-themed prints, especially one that shows Spiderman crouching atop the roof of a building.
The convention also hosted a blood drive. "We've gotten 80 pints" of blood, said Jennifer Killewald, a regional representative for the American Red Cross of Southeastern Michigan, shortly after 12:30 p.m. "We haven't seen one age group more than another," she added. Most of the donors were dressed in everyday clothes, but at least one wore a costume: Jen Kurtz came dressed as Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite. "This will be my seventh time" donating blood, Kurtz said before her screening interview. Killewald foresees most of the blood collected at the convention will be used in Michigan hospitals. "In some cases donors will get a letter" from the hospital their blood was used, but of course "without the patient's name," she added.
The convention, held this year at the Adoba Hotel in Dearborn, will go on for one more day, Sunday, from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., according to the convention's website.