ReedPop’s Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, better known as C2E2, returns to Chicago this coming weekend. The event runs August 5-7 at McCormick Place. Tickets are still available from single-day general admission all the way up to VIP packages. Our very own 25YL film critic Don Shanahan will be representing 25YL with press credentials to scope out the scene. If you’re a first-timer, bring your cosplay style, comfy shoes, and a snack to enjoy this massive collection of fandom! You’ll definitely need a map to get around.
When you combine the Hollywood stars, professional wrestlers, comic book greats, and some of the best cosplayers in the world, the sheer amount of talent that will be in the building at one time will be the best you can get in Chicago. The headlining talent for this year’s C2E2 showcases many levels of genre media. Here’s a sample lineup from the entertainer side:
Diving into the comic book side, the many featured guests, including those who take exhibition residence in the huge Artist Alley zone of C2E2 annually give fans unprecedented casual access to the creative people who inspire so many of our genre obsessions. Stop by their booths to see them in action, scope out their work, or spring for a commissioned piece of personalized artwork. Filling much of the show floor around them are hundreds of exhibitors ranging from independent shops to major brands filled with unique gifts and buried treasures of memorabilia.
On the more immersive side under the spotlight, C2E2 is hosting over 70 panels a day, ranging from fan meetups and gaming get-togethers for all ages to educational courses and main stage interviews. Stop by The Yard, sponsored by Chicago’s Revolution Brewing Company, for a relaxing indoor garden spot for libations and lounging. Stay late for the After Dark C2E2 features which include after-parties, karaoke, anime watch parties, and even a charity art auction to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Speaking of the wee ones, for the crowd bringing wide-eyed children, C2E2’s Family HQ and Gaming Zone areas are outstanding interactive spaces of demos, workshops, and free play for any future little wizard, hero, or Stormtrooper in your family. Fans of all things anime, manga, K-pop, and more have their own special area as well with the Pop Asia area featuring discussions from Chicago’s Japanese Cultural Center.
Follow C2E2 and ReedPop on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Join their Discord server and Facebook squad group for even more chatter. Lastly, download their app for Apple or Android for guiding you through the show floor and event calendar during your visit.