Barb and I received Press Passes to C2E2 this year. While this con is a lot smaller than say San Diego or even any of the Wizard World events, it still had a lot to offer. My sister and her husband decided they would join us for the weekend and purchased their tickets.
I think we created a monster.
Spread over a three-day weekend, C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) is held at McCormick Place Convention Center on the outskirts of downtown Chicago. It’s easily accessible from most of the Chicago suburbs (I-55 is the easiest way in and out, unless my BIL is driving) and there’s tons of parking and bus/train routes to get you there. Downside…there is quite a bit of walking to and from the hall, but you’ll be walking all day anyway.
From the moment we set foot in to the hall, I knew we had lost my BIL. He was stopping at every booth, talking to everyone and just in general amazement. It was heartwarming in a sense.
What’s great about C2E2 is that it itself is still a young con. There isn’t as much Hollywood to take away from the fact that it is a Comic Convention. Comic Book stores and dealers out number any other booth hands down. Artist Alley is HUGE. There is a legit food-court area with real food. Panels were more intimate.
I remember sitting in Ballroom 20 at SDCC and thinking that it was so small for the amount of people and events it held. The large IGN Theater hall they used at C2E2 for the Nerdist Panel, John Cusak and other “large events” was maybe a quarter of the size of Ballroom 20. We tried to explain this to our guests, but they just looked at us wide-eyed.
All-in-all, I would totally reccommend C2E2 for anyone who just wants to get a taste of the Comic-Con experience. It’s large enough to satisfy the experienced person, but a good balance of everything else for someone who has never been to one. It’s perfect for first-timers.
In fact, my brother in law and sister bought a box (yes box) of comics for $30 and promptly took it to my parent’s house to sort out and look through… and they’re planning for next year as well.