Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) 2017 Report!

Chicago. I had been there before. It was 2014, and the occasion was Wizard World. April 2017 was my second trip to the city that the poet Carl Sandburg called “Hog Butcher for the World, / Tool Maker, / Stacker of Wheat, / Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler; / Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders.” Railroads are no longer America’s arteries, and big shoulders are now an 80s fashion relic, but I, like Sandburg, “have seen painted women / under the gas lamps / luring the farm boys.”

   

Such women in Chi-Town can mean only one thing: the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, known as C2E2. I went with my convention buddy John, whom you will remember from Spooky Empire, Minneapolis Wizard World, and Florida Supercon. We stayed at the Congress Plaza Hotel. Opened in 1893 in anticipation of the World’s Columbian Exposition–i.e., the Chicago World’s Fair–the place was a blend of grand and shabby. John likened it to “the Stanley Hotel meets Super 8.”

We grabbed some dinner and walked around downtown, which was eerily empty for a Thursday evening. I saw a few people with the telltale Pokémon shirts, beanies, and/or Barbossa beads and thought: convention goers. Things would heat up the next day and be full-bore by Saturday. John was looking forward to panel discussions and stellar cosplays. I had my usual assortment of books to be signed.

One thing going to conventions with John has taught me is the value of the convention app (if there is one). I still like the printed program of course–great for signatures. But John always downloads the app because it is (1) updated in real time, (2) doesn’t require him to keep up with something else, and (3) makes him feel tech wizard-y. And the C2E2 app is sweet! It has autograph schedules, prices, and locations for every celebrity. The prices were an especially nice feature. Most conventions don’t post these in advance, which makes budgeting for the weekend Mulvaney-esque.

Another innovation was getting my badge in the mail. If you read my first DragonCon report, then you know my acrimony regarding registration lines. John agrees: “Just charge an extra 40 cents and mail everyone’s badge.” How satisfying it was to open an envelope in February, slide out my shiny badge, and reflect on at least one queue not in my future.

Of course, it is impossible to avoid lines altogether. It is an axiom that, no matter which line I choose–supermarket, toll road, ATM, wherever–it will the line with problems: a technical malfunction, say, or a non-English-speaking customer, or an employee who skipped training. At conventions, I am similarly thwarted. Steve Blum was scheduled to sign at 11:00am on Friday, which was great. Fridays are the least crowded days, making them best for autographs–except this Friday. All around me, guests were meeting fans, posing for pictures, translating Celtic texts, building additions onto homes. Meanwhile, I waited. And waited. Blum’s line grew longer than the Santa Fe Trail, and still I waited. The con staff began setting up his booth at 11:50, suggesting he would arrive at 12:00 rather than the advertised 11:00. In fact, it was almost 1:00 when he got there.

Autograph lines. Look closely, and you’ll see me with a floor-length beard.

Rob Liefeld was also late, though not as egregiously. His line would have been long anyway–everbody loves Robert–but there was a new thing complicating it: VIP clients. For $125 in advance ($160 on-site), you would get two signed exclusive comics, one signed Deadpool print, one autograph ticket for your own item, and a picture with Liefeld. He is a quick signer, and friendly without being effusive, which moves the line along. But it is a gut punch to get aaaaaaalmost to the table and be superseded by a group of VIPs. I said there should be VIP signing times and non-VIP signing times, but John argued that would dilute the perks of being a VIP, one of which is the freedom not to have to visit the booth at a specific time.

Those who eschewed the VIP ticket could choose from Liefeld’s a la carte menu.

The growing practice of comic creators charging for autographs has been discussed a lot lately. I don’t mind a blanket charge because, as Dan Seitz argues, “sign your name a hundred times in a row. It’s simple work, but it’s work. You pay people for work.” I do mind creators charging more for a CGC-witnessed signature. Is it more work to write your name when a third party is watching? And charging more to sign a more valuable book like New Mutants #98 is merely a money grab. After all, a number of market forces affect secondary value that have little to do with the quality of the product.

But I care less about cost than about time, the latter of which is more precious and fleeting at a convention. Memo, then, to all creators and celebrities: don’t be late to your signings! The convention is your job for a particular weekend. Do your job. I cannot conceive of any legitimate reason for a guest who is in a city where they have no other business and is staying at a hotel across the street to be unable to make an 11:00am appointment. I am at this convention to meet you, be enthralled by you, and then carry your name across the land. Hard to do that when you’re a no-show Jones.

As for the rest of the convention, it was a delight. C2E2 is big–70,000+ attendees–but the open floor plan gives plenty of space, so I never felt pinioned. The dealer room had all the comics dealers together, all the anime dealers together, all the T-shirt dealers together, etc., which made shopping go smoother. The family area had games, a play space, chairs for adults to rest, and circus performers. The selection of comic creators was spectacular–Stan Lee, Frank Miller (too bad he was there Saturday only and sold-out), Greg Rucka, Rob Liefeld, Matt Wagner, and some who don’t do many conventions anymore, like Dan Jurgens. There were fewer actors than I expected, but this reinforces the focus of C2E2–comic and entertainment, not the other way around. John said there weren’t enough panels and seminars for a convention this size, but the ones he attended were good. His favorite dealt with using comics to boost literacy and teach science. Finally, there was a larger selection of (over-priced) food vendors than I find at most conventions.

