I LOVE CONVENTIONS: C2E2 Part 1
One of my favorite weekends of the year has come and gone. The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) which took place April 24th through 26th at McCormick Place in Chicago, and as expected C2E2 was an excellent convention for the entire family. C2E2 holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. It is held in my hometown, allowing me to see my friends and family, and it’s the convention that introduced me to world of comic book and gaming conventions. C2E2 was my first con of 2015 and I entered the doors ready to buy comics since I didn’t buy much of anything at C2E2 2014. Why, you ask? Because my wife bought a house during last year’s event. Yes, you read that correctly. She bought an entire house while I was away. As a result, spending money on recreational items seemed like a bad idea.
As you can imagine, I was determined to buy several things this year. The moment I walked in the massive Image Comics booth caught my eye, mainly because it was only about 30 feet from the entrance and huge. After about five minutes I had already purchased the remaining Walking Dead volumes that I needed to be caught up with the series. Image Comics must have had a great year because their booth was the largest, most extravagant display, by far. Sadly, there didn’t seem to be a Dark Horse booth. If they were exhibiting, their booth must have been very easy to miss because I did not see if after walking the through the convention for three days. I can only assume that losing the rights to Star Wars’ comics really hurt their bottom line. Twitch, the streaming channel, had a stage setup in the center of the convention with daily Mortal Kombat X tournaments and four Xbox One consoles for any attendee wishing to try the game. They also hosted a number of interviews—the most notable interview being with CM Punk. Overall, I got the sense that “bigger and better” seemed to be the goal for booth space. Moreover, the convention as a whole seemed to cover more ground when compared to last year. Even with the noticeable growth, there was still plenty of unused space. I will be interested to see how the convention will continue to grow in the coming years.
The artist alley was once again filled with dozens of artists selling their wares. Anyone looking for a drawing of characters from comics, TV, or games could most likely find it there. Just deciding what to buy was a feat. One could spend an entire day in that area if they chose to. There were some famous artists present. However, the majority were equally talented, non-household names. If I had more wall space to devote to prints I definitely would have spent more money there. I ended up the two prints—one of Batman of one of Spider-Man.
Last but not least, C2E2 offers panels, autographs, and pictures with big name celebrities. Examples included Hayley Atwell, Jason Momoa, Jewel Staite, and Paul Feig. Most of the celebrities in attendance charged a fee for autographs and pictures while all the panels were included at no extra charge. I took a picture with Ming-Na Wen and my only complaint was that they only accepted cash. The people at the register used a computer to schedule the pictures so taking credit cards should have been relatively easy. The only theory I have to explain such foolishness is that at the end they must have opted to give each celebrity a large stack of cash instead of writing them a check but who knows. I have to admit it is pretty cool to see/talk to your favorite actors but what makes the experience most worthwhile is the fans. All of the people I interacted with were extremely nice and just wanted to enjoy the weekend celebrating the things they love to do. The people in cosplay did an excellent job and made sure that all characters were represented, not just those that are most popular.
Above all, being able to spend time with some of my closet friends and enjoy the various aspects of C2E2 is what going to conventions is all about. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and suffice it to say, C2E2 has become a permanent fixture on my yearly calendar.
Stay tuned to geekswithwives.com for more of my convention coverage.