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The C2E2 2017 Experience with Leo!

Leo Panelo, Webmaster

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C2E2, the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo, was a blast this year! Unlike the other years I’ve attended, this year had many more awesome cosplayers, celebrities, panels, artists, and exhibitors! But before I get too carried away, what is C2E2? C2E2 is a comic convention that happens every spring in downtown Chicago at McCormick Place. Marian University began taking trips to this convention during my freshman year here at Marian in 2015; however, this year was our first time attending the conference for two days!

Comic conventions, like C2E2, are places where herds of nerds gather to freak out about their fandoms. At this conference, I did a lot of shopping and talking with a multitude of artists on the first day (including my personal favorite and inspiration). I’d like to share the biggest highlight of the second day when I got to see one of the greatest fathers of pop culture history: Stan Lee! He was scheduled to have an interview with Frank Miller on the main stage where I could feel the enthusiasm and excitement of all the fans around me. People of all different ages and races were present! Some were there for Frank Miller, best known for “Sin City” and “Daredevil,” but I’d like to imagine the majority of them were there to see Stan Lee, founder of Marvel comics and creator of “The Amazing Spiderman!”

Finding seats near the main stage was tough with the grand number of fans, so Professor Wallestad and I had to navigate through many rows to find two open seats. Unfortunately, we also had to wait a while for the show to start, but the wait was worthwhile. As Stan Lee and Frank Miller walked up on stage, the crowd stood, clapped, and cheered upon their entrance. The panel was set to interview the two celebrities about how their characters and stories have set a legacy for pop culture history, but it ended up as a comedic argument between Stan Lee and Frank Miller about whose work was better.

I had imagined the crowd would be wilder, continuously shouting things through the panel for the two to hear, but surprisingly everyone was polite and tame in their seats. Everyone was carefully listening to each word spoken by the two funny, old men. My favorite part of the panel was when Stan Lee gave advice to fellow creators out there by saying, “The best ideas usually come in at the randomest of times; so when something pops up, jot it down on whatever you’ve got available, even a napkin! That way you’ve got it with you.”

I think many of the creators in C2E2 were inspired in some way or another by the old people who made their childhood worthwhile. It’s thanks to the weirdos of the past generation that we have a new age of creators who will hopefully continue to inspire the next generation.

The entire trip as a whole was tiring and a little costly, but it was amazing and probably everlasting as a memorable experience. C2E2 is a magical gathering of freaks and geeks. If you happen to be one of them too, come along with us next year!

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The C2E2 2017 Experience with Leo!