Man, what a show! In my mind, the weekend is still nothing but a blur, but hopefully sitting down to write this article will help jog some things loose. Like the past two years, C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) was held at the beautiful McCormick place in Chicago. This year, Amy and I were heading up for the entire weekend, Friday through Sunday, and we were setup with our great friends at ComicRelated.com.
Friday morning, we packed up the truck and hit the road. We only live about an hour and a half away, but this year we were staying closer to the show to avoid driving back and forth daily. We arrived at the show around 11:30 a.m., proceeded to get our press passes, and then headed onto the show floor. When you come up on the show floor entrance, you are treated to the bright red carpeting which lines the aisles of the show. This is a HUGE plus for Reed, the organizers, because it really does help take some wear off of your feet while walking around. However, the carpet does not extend into Artists’ Alley.
So we made our way back to where the CR booth was and got everything set down. Trust me, it is not easy to carry in 8 bags on one trip. My shoulders were already killing me. We set our stuff down, and then it became my mission to find all of the Ghastly Award winners and nominees, so I could give them their awards. I was able to quickly find Cullen Bunn, Menton Mathews III, Dirk Manning, Archaia Entertainment, and Avatar Press. It was an honor to hand them their certificates and chat with them about the Awards.
Before we even knew it, it was 1 o’clock and the doors to the show opened. I love Fridays at shows because the crowd is always a little smaller, and you get a great chance to go around and say hello to people. Friday is definitely the best day to get things done. Amy’s goal for the weekend was to get video of everyone we know so she could compile it into a video covering the weekend. So we grabbed the cameras, and SpidermanGeek from ComicAttack.net, and hit the floor. We did a good job covering the aisles on Friday, but sadly I never really made it out of Artist Alley. I had SG with me and we had a good time chatting since this was our first time meeting.
At one point we headed back over to the CR booth to find that a large line was forming around the corner. We had a large line circling around to the left all weekend because George Perez was setup across from us, but this line was forming to the right. I asked what was going on, and to my surprise, Shia LaBeouf had setup at an empty table across from us, as well. So we had really good traffic in front of the table.
After getting back to the hotel on Friday night, I took a look at the pictures and realized how many people I had missed saying hi to while at the show. There was so much to try and get done at the show. It seemed very overwhelming at times. While at the con, time really does just fly by. It was not until Saturday that I would really get a chance to venture out and see more things.
Saturday we were up at the show by 9 a.m., and this gave us an hour to set things down and get some video before the show opened. My only plans for the day were to make sure to say hello to all of those I had missed the day before, and go to the Roman Dirge panel. So I was out and about on the show floor making sure I caught everyone before going up to the panel. It was a huge surprise when I got to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse booth, to see my quote right there on their banner. It was also really great to talk to Michael Mendheim and Mike Kennedy to find out the book sold out on the distributor level, and that they were close to selling out at the show. It’s an amazing book, so check it out.
Finally, it was noon so it was time to head up to sit in on the panel. I headed up to the room and it was packed. I know it doesn’t look like it in the picture, but I was in the corner. If you ever have a chance to check out a panel showcasing Roman, I highly suggest it. He did a lot of Q&A, and was able to tell us about some projects he is working on, and of course he talked about Lenore.
After the panel, it was back down to the show floor to still cover more ground. Sadly, I was not able to shop for anything until Sunday. Looking back, it seems I spent a good deal of time on Saturday taking pictures and hanging out with my CR family: Chuck Moore, Gordon Dymowski, Chuck Kennedy, Kim & John Wilson, Aloysius Fox, Ginny Tonic, Kristan & Andy, and Spaced & Rodney. Amy got a lot of great video on Saturday, too. Before we knew it, and I mean that, the day was over.
Sunday was now upon us, and it amazed me how fast the weekend had flown by. My goals for Sunday were simple: go to the Dirk Manning panel, get my copy of Taxidermied signed by Roman Dirge, and shop. When we got in and setup for the day, it was already time to wrangle up Dirk and head up to his panel. I swear he almost had a heart attack when he saw how full the room was. For Dirk’s panel, I was able to broadcast it live using Ustream, and you can check out the recorded video here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/21876027.
After Dirk’s panel, we headed back down to the show floor, where I ran into Roman and his girlfriend Amber. We chatted for a bit, and I was able to get him to sign the book. Prior to the show we said we would grab a drink, and when leaving them to go do more show coverage, I pointed them to where they could get a drink. Roman, I still owe you a drink.
Entering the show floor again, it was time to get more pics and meet up with the SpidermanGeek and his wife Lucy, who were back at the show on Sunday. We chatted for a bit before I remembered that I still had one person I needed to find at the show. So I said my goodbyes and went out to find the elusive Brian Fyffe.
When I got to his booth, Brian and I chatted for a bit before heading back down to the CR booth where Brian was going to setup for a signing. His actual setup at the show had him already splitting a vendor booth with some friends, so it was nice to get him setup in Artist Alley for about an hour. It was really cool to be able to hang out with Brian for a while. We got to discuss his fantastic book, Zombie Chuck, and a lot of other things. By the time we got Brian moved back up to his table, it was finally time to shop. We had one hour left and I needed to buy!
I was mostly looking for some readers’ copies of horror rags. I was striking out left and right. Most dealers seemed to only have regular back issues, not the monster mags I so craved. Luckily, my good buddy Kyle Vargas had a hidden stash under his tables and I was able to get some copies of Creepy and Vampirella, so my shopping turned into a win.
Then the lights went out and the show was over. A frown quickly hit my face. It really seemed like the weekend had just started, but it didn’t. Time flies at the show, and I want more show! I think next year I need to talk to Reed about going at it for a full week, just for me.
Looking back at the weekend, I can not say thank you enough to Reed for putting on an amazing show. This show is still about comics. I love how they “hide” the celebrities so they are not overpowering the main focus. The panels I went to were great, and the people, oh the people, are all so amazing.
Shout out time! If I forget you, it is so not on purpose. Thank you to Amy, Chuck Moore, Gordon Dymowski, Chuck Kennedy, John & Kim Wilson, Aloysius Fox, Ginny Tonic, Emma Frost & Andy, Spaced & Rodney, Dirk Manning, Roman Dirge, Menton & Kasra, Tony Maldonado, Victor Carungi, Unshaven Comics, Mike & Heidi Beazley, Aaron Shapps, The Four Horsemen Crew, Dan & Lucy Briand, Brian Fyffe, Jon & Leo, Kyle, Brad, Matt, Roger, Gary Reed, Tony Mielo, Dennis Barger, George Perez, Leo Guerrero, Big D, Jeff Balke, Douglas Paszkiewicz, Sean Forney, and everyone else! You all made this a great weekend I will never forget. Now let’s get to the pictures!