When friends suggest a new convention to attend I always have an “ehh” moment. New conventions can be like a movie trailer. It looks cool for 30 seconds, but when you sit down for the hour and a half more often than not it turns into /facepalm. I should know, I’m notorious for picking bad movies. So when friends suggested to Zen and I to check out C2E2 I was wondering if it would turn out like Red Riding Hood- just BAD.
I have one thing to say about C2E2. OMFGTHATWASAWESOMEANDCANTWAITTOGOBACK.
For me, it was like going to my first comic convention all over again. Despite being a veteran of conventions like San Diego Comic Con and Dragon*Con, I found myself just having a blast. To be sure, a large percentage of that was due to the amazing friends that attended, but the majority of it was because of the con itself.
C2E2 is an infant con in its third year, but it was remarkably well organized, entertaining and fun. Being run by Reed Pop, the media organizer for NYCC, Celebration 6 and PAX one could definitely expect it to be well organized and fun, but often the venue and fans have more influence in the latter. The venue was clean, well laid out and had great transportation options if you weren’t staying in the adjoining host hotel, the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.
Reed Pop did a great job of attracting several different types of media guests across different genres. Faces like Adam Hughes, Mark Books, Jhonen Vasquez, George Perez, Shia LeBouf, John Cusack, Lauren Cohen, Nicholas Brendon, Val Kilmer, Charlaine Harris, Anne Rice…and more! There seemed to be so many names that could interest all different types of fans. Guests could also enjoy great booths like Marvel, DC, IGN, not to mention all the freebies from Pepsi, 5-Hour energy etc.
There were tons of vendors selling the usual fare, and even some great independent ones selling unique items. Artist alley was packed with great talent (some mentioned above) and even better prints. I picked up some great pieces and even a commission.
The first of which is a great piece by Penelope Gaylord:
Then Jim Polpiboon was kind enough to take a commission from me for Poison Ivy (scan coming soon).
The floor was reasonably crowded Friday with Saturday and Sunday being almost packed. Yet still there were plenty of tables/floor space for those needing to take a breather from the convention. The hall boasted a plethora of food options that were DELCIOUS. Not the usual ‘street meat’ fare, but actual food! There even was a McDonalds and a pizza restaurant, Connie’s, in the lower levels of the convention center. My personal favorite was the two bars. One was located inside the con and the other just outside by the Starbucks. The venue made it easy to stay all day with all the options they boasted for guests to enjoy.
While there weren’t any cosplay guests (and in some way this was refreshing) there were plenty of people showing their geek love by dressing up. The Marvel booth was especially popular and the convention had daily costume contests. I saw many different types of costumes, not just comic or movie related and it was great to see a wide variety.
(Toby M. As Avenger’s Loki)
(Rebecca W., John W. and David T)
(Tia R., Myself, Jennifer C)
(unknown cosplayer) (Tia R)
One of my favorites was Kearstin Nicholson’s Hope Summers.
(photo by Anna Fischer)
Myself and Zen, not knowing what to expect, (not to mention attending last minute) brought only two costumes. Next year we will be sure to bring more!
(Zen and I as STNG Riker and Troi, Riker’ tunic by Anovos) (Tia R. and Zen)
Overall, C2E2 has the potential to grow into something big and amazing. With the McCormick Place Convention Center and attached hotel it gave the after-hours vibe of Dragon*Con where you could just gather and drink with friends. I definitely want to try to make it next year and encourage those looking for a great con to attend to give it a try!