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Adventures in Chicago- C2E2: Day 1

C2E2 sign

Friday morning began with much anticipation and excitement for me. C2E2 would soon begin. I got myself up and going at a decent time. I checked on the Internet status but it was still not working in my room. I showered, had my breakfast, and headed to the front desk to find out the schedule for the shuttle. As a member of the press, I could enter the show floor an hour early and I had planned on taking advantage of this.

I was greeted by the nice lady behind the desk. I quickly saw the sign for the C2E2 shuttle but it said the shuttle pickup was somewhere else. I was very confused by this. The documentation stated that my hotel would have shuttle pickup. I asked the front desk lady about this. She verified that I would have to walk to another hotel to be picked up. I went outside and talked to the Bellboy. He gave me great directions. Pickup would be 7 to 8 blocks away at the hotel for Brian and Mike.

I wasn’t anticipating having to trek to another location. In my mind, I was on time to arrive at the convention but the walk delayed my arrival at the bus pick up. I showed up at the bus pickup location at the time I had expected to be at the Con. I waited for around 15 minutes for the next transport to show up. This was a nuisance and frustration to me.

The crowd at the bus stop was exactly what I expected. It was a complete mishmash of personalities, races, body types, ages, and genders. The stereotype of the Comic Convention attendee is of a white 30 year old guy that lives in his mother’s basement. That stereotype is completely invalid. Granted, I did meet a few that fit the stereotype but the majority of us doesn’t fit into that box.

There was a couple covered in tattoos. There were boisterous and loud. Yet they were extremely friendly to those sitting around them.

I had an older couple in front of me for the ride. They appeared to be in their mid to late 60’s or older. The wife was extremely excited to be going and stated she was anticipating meeting several comic creators.

There were a few CosPlayers (Costume Play- aka dressed up) on my bus. I was surprised there weren’t more CosPlayers on the ride. One of the guys in costume was Deadpool. No one was surprised to see Deadpool on the bus since Deadpool is one of the most popular characters to CosPlay.

After a 30 minute bus ride to the Convention Center, we arrived. We walked into the McCorrick Center and there was electricity in the air. This was the event many of us had been waiting on for weeks if not months. I had the privilege of not only attending as a fan of comics and geekdom but as a writer for GeekyKOOL.com.

As we entered the door to the Convention hall, we were greeted by blaring music. C2E2 has a fulltime DJ playing music in the hallway. Luckily his selection of music was fairly decent.

I headed to the Press Pass line which was extremely short in comparison to the regular ticket line. I had no issues getting my press pass. They gave me directions the Press Lounge and sent me on my way.

I hit the floor half an hour early (instead of the full hour). I was able to start checking out the convention. I should have found Artist alley first but instead I went the other direction. I did find some interesting people to chat with including the Brony table, the tattoo artists, and the group selling Kilts.

The day was a whirlwind. I took a bunch of pictures of CosPlayers. I examined the various stars, entertainers, and creators who had the exclusive lines. I decided not to spend money many any of these people. Tomorrow, Alex Ross will be signing comics from 1 to 3 for free and I decided that would be tomorrow’s adventure.

C2E2-Black Widow

I met several great artists, writers, and creator. Everyone was extremely friendly. Many of the artists were looking down and drawing but when you approached them, they were fantastic.

I found Chris Bailey (BaileyBot) table. Chris is always KOOL to hang out with. His girlfriend Tina, who was a panel member on the Geek Girl Panel at Wizard World St. Louis, was managing his booth and drumming up business. I met Chris’ buddy and fellow artist Nathan Blu and Nathan’s wife Sally. While I was there, I ran into Gary and Julie from Dirigible Days. They were in their Dirigible Days costumes including Salaszar’s full mask and airtank. I was invited to go to dinner with Gary, Julie, Chris,Tina, Nathan, and Sally.

I attended the Marvel panel on Friday afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised to discover Mark Waid was at the convention for Marvel even though he was not on the Guest list. The panel discussed Marvel’s new push into electronic comicbooks and the various approaches they are using. Their new online product will be much more user friendly. Since DC Comics didn’t have a booth at C2E2, they were the end end of  a few funny jokes including Mark Waid asking if the person’s second question was “Where is the DC booth?”.

My legs were tired and my jeans were rubbing me raw.  I had to find a place to sit. I found my way to the Press Lounge to work catch up on writing but that didn’t last long.  I didn’t realize that the showroom floor and the press lounge were cleaned out at 7 pm even though there are panels and gaming until 10 pm. After only 10 minutes of sitting, I went to find the guys for dinner.
Image via Chris Bailey's Facebook page

Image via Chris Bailey’s Facebook page

I went to dinner with the gang. I headed to China Town (I had no idea that Chicago had a China Town).  Gary introduced us to Dim Sum and we all dug it. We had a fantastic time talking about the day, geekdom, and eating our hearts content.  Gary jokingly told me that I looked like I was in a food comma. I think I was close.

After a wonderful day at C2E2 and a great night out on the town with friends, I bummed a ride home from Julie and Gary.  I went back to my room and found my wifi was finally working. I sat down to get some work done but couldn’t keep my eyes open.  C2E2 had exhausted me and I gave into precious sleep.  Maybe I will get more done tomorrow and be less tired.

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