c2e2 in Chicago was "pleasant." The most surprising thing of the entire event wasn't the huge guest list or how nice the carpetting throughout the place was to walk on. No, it was the giant windows lining all the walls of the main convention hall and most of the hallways and large rooms as well. Seriously, last Saturday in Chicago, while incredibly windy and more than a little brisk outside, was bright and sunny and our view of Lake Michigan was gorgeous pretty much throughout the entire convention.
I have to say that the McCormick Place is my dream convention center. Having gone to c2e2, I'm now deeply lamenting that Gencon Indy isn't Gencon Chicago. I couldn't imagine how pleasant it would be to play a pick-up game of Werewolf or something similar on the dais just outside the convention center right on the Lake at night. If you don't believe me, you should check out the public pool account on flickr generated by attendees of the show (thanks to the flickr account and its participants for some of the photos!). You'll notice that there was a ton of cosplaying, which is cool in its own way, but the big thing you'll notice is all the natural light. Yes I'm gushing, but you don't really know how big a deal this is until you've experienced it!
So what did we really think about it?
I was really impressed with the variety of exhibitors and vendors at the show. I tweeted early this week that my favorite moment of the show was being able to meet Ron and Connor of the ifanboy podcast, and I really meant it. There was a great mix of web comic creators and podcasters, which was a very nice addition to the classic concept of the comic convention. Unfortunately for us, being mainly a gamer blog, we were really underwhelmed with the game as there was just a small section taped off for D&D and Magic and nothing else. In the future I would definitely hope at Wizkids makes an appearance with some Heroclix tourneys, but I'd also love to see some Supers gaming with Icons or Wild Talents going on as well - seems like a good match.
bureaucrat guy! yay!
Threadless (those guys and gals who make really excellent t-shirts) was also there with their own little booth and refridgerator guy. You can see a rare candid of the Gamer Wife posing with the suit, but for the most part a guy actually walked around in that thing. Along the same lines the Onion A.V. club and Libraries (yes, just in genereal, Libraries) each had a booth. I really like the trend away from arrogant geeks to hip geeks when it comes to comics. To be honest, I hadn't been to a comic convention since my bachelor party in 2007 at Wizard World Chicago, but c2e2 felt like a very fun and mostly geek-free zone. I don't mean this disparigingly towards the uber-geeks we all know and tolerate, but it felt like a place a girl and/or small children would be welcomed.
I can tell you we're definitely going to do our best to get back to c2e2 next Spring (Spring is also the best time to launch a new Midwest convention btw - perfect timing!). We also attended two panels while we were there - the Image Comics Show and the Cup O' Joe Marvel Editor-In-Chief panel. Both were awesome, but the Cup O' Joe even entertained the wife - good stuff. There were a ton of creators all over the place and it was a thrill to meet a lot of them. We got some great interviews that you should come back to check on us for from time-to-time. My favorite interview was with David Petersen, creator of Mouse Guard and co-creator of the Mouse Guard RPG. I'm hoping in the next couple of weeks to do a Mouse Guard-themed week in which we have a nice little contest to run, so keep you eyes glued to this space for more info!