I attended my first - and the fourth annual - Meccacon event, also known as MIDWEST ETHNIC CONVENTION for COMICS and ARTS, in Detroit, Michigan on September 16! Just like the State of Black Science Fiction Convention, this event was filled with positive diverse ethnic energy. In my exploration of events and venues that would welcome and inspire Colors in Darkness and its members, I had to check out the event envisioned and created by the dynamic Maia “Crown” Williams.
Lots of Comics and Art!
Prior to the event, there was a call put out in the CID Facebook group for swag and giveaways and quite a few authors, artists and even a radio show host answered the call. Gifts were given away at random however not without descriptions and endorsements about the contributor. Along with candy, promo cards, swag and mini comics, we had some very pleased winners and offerings for those just browsing.
While the event focused mainly on comics and art work, there were a few authors in attendance. There were so many talented people there, it was hard to focus completely on my own table but I did, taking joy in informing visitors to the table about Colors in Darkness and its unique genre focus. Networking alone was just as invigorating as making sales.
My Mom manned my table while I was up and networking...
Items contributed by Samiko Saulson, Nicole Kurtz, Auden Johnson, Eden Royce, Denise Tapscott,
Lynn Emery and more were displayed!
Winner with Katara's True Radio Network Prize!
Winner with Nicole's Mocha Memoirs gift set!
Winner with Samiko Saulson's comics!!
Winner with the Lynn Emry gift set and Kenya's Mixtape!
As the day kicked off, we had a couple of early browsers to our table mention a film they’d just viewed at the Meccacon 2017 film festival, taking place on another floor. They were excited to describe learning about the representation of POC in works of fiction and film, and it wasn’t until one guy tried to retell the story of the “barbershop” that we realized they had just seen Black Minds in Horror, which made its debut at this year’s event. Big ups to Sy Shanti for sliding that one in there as it definitely made an impression on the viewers.
Check out some of Sy's movies here!
Were there apprehensive and fearful looks at the display of Colors in Darkness’ dark themes and displays…I’m not going to lie. Having attended more than a few events where darker themed works get the look of ‘Lord help me,’ from attendees, I will admit that even though there were those who leered, there were a lot of people that seemed intrigued and who walked up to our tables with interest. Oh, and a lot of kids who took interest in our candy offerings. Okay so we were situated right beside the kids coloring area but I swear that both Kenya and I shooed them away from the adult material, especially Samiko Saulson’s adult mini-comix. A hoot indeed (um…a country expression).
Yup...the children's coloring table was five feet away from these...
While the event seemed to be designed for all ages, the demand for more young adult content and kid friendly works was certainly apparent. While manning our tables, Kenya even mentioned to me that maybe we should do coloring pages and sell some art next time. Hehehe…horror themed coloring posters may just be in CIDs future!
Is this a recommended event however is the question? And the answer is yassss. Detroit is a lovely city, with more than enough mystery, inspiration and magic to inspire and the Detroit Public Library was a beautiful location for the event. I stayed at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, which was close enough to the venue, near immaculate in cleanliness and hospitality, if not fiendishly tempting with ringing slot machines and dining choices.
Detroit Public Library
The highlight of my trip was getting to meet and hang out with fellow CID founder Kenya Moss-Dyme without whose support and friendship, I would not have been able to make it to the event. She was the one who turned me on to the event and completed a report for CID in 2016. With far more experience working tables than I, she helped me with the logistics of getting my items to the event, and actually getting me there. Our tables were placed side by side so literally CID showed up and out with a tag team effort. Being able to kick it with one of the founders of CID was also awesome and inspirational as we chatted about future plans, the writing world, hair care, oils and other sista-type things. I too am convinced we were related in another life.
Kenya has got table set up down to an art form!
I really hope to be able to not only visit/meet the other founders, Dahlia DeWinters and Eden Royce, but also with fellow CID members in real life but the notion of a Colors in Darkness con/writers retreat is still a ways off.
Speaking of membership however, a lovely lady and fellow vendor came to the table and introduced herself and her love for horror. After listening to the mission statement speech, I give about CID, she voiced her interest. I decided to stop by her table on one of my ‘breaks’ and discovered that she had a few dark and unique treasures upon her table, namely a collection of dark tales called ‘3:00am’. I purchased a copy and am glad to say that she has since decided to advertise with our modest collective. Welcome Ophelia Crane to the Darkside.
Craig can't wait to begin this new read!
Many thanks go to Maia ‘Crown’ Williams and her team for a wonderful event and stay tuned as you never know where CID will appear next!