The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) is over for 2019. For those who are thinking about attending C2E2 in the future, here are my thoughts about what to look for at the convention.
The security at C2E2 was more extensive than the last time I attended the event in 2017. However, the security lines moved quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, there is very little chance that security concerns will decrease in the future.
C2E2 had great DJs in the main hall leading to the exhibit floor and panel rooms. They played festive music every day of the convention. My favorite DJ was on Sunday. The DJs created a festive atmosphere, especially when cosplayers joined in by dancing to the music. I felt like I had been invited to a great party since there were adult beverages available on the exhibit floor and food areas.
What the cosplayers lacked in quantity, they more than made up for in quality. There were some extraordinary cosplayers displaying their innovative and wonderful costumes. Seeing the exceptional costumes made me feel as if I were a child walking through the Magic Kingdom. I wished that I had made time to go to the Masquerade.
I noticed that there were fewer publishers and authors in attendance than in 2016 and even 2017. Emerald City Comic Con, which was held a week earlier than C2E2 in March and also put on by ReedPop, had more authors and publishers at their convention. At the talkback session at the end of the con, the C2E2 leadership explained that because of the close proximity of Emerald City Comic Con and WonderCon to their event, book publishers had to make a decision as to where to send their authors (hint: it wasn’t C2E2). I believe that this problem may grow in the future, since each year there are more popular culture conventions which will stretch the ability of publishers, authors, celebrities, and artists to attend them. Perhaps, C2E2 will excel in securing comic book writers and illustrators while Emerald City Comic Con will attract the book publishers and writers.
The panels were a lot of fun, especially John Barrowman. He had the audience in stitches. AMC screened an episode of Into the Badlands and brought the creators of the series, as well as series star Daniel Wu (Sunny). The episode was a real crowd pleaser. AMC also screened the pilot episode of NOS4A2, a new series scheduled to debut on air this summer.
The show floor was incredible. No one could be disappointed in the extensive artist alley or with the number of comic book vendors that were present. While there was a substantial crowd on the show floor, the traffic flowed easily, especially on the outskirts.
SYFY Wire took over a corner of the show floor to conduct live interviews with artists, celebrities, and other guests. SYFY Wire broadcast these interviews live on Twitch and later on YouTube as part of their continuing “it’s a fan thing” campaign. Most of the interviews were standing room only.
C2E2 continues to be the premiere pop culture convention in the Midwest. I hope that the book publishers return because my best memories of C2E2 involve meeting my favorite authors in the elevator and just walking around the show between panels. If you want to find a classic comic con, then C2E2 is the place to be. It’s still great fun and a wonderful party with friends.