This was my second year in a row attending C2E2 in Chicago, and once again I had a fantastic time. My family came with me again (while momma handled press duties) and we have found that the show has gotten so big, coming just one day is no longer enough. The main floor alone takes an entire day now. It’s amazing how big this show has gotten in the last three years.
I’ve attended both New York Comic Con and San Diego Comic Con (three years running now) and I can honestly say that McCormick Place out does them both in terms of space and facilities. Last year the show was in the West Building and this year the North Building, and with both cons there has been plenty of space to handle the enormous crowd. The facilities are newer and very comfortable. There were times that the main floor did get a big crowded but compared to San Diego, it was nothing.
One of the biggest shames of the San Diego Comic Con is the incredible shrinking Artists Alley. That show has become more about the entertainment, video games, and the movie studios than about the Comics. Last year the Artists Alley was littered with no shows and took up a small space in the main hall. At C2E2, entertainment was second place to the comics and comic artists. The artist alley once again was large and impressive, and sadly this year I didn’t have time to navigate it all.
My usual tradition in the Artists Alley is to find at least one artist who’s work I’ll buy for my son, who loves comics and science fiction novels. This year, the artist we chose was Donovan Scherer, who was there selling and autographing his latest novel, “Fear & Sunshine.” Scherer won me over after he apologized that his second book wasn’t ready for C2E2 because he had to get this thing called a day job. As an entertainment blogger who’s often in similar predicaments, it was an excuse I could relate to.
So far my ten year old boy definitely approves. Here’s the description for “Fear & Sunshine” from the back cover.
“Seven years ago, Darksmith Manor was sealed off from the world. A dynasty of monster-makers ended, but Fear, the greatest, the most vile creation of the Darksmith legacy, still yearned for their power. Frustrated by the closed Manor, and therefore incapable of claiming what he considered to be his for the taking, the menace shifted his evil intentions elsewhere.
Now the only person able to stop Fear from spreading rampant terror is the one he thought to be locked away in Darksmith Manor. The time has come for the last Darksmith to return and claim her birthright, whether she believes in monsters, or not.”
You can read the first chapter and order the book at the Fear and Sunshine official website.
Aside from the numerous vendors and plenty of eye candy on the main floor, C2E2 this year provided me my first ever exposure to live action Quidditch matches. What a hoot! People trying to knock balls through hoops with brooms in between their legs. I do love the outlandish creativity of role playing when flying has been removed from the equation. It was really fun to watch and I so wish I had more time.
Because of the distractions, I only made it to two panels. The first I’ve reported on already, the Nikita panel and press conference. The second was a fan panel for the TV show Supernatural, run by the fans that put on the fan only conventions Winchest Midwest yearly in Chicago. The concept is simple, a free form discussion among fans about the show. The line was longer than the space inside, so perhaps these Supernatural fans have tapped into another demand at these cons, fandom panels. The only thing missing was a traveling microphone so I could hear what most of those fans had to say.
All in all, another successful and entertaining convention by Reed Pop, who also organize New York Comic Con. Next year’s C2E2 will be on April 26 – 28, 2012 at McCormick Place. We’re already making our plans.
Here are more photos of the event: