You know that scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens when Han and Chewy step into the Millennium Falcon and says that they are home? That is how I feel every single time I see the “Welcome to C2E2” sign and step onto the show floor. I am at home. I am with my people. Contentment.
This year, from my viewpoint, was yet another successful Comic Con and Entertainment Expo held at the McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. Each year there are familiar events yet the people at Reed Pop Entertainment always work hard to bring new and exciting things to the con. I was lucky enough to go this year so I can share all the fun with you:
As usual, the floor was full of freebies, vendors, and fun. The main area of the floor is where all the vendors are and each year there are different ones added. I hit up my usual favorites (including Tea & Absinthe with their geek-themed tea flavors) and explored some new vendors. There are the usual geek t-shirts, but this year there were also some steampunk vendors, lots of jewelry, and of course lots of comic vendors. Besides the tea and the usual geek t-shirts, the other loot I scored this year included some comics, games (come back here in a couple weeks for my reviews), jewelry, and more.
This area of the floor is for anyone who loves anime, manga, and k-pop. The Japanese Culture Center was set up here to share information on their events and to do some martial arts demonstrations. There was also a specialty diner set up here and there was a K-pop Dance Cover Contest for the first time ever. These were only some of the events going on in Pop Asia. There was also trivia, specialty panels, anime screenings, and sing-a-longs.
Part of the floor has recently been turned into The Yard: a huge spot in the middle where you can play games, get a beer, and participate in trivia and bingo which are offered throughout the weekend. I played bingo and also sat in on a Sip and Sketch where the Revolution Brewing mascot posed for the yard full of people to practice sketching him in different poses.
Other areas for fun on the floor included the Family HQ where there were family events like a Star Wars Make and Take workshop. Throughout the floor are gaming areas including video games and tables where board and/or card games can be tried before you buy.
If you can tear yourself away from the vendors on the floor or the fun in The Yard or any other of the above sections I described, C2E2 offers panels all 3 days of the convention nearly all day long. The topics are so varied that there is something for everyone including teachers who want to know how to use manga or comics in the classroom. I did not get to attend all the panels I wanted, but I did see several. Here are two highlights:
• KPOP 101
This panel covered the history of all things Kpop. Did you know that we are currently in the fourth generation of Kpop artists? Each previous generation focused on different aspects of the performance, according to the panelists; for example, this current generation lip syncs a lot because they are more focused on the dancing and the performance. The fourth generation is expected to run until 2025 and includes artists like Loona, The Boyz, (G) I-dle, and Kard. The panelists showed some clips and now I want to learn more about Kpop music and give the mentioned groups a try.
• Books that Go Bump in the Night
This panel featured five horror/thriller writers. They introduced themselves, their upcoming books, and talked about their inspiration for the writings. I have not yet read the works of Kayla Cottingham, David Bell, M. Hendrix, Katrina Monroe, or Natalie D. Richards, but after listening to them talk about their works and how they write, I want to go and read each of these. Maybe I will even review them in future articles. Stay tuned!
What convention would be complete without some cosplay fun? Be sure to check out all my photos! Each time I go to a convention, there are the usual costumes, but this year I found many unique ones that I had to photograph and share with you all. I always enjoy looking at the range of costumes from the simple ones to the super-detailed ones; it proves that anyone can cosplay and you don’t have to be a professional to enjoy rocking out a costume at these conventions. There is even an area called Cosplay Central on the floor. Cosplayers can use the changing areas, fix any costume malfunctions there, or use the backdrops for photo opportunities. There are also special panels and workshops held (all about cosplay, of course) there throughout the con.
C2E2 has already announced the dates for next year’s event (March 31 to April 2) and tickets are already on sale. So if any of this sounds interesting to you, start planning for next year! I need to get to work on finishing up my cosplays.