C2E2 2017: That’s A Wrap!


By: Gwendolyn Y. McNutt (@gmcnuttplans)

Batman, Deadpool, Rapunzel, and Eugene. Ironman, Eleven, oh, what a scene! This past weekend, Chicago’s McCormick Place buzzed as thousands of fans in and out of costume converged on the south building. C2E2 2017 is now officially a part of history. It has been an annual convention in the city since 2010, and very popular with fans of pop culture. This year’s convention drew headliners such as Stan Lee, Danielle Panabaker, Mike Colter, and Zachary Levi, creating unforgettable interactions and delighting their fans with autograph sessions and photo opportunities.

These opportunities, combined with a floor packed with hundreds of exhibitors and the chance to screen upcoming films and television shows, allow the conference to continue to grow. However, I wondered what attracts and keeps exhibitors coming back to this event year after year. I attended this year’s convention, and visited many of the areas suggested by C2E2’s Event Manager Mike Negin. In addition, I chatted with a few exhibitors to learn what keeps them coming back. Their answers were consistent and simple: the people.

“We started coming to C2E2 six years ago,” said Israel Idonije, former Chicago Bears defensive end and creator of the DreamKidz Adventures Love series. “Chicago is home. And C2E2 is like a family. It’s special to come back each year and keep telling stories and providing new content that motivates and builds.” Idonije uses his platform ATHLiTACOMiCS to develop and share incredible stories like the DreamKidz Adventures, The Protectors and Sports Heroes. Those interested in more information can find it on the ATHLiTACOMiCS website.

I also made a stop by an area devoted to all things cosplay called “Cosplay Central.” This area featured professional cosplayers and amateurs alike and was filled with vendors, creative sessions dedicated to learning cosplay techniques, and a special section for “Costumers With A Cause.” The organization’s mission is to work together with children’s charity organizations and charity events that promote community growth, unity, and hope for every child’s future. During C2E2, they raised funds for an upcoming St. Jude Walk through donations, prize raffles, and an area for photo-shoots with cosplayers and fans. Negin dropped by Cosplay Central to say hello, and that’s where we met up with Rapunzel and Flynn. You can learn more about Costumers With A Cause by visiting their website.

Finally, I checked out some of the comic creators in Artist’s Alley and rounded out my visit to C2E2 doing the “search for merch.” I tried to visit as many areas of the show as possible and take in as much as I could. There were lots of families in attendance, with kids both big and small. Next year’s dates have already been set and the plans are underway for April 6-8, 2018, so mark your calendars. As for C2E2 2017, that’s a wrap!

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