This year’s C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) was a fun-filled weekend of media overload, with panels and parties and programming galore. The main floor was filled with booths targeting every imaginable faction of fandom. Publishers advertised new releases; dealers hawked boxes upon boxes of collectible comics, antiquarian sci-fi books, faded old magazines, posters, t-shirts, toys, DVDs, and sculptures; artists sat behind tables piled high with sketches, prints, self-published pamphlets, and original artwork. Everywhere you looked, there were attendees in elaborate costumes, beautiful objects to spend money on, old friends and new acquaintances to run into and strike up conversation with.
The programming was varied and wide-ranging, with panels discussing comics, sci-fi, video games, television, film, fantasy novels, toys, animation, and just about everything else under the sun. There was a million interesting things going on, and not nearly enough time to see it all.
Of course, for us, the major highlight of the convention was our “Comics & Pop Music” panel on Friday evening. We’ll discuss it in more detail at a later date, but the amazing group of people that participated had an even more interesting (and informative) conversation that we’d dared to hope. Jen Van Meter, Charles Soule, Bill Sienkiewicz, Chris Powell, and Dan Parent discussed the issues of pop comics from every angle, from creative to commercial, and it was enthralling to be listening in.
As for the rest of the weekend, there were screenings and panels and signings and raffles and events galore. Every time I turned a corner, something else caught my eye. I must have walked every aisle in the main room fifteen times, and each time, I noticed something else new and amazing.
It’s not a convention that’s as massive or overwhelming as some, but the smaller focus makes it feel that much more passionate. Exhibitors were excited to be there, and had the time to converse with anyone who stopped by. Artists, publishers, editors, media, merchants and fans were all on the same level, treating each other as equals, brought together by common interests and shared enthusiasms.
Photos © 2012 Marnie Ann Joyce.