Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adventures In Chicago: Day Four

I am a lucky guy. About ten minutes ago, I was on my way back to the hotel from dinner, and I felt my pocket. My cell phone wasn't there. I got to my room, emptied my bag and pockets. No phone. I called the phone number. No answer. I called the bar where I went for fried shrimp and onion rings. It wasn't there. I called again . . . and it rang. In my room. It was behind my laptop. Either I didn't take it with me, or a higher power cut me a break.

The convention? It was boring in its final day. Actually, that's not really fair. It was one of those deals where I was hunting for stuff, and I forgot to check on panels' start times. Regrettably, I also failed to catch Gail Simone and her husband before they left. It wasn't just a matter of, say, finding out if they were coming to Manhattan for New York Comic Con in October. We like each other. I kinda owe them a hug. Well, just Gail, anyway. In other news, I totally failed to go to panels outside what I'm comfortable with. I meant to check on Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears and a panel on local creators. I wanted to know if there was historic precedent for superheroes in the Windy City. Oh, well.

Sketches? I wound up with nineteen. Nineteen. And that's not counting stuff in or on books (including a Fozzie Bear drawing on an issue of The Muppet Show comic, which was surprisingly good). To give you an idea on how many that makes, I got twenty at Comic Con International last year, and that was over a four-day period. I regret only one; if you're going to ask for a Legion of Superheroes character, don't let it be Brainiac 5 unless you have it colored. The guy has no distinguishing logos at all, and I dunno what I was thinking. Sadly, I found a colorist, but that was about five minutes before closing time.

Like I said, I was bored most of the time, mainly because I gave my book to an artist for my "Poison Ivy In Front Of Ivy-Covered Wall At Wrigley Field" idea. It's not a fair conclusion that C2E2 was boring, but it wasn't anywhere near as hectic as Reed Exhibitions' other big show, NYCC. While there weren't any "must wait on line for 40-60 minutes" panels, I'm happy to say that weren't any lines to get into rooms at all . . . not even the Doctor Who screening, which had a one-night jumpstart on the official U.S. airing on BBC America. There was a line, but it wasn't that long as far as I can remember.

So what can I take away from C2E2? Well, they need to have more stuff, and have it a little less spread out. I got lost on Friday, but mostly because I let myself do that. It's a blend of blind faith and living dangerously. I'd throw in shuttles into the city; like NYCC and the Javits Center, it's some distance from the heart of Chicago, and I don't think the subway/El goes out there. As it is now, C2E2 is second-tier, which isn't bad for a first-year con, but I'm not sure I'd want to come back next year. Oh, and they should move it to August, to compete directly with the Chicago Comic Con run by Wizard Entertainment, as retaliation for Wizard moving their Big Apple Comic Con to the same dates as NYCC. I've been to Rosemont on two occasions. There's barely anything out there beyond hotels. C2E2 would kill Wizard, I'm sure of it.

I'm going home tomorrow. I got way too many freebies and books for my own good. I have to say that after Friday, things got a lot better. Sure, I wonder if going long distances for conventions is getting old, but I enjoy meeting people, from passing conversations with strangers to talking with professionals. I honestly feel I'm getting better at interacting with people. Bob and Kathy welcoming me into their home didn't hurt, either.

As for my next adventure? I might go to Baltimore for the city's two-day con. That's a trip, since I just drive down there and chill at a cheap hotel with access to the local light rail. I'd love to go to San Diego next year, but I think I need a job first to even think about getting lodging and tickets. And, of course, I got my reservations to NYCC. Who knows? If you're reading this, we might be meeting up in October.

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