My friend Deidre, who’s the unicorn wrangler for WNA, attended C2E2 this weekend for the first time. Actually, it was her first big convention ever. I asked if she would like to write something up for you lovely people and she jumped at the chance!
A Noob’s Impressions of C2E2
By: Deidre Crummitt
It finally happened. I lost my comic convention cherry. It was taken in a most glorious manner by the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, otherwise known as C2E2. I’m no stranger to large fan events but my previous experience had been limited to anime conventions in the DC/MD/VA area. I decided to break into the comic con world with Barb prior to our upcoming adventure in San Diego for SDCC.
The best and most important thing I did for C2E2 was to obtain a sketchbook. Barb suggested the Moleskine Art Plus watercolor album. This sketchbook is 5 x 8.25 inches and fits perfectly in a backpack or messenger bag. What is the purpose of a sketchbook at a con? It’s to get great art from your favorite artists without having to worry about carrying around prints without damaging them. There’s also the added bonus of having art that’s done just for you! Some people like to have a theme for their books, others don’t. My sketchbook is Gambit-themed. ALL GAMBIT, ALL THE TIME. Ahem, sorry. Like I was saying, the theme of my book is the X-Men character, Gambit. He’s always been a favorite of mine and I am still bitter about the treatment he got in “Wolverine: Origins”. I had 3 sketches done at C2E2. The first one was a full color sketch by Michael Duron of Locoduck Studios. He did Gambit in his signature “Sugar Boogarz” style. IT’S FLIPPING ADORABLE. This sketch cost $20.
The second sketch I had done was a black and grey sketch by Justin Ponsor. Justin is an artist and colorist for Marvel. He’s worked on “Ultimate Spider-Man”, “Uncanny X-Men” and the upcoming “Original Sin” among numerous other titles. He’s also a super cool guy. I promised him I wouldn’t mention how much he charged me for this sketch. He will work with your budget, though.
My last sketch was a quick Sharpie-doodle done by Mitch Gerads. He’s another artist that’s working for Marvel and is writing the current run of “The Punisher”. I scored this sketch while he was signing at the Marvel booth on Sunday. He was totally excited to do it. It took about 3 minutes and was free!
I think the sketches are my favorite part of the con. It’s amazing to meet the creators and artists of some of my favorite characters up close and personal. That’s probably the biggest difference I noticed from my anime con experience. There’s less of a barrier between the fans and the artists at a comic convention. The names in Artist Alley at a comic con also tend to be bigger than what you would find at an anime con.
Now, let’s get to the meat and bones of any type of convention; the show floor. STUFF, GLORIOUS STUFF I PROBABLY DON’T NEED. TAKE ALL MY MONEY. The floor at C2E2 was amazing. Large, well laid out and varied. I know I shouldn’t be surprised at the variety of booths but it was astonishing. There was everything from comics, to apparel, to anime, to jewelry. I was not expecting such an array of goodies. Every fandom you could possibly think of was represented. PRO-TIP: Deals happen on Sunday because the vendors don’t want to haul their entire inventory back home. They may be more receptive to bargaining, too.
The panels at C2E2 were great as well. Once again, a large variety covering a multitude of topics was available. I personally attended the “Game of Thrones”, “Teen Wolf” and the exclusive Marvel Unlimited Plus panels. The volunteers did a great job at keeping lines under control. Rooms were spacious and had great lighting and sound systems. The C2E2 main stage was PHENOMENAL. They had a DJ and a hype-man to entertain the crowd before the panels began. C2E2 also streamed the panels to the show floor and I believe, online.
All in all, I had an unbelievably amazing first time. I got to spend time with my fantastic friends in a mecca of geekery. I saw famous people, got some sweet art and spent entirely too much money. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. (Ok, so maybe I already booked my room for next year…) I highly recommend C2E2 to anyone. I guarantee you’ll find something you enjoy.