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  • Thank you, Detroit

    I’m not going to lie to you – this isn’t easy. This week, the final City Slang local music column will be published in the Metro Times (on hardcore band Final Assault), and I have just submitted a cover feature on the women of Detroit hip-hop, to be published next week (8/6). This blog that you’re reading now will be my last one as a regular MT contributor. I have a lot to look forward to. I’m going to be an associate editor at Yellow Scene Magazine in Colorado, a tremendous publication in a beautiful part of the country. But leaving Detroit will be incredibly difficult for me. I love the place. It’s been (amazingly) six and a half years since I arrived, a couple of cases in hand and not much of a plan in mind. I just knew, after three separate research trips for books and a magazine article, that I felt at home here. Metro Times offered me freelance work almost immediately, as did a new website called Metromix (whatever happened to that?) When I arrived here, I had been working as a writer in the UK for nine years, but the help and encouragement I received […]

    The post Thank you, Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Culture

The beginner's guide to Motor City Comic Con

Cosplay isn't an exclusive club.

Photo: Photo by Jimmy Kipps., License: N/A

Photo by Jimmy Kipps.


Truth be told, we’re sort of novices when it comes to comic books and the conventions that celebrate their existence. We like Christian Bale and Andrew Garfield (Batman and Spider-Man, respectively), so we suppose we’re fans by default. But we’ve long found the idea of comic book conventions both compelling and intriguing. 

A slight misnomer, considering much more than just comic books go into an event of this magnitude, comic conventions encompass the art of crafting comic books and graphic novels, as well as that of cosplay. Media guests are also a big draw, and this year’s Motor City Comic Con will feature William Shatner.

At its core, however, comic conventions are about community. Matt Roman, a graphic designer at Shinola, hasn’t been a cosplayer for much more than a year, but he’s found that friends are easy to make in the scene.

“I think that a lot of people think cosplay is an exclusive club that you can’t be a part of if you don’t make your own costumes. But that’s not the case. It truly is for everyone whether you make or wear a costume. Anyone can break into [it] at any time. It’s not just for nerds, which is a huge stereotype associated with the community,” Roman says.

Inclusive in nature, comic conventions are a place to gather and commune, sure, but discussions and showcases take place as well, rounding out the offerings. 

“There’s so many things to do at conventions,” Roman says. “You can go to panels that range from learning how to build costumes to discussions about your favorite fandoms. You can take photos with other cosplayers. There’s almost always a cosplay contest to watch.” 

This year’s events include movie screenings, comic book giveaways, lectures on how to self-publish, and a special party celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Motor City Comic Con. (For a complete list of events, check motorcitycomiccon.com.)

Local comic book and graphic novel creator Shaun Manning will also be a featured guest at MCCC. His new graphic novel, Interesting Drug, drops later this month, and he’ll be there promoting it.

A con-veteran, Manning has a wealth of knowledge about conventions: “There might be this idea that cons are for hardcore fans only, and that everybody’s in these cheesy costumes. Well, first, there are usually some pretty amazing costumes! And more importantly, cons are for everybody. Especially now that there are more superhero movies and cartoons, and not, obviously, comics, stories like Walking Dead are reaching a wider audience through TV and film —there’s something for everybody, and everyone can find something new. And they really are a lot of fun for kids. I took my daughter to a con last year — she’s 4, we got her started on comics with My Little Pony and now she’s loving the new Hello Kitty books. She was very keen on some of the custom toys, and she got a really funny picture with Jill Thompson, who does the very cool Scary Godmother books. There’s a ton of stuff to see and do, and the experience is what you make it. So go ahead and dress up!”

Having covered comic conventions for Comic Book Resources and being a longtime attendee, Manning is looking forward to enjoying MCCC from a new perspective.

“Being on the other side of the table is pretty new and exciting, and it’s especially great to return to the Motor City con. It was my hometown show growing up, my first experience with comic conventions, and it’ll be great to come back to it in this new way,” he says. 

Roman says it’s best to dive in rather than dipping your toes in the water. And, dude, no one is going to judge you. 

“Being at a convention really allows people to express themselves in a creative way without having to fear being judged negatively,” he says. “My best recommendation is to jump right in and start making things. Cosplay is all about experimentation, and just like anything else, you have to practice to get better. I encourage people to find other cosplayers that inspire them.”

Similarly, Manning advises: “Have an idea about the things you want to do and see, but be open to new experiences. Be open to being surprised, because I think that’s the thing. A lot of my favorite moments at conventions are not things that I’ve looked for; they’re things that happen just from having my eyes open to the things that were around me and talking to people and just being open to a change of plans.”

Held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, some fans have complained that Motor City Comic Convention should be held in the Motor City. Founder Michael Goldman, however, says the convention will continue to be held at the Suburban Collection, noting that for every fan who voices their wish for MCCC to move, many more express that they would rather it stay in Novi.

The Motor City Comic Con runs Friday-Sunday, May 16-18, at Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi; 248-426-8059; motorcitycomiccon.com; door times and ticket prices vary.

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