Crimespree At C2E2 2016
Total fandom, diverse, spectacular, straight up blast; all describe the 2016 Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo–better known as C2E2. Held at McCormick Place for the last few years, C2E2 has become a success. The event’s organizers have filled only half of McCormick Place’s humongous amount of space, which gives them room to expand if needed. Now, to what’s in that one half of McCormick Place.
The people who attend are of so many varieties: fans, vendors, artists, and Deadpools. There were the casual fans just there for the ride, cosplayers dressed up for the occasion, and artists like Neal Adams and Skottie Young. What I find sad is that there was a massive line for Skottie Young, yet only a few people wandering past legendary comic book artist Neal Adams. I also bought a sketch from Neal Adams. My dad bought one, too. I bought a sketch of Luke Skywalker holding the blue lightsaber up and Leia lying about his feet with her blaster. My dad purchased the famous sketch of Batman springing from the ground. He walked away then was slowly drawn back, he couldn’t resist. He was drawn back by his childhood memories of Neal turning Batman into the Dark Knight we know him as today. Skottie Young, to his credit, has made some very influential art himself. He has illustrated many variant covers of big name marvel comic series and storylines such as Secret Wars III, Avengers vs. X-Men and Star Wars. My dad and I also ran into a very interesting artist for a new series called Helheim. Helheim is about a dead hero and future savior of a Nordic village and is brought back as a hulking beast made of different parts of great heroes. I read it and it is actually very good. He was also the colorist for Powers for a time. Many artists had their work out for show and I collected many business cards to follow up on their stunning and unique artwork.
Moving on, the cosplay was solid. Last year was better in quality, but had fewer people dress up. There were lots of Deadpools in attendance hence the release of the movie all about our favorite murderous psycho. My younger cousin, being dressed up in the most common costume, Deadpool, was adopted by a family of Deadpools as mini Deadpool. There was a lot more costumes than just Deadpool though. There were many anime characters represented from various TV shows and comics. Also there was the ever present 501st Stormtrooper legion; an elite group of people who spend a crazy amount of money buying and making movie quality outfits. I encountered one such Stormtrooper that was a legionnaire but set himself apart; he was a zombie Stormtrooper. There were also the children dressed in their adorable superhero costumes, I even saw a little toddler Black Widow from the Avengers Age of Ultron.
There are also lots of places to get free swag, trades, toys, etc. The respective comic publishers, name brands and minor presses all gathered up people when they first walked in. Last year had a lot more free stuff but this year was fine as well. We picked up many Skottie young free mini posters laying around on tables, free bracelets for Lion Forge Comics and random free fruit snacks. I will always take free food as long as it’s not poison or in obvious violation of many food regulations and health codes. There were also representatives of collectors of comics like Superman #1 or the first appearance of Spiderman looking to sell or trade. There are also booths of local comic stores. There were also sellers of original toys from the days of GI JOE, He-Man, and the original three Star Wars. It was kind of a melee in those isles where people were constantly walking in and out of small shops with toys and gear. The thing is everyone was very conscientious of each other’s personal space so there were almost no accidents or issues to my knowledge.
I had many spectacular experiences at C2E2 and the following are but a choice few. I got pictures with Ludo from Labyrinth, (miss you David), saw the man who made the hobbits feet, ears, etc. for LOTR and the Hobbit movies. I took a picture with a very lifelike Gamorrean guard holding up a sign saying “Eat Mor Chikin”. Those are but a few examples of my time there and the the thing is, I was there one day out of three and didn’t even go for the whole day. I went from the start of the day to 3:30pm. You really can’t see it all in one day.
Overall, C2E2 2016 was a fantastic experience for me and other attendees. If not, then they were lost and found something they were not looking for. What they found was a excellent comic convention.