Saturday, April 25, 2015

My First Ever C2E2 Report!

It didn't start out great. Coming from Parking Lot B, on the south side of McCormick Place, there was no signage saying where to go for will call or registration. Even when we got to the exhibit hall, there was no signage. We spent 40 minutes looking for the room where the ticket booths were tucked away out of sight and then, because we had split up to look for them, spent another 20 minutes finding each other. I found it so upsetting, I couldn't even enjoy all the cosplay I was seeing. We also made the mistake of not bringing anything to drink, so we bought a $4 water bottle at the Starbucks. Then we found the free water upstairs by the panel rooms later. Oops.

But after that, things improved immensely. The exhibit hall was packed with a full day's worth of interesting viewing. The artist's alley was packed with a full day's worth of interesting viewing. We had to cut some corners to combine the two. I, of course, pursued spending money at a convention in my normal, thrifty fashion -- haunting the dollar bins (where I did pick up some amazing bargains). This was Megan's first comic book convention ever and, it turns out, she is a fairly expensive date at a comic book convention. She was finding t-shirts and posters and games everywhere that she wanted.

We geeked out over lots of celebrities. The autograph booths were 200' away, so we could not get good photos of Sean Astin and Sylvester McCoy -- but Megan managed *okay* photos of them. Conversely, while I was waiting for Megan at will call, Scott Adsit walked right by me. I thought "That guy looks just like the guy from 30 Rock" -- but I didn't know he was scheduled to be at the con today until I got home tonight.

We attended the "Unmasking the Hero" panel and got to see Jewel Staite, who was funny and charming, and David Ramsey, who was a lot more funny and charismatic than he ever seemed to be on Arrow. And what a lot of Arrow fans in the audience! I was surprised. Favorite moments were Jewel faking a smarmy attitude and saying, "Oh, you guys don't have action figures?" and the generous response of the moderator who invited a couple on stage after a man popped the question to his girlfriend in the audience.

I wasn't planning on staying in that room for the special sneak preview of M. Night Shyamalan's first TV show, Wayward Pines, since I wasn't interested in seeing it. And neither was Megan, but when she learned yesterday that Matt Dillon would be there she told me we were going. She moved us right up front so she could be about 25' away from him. Oh, and M. Night was there too. Now, Wayward Pines itself was making me want to hurl -- but not why you'd think. Sitting so close to the big screen was disorienting and made both of us nauseous, though me more so.

Creator Connection was a networking event for people who need collaborators on their comic book projects, which would include me! I was disappointed, though, in how disingenuous some of the people there were. Like, one artist wasn't there looking for work at all; he was there to give sales pitches for his own already-published graphic novel. I wasn't meeting anyone with an old school vibe, and Megan told me that the exhibit hall closed at 7 and she wanted to get back there first, so we left that early.

I wish we had reserved more than 45 minutes for Artist's Alley at the end of the day. I was looking for Angel Medina at 6:30 for an arm wrestling match, but he was away from his table then. I saw Ali Cantarella, who I had met at the Schaumburg Township District Library's comic book convention. I didn't have a lot of cash left on me to spend, but she always comes up with such imaginative ways to part me from my dollars. Last time it was art magnets, this time it was the "$1 Mystery Box". I was really impressed with Sean Archer's Milo the Cloud and bought a copy. Scott Larsen traded me an issue of Femforce he was in for the information that Big Bang Comics is going to come out with their first issue published by AC Comics soon. And the lucky dog is making a comic book with Len Strazewski!

Also impressive were Spinner Rack Comics and Mindwave Comics, both of which promised good old-fashioned fun superheroes, like the big companies used to know how to do. Adam Fotos impressed me. Jenny Parks Illustration blew us both away with her cat-pop culture character mash-ups. Hugely ambitious, and way beyond what I could afford, was a $120 tribute book about Little Nemo in Slumberland released by Locust Moon Comics, in the same size as the original newspaper strip. The nice man at that booth said they were going to re-re-release it in softcover sections that would look more like old newspaper comic sections -- I'm there when that comes out. The last of my cash went to Aw Yeah Comics' table, where I picked up a Tiny Titans I was missing -- the only comic book on my 46-issue shopping list I managed to find while I was there!

We had both lunch and dinner at the McDonalds in the convention center, which only gave us the novelty of paying $11-15 for meals that would normally cost us $5-8. I had hoped to dine in the Connie's Pizza there for dinner, but they were closed by 7.

The last thing we did was go to a panel about Comixology. I asked some questions about what I could submit if I *did* have a finished comic book for sale and got a free t-shirt for my troubles. Pretty sweet! Also, Art Baltazar was there talking about his experience using Comixology. The whole time he was staring at the audience, but doodling with his hands. At the end, he had all these sketches of Adventure Bug on Aw Yeah Comics stationery to give away -- and they looked great!

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