And my four droogs, that is Rainbow Dash,
Matt, Colton, and Jon, and we stood in the show floor of Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the weekend.
C2E2 sold comics-plus, comics plus figurines or T-shirts or prints, which were what we were browsing. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old Silver-Age.
My initial quest, of course, was to find Gail Simone's booth and present her with the Jacob's Ladder I'd created:
|The Birds of Prey, plus a house cat.|
|The Secret Six, minus a house cat (though Catman is included).|
She liked it, to my unending joy. She also signed one of my Batgirl comics.
It is hard for the rest of a con to live up to your expectations when all your dreams have come true in the initial five minutes, and yet C2E2 managed it.
My next stop was at Nicholas Brendon's autographing table to claim a signed photo for my sister. He's every bit as friendly as the characters I've seen him play, and he called me beautiful, which is always a plus:
The rest of the evening was spent as we always spend the first day of cons: browsing through every exhibitor's booth and table at the artist's alley, taking everything in before the aisles became too crowded to walk through (the second day of every convention ever). We grabbed a slice of pizza, and then split our ways to go our final panels for the day. Jessi and I attended "The Geek Girl" which was both informative and amusing.
We found, when we returned to the con shuttle drop-off point, that we had missed the last shuttle to the hotel by about half an hour. So we took a taxi back to the hotel, fearing for our lives the whole way, which is in my opinion, an integral part of the Chicago experience.
Back at the Essex, some of us went exploring - there wasn't just a pool and a sauna, there was also a garden on the fourth floor roof - while the rest of us crashed on the beds immediately, resting up before Saturday.
Like Friday, I went in with a game plan: I was going to get my copy of Tim Sale's Tales of the Batman signed, and nothing was going to stop me. He was only signing books during the first and last hour of the day, and the wait in line was a harrowing experience thankfully improved by bonding with those waiting around me. The book was signed, I shook hands with one of my favorite artists, and then I was off again, this time to retrieve C3PO/Anthony Daniel's autograph, again for my sister.
Well, apparently C2E2 ushers in more fans of Star Wars than Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because his line was more than three times that of Nicholas Brendon's. Things were going well - at least, as well as standing in a line with nothing to occupy one's self can be - when my feet realized that I had been standing on concrete in platform heels for an hour and sent my brain a resounding HELL NO. So the last half hour was less "standing in line" and more "hobbling an inch or so every few minutes while wishing for death," and right as I was reaching my breaking point, Anthony Daniels stopped for a coffee break.
My blood thirst was quenched, though, when it turned out that coffee break included making small talk with those waiting in line, including the family standing right next to me, whom he asked why they weren't "in costume like that beautiful girl."
The girl in question was me. Suddenly, waiting in line sounded perfectly acceptable.
Ten minutes later, I reached the autographing table and was hailed over with a "Come on, gorgeous." I handed over the Post-It note with "Alaine" written across it and, when asked if that was my name, explained that the autograph was for my sister, which Anthony Daniels said was sweet and asked where she was. When I said, "Probably working on her thesis for her masters in teaching" (which she was actually presenting at the time, as I later found out), he said the world needed more people like her, asked me what I was studying, and responded so enthusiastically to the answer of "creative writing" that I nearly melted on the spot.
|Have I mentioned that C3PO is my favorite Star Wars character?|
So I skipped off in fangirlish euphoria until my feet reminded me of my continuing quest to torture myself, and then I took a half hour to rest before heading off to artist's alley.
I haven't mentioned how often those in costume get stopped for photos, particularly on Saturdays. In my case it was every five feet or so, which is incredibly flattering, particularly when children want their photos with you. Of course, my legs were still on fire, so my brain went into something I'll call the Disney mascot effect, in which smiling and staying in character becomes all important, to the point of pain nearly being nonexistent. I got so good at perfecting the "What's your name?" and "Nice to meet you!" phrases that I inadvertently repeated one to a woman dressed as Zatanna before even noticing that she was in costume. Not my shining moment.
About two rows through the artist's alley, my legs finally quit on me and I switched to the green high-tops I'd brought as back-ups. Down with the accuracy, but up with the comfort. I picked up a print of Wonder Woman by Matthew Fletcher:
And the first and best Darkwing Duck print I've ever seen, by James Sullivan:
We also checked out the items on display for the Captain America auction:
That night we grabbed dinner at Kitty O'Sheas, an Irish restaurant half a block from the hotel. The only thing that can improve sourdough crostini with brie covered in honey is the aforementioned combined with live bagpipe playing.
On Sunday, I received the greatest sketch ten dollars could ever buy, from Randy Field, creator of the web comic Problemtown. My extremely vague request of "I want a picture of the Scarecrow being a ridiculous failure" yielded this magnificence, which couldn't be more fitting for me if it tried:
We stopped at a wonderful sushi restaurant, Tamarind, before heading back home, another awesome year under our belts.
And now, of course, for the cosplay photos:
|Harley, Ivy, and Catwoman outside the Essex Inn.|
|One of several Captain Americas, and one of the best.|
|Princesses Ariel and Aurora.|
|There's always a Spider-Man.|
|Black Widow and Loki.|
|Red Lantern Bleez.|
|Arkham Asylum's Scarecrow.|
|Hawkman and Green Lantern Alan Scott.|
|The Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew.|
And many, many more amazing costumes.
All In All:
The Best Part of the Convention: It's a tie between my favorite writer calling me an amazing cosplayer and my favorite Star Wars character calling me gorgeous.
The Worst Part of the Convention: Platform high heels.
Most Surprising Cosplay I Saw: Old Gregg was back again this year! I was amazed to find another Old Gregg when I went as the scaly man-fish last year, so it was doubly surprising to see the character again.
Most Surprising Cosplay I Didn't See: The Once-ler. After the 2012 film adaptation gave Dr. Seuss's symbol of corporate greed a (totally adorable) face, three awesome outfits, and the catchiest villain's song since Tangled's "Mother Knows Best," the fandom for the character alone has grown larger than that of the movie itself. If you're thinking "The movie's only been out for just over a month, it's too early to have costumes from it!" then you haven't spent enough time on the Internet. I may just have to get my hands on an axe and a cartload of vegetarian marshmallows for next year to correct this absence.