There aren't too many people who realize this, but every convention has to go through its test phases before it turns into the perfection many attendees find it to be. Comic-Con, Anime Con and other popular entertainment conventions took a few years until they understood what kind of event they would become, and in some ways they still change over the course of time.
C2E2, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, has been around for merely three years but has gone through some major revamps throughout that time. The Windy City contains a number of entertainment conventions, the most notable being Wizard World, but residents must have figured that wasn't enough. This past weekend, a section of the McCormick Place convention center played proud host to C2E2, as an exuberant amount of geeky fans and creators took over the place.
Now I've been to my fair share of comic-centric entertainment conventions, and they don't always work. Thankfully the only weird part about this entire event is that kooky name, which tricks people into thinking it's not a comic convention at all. Seriously guys, you may want to consider altering that a bit. Now I could have inserted regular, slightly boring pictures into this list but in the convention spirit of self-expression, I decided to sketch out each one of my highlights from show. What are you waiting for? Start reading...and looking.
10. The Cosplayers
First off, can I just say that I'm happy I didn't see any Furries out at C2E2. I can't stand people who dress up as those characters, because it's kind of creepy. They've always been a weird combination of mascots mixed together with fan fiction that borders on bestiality (I know, for some of you that's a plus...eww). Anywho, a number of the outfits were really inventive, and while there may have not been a huge number of cosplayers, compared to what we see in the bigger conventions, it was made up for in quality.
I'm also really happy to see that not everybody was dressed up like a Doctor Who character. Now don't get me wrong, I love the show to pieces, but there are too many women out there who dress up as the Matt Smith. Did they forget that there's ten other incarnations they can pick? At least the guys in the picture above used a little imagination to mix together characters with each of the Green Lantern universe colors.
9. Sci-Fi Speed Dating
Are you a nerdy/geeky guy or girl looking for love? Well, there are plenty of you out there and one of the random events happening at C2E2 was here to aid many in their epic quest for love. Okay, so I'm not entirely sure where the science fiction portion of the speed dating service was at this event but it was really cute to sit in on. For two hours straight, a group of random geeky folk, from cosplayers to gamers, would go on these three minute dates where they'd find out more about the person. At one point we saw Princess Bubblegum smiling away at Green Lantern while at the other end of the room an X-Men fan mingled with a gamer guy.
It is possible to find love even if two geeks are attracted to different genres. Believe me, it's mighty hard trying to look for an honest-to-God, kind-hearted geeky guy who can keep up with me. No, I didn't participate, but some of the staff started glancing my way after a while with their peer-pressure filled eyes, and I eventually had to step out, but I still do recommend it!
8. The Block
Obviously you're wondering what I'm talking about when referring to The Block, and no it's not an Attack the Block reference. The Block is the creator/artist corner of the general floor area at C2E2, and by artist I'm not talking about the comic-book kind. There's a whole section of booths that show off some unique artwork that's still pop-culture-centric but unique in its own ways. On one corner you may find a booth filled with wooly hand-sewn animals, from a five feet tall T-Rex to various characters from The Walking Dead. Across from that booth was a man doing a live painting of some random creatures for the entire convention to see.
A couple of booths down was a series of paintings on various comics, including poignant scenes like the creation of the Hulk without any of the illustrations in the panels, only the text and background coloration. It's too bad that this actually wasn't a whole block but just a line of booths; the name is catchy, though. The greatest thing about this section is that it gives those who are unable to experience all of the art culture Chicago has to offer and showcases it through here, which made me happy because I didn't have too much time to explore downtown and check out their Picasso painting.
7. Ink Fusion Tattoo Festival
There were several booths squeezed together in the corner of the monstrous room, which is normal. What they were doing behind each one of those booths was the surprising factor - I'm referring to the tattoo corner of the convention, where attendees could get some geeky ink and immediately show it off afterwards on the floor. There were a variety of fan-centric flash art you could permanently ink into your skin, from a sexy Harley Quinn to a detailed portrait of Deadpool or a picture of Tony Stark played by Robert Downey Jr.
Actually, that would be a little strange having a picture of an actor playing a fictional character on your arm for the rest of time, but the Iron Man films are fun to watch, so who cares. The tattoo artists are all professionals who have been working in the field for years, so you won't be getting any crooked or deformed tattoos of your favorite characters that you'd want to post in Ugliest Tattoos on Fail Blog. They're only as ugly as you want them to be.
6. The Panels
C2E2 adds a little bit more variety when it pertains to the panels, just because they don't necessarily specify themselves as just a comic-book convention. In some ways it just gives them the right to be cool and do whatever they want. There weren't an insane amount of panels on every floor, but the ones they did provide for attendees were very diverse. In one you would have "DC Comics: Superman 101" and a couple of doors down would be Star Wars Origami. I'm not incredibly coordinated when it pertains to creating origami so I can't make a cool Yoda paper figure, but everyone else was having fun. The small size of C2E2 is beneficial when it comes to the panels, mainly because you can hop between three that may be going at once with ease. All you have to do is take an escalator and voila, you're there. No half-mile hikes of San Diegan proportions here.