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April 13th-15th, 2012

This was our first time heading out to this show.  Years ago, we use to setup as dealers at the Chicago Wizard World shows, so we were pretty familiar with the comic book crowd.  We also knew that this show has been building its following and attendance over the last few years, so we knew it was going to be a bit crowded.

We could only make it out on the Sunday, so we know we missed out on most of the events.  We would have liked to have made it to the John Cusack Q&A, where he was there promoting THE RAVEN, but it just didn’t happen.  Nor did we get there early enough to attempt to stand in line for one of the free autographs that you could get, since they were only giving away like 100 or 300.  None the less, I believe they were free.  Not sure though.  But speaking of autographs, I was amazed at the prices some of the ones were charging.  $40?!?!?  Really?  I’ve been going to shows for close to 25 years.  I know how they work behind the scenes.  The main reason for us going was for my wife to meet actor John Borrowman from Dr. Who and Torchwood series.  She never gets that excited about some of the celebs at the shows we go to, so I didn’t mind taking out a small loan to cover the price to meet him.  I know on Sunday, we waited in line for probably 90 minutes.  And the line never got smaller.  I’m sure on Saturday it was 2 or 3 times as long.  So at $40 a pop, if 1000 people went through that line, that would be $40,000 Mr. Borrowman made in one weekend.  And I guarantee you that he had a hell of a lot more people through his line than 1000.

Now I know these guys have lives and they are taking time out to do these shows.   But for that kind of a paycheck, this is a job.  These people are in line to see these celebs because they have promoted their work over the years.  THESE people are the REASON they are a celeb.  And for them to charge that kind of money is just ridiculous and embarrassing.  Now maybe C2E2 just pays him an appearance fee up front and they collect the money to cover it.  If that is the case, then they made a shit load money off his fans.  And again, that is just not right.

But the sad thing is that these people, including me and my wife, were in that cattle line and handing over the money to get an autograph and a photo (at least there wasn’t an extra charge for that!).  And until us fans stop doing this, it will just continue and get more and more expensive.  So let’s stop the madness and stop paying these stupid prices just for an autograph.

Now back to the show.  It was very crowded, even on the Sunday we were there.  There were times when you couldn’t move down an aisle since there were so many people.  But we managed to make our way through the different vendors.  Granted, since not being comic book fans, we passed through a lot of stuff rather quickly.  There were a few giant TV vendors that had some interesting products, but again we mainly looked.  I was very happy to find a toy…sorry…collectible from the original WAR OF THE WORLDS that I had missed out on a convention a few weeks earlier.  So being able to get it, at even a slightly cheaper price, made me pretty happy right there.  Also found a vendor selling books, and was able to add one to the collection that I hadn’t gotten around to picking up.  It was The Slasher Movie Book, by J.A. Kerswell.  Plus, being the closet Doctor Who fan, it was pretty amazing to see all the different merchandise around from that show.  Not that I would buy any of that stuff, but sure wouldn’t be cool to have a Tardis cookie jar!

We did come across a vendor that was a baker that had an amazing looking cake at their table.  Being a slightly big fan of the work of H.P. Lovecraft, we were immediately caught by this awesome cake.  The name of the bakery is Bleeding Heart Bakery, located in Chicago.  We have seen their work on the Food  Network before and it is good stuff.  But when we seen this one, we know that at some point in my life, I want them to make a cake for me!

     

One thing I did find pretty interesting, if not downright hypocritical, was C2E2’s stand on bootleggers.  They had a big thing in their magazine/guide book about how bootleggers were not allowed in the show and why.  Well, here’s the thing that nobody seems to realize.  First of all, there were about 3 different bootleggers there that I counted.  But more importantly, how are they really defining who or what is a bootlegger?  Are they talking about someone who is selling a product that they don’t the license to sell it?  Well then, they need to seriously look at a LOT of their dealers.  Such as the t-shirt dealers.  I would guarantee there are quite a few of these dealers that do not have licenses to have certain things on their shirts, like STAR WARS and the like.  Plus, anybody who was selling 8x10’s from different movies or shows (including the celebrities), they don’t own the rights to those images.  So they are just as much of a bootlegger than a guy knocking off DVD burns in his basement.  Kind of double edge sword if you ask me.  If you’re going to carry the No Bootleggers banner, then you better do it across the board.

So all in all, it was a long day and a lot of walking.  We got to see a couple of our friends that were there, but by the time we got down, our legs and backs were killing us.  Walking around on that cement floor for a few hours is enough to wear anybody out, let alone if you were there for more than just one day.  Not sure if we’ll make it out to another show, since it really is geared towards the sci-fi and comic book crowd.  But if you’re into that, and have plenty of money to donate to those starving celebrities, then you’ll have a blast.