Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, more commonly known as C2E2, is an annual convention that took place this year at McCormick Place on April 13-15th in Chicago, Illinois. If you’re not familiar with the awesomeness of C2E2, a break down of their acronym is a pretty sound way of deducing it’s magical properties. It is indeed an entertaining comic expo, however, there are many many more things at C2E2 than just comics! Like most cons there are vendor booths, the ever-so-famous Artist Alley, celebrity autograph/picture lines and the most entertaining thing of them all, the cosplayers! There were even old school arcade games available to play, a Mustache Emporium, and, dare I say it…a tattoo festival! If you were in the mood for a quick tat, artists were standing by to fulfill your whims!
The venue itself was smaller than I had originally pictured however, every time I thought I had walked down every aisle, I discovered a new one that I had not trekked. As silly as it sounds, I was very impressed with the fact that a food court area existed towards the back of the room. For every con that I have been, one had to venture outside of the confines of the actual event in search of sustenance. Although in some cases there were places nearby, this was the first location to actually have a food court in the same room, next to Artist Alley, and while the prices were expensive, a slice a pizza totaling you $5 and a 16oz beverage for $2.50, the convenience of it outweighed the price tag in my case. Another really cool thing about C2E2? They offered free bus shuttles to and from the event, so if you lived downtown or around the area you were able to hop on a bus for free, or if you wanted to venture out to find food you could just take one of the buses out and then hop it back to the con. The shuttles ran every thirty minutes, and since parking downtown is so expensive I thought it was very commendable to have such a thing.
On the show floor small businesses and popular stores, such as Dick Blick Art Materials, Medieval Times, Gameworks and the ever-present Tower of over-priced T-shirts, sell their wares. A majority of the vendors sell Anime figurines, collectibles, comic books, manga, and plenty of wigs.
My favorite part about the vendor area is all of the shops that sell pop culture jewelry, t-shirts and other fun trinkets. I actually picked up this bad boy pictured to the left from a store named “Sparkle”, visit their online store here for absolutely awesome jewelry, not only do they have The Hunger Games and Harry Potter items, but even Doctor Who!
There was another shop called “Rock Love Jewelry” which caught my eye because their merchandise was so very awesome. I didn’t have enough time to look through all of their items, but I have a feeling I would have bought a couple things if I had. The thing that had caught my eye at Rock Love was that they sold necklaces and rings called “Love Tokens”. If you have ever heard the expression, “a token of my affection”, it stems from these. Men that couldn’t afford store bought jewelry would carve words or pictures on the best looking coins they could find to give them to their loves. The tokens sold by Rock Love are made from real love tokens which makes their store so very unique!
Another booth I happened to wonder upon, “House of Darkly“, I couldn’t help but loiter around for awhile. They sell cute little plushies of animals, puppets, pins, hats, jewelry and even mini-keychain plushies in the shape of cookies!
Among the many t-shirt vendors, there were only a few that sold likable video game/gamer shirts including several Portal, Team Fortress and a “Halo Kitty” with a Hello Kitty face on it, I will indeed admit to being amused by it!
The most hilarious vendor I came across was the aforementioned Mustache Emporium. We were greeted by this man with a British accent asking us to try out his wares. The wares, you ask? Mini wooden mustaches on a chain for safe keeping, just like the big mustache below the sign in the picture to the right. To my delight they also sold hand carved wooden wands, perfect for any witch or wizard! While looking around one of the staff members put one of the mini mustaches up to my face and some random convention-goer thought it was amusing enough to take a picture of me with it on. Although the novelty factor is pretty high I didn’t check to see how much these mini-babies were going for, I do assume that it’s probably worth the laughs!
An exciting stroll down vendor lane led my friend Teri and I to the booth of Kevin Brown, AKA, Dot Com from the sitcom, 30 Rock. Both of us being huge fans of the show we were delighted to meet Kevin, to our extreme pleasure he was very friendly and gave us a few laughs, he was even selling “Dot Com for President” t-shirts, although he hasn’t specified as to the President of what, he is running.
The Artist Alley booths are always impressive to wander down because of their work on display and for sale. If you’re in the mood for it, some artists are available to do custom sketches and even turn you into a zombie. What I really liked and have never seemed to notice before (possibly because no other con has done this) is that C2E2 alphabetized Artist Alley lanes with signs making it a million times easier to find a particular artist, so many many kudos to the C2E2 staff! While wandering AA I was approached by an artist because the costume that I was wearing looked very similar to the character of another artist’s comic, I was told I should go meet him so he could see my costume and I was indeed pleasantly surprised at the resemblance of the costume and the excitement from the artist, Steve Bryant. His comic is Athena Voltaire, unfortunately I didn’t get a copy of the picture of me with the comic but it wouldn’t be a stretch on my part to cosplay as her in the future.
Near the Artist Alley and food area was a booth for the 501st Legion, a collective of costumed stormtroopers that were hosting a Droid Hunt. To join you simply attach the badge pictured to the left, onto your C2E2 badge and continue on your way wandering the con. If you are approached by the Imperial personnel and they ask you, “How long have you had these droids?” you have been “caught” and must surrender your badge, in exchange however, you are given a raffle ticket. After the hunt has ended you can check to see if your ticket won something back at the 501st booth. I, of course, being everly stealthy was not caught! I really enjoyed the fact this little game existed and hope to see them at the next con around Chicago. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a foxy female stormtrooper in the flesh!
C2E2 had possibly too many celebrity comic & entertainment guests ranging from Anthony Daniels (top of my list!), Nicholas Brendon, John Cusack, Amy Okuda (Tink from the webseries “The Guild”), the ever-so-popular, Chad Michael Murray, and yes, Svengoolie. Maggie Q, from the hit TV show, Nikita, was also supposed to be present however cancelled the day before the con. Is a QQ joke too easy? =[
If you were wondering this entire time who I had chosen to cosplay as, your wait has officially ended. I was Roxy Rocket, AKA Roxanne Sutton, a supervillainess from Batman who performed stunts for movie stars until she tried to take the stunts a little too far. In her spare time she likes to steal jewels for The Penguin. Did I forget to mention she has a super huge crush on Batman because she thinks he’s in it for the thrill like she is? I made it my mission at C2E2 to take a picture with every single Batman I could find. Although I was dismayed that only one Batman knew of Roxy Rocket’s existence, a few hardcore Batman fans were able to point my costume out of the crowd.
Here’s a mini gallery from some of the pictures I took at C2E2, enjoy the Batman-Roxy Rocket love!
A *BIG* thanks to C2E2 for giving me the opportunity to attend the event! See you all next year!
Like all of my articles, you can find them on my personal web site, RoxRocks!