C2E2- An After Thought

Ever since its first days, way back in 2010, I have attended the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. “The Con that Chicago deserves,” as they so proudly boast, is an […]

Ever since its first days, way back in 2010, I have attended the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. “The Con that Chicago deserves,” as they so proudly boast, is an exceptional convention indeed. Aside from the overwhelming amount of big name talent from the comic industry (Geoff Johns, Len Wien, Scott Snyder, Brian Bendis, Mark Waid, and even the late Joe Kubert have all been in attendance over the course of the convention’s short life), C2E2 has also been host to many TV and movie stars as well (From Walking Dead to True Blood to Doctor Who and more!). This convention has been rather successful at growing in not only its amazing guest roster but also attendance numbers. Herein lies the trouble. As a huge fan of this convention my only complaint about this year has to be how crowded it was. While this is a good thing for ReedPop (host of C2E2) it is bad news for anyone that tries to visit the show for only one day. I was in attendance all weekend and STILL don’t feel like I was able to make to absolutely everything I would have liked to. But enough about the negative, let’s talk about what I loved.

This year’s C2E2 had a guest list of celebrities that will be hard to top. Chad Coleman (Tyreese), Chandler Riggs (Carl), and Laurie Holden (Andrea) of the Walking Dead were all in attendance. This made me quite pleased as I have collected a new signature from the Walking Dead cast each year since my sophomore trip to the Windy City. Also in attendance were a Robin (Burt Ward) and Catwoman (Julie Newmar) from the 1960s Batman Series. Unfortunately, Batman himself (Adam West) could not attend due to some medical issues. Several supporting characters from the Pirates films, two supporting cast members from Game of Thrones, and the former Green Ranger where all available for signatures at the show as well. My favorite guest (maybe of the whole time I have been going to the show) was Peter Davison, the fifth (and my personal favorite) actor to portray the titular character of Doctor Who. Davison was very down to earth and generous with his time. While it was awesome of him, it was not uncommon at this particular show. Many of the celebrities I just mentioned were both friendly and thankful to the fans that support their various arts.

I also attended the ticketed (sold out) event, An Evening with Kevin Smith. I was torn about how I would feel about this as Kevin Smith can sometimes get on my nerves. I have a soft spot for him though, and I have enjoyed many of his films. This event was a pleasant surprise. It was simply a comic book fan and avid movie lover that happens to be a celebrity telling stories and reminiscing about his own life experiences with comic books and nerdome. The three hour event felt like mear moments of sitting around with my own close friends. Smith was even inspiring saying that everyone should have a podcast while anyone can. Truly an event worth attending.

Finally, there were the comics—oh, the comics! Though neither Marvel nor DC had any major announcements to make, the panels for each were enjoyable to say the very least. Many of the creators this year were much like the film and TV stars: very thankful to those that support them. I did not have one single encounter with a comic book writer or artist that was less than kind. Many of them I had met at previous cons but all of them were inviting and talkative. It legitimately felt like each of them wanted to be there. I had a many conversations about Swamp Thing with such writers (past and present) as Andy Diggle, Charles Soule (my interview with whom you can see HERE) , and even Swamp Thing’s own “father” Len Wein! I also discussed Fantastic Four and his runs impact on my collection with Mark Waid. I also was able to fill some holes in my comic collection from a few of the vast comic book vendors in attendance.

Top all of this off with Goosebumps creator, R.L. Stine, Toy Hunter, Jorden Hembrough, Hellboy himself, Ron Pearlman and comedy greats like Patton Oswalt and Brian Posehn and you have a start studded weekend. That is not even close to everyone who attended but the list is just too vast to mention in its entirety.

With another C2E2 down, I cannot help but feel like a child just days after Christmas. I am already looking forward to next year when they will be celebrating the cons fifth anniversary. Hopefully ReedPop will consider either renting out more of the massive McCormick Place or extend the show to four days to help disperse some of the crowd. Other than that, if the show continues to get great guests and provide a friendly experience, I don’t feel like I could ask for anything more.

I would have to give this years Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo 4 out of 5 stars.


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