2017 seems to be the year of the nerd convention, so what better time to introduce the state of Michigan to a brand new kid on the block? Entering the scene this year was CraftCom. Located in downtown Clawson Michigan, this new outdoor convention took aim at craft beer, local crafters, and nerd culture. Dashing Nerds suited up bright and early (11 am is early!) and headed into town to see what this new event had to offer. After our time baking under the almost 90-degree sun, I can safely say that this festival isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Now if you know anything about me, it is that I have a burning love for craft beer (Watch our series Time Hops on YouTube for proof). CraftCom delivers here. The following companies joined the Craftcom ranks:
- The infamous Griffin Claw
- Michigan’s power-house meadery, B. Nektar
- Clawson’s best brewery Black Lotus (who now bottles their own beer!)
- An out of state choice in Ommegang from Cooperstown, New York
All-in-all, we had about 30 beers/meads to choose from, which is no small feat. You also didn’t have to pay $10 for a beer. Prices were reasonable, anywhere from $5-$8 per drink. For the non-drinkers in the crowd (think of the children), Faygo made their legendary appearance, along with an energy drink label, Rip-It.
The beer was flowing all weekend with no shortage, just how I like it. What I feel gets lost in everything, however, are the booth workers. Now standing outside in the near 90s is no easy task but I have never seen a more happy bunch of reps. They chatted, made recommendations, joked around, and were happy to take a picture when asked. Pleasant workers make the experience that much better and keep the mood light, especially when you see them 2, 3, or in my case 5 times during the day.
On a beer scale, I give CraftCom a 5/5
One of my favorite parts of CraftCom was the collection of talented artists. What made it special was the variety of crafts and art available. Instead of summarizing, I think the artists deserve an individual plug for what they put together. Click the links next to their names for their websites!
Cool Critters- Check Them Out!
One of the few things at the con that made my wife squeal. Jess makes adorable little puffballs named “Cool Critters.” She also makes some cool eye catchers (kind of like a dream catcher). The display of critters was a bright spot at CraftCom and drew our attention right away. Jess has an Etsy store, linked above, where she sells her wares. Don’t believe me? Check out the pictures below!
Retech- Check Them Out!
Asher had one of the most unique booths at CraftCom. He makes what I describe as apocalyptic goth punk art. The description doesn’t even do it justice. I was drawn to the tent by the baby heads. After getting a closer look, I realized just how intricate his sculptures and creations are. I wouldn’t go as far as to say its macabre, but it gives off an unnerving vibe I love. Definitely check out his site and see what he has for sale, especially if you are looking for a great conversation piece!
Artsy Fart- Check Them Out!
Alyssa and Alan are out to make the world a better place through art! Their psychedelic look definitely draws you in and the variety of art will keep you locked. Some of their work gives off a Rick and Morty vibe which is very appealing to today’s audience, especially the convention nerds. They really do have something for everyone and each piece is uniquely different. They also sell patches! Check out some of their work below and their site linked above!
Red Lava Toys- Check Them Out!
Red Lava was the booth that drew in the kids of the con. Red Lava Toys makes custom Minecraft character figures. For $15 you can upload your character from the game or pick from a huge list of premade skins. If you are a Minecraft fan or have children that are obsessed, this will make the perfect birthday present or a great stocking stuffer around Christmas. The figure quality is quite good and they have bendable joints!
Pure Brews America- Check Them Out!
I was surprised to see local TV personalities at CarftCom! Pure Brews America has an awesome show on CBS where they travel to all of the best craft breweries and meet the people who pour their hearts into their passion, beer. We met Shannon, producer and co-host of the show, Pure Brews America aims to have fun and experience what the craft brew industry and its experts have to offer! The production will also have a beer launching soon called Pure Brew America: Apple Pie Ale. Check out the website link above for show times or head over to their YouTube channel HERE!
Comics, Beer, & Sci-fi- Check Them Out!
I also met up with another local TV hostess, Jill Janis from Comics, Beer, & Sci-fi. She co-hosts the show where they travel to conventions, interview cosplayers, and drink (all 3 of which I enjoy). Their show airs at 2am on the CW but you can also watch the episodes HERE!
The artists at CraftCom get a 5/5
Below you will find the cosplay gallery, individual pictures are featured on our Facebook page so go tag your friends! There were a lot of people at Craftcom, but that’s to be expected when your convention is absolutely free, did I mention free before? FREE!
I had hoped for a little more in the way of cosplayers, but I chock the lack of participation up to the newbie status of the con. The Cosplay contest was Saturday and it brought 8 – 10 people. The quality was good though. An amazing Edward Scissorhands, Russel from Up, the Joker, Winter Soldier, and Big O’s Schwarzwald rounded out the group. Next year, I expect a bigger turnout for the contest when the word of success hits the cosplay community and CraftCom grows.
Along with cosplayers were other groups like Ghostbusters Detroit. They had their very own Ecto-1 and foam spraying backpacks that looked like they were plucked straight from the movies. We also saw some Storm Troopers patrolling the grounds and a Jurassic Park-themed SUV accompanied by a large inflatable dinosaur.
I give the crowd of CraftCom a 4/5
Wrapping It Up
I’d also like to give a shoutout to Bark Nation and the amazing cause they support. Please spay and neuter your dogs to prevent pet overpopulation and check out bark nation HERE!
Overall we all had a great time at the 1st annual CraftCom festival. I imagine after the showing this year and testing the waters a bit that there will be a rather large showing and expansion next year. The first iteration of any new convention is tough, but I really think they nailed it. I was not bored, I ate and drank well, I met some cool people, saw some amazing art, and didn’t get sunburn. I think the coordinators really showed what you can do when you plan correctly and get the buy-in of your community and the great people that work hard and do what they love. Dashing Nerds will return to Craftcom in 2018 to write about the improvements and what version 2.0 will bring to the city of Clawson!
I give CraftCom 2017 a 4.75/5!