I’m Josh Boykin, and this weekend I’ll be posting news, pictures, and editorials fresh from C2E2, the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo. Since its launch in 2010 the event has exploded, increasing its exposure and clout here in the good ol’ Midwest. To kick things off I interviewed Lance Fensterman, organizer of C2E2 and Global Vice President of the ReedPOP network of pop culture events including New York Comic-Con, PAX, and Star Wars Celebration.
C2E2 has grown to become part of the Chicago community over the past 4 years. “We feel like the city of Chicago is embracing us,” Lance said, and it shows. Located in the downtown Chicago convention center McCormick Place, The convention is about comics at its core, but also expands towards other popular media like television, gaming, and Japanese culture. Big companies in the comics business like Marvel, DC Comics, and Dark Horse have large booths on the floor, but many small retailers and publishers also make a showing as well.
C2E2 isn’t just another comic convention, though; C2E2 is about capturing the spirit of Chicago. An area of the convention called “The Block” was carried over from New York Comic-Con and is devoted to local talent, whether they’re retailers, artists, or writers. Local game companies also take up a section of the show floor this year, including Iron Galaxy, the company behind the recent Darkstalkers reboot and the upcoming 2-button fighting game, DiveKick, and The Men Who Wear Many Hats, the company which created the mobile hit Organ Trail.
The convention isn’t just for buyers and sellers, though. Panels are conducted all throughout the day where people can learn from those already succeeding in the pop culture business, whether they’re in comics, video games, or other forms of media. Discussions panels abound, and big topics this year gravitate around successfully kickstarting a project, indie development of games, and the future of comics. For those looking to get into any media industry, there’s tons to learn and many great people to meet.
From a gamer’s standpoint C2E2’s really starting to come into its own. Netherrealm Studios, the company behind the smash DC-based fighter Injustice, premiered the debut trailer for Lobo, the first DLC character, today at the show. Capcom set up a large booth to show off Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and invited people to bring their own copies of the game and play with each other. Plus there have been tons of opportunities to get hands-on with games in development from companies like High Voltage Software, the Chicago-based developer owned by Disney.
There’s something at C2E2 for everyone, and it looks like there’s going to be even more in the future. “So long as the community keeps supporting this there’s no limit to how large it can get,” Lance says. C2E2 runs from April 26-28th in Chicago, IL. For more information, check out C2E2.com.
Look for more articles from and about C2E2 coming in the next few days.