Finishing out its ninth year in Chicago C2E2 has become an institution and an event that the whole city looks forward to year-after-year. As 2018 comes to a close, this year is no different.
Though it certainly grew in size, with far more people attending than in previous years, at its core the show’s mission statement remains the same. There are a ton of comic book and fandom conventions in Chicago over the summer, but C2E2 rises above the rest because of its commitment to its fans. After almost a decade it remains one of the most family-friendly, pop culture savvy events in the city.
That success can be seen in the high level of talent the show attracts. The moment fans walked through the gates of the convention hall they were greeted by major names such as Marvel, DC, ONI Press and more. Yet, given the size of the hall, they didn’t seem to overshadow the indie dealers or the artist alley. If each year is an evolution than C2E2 has finally found the form that suits everyone best.
Indeed, by catering to everyone, the show manages to satisfy all at once. Not an easy feat and one that could have blown up in their faces. Yet all seem represented. Are you a fan of Magic: The Gathering? There’s a space for that. Want to learn about cosplay? There’s a space for that too. Looking to rub shoulders with celebrities from Daredevil and Legends of Tomorrow? Head over to the autograph area to get their signature and a photo.
Many fail to realize that as a pop culture convention they don’t have care about fans as much as they do. Other conventions have turned into marketing ploys and cash grabs to the point where it’s almost nothing but celebrity autographs at high prices. That approach sucks the fun out of everything.
Compare that with the scene outside the show floor on Sunday afternoon. Even as the show was winding down a DJ played old school hip-hop to a large group of attendees. Most were in costume but they represented just about every demographic. As “It Takes Two” hit the speakers a guy dressed from head to as Bane from Batman let loose in a dance circle cheered on by strangers. One cannot deny the sense of community that exists among attendees at the show. It’s a place to make new friends and long lasting memories.