April 16, 2012

C2E2 - Some Final Thoughts

Granted, I normally do some photos per day focusing on C2E2 - however, this weekend was very busy, with me working the Comic Related booth, gearing up for another Bar Tab of Rassilon episode, attempting to find an artist to work on a seven page story for a Zone 4 comic....and trying to fit in enjoying the convention.

So what follows are a series of bullet points focusing on the good, the bad, and the whatever at C2E2:

  • First, the location - this year, the convention was held in the "main hall" as you enter the building on the south end. In earlier years, the rooms where the convention was held required a bit of travel and coordination. Although this year's show was a bit more roomy and maneuverable, some attendees (including me) felt that it had too much of a "warehouse-esque" vibe like Wizard World. I can't point the finger at McCormick Place - that main hall has a lot of room - but something may have been lost.
  • Also, a really brief note to McCormick Place - you might want to consider bolstering your wi-fi capacity, especially on a high traffic day like Saturday. My Comic Related pals had great difficulty connecting to the network, and livestreaming was a bit of a hassle. It sounds a little bit snarky, but it's probably better to go too high than too low. 
  • No, I did not attend the John Barrowman panel. Yes, I regret that deeply.
  • The only "why-the-heck-is-he-here" guest was a surprise Shia LaBoef, who showed up on Friday and hung out in the Artist's Alley section, signing autographs and talking to cameras. (His booth was across from Comic Related). I won't make snarky remarks about writing comics in crayon; however, it does seem like a sense of "celebrity-named-ghost-written-comics" gone slightly too far.
  • The only major panel I attended was DC's Before Watchmen panel, if only to determine how much of a train wreck (creatively) this book is going to be. First and foremost: I might have taken Straczynski's criticism of Moore a little bit more seriously if he hadn't made them already earlier in the year, and simply repeated them word for word in the panel. Either he memorized these criticisms down pat....or DC has a really good PR department.
  • Anyone who thinks that clouds being drawn in the form of Rorschach's face are impressive....really? (This was a big deal at the panel). Although some of the art looks good, this does have a slight whiff of desperation, seeking a nice momentary bump in sales over sustained creative efforts over time).
  • Art's nice, and several black and white pages were previewed. I'm also liking how DC is engaging in a "viral campaign" to help promote the book. Part of it is that I'm always about ways in which to engage readers...but there's also a slight sense that the book will sell high, and then numbers will fall as time progresses.
  • Personal highlight: Saturday night, getting to sit behind Mark Waid as he ate potato skins. I hear many a comics fan has done that. I neatly avoided taunting him that pal John W beat him in a trivia contest at a smaller con. After that, hung out with some other Comic Related pals.
  • Best idea: having three different shuttle routes with the same frequency of stops (15 minutes in AM/30 minutes during bulk of convetion/15 minutes end of convention). I do think it might have been wiser to not have it as infrequently during the convention - after all, some of us had other plans during the day, and it might have been nice for a quick trip to one's hotel - but given some of the city's transit issues, this was a godsend.
  • Spent most of Friday orienting two female pals to the world of comic fandom, with a stop to watch one of them get corseted. All I can say is....I've been single way too long.
  • Greatest idea - the Chicago Science Fiction Outreach Project booth, which collected science fiction books and gave them away - free - for attendees. Because quite honestly, most comics fans need to be more literate, embracing a wider variety of works. This earns an A+ in my book.
  • Again, I have to ask - why would anyone sell working swords at a comics convention? And please don't tell me cosplay - I would imagine that if you were cosplaying, you would not want to do anything that could possibly cause serious injury to a fellow human being.
  • Best complaint from a pal - why were people working the Westwood College booth dressed in suits? He had a point - yes, they're looking for students and need to look professional, but there's a slight sense of "overkill" about that approach.
I'll be amending this post as I think of things, but all in all - I'm glad I live in a city where I can attend at least one major comic show. And no, I have no plans to attend Wizard World

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