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C2E2 – The Morning After Day 1

Day 1 of the second C2E2 was off to a good start for me personally. The Amtrak train from downstate was ontime for a change and the trip from Union Station to my hotel on Michigan Avenue just a little south of the river was short. I’d been anticipating this con since last year was such an incredibly positive experience. Thanks to snagging a super deal through a trvael website (all those weekly plus emails can pay off!), I’ve got a suite that isn’t so much smaller than my apartment for a dollar more than the just adequate place I stayed at last year. And the room has a view to both the east (no lake though) and the south where the Art Insitute can be seen.

There are changes to C2E2 this year. Most notably is the building. Last year’s con was situated in a truly cavernous space with a western wall that was at least half glass, lending a feeling of airiness. At the end of the day you weren’t left with the feeling of having been inside with throngs of other fans. This year the con has moved over one building to the west. The space seems as large as last year’s though lacking in the amount of window space. Still, not as suffocating in feeling that the crush of Comic Con can create. The food court in this building is much closer to the con space than last year, too, though the choices are different and possibly better. Au Bon Pain has to be a step up from Mickey D’s! The other big change is the addition of three shuttle busses running from various hotels to McCormick Place. While I’ve yet to try a shuttle, the addition of transportation is great! Last year attendees had to resort to taking a #3 bus from Michigan Avenue or the red line train to Cermak and then hopping on a #22 bus to McCormick. Not a long trip, but riding a bus full of people just wanting to get home while fans tried to balance all their comics schwag wasn’t the funnest of experiences. I’ve heard the busses are plush Greyhounds so I’m lloking forward to using them.

Also improved from last year are the locations of con panels. This year the rooms are one short and simple escalator ride from the main floor. Getting to panels last year always seemed to be a bit of a circuitous trek, more or less inolved depending on where you were at any given time on the main floor. Up two flights, around a stairwell, or something strange.

Before and in between my attempts at being spontaneous and live blogging two panels (HA!) I wandered the floor with my friend Jon from Milwaukee. A good sized artists alley where I saw Dan Parent sketching and asked him to autograph the most recent Archie comic with Kevin, and Prism has a booth this year! So far I’ve picked up two Finn & Charlie volumes from Tony Breed and two books from Kris Dresen.

Okay, time to run! More soon!

March 19, 2011
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