Monday, August 10, 2009

Guest Review - Chicago Comic-Con by Jeffrey Weniger

Fellow Collector's Edge regular Jeffrey Weniger sent me his thoughts on the Chicago Comic-Con this past weekend to share with all of you, just in case you're sick of my own rambling on about it :-) Click below for Jeff's thoughts:

Reflections on the Wizard World-Less Chicago Comic Con

Comic Cons offer so much that it’s almost impossible to hold one where somebody won’t find something to like, but this con (now officially called the Chicago Comic Con) felt a bit off. Not bad, mind you, just slightly off.

DC, Marvel and Dark Horse all passed on having a presence at this Comic Con. Not having the big hitters at the Con was almost like where you planned a party and your two rich friends were going to bring beer and pizza. But then they didn’t show up. Sure you have a great time with all your friends, but it would have been better with beer and pizza. That’s kind of what it felt like.

My wife and I have started a bit of a tradition, in that we always seem to bring people to their first Comic Con. This year’s inductees were my co-worker Jerry and his wife Wendy. At first, I was a bit concerned as to how well it would go, but they quickly got into the swing of things and that made me feel better. In the end, they had a great time, so I’ve managed to keep my streak of successes going.

I have to admit one thing here in all honesty. I LOVE the DC booth. I love seeing all the new stuff they’re working on and all the neato products they’re developing at DC Direct. So not having that kind of bummed me. I decided that since there was nothing I could do about it, I should make the most of it. And I did.

Because we showed up early (9 am) we were able to hit some of the booths before they really opened, which gave us an opportunity to do some easy shopping. First item on my list was the Captain Jack figure with trench coat. I had to decide whether I wanted the one with his Wembly revolver or the one with the Doctor’s hand in a container. I opted for the gun. My wife spotted the Batman Hot Wheels Tumbler that I have been searching for and I quickly bought that. I also snapped up the Homer and Bart set of them as Pie Man and the Cupcake kid. And lastly, I got the Hal Jordan mini-bust for a steal.

But NOTHING could prepare me for the awesomeness that was at one booth. Statues of the Disney characters dressed as Star Wars characters. Mickey Mouse was dressed as Luke Skywalker when he was training on Dagobah. Goofy was Chewbacca, and Minnie Mouse was in a slave Leia costume. However, the crown jewel in the collection was Donald Duck in Carbonite.

Artist Alley seemed more vibrant this year. One of the things I noticed was that there were more African American artists displaying their work than previous years. All of the artists in the alley are talented, but it was nice to see how a different culture could bring something new to the comic medium. Hopefully some of these talented artists can get a shot at the bigs and we can say “I knew them when.”

And when Kurt Wood becomes DC’s next big thing, I can assure you that I will sell my Black Lantern Ch’p sketch he did for a lot of money. Who am I kidding? There’s no way I’m parting with that.

If I had to complain about one thing, it was the organization of the event. No one seemed to know what the heck was going on when or where. The costume contest was supposed to be held from 3 until 4. And then it got pushed back to 4. But in fact it started earlier than that. To add to the confusion, they had the contestants walk up the stairs between the entry escalators for everyone to see. Sure, The Defuser (from Who Wants to be a Superhero Season 2) maintained some control, but it was a mess.

Overall, I’d say the Chicago Comic Con was a success. Everybody I knew had a good time. One has to wonder how C2E2 will stack up by comparison. But then, we’ll have to wait until April to compare notes, won’t we?

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