The fourth annual Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) took over McCormick Place in downtown Chicago, April 26-28, 2013. Originally the expo focused only on comic books. It now includes pop culture, graphic novels, movies, TV shows, video games, toys, and more. Although the original comic book expo started decades ago, the new C2E2 has only been in Chicago since 2010. It is now one of the largest pop culture conventions in the world. C2E2 consisted of three fun-packed days of exhibits, comic book artists and writers, merchandise, costumes, autograph signings, panel screenings, auctions, contests and assorted activities for children.
This was the first time I attended C2E2, and I wish I had attended three years. When my friends and I arrived, enthusiastic expo fans in creative costumes of their favorite pop culture and fantasy characters greeted us. My favorites included Star Wars, V for Vendetta, Brave and the house and balloons from Up. Though I do not regularly read comic books, I have always been interested in pop culture in movies, TV shows and video games. The old stories of Star Wars, Batman, Spiderman, Xmen, as well as the newer ones like Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Being Human, continue to fascinate me.
As an artist myself, I appreciated the artwork as I enjoyed looking at vintage comic books ranging in price from $5 to $5000, watching comic art demonstrations, and seeing original sketches from movies such as the original Star Wars and 2D Disney cartoons. These were movies I had grown up watching and, if I had the money, I would definitely have purchased some. My friends and I also had fun perusing the bins filled with old toys, such as My Little Pony, Trolls, Shira, and action figures from movies, also from our childhood.
The other major highlight of my visit to the expo was the autographing and meeting famous idols such as Ron Pearlman from Hellboy, Julie Newmar, Catwoman from the first Batman movie, and Sam Huntington who plays the Werewolf on the scifi series Being Human. I did not get to meet Ron Pearlman up close, but I got to introduce myself to Sam Huntington and Julie Newmar. Sam Huntington was as nice and down to earth as I thought he would be. We discussed his show Being Human, and he was very friendly. I got his autograph, but couldn’t take his photo. (Certain guests would not allow photography). As for Julie Newmar, I didn't pay for her autograph, but she posed for photos for me. It was amazing to meet the actress who once played the original Catwoman, which was a very iconic role in pop culture film.
C2E2 was a three-day event but many people agreed with me that it should have run longer. There was way too much to see and do in only three days. I was only able to attend one day and felt there was too much to cram into that day. Also, the expo schedule changed slightly each day, and I am sure that I missed out on additional exciting events on the other two days. C2E2 was an amazing event to experience. I plan to go next year (and in a costume!)
C2E2 was held April 26-28 at McCormack Place in Chicago, Illinois. On-site tickets prices were as follows: $35 for Friday, $40 for Saturday and $35 for Sunday. Children five and under were admitted for free all weekend. All children 12 and under were free on Sunday Kids Day. Show hours were Friday and Saturday 10AM-10PM and Sunday 10AM-5PM. For updates and information on C2E2 2014, go to http://www.c2e2.com.
*Photos by Jennifer Lunz