Oh what a con! Wouldn’t that be the teaser of a lifetime? I could just say that and leave you to wonder what I mean…but you guys know me and know that I love to tell you about amazing, so amazing, here we come!
Any con always starts out with travel and C2E2 is no exception! This year, my con weekend started out at 4:15am (Chicago time) on Friday. My things were already in the van, so it was get up, get dressed and head out the door. Traffic was good, with the usual Chicago hangups and I actually managed to make it to O’hare an hour ahead of schedule. I know you’re wondering why the heck I went to O’Hare when the convention center isn’t anywhere near there. Simple, my friends. Parking. Parking is way, way cheaper there than at any of the hotels. Plus, I was meeting a friend so that I could escort him to his first ever con! He picked me up (and was a total doll to bring me some yogurt since I hadn’t eaten) and we headed in to the hotel.
As always, this is where it gets fun. If you’ve read my other con posts, you know that somehow I always have difficulty getting to the hotels. Usually a gps has something to do with it. In this case, the gps couldn’t hold a signal well enough and kept recalculating about once every block. In the end though, our
perseverance won out and we made it! We were too early to check in but they let us leave our bags there and it was off to our first day of the convention!
I would love to say that the shuttle ride was uneventful…Okay, for the most part, it was. However, there was this girl on the bus who was a bit unique and by the time we had gotten to the convention center, she had somehow determined that I should write a story and pitch it to Dark Horse and anyone else who would listen. With my busy schedule, I haven’t done that yet but who knows..maybe someday you’ll see my name on a cover as a writer. You just never know!
Once we got there, I used my “power of the press badge” to slip inside the exhibitor floor. Mostly I just wanted to drop off my coat and there were only about 15 minutes left before the floor opened up for everyone. Would you believe that somehow I managed to lose Jim in that time? Seriously! Luckily, he was listening for his phone and I tracked him down at the Zenescope table. You would think that I was known for hanging around there or something…oh wait….
After saying hi to everyone there, we headed back to Artist’s Alley where 90% of my work takes place. I had forgotten just how huge of a place it was! Poor Jim got bored quickly standing there listening to me talk to people so he wandered off, but not before we went and saw the Buffy Shadowcast! Not being super familiar with Buffy but loving shadowcasts, I was interested. Jim, not knowing a lick about shadowcasts, but loving Buffy was interested. In the end, the venue for this was totally wrong, but the actors put on an enjoyable show.
From there, it was back to work for me and Jim decided to wander around and check everything out. I had a great time talking with everyone back in AA and bumped into more than one person that I knew! I have to say that conventions are so many things to me. I always learn something new and meet new people, but now they’re giving me the opportunity to see people that I already know too.
The con floor closed at 7pm and let me tell you, they want you off the floor at 7:01. It’s a bit crazy so I suggest that if you’re attending this event, make sure your shopping is done by 6:55 and you’re making your way to the exit or the orange shirts will shoo you along! They’re totally nice about it, but those volunteers
take their jobs seriously. The best part of my day? That’s really hard to say. I got snuggles from Eric and Mandy’s little girl, Rockell…I got to hang out with Mike and Mary DeBalfo behind their table…and, while Jim was telling me a story of how he met some people who knew me, I happened to look over at the up escalator (we were on the down escalator) and I said, “You mean those people?” Turns out that he had run into Alfred Trujillo and Cara Nicole earlier in the day. We got to stand there talking with them for a bit and then it was back to our hotel to do a quick clothing change and head back out to a party! Busy, busy! Did I mention that I got to pop Jim’s con cherry? I have to say that part was pretty sweet. It’s always fun to watch a grown man’s eyes get huge and watch him fanboy and try to figure out what to look at first.
My take on Day 1? Long. Exhausting. So much fun! I’m already looking forward to next year. Make sure you come back to see how Days 2 and 3 went as well as to see some peeks of our photo gallery from this year!
PS For those who might be wondering, no, I didn’t take the route into Chicago where I could dodge the “trolls.”