Geeking out: Motor City Comic Con returns with celebrities, costumed fans

Amelia Benavides-Colón
The Detroit News

Novi — After getting engaged at Motor City Comic Con in 2015, Laurel and Steve Frontera came back Friday to celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary in style.


Dressed in a homemade Lady Loki costume, inspired by the mischievous fan-favorite character, Laurel said she wouldn't want to spend her anniversary anywhere else.

Laurel Frontera of Sterling Heights poses as Lady Loki during the Motor City Comic Con event at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

"He proposed to me right here six years ago tomorrow," she said while looking over at her husband who was not in costume. "... and I can't imagine spending this weekend anywhere else."

The Sterling Heights couple said they've been fans of the Loki comic since Laurel Frontera discovered the character in 2017. 

Day one of the Motor City Comic Con kicked off Friday with singer Meatloaf and voice actor Maurice Lamarche, the first celebrity guests met with lines of eager fans. 

Canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular three-day convention will feature celebrity meet-and-greets, signings, vendors and more. 

Michael Ingold, a member of the 501st Legion Great Lakes Garrison, a worldwide costuming organization comprised of "Star Wars" fans, brought his exact replica of R2-D2 to Friday's event. 

Built according to the specs and blueprint of the original robot and approved by George Lucas and Disney, the life-size replica of R2-D2 cost Ingold $12,500 to build and maintain. 

Michael Ingold of Redford Township stands by his hand-built exact replica of Star Wars droid R2-D2 during the Motor City Comic Con event at the Suburban Collection Showplace on Oct. 15, 2021.

"We're just big kids who love 'Star Wars,'" Ingold said. "As a nonprofit, we can bring the robot and others like it to events like this for people to enjoy for free."

Controlled by an iPhone 4 connected to a remote control that is wirelessly connected to the robot, Ingold can control every aspect of the 375-pound robot including light and sound features.

Organizers of the event changed the layout of this year by broadening the aisles to ensure social distancing and requiring masks upon entrance. 

“Since 1989, we have continued to expand on MC3, and each year have been making it bigger and better," said Miriam Kruger, Motor City Comic Con's executive director. "We are thrilled that we can bring MC3 back for 2021 and are excited with our list of guests and events planned."

Rows of vendors selling everything from swords to Lego figurines to artwork filled the venue Friday. 

Brit Schwartz and Trent Ajlouny attended the College for Creative Studies together and said they have had a shared booth of artwork at Motor City Comic Con since 2016.

A man dressed as Batman looks at Batman stuff for sale during the Motor City Comic Con.

"Our first two years, 2016 and 2017, were terrible," said Schwartz, a Jackson resident. "We had to get used to the layout, the crowd and adjust to the type of art people were most interested in."

The past few years have been much more successful, he said. 

"It's not that we changed our work ... it's more like a progression of art," Schwartz said. 

Motor City Comic Con will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Avenue in Novi. 

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Staff Writer Maureen Feighan contributed.