C2E2 is doing something different for their 10th anniversary show in March 2019. They’re getting mascots. And a comic. Chicagoan artist Ryan Browne has created Chicago S.T.A.R.S – Science Tech and Rescue Squad and one page will be posted every two weeks to the C2E2 website starting on November 2nd… coincidentally that’s the day tickets go on sale. Browne will be both writing and drawing the comic. As you may recall, Browne draws God Hates Astronauts and Curse Words. Those are fairly over the top comics and this sure doesn’t look like it’s going to be particularly stoic or shy. Wait ’til you get to the Tinley character sheet. Then again, are you acquainted with Chicago’s last couple mayors? It’s not a particularly shy city.
Official PR follows and then the rest of the mascots:
C2E2, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, has been Chicago’s home of pop culture for 10 years. The only comic convention in the heart of downtown Chicago, they’re known by their avid fans for bringing pop culture fun and fandom-infused experiences to McCormick Place each spring. They bring well known celebrities, exhibitors, comic artists, and authors, along with their fans, to celebrate their geeky hobbies and get to know each other in one cosplay-infused weekend every single year.
To honor the 10th Edition of C2E2 happening March 22-24, 2019, C2E2 has teamed up with local artist Ryan Browne (Curse Words, God Hates Astronauts) to create unique superhero mascots that represent their brand as well as the various aspects of Chicago. Browne and the C2E2 team have worked side by side and are finally ready to release their 5 brand new mascots into the world.
“There’s Tinley the mecha-Frenchie, Ernie the anthropomorphic bear, Frank the magical floating hot dog, Lincoln, and M.C. – a team of superheroes known collectively as the Chicago S.T.A.R.S – Science Tech and Rescue Squad.” says C2E2 Event Manager Mike Negin.
“Tinley the robo-french bulldog [is my favorite] –no question.” says Browne. “I really like the idea of a super intelligent dog making a robo-dog costume in her likeness instead of some huge hulking mech. Plus it’s really fun to draw so that helps.”
When asked where fans can see this new team of superheroes come to life, Negin says, “Fan can see these characters come to life in a bi-weekly comic written and drawn by Ryan Browne. The first page is set to be released first on November 2 when tickets to C2E2 go on sale, and then there will be a new page every 2 weeks after that up until the show. This is one comic you won’t want to miss… there will be intrigue, suspense, epic superpowers, a dastardly villain, and of course – adventures and exploits at C2E2. In addition to this comic, you’ll find these characters on collectible merch at ReedPOP Supply Co – the Official Store of C2E2. We’ll also be hosting a fun scavenger hunt during C2E2, so don’t miss that!”
When asked how these characters speak to Chicago, Negin said We had a lot of fun working on these characters and finding fun little ways to make them all born and bred, rich with lore from Chicago. We specifically wanted to work with Ryan Browne because he’s a local Chicago artist, and we’re all big fans of his art style and work. In addition, each character has a little bit of Chicago flair built into their backstory. Ernie is a bear as a tribute to Chicago’s sports teams, and his origin story has him as an original resident of the Lincoln Park Zoo. Tinley is of course in reference to Tinley Park. And Frank, well… you can’t do Chicago without Chicago-style hot dogs – not to mention he’s a big fan of Revolution Brewing’s Galaxy-Hero, a local Chicago beer and the Official Beer of C2E2. Lincoln’s name is a tribute to Lincoln Park in Chicago. M.C. stands for Michelle Carol, which is actually a reference to Michelle Obama and Carol Moseley Braun, 2 women from Chicago we wanted to pay homage to.
“I worked the great team at C2E2 to find the perfect balance of influences for our crew,” said Browne, when asked where he drew his Chicago-based influences for the design of this super squad. “Not too superhero–adventurers with a sense of style and fun. Floating magical hotdogs are fun, right? As far as costuming, we wanted to incorporate the iconic Chicago flag colors and stars into the costuming for the whole team. It gave them a unified look while have quite a diverse cast of humans, animals, robots, and uh, magical hotdogs.”
When asked what comic this might remind superfans of, Browne replied, “I think my first instinct was Tom Strong with a touch of Fantastic Four. Adventures where the fun always outweighs the danger.”
“Each one of these characters, in their storyline, attended C2E2 2010, and that’s how they ended up getting their powers,” says Negin of the Chicago S.T.A.R.S. origin story. “There was some kind of cataclysmic event… more details on that are forthcoming… and poof, these 5 band together with their new powers and become the Chicago S.T.A.R.S. They each have their own favorite part of C2E2 too, which you can read about on their trading cards.”
These mascots will be gracing the pages of a bi-weekly comic series, being released on the C2E2 website, newsletter, and social media channels, starting on November 2, so stay tuned to find out what adventures await these new characters