C2E2 Day One

So today was the first day of C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo). For comic fans out here in the Midwest, it’s the big event for the year. Tons great artist, authors, stores, deals and, of course, cosplayers. Due to prior arrangements (work), I arrived at the con around 2PM and proceeded to have an absolutely awesome time. C2E2 has been moved to the bigger West building in McCormick Place, and it shows. There’s more space to walk around and it doesn’t feel cramped, a vast improvement over last year. It’s just a nice building to hold a ton of people in. Well lit and cooled, it feels comfortable and friendly.

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For me, today was about autographs and photographs. There were many people from the industry (authors and artists) I wanted to meet, and I got to nearly all of them today. First up was Kieron Gillen (Uncanny X-Men, Young Avengers, Iron Man). He was signing at the Marvel booth right when I walked in the door. Very nice guy. When asked why those six characters in Young Avengers, he had a variety of reasons, they were available, he had to have Kate, even if it meant sharing with Fraction (Hawkeye), he didn’t feel Speed was necessary, as the relationship between him and Billy (Wiccan) had already been done. I tried to learn about what he had in store, but no secrets were revealed.

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Next up was a gentlemen that I missed last year, and you better believe I wasn’t going to miss Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Uncanny Avengers, Captain America)  again. Got my first issue of Uncanny X-Force signed. As usual, he plans on beating up, tearing down, and being generally unkind to his characters. “After 25 issues, you won’t recognize Captain America”. Knowing what he did to Psylocke, Wolverine and co. in X-Force, that’s what I expected to hear. It’ll be a torturous path for Steve Rogers, but we’ll be alongside him every step of the way.

After Remender was one of the most varied men in the business: Brian Wood (DMZ, Mara, The Massive, X-Men, Star Wars, Northlanders). Also one of the most solid. A seriously talented writer, he write for Dark Horse, Image, Vertigo, and Marvel. He seems to mold to any genre and excel in it. When asked if he had a favorite to write for, he answered that they all had their differences, but did not have a favorite and enjoyed writing for all. Personal note here: If you haven’t read The Massive, please do so. I just read it least week, and it was very fantastic.

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I met with James McCann (Mind the Gap) and had to ask how he came up with a book about people being thrown into trains, and a giant mystery and conspiracy and a place called The Garden where vegetables go. He explained that he was brainstorming shortly after his move to LA and living alone, what would happen if he fell and hit his head in the shower. Or worse, went into a coma. And the rest came from there. He’d been wanting to do a mystery, since that is one area that is currently lacking in the Industry. I couldn’t agree more, and Mind the Gap continues to mystify and excite readers.

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I gushed a bit when speaking to Kyle Higgins (Nightwing). If you read last week’s Comic Fanatic, you’ll remember that I love Nightwing. Dick Grayson is my favorite DC character (maybe next to Batwoman), and meeting the writer was a bit of a star struck moment for me. I explained, in a somewhat rushed fashion, that I loved the comic and that Grayson hasn’t been this good in a while. He smiled, graciously accepted my compliments and signed my books.

Last for the day was the master of the (baby) variant covers, Skottie Young. I had a hard time picking only a couple issues for him to sign, but decided on All New X-Men and Avengers Arena. He told me that the whole variant cover business came from a one time cover for Midtown Comics that sold extremely well, and since then he has been doing covers for all the initial issues of Marvel Now!

That was all for today, see my pics below. Stay tunes tomorrow for Day Two of C2E2!!

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