Back from C2E2! As in, just recently back. What a long day!
Megan and I went with my coworker Joyce, who convinced us to ride the train into Chicago. We missed the first train, which is just as well since I had forgotten our badges the first time out the door! Once we were at union station, we almost missed the shuttle bus, but the driver stopped for us after seeing me run alongside him. No 30-minute wait for the next one!
Lots of amazing cosplayers again this year, of course. Some of my favorites were dressed as Cinderella, Chewbacca, Spider-Gwen, Mr. Freeze, Mojo Jojo, and I was pleased by all the cosplay support for Agent Carter. All the Deadpools annoyed me, except for Steampunk Deadpool, which was awfully amusing.
We walked through a large portion of the exhibit hall, but did not see everything. We didn't even bother going by the Marvel booth. Megan and I both got distracted by some store booths right away. I was tempted by some Animal Crossing stuffed animals, but $18 seemed too much for the size. I found this store from Oswego (The Comic Shop?) with a bunch of dollar bins and they were very helpful at going through my wishlist and finding at least four Astro City issues for me (Astro City, in the dollar bin! What's this world coming to?). Then, before we left the booth, Megan and I found the mini-magnets they were selling with classic video game packaging on them. I picked up Adventure and Kaboom! from the Atari 2600.
The Peace Corps had a booth and I picked up two books from them, one being a comic book -- and I'm donating both of them to the Poplar Creek Public Library government documents department! And then Megan and I got excited about a store booth selling trade paperbacks for half-off. I found Superman Chronicles volume 10 and Megan wanted an Usagi Yojimbo omnibus -- thank goodness they only wanted cash and I didn't have enough for both, or I'm sure I would have been stuck carrying around that big omnibus the rest of the day.
Then we headed upstairs for the seminars and attended "Designing for the Geek Community: Reinventing Library Services to Meet the Needs of Geeks in Chicago". Joyce and I got some good ideas from that to take back to work and I was able to talk to a D&D-running librarian about the long-term difficulties of maintaining a D&D club in a library. After that, we parted with Joyce for the day and Megan and I went to see John Cusack. Cusack was a real surprise -- untidy, foul-mouthed, anti-establishment -- yet refreshingly honest and somehow still charming. He disliked "top 5" type questions, but I couldn't resist going up to the mic and asking him my own about who he wanted to work with and never had. The only person he could think of off the top of his head was Martin Scorsese.
After that we went back downstairs and checked out artist's alley. On our way to the alley area, in the exhibit hall, we happened to come across one of Megan's old TV heartthrobs, Austin St. James from Power Rangers, being interviewed. I tried to get Megan to go up to him afterwards, but she was too shy.
The "alley" was so huge we only got through half of it in two hours! We spent more in artist's alley than we've ever spent before and I think we got some really good stuff. Megan's priority was getting to Jenny Parks to buy more cat merchandise. We found her and Megan picked up three buttons and a small print of Harry Potter as a cat. We also bought a comic book called Hero Cats of Stellar City that Jenny drew the cover for.
Art Baltazar remembered my name! We talked about how far Skokie was, the Streamwood parade, my health, and we dropped a boatload of money on a Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam trade paperback, two issues of Tiny Titans, three issues of Superman Family Adventures, one issue of Aw Yeah Comics, and a doodle sketch of the Golden Age Hawkman (Megan's H&H Hero, only with the later yellow mask instead of the hawk helmet). Both Art and Franco graciously signed everything we bought.
I had seen these comic books last year and wanted them, but only got them this year -- two issues of Tom Stillwell's The Honor Brigade -- a well-done, almost Astro City-like superhero universe. Honorable mention goes to Dave Wheeler's Wonderboy, which I would have bought this year had I not run out of cash!
We got a copy of Shrugged2 from Serena Guerra that says "Keith's Komix" on the cover, but that was more an excuse to see the baby and chew the fat about the Schaumburg Library Mini-ComicCon.
Megan was enthralled over a poster print of the Supernatural cast by Bob the Artist and had to have that too.
I completely missed the "Budgeting Your Comic Book" seminar I wanted to attend, but we made it back upstairs for "The Silver Age Trivia Challenge" with Mark Waid. I thought it was great, though Megan was bored silly for that one. Then I left Megan in the Hillywood Show seminar while I attended "How to Get Press for Your Comic" -- but left early after hearing way too much about Twitter and Kickstarter -- two things I'd rather be dead than use.
After that should have been a nice peaceful ride on the shuttle back to Union Station -- but construction had closed down our shuttle route back to the train! Our options were to wait in a long line for taxis, or hop on a different shuttle and walk six blocks from there to Union Station. Luckily, it wasn't cold or raining! We also had the company of this guy from Oswego (our second Oswego connection!), Jesse, who walked with us (I hope you made it home, Jesse!). By the time we got to our train, we had to run to get on board, and had we missed it we would have had to wait another hour for the next train! And even then we didn't get to relax, because there was a drunk husband verbally abusing his wife the whole way home near us on the train. I wanted to get a conductor to throw his sorry butt off the train, but Megan didn't want me to get involved.
But eventually we did get back home -- 13 hours after leaving home -- to rest our feet, count our loot, figure out how much we spent, write this, and dream of attending again next year!
Black Bolt by George Perez
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