Jon’s C2E2 2014

P1190169This weekend we undertook what has become an annual road trip to Chicago. The Crimespree wrecking crew meets up in Milwaukee and we head south for a spring weekend filled with good friends, great food and loads and loads of comics.

We arrived in Chicago Friday after a drive that included singing with Dean Martin. The crew this year was Ruth and me, Dan and Kate Malmon, Erica Ruth Neubauer and we were joined at the con by Jo Schmidt and Tim Hennessy. Friday afternoon Dan and Kate took off to hunt signatures and sketches, Erica and I were hitting publishers so we would have a chance to talk before the craziness of Saturday. Ruth stayed with our friends Tasha and Andrew to get ready for Saturday. We got our passes and headed in and our first stop was at Dark Horse. I’ve been a Dark Horse fan for years and this being the 20th anniversary of Hellboy made it an even better time to hit their booth. We picked up a lot of cool books and had a great chance to catch up with Jeremy who in addition to knowing everything about what’s going on at Dark Horse always has some great stories to tell. There is some great stuff coming soon as well and as always I am very excited by books from Dark Horse.

P1190204Books acquired at Dark Horse Booth during C2E2: THE BLACK BEETLE Vol.1, MIND MGNT Vol 2, CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT Vol. 1, BRAIN BOY Vol 1, BANDETTE, THE FIFTH BEATLE, and COLDER. (This is just what I got, Dan got a nice bunch and so did Erica) We also grabbed some of the freebies, nice buttons and cool Lanyards to let people know we love Dark Horse.

Next up we hit Quirk Books. An awesome indy publisher with a cool variety of books. A few of the books we had to have included William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher and the sequel, The Empire Striketh Back. We also picke up a poster book celebrating 75 years of DC comics with 100 amazing and large covers from their last 75 years with information on the back of each about the cover. A great book for any comics fan. Haute Dog, which is a cook book, was also on our list. A wonderful book full of all the ways to eat hot dogs and how to make all the various condiments and your own buns and even your own hot dogs. We love Quirk books.

P1190218Penguin had a booth and they were giving out a lot of books. One was a fun comic called Starling by Sage Stossel. (She has the power to save lives, she just has trouble living her own). We also picked up some great stuff by Chloe Neill and Simon Green and a number of other cool books. They had a number of authors at the convention including Charlaine Harris, Chloe Neill, Simon R Green, Jacqueline Carey, Patrick Rothfuss and Steve Bein.
Across the aisle was Delrey Books, (part of Random House) and we picked up even more great books. Really looking forward to THE WARDED MAN by Peter V Brett. They also had some really fun books in a series about a Lunch Lady by Jarrett J Krosoczka, these are comics and really funny. I grabbed Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute . They had Kevin Hearne, Jaleigh Johnson and Jennifer and Matther Holm on hand to sign books.

P1190171Friday rounded off with a wander through Artist Alley where we saw Dave Peterson who does Mouse Guard which is one of my favorite books. I got a signed book with a great sketch in it and chatted with Dave for a while. I also got to talk a bit with Jimmy Palmiotti who is one my favorite writers. Next to him Amanda Conner had a nice long line that seemed to never go down in size all weekend.

Friday night was a nice dinner out and we hit the sack relatively early so we could get a jump on Saturday.

And….. Saturday started with a GREAT breakfast at the 11 dinner on Clarke. It’s everything a good deli should be and I opened my day with the “Tom Waits breakfast”. Soon after we pulled into the parking structure at McCormick place and headed in with empty bags and ready for fun.

Ruth and I made our way to Artist Alley and I got to meet Doug Sneyd who has been doing cartoons for Playboy since 1964. Iconic art and a great guy. We chatted and I picked up a few sketch books. We followed this with a quick visit with Charles Soule and I got a copy of Strange Attractors signed. Love this book and meeting Charles was great. He’s writing a ton of comics and I’d need a separate post to list them all. A great new talent. We stopped by Gail Simone’s booth and got the first volume of Red Sonja and had it signed. Gail is wonderful and I love following her on Twitter. We also got to meet her husband who is also pretty damn funny.
Next we stopped by Tom Richmond’s table and bought a beautiful print with all the Doctors from Dr. Who. Classic Mad Magazine art combined with Dr. Who, my geek cup over flows….

P1190226The rest of the weekend was a bit of a blur, we saw Charlaine Harris and Joelle Charbonneau. I found lots of great comics. Dan met Stan The Man Lee, he’ll catch you up on that adventure. We ran into Brian Azzarello, and Lee weeks. Talked with Adam Hughes and a lot of other great artists. We got some Jill Thompson pillow cases! Bought even more comics and t shirts.

There were some very creative costumes this year by the cos players. I will admit I never watched Power Rangers so I don’t quite understand why all these years later people still dress up as them, but hey, kudos for having the guts to dress up, all of those who did. It makes the convention that much more fun.

P1190256We spent three days at C2E2 and it was all amazing, and yet over too soon. We are already planning our trip for next year.