Monroe Comic-Con: An Affordable Pop Culture Event
By: Michael Fossbakk
September 10, 2018
High-grossing blockbuster superhero movies and a plethora of comic book TV shows have led to a rise in popularity of, well, pop culture. In fact, you may have noticed a similar rise in local comic conventions.
Motor City Comic Con has been around for a while now and Michigan Comic Con just had its first show earlier this year. But with so much money going into their respective productions, it’s no wonder ticket prices are so high.
That’s where Monroe Comic-Con comes in.
“Six years ago, we went to one of the big cons here in Michigan and we just thought it was just so expensive that maybe we could make something on a slightly smaller scale and make it affordable for fans and still be able to come in and enjoy art and comic books and toys and Power Rangers and celebrity guests.”
Those are the words of Gary Pillette, the founder and organizer of Monroe Comic-Con.
“We started out with maybe 400-500 people came the first year and now we’re up to 3-4 thousand people coming through the doors,” he said. “And we’ve kept it affordable at $10 admission compared to the $35-$45 admission at other cons.”
While you won’t find superstars, like Gal Gadot or Robert Downey Jr., at Monroe Comic-Con due to high costs associated with bringing in talent like that, you will have the chance to meet actors from popular TV shows, like Supernatural and Power Rangers.
“This year, we’re pretty excited about AJ Buckley from Seal Team and he was in Supernatural and Justified and CSI: New York,” Pillette said. “…And Jerome St. John Blake again, too, just another guy that was in Star Wars and The Fifth Element. And Brandon Jay McLaren this year from Ransom, Power Rangers…”
There will also be plenty of comic book creators at the show, such as Glen Fabry (Preacher, American Gods), Clayton Crain (Ghost Rider, X-Force, Carnage) and Kirbi Fagan (Mockingbird, Gwenpool).
Pillette says that as the show has continued to grow year over year, it has gotten to the point that guests are contacting him, asking if they can come to the show, rather than the other way around.
“It really helps out and it makes us feel good that people actually want to come,” he said.
With Monroe Comic-Con growing every year, I ask Pillette if he ever envisions a day where the show needs a bigger venue not found in Monroe County.
“We do it for our community — kind of introduce them to pop culture — and we’ve always wanted to stay here. I’ve had offers to move…but we just want to keep our main focus on Monroe and the surrounding areas.”
You can see everything Monroe Comic-Con has to offer for just $10 on Saturday, September 15.