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The week in conventions


In our debilitated state we can only link to Rich Johnston’s comprehensive write-up: of the local Chicago press take on C2E2 and the it’s Rosemont rival, Wizard World Chicago. The Chicago Reader quotes Wizard’s Gareb Shamus:

“They’re a local comic-book show,” he says. “We’re a North American tour for pop culture. It doesn’t affect our business.” He maintains that last year’s Rosemont convention was the best and largest they’ve had, with attendance of about 70,000.

You had us with “North American tour of pop culture” but lost us with 70,000.

According to our local pal, SmartyPants, who picked us up from the airport in his clown car, Reed has done a great job on local signage and selling tickets at local comics shops. “They’ve hed it every where,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a big deal.”

Kevin Melrose rounds up some other shows this weekend, including Fluke, the indie show in Athens, GA.


  1. There is no way in HELL there were 70,000 people at Wizard World Chicago last year. I don’t know how they keep imagining a new, higher attendance number every year, but it’s clear as day that the con was less and less crowded over ’07 and ’08. It recovered a bit last year, but there’s no way there were as many people there last year as there were 5-6 years earlier. No way.

  2. 70,000 people. Right. That’s because Wizard counts a three-day pass as three people.

    I just walked the hall at C2E2. It’s big. It’s spacious. The aisles are wide. And while it may not be as big as WWChicago (yet) the energy is already there and it’s a definite comic book show. No wrestling ring bumping the DC booth, no Spike TV cube driving people nuts. Just lots and lots of comic people.

    It’s a big convention center with a great view and room to grow. And it’s a quick cab ride to downtime.

    C2E2 FTW!

  3. There was no “Wizard World Chicago” in 2009. Gareb changed the name to Chicago Comicon. Not that he mentions comics in his pop culture definition, mind you.

    “They’re a local comic-book show” … Gareb Shamus, always good for a laugh.

    “I wouldn’t worry about [Boston], though. It’s not a big college town.” Ian Faith, This Is Spinal Tap

  4. I am positively giddy about C2E2. Not only is it the first big comic con in years in the city, but the organizers have been great to deal with and welcoming of both the big names and smaller pros (like me), inviting us to do panels and then promoting those panels on the official Web site. I can’t wait to hit the floor tomorrow.

  5. The latest issue of Time Out Chicago (the eats issue!) had a full page article on C2E2 (while also giving the backstory on WWC), as well as a nice profile on Neil Gaiman and the CBLDF.

    Oh, and the first page of the magaine features “the man on the street”… a gang member wearing an urbanized t-shirt of Donald Duck. (I get the attitude of Donald on the shirt, but if the shirt has “bling” written on it, it should be Scrooge, not Donald.)

  6. Thank god for Gareb Shamus. If he weren’t available to tell me how many people were at the Rosemont show last year, I’d be stuck believing my own lying eyes that the number is growing ever smaller.

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