C2E2 2014

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(My C2E2 audio wrap-up for Rivet Radio is at the bottom of the page)

Like Giant-Man or Colossal Boy, C2E2 just keeps … growing.

My legs hurt from walking the massive showroom floor. My feet resent me. Each year, C2E2 carves out more real estate than it had the previous year, creating more space to walk and explore. For those of us who eat lots of pizza while reading comic books, the brief flirtation with cardio fitness probably isn’t a bad thing.

sign

Though the space was bigger this time around, the starpower wasn’t. Outside of Stan Lee, the celebrity guests weren’t necessarily “must-see” or “must-meets.” And from a “why wouldn’t they be there?” perspective, it seems strange that DC Comics was again absent from the showroom floor this year.

So what brings the (estimable) crowds to McCormick Place? Could it be that the idea of the event is bigger than the details? It’s certainly been enough to keep me hooked these past few years; the panels and autograph signings always seem like too much work to consider.

I went on Sunday this year: “Kids Day.” This was the last time my son could get in on the deeply-discounted $5 ticket (To his disgust, he absolutely hated the fact that the Kids Day laminate featured a Hello Kitty design). You take your breaks where you can get ’em.

We went with another family this year (hi, Jack), which helped balance out the costs of visiting the con. I normally plan to spend a max of $100, and fail miserably. Between this year’s two-family entourage, and the fact that my son saved his money and paid for his own stuff this time around, I actually came in under budget. My total expenses for the day are itemized at the end of the post.

I tend to get the most out of walking Artists Alley each year. It’s an oddball mix of known professionals and totally green artists and publishers. There were hidden surprises in practically every row this year, like Eisner Award-winning writer Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, the Flash). I had him sign a Daredevil comic for me–five bucks all in.

As for the retail side of things, I can’t resist trade paperbacks. My favorite vendor at the con had a massive display of paperback and hardcover collections, all for 50% off. I walked away with three of the b&w, reprint-only “Marvel Essentials” titles–they’re my favorite cheap way to build up a nice reading library.

I’ve been tempted in the past, but this year I finally bought an autographed print from Neal Adams. The man pretty much created the modern Batman, so I figured $20 was the least I owed him.

neal

Nostalgia’s a powerful thing. I stopped in my tracks whenI stumbled across this display of Mego action figures. I owned every one of them when I was a kid. Every. One. And now the Falcon’s worth $450.

Mego

And hey, let’s hear it for cosplay, a comics convention favorite. Is there a Deadpool in the house? Let’s hear it for Li’l Deadpool!

IMG_5179

Batgirl was pretty fabulous:

Batgirl

Captain America takes his job seriously:

Cap

Walking on stilts at a crowded convention can’t be easy:

death

The Rocketeer squeezes out pulpy goodness!

Rocketeer

Not the droid I was looking for:

R2D2

Next year, I’m committing myself to all three days. I’m going to plan a sensible (but allowing for fun) budget, and wear much more comfortable shoes.

In case you’re wondering, here’s how this year’s expenses broke down:

 Item Cost    
Admission (self)  Free (Press)
Admission (son)  $5
Essential Avengers Vol.2  $7
Spiro’s Greek Myths #1 (indie publisher/Artists Alley)   $5
McCormick Place parking  $21
Essential Peter Parker Vol. 1  $7
Essential Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 4  $7
G-Man #1 (signed by Chris Giarrusso)  $1
Pre-show donuts at Glazed & Confused  $18
Signed Neal Adams print-Batman #244  $20
Signed Mark Waid Daredevil comic  $5

Rivet Radio audio recap:

http://www.rivetnewsradio.com/share/77757/

Previous years’ coverage:

2011

2012

2013

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