C2E2, Chicago, April 21 – 23, 2017

This week, we travel to Chicago and C2E2, courtesy of our resident valiantophile, AC, who seems to have enjoyed it … Thanks AC!!!

Hello CBSI! This is AC, back again like Jason… or the Terminator; depending on the day you’re having.

The Booty

Presale Tickets: I didn’t notice a difference in ticket prices from last year to this year, which is cool. Presales range from $30-40 depending on the day, and $40-50 at the door. There are also child prices, weekend passes ($70 for 3 days, can’t beat that), and VIP packages including different ways to interact with Frank Miller ranging from $150 to $400.

Retailers: The show floor is really well organized, a grid, and is split in half with retail and artist alley. The retail was huge, but felt a bit stale. Not a big indie presence, and with Marvel waning it’s easy to feel like you’re looking at the same Marvel and DC keys over and over. So many NM98’s!

The rest of the retail was multimedia and toys, which, as an action figure maker and 80’s nostalgia freak, I was more than pleased! I picked up a M.A.S.K. Firecracker from 1985 for $30, haggled down from $50, and a 1970’s Micronauts complete Membros figure for $30 down from $45. Also, I recently made 4 custom Masters of the Universe figures based on some exclusive figures that the Super7 (Reaction) company made. I visited their booth to buy some stuff and when I showed them my work they had already heard of me. The guys were awesome to me and gave me a discount just because they liked the work I had done! Great experience!

Most Ridiculously Overpriced Book: I usually see some book that is past it’s prime but some archaic dealer still has some inflated price on it. Not so this year. Everything seemed reasonably priced. However, I never pay asking price.

Best Bargain Purchase: I can always find something I feel is a good investment at a steal of a price. Being the resident Valiant fanatic and dollar bin digger, everything I bought I either paid cover, a dollar, or got it for free.

The Valiant gold issues are only obtainable in the after market on ebay, or from Valiant directly to the fans. I got one just for wearing a Valiant shirt at the con, and 2 more for going to a couple panels. Hung out with the staff and chatted with Dinesh again (the CEO/owner of Valiant). Great crew and they love their fans.

Got some Namwolf stuff from Fabian Rangel Jr. Excellent dude, and loves talking with everyone. Draws a mean wolf to boot! The rest of the books I pulled might seem like small potatoes, but mark my words on that Batman #512! I buy them where ever I see them! First Dick Grayson as Batman (looking at you Armie Hammer 😉

I found a place that had some interesting $1 bins. I grabbed a nice Moon Knight 27 Del Otto Punisher cover and an Invincible #26 and a few others in there.

Favorite Item: BOOM! So this is easy. On Saturday I submitted 8 books to CGC. They all came back what I thought or better. Among them was a grail of mine that I decided I would pay $600 for after this con… but I didn’t have to. Instead, I pulled the best Solar #10 out of my stack of 11 that I’ve accumulated over the years, and it came back a 9.8!!! This is a book I’ve loved since I was a kid. I couldn’t afford it back then when it was $100 raw, but with the price drop over the years I ended up paying $20 for it. Some of the last sales have been $600-700 this year alone! It has the first appearance of the Eternal Warrior, my favorite Valiant Comics character.

I also submitted a Goon #1, Savage 1:50 #1, S2E #1, WD #100 Second and Third prints, WD #163 1:200 variant, and a Werewolf by Night #32. More than happy with how they all came back!

Artist Alley: C2E2 has by far the best Artist Alley I’ve ever seen at a con. It’s massive and almost as large as the retail half. Not only that but it’s packed with great talent. I got to see my buddies Chris Burnham Ben Templesmith. I made new friends with Fabian Rangle Jr, Jody Houser, Michael Walsh, and Chicago local Adam Michaels (check him out). The big names were Rob Liefield, Skottie Young, Jim Chueng, Brian Azzarello, Declan Shalvey, Eric Powell, Jason Aaron, and tons more. But the BIG guns were Frank Miller and Stan Lee. Frank Miller whatever, but Stan has said that this will be his last con season, so it’s really cool that he came to Chicago one last time. I got to shake his free hand for free a couple years ago, and he will be missed. There was a story going around the con floor that Stan and Miller had an inadvertent BvS moment at their signing booths. I just wish I had seen it go down!

There were also tons of Entertainment guests including Luke Cage, Abraham, Negan, Eleven, Kingpin, Green Ranger, Punisher, and Yondu. Oh, Ivy Doomkitty. Hot.

If I were the Promoter: I love C2E2. It’s in my home town, literally, unlike Wizard that touts itself as the “Chicago Comic Con” despite it being out near the airport on the outskirts of the city limits and and hour from my hood. C2E2 is well promoted, well organized, and they love their fans and con goers. I went to 2 Valiant panels and my brother and friends went to several other panels, and I heard nothing but funness! My word! Funness! If there is one thing I would change it would be the food situation. It’s all garbage con/carnival garbage food. But I did eat 2 churros .

Cosplay: The cosplay was on point! Always is in this city, which wears it’s cosplay year round, con or not. Highlight was an old school Shadowman that played the sax like Kenny G!

Haggleability: 7/10. Not bad.

Overall: Last year I made a friend at the Valiant 101 panel. He was from South Korea and his company had flown him in to try to create bridges with multimedia companies. I introduced him to Dinesh from Valiant and now he is the Korean liaison for bringing Valiant comics to Korea for the first time ever. He flew back in this year, came to my hood for dinner one night and we hung at the con. It’s rare that I make new friends, especially working from home, and especially at my age (40). That’s what this con does. It’s a good time and you meet good people. If you ever get the chance to come to Chicago for C2E2 do it. While you’re at it, hit me up and we’ll grab a dog and hang. Good times!

Oh, and there was a monkey.

FINAL GRADE: 9 / 10

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