April 22nd, 2010 | filed in News

C2E2, Midwest Travels, and Anime STL

Whew! I’m finally catching up after leaving Chicago. I’m taking a breather in my hotel room at Anime St. Louis to update the blog. Been pretty busy this week after C2E2 — travelled to Madison & surrounds, and then down to St. Louis to visit my family. Haven’t taken much time to blog, but if you followed my Twitter feed, you’d know I’ve been walking around Chicago, ogling pre-digital printing tools, and gawking at windfarms.

C2E2 turned out to be a great show for me, though a more qualified success for some of my friends. All in all, Ioved being at Haven’s Indy Island. I’ve always thought it was a cool concept when I visited it at San Diego to see my friends Carla Speed McNeil and Jim Ottaviani, and this time around I got to share in the experience along with Spike, Frank, and Becky. It was a little surreal to be across from the DC Booth, so prominently placed on the show floor, and the foot traffic was correspondingly good. Sales were also good — similar to Tekkoshocon. Thanks once again to everyone who came by the table! I always appreciate your enthusiasm and support!

Though, I understand that this was not the case for the Webcomics Pavilion and Artist’s Alley. My friends Brian ‘BMAN’ Babenderede and Kurt Mitchell got stuck way off on the farthest corner of Artist’s Alley. Despite being in the midst of the Webcomics Pavilion, Gina Biggs and Greg Carter reported having trouble, as did Erika Moen and the Topataco crew.

Attendance-wise, I don’t have any official figures, but the general consensus was that C2E2 seemed to be about about half of Wizard World/Chicago Comicon. McCormick Place was a nice facility, but it’s pretty far away from everything, despite being downtown. Unlike the Rosemont venue, it wasn’t directly accessible by train, and parking wasn’t cheap ($20/day – flat rate). Apparently there’s a bus that goes downtown, but I didn’t mess with that. Getting around by car in Chicago isn’t that big a deal, but it did make planning dinner after the show more complicated. We ended up making do with smaller groups in the end.

Overall I liked the feel of this show a whole lot better. It felt a little more like a small San Diego than the overwhelming fanboy vibe that Wizard has always had. I have heard reports from people in Artist’s Alley and the Webcomics Pavilion who had some trouble with the organizers, though. In general I’ve found that Reed Exhibitions (who ran the show) generally put together good conventions, but they’re not without their hiccups (1st year of NYAF comes to mind). Because of this, I do know a number of webcomics folks who will probably sitting the next one out. I hope Reed will learn from its mistakes, because I think C2E2 could have the potential to be a great show if they can get some of the kinks worked out and grow the attendance. I don’t regret the experience, but it would be nice if that sentiment was more universal.

Anyhoo, time to settle in for Anime St. Louis. I get to kick it off by being on TV bright and early tomorrow morning. If you’re in the St. Louis area, stay turned to FOX 2 tomorrow morning, because apparently I’m going to get interviewed. Set your TiVOs! Woohoo!