When I left work at noon on Friday to head to C2E2 I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. Having not been to a convention before this past weekend, I assumed it was like all the YouTube videos and pictures I had seen. Boy was I wrong, as my experience at Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, as a whole, was far greater than I would have ever thought.
For context, C2E2 is one of the two major “Comic Cons” in the greater Chicagoland area. While it does its role as supplying Chicago with its own convention, I feel like this con is far more dull than others around the country (San Diego Comic Con).
While it is a great taste of what a con should be, I feel like C2E2 lacks one major component: video games. Being an avid gamer, I was hoping that the video games industry would have had a stronger presence at C2E2. While they did have a few things like some local multiplayer, tournaments, and even some retro CRT TVs set up for old school consoles, I had hoped to see at the very least a few indie studios present. With a presence from Twitch I thought for sure this would be the case, but unfortunately it was not.
What I can talk about are some of the other enjoyable parts from the convention. The selection of talent available for panels, signings, and photographs was good. There was a great representation from all aspects of entertainment, whether it be the voice acting of Troy Baker to meeting some of the Power Rangers, all of which were available to see speak at panels or interviewed at the Twitch stage. This flexibility made it very convenient for me to be able to at least see almost everyone I wanted to one way or another.
There was a great selection of panels themselves. From watching a group of voice actors reenact a scene from Back to the Future, to getting tips on how to grow your YouTube channel from abdallahsmash026, or even a panel hosted by the team over at Cards Against Humanity, the panels did a great job at giving the attendees a broad range of choices.
While at C2E2, I had the amazing opportunity to interview some of the talent for Lucha Underground. Click HERE to see videos of my interviews with: Rey Mysterio, Dorian Roldan, Johnny Mundo, Taya, Chris DeJoseph, Vampiro, Melissa Santos, and Eric Van Wagenen.
A couple of panels that I made it out to were those of Troy Baker and abdallahsmash026. The Troy Baker panel was great. Going into it I didn’t know what to expect. Turns out, he could very easily drop his music making and VO careers to become an inspirational speaker. Hearing his story about how he didn’t think he was good enough to play the Joker in The Killing Joke and how he came to the realization that he is enough was inspirational. One message he left us all with is that every day tell yourself, “You are enough.” These are words that I will keep close to me moving forward. The abdallahsmash026 panel was mostly focused on YouTube. He went over all it takes to make your small YouTube channel more successful. This was very successful as I learned a lot on how to diversify my audience.
The final major aspect I want to talk about is probably my favorite part of C2E2: artist alley. I found myself walking around Artist Alley admiring the art made from the same people who bring us some of our most cherished super heroes and cartoons. With dozens of artists showcasing their work it would be hard for almost anyone to not appreciate. Watching these cartoons or reading the comics doesn’t always give a great sense of depth to the art, but actually watching the process of an artist sketch out a commissioned piece was truly inspiring. This was the one area on the show floor that I was amazed by. This being my first convention, it gave me a greater appreciation for the hard work and dedication that goes into the art. One piece spoke to me so much that it’s all I thought about the whole weekend and I had to stop by on the final day to pick it up. This piece was done by Joe Corroney so if you like it please look him up.
Whether you wanted to aimlessly wander the show floor, hangout at the Twitch stage and watch live interviews with great talent, or cosplay as your favorite nerd culture icon, there was something for just about everyone at C2E2.