Since 2010, comic fans have been treated to a pop-culture explosion at McCormick Place for C2E2, the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. April 24-26 had the large venue overrun with heroes and villains collecting comics, toys and video games throughout the weekend.
There were Q&A panels in various rooms, along with movie screenings. The popular horror movie Insidious immersed fans into a 4-D experience with virtual scares inside a trailer to highlight the upcoming third part of the franchise this summer. Comics conventions around the globe have learned that tapping into this market can make or break a movie sometimes.
Gorilla Tango Burlesque promoted a nerdy burlesque in Bucktown with drag queens distributing flyers for weekend events based on Star Wars and Games of Thrones.
The LGBT content in the convention continues to grow every year. Artist Chad Sell created a collection of RuPaul Drag Race drawings to accompany his DC renderings. Many artists continue to make live commissioned work over the weekend for fans. Celebrity guests ranged from wrestlers to Hayley Atwell from the hit TV show Agent Carter who signed for an additional charge. Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee continues to be a big draw at age 92 and was there to sign copies of his books.
Celebrity judges Ann Foley, costume designer for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; creature designer Neville Page; and hostess Ivy Doomkitty crowned Jim Schmid, dressed as Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, the winner of $10,000 for the Crown Champion of Cosplay costume contest on April 25.
Bullying has grown into a hot topic at C2E2, and is not tolerated. There was a booth with information to help those being bullied. This fun weekend continues to be a safe place where attendees can dress as their favorite characters while celebrating the true hero inside themselves.
Just remember parking is quickly growing into a problemso next year take your invisible jet!
Fly over to www.c2e2.com for updated information about the 2016 convention.
Photos and text by Jerry Nunn