This Saturday, I’ll be in attendance at the 2022 edition of the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, best known as C2E2! I’ve been going to this convention since it started in 2010 and every trip to C2E2 has deepened my understanding of different fandoms and given me a chance of interact with both talented enthusiasts from around the world and the luminaries of the comic book industry, including Chris Claremont (Uncanny X-Men), Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother), Mark Waid (Kingdom Come) and the late, great Neal Adams (Batman). On top of all that, I’ve always had a lot of fun at the con.
If you’re in the Chicagoland area and you have an interest in attending C2E2, take some of my advice if you want to have a good time:
Have a plan for what you want to check out. There’s a lot to do at C2E2, which can be incredibly overwhelming for a newcomer…or even a veteran congoer like me. Make sure there are panels, exhibits and vendors that you know you want to see so you’re not wandering around the show floor waiting for something to happen.
Budget your money wisely. You don’t have to break the bank in order to have a good time at this convention.
Most importantly, stay safe and healthy! Make sure to pack a lunch and water to stay energized and hydrated and keep the C2E2 health and safety policy in mind.
What I love about conventions like this are the opportunities to meet new people and create new connections. Very few conventions help attendants establish such professional and high quality hookups like C2E2. From casual fan meetups to panels featuring experienced authors and artists, there is a plethora of ways to build relationships that can expand your knowledge and strengthen your creative skills.
One of my hobbies is cosplaying and C2E2 is a great place to encounter some of the most clever and innovative costumers you’ll ever see! In this regard, a special mention must go out to the 501st Legion Midwest Garrison, Rebel Legion’s Nar Shaddaa Base, and the Nexu Clan of the Mandalorian Mercs. These passionate groups are the Midwestern branches of several volunteer Star Wars costuming organizations that operate with many other related groups around the world. Of course, special mentions should go out to all of the very gifted costumers in attendance, especially the participants of the Crown Championships of Cosplay competition! You can check out some of my favorite costumes from this and many other shows at my Instagram page.
Finally, the most important element of C2E2 is its function as a platform for a diverse array of independent creators and small businesses to find ways to make their voices heard and showcase their works on a wide scale! While distributing products and promoting artwork online is very effective, there’s nothing like interacting face-to-face with individual creators and learning more about what they can do. It’s also a great way to discover rare collectibles and obscure material from more mainstream publishers, thanks to the wide variety of dealers at the show.
Overall, it’s just a lot of fun to attend every year! I’ve made a lot of new friends and connections and I’ve been able to meet people who I would consider to be very creative, friendly and passionate about what they do! I look forward to next year’s show and I hope to see you there!