C2E2 2016 Photos, Part 9 of 9: The Things They Carried

Reading Pile!

The total addition to my reading pile from our two days at C2E2. On a related note, I’ve been suffering back pain flare-ups all week long. I normally don’t buy sketches or prints, but I bet fans who buy only sketches or prints didn’t share my problem.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I spent two days at the seventh annual Chicago Comics and Entertainment Exposition, where Midwest comics fans in particular and geeks in general gather together in the name of imaginary worlds from print and screen to revel in fiction and touch bases on what’s hot or cool at this moment in pop culture.

So it all comes down to this, as every convention ultimately does: stuff and things! Items for sales, displays around the show floor, the neat collectibles everyone wanted to get their paws on, and the big corporate advertisements that surrounded us and insisted we need more stuff. Thus we conclude with one last look at the inanimate objects that entertained, tantalized, or just plain baffled us.


The big C2E2 sign is a staple of the main hall, no matter which McCormick Place building houses the show each year. This was a rare moment of the sign having zero cosplayers in front of it.

WETA Workshop!

WETA Workshop, the visual effects studio responsible for everything spectacular about the Lord of the Rings movies, is now in the high-end merchandising game.

WETA Dwarf!

As their movies look cool, so do their convention booths. They were right inside the show floor entrance for very good reason.

Daredevil Season 2!

Marvel Comics naturally had the largest space of all, featuring autograph desks and oversize posters for their current and upcoming projects. I’m only two episodes into Daredevil season 2, but so far I approve of Jon Bernthal as the Punisher and am severely annoyed with everything else about it. And not just because they got Grotto wrong.

Civil War!

Flag-Man vs. Iron Man: Dawn of Actual Justice.

Mega GEICO Gecko!

Mega GEICO Gecko loomed above its company truck and tried to lure young adults away from blowing all their money on books and toys, and maybe put some thought into insurance and other forms of financial planning. Theirs was surely an uphill battle.


My grandma was heavily into sewing when I was a kid, and Simplicity patterns frequently littered our home, covering end tables and filling up the storage space inside her flip-top piano bench. And now Simplicity would like to help a new generation make costumes the old-fashioned way: sewing!

Gender Neutral Bathrooms!

McCormick Place bathrooms stick to the same old male/female binary paradigm, but social awareness spurred the showrunners to designate one high-traffic set as Gender Neutral Bathrooms. While I’m sure there are those who appreciated the gesture, most of the people we saw approaching stopped in confusion and waited for other fans to tell them which one had the urinals and which one had the feminine hygiene boxes. Superficial cosmetic changes will only get you so far.

Make America Great!

Also trying to change all of society: an insensitive egotist with a heart ten sizes too small, morally compromised supporters, and hair issues. That’s right: Lex Luthor, asking YOU to help him Make America Great, possibly for the first time ever.

Barney Hiller!

Anne had never heard of Barney Hiller and was convinced this was a cheap overseas knockoff toy. But no, Barney Hiller was apparently the second Six Million Dollar Man as played by special guest Monte Markham. And once upon a time, he was an action figure, commemorated as a toy for all eternity.

Basketball Action Figures!

Basketball action figures just in time for March Madness. They asked us to fill out brackets at work for fun, which was interesting since I know zero about college basketball except that Duke wins everything. Hopefully that’s true, anyway. I don’t even know where Duke is.

Steampunk Lincoln!

Steampunk Lincoln was brought courtesy of the city of Lockport, IL, who’ll be holding a big Steampunk Weekend festival in September, and a modest comic show at their town library. We honestly thought we smiled better than this, but we must’ve been distracted. Timing is everything, I guess.

C2E2 Exit!

The path leading out of the McCormick Place South Building, where we ultimately had no choice but to exit and rejoin the ordinary world. We dragged along as many reminders and keepsakes with us as we could.

The End. Thanks for Reading. See you next year, quite possibly!

Other entries in the series:

* Part 1: C2E2 Kicks Off Our 2016 Convention Season in Style
* Part 2: Dance of the Mad Deadpools
* Part 3: We Are Here For Supergirl!
* Part 4: Star Wars: The New Cosplay Order
* Part 5: Gaming and Animation Costumes!
* Part 6: Comics Costumes!
* Part 7: Last Call for Costumes!
* Part 8: Who We Met and What We Did

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