Robot 6

C2E2 | Friday on the floor

Waiting to get in.

My big question heading into the show this year was, “How much is it going to feel like a comics convention?” With Chris “Thor” Hemsworth and much of the cast of Chuck being around this weekend, would C2E2 start to feel like San Diego or – God forbid – Wizard World Chicago from a couple of years ago with movies and TV taking over the center of attention?

It’s only Friday, but so far so really damn good.

After last year’s C2E2, I had high expectations for the convention this year and everything got off to a great start. Press registration went smoothly again and some of the Artist Alley creators who hadn’t attended last year told me how impressed they were with the professionalism and just general niceness of the staff they’d worked with.

One major difference though is that the convention’s in a different part of McCormick Place this year. Instead of the impressive Lakeside Center with it’s unbelievable view of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago, it’s in the West Building. Still a very nice space with lush carpeting and plenty of room, just not as jaw-droppingly grand as last year. I’m not sure why that is, but one artist brought it to my attention that the setting sun through the giant picture-windows last year could sometimes make it difficult to see and interact with fans. So whatever the rationale for moving, there are positive and negative things about both spaces.

A welcome addition this year was a smart phone app just for the show. I tried it out and it was helpful if not spectacular. With all of its maps, schedules, and lists of guests and exhibitors, it more than replaced my need for a program. I didn’t pick up a printed program and never felt lost all day. It also let me highlight booths and creators as favorites so that I could filter them into a list and then check people off as I talked to them. Other than that though, there weren’t a lot of bells and whistles to it. I would have loved an interactive map that let me view all my pin-pointed favorites at once or browse the convention virtually, preferably adding my location to the map, but I feel a little ungrateful saying that after finding the app so useful in other ways all day. Maybe next year, though?

As long as I’m on technology, free wifi at the show is awesome. I kept having to log back in after I hadn’t used it for a while, but that was a small price to pay for access all day. Very cool.

The show had a soft open at 10:00 for professionals only. The public wasn’t allowed in until 1:00. Though some Artist Alley creators had to keep reminding themselves that the real crowd hadn’t shown up yet and that it wouldn’t be this slow all day, it seemed like most everyone appreciated the time to walk around, visit with each other, and enjoy some of the show before their customers showed up.

After 1:00, things got much more exciting with all the costumes and activity, but it was still a pretty relaxing day. I saw one panel in the afternoon (Dirk Manning’s Write or Wrong Q&A), but other than that it was a lot of finding and catching up with friends and finally meeting online acquaintances face-to-face. Which is the best part of comics conventions.

Tomorrow’s going to be another story. Not only will all the TV and movie people be here, but I’ve also got panels scheduled from 10:30 am (Firebreather!) to at least 5:30 (webcomics roundtable). And that’s only if I’m too tired or hungry to make it to the later Middleman reunion and the Dwayne McDuffie memorial. I should rest up for that, but I’m not going to. Heading back downstairs for some more catching up and visiting.

The Archaia booth

Dark Horse

Whoever holds this hammer...


Masters of the Universe is still cool with the young folks.

I'll get you for this, He-Man!

Orko approved.

Battle Armor Wonder Woman

Starfire and Poison Ivy

Matthew J Brady and Top Shelf's Chris Staros

Jill Thompson

Jim McCann

Original Dapper Men art

Janet Lee

Alice from Resident Evil

The Dread Pirate Wesley

Power Girl

Batman and Dr. Fate

Phoenix and Pixie



yay pixie!

Power Girl totally rocks.

What’s so bad about having stuff other than comics at cons? It makes it feel like less of a niche to me. And let’s face it, it’s pretty much the sane stuff across the board (“Chuck” is basically a Live Action Comic Book. Love it, btw.)

I had no idea they opened the Cons first to “the industry people” but I guess it makes sense, as once the fans get in they won’t have much chance to interact.

I wonder: has anyone met a creator or editor in a Con that he “hates” from his comics work and then has a nice time with him… not realizing who he was? :D

I mistook Battle Armor Wonder Woman with Winged Victory (from Astro City) at first. Anyone else?

Nice to see Masters Of The Universe remembered.

Best costume so far: The Dread Pirate Roberts! :)

Thanks for the Con Stuff, Greg. Looking up to more.

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 19, 2011 at 7:17 am

There’s was a toy and comic convention in my home town, and some cosplayers: two were dressed up as Ms. Marvel and Phoenix.

Unfortunately, I don’t have pics, but my Phoenix would definitely kick the C2E2 Phoenix’s ass! Even tho’ they both rock! ;-)

The Ms. Marvel costume was very detailed!

Maybe my android phone sucks but the smart phone app was horrible on my phone!
And am very dissappointed in that alot more of my favorite artists weren’t there!
Great selection on Gold and Silver age books but weak booths for current age stuff. (variants, and hard to find stuff)

Man the dread pirate it dead on! Looks just like the movie!

The media has been downplayed, just like NYCC. Their “Hall H” was at the far, northern end of the ballroom (which I think is the main reason for moving, also so that people don’t have to walk as far). Even if they use the entire ballroom (the largest in Chicago), the impact will not be bad, as there is ample space along the western and northern sides for crowd control.

Hall D has 300K sq.ft., Hall F1 has 198K. So smaller space, bigger crowds. Hall F has 470K. Perhaps the “stockyards” (where the fans line up before the exhibit hall opens) could be moved from F2 to an area in the parking garage (and have that space used after opening for parking). Or line them up along the First Floor west wall near the event rooms, and use the escalator which runs up directly to F1.

I ignored the media tracks, unless you consider the Archaia Henson panel on Sunday, which featured his short films

Not many media booths, it was almost all comics. The autographing area along the western wall seemed to be low-key. Lots of variant dealers. Good selection of every type of comics dealer… golden/silver, $1, $0.25, undergrounds, GNs. A bit disappointed in two dealers selling bootleg DVDs (one a major Chicago retailer), but I just don’t buy them.

Maybe I’m from New York and crowd surf better than the average person, but I did not have much trouble navigating the crowds. The large distances OUTSIDE Hall F1 were a bigger problem, but that’s inherent in any convention center. The fourth floor with the panel rooms was very easy to navigate. I never saw a long line outside the rooms, and definitely no velvet ropes.

Torsten, thanks so much for that perspective and the square footage info. I’ll be sure to link back to your comment when I wrap up my Sunday report.

I cos played with 3 of my friends as Resident Evil characters on Sunday. I went as Wesker. The Alice in the picture was absolutely great! This was my first Con, and I’m already planning my next events!

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