Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo – more lovingly referred to as C2E2 – is my favorite Chicago convention! I’ve been attending for the past four years, so it was an absolute pleasure to introduce Joanna, Valerie, and Stewie to the con as newbies! We had a blast all weekend exploring Chicago and meeting up with other IGGPPC members!
C2E2 is a ReedPop Convention, so if you’ve been to any of their other conventions you should notice a similar feel. The Chicago con is held annually in the spring at the ginormous McCormick Place Convention Center. In fact, it’s the largest convention center in North America. The configuration of the convention floor has changed each year, but for such a large con, I’ve only felt over crowded during the busiest time on Saturday afternoon – which is crazy considering the estimated attendance for this year’s three-day con was 71,000! Still a fledgling con, with attendance numbers on the rise each year and plenty of convention center space to expand into, there is potential for C2E2 to rival SDCC or NYCC in the years to come. In addition to the vendor booths and artist alley on the convention floor, there are plenty of panel rooms of various sizes, a fan village (full of wonderful bean bag type floor pillows) and a cosplay meet up area complete with changing booths!
After spending the weekend strolling the convention hall, I think it’s safe to say that the rest of the crew now love C2E2 as much as I do. I asked the three of them to share some of the highlights from the convention with you!
What was your favorite part of C2E2?
Stewie: My favorite part of C2E2, besides spending time with my Internet besties, was probably the Insidious Oculus Rift Horror Experience. The Insidious Experience caused me to regress back to a primal state of total terror, and also made me wanna pee my pants. But I was brave and got through it 🙂 I’m proud of myself, and I’m excited to see the new movie!
Joanna: My favorite part of C2E2 was experiencing a whole new set of people and vendors and interests. Every convention is a little different and it’s always cool to experience a new con-culture.
Valerie: The artists were definitely my favorite part, as well as just the really great feeling of being completely surrounded by soooo many people who really care about all of the content & creation involved in geek media. To me, it felt like a big loving community, full of support for the original content but also outpouring encouragement for anyone who drew any sort of inspiration from those things. It was a celebration of goodness & positivity! Also, the Iggle Brunch was soooooo much fun, I wish we’d all had more time to spend together.
Tell us about your favorite panel(s)?
Stewie: Definitely The Brain Scoop panel. I’ve never seen the show, but I tuned in as soon as I got home. It got my mind whirling and spinning, excited to learn more about nature. Did you know, crocodiles are 200million years old, but the last mass extinction event was 66million years ago. Crocodiles are not to be fucked with. Since tuning into the show, I’ve been having so much fun laughing and learning about taxidermy, fossils, and silliness.
Joanna: My favorite panel was easily the Kick-Ass Women of Marvel panel, but that’s because I’m a HUGE Haley Atwell and Min-na Wen fangirl. Seeing the two of them together was fantastic. They are both funny and smart and seemed to have a thoroughly good time talking to the fans.
Valerie: I saw the Unmasking the Hero panel on Friday (David Ramsey, Raphael Sbarge, Eoin Macken, & Jewel Staite), mostly just because I love Firefly & wanted to see Jewel Staite, plus I knew Raphael Sbarge as the voice of Kaidan Alenko from my dear Mass Effect series & love to see voice actors, but it turned out to be a really fun panel to watch even though I went in knowing nearly nothing about most of the work done by most of the panelists. David Ramsey was a big hit, & it’s almost convincing me to watch Arrow! I also waited in a line for over an hour to get into the Caped Crusaders, Dynamic Duos & Darkest Knights panel on Saturday, even though I don’t keep up with modern comics, because I still have a deep love for everything that Batman is & wanted to see how he is being treated. It was amazing to be in a room full of people who truly love Batman, the vibe was amazing! The fans were encouraging the comic creators, & what really made my day was to hear the creators dish it right back. Again & again, they said that they really appreciate the fans & the feedback that they get from them, & that they care about what the fans want. Iggles, if you love something, I’d like to encourage you right now to reach out & show your support– send an email, tweet some tweets, & of course don’t pirate things because that does NOT show any love.
