A little while ago I wrote about why the small cons have an advantage over the gigantic San Diego Comic Con. So it was in this spirit that went down to Chicago, IL for C2E2. The trip simply confirmed everything I said before.
The show floor itself is divided into three sections. The autograph area, where for a small fee you can get an autograph and a picture from one of your favorite supporting cast members.
The main floor, where you can buy just about anything comic book or fantasy related. Unlike the big cons there’s nothing new here, none of the big companies whose name you’d recognize have a booth. Even the independent publishers are rare and difficult to find. It’s literally a giant swap meet of nerdiness. With alcohol. Revolution Brewing, a local brewery, provided the event with a nice selection of beers on tap.
Then we have artists’ alley, where you can buy art prints or commission an original piece from the artists themselves. The advantage of not having so many giant flashy promotional booths on the show floor is that it frees up more space for the artists with bigger names like Neal Adams, Peter Tomasi, and Dan Jurgens. But get there early because there will be a line and they can only take a limited number of commissions. Plus they tend to get a little testy when they realize they’re going to have to draw Superman over and over again all day for three days (don’t ever meet your heroes).
The other half of the con is the panels. Nothing really new here. But there aren’t any mega stars promoting the next summer blockbuster or upcoming show. The panels are where you can listen to discussions about what’s going on in the industry or even provide feedback to writers and artists about where the future of the major titles should go.
As you walk around the convention floor you’ll notice that this is where the fans go. You see it in the diversity of characters being cosplayed. While you’ll still see a variety of Deadpools, the Harley Quinns are at a minimum, and none of those women trying to sell you a picture or get you to subscribe to their Patreon.
C2E2 is a con for the true fans, I hope to see more of you out there next year. Tune in to the April 26 episode Fantastic Forum to hear more about my C2E2 adventures.