The Crimespree Wrecking Crew Hits C2E2
Friday, April 24, saw the Crimespree Wrecking Crew descend on the city of Chicago for the fourth consecutive year. Armed with little more than orthotics for our shoes, Star Wars lanyards, and a half-filled bottle of stale water, we once again proved that C2E2 is one of the best comic cons around.
After arriving in Milwaukee, we took the Crimespree Mobile M2 the ninety minutes into the heart of Chicago. Part of what makes this annual trip so special is that we get to stay with dear friends. So the trip becomes about more than just comics and pop-culture; it becomes a reunion weekend. Crashing out each night on air mattresses in the living room gives it a distinctive summer-camp-type vibe. And let’s be honest: after a day of comic-booking, we just pass out where we stand. Having the air mattresses nearby to catch us when the exhaustions hit? BONUS.
Friday saw us hit the convention floor early. Splitting into teams, Crimespree Jon and Crimespree Erica split off to look for good deals on graphic novels and to prepare for CS Jon’s panel on “Dark Humor in Literature.” Many deals were found, and Crimespree Jon’s tote bag was being dragged across the floor by the end of the first day. The panel went off without a hitch, since this topic is right in his wheelhouse.
Armed with the C2E2 mobile app, a checklist, clipboard and pen, and mental checklists, Crimespree Kate and I skillfully and professionally cleared off most of our list of autographs and sketches. Like the mystery community, the comic book community is filled with kind and generous people. Many of which donate to Crimespree Kate’s annual MS bike ride. And since they donate, they receive homemade chocolate chip cookies. Hand delivered from the wilds of Minnesota to the heart of Chicago? Done deal. And to those that donated, once again we say, “Thank You”.
Catching up with friends Phil Hester and Brent Schoonover is always a treat, and talking baseball with Ron Marz is the best. Like I said, the comic book community is fantastic. Friday also was the day I had a true Bucket List event. Last year while I was in the line to meet Stan Lee (yet ANOTHER Bucket List event) Crimespree Kate was kind enough to take my hardcover edition of STARMAN volume 1 by James Robinson and have Mr. Robinson sign it. He inscribed it with the first half of the quote by Oscar Wilde: “We are all lying in the gutter…” Handing the book back to Crimespree Kate, he told her that if we met again in a year, or two, or twenty, he would sign volume 2 with the rest of the quote. Cool, huh?
Seeing that Mr. Robinson was coming back to Chicago this year, I was sure to grab STARMAN volume 2. I’ve been a fan since Starman came out in 1994. Mr. Robinson was happy to hear last year’s story, and made time for conversation and pictures. Thanks again, sir!
If Jimmy Palmiotti is ever scheduled to hit a convention in your town, make time to get there. Mr. Palmiotti has to be one of the hardest working men in comics. Artist, writer of corporate and creator owned books, Jimmy does it all. A true crime fiction lover, Mr. Palmiotti is always a joy to talk to.
Dan Slott, the writer of Marvel’s Spider-Man (don’t forget the hyphen!) and Silver Surfer, is making fewer and fewer appearances at conventions. The man is an amazing writer who has an infectious love of comics. Everyday Mr. Slott does what he’s always wanted to do: write comic books, specifically Spider-Man. Unfortunately, he takes a lot of heat in this internet age for taking risks with his heroes, and for making comics fun and interesting to read! We had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Slott at our first C2E2 in 2012, and we wanted to tell him how much that day meant to us. This year the signing line was at least 3 hours long and he was taking time to talk to everyone. But every once and awhile, he would get on the mic and remind everyone he was going to stay until everyone was taken care of. Total class act.
Plus: we got to take a picture making Spider-Man web hands with the man that makes Peter Parker make web hands! Woah. That’s pretty meta.
Sunday was a wide open day. The Wrecking Crew spent most of the day looking for deals on comics, and hitting every t-shirt booth we could find. Yeah, we’ve been wearing these shirts before they were in every JC Penny or Old Navy. They aren’t “ironic”. They’re part of our wardrobe!
Did I mention the cosplay? No? Well, that’s not right. For some reason, people who take the time to create amazing costumes, and have the courage to wear them in public, well… they tend to take a lot of heat. Why, I can’t even tell you. These people are amazing. They make the shows fun and cool. Hawkman? Yup. He was there, wings and all. Robinson’s Starman? Yup. Complete with light up cosmic rod. Leather suited Batwoman? Yup. She was there, ready to kick your ass. To be clear, these fans don’t work for the show: they spend their own cash to create these costumes, BECAUSE THEY WANT TO. Seriously, the cosplayers make a great show even better.
Our fourth year at C2E2 was just about perfect. A well-run event held in a spacious hall, the guest list gets better every year. And yeah, the Crimespree Wrecking Crew will continue to make this an annual event.
Crimespree Dan (and Crimespree Kate)