Pop Culture is Celebrated at the 2017 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo

Tue, 2017/04/25

Like any major city in the United States, numerous meetings and conventions set up shop here in the windy city for the public or invited individuals to enjoy. Of all the locations in downtown Chicago for these events to take place in, none is greater than the McCormick Place Convention Center in the southern portion of downtown. This gigantic venue is the largest convention center in North America, so it is no wonder that this place is the venue of choice for one of the most famous annual Chicago events: the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2 for short). This Expo, which went from April 21-23 this year, is one of the largest comic book conventions in the country and has been drawing huge crowds to McCormick Place since the convention started back in 2010. Despite its relatively young age, the event has now been placed on even ground with the other great comic book conventions across the United States such as the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, WonderCon in Anaheim, NY Comic Con in New York City, and most famous of all, the International Comic Con in San Diego.

This year’s convention saw several famous guests for the worlds of comics, television, and film including Stan Lee from Marvel Comics, Will Wheaton from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Michael Cudlitz who played Abraham on the AMC series the Walking Dead. In addition to these celebrities, countless behind the scenes guests from famous production and animation studios from around the world also came to unveil their newest works. This included such companies and organizations as Rooster Teeth Productions in Austin, Crunchyroll and Viz Media from San Francisco, and Funimation from Flower Mound, Texas (I am just as surprised as you are as to where these anime distribution and production companies are located). In addition to unveiling their newest releases and answering fan questions regarding their most famous past work, these groups also took the liberty of setting up shop in the convention’s large show space to sell their merchandise and work to the masses along with the numerous other exhibitors from the Chicagoland area, selling everything from steampunk head gear to virtual reality games, movie props and replicas, vintage comic books, toys, and beyond.

Along with the creators came the critics, both the amateur and professional. This included the head critics for the famed online website Rotten Tomatoes and their Editor in Chief Matt Atchity, who hosted a panel to give their opinions on the movies chosen by the audience. This included such rotten films as 1998 Godzilla, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, Batman v. Superman Dawn of Justice, and certified fresh films and TV shows like Logan, Stranger Things, and Big Bang Theory. The audience applauded, booed, and cheered as the critics and audience members alike gave their personal (and sometimes bizarre) reasoning for loving or hating a movie or show as much as they do.

Though C2E2 only lasts a single weekend, it was a weekend not to miss as so much was packed into the time span of less than 72 hours. For those of you who missed such an amazing time and incredible experience, there will always be next year’s convention, which is expected to be bigger and better than the year before as has been the case since the event’s start nearly a decade ago.