Motor City Comic Con a success

“Doctor Who” actress Alex Kingston gets a moment’s respite from signing autographs. Photo by Kurt Anthony Krug.

Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people from all over came to the Motor City Comic Con in Novi to meet their favorite celebrities and favorite artists or to find that obscure back issue or piece of movie memorabilia. Motor City experienced one of its busiest Sundays as fans flocked to get photos and autographs of “Doctor Who” stars Matt Smith (the 11 th Doctor) and Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) – who is also known for playing Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – in what was their only day at the con.

Getting to meet Cassandra Peterson, alias Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, was something Dave Acosta, of West Bloomfield, got to cross off his bucket list. Acosta is not only a fan, but the artist of Dynamite Entertainment’s “Elvira” comic book. His long-time collaborator David Avallone, the writer of “Elvira,” also attended Motor City. This is the first time all three met in person.

“It was great to meet up with my longtime friend and collaborator, David Avallone,” said Acosta. “Though we’ve worked together and kept in touch for seven years, this was our first opportunity to meet in person. And meeting Cassandra has been a goal of my since I was about 7. She was so sweet and gracious, taking time out of her busy schedule to say hello. Being on ‘Team Elvira’ and producing comics with this group of people has been a dream come true.”

Added Avallone: "It was my first time attending Motor City, and I was really surprised at what a large and smoothly run con it was. I finally got to meet my buddy Dave Acosta in person and introduce him to Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira. Big thanks to Beth Burland and company for being gracious hosts and to all the Detroit-area fans who came to the con and swung by my table. It was a real pleasure and an honor to meet all of you."

Writer David Avallone (left) and West Bloomfield artist Dave Acosta (right) are the creative team behind the “Elvira” comic book. Here, they’re sandwiching Elvira herself, Cassandra Peterson (center). Motor City Comic Con marks the first time these three have met in person, even though they’ve worked together for several years. Photo courtesy of David Avallone.

Dave Marchand, of Warren, was thrilled to meet Detroit rock legend Alice Cooper, who appeared at Motor City for the first time.

“A great time had by all at the 2022 fall Motor City Comic Con. I had a chance to meet one of my heroes, the great villain of rock and roll, Alice Cooper, who, in spite of his proclamation of ‘No More Mister Nice Guy,’ is a nice guy to meet!”

An amateur comics historian, Marchand wrote about Cooper’s comic book appearances on his blog.

This con also marked the Motor City debut of “Supernatural” alumni Jim Beaver (Bobby Singer), Steven Williams (Rufus Turner), and Alaina Huffman (Abaddon). All
three had positive experiences.

“My stay in Detroit has been FABULOUS so far! Absolutely fabulous! I’m having a good time, we’re having a good turnout. The fans are beautiful,” said Williams. “A little-known fact is that I resided in Flint. I used to live in Flint for a while as kid. A lot of my family is from the Flint area… It’s like coming back home.”

Added Beaver: “People here are terrific; they’re really cordial and friendly. They’re a lovely bunch.”

In addition to his role on “Supernatural,” Williams has appeared as Capt. Adam Fuller on the “21 Jump Street” and as the enigmatic Mr. X on “The X-Files.” “A lot of producers on ‘Jump Street’ happened to be producers on ‘X-Files.’ They asked me to read for that. I read for that. That was a little different because what do you do with that guy? Again, I was not aware of the show when I was asked to audition for
it,” he recalled. “Now this guy comes up and I’m thinking, ‘How do I play this guy?’ Then I thought, ‘His name is X.’ Ambiguity. If you notice, X just says his lines and lets his audience figure out what he was all about, what he meant. To this day, we still don’t know if X is a good guy, bad guy, who he worked for, what the whole deal was. That was a lot of fun for me as an actor.”

The embodiment of the MTV logo from the 1980s. Photo by Kurt Anthony Krug.

Beaver is most familiar to audiences the world over for his work on “Supernatural.” He also played Whitney Ellsworth on HBO’s “Deadwood.” He’s very fond of both shows. “Being on ‘Deadwood’ was probably the greatest experience of my career,” he
said. “It was a great part and an amazingly written show. There was a lot of intricacy and real human connections and relationships. I just loved it. It’s my favorite thing I’ve ever done.”

Beaver spoke next about “Supernatural.”

“The show was on for 15 years and it’ll be in reruns for 1,500 years, so it doesn’t surprise me that people know me from that the most because that’s probably what I’ve done the most of. It was a great show to part of; it was a lot of fun making it. It’s also the kind of show that engages the fans that they come out to an event like this and I get to meet them, which doesn’t always happen with some shows.”

