Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: this past weekend Anne and I attended the inaugural Fan Expo Chicago, the comics/entertainment convention formerly known as Wizard World Chicago, and before that the unbranded Chicago Comic Con. As a proud continuation of that chain of comic-con provenance, a 50th-anniversary logo featured in their decor and con souvenirs. Their initial guest-list game was strong enough to lure us back to the suburb of Rosemont for our first time in four years to see what we could make of this latest iteration. Would it be an all-new all-different Chicago Comic Con, or Wizard World under a bed sheet with two eye-holes poked in it?
Before we attempt any real storytime and show off our latest round of jazz-hands photos, why not run through a gallery of Stuff We Saw Around the Show Floor. In hindsight we took far fewer exhibit hall pics than expected because we’re well acquainted with what comic-con booths look like and weren’t in a constant state of mind-blown-ness. We did dawdle a bit more than usual at the handcrafted displays of two charitable fan clubs, who brought their homemade replicas of props and vehicles and whatnot, which as usual made us regret letting our own artistic skills atrophy since high school.
As any comic-con attendee might predict, one of those clubs was naturally the 501st Legion, represented by Illinois’ own Midwest Garrison, who celebrated their 25th anniversary earlier this year. The 501st presence is unmissable at nearly every con we attend, but this time they upped their Star Wars display game quite a bit. It helped that we had plenty of free time Friday, no major appointments on our docket, and felt relaxed enough to hang around a bit before the activity onslaught that would be our Saturday.
Around the corner from the 501st was another clan likewise showing off their wares and accepting donations for charity — The Finest: A G.I. Joe Costume Club. As a kid I owned far more G.I. Joe toys than I did Star Wars toys because those extra points of articulation were important to me. To me the invention of the swivel-arm battle grip was more important than home computers. Well, until seventh grade, when I sold all my Joe stuff — including the rather huge G.I. Joe Headquarters playset — to a younger neighborhood kid for thirty bucks. Anyway, The Finest seemed like nice guys, perhaps a bit awkward like me, and Anne bought a Cobra shot glass from them for her brother.
…and there were other random objects around the show floor that caught our attention throughout our two-day experience. Fun times.
To be continued! Other chapters in this very special MCC miniseries: