Nerd herds

Imagine a place where the impossible is real, where you can shake hands with a wizard, hug a Wookie or cozy up to a warrior goddess ... a place where you can say hello to Eddie Mekka.

True TV fans don’t need to be reminded that Mekka played Carmine “The Big Ragu” Ragusa on the ’70s and ’80s hit Laverne & Shirley. And true fans of every size and description will be found this weekend at the Motor City Comic Convention in the Novi Convention Center.

As always, the centerpiece of this event will be the dealers area, which features dozens of merchants offering everything from classic comic books, videos, movie posters, anime, toys, collectors’ cards, vintage magazines and just about any kind of memorabilia that can make a geek’s heart go pitter-pat. But in addition to the dorky wares, there are enough Z-list celebrities, forums, film screenings and costume contests to keep conventioneers busy all weekend. It’s a people-watcher’s delight too, with more freaks under one roof than a Cirque du Soliel show. Where else can you overhear a serious version of the immortal debate, “Who’s stronger? Superman or the Hulk?”

Through the years, “The Con” has mutated beyond its humble origins as a strictly sci-fi affair, becoming more than just a field trip out of mom’s basement. It has blossomed into a celebration of pop culture writ large.

Though the guest list is subject to change at a moment’s notice, the recent addition of actor LeVar Burton should delight both Trekkies and the legions of folks who credit their literacy (in part, at least) to Burton’s fine work on Reading Rainbow. The mix of celebs and eye candy is eclectic, with the likes of buxom Baywatch gal Brande Roderick, sitcom veteran Peter Scolari (Bosom Buddies), Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson and football star and blaxploitation icon Fred “The Hammer” Williamson. Prepare for an orgy of nostalgia and megadoses of kitsch that should be fun for just about everyone, even if you can’t tell a Cylon from a Dalek.

 

Oct. 15-16, at the Novi Convention Center, 41600 Grand River Ave., Novi; 248-426-8059; motorcityconventions.com.

Corey Hall is a freelance writer. Send comments to [email protected]

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