Beaver called “Supernatural” one of the greatest blessings of his life.

“‘Supernatural’ has given me the chance to travel the world and meet thousands of people I never would’ve met, had adventures I never would’ve had. It’s amazing to have been part of that show; it’s an iconic show fans are crazy about. To be a little part of it is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me,” he said. Currently, Beaver plays Secretary of Defense Robert “Dakota Bob” Singer (a homage to his “Supernatural” character) on Amazon Prime’s “The Boys,” an adaptation of the Dynamite comic book series created for television by Toledo native Eric Kripke, who created “Supernatural.”

Jubilee of the X-Men. Photo by Kurt Anthony Krug.

“For some reason, (Kripke) seems to like me and keeps hiring me,” said Beaver. “He’s got a terrific, outrageous show and I just love being part of it.”

Huffman also enjoyed her time mingling with fans at Motor City. She has appeared on “Painkiller Jane” as Maureen Bowers, “Smallville” as Black Canary, “Stargate Universe” as Lt. Tamara Johansen, and “Supernatural” as the demon Abaddon. Currently, she portrays Twyla Twist on the final season of “Riverdale.”

“I always like to say I earned my geek cred,” she said. “It just happened to me; it’s been really good to me, this genre world. To your point, it’s very much more pop culture, particularly with the comic book conversions to live action movies and, of course, television shows. Then there’s cult followings like ‘Supernatural’ that come out of nowhere… yet it’s grabbed hold of the world. We see people all over the world –
literally – from every corner of the Earth who have connected for some odd reason with the show and it’s beautiful.”

She gave her insight into the longevity of “Supernatural,” the longest-running genre show with 327 episodes across 15 seasons. It chronicled the adventures of the Winchester brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), who hunted monsters.

From L-R: Dave Marchand and Detroit rock legend Alice Cooper. Photo courtesy of Dave Marchand.

“The show is about the two brothers and their connection,” said Huffman. “In television, we always say the No. 1 sets the tone. In this case, it’s a shared title, it’s Jared and Jensen… They’re just really solid guys. They learned early on their longevity and staying power would be based on their relationship and that transcends the show and also real life. We’ve just felt that we’ve been welcomed into this big, beautiful family. We can’t describe it; it’s lightning in a bottle and we’re so grateful for it.”

Huffman is open to the possibility of returning to the world of “Supernatural” on “The Winchesters,” a prequel series that recently debuted. Ackles, his wife Danneel Ackles, and Detroit native Robbie Thompson are the executive producers. Further, Thompson is also the showrunner.

“I read the pilot and thought it was fantastic. I love Robbie. I’m really proud of Jensen and Danneel for pulling this together and I support it. If they call me and I’m available, sure, I’d love to play. To me, I think the storyline there would be the Josie (Abaddon’s human host) storyline, which is the storyline I’ve always wanted to tell because I feel that her storyline has a lot of longevity and her history with the Men of Letters (a clandestine organization) is more fitting with the time period of ‘The Winchesters.’ I love Abaddon; she’s such a special character to me. We’ve seen a lot of her, but she’s really one-dimensional being this all-powerful demon, so I feel like playing
a human entity of Josie would be really powerful… I’m open to whatever they decide,” she explained.

Patrick West, an engineering student from Grand Rapids, shows off his Nebula drawing that he gave actress Karen Gillan. Photo by Kurt Anthony Krug.

One question she gets a lot is which is her favorite character to play.

“I always say it’s like choosing my favorite kid: It depends on the day,” she said, laughing. “Honestly, I don’t. I don’t have a favorite. They’re all really special to me. They’re all very different in distinct times in my life. I’ve learned so much from each one of those characters and, again, they’re at different phases in my life that are fond memories.”

Huffman, who expressed an interest in branching into directing, is excited to be attending cons again.

“I just got back from Europe. This was a big part of the last two years I missed: Connecting with everybody,” she said. “Those of us who come out and do the tours and go to conventions, we really enjoy meeting people. We make these shows in warehouses in the middle of the winter and, in some cases, it’s years before we meet people who’ve just discovered it, so it’s really nice to connect. Some shows like ‘Stargate,’ for example, I’ll have people coming to my table with their kid who’s towering over them, ‘We started watching ‘Stargate’ together as a family because when he was born, we couldn’t go out on Friday nights.’ It’s very nice, it’s very nice to be a part of this community.”