I really enjoyed the first C2E2 show…
It appears that most everyone found the show to be incredibly well organized, well lit, and well prepared to become another major comics show in the years to come. Might have been the massive size of the facility, but it never felt overwhelmingly crowded like San Diego, which I personally appreciated, though there’s been some discussion that attendance (and exhibitor profits) were a tad lower than expected. The amount of insane deals I was able to secure (more on that later) suggests this might’ve been the case, but considering the freshness of the whole enterprise, and that Wizard has been muddying the Chicago con waters these past years, I’m sure Reed sees the show as a great success, and I think they should. Give it a few years, and C2E2 has a real chance of supplanting Wizard World as THE premier comics show in the Chicagoland area, and there’s no question that McCormick is a much more spacious facility, which also happens to actually be in the city of Chicago. And allows the attendees to experience some natural light, which is also a huge advantage.
Archaia made a great showing, and had the coolest “booth” on the entire floor, creating this very cool and very welcoming lounge area with leather chairs, coffee tables littered with gorgeous hardcovers, and free comics in every single direction. Hopefully this is a set-up they’ll be taking all over the con circuit, cause it’s a definite attention grabber and instantly sets them apart from the other displays on the show floor. On a more personal note, everyone from PJ on down treated me like fam, which was much appreciated since I’m the guy that’s only released one comic through them thus far. I have to admit that the Miranda delays have been giving me fits lately, but Archaia remains as supportive as ever, and are very excited for the book to come back and hopefully become another of their signature projects. After we all return to our respective corners, we’ll start nailing down some definite release dates and then the fun will truly begin. But it was just a great vibe from everyone, especially my man Stephen Christy.
Stephen, who was recently named the company’s editor-in-chief, is someone I’ve known for years, and is a longtime friend of this very column. Even I’m uncomfortable with how long ago he started reading it, but he’s been part confidant, part cheerleader over the years, and on our walk back to the Archaia booth after the panel, he again told me some shit I really needed to hear. It’s easy for me to get distracted (and distressed) by all of the little things I wanted to have accomplished by this point—so much so that I completely forget what I have actually achieved. Not everything by any means, but some occasional victories that often fall away whenever I start thinking about whatever book of mine hasn’t released yet, or what project I was up for that I didn’t ultimately get. So Stephen took some time out of his busy schedule to help get my mind right, and gently remind me that I have more control over some of this than I think. Which I know of course, but everyone needs a kick in the ass now and then, and after talking with him I instantly felt that much better about everything. And incredibly empowered by his continued faith in me.
The other major highlight happened just a few hours later when I was heading out for the day, and stopping by the Archaia space to thank Stephen again for the pep talk and the armload of hardcovers when a young brother named Alverne Ball, who was working at the booth, approached me. He (re) introduced himself, and told me this wasn’t actually the first time we’d met. About six or seven years ago, I gave a small lecture/Q & A about the comics business at downtown Columbia College, alongside friend and former Moonstone editor Garrett Anderson.
It was the first time I’d ever done anything like that, and it took some convincing from Garrett (who was running the comic shop I went to every Wednesday) but turns out Alverne was actually in that class of about a dozen or so students, and something I said in those couple hours was of great use to him as he started building his own career as a writer. Which will probably always be a strange prospect for me to consider, but it was the final punch of an effective one-two combo that turned Saturday afternoon into the highlight of the entire weekend for me. It was inspiring and gratifying really, that these two guys I met through my work were still pulling hard for me, and expecting me to ultimately succeed despite everything.
Since nothing else was likely to top that, my Sunday was all about insane levels of shopping, which might be an indication that exhibitors weren’t making much money. Per a suggestion from the great David Brothers, I’m including a comprehensive list that details what I was able to bring home and for how much, as I’m pretty sure this will never ever happen again. Consider this a limited edition convention edition of Stackology, and the perfect ending to a great inaugural C2E2 show. Hope you all had a great time there and will be back next year…quite possibly with Miranda Mercury hardcovers, but more on that in the months to come.
Spider-Man: American Son HC ($5)
Thor by JMS: Vol. 2 HC ($8)
Ultimatum: Spider-man HC ($8)
Daredevil: Hell to Pay, Vol. 2, Daredevil: Cruel and Unusual, Daredevil: Lady Bullseye, X-Men: Manifest Destiny, New Avengers: Power (5 for $25)
The Resistance ($6)
Nightwing: The Great Leap, The Spirit, Vol. 1, New Avengers: Search for the Sorcerer Supreme (50% off)
Final Crisis: Escape, Final Crisis: Ink, Black Lightning: Year One, Vixen: Return of the Lion, The Winter Men, El Diablo, Young Liars 3 ($5 each)
The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home HC, The Dark Tower: Treachery HC, The Complete Dracula HC, Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader HC, Mythos HC, Captain America: Road to Reborn, Young Liars 2, Invincible 9, Dynamo 5, Vol. 2, The Sword 2, Star Wars: Vector 2, X-Men: Angel- Revelations (Buy 5, get 7 free- $105)