Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo coming from Reed in 2010
The city of big shoulders will soon hold up a second "as major as you can get in the midwest" comic convention. As announced today by the fine folks who bring you the New York City Comic Con, the newly dubbed Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (or for us locals, the aptly catchy ‘C2E2’) will take the city by storm April 16th-18th, 2010 in the ‘As Deep As Our Pizza’ McCormick Place Convention Center.
Boasting the fastest growing attendance list in recent memory, Reed Exhibitions promises to come to town with guns a’ blazing, Capone style. Lance Fensterman, Vice President and Show Manager (for this year’s impending New York Comic Con, and the aforementioned Chicago show) wants to let the fans know that they are “aiming big”:
“We plan to apply everything we have learned in launching and building New York Comic Con to our Chicago event and we intend for it to be a major attraction right out the gate. Of course, this not only means providing a customer friendly atmosphere but also providing dynamic programming that boasts top talent from across the pop culture spectrum, including artists, creators and celebrities from Hollywood, TV, comics, books, video games, toys, Anime, Manga and all other applicable aspects of the popular arts. But, most importantly, we will also seek to make adjustments so that our show reflects the essence of Chicago. This will be critically important. The city itself will form an important part of our identity.”
Prior to this, Chicago has been host to Wizard World Chicago, as well as the new-and-not-created-by-corporate-overlords-grassroots Windy City Con. Given the recent announcement of Wizard World Austin’s demise and the postponing of Wizard World LA, it seems the wave of change hitting the nation is hitting the con circuit too.
Having been a longtime Wizard World Chicago attendee (and artist in the alley last year), this Chicagoan is extremely excited at the prospect of a new con. Many Midwestern creators have been down on Wizard’s stranglehold on our city… and the con, to be frank, has been lax in the “new and exciting” department for far too long. With panels that are more or less spoken press releases, or at best, banal self-congratulatory orations with pauses for fan questions that are rarely answered… the Chicago Con circuit is in need of a swift kick in the pants.
With big announcements and guests bedazzled by the “Always 72 and Sunny” San Diego Con, the late summer Wizard World Chicago never seems to grab the sheen and splendor the left coasters have enjoyed time and again. The buzz that came out of last year’s New York Comic Con left many local fans, creators, and retailers salivating for a better convention. Local comic shop (Stand Up Comics of Lansing, Illinois) Eric Garneau put it bluntly:
“Well, New York Comic Con was amazing. It was the best time I’ve ever had at a convention… and that’s despite the crowds… I found it to be well-organized and the guest and panel list was just stunning. Wizard World Chicago [by comparison] is okay. Aside from Brian Michael Bendis, or Warren Ellis… I thought the guest list was fairly standard, and the panels were the same story, like every year; So I didn’t feel compelled to go to any of them. I also thought the organization of Chicago was relatively poor in comparison.”
This Chicago son is looking forward to C2E2 like a cold beer and a home-run at Wrigley… it can’t come soon enough.