Coverage by our friend and Chicagoan Ray Till.
It is that time of year again in Chicago. Time for the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo A.K.A. C2E2. C2E2 has been an Expo since 2010 run by ReedPOP. These are the people that also run New York Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, UFC Fan Expo and Penny Arcade Expo. The experience of ReedPOP running such shows and C2E2 since 2010 prove their capability to provide Chicago with an Expo that is fun, interesting, and just all around cool.
Every year the crowds seem to double in size. My first year going parking was easy to get and there was little to no line to get past the archway into the event. Parking is still not a very difficult task, a huge plus in Chicago, the initial line has become a longer wait. Some people going to this event show up to wait in line earlier than eight a.m. now. The show opens at ten a.m. normally on Saturdays. The Expo runs from Friday to Sunday. For reasons out of my control I was not able to make it on a Friday this year. The prime day to go if you don’t mind missing all the cosplay Saturday has to offer. If you do enjoy cosplay a camera is a must!
Venders and guests have also improved with each passing year. If you are in Chicago in the month of April there really is no excuse to miss out on this expo. You have the availability to meet what geek fix you are looking for. There is a wide range of pop culture items to be had. Anywhere from classic to modern toys , art, video games, comics, signatures, clothing, you name it they more than likely have anything that has to do with pop culture.
C2E2 is held at McCormick Place right off of Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive. Only a few minutes from the city’s downtown area. The buildings and facilities in this area are very fresh and modern. The only problem some new comers to the Expo have is how confusing the buildings lay outs are. I have talked to a few people that had gotten lost with the labyrinth of walkways and hallways. With the polite comradery of the event even the most wayward person can ask help from a random person and politely set on their correct way. Some people even form groups, all lost. Getting a laugh while trying to find their way.
Once your way has been found the ticket roll call is like any other con. This year it has been surprisingly fast. You show your print out (if you did not order your ticket before the mail out date of tickets) and in an instant you have a badge a few steps later you have a lanyard and you are good to go to wait in line you enter the event. Depending on what time you go.
The isles to the Expo are marked by banners hanging from the ceiling going in order of hundreds to make finding a vender easy. Artist ally is set up in alphabetical order by first name (Only thing I found a little odd) so that is even easy to navigate. Walking around all the people in that area is a whole other issue. With the growing popularity Artist Ally’s aisle’s have become more narrow to fit more artists in the area. If you are not lugging around poster tubes or a foam broad sword it should not be that big of an issue.
The guest signature area is very orderly and has much faster wait times than other conventions I have been to. You can still have time to chat with your fellow fans in line. You just won’t be there long enough to hear their life story. A thing I am very thankful for and wish other conventions would take note of.
I would like to give a shout out to Spoke Art. You guys rock. Also, Kelley Morrisey for dealing with my neurotic addiction to pop culture.
Photos courtesy of Ray Till.
The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo – also known as C2E2 – is a convention spanning the latest and greatest from the worlds of comics, movies, television, toys, anime, manga and video games. Bringing the best of popular culture to Downtown Chicago, C2E2’s show floor is packed with hundreds of exhibitors, panels and autograph sessions giving fans a chance to interact with their favorite creators and screening rooms featuring sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit either the big or small screen!
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