Monday, April 23, 2012

Part One: I Saw John Barroman Last Weekend and You Probably Didn't

I'm kind of in love with Frank Castle. But I can think of at least 10 things I've done today alone to make him shoot me in the face.

That's right - I went to C2E2 in Chicago last weekend and spent all three days at the nerd carnival. I did have a lot of fun, but that fun was tinged with sadness since I was the lone Geektress at the event. Laura and Brenda couldn't make it (and PattyBoom from Comic Book Queers was also missed), so I attempted to do some serious reporting on my own, but really just ended up spending too much money and staring slack-jawed at the perfection that is John Barrowman.


I was off to a bad start when I missed the first panel I wanted to go to. Mr. TwoMonkeys and I didn't get on the road until almost 9am, so we missed the 10:30am American Library Association panel. Now that I work in a library, I felt that I should probably go to some of these ALA things in order to brown nose at work. Also, Mr. TwoMonkeys and I kidnapped my boss and brought him to C2E2 with us. He got a super discounted ALA pass so we kind of had to do some library stuff. We did end up making it to the 12:45pm panel on ow to grow your library's graphic novel collection. Part of the issue at my library is we can't have pictures of naked dudes. Violence is all right, but peens are not. So, no Box Office Poison (one of the best and still most relevant comics for 20somethings today). But The Walking Dead is all right. I got some good ideas for indie comics for all age groups at this panel. In addition, the panel members talked about where one would put graphic novels in the library. Do they go in the 700s as art? Do they go all over the library according to their subject matter? Or do they get their own special place? I'm inclined to give them their own special place outside of the Dewey Decimal system. Graphic novels are special - a neat hybrid of literature and art without wholly being one or the other. I've been thinking about this all week - part of what I love best about the library is cataloging. I think I might be a library nerd.

Urrmahgahd! It's Effie Trinket! I just got reaped!

Speaking of, the boss and I went over to the ALA booth at C2E2, which was being run by a remarkable Effie Trinket cosplayer. She had a different outfit for every day of e con and sometimes changed mid-day. We got our Library Superhero badges and then went out on the floor.

For those of you unfamiliar with C2E2, it stands for Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo. It's huge. It took up an entire wing of McCormick Place. At this point, I'd like to say I did some things worth reporting on, but I just wandered around yelling at vendors, "Shut up and take my money!" I missed the rest of the panels I wanted to go to because there was just too much happening on the convention floor. To be honest though, the panels on Friday weren't that exciting. In fact, the entire weekend was crammed with Marvel and DC bigwigs running their mouths about DC 52 and Avengers vs. X-Men. Not a lot of news comes out at C2E2 because Marvel and DC like to save their major announcements for San Diego. The panels were all very generic as well (with the exception of The CBQ panel on Sunday). No major comic book writers were in attendance - no Bendis, no Millar, no Liu, no Azzarello, etc.

I'm just going to pretend I went to a panel and listened to Brian Michael Bendis talk shit about Mark Millar.

There also seemed to be more commercial celebrities wandering around this year. All of the celebrities had their spotlights in the IGN theatre, so people camped it all weekend and no one could get into the more informative panels. I completely missed out on Shia LeBeouf and his unique brand of crazy. I guess he was in Artist's Alley on Friday pimping out his so awful it's genius self-published comic books.

I don't know what the hell is going on here, but if I don't get to sleep tonight, neither do yo.

Sean Astin (Samwise from LotR) was autographing almost all day, but at $40 a signature, his line was never very long. Same for Nicholas Brendon (Xander on Buffy). Only die hard fans were willing to spend that kind of cash on these guys. The highlight of nerd celebrities on Friday was Jhonen Vasquez, creator of Invader Zim and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. I missed out on both of those nerd boats when they were at their peak, but my friend Kristy waited in line for almost an hour to meet him.

Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, and some comic book I think?) and Chris Hardwick (Nerdist) were also signing on Friday, but I ignored them as well. I found a lady who was making really detailed and intricate steampunk influenced jewelry so I chatted with her for a while and then bought a pretty necklace. I visited with Katie Cook (creator of Gronk: a Monster's Story in addition to all kinds of pop culture cuteness - seriously, go to her site, sigh over the cuteness, and then buy all the things) for a little while and am thinking of commissioning her to do an arm tattoo for me - a pinup of Bleez and Dex Starr from Red Lantern. Katie Cook knows how to do gorgeous and adorable pinups, even if the subject is puking blood.

Best costume in the whole convention.

At this point, the convention floor was getting ready to shut down for the day. Mr. TwoMonkeys, Bossman, and I reluctantly left and sat in parking garage traffic for almost an hour before heading off to Mr. TwoMonkeys' sister's house. We unloaded all of our stuff and then went to eat at a Red Robin. I had never been to one, but was some good shit and I would totally go back. I know this part isn't really part of the con, but I really liked Red Robin and now I'm kind of annoyed that Peoria gets Red Robin commercials even though we don't have one.


Anyway, stay tuned for Saturday and Sunday's adventures. Talk of Red Robin has made me hungry.

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