NOVI, Mich. (AP) — Comic book fans weren't the only ones who made it to the opening day of the annual Motor City Comic Con on Friday.
There also were Jedi, Avengers, Ghostbusters and many more costumed characters unafraid to let loose their inner fanboy or fangirl.
"Twenty years ago, you may have told people you were going to a comic book convention, and they thought you were a little weird or crazy," said Michael Goldman, owner of Motor City Comics and Conventions. "Now, it's just become so much more accepted. Now, it's cool to be a nerd. People can come here and dress up in costume and enjoy it and have fun around 50,000 other like-minded fans."
Fifty-thousand is the number of attendees Goldman expects to draw to the three-day pop-culture extravaganza at a sprawling convention center in Detroit's suburbs.
Dozens of celebrities from TV, film and beyond also made the trip to the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
Actors Robert Englund ("A Nightmare on Elm Street") and Ralph Macchio ("The Karate Kid") were among the big draws on the first day, with long lines of fans waiting for an autograph or a picture.
"You have the women in their 40s who at 12 had a picture up on their wall. You have the little kids. The kids make it. The kids make this whole thing. Then you have all the geeky people that are just like, 'Dude!' It's a lot of fun," Macchio said after taking part in a question-and-answer session with "Karate Kid" co-stars William Zabka and Martin Kove.
Actors known for their roles in more recent fare also are scheduled to be on hand, including a number from AMC's zombie hit, "The Walking Dead." Those expected to appear include current stars Steven Yeun and Chandler Riggs and former ones Scott Wilson and Emily Kinney.
Motor City Comic Con also brings in comic book and multimedia dealers who offer merchandise, including comic books, art, T-shirts and movie memorabilia.