C2E2: 3 Days of Pop Cult

Carrying a 50 lbs back pack –filled with comic books, hardbound graphic novels and other necessities– and then walking/standing with it during the last 3 days, for hours a day, can be physically exhausting. But, despite the shoulder and foot pain that is torturing me right now, I’m still excited to recount my 3-day experience at C2E2.

C2E2, or Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, is at its 2nd year here in the City of Chicago. I attended last year’s convention too. But, since I was on hiatus, I wasn’t able to blog about it. The bottom line, however, is that last year’s C2E2 was much better than all of the Wizard World Chicago I’ve attended. The venue was nicer, the exhibitors were great, and almost all of the guests were A listers. I also couldn’t find a single washed out wrestler peddling his memorabilia on the floor, and that’s saying a lot.

Much good can be said with C2E2’s 2nd year. But there were some minor changes that I didn’t like. The swag bag was the most notable one. Last year, we got a bag filled with free comics, a book and a deck of Magic: The Gathering cards. This year, the bag only contained the program guide and a newsletter. That’s it. Unlike last year, celebrity autographs are exclusive this time. Which means you’ll have to pay $35 if you want your things signed by the celebrities. So, since I’m cheap, I didn’t get to meet the cast of Chuck and The Walking Dead. But other than the lack of loot and celebrity meet ups, I really had a great time at the convention.

Day 1: Signings

Tony Moore (L), artist of Amory Wars and The Walking Dead, and Claudio Sanchez (R), author of Amory Wars and vocalist/guitarist of Coheed and Cambria.

The convention started at 1 PM, last Friday. So, I was only there for 5 hours. But, even though I only stayed for a short time, I’ve managed to grab a lot of free loot and get in line for 3 signings.

When they opened the flood gates and finally let us in, I immediately went to all the big publishers (Marvel, DC) and snagged some free swag from their booths. DC, as always, had the best swag. They were handing out free comics (including American Vampire #1), posters and buttons. Marvel, had some nice stuff too. But mostly it was just posters, book marks and some previews. While I’m at their booths, I also took note of the signing schedules. Then, soon after, I started my vigil and waited in line for some signings.

Since he was the writer that I wanted to meet the most, I fell in line for Scott Snyder’s signing first. His signing didn’t start until 3:30 PM. But I got in line around 2:15 and was the 8th person to be in line. Mr. Snyder’s a pretty nice guy, and he even remembered dropping by my former blog. I asked him about his upcoming projects and he told me that he’s writing an American Vampire spin-off and more Batman stuff.

Matt Fraction was the next guy on my list. I got to his line 45 minutes before his signing started. I think I was already the 25th person to be in line. When I got to Mr. Fraction, I asked him if there will ever be a mini-series or even just a one-shot of Triumph Division –a group of Filipino superheroes that he created. He said there were talks about it. But he wasn’t the one who’s going to write it.

Claudio Sanchez was the last guy I saw. By the time I got to his line it was already very long. Which didn’t come as a surprise because, not only he’s a comic book writer, he’s also a rockstar. I didn’t have anything for him to sign. So, I bought his graphic novel, Amory Wars. But, since there were a lot of people in line, I tried to be courteous and didn’t talk to him much. Besides, I was also getting tired. So, I have to bolt out from the show and prepare for the next day.

Day 2: Cosplayers

Hawkman, Thor and...I don't know her.

The show floor opened at 10 AM on the 2nd day. But I got there at 9 AM and lined up for the Chris Hemsworth Q&A. Later, however, I found out that the Q&A was going conflict with Bill Willingham’s signing. So, since I like Bill Willingham more than Chris Hemsworth, I bowed out from the line and went straight to DC’s booth.

I was the 4th person in line when I got to DC’s booth. Bill Willingham was already there and was playing as Dan DiDio’s butler, serving him water and such. I found out later that he lost a bet. Bill Willingham is a very nice guy, very chatty. I asked him if he’ll write another novel like Peter & Max, and he told me about his upcoming book, Down the Mysterly River. It’s not in the Fables universe, however. But, it’ll be worth checking out.

The next signing on my list was Michael Bendis’. But since his signing didn’t start until 5 PM, I had ample time (6 hours) to kill. So, I just strolled around the floor and took pictures of cosplayers. Some were good, some were okay. But most of them were pretty bad. I also took a gander at some DC Direct toys. I already gave up toy collecting but, after I saw those toys, I really want to go back to the hobby.

Strolling around the floor made me lose track of time. So, when I got to Marvel’s booth, it was already 4 PM and the Bendis’ signing was already maxed out. This was actually the second Bendis signing that I missed. The first one was back in Wizard World Chicago 2008. But I wasn’t pissed or anything though. I was already tired, anyways, so I just went home.

Day 3: Art Prints

Art prints by Menton (top) and Uminga (bottom). They're pretty awesome right?

I wasn’t actually planning for a Day 3. But since I missed Bendis’ signing, and I already have a weekend pass, I went back to the show.

The first thing I did when I got there was line up for Bendis’ signing. But, even then, people were already there in front of me. It just shows you how popular this guy is. Like with Claudio, I also didn’t talk to him that much because his line was long. But I told him how much I love his “Infinity Gems” arc in current Avengers and congratulated him about Powers making it on TV, and moved out of the way.

After the Bendis signing, I was pretty much done with the convention. But it was too early for me to go home. So, I decided check out the artist’s alley, which I’ve never done before in any comic-con I’ve attended. There, I found and bought some pretty cool art prints by Menton Matthews III, Christopher Uminga and Matthew J. Fletcher. After that, I went home very satisfied with my signed books and art prints.

I really enjoyed my time at C2E2. Probably more than I did last year. Although, I have to say, going there everyday for 3 days was really tiring. It was still worth it though because I met and talked to a lot of my favorite comic book writers, got a lot of my books signed and bought some pretty cool art prints. I also only spent $90! Whereas I spent nearly $300 last year. Hopefully, C2E2 will improve, or just maintain, the quality of their shows. Because I really hate to fly to San Diego just to attend a good comics convention.


4 Responses to C2E2: 3 Days of Pop Cult

  1. daredevilry says:

    im green with envy. that looks so much fun.

  2. gillboard says:

    if ever i’m in the US that’s one of the first things that’ll be on my to-do list… visit a comic convention.

    • Skron says:

      If you ever decide to come here and attend a comic-con. Then, better make it the San Diego one. That’s the mother of all comic-cons. Kinda expensive and takes a lot of planning since it’s huge. But it’s worth it, man. I’m still saving some money for it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to go next year.

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