This was my second time going to C2E2. Two years ago I boarded the shuttle to McCormick Place by myself, and without plans to meet anyone there, and I had a great time. This year I brought a friend, which just made it better. We stopped by M Burger to get appropriate fuel, then headed towards the con.
We spent five hours in the Exhibit Hall, and didn’t see it all. The image above shows only a portion of it, and in addition to booths crammed full of comics, graphic novels, t-shirts, swords, goggles, and every conceivable variation of goods, there were all the people. Geeks declared their allegiance by their t-shirts, befuddled parents were shepherded by their big-eyed kids, and there was a smattering of cosplayers. The main cosplay event was on Saturday, so Friday was just a warm up, and it was the babies that brought it. There was tiny Stan Lee, Princess Captain America, and a bunch of Elsas. Ballgown Boba Fett gets an honorable mention for being so righteous, however.
UPDATE 09/05/2014: A previous version of this paragraph incorrectly named Tim Lehi and Oliver Barret as present
There were three panels that evening that dealt with beer and comics. First up was The Creative Geniuses Behind Beer Label Art and Design. This included the marketing director from Revolution Brewing (I didn’t get her name), moderating Jim Zimmer (Three Floyds), Jourdon Gullett (Solemn Oath), Phineas Jones (Half Acre), and Ian Law (Revolution Brewing) in a discussion on how they make the illustrations that stand out among traditional beer labels. A hat tip to the first question during the Q&A, in which a woman asked why there weren’t any female artists on the panel. The panelists admitted it came down to who you knew, and told the next questioner (also a woman) that they’d suggest she have a strong portfolio if she wanted to work on beer labels and branding. Also a good choice — giving the audience beer prior to the beginning of the panel.
Next was Beer and Comics 2: Electric Boogaloo. It was pretty much a drunken ramble on how great comics and beer are. This panel kept the beer (and whiskey!) to themselves, and instead talked about their favorite things. I noticed there were fewer women in the audience this time, probably because Gail Simone was in a panel on diversity down the hall. It was fun to watch, but I can’t say I really learned anything in this one.
The last panel was Three Floyd’s Brewing: Beer, Comics and Chicago. Tim Seeley irreverently moderated Barnaby Struve (Three Floyd’s Vice President), Brian Azzarello (writer of 100 Bullets and Wonder Woman), and Jeff Krelitz (Heavy Metal Magazine). They announced that they would be joining forces in order to put out comics based on the characters on the Three Floyd’s labels, written by Azzarello and illustrated by a rotating cast of established comic book artists. The first question, put by a woman, was whether they were planning on adding additional female characters to the labels and thus, the comics. Barnaby Struve immediately started listing the beers featuring women, such as the Calumet Queen and She-Wolf, and stated that they would be including strong women characters in the comics.
I wish I had been able to spend more time there this weekend. I dropped by the 44 Flood table and saw Ben Templesmith as well as Tim Vigil, but didn’t get to the rest of Artist Alley. I also loved the idea of the Block, which showcased local artists, and there were several white boards where people were drawing all day. I’ll definitely go back next year, and if you’re able to, I’d encourage you to go as well.