Updated on March 19, 2023
I’ve finished attending yet another C2E2 comic-con in Chicago. Here’s a summary of my experiences at this year’s show:
The line this year to get in was long as usual. For some reason, I didn’t see a ton of costumes while in line, though two guys near me were dressed as (in their words) “Batman cosplaying as Superman” and “Spider-Man cosplaying as Captain America.” The Batman/Superman guy had apparently heard of the Composite Superman when I mentioned to him that minor villain.
Of course, once in the show there were a lot more costumes; among the others:
- The X-Men
- Quail-Man (from the 90s Nickelodeon cartoon “Doug”)
- A headless woman in a wedding dress (complete with fake blood)
- Some warriors in costumes made entirely out of old beer cans and beer carton boxes
- Captain Marvel (the Marvel/Carol Danvers version)
- The Scarlet Witch
- Captain Marvel (the “real” one, though given DC’s current treatment of “Shazam,” I’d argue otherwise…)
- Black Adam
- Captain America
- Iron Fist
- Green Arrow
- The main cast of the TV “Young Justice” cartoon
- A man dressed as Black Canary
- Jesus Christ (two of them!)
- Multiple people dressed as the Doctor from Doctor Who, including the modern version of the Doctor (lots of bow ties at the show), as well as the Fifth Doctor (whose actor was appearing at C2E2).
The only panel I really got to attend was seeing part of the 60s Batman TV show panel. Burt Ward and Julie Newmar were there, describing their experiences on the show to the audience. However, Adam West due to an injury wasn’t able to attend. I also tried to go to the Marvel panel, but I got turned away; the panel room was completely full. So full they also had to turn away others that were still waiting in line…
While I didn’t get to see Svengoolie, I did get to see some writers/artists in Artists’ Alley. I spoke with Thom Zahler (of “Love and Capes“), who I asked a few questions about his most recent trade paperback, “What to Expect.” While I’m not a “brony,” I also asked a few questions about his work on the current “My Little Pony” comic. I also congratulated him on his recent engagement announcement.
Another artist I got to see was Joe Staton, a long-time artist who drew one of my favorite superhero stories, the origin of the Justice Society in 1977’s “DC Special” #29. However, I left my copy of such at home, so instead I bought from him a recent Archie trade paperback that he’d drawn (which he also signed).
I also met Yale Stewart, the writer/artist of the webcomic “JL8,” about the Justice Leaguers as grade-schoolers. I asked him about the name change for his strip; originally it was called “Little League,” but changed due to the baseball organization’s protesting.
Finally, I bought the usual comic-con knick-knacks, including a bobblehead of Darth Vader. I did buy some comics as well, including: the first black-and-white reprint volume of the “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” manga run; a few issues of “Aw Yeah” comics (an independent effort from the creators of “Tiny Titans”); and a volume of the indie series “Princeless” (praised on the blog Comics Worth Reading). However, I haven’t bought as big a pile of comics as usual. Reasons why include: having filled in many of my desired back issues or not finding what I wanted; a switch to buying mostly digital comics; and that C2E2 for some reason seems to have way fewer DC trade paperbacks for sale versus Marvel material.
Speaking of DC/Marvel, DC didn’t have a booth at this year’s show, for unexplained reasons (DC apparently refuses to state why). I’ve seen some suggest the cost of renting floor space at McCormick Place as why the no-show. (Bleeding Cool suggests a lack of a booth might also be to either save on set-up and take-down costs or to avoid people asking too many questions about DC’s embarrassing spate of recent decisions.) However, if said rumors are true, it’d sound quite odd for one of the two dominant comic companies to skip one of the midwest’s biggest comic-cons. DC did still hold panels at least, but that’s not fully the same as actual floor space, which Marvel’s booth took up plenty of (and prominently featured near the entrance). Since marketing’s a reason for comic creators appearing at comic-cons, and since DC supposedly wants to promote the “New 52” and all its current New 52-ness (Superman/Wonder Woman pairings, Clark Kent “fighting the power” as a blogger, and all), not having a floor booth at a major Midwestern show sounds odd from a marketing standpoint. With a major Superman movie due out in a few months that parent company Time-Warner’s hanging all its future movie hopes on, I’m not sure any cost-savings (even at McCormick Place prices) is worthwhile. Meanwhile, Marvel definitely hyped up “Iron Man 3” at its booth, and even offered promotional material tying into “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which isn’t due until 2015.
However, given my dislike of the “New 52,” I guess I can’t say I’m too disappointed. Despite being a fan of DC’s characters, most of what I was interested in at this year’s show were from smaller-press companies, Marvel, or independents…
Overall, I had fun at this year’s show, even if I only went down for one day. Staying overnight in Chicago instead of going straight back to Milwaukee, however, lessened feeling “rushed” like I did last year.