History of the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo

History of the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo

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Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) is an inaugural event that started in 2010. It is now known as the largest pop-culture event which takes place annually in the Midwest, at the McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. C2E2 returns in 2017 and runs April 21-23.

C2E2 is devoted to a wide range of entertainment. Superfans flock the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo event dressed as their favorite characters in comics, manga, anime, graphic novels, video games, toys, movies, and television.

The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo’s Ticket prices range from a one-day pass from $30 to $50 to a three-day pass priced at $70 for adults. A child one-day pass is $10, and a three-day pass is $20. Attendees can also purchase more expensive, all-inclusive, passes ranging in price from $150 to $995 that include:

  • Access to the three-day event.
  • Guaranteed seating to the Frank Miller Panel (2017).
  • A pass that allows the buyer to surpass lines as well as two signatures.
  • First access to the Show Floor.
  • A C2E2 poster which is official signed.
  • Frank Miller gold badge and artwork (2017).
  • A lithograph created for Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo and signed by Frank Miller (2017).

Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo is the smallest comic con compared to the Comic-Con International: San Diego, which has about 130,000 people; and the New York Comic Con, which hosts around 160,000 attendees.

A History of Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo

When the Expo started in April 2010, the C2E2 had an attendance of about 30,000 people. Featured at the event were a few dozen professional and amateur comic book artists. Additional booths featured distinguished artists of the biggest comic book publishers. There was also a special auction section dedicated to props from the movie “Iron Man.”

Chicago The second Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo was in March 2011, with about 34,000 people in attendance, 4,000 more than the previous year. On the exhibition floor, Marvel and DC were seen promoting their summer releases, “Thor,” “Captain America,” and the “Green Lantern.” Muppet’s creator, Jim Henson’s graphic novel, “A Tale of Sand,” was announced. Ramon Perez, a cartoonist, who illustrated the script was also present. Additionally, the event attracted the following:

  • The actress from “Dollhouse” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Eliza Dushku
  • “The Walking Dead” actors, Laurie Holden and Jon Bernthal
  • Chris Hemsworth, from “Thor”
  • “Supernatural” actor, Mark Sheppard

In March 2012, the third Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo took place. There were about 41,000 people in attendance, 7,000 more than the previous year. Autograph sessions with actors, authors artist, and comic writers were scheduled throughout the weekend. Guest included John Cusack, Anne Rice, Axel Alonso, and actor Shia Labeouf. Also attending:

  • “Doctor Who” and “Torchwood” actor, John Barrowman
  • The actors from “The Walking Dead,” Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan
  • Lord of the Rings franchise actor, Sean Astin

Chicago The fourth Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo was held in April 2013. There were about 53,000 attendees, 12,000 more than the year before. The 12-piece costume Jennifer Lawrence wore in “The Hunger Games” was on display along with others worn by various characters from the first film. The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo had a pop-up tattoo parlor, a hall dedicated to board games, and the Harry Potter sport, Quidditch for kids. Also in attendance at C2E2:

  • Adam West, Julie Newmar, and Burt Ward from the 1960s “Batman.”
  • Actress Natalie Dormer from “Game of Thrones.”
  • The iconic Ron Perlman from the movie “Hellboy.”
  • “The Walking Dead” actors Laurie Holden and Chandler Riggs.
  • Actor Peter Davison from “Doctor Who.”

The fifth Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo was held in April 2014. There were over 53,000 people who attended. The same as the year before. The show hosted pro wrestling celebrities Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Mick Foley, and other classic wrestlers. There was a costume contest, as well as a speed dating session for all. Also Chicago on the guest list:

  • Actress Eve Myles from the “Doctor Who” spin series “Torchwood.”
  • Actors Alfie Allen, Natalia Tena, and Kristian Nairn from the “Game of Thrones.”
  • Tyler Posey and Crystal Reed from the series “Teen Wolf.”
  • The author of “The Southern Vampire Mysteries.”

The sixth annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo event took place in April 2015. The event had a record-breaking attendance at 71,000, a 40 percent increase from the previous year. Comedic icon, Stan Lee made an appearance at the show. Most of the cast from “Orphan Black” were also in attendance. Additional guests:

  • “Lord of the Rings” actor, Sean Astin.
  • Actors Jason Momoa and Finn Jones from “Game of Thrones.”
  • Joel Hodgson, the creator of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”
  • Actress Ming-Na Wen from “Agents of S.H.I.E.D.”

Chicago The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo’s seventh annual event took place in March 2016. Attendance for the event has not been recorded for last year. Creators of “Image Comic’s Beauty” Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley were there. Their comic is about modern societies obsession with beauty. There are six issues of the comic books. Guests included:

  • “Sons of Anarchy” actors, Ryan Hurst and Tommy Flanagan
  • Actresses Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh from “Supergirl.”
  • The creator of “Hellboy,” Mike Mignola
  • The writer of “Batman,” Scott Snyder

The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo’s upcoming 2017 event starts on April 21 and goes through the 23. Superfans dressed as their favorite characters will be flocking the event to get a glimpse of their favorite authors and actors. They can also buy memorabilia from the event. Fans will be able to enter costume contests for the chance to win first place and $10,000. On the roster for this year is:

  • Evanna Lynch, from the Harry Potter filmsChicago
  • Jon Bernthal, from Netflix’s original series “Daredevil.”
  • Actor Micheal Rooker from “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
  • The creator of “Spider-Man,” Stan Lee.
  • New York Times best-selling fantasy/mystery author Charlaine Harris, who wrote the Sookie Stackhouse, novels of which “True Blood” is based.

The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo also has a Family HQ, which has drawing classes, author readings, and Jedi light saber training sessions. Attendees can also go to panels and screenings where they can receive sneak previews from big publishers, stars, and the hottest television shows.

By Tracy Blake
Edited by Cathy Milne

Sources:

The Huffington Post: C2E2 2012: Chicago’s Comic And Entertainment Expo Weekend Recap (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
The Huffington Post: Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo 2013 (PHOTOS)
PWxyz: Attendance Rises At Second Annual C2E2
Comp: C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo)
Chicago: C2E2: Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo

Top, Featured and First Inline Images Courtesy of Pat Loika’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inline Image Courtesy of GabboT’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Third Inline Image Courtesy of RT Book Reviews’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Fourth Inline Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Fifth Inline Image Rick Bringante’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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