If you’ve never been to Chicago, go. And if you’ve never been to C2E2, go. Most conventions are run by small nonprofits, who are exposed as amateurs in a number of ways, but the power of ReedPOP ups the professionalism. Despite three different volunteers being unable to tell me where Frank Miller’s autograph sessions would be held, I found C2E2 to be well-managed, well-marketed, and an all-around pleasure.

Want to see more images from C2E2? Here you go!

“Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse / and strong and cunning.”

 

Must. Catch. Train.

 

I always wanted to be an Ivy League graduate.

 

Look at that chicken . . . and the two cosplayers beside him.

 

At least I didn’t have to queue to see Q.

 

Strangely enough, John lost his voice after this picture with the Sea Witch.

 

“Wait’ll they get a load of me.”

 

“Sure, honey, I’ll go get your purse from the car. Be right back.”

 

Some people put a lot of thought into their cosplays. Others just wing it.

 

Two big reasons to go to C2E2 are . . . um . . .

 

C2E2 just goes on . . .

 

and on . . .

 

and on.

 

Cosplay Central: the heroes behind the heroes

 

Chicago is cold enough without this guy being in town.

 

Celebrity Guests Team Up at Planet Comicon 2017

Press Release:

Not only do we try to bring you some of the most interesting and influential celebrity guests to Planet Comicon Kansas City every year, we always seek to bring you the stories behind your favorite comic, sci-fi and fantasy franchises. That’s why we always try to team up our celebrity guests whenever possible and 2017 has some of our most amazing groupings yet! Check out these amazing assemblies of television talent…

  • Doctor Who: Billie Piper, John Barrowman, Catherine Tate
  • Arrow: Stephen Amell and John Barrowman
  • Lost Girl: Anna Silk, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Zoie Palmer
  • RWBY: Arryn Zech, Kara Eberle, Elizabeth Maxwell, Jessica Nigri
  • DC TV: Michael Rowe, Teddy Sears, Maggie Geha
  • Reign: Adelaide Kane and Rachel Skarsten
Not only will you have the chance to hear many of these celebrities dish on behind-the-scenes details on some of your favorite shows via numerous panel discussions throughout the weekend (schedule coming soon!), you can also schedule your personal Team-Up photo opp via Epic Photo Ops! Details and tickets available at the link…

RSVP on Facebook!

For more information about the 2017 show, event photos, interviews and more, “Like” Planet Comicon on Facebook and follow @PlanetComicon on Twitter. Planet Comicon Kansas City is always available online at www.planetcomicon.com.

BIG WOW! ComicFest Returns this Weekend…May 17-18, 2014

big-wow

Press Release:

Big Wow! Comic Fest Returns to San Jose on May 17th & 18th, 2014, bringing two great days of Comic Book, Art, Anime, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Gaming and Cosplay FUN! Many of the country’s best vendors of all things cool and collectible will tempt your wallets with the perfect gifts for Geek, Nerds, Fans and True Collectors, everywhere!

Founded in 1979 as “Super-Con”, Big Wow! Comic Fest is not only Northern California’s Longest-Running Comic-Con, but is this year’s Only Major Comics Event in the San Francisco Bay Area!

As the Original Artist-Friendly Show, we have Fantastic Comic Book Creator Guests spanning all decades and genres! This year we are pleased to welcome as our Featured Guests: Charlie Adlard (Artist for the popular “Walking Dead” series), Legendary Illustrator Neal Adams (Batman, X-Men, Avengers), Hellboy Creator Mike Mignola, Fan-Favorites… Travis Charest (Weapons of the Metabarons), Art Adams (X-Men, Godzilla), and more Special Guests including: Dan Brereton (Nocturnals), Mike Zeck (Punisher, Spider-Man, Secret Wars), Joe Linsner (Dawn), Bill Morrison (The Simpsons, Futurama, Disney Poster Artist), Alex Nino (Dead Ahead), Sergio Aragones (Mad Magazine, Groo the Wanderer), Liam Sharp (Gears of War), and many more confirmed and added to our website! Over 200 Comic Creators!

Meet, get autographs, and learn the secrets of Show Biz from our spectacular CELEBRITY GUESTS:

GODZILLA is in the House…Meet Kenpachiro Satsuma, in 1984’s RETURN OF GODZILLA, he would land the title role of Godzilla and continue as the King of Monsters for the next 11 years. This is first time to America in over 20 years.

Also from Japan, meet Satoshi Furuya he enthralled generations of children with his portrayal of the original Ultraman.

Jane Wiedlin is the sexy and charismatic guitar player for The GoGos! One of the best known Rock/Pop groups to emerge from the 1980’s, Jane is back at work, creating a stage production for her self published comic series “Lady Robotica”.

Also Appearing will be: Kevin Bernard Grevioux (Co-Writer, Producer and actor in “Underworld”, “I, Frankenstein” and comic book writer), Damion Poitier (Avengers (in the last 2 minutes, he was the surprise Villian), Star Trek, Hunter Prey…and the son of Sidney Poitier). Also, C. Andrew Nelson (Darth Vader), Parker Stevenson (Hardy Boys), Richard Kiel (007 “Jaws”), William Katt (Greatest American Hero, House)…and more

COSPLAY Guests Jessica Nigri, Riddle (star of “Heroes of Cosplay”), Ivy Doomkitty, Anthony Misano… and many more will all be on site. Along with hundreds and hundreds of amazing fans all in costume.

Super-Star Cartoonist and Big Wow! Bigwig Frank Cho (Liberty Meadows, 50 Girls 50), will teach a 90-minute Figure Drawing Workshop with a live model, demonstrating fundamentals of technique and style. Any aspiring artist is welcome to sit in the audience and work along with Frank, who will provide priceless tips and critiques! And Inker Extraordinaire Mick Gray (Starman, Promethea) will once again provide a weekend-long inking demonstration as he works on his current comic book assignment at his booth! Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see professional comic artists at work!

In conjunction with San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum, Big Wow! Comic Fest proudly presents “BATMAN!, 75 years a Hero” Featuring Seven Decades of Original Art and Memorabilia from the DC Comics world-famous Super Hero. Also, there will be 2 additional shows, “The Art of MIKE ZECK!” And “The ART of FAMOUS MONSTERS”.

And Speaking of Famous Monsters… We are hosting the 1st Annual “Horror/Fantasy/Sci-Fi Film Festival” with the legendary Famous Monsters Magazine… who are also hosting our Japanese guest, and presenting the “Famous Monsters of Filmland” Pavilion with guests, props, make-up and costume designers and more.

And no Big Wow! ComicFest is complete without our:

Live Art Auction, Costume/Cosplay Contest (Saturday night directly after the show), Gaming, Card & Role-Playing Games, “Creature Features Live” with host: John Stanley, showing the original “Night of the Living Dead.”

Panel Discussions, including: Creating Comics, The Art of Self-Publishing, and how to Design and Create Your Own Costumes! There will be 5 rooms of programming going on, throughout the show.

Tickets are available on the website. And we have tickets available at over 30 participating comic book stores around Northern California.

Admission is only:

1 Day Adult $25.00 (at the door)

2 Day Adult $35.00 (at the door)

1 Day Child (8-14) $10.00 (at the door)

2 Day Child $15.00 (at the door)

CHILDREN UNDER 8 ARE FREE!

*Save $5.00 Off Admission! Buy tickets online, or at many local Comic Book Stores!

FOR MORE INFORMATION we will always have guest and programming updates for the show at: www.bigwowcomicfest.com. Also, most of our Guests will be available before the show for online, phone and in some cases, personal appearance Interviews.

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

Jessica Nigri Appears at Big Wow! ComicFest 2014

February 28, 2014 by  
Filed under California, Convention News, Cosplay

Comments Off on Jessica Nigri Appears at Big Wow! ComicFest 2014

jn_bwcfPress Release:

BIG WOW! ComicFest is pleased to announce that Jessica Nigri will be attending the 2014 convention. Jessica Nigri is a world renowned cosplayer, model, entrepreneur, shapeshifter, and gamer. Jessica has been cosplaying since 2009, creating and modeling various costumes from various video games and anime.

Jessica Nigri studied with the inner circle of the seven dragons to fine tune her skills of Draconian lore and mastered the art of the Serpentine fire dance.

After winning IGN’s contest to be the model for Lollipop Chainsaw as Juliet Starling, she went on to study with World renowned chef Pablo Escobanza where she learned how to make the worlds greatest tacos. She now spends her time creating costumes and travelling to conventions throughout the galaxy. Her ship of choice? The Serenity of course!

You can find more of Jessica here…

Big Wow! ComicFest – The Original Artist Friendly Convention – returns to San Jose May 17th & 18th, 2014, bringing two great days of Comic Book, Anime/Manga, Art, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Gaming and Cosplay FUN! Many of the country’s best vendors of all things cool and collectible will tempt your wallets with the perfect gifts for Geek, Fans and True Collectors, everywhere! Big Wow! ComicFest is the Only Major Comics Event in the San Francisco Bay Area this Year.

Be sure to follow us on both Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on all our upcoming announcements!

Scene on Video: Jessica Nigri Goes in Search of Hot Cosplay at SDCC 2011

Comments Off on Scene on Video: Jessica Nigri Goes in Search of Hot Cosplay at SDCC 2011

jessica-nigri-hot-cosplay-sdcc-2011

Jessica Nigri returns once more, this time in search for the “hottest cosplayers” at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

 

Scene on Video: Jessica Nigri at the Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2011

Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2011 with Jessica Nigri

Well-known cosplayer Jessica Nigri brings you “The Full Experience” of the 2011 Amazing Arizona Comic Con, courtesy of Comic Book Therapy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWtkx96AxXQ