Is C2E2 In Chicago Worth Attending?

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I’d like to welcome my son Dylan to the blog. Him and Em will be sharing more Comic Con/Gaming articles in the future. 

This last March Emma and I went to C2E2 2016 in Chicago,Il. C2E2 is a comic convention held yearly in Chicago. Emma had been planning this trip since late last year and gave the tickets tome as a Christmas present to give me something to look forward to after all the time I had spent in the hospital and recovering from surgery. This was Emma’s first convention experience and my 3rd, I have attended the last 2 Gencon conventions (a yearly gaming convention) in Indianapolis.

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C2E2 Where To Stay

Emma bought us the 3-­day passes which allowed us to attend the convention on Friday-­Sunday. We also decided to use Air B&B to find a place to stay for the 2 nights we would be down there rather than paying for a hotel. The apartment we found through that site was very large, very nice, and only located about 15 minutes from the convention center. Also, did I mention much cheaper than a hotel in the city? I would recommend anyone looking to travel in the near future at least check it out before booking a hotel.

C2E2 Parking

Now on to the good stuff, the convention. Early Friday morning we excitedly headed for the convention center. Parking was quite easy. The center had its own parking garage and charged $23/day, which didn’t seem bad compared to the cost of parking in other areas of the city. It was a short walk from the garage to the main convention hall, 10 minutes tops, but it was all connected so weather wouldn’t be an issue if it was less than agreeable. Once to the main hall you had to go through a small security checkpoint where they just quickly checked your pass and any bags.

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C2E2 Security

After that it’s off to the massive line, the main floor area did not open until 10 a.mand they were very strict on that. However, the wait in line was not that bad as it gave you a chance to look around and check out all the cool cosplayers (people dressed in costumes representing their favorite characters from movies/video games/comics/etc).

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C2E2 Expo Floor

When they finally let everyone in Emma and I decided to make a break for the far side of the floor to try to avoid some of the initial crowd checking out the first few rows. The whole floor had vender booths packed tight in rows stretching as far as the eye could see, with a small bar/cafeteria in the middle and a row of food carts along the far wall. We spent the first few 2 hours checking out the venders. We were also trying to hold off on purchasing anything until we saw everything as we didn’t want to blow through all of our cash that fast.

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C2E2 Costumes

Emma and I both decided to do a very simple cosplay. It was our first time trying this and we were both really nervous about people wanting pictures since we are both extremely camera ­shy (just ask our mom). I dressed up as Dr. Horrible from Dr. Horrible’s sing a long blog, I recommend checking it out if you haven’t already. It is a very funny superhero spoof starring the legendary NPH and Nathan Fillion you can find the whole thing on YouTube.

As for Emma’s costume, she went as Kim Possible from the cartoon series of the same name. We also only wore our costumes on Saturday because we knew it would be a lot busier and we decided if we were gonna do this we needed to step out of our comfort zones and do it. This went a lot better than we expected. We both got a lot of complements and a lot more people asked for photos with us than we expected.

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C2E2 Panel

This first panel we attended was really cool , it was called DC Bombshells, and included a few writers and artists that worked on DC comics involving strong female leads. That was also the whole theme of this panel which Emma and I both found interesting, all the ways DC was trying to bring women to the forefront of comics. We left this panel and few minutes early in order to make it to the next panel on time.

25 Years of Deadpool was the title of the next panel. This one consisted of the creator of Deadpool, the current editor, and some writers/artists. We liked this one but not nearly as much as the last one. For this panel all they did was have people from the audience come and ask questions. I know this doesn’t sound terrible, however, we found that people can ask some really dumb questions…repeatedly.

The 3rd panel we attended for the day was an interview with Tommy Flannigan and Ryan Hurst(Oppie) from the T.V. show Sons of Anarchy. This one was really interesting and quite funny, Ryan Hurst is a great storyteller and can do a hilarious Irish impersonation. Our only complaint with this panel was the same as the Deadpool panel, in that they just allowed questions from the audience.

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C2E2 Food

After the panels we decided to go grab some grub from the food carts. This is actually quite hard when your sister is a lactose intolerant vegetarian. She ended up settling for some fries and I went with chicken tenders and fries. The available choices were about what you’d expect, nachos, hot dogs, pizza slices, and few other similar items. The quality of food was also about what you’d expect. I feel like they really missed out on the opportunity to have food trucks outside, there was plenty of space outside and the quality would have been much better (this is also something that they do quite well at gencon). There were also no restaurants in the area that you could get to without having to take you’re car out of the garage.

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C2E2 Cosplay Contest

This was quite interesting and had winners from cosplay competitions around the world participating in it. They’re were a lot of cool costumes including a 10 ft tall Hulkbuster Iron Man and a 10 ft tall Transformer robot. We did not stick around to see who won the contest we were more interested in seeing the costumes for inspiration and it was already 9 p.m after a very long day.

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Is C2E2 Worth Attending?

Overall we both had a great time and would go again next year. We also felt that that unless there were more panels you wanted to see there was no reason for 3 days. A few hours was more than enough to check out the vendors, and unless your remaining time was filled with panels there wasn’t much else to do. With that said, if you are traveling as a family they did have a family room set up with all kinds of kid friendly activities.

Outside of all that we only had a few small complaints. We would have liked to see a wider variety of panels. There were a lot of panels for people looking to break in to the comic book industry but not a great selection otherwise. We would have like to see a wider variety of vendors. So…many…POP!…figures. Last but not least, like I mentioned earlier there could have been a much better food setup.

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