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C2E2 2019 Photos, Part 6 of 8: Artists Alley Plus

Afua Richardson!

Elegantly dressed as Ramonda, Queen Mother of Wakanda, artist Afua Richardson (World of Wakanda, Genius) made the rest of us on the premises look like slobs.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! My wife Anne and I just got home from the tenth annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition (“C2E2″), another three-day extravaganza of comic books, actors, creators, toys, props, publishers, freebies, Funko Pops, anime we don’t recognize, and walking and walking and walking and walking. Each year C2E2 keeps inching ever closer to its goal of becoming the Midwest’s answer to the legendary San Diego Comic Con and other famous conventions in larger, more popular states. We missed the first year, but have attended every year since 2011 as a team…

…and traipse together through their Artists Alley, consistently the best assemblage of comic book creators available in any large-scale Midwest entertainment convention. Scores of writers, artists, colorists, editors, and otherwise collaborative bookmakers gather in lengthy rows, some narrower than others, and tempt me to spend and spend and spend on new reading material, or at least brake for autographs on items I previously bought and brought along for the ride. This year was naturally no exception, which is why — more than jazz hands, more than the cosplay, definitely more than publishers’ freebies — Artists Alley is my favorite part of every C2E2.

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C2E2 2018 Photos, Part 5 of 7: Comics Creators Cavalcade

C2E2 Books!

This year’s new C2E2 reading pile. Part one.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! The ninth annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition (“C2E2″) just wrapped another three-day extravaganza of comic books, actors, creators, toys, props, publishers, freebies, Funko Pops, anime we don’t recognize, and walking and walking and walking and walking. Each year C2E2 keeps inching ever closer to its goal of becoming the Midwest’s answer to the legendary San Diego Comic Con and other famous cons in larger, more popular states. My wife Anne and I missed the first year, but have attended every year since 2011 as a team.

In this special miniseries I’ll be sharing memories and photos from our own C2E2 experience and its plethora of pizzazz…

…which as always includes the densest Artists Alley in the Midwest. Eleven double-length rows of writers, artists, cartoonists, painters, print makers, button sellers, novelists, professionals, amateurs, up-‘n’-comers, elder statesmen, internet sensations, and quiet ones you gotta watch. Diversity fans could find something to their tastes in virtually every conceivable corner of the medium. I tried to walk it twice per my annual ritual, and saw every table at least once — with or without their assigned artist at them — but had to bow out a few rows before the end of the second run-through when exhaustion and budgetary conscience both began tearing me down.

Many talented creators put up with my wife and me within the space of a valuable moment of their time at C2E2 in between finishing commissioned sketches and other, more desirable endeavors. I made a point of throwing money at them and once again added several pounds to my reading pile and our convention bags. Anne did what she could to help me out when my back began failing under the accumulated weight, but now I owe her a new bag for the damage done. Next year I need to remind myself to wait till the end of the day before splurging on any hardcovers.

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C2E2 2017 Photos, Part 3 of 4: Comics Creators Cavalcade

C2E2 2017 Comics!

This year’s new reading haul. I may have to work more overtime to pay this weekend off.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! The eighth annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition (“C2E2″) just wrapped another three-day extravaganza of comic books, actors, creators, toys, props, publishers, freebies, Funko Pops, anime we don’t recognize, and walking and walking and walking and walking…

…and the densest Artists Alley we’ve ever seen. Eleven double-length rows of writers, artists, cartoonists, painters, print makers, button sellers, novelists, professionals, amateurs, up-‘n’-comers, elder statesmen, internet sensations, and quiet ones you gotta watch. It was an array so nice, I had to walk it twice, and I still missed a few people I’d wanted to meet. Some had autograph lines longer than the voice actors’. Some just weren’t at their tables when I passed by. A few called in sick, but are hopefully feeling much better now.

But before we got that far, we managed to make time for a pair of panels — one about comics, the other about Star Wars.

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C2E2 2016 Photos, Part 8 of 9: Who We Met and What We Did

John Ratzenberger!

“Did you know the Visigoths actually invented comic book conventions back in the fourth century as an excuse to get together with family and draw unflattering caricatures of the Romans? True story…”

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.

Last year Anne and I discussed the notion of no longer considering any conventions an automatic buy-in until and unless the guest list gave us a solid reason to commit. They’re expensive and the guest lists aren’t always tailored to our specific areas of fandom or nostalgia. When C2E2 added TV’s John Ratzenberger to their 2016 roster, he was the first sign that I knew we’d be there. From TV’s Cheers to every Pixar movie ever, ol’ Cliff Clavin has been a part of our lives from childhood to adulthood. We met him twice at C2E2 — once at his autograph booth, where he confirmed he’ll indeed return for Finding Dory, and once at his photo op, where we sensed he was not a jazz-hands kind of guy. ‘sokay, no harm done.

Right this way for the comics creators and the other big ’80s star we met!

How Much Would You Pay for Midwest Convention Space?

Who N.A.!

Who North America is a regular staple at our regular cons. They seem to be doing okay, even though they have to pay for four or five times the space.

This past Wednesday I walked into my comic shop and waded into the middle of a conversation about booth space prices. Awesome Con is staging their first Indianapolis show in October, and the guys weren’t too keen on what was being asked, how much extra a corner booth would cost over an endcap, and why the con’s rep promised them a “locals” discount over the phone that appeared nowhere in the marketing materials. Much snickering ensued.

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Indy PopCon 2014 Photos, Part 8 of 8: What We Did and Who We Met

The General Lee!

Hey, kids! It’s the world-famous General Lee from TV’s The Dukes of Hazzard! Everyone likes TV cars, right? TV cars are pop culture and therefore totally on-topic at Indy PopCon. Please enjoy this eye-popping, gas-guzzling, moonshine-runnin’, crooked-cop-defyin’, Southern-fried, toy-selling idol of millions and be sure to Like and Share the heck out of it on all the best social media so I can finally take one evening this week to go rest and relax without fear of the oncoming post-convention traffic plateau. Remember, the power of my recuperation is your hands.

At long last, the week-long marathon reaches the end of its journey here on MCC! Presenting one last round of photos from the first annual Indy PopCon at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Yes, we here at Midlife Crisis Crossover realize we’re still reliving this shindig long after the rest of the Midwest has gone back to their daily routine and stopped reminiscing about last weekend. And I can’t deny it’ll be nice to move on to other subjects and writing forms after this. We’re almost there, I promise.

Part Eight, then: the sights we saw (besides costumes) and the personalities we met.

Right this way for the last Indy PopCon 2014 hurrah!

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