The Morning After The Night Before At C2E2

Posted by March 19, 2011 Comment

I sit here, behind the Newsarama stage, stealing their electricity. I am fully fed from the Hyatt’s buffet – hey, if they make an omelette chef available, it would be rude not to take advantage of him. But enough of food talk, this is not Comics Beat, or indeed Newsarama, this is Bleeding Cool at C2E2 in Chicago.

And the show is starting to creak into action before the doors open in an hour. It feels a slower start to yesterday  morning, last night in the Hyatt bar went on beyond all reasonable limits and now the price must be paid. Here at a particularly early hour, Garth Ennis being feted by his two publishers William Christensen of Avatar and Nicholas Barrucci of Dynamite…

C2E2 is a smaller show than its public image led me to believe, but it is far more professionally run than it’s Wizard counterpart. From carpets to signage to publisher prescence this feels like a show batting above its weight, a mini-NYCC in a smaller enclave with a strong comics presence, even as the cosplay, gaming and movie people shout as loud as they can, they’re on the fringes.

Archaia really make a big presence here, their frontage huge as you walk through the door, giving the appearance of being on an equal footing with Marvel and DC and their Jim Henson graphic novel line, including the comic adaptation of his screenplay A Tale Of Sand

And I know Avatar have been selling shedloads of Neonomicon – not just the first issue but the whole series. It feels like quite the hit book of C2E2. Oh, for all you speculators out there, Fear Itself Prologue: Book Of The Skull is actually selling at $6 two days after going on sale, fuelled no doubt by the Fear Itself #1 preview being given out and included in the C2E2 programme.

It was relatively quiet day yesterday – although the smaller size of venue this year may have disguised that fact. However I’m told ticket attendance today is three times that of yesterday, and the movie star presence may well help that. Even the buffet staff at the Hyatt were excited about seeing Thor and Faith as I grabbed some strawberry jam for my porridge…

Sorry, sorry, no food.

But really, this seems to be DC’s show more than Marvel, despite having heavy hitters like Joe Quesda and Brian Bendis in town. The DC Nation panel was packed next door to Marvel’s X-Men panel which was relatively poorly attended. The cosplay is far more DC than Marvel here. And the biggest signing queues were for the likes of Joe Prado, Paul Cornell, Gail Simone, Bill Willingham and Ivan Reis, though Matt Fraction wasn’t too shabby either.

It also helps when the comics to get signed are free of course. Artists Alley has lost the booth structure of last year, preferringh the more WizardWorldy long parallel tables fitting as many creators into a smaller space, but there is plenty to see and plenty to talk about. I’ve already bought a shortbox worth of new stuff this weekend – and I get the feeling it’ll be a longbox worth soon.

Ten minutes till doors open. Welcome to Saturday, Chicago. It’s about to get real.

(Last Updated March 19, 2011 10:07 am )