When Cosmic Book News offered to give me a press pass to cover C2E2 (Comic Con and Entertainment Expo) in Chicago, I was thrilled. I’d been to Wizard World in Chicago the previous summer, but had heard that C2E2 was a much bigger and more involved convention with more to offer. As I walked into the convention center at 9:30 A.M. on Saturday morning at McCormick Place, I soon realized it was true.
The aura that the people who were attending the convention gave off was nothing but fun and enthusiasm. People shouted outside the showroom floor as we waited to enter and continued to do so even after they opened the doors at 10 A.M. The flood of fans moved quickly into the Marvel and DC booths up front, then poured into the booths that Archaia, Top Shelf, and Avatar Press were hosting nearby.
Past the booths of the various publishers, big and small, the exhibitors selling toys, t-shirts, models, and just about any other pop culture junkie’s dreams were set up. It was like a medieval marketplace. In fact, there were a few times I was surrounded by bladed weapons. All of which were replicas from video games and comic books. And speaking of replicas, there was an entire booth of memorabilia from the Captain America film last summer. The shield, costume, and various pieces of art were on display with the motorcycles from the blockbuster movie.
Artist Alley was by far the greatest part of the convention. Fans were lining up to talk to the titans of the printed comic book page to have their books signed and purchase original pieces of art. Artists like Sean Murphy (American Vampire, Hellblazer, Punk Rock Jesus), Gabriel Hardman (Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes, Exile on the Planet of the Apes), Ramon Perez (Tale of Sand, Gods of Mars) and Peter Krause (Irredeemable, The Power of Shazam) were there to interact with fans and share their artwork.
Due to time constraints I wasn’t able to make it to too many panels, but I did catch the Dynamite and Vertigo panels that were held by the publishers. At the Dynamite panel they discussed the ongoing Voltron series and what they have planned for titles like Warriors of Mars, The Shadow, Green Hornet, and Army of Darkness.
The Vertigo panel had a wonderful preview of the upcoming issues of American Vampire, Punk Rock Jesus, Saucer Country, Fables, The Fairest, and Spaceman. They also announced a new series called Collider, which was described as an “A-Team” type of group crossed with “quantum physics and events.” The news of the title went over well with fans and was greeted with excitement.
The entire experience was incredibly fun. Compared to the previous cons I’ve been to, this one was definitely the best in terms of guests, vendors, and fans. If you’re thinking about going to a comic book convention in the Midwest, C2E2 is hands down the best the country has to offer.
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