Monday, March 25, 2019

C2E2: Bigger than Ever Before

Back in 2010, Matt and I attended the first Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2). A lot has changed over the past 9 years, but I still have a good time. This year I listened to sci-fi and fantasy authors talk about how they approach magic in their books, and heard some of my favorite childhood voice actors showcase their talents. 
Matt and I arrived around 9:50 a.m.  on Saturday (exhibit floor opened at 10) and it was insanely
packed. They sold out of 3-day badges and Saturday badges, so I'm really curious as to what the total number of attendees was. I typically go to C2E2 for the literary guests, but C2E2 has started having the majority of their literary panels on Friday, so I may need to start going on Fridays instead of Saturday. The only author I planned to see was S.A. Chakraborty (and if you haven't read The City of Brass series, please do that now). 

Before that, Matt and I wondered and I bought some pretty fun tea from an online shop called Dryad Tea. It was a nerdy/fandom store so of course all of their tea names had fun names. 

One thing that we learned quickly was that C2E2 had grown rapidly. Back in the day, you were able to walk in to panels no problem, now you have to wait in line at least 30 minutes before the panel starts to ensure you get a seat. We were interested in going to a panel called Twisted Toonz because it featured voice actors from the Animaniacs, Rugrats, the Simpsons and other famous shows. The idea behind the panel was that the voice actors would read a not-so-PG movie script using their many talents. The script they read this year was National Lampoon: Vacation (a movie I have never seen, and probably will never) and we heard the lines from Mickey Mouse, Yacko, Wacko, Dot, the Crazy Cat Lady from the Simpsons, Christopher Walken, and other voices. It was really fun and I hope they continue doing it. 

Right after that I ran to the Magic and Mayhem panel which was super awkward. I don't know if it was because the moderator didn't know the authors very well, but it didn't flow (nor did it seem that the moderator knew some of the authors' names). There was also an awkward QA moment where some dude from the audience asked a question and followed it up by saying that magic couldn't exist because of Christianity. Luckily, one of the authors handled it wonderfully and shut it down. It was fun to hear from S.A. Chakraborty, but the session as a whole was cringeworthy. 

Lastly, I joined Matt for the advanced screening of Nos4er2 since he enjoyed the comic. It was an interesting pilot and I can see the horror elements, but I didn't understand one thing. Matt assured me that it was normal, but I was still annoyed. 

And that was our day at C2E2. Looking at my written report, it didn't seem like much (especially since I only went for one day) but I was wiped out by the end of the day. Here's hoping the C2E2 continues hosting authors and that the publishers have more buy-in to attend (seriously, only Fierce Reads and Epic Reads attend with a handful of books to sell, not even their adult SFF stuff). 

What cons do you regularly attend? 
Have you ever been to an awkward author event (or any other kind of event, really)? 


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