C2E2 con report 2013 – Jon’s experience

_TheGang

Crimespree Wrecking Crew in the house!

Our adventure to C2E2 has now become an annual event for us. This is the second year we drove down to Chicago with Dan and Kate and have been the recipients of lovely hospitality by our friends Tasha and Andrew. They let us take over their living room with our luggage and comics for the weekend. This year also involved a terrific homemade dinner and a Lego birthday cake for Ruth.

Kate and Dan headed over to C2E2 Friday afternoon and caught the Kill Shakespeare panel and then did an interview with the creators (Coming soon to this very site). Ruth hung out with Tasha while your narrator hit the downtown Lego store with Andrew and Xander. Kate and Dan came back with goodies from Friday already giving them and early lead in swag. We had a mellow evening and plotted out plans for Saturday.

C2E2_13 (13)We started Saturday with wonderful doughnuts and headed to McCormick place in time to be there when they opened. We hooked up with fellow wrecking crew member Bryan. Bryan brought doughnuts for our pals at Archaia and we all hooked up with some great reading material. Archaia puts out some of the best looking books in the business and we can’t get enough. We’ll have some more reviews soon. Andrew traded a copy of his first novel EVEN for a copy of The Grand Duke. A pretty good trade as they are both great books. From here we split up and planned a meet up back at Archaia for lunch. Kate and Dan headed towards artist alley. Me? I headed towards the shopping area with Ruth, Bryan, Andrew and Xander. And shop we did. Xander at some point found a very nice looking Katana and now officially has a sword collection. We found some great t-shirts, some cool Dr.Who related bags and of course lots of comics.
From here things begin to blur as to the order of events. If you’ve ever been to a comic convention I am sure you are familiar with the sensory overload that can take place. I’m going to hit the highlights though I can’t promise they are in the right order.

C2E2

There were a number of people we wanted to meet. Peter Davidson of Dr. Who and The Last Detective was one, but wither his line was REALLY long, or he wasn’t there. 5 attempts and I said enough.
We got to meet Len Wein who created Swamp Thing and also wrote my all time favorite story of the Justice League of America in issues 100 – 102 bringing back the 7 soldiers of victory. Len was really great with the fans and he told us that all he has been reading lately is crime fiction, including just finishing the latest Robert Crais. We passed on a copy of the new Stuart Neville to him.
The line for Tony Moore wrapped around the booths and it was nice to see him so busy. We love Tony and his work.
We hooked up with Andy Diggle and I really enjoyed talking with him. He mentioned to us he is planning to write exclusively crime fiction related work. We also got to pick up issue of the amazing SNAPSHOT while we chatted. We’ve made plans to do an interview soon.
Amanda Conner had a nice line and while we waited we ended up buying 3 prints and a sketch book. I love her art and she is just an all around awesome lady. Another comics creator who is great with the fans and it was a joy to watch her interact with them.
C2E2_13 (128)It took a little while but we also met Jimmy Palmiotti, writer extraordinaire and pretty damn cool guy. I’ve not read anything by him I haven’t loved. We talked crime fiction a bit and he also told us about upcoming Jonah Hex stories involving Booster Gold and Jonah traveling through time to present day and the way he reacts to things in our rime. It sounds great and I think it will be a Must for all fans.
Jill Thompson was busy all weekend as she usually is, we saw her signing at the Dark Horse booth and a couple times at her own table. We picked up some really cool pillow cases!

We hit the Vertigo panel and it was highly entertaining. There was talk of some new books coming up including a few anthologies. There was also some discussion as to the merits or worth of graphic novels hitting the New York Times list. Brian Azzarello seems to think it doesn’t mean much, publicity guru John Cunningham disagreed. Hilarity ensued.

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those damn angels from Dr. Who….

Our overall experience was a very positive one. The McCormick place is a wonderful venue and the west hall fit the con perfectly. By the end of Saturday I did start to get just a bit of sensory overload, though by Sunday I was ready for more. I did some good shopping and got some great deals. In particular hometown Chicago store Challengers was a real favorite for me. I also loaded up on back issues at a booth offering 3 for $1. Quirk publishing had a booth and we got some great books. A must have for everyone is Breakfast For Dinner cookbook. Bryan has already made the bacon fried rice. We also got the first book and an arc of book two by Ben H Winters. THE LAST POLICEMAN which is soon to be followed by COUNTDOWN CITY, both feature police officer Hank Palace, who at the end of the world with an inevitable end coming may be the only person left who cares if a crime is solved. We met Ben and he’s a super guy. Really looking forward to these books.

The rest of our time was walking around checking out other booths and stores. We did some nice shopping, and met some cool folks. The cos players this year were really great, though I do wish they would move to the side occasionally and let people get through at intersections and doorways. And on a personal note, Why do people still dress up like the Ghostbusters?????

Jill Thompson!

Jill Thompson!

In closing let me say that our trip produced a lot of future material for upcoming Crimespree articles and reviews. We had a ball and as long as ReedExpo keeps putting on C2E2 we’ll keep going. If you can next year I suggest you get to Chicago and hit this great convention.

 

By the way, after arriving home, pile of regular comics, a bit over 2 feet high, graphic novels and trades pile just about 3 feet high. A total of 9 new t-shirts.