Best cosplay(s) you saw roaming the floor?
Joanna: The best cosplay I saw on the floor was definitely the Spaceballs group. Has anyone else mentioned them yet? Probably, because they were awesome. They even had kids in the group, and the attention to detail was impressive.
Valerie: Oh lands, there were so many! SO MANY. My top three would be a very Adam West Batman (the shark! the bomb! LOVE), a lady version of Varric (I am still a bit in love with this woman, I hope that all of her wildest dreams come true), & a well-done Constantine whom I met on Friday (I was Castiel at the time, we had a lively conversation about how people were confusing us for each other). Honorable mentions to the sweet lady Gabriel, a couple fantastic Inquisitors, & each & every Green Arrow. Oh hey, & those Ghostbusters!
What purchase(s) are you most excited about?
Stewie: Superfight! I ended up buying this hilarious card game (as seen on Beer and Board games!) and could not wait to get a group of my friends at home together to play it. We ended up playing it the night after Summer and I both bought a copy and it got a little intense!
Joanna: I’m most excited about my Espionage Cosmetics nail wraps and eyeshadow custom collections! Swatches are coming soon, as soon as I have a chance to photograph them all before I rip into those wonderful little packages…
Valerie: I got 3 prints from LOR, one each featuring Garrus, Liara, & Tali; just got them framed & hung last week & I keep staring at them! Mass Effect is an interest my husband & I share, & it was important to me to pick out something we’d both appreciate, particularly since my man didn’t get to attend the con. I also bought a tin of Chai Town at Adagio’s after party which I attended with Sumsy, & that is my special souvenir to keep all of my lovely memories of the weekend fresh (plus it is a super delicious tea).
Favorite part about the weekend in Chicago?
Stewie: Every moment spent soaking in the amazing city of Chicago, and spending time with my friends, was so memorable. I felt like I was gone for a month with all the stories I had to share with my husband when I got home. Joanna and her husband were so sweet to let me crash at their amazing house, and I loved spending our night playing games and drinking wine. We had so much fun hanging!!! I also loved helping our sweet kitty friend Minerva who was lost to find her owner again. And of course, checking out the awesome Geek Bar and meeting so many wonderful iggles! Chicago really is a beautiful city – it’s so clean! I loved walking the Millennium Mile and checking out that giant outer space bean. it was so trippy to walk under! I had so much good food and craft beer, I think I’m still full. I’m a closet Chicagoan at this point, for sure!
Joanna: My favorite part about the weekend outside of the con was the brunch meetup with all of the other iggles. It was so much fun to meet so many awesome ladies from all over, and to put faces to internet names! Hello, new RL friends! ^_^
Valerie: Any time spent just with any combination of Leslie, Joanna, Summer, Jared, & Eric! We played Betrayal at House on the Hill, which is absolutely one of my most favorite games ever (& Leslie rocked as the Rat Queen). Leslie tried bubble tea for the very first time. Eric & I considered new career options. Jared intimidated us into staying on our best behavior. Joanna told lots of great jokes. Summer showed me how Grand Chicago can be. They were absolutely fantastic to be around, & I want it to happen again ASAP. Oh, & I freaked out all over the Lego store, because it was full of wonderful things.
What advice would you give yourself if you could do it again?
Stewie: Wear more comfortable shoes at the con (Blisters suck!) and for Pete’s Sake, don’t forget your leggings to change into, or you’ll moon the crowd again. Also… kick that goose. He was a jerk.
Joanna: If I had to do it over again, I’d advise myself to put better inserts in my shoes. And to make my cosplay farther in advance. Ha.
Valerie: I think that for out-of-town conventions, I’d like to stick to ULTRA casual cosplay, so it’s less to pack & less fuss. I’m really glad I did try it (C2E2 was my second-ever convention, & I didn’t costume at all for my first), it was a blast, but I think that with just a little more focus I could pull off super fun but also super easy outfits.
Thanks to all the iggles who stopped by the con or brunch to say hello! My favorite part of this community is getting the chance to meet all the awesome people who live near and far! Check twitter, facebook, and instagram for more photos from our weekend!