On some level it probably isn’t fair for me to write a review of C2E2, my day certainly didn’t turn out how I expected it to. . . It started off well, we took the train in again this year, and went straight for a Taxi that was waiting outside the train station. The $15 cab ride was worth it after the long wait for a shuttle last year. We were able to quickly get into the convention and get our badges and were thrilled that the day was starting off so well.
We immediately started snapping pictures for live photoblogging that I announced an several forums that morning. Unfortunately the WordPress application wasn’t working It looked like it was supposed to be working, but it wouldn’t actually show any of the pictures that we uploaded. After about an hour of messing around with settings and things we gave up on live blogging (although multiple additional failed attempts were made throughout the day). I will process our pics and get them uploaded in a gallery on webjon soon.
We noticed the Captain America Movie prop display right away when we walked in the room, it was very, very cool, but we didn’t stop long as I wanted to get around the dealer area before it got too busy. Unfortunately it was already exceptionally busy. The nicest word I can use to describe navigating the crowd would be unpleasant. Some of the aisles in the convention were very wide, but most were narrow — far too narrow — perhaps wide enough for 4 people shoulder to shoulder to comfortably walk (maybe it was wider than that, but it didn’t feel it if it was). Unfortunately that meant if anyone stopped to look around on one side or the other it created a bottle neck. Navigating the main show floor was painful, and a number of people were quite rude about pushing through, running in to other people, stopping right in front of everyone, or blocking an entire aisle for a photo op. Oddly about 1/4 of the room was entirely empty, so I am not sure why they couldn’t have expanded all of the rows to a comfortable width.
Due to the crowds it took a long time to simply walk through the hall, in fact I only made it through the dealer floor once. I always make a point to walk through the show floor at least twice in different directions, but after the first trip through I decided to take a targeted approach and seek out specific booths I may have missed. There seemed to be a lot of random stuff at this convention — lots of T-Shirt vendors, comedians on stage, of course tattooing, there seemed to be a nice selection of comics, and a ton of gaming cards, but non-sport cards were few and far between. Juniors Collectibles was the only real non-sport dealer. There were 2 other dealers with ‘Card’ in their name that I found on the C2E2 search, one didn’t have any cards the other sold gaming cards. Another dealer had a few cards, some 90s wax as well as some vintage wax. The vintage (60s) wax was cool to look at, but the newer 90s wax wasn’t interesting. I spent quite a bit of time at Juniors booth, they always have a really good selection and I enjoy working with Henry. Unfortunately they were on a narrow aisle, so even looking at this was unpleasant, but I managed, and I picked up a ton of fun stuff to open, including some $3 Walking Dead packs (sadly no hits, but I didn’t expect any).
We made our way through back to the Profiles display and really enjoyed looking at the props, there were some incredibly neat things on display from Thor weapons to Stark Industries bombs to an incredible line up of costumes — the main Captain America costume sold for $237,000! We also noticed the autograph area was jammed with people, which is great it certainly seemed like the celebrities were kept busy. The artist alley wasn’t busy like the rest of the floor, which made it far more pleasant to walk through. I really wanted to pick up a painting from Sara Richard, but I just didn’t find any pieces that I both loved and worked with my budget. Anna spied the ‘I Want to Draw a Cat For You’ guy that we had seen on Shark Tank, and she was thrilled to get a cat sketch from him. He was very cool and easy to talk to, so we chatted about the show and working with Mark Cuban a bit as well. This certainly was the highlight of the show for Anna, and we are going out today to find a frame for her ‘Pickle King’ cat. We also chatted with Jason Keith Phillips, who is always good to catch up with. Nathan Ohlendorf was missed, hopefully we’ll see him at conventions again soon, although rumor is that he may be moving on to other things.
Our next stop was the Cryptozoic booth, which while small did have boxes of Vampire Diaries, The Guild and Comic Book Legal Defense fund available, I spoke with an exceptionally nice representative from Cryptozoic. Unfortunately my conversation with her was cut very short by my cell phone. My mom was calling me. . . Despite the fact that I speak with her frequently she never calls me, so I knew it was important to take her call, and in fact there was (is) a tragedy in our family. I immediately (abruptly, and in a bit of shock) excused myself from the Cryptozoic booth, and went to the hall where it was marginally quieter so I could talk. That essentially closed out our day at C2E2. We were in a somber mood as we did return to the show floor briefly to tie up a couple of loose ends. I have to apologize to the rep at Cryptozoic, I don’t even recall how I ended that conversation. Hopefully I have her business card so I can drop her a note.
Again, it probably isn’t fair to C2E2 for me to write this review. I certainly would have seen more if I would have stuck around longer — there was A LOT of stuff going on, and I am sure I only scratched the surface. That said the crowds were very unpleasant to navigate, and unfortunately there was only one non-sport card dealer. Hopefully Juniors had a great show and will return next year. I really wanted to stick around for the Captain America auction — it certainly would have been a highlight for me, but after the phone calls I just didn’t have it in me to stick around. . .