We had intended to live blog the con on Saturday, but due to a lack of reliable wifi, we are just going to due a show wrap-up.
I woke up early Saturday morning to a slight drizzle and a unsesonably cold temperature. The temperature outside wasn’t a problem because I had a nice warm feeling inside: the morning before Chicago Comic Con is one of my favorite days of the year - a day that I wake up and just know… it’s going to be a great day. Accompanying Tim and me, were our friends Matt, Shaun and Jon; with much anticipation, we set off on the two-hour trek to Chicago from South Bend. Despite going there the past four yours, I got them lost twice, but we arrived safe and sound. Tim and I were lucky enough to get press credentials, so we got early access to the show floor, and were pleasantly surprised. The show floor we had become accustomed to has changed drastically, and for the better. What were once narrow aisles were now wide enough to accommodate the attendees with little or no congestion, just the occasional stoppage for those taking pictures with the many cosplayers on-hand. We also noticed that the queues from the celebrity autograph and pictures lines were nicely laid out and well established, where in the past they were anything but. The space used in the hall was much larger with nice bright signage, so there was a bit better atmosphere. I can’t help but think that this is a result of the other comic convention held in Chicago, C2E2, and a lot of the attention that receives. Compition almost always make the other guy step it up, and I think that was the case here, and it worked out well.
The floor quickly filled up once the general public was admitted. Most of the fans poured in with big smiles on their faces, trying to take it all in and deciding where to go first. With all of the celebs, vendors, cosplayers and artists on-hand the whole thing may be overwhelming for first time guests. It wasn’t long before lines started forming for the big name stars signing autographs – Scott Bacula, Dean Cain, William Shatner, Dean Stockwell, Amy Acker… but no line could compare to that of Stan Lee. The man is a hero to all fanboys, and those waiting in his queue were probably the most excited people I saw there. They knew they were about to meet a legend, and were pumped for the experience. There were many other celebs there: from the cast of the Boondock Saints (Norman Reedus called out a killer Michonne cosplayer from across the aisle and that made her day), some WWE wrestlers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer actors, Doug Jones, Kevin Sorbo. Although late to the con, Bruce Campbell also made an appearance!
Once the show floor closed at 7pm, the second half of our day commences – the post-con party at the event hotel. The past few years this has included a DJ, dancing and mingling with celebrities. This year it included singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the queen nerd, Adrianne Curry, who was in attendance. Our friends Erin and Jessie joined our group, and we enjoyed some beverages and danced until well after midnight. I, for one, am not big on dancing, but when you are in an enviroment like Comic Con, where everyone is sort of nerdy in their own way, no one is there to judge, so everyone really cuts loose. I don’t know where else you can get down with a Stormtrooper and Vince Clortho Keymaster of Gozer on the same dance floor! That event wrapped up, much to everyone’s disappointment, but soon the party moved upstairs to the hotel bar, where you could find Buffy’s Amber Benson and former wrestler Kevin Nash enjoying their respective evenings. We met some interesting people that night, and enjoyed some time with friends old and new.
Unfortunately after only a few hours of sleep we were headed back home. But mornings in the hotel lobby is an experience all in its own. With celebrities going from the hotel to the convention center, or just relaxing with a cup of coffee and talking to fans before their busy day at their tables. As Tim and I exited the elevation we exchanged ‘Good mornings’ with Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) and Rocco from Boondock Saints. We saw Lou Ferrigno and his multiple egg white omelettes, the Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal and True Blood’s Sam Trammell along with some others. Everyone at the con and hotel was great, and it made for a perfect weekend. Now it’s back to the real world and counting the days until next years show (361 as of this writing).