Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
A short summary of C2E2, from a short, ugly Jew who only attended Friday and Sunday:
As I trode across the skyway that connected the East Building to the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place, I took in the vast, beautiful skyline of Chicago and smiled; this was a real CITY convention! For too long, the “wizards” of Wizard World had advertised a “Chicago” comic con, and then held it in the far northwest suburbs. The parking was expensive, the show was full of z-grade celebrities and has-beens, the food inside the hall was a giant rip-off and the nearest restaurant was a half-mile walk from the convention center. Now, it was a real Chicago comic con. Of course, if you’re dumb enough to drive to C2E2 the parking is even more brutally expensive. Taking public transportation is easy enough for native Chicagoans, but tourists just may need a degree in engineering to figure out the various schedules and station locations. Other than that, you’re basically stuck taking a taxi or walking a long way from any hotel. Not to mention, McCormick Place is on the wrong side of Lakeshore Drive, and crossing the Drive is like leaping from the Empire State Building – it’s not “impossible” that you’ll survive, but it’s not too likely. Luckily, C2E2 does offer free shuttles to and from select downtown hotels, so savvy and/or intrepid travelers can work out those logistics for themselves.
At any rate, I was looking forward to the show in a big way and I must say that the show came off rather….um…uneventfully. There was nothing particularly wrong with the show, and there was nothing particularly right or revelatory. Admission was five dollars cheaper than Wizard World, all the major publishers were there, there were very good deals to be found by retailers. I myself purchased every hardcover I bought (six in total) for half-off cover price at three different booths. I found almost everything I wanted. There did seem to be a smaller number of retailers than there are at Rosemont, but that may a space issue as I think the floor of the Lakeside Center is smaller than the Rosemont Convention center. There was a pleasant lack of bored, over-surgeried has-been TV and movie “celebrities”. It’s always sad to see a 70-year old Mike Teevee sitting alone at his table with unsold stills and headshots gathering dust in front of him, or a very grandma-looking Margot Kidder straining to hear what fans are saying to her because her hearing just ain’t what it used to be. The artist’s alley was large, with a strong Chicago artist showing. I happened to have a VIP pass so I was able to meet Garth Ennis at his Sunday signing. I mostly made small talk with him and found out that The Boys is going to last for about 35 more issues before it’s done. I got a nifty “Crossed” face mask at that signing as well. All in all, the C2E2 artist’s alley was bigger than the Wizard World alley, but contained about the same caliber of artists. The bigger names at C2E2 are just as hard to see at Wizard World, and this whole idea of selling tickets to get signatures from the big names is really a tough sell for me. I already paid $25 to get in, so why should I pay even more just to get a signature and spend ten seconds chatting with someone who could care less about my existence? The New York Comic Con was the same when it came to exhibitors/publishers/
Finally, the Marvelman news from Joe Q. was, as usual, cryptic and unsatisfying. Apparently, Marvel feels it’s “very important to present the history of MM by re-printing the early Mick Anglo work in order to introduce the U.S. fans to the ‘rich’ history of the MM character”. “Rich”?!? MM’s early years are about as rich as Shazam’s early years..oh yeah, I guess that’s because early Marvelman fucking IS early Shazam! Apparently, Anglo himself is totally confused by the interest in his work, but if Marvel is giving out royalty checks, Anglo is smart enough to cash ‘em fast. When he was pressed about the more modern MM material and Marvel’s plans for such, Joe Q. cryptically added that “…a publishing plan for the modern material has been set internally, and those details will be revealed in a few months.”
In closing, no major complaints and no major praise. It’s just another very nice convention to attend for Chicago area fans. We should feel lucky that we have two major cons to attend (for the time being, anyways), and I’m very curious to know if Reed Exhibitions is pleased with the revenue and with the notoriously pricey and surly Teamsters Union guys at McCormick Place. There have been several stories in the local news about how McCormick Place has lost a lot of business in the past ten years because of the obstinate dominance of the Teamsters that “help out” with shows at McCormick. In fact, just last week a new board of directors was put in place at McCormick to re-examine the deals they have with the Teamsters Union and try to drum up some more convention business.
Thanks again Keith. Chronic Insomnia can't be bothered to attend shows that directly relate to the content of said show. That would be something only classy, self-respecting shows would do. That and we're not as pretty as you are, so we'd be labeled a freak if we went there. We'd also try and pimp our show in some terribly embarrassing way. Great review my friend.