C2E2: Preparing for my day of full geek immersion

I’m going to C2E2 tomorrow, the comic convention heir to a massive and devoted group of attendees who, for years, suffered the indiginities of trudging out to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont for Wizard World.

I didn’t attend C2E2 last year because of what I then called “responsible fiscal judgment;” comic conventions tend to set me back a lot of money.  A fool (me) and his money (represented in this story by credit) are quickly parted when faced with hard-to-find back issues, original artwork, and assorted memorabilia.

Truth is, I love going to comic cons.  It’s a thrill to troll the artist alleys, meeting writers and artists whose work I admire.  I also enjoy the “treasure hunt” aspect of searching for missing pieces to my favorite runs, which just adds to the day’s adventure. Forget eBay; the retail experience at a con is unique and physical.

By waiting until the third and final day to go, I’ve missed some obvious highlights.  Patton Oswalt, who’s quickly become my favorite human in the history of ever, was there on Friday night.  Chris Hemsworth, the ripped actor who be worthy to possess the power of Movie Thor, was there signing autographs today.  Highlights are where you make them, though, and sometimes marquee events become so flooded with humanity that the appeal is quickly and greatly diminished.  I expect that was probably the case with both Oswalt and Hemsworth this weekend.

Tomorrow’s Kids Day at C2E2, which I enthusiastically support.  Contrary to what the general public likely assumes, comics these days aren’t made for kids.  A standard title’s content is strictly PG-13 or higher, and it’s been that way for the past ten years or so.  When I was a kid, I could grab any comic off the spinner rack (I’m dating myself, I know), and read it without my parents needing to worry about its main characters getting raped, dismembered, or swearing.  The only comics that are truly okay for kids today are those created for specific comic lines aimed at children.  I should note that some of the children’s titles are transcendent.  “Tiny Titans,” in particular, is a joyous read, truly suitable for all ages from zero-death.

For the comics industry to survive, young fans shouldn’t be ghettoed into a corner.  I sometimes feel as though I’m the only one who thinks it’s insane that my nine year-old can’t read a “regular” Batman title. Should you have any doubt of that decision, read the first six issues of Morrison’s “Batman and Robin.”  Not happening.

By designating tomorrow Kids Day, C2E2 strives to be inclusive even as its focus industry is not.  Their schedule for tomorrow includes a meet and greet with WordGirl and the Tiny Titans guys (Art Baltazar and Franco) hosting a drawing competition.  It’s a start.

Looking forward to my visit.  I’ll report back here with details and maybe a few pics from the day.

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