By Christopher David
This year’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) showed definitively how comic book culture has fully infiltrated mainstream entertainment, as fans, writers, artists, and cosplayers of all shapes, sizes, and alien species packed the McCormick Center for a showcase that is fast on the heels of the San Diego International ComicCon.
With Avengers: Infinity War hitting theaters at the end of the month, Marvel’s focus throughout the weekend was an all-compassing rush toward battle with Thanos, while DC’s recent “New Age of Heroes” series and the impending Bruce Wayne-Selina Kyle wedding drew cosplayers portraying Batman and Catwoman through the decades. For the hardcore comic collectors, there was much to be had, from Golden Age offerings of Marvel, DC, and E.C. Comics to modern day graphic novels and special editions. Dark Horse’s Tyler Crook and Cullen Bunn were on hand to discuss the end of their critically acclaimed series Harrow County, and a panel chat with Gina Torres and Alan Tudyk to discuss Firefly, Serenity, and working with Joss Whedon was just one example of the celebrity heavyweights on deck.
And of course, the cosplay. An industry unto itself, there was no shortage of characters from the most recognizable to the most arcane, and in some cases, the characters brought along a cause or two. South Shore Ghostbusters, a local organization, use their cosplay to raise money for cancer research and Relay for Life, and free Wonder Woman-style capes could be seen adorning those who visited the Society for Women Engineers. Truly an event that offered something for everyone, a panel discussion on Saturday explored the concept and process of getting into cosplay for beginners, and several makeup stations offered fantasy makeup designs for those who wanted to dive in on the spot. (Also, if you missed that Wookie trio…man, I don’t know what to tell you.)
One of the greatest things on full display at C2E2 is the inclusive nature of the culture. Once viewed as entertainment for children, comics and larger-than-life characters have collided with our everyday world, and the audience for comic books and illustrated storytelling has expanded to every demographic. Bringing fans of all ages together with different takes on both new and classic characters from comics, movies, and literature, the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo is one of the brightest spots in a city filled with annual cultural events – and odds are, it’ll only get bigger. A huge congratulations to all who participated in the many panels, contests, competitions, and showcases – let the countdown to 2019 commence!
For more information on C2E2 and upcoming events, click here
For photos from the Chicago C2E2 event 2018, click here