For Jill's gallery of C2E2 cosplayers, click here!I’ve never been to Chicago, so I decided not too long ago I’d be hitting up the second annual C2E2 there this month to spice up my convention schedule this year. And boy am I glad I did. My entire basis for what I know about Chicago, Illinois comes from John Hughes movies and other notable Hollywood productions. Did I expect to be hunted by a murderous doll? No. Was I hoping to sing the “Babysitting Blues” at a nightclub and run into Thor while I was there? Yes. Although, I admit, I only managed to bump into the Norse God and hold up his giant hammer. That’s not what it sounded like.
C2E2 was a convention of a different color for me. Instead of covering panels like I’d normally do at a con, in Chicago I was set to do video interviews along with several other Newsarama hosts. It was tons of fun but it meant I didn’t spend as much time on the show floor as I would have liked. The no-panels thing was really weird for me. I’m so into hearing what my favorite creators and actors have to say and I felt left out not sitting in on the DC Nation panel. After all, that kind of stuff is really the bread and butter of cons. But just because I didn’t attend any panels didn’t mean I missed talking with folks I admire/gush over.Let’s backtrack a bit to my first day in Chicago. I was impressed when I first went outside as my hair stuck straight in the air from all the wind. Chicago stereotype #1: Check. I was invited to take a tour of Threadless headquarters, which managed to be my one and only excursion into the city proper. If I lived in Chicago, I’d be working at Threadless. They work in the most amazing building. First of all, it’s the t-shirt lovers equivalent of the warehouse in Raiders of the Lost Ark. T-shirts as far as the eye can see. Not only that, there’s video games. And a ping-pong table. And a basketball court. And a stage. You want to move there now don’t you? Besides getting a behind-the-scenes look at all the magic, I also got a sneak peek at some of the newest editions to their Comics on Tees line, which a certain Mr. Brian Azzarello is part of this time around. (In which you could be the artist) You can look forward to stuffing your drawers full with more awesome t-shirts soon, that’s for sure.
Day One of the con was great. I had a little time to check out the show floor before they let in the masses. It was then I got my picture with the giant Mjöllnir. See? I wasn’t being perverted. Ok, maybe I was a little. Regardless, there was some cool stuff to see. I had interviews with Ben Templesmith, Skottie Young, Paul Cornell, Bill Willingham, Scott Snyder and Joe Quesada that day (keep an eye out for those to pop up here). I half-wondered if Quesada was going to see me, turn around and walk right back out. I’m a huge DC fangirl and I happened to be wearing my Brightest Day necklace that day. He didn’t. It would have made for a great story though.That night, I insisted on getting some deep-dish pizza because well, I was hungry and everyone told me to. I had conflicting reports on which to get but my crew finally settle on Lou Malnati’s. We had it delivered to my hotel room and ate it there like good little nerds. And yes, it was delicious. (I still prefer my New Jersey pizza though.) Chicago stereotype #2: Check.
C2E2 Day 2 was rough. I’d...stayed out late the night before and did my best to be my chipper self. I think I was. I interviewed Gail Simone, Tony Daniel, Chris Hardwick and Jill Thomson among others. Simone got the best gift from a fan, a Lego Catman, and I “persuaded” Hardwick into following me on Twitter. And as if that wasn’t enough, we had Laurie Holden and John Bernthal of The Walking Dead cast up on the Newsarama stage! They haven’t seen a script yet for Season 2 so it was useless to try and get spoilers out of them but we did find out they’re both hoping to get into the zombie make-up at some point for fun.
Being locked in the con bubble for a few days, I didn’t really get to pay as much attention to what was going on online as usual but a few big stories broke while we were there. There were two casting announcements, Kevin Costner playing Pa Kent and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (possibly) playing Alberto Falcone. Then the really big one. Wonder Woman’s costume. We saw the picture while on stage and got a few on-the-fly opinions from creators. Personally, my first reaction was that I liked it. Could it be less shiny? Yes. Could the boots be red? Most definitely. Was it a hell of a lot more “comic book” than I expected? Yes, and that’s why I like it. Let’s just hope Adrianne Palicki can move in it.Day 3 was less hectic interview-wise, I spoke with the wonderful Katie Cook, Doug Mahnke and had a wrap-up with showrunner Lance Fensterman, but I still managed to squeeze in a lot. I did my best to get a few sketches from some great artists. If you’ve never gotten an original Katie Cook, you’re missing out. I spoiled myself and picked up three. Ben Templesmith drew me an octopus in a wheelchair (long story), Jill Thompson did me the honor of illustrating one of my favorite characters, Tik-Tok, and Daniel Govar painted me an epically divine Leeloo (one of my other favorites). I also picked up two adorable “fun size” illustrations from Amy Mebberson and had a very cool painting of myself as Supergirl delivered to me personally by artist Scott Larson.
From where I stood, the show seemed to be a success. Fans I spoke with all had positive experiences and there were lots of fun extras like Rock Band performances in the lobby. The cosplayers were out in force and there were some really impressive costumes to be had. Weapon X Wolverine for one. And not just because he was more than 3/4 naked. OK, mostly because of that. There were lots of Doctors present at the con, which I very much appreciated, a big group of Firefly cosplayers, a couple Batmen and a Starman, which you certainly don’t see everyday. There were also a few Green Lanterns running around, Soranik Natu and a half-Green/half-Blue Hal Jordan but my absolute favorite costume of the entire weekend was Dex-Starr. The guy actually made a sweatshirt to look like the Rage Kitty and the best part? He said he got the inspiration from my stuffed Dex-Starr!
So I didn’t take first place in a competition to star on Dance-TV or get shot at by Carrie Fisher but I had an awesome time in Chicago. Next time I would like to see more of the actual city but C2E2 was one of the best cons I’ve been to in the last few years. Great show, great crowd. I’d heard flights are notoriously delayed leaving Chicago and even though I have bad luck with traveling back home from cons, I was confident everything would go smoothly. Wrong. Chicago stereotype #3: Check.