Literature Abounds at C2E2 2011!
If you’re one of THOSE people who doesn’t believe that graphic novels or comics count as literature/valuable reading – By the power of Greyskull, get the heck out of here!
(Yes I did kick off with a He-Man reference. You’re welcome.)
Last year, I joined my husband (then merely my fiancee) at the first ever Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo – C2E2, for short. We had a great time wandering the booths and attending panels and came home loaded with graphic novels to enhance our already bursting bookcases.
So, when C2E2 2011 was announced, we bought Saturday day passes and made plans to head down to McCormick Place for the convention. Well, a lot can happen over the course of a year. C2E2 got huge, y’all. Space-wise, it seemed way bigger than last year, and there were certainly more people. One of my pet peeves is being in crowds where people don’t seem to realize their giant backpack hits people when they turn around, and this was one of those crowds. However, there were enough good things going on to keep the day from being a crowd-loathing bust.
First of all, being awesome as they are, the American Library Association had a booth. They were smart enough to tailor their trademark celebrity-laden “READ” posters to the crowd at hand – so Nathan Filion, Daniel Radcliffe, and Coraline were adorning their booth. I purchased a canvas bag that says “I read banned books” (to go with the button I got last year that says the same thing) and had a photo snapped with The Great Gusto, who also read my fortune.
Second, if there’s ever been a case of a series of books being turned into a smash hit anything, Charlane Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels becoming HBO’s “True Blood” are a prime example. Much anticipation was in the air because three of the show’s stars – Sam Trammel (Sam the bartender/shapeshifter), Kristin Bauer (Pam the fabulously bitch vampire) and Brit Morgan (crazy werewolf lady Debbie) – were in attendance to sign autographs and take part in a panel.
The panel was a lot of fun, and the actors spoke about everything from spending a work day covered in fake blood and prosthetics, to Sam’s tendency to be naked on the show, to everyone loving Pam. The crowd was enthusiastic and cheered frequently – and boo’ed the mention of sparkling vampires. (Take that, Twlight.)
Third, the Doctor Who store was there and I bought a Donna Noble action figure to accompany the Rose Tyler figure that stands guard over my desk at work. (Had they had any Martha Jones figures, she’d be there too.)
Fourth, the costumes people wear to these things are amazing.
Fifth, many of our friends were also in attendance at the convention. It was great to see Hayley, Scott, Blake, Michael, and Ms. Liz in amongst the crowds of strangers.
Sixth and finally, my husband and I did indeed leave with a backpack bursting with read-able purchases. (I’d like to thank my wonderful and noble husband for carrying the 80,000,000lb backpack, by the by. That’s love, right there.)
Among our purchases –
- “The Return of the Dapper Men” by Jim McCann and Janet Lee, and “An Elegy for Amelia Johnson” by Andrew Rostan. Both came from the Archaia Comics booth.
- “The Sandman: Dream Hunters” which is an addition to the Neil Gaiman Sandman series – which I adore.
- “Artichoke Tales” by Megan Kelso, which NPR apparently loves and which is on the ALA’s list of ten great graphic novels.
- “Suburban Glamour” by Jamie McKelvie – which just looks gorgeous.
These will be reviewed as soon as I can get through them all, I promise.
After an eight-hour day at the convention, we came home. Missions all accomplished, we ordered pizza and fell asleep on the couch while Dateline: Real Mysteries droned on in the background.
C2E2 was exhausting – but rewarding – and I look forward to C2E2 2012.
Though, by then I’ll have a baby in tow. And let me tell you, having watched a couple moms try to navigate strollers through the crowds – that’s not going to be me.
Branch out and read a graphic novel.