Published on April 18th, 2012 | by Ryan0
C2E2 2012, Day One
As someone who has been to quite a few cons in the past, there were many familiar sights upon entering McCormick Place for the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) this past weekend (April 13-15). There were giant, multimedia-rich booths for the big two comic publishers (Marvel and DC), smaller booths for other publishers, art schools, websites, etc., a packed Artist Alley featuring a variety of creators (most related to comics), and merchant booths selling everything from back issues of X-Men to corsets to katanas. The crowd included convention stapes such as the dudes with the dolly carts stacked with comic boxes and cosplayers ranging from classic superheroes to characters from modern geek favorites like Adventure Time.
What was immediately different about C2E2 however, was the overall feel and experience. Yes, there were lots of people, but it was also in such a large venue that it didn’t feel over-crowded compared to other conventions. This was great for two reasons: one, you could easily maneuver from one end of the show floor to the other, giving you freedom to peruse the floor at your own pace, rather than being forced down aisles like livestock at a factory farm. With that imagery in mind, the second great thing the C2E2 show floor had going for it was the smell, or more specifically, lack thereof. In my three days at the show over the weekend, I never once caught a nose-full of nerd stink” (which for the uninitiated, is a combination of B.O., a dumpster outside of a Chinese restaurant, and farts). Perhaps this is due to the mainstreaming of geek culture making good hygiene the new standard or the larger venue allowing the stink to disperse properly, or maybe a combination of both. Regardless, I was grateful.
The highlight of my first day at the show was meeting and getting signatures from the incredibly talented (and super nice) creators of Morning Glories, artist Joe Eisma and writer Nick Spencer. This is a book you should be reading; nearly every issue feels like a season finale of a great TV show. If there is any justice in the universe, this series will get an AMC or HBO adaptation and be enormously popular one day.
The bulk of my Friday evening was spent at The Vic for the (sold out) live Nerdist podcast. Host Chris Hardwick and co-hosts Mark Mira and Jonah Ray all came on stage individually to do short standup bits before recording the podcast (which had special guest Alison Haislip from G4). While they do touch upon some mainstream geek stuff (Star Wars, Doctor Who, superhero films), the Nerdist folks are comedians first and foremost, and damn good ones at that. It was a great show (in spite of some awkwardness involving a large drunk man who kept rushing the stage and yelling weird things, distracting the entire theater from the show at hand. He was, naturally, sitting immediately behind my girlfriend and I) that you can download here, at some point, I think.
Thoughts from days two and three coming soonish.