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A Look Back at Chicago Comic Con 2010
Nothing says loving like enjoying a day at a comic book convention.
Chicago Comic Con used to be a huge event. One of the largest comic book convention in the country, next to San Diego. I didn't get a chance to go last year, so I took it upon myself to revist the place where my love for comic books was reborn 8 years ago. The Chicago Comic Con, then called Wizard World Chicago, was a place where you could get all the newest comic book news, meet people in the industry, check out some of the people dressed up as their favorite comic book character and take a picture, or visit your favorite publisher and see what they're offering. In 2010, times sure have changed.
== TEASER ==
The 2010 Chicago Comic Con was more of a "swap meet" than anything else, and don't get me wrong, I got some great deals on some books, but I was expecting a comic book convention, not the local "flea market." Let's start with the first thing you think of when you think of comic book conventions: Cosplayers. Maybe it was because I was just there on Friday, and didn't go any other time of the weekend, but the cosplayers were few and far between. In total, I saw about 20 people dressed up, after walking the floor for 6 hours that day. Where were they all? I'm hoping they all went Saturday and Sunday.
What about great news and panels? Well, there were some panels, but nothing worth mentioning, unless you care about what horror movie Lionsgate Films is doing next. (The Last Exorcism) The Friday I was there, there was nothing going on other than a screening of that movie Devil (AKA Elevator because it takes place all on an elevator). Again, I was hoping that at least something was happening Saturday and Sunday, but from what friends and customers at my shop said, it was a huge let down. Well, at least you can visit your favorite comic book companies at the con, right? No. As of last year, both Marvel and DC dropped out of the con, and everyone else followed. So, who was there? For comic book companies, I only saw Avatar, at least they were the only recognizable company I saw. There wasn't anyone else. There were a few movie companies and video game stations though, but nothing really worth checking out.
There were not big names in the business signing books; however, there were a lot of WWF (Sorry, "WWE") wrestlers from yester-year. As much as I'd like to be a little sarcastic and pretend to be annoyed by this (Especially by ex-governer Rob Blagojevich.. and Johnny Fairplay), it was really awesome to see Big Daddy Diesel Kevin Nash, and the Million Dollar Man. But, there really a lack of people involved with comics or even comic book related shows and movies... Unless you took a walk down Artist's Alley. This is the one place within the con I felt was an A+. Lots of great local artists showing off their craft and selling their wares. It was large, and there was a large variety of people. I spent a few hours wandering around there mainly... and visiting a few friends. The only other great part about this con was the local, and not so local retailers selling their wares. I found a lot of great deals. Many of the retailers had boxes upon boxes of trades, and all of them are half off. As for toys, you had to search a little harder, but the deals were there. In case anyone is wondering what I picked up, here's the short list of trades. Warren Ellis' Red, Bizarro World and DC Archive Edition: Golden Age Flash Vol 1, which I've been trying to find for a decent price for quite some time now.
So what do the people of Chicago do now for a more conventional convention? Well, there's C2E2 in April. From the look of this past year's C2E2, that's going to be the place you're going to want to go for your news and to check out all your favorite publishers. As for Chicago Comic Con, don't think of it as the same thing that C2E2 or San Diego Comic Con offers. It's one giant swap meet, so bring your cash and be prepared to spend it next year. Thinking back, I think I explained it best to a friend on Saturday night, when he asked about the con. Last month, I was at San Diego Comic Con, the mecca of all comic book related conventions. It was like the first time I had a pint of Guinness, and for years, I always drank Bud Light. It's hard to back to Bud Light once you've had a Guinness.
~Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring is a comedian, teacher, comic book writer, comic store employee, and a man who likes a good stout beer after a good convention.