Finally, it’s time for my annual C2E2 report. Usually I do a day by day deal, but honestly C2E2 took a lot out of me this year. Rather than give you a detailed daily analysis, I’ll just give a wrap up. Of course this year I did C2Tweet2 with all the live details and photos anyway, so I pretty much covered most of that stuff already. Part of the problem this year was that I had a lot of stuff to do when I got home, so recovering from the convention took longer than usual.
Overall C2E2 was a lot of fun. There had to have been record attendance this year as it’s the first time I’ve ever had an issue parking. There were over 60,000 people at one point at the Con on Saturday and they were “at capacity” in the main hall. Pretty insane honestly, because McCormick Place is gigantic. The parking situation was a nightmare and its obvious to me that I’m going to have to seriously work to combat this next year because C2E2 just grows in leaps and bounds each year it seems.
While the convention was HUGE this year in terms of attendance, there was a serious lack of presence from both entertainment and comics industry professionals. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t small by any means, but DC lacked a booth (they did have panels), Round 2 didn’t have a booth, CS Moore wasn’t there, etc. I think the problem is that last year C2E2 was shoved into a much smaller hall at McCormick Place and I think certain people in the industry thought perhaps the con was shrinking. After this year’s gangbuster attendance, I hope we’ll see more toy and comic setups in the coming year. I was particularly disappointed in Round 2, as they were there all weekend with the Captain Action crew… But no booth. Guys, have a booth!
On the positive side, there was a huge area set up for indie toy makers. God Beast, Galaxxor, Warlords of Wor and Mystical Warriors of the Ring all had great stuff there. I stopped by the Nerd City booth at some point, but ended up not buying anything. I kept thinking I was going to go back and buy the Armorvor Infection, but never did. Not to begrudge those guys, but I don’t think they were as welcoming as they should have been. They seem content playing to their audience and not expanding it. How about throwing us at Infinite Hollywood a bone once and a while, eh? But I digress. A lot of that stuff is very pricey and I don’t know how they were doing on sales, but it was cool that they had a nice presence there. C2E2 specifically went out and coveted those connections so maybe in the future we’ll see more of that.
The Toy Hunter was there with a big booth. I heard through the grapevine that he sold his Flagg there. The price tag on that thing says $7,500 so if someone actually bought it at that price, god help them. He did have some neat stuff in his booth for reasonable prices and he brought a lot of stuff from the show. I probably should have pressed him for an interview, but I would have likely asked stuff he didn’t want to hear. I’m always cautious about that.
The panels are the best part of C2E2 and this year was no exception. DC had a panel that was utterly useless. They shilled stuff and basically just played Youtube videos. There seems to be such a disconnect with the New 52. I guess it’s doing okay sales wise or whatever, but it sure seems like they’re still trying to hard to “sell” it to people and nobody at the panel was really buying it. There was also a ton of people talking about how great Young Justice was. I dunno, show looked like crap to me.
The Minimates panel was fascinating, but not really because of anything they said. The only real news is that DST will be producing a 2 foot version of the Stay Puft. Yes, TWO FEET TALL! Making me all the more glad I sold that crappy Mattel Stay Puft. The rest of the panel wasn’t very informative, except for this hilarious nerdy kid who interrupted the panel to explain what the Alien Xenomorph is. Zach Oat is a really nice guy, but I don’t think he quite knew how to handle this kid’s nerdy outbursts.
I asked about the potential for Minimates to do more original stuff, but the general consensus seems to be that Battle Beasts is doing great for them and they can’t really afford to take more risks beyond new Beasts at this time. The best part of this panel was hanging out with Jaysun of Planned Banter. We cracked jokes in the back of the room like two school kids. We were losing our minds every time this kid started interrupting the panel to tell Zach of some of his “ideas” for new Minimates. God bless you kid.
The Green Ranger panel was fascinating. I liked the Green Ranger well enough, but to see him interact with his fans is something else. Apparently the Green Ranger has had a major impact on 90% of the people who watched that show. He’s like a father figure or something. You really haven’t been to a panel until you hear someone go on and on about how the Green Ranger had a profound effect on their lives. Also, there was this weird moment where some guy started talking about Bible passages and then for the next ten minutes people kept quoting random Bible verses. It was apropos I guess, because the Green Ranger was basically heralded as the second coming of Jesus during his panel. Jason David Frank seemed pretty cool overall, but he spent most the time playing with his phone and a green laser light. He said he had ADD and that’s very true. Guy was bouncing off the walls.
I felt bad for poor Burt Ward, knowing that he had lost out on a ton of autograph money once Adam West got his back broke by the 66′ version of Bane. Of course, I felt even worse for him during his panel where a drunk and/or stoned (probably both) Julie Newmar rambled on incoherently. Ward was informative, though I question some of his stories about how he basically taught Bruce Lee to fight, but overall he was good. Newmar had spent far too much time in the catnip and was the proverbial trainwreck. For what it’s worth, she didn’t look too bad (body wise) for someone who’s like 900.
The best panel had to be Ron Perlman’s. He seems like someone I would totally love to hang out with. Perlman is both poetically brilliant and average at the same time. He cussed so regularly, that you can tell it’s part of his everyday vernacular. Yet, at the same time he could wax philosophically in Shakespearian terms. It really made me appreciate his work even more, knowing that he’s such a down to earth guy, but yet quite intelligent too. The best part was watching him try to respond to the most obscure of nerd questions. After one or two questions, you can usually get a feel for someone. Some people are able to answer these questions, some aren’t.
Unfortunately the nerds who typically ask questions at a panel aren’t bright enough to realize this and they never tailor their questions to the person’s ability. So Ron was asked a million questions about obscure characters he’s voiced in TV shows. Perlman has voiced hundreds of characters in his time, so many of them, he barely knew anything about. He was never rude, mind you, but the way he would basically tell people that he had no freaking idea what they were talking about was very entertaining. Especially you, lady who asked about how his version of Deathstroke would raise his son that he didn’t have in the cartoon.
“How do you think Slade would be as a father? I mean, I know he wasn’t, but in the comics he was. In the comics he’s very different, but still loving. If they had introduced a son or daughter to Slade in the Teen Titans show, what kind of father do you think Slade would have been?”
“Uh, I don’t know… Absentee?”
Of course it goes without saying that one of the best parts of C2E2 2013 was meeting up with the guys from Planned Banter and enjoying a little normalcy at the convention. There is so much going on during these shows, that it’s nice to relax and meet up with some cool people and discuss the chaos. I look forward to next year.
Lastly, lest we forget that there was also tons of cosplay. This year seemed to have a lot more neat costumes that last year. I didn’t get nearly as many photos as I’d like to have. Some people were really rude and it seems to me that when people are taking photos you should be mindful that someone else might be taking photos too. About half my shots have a fat guy’s head in them, because people refuse to look where they’re walking. But it is what it is. Here’s what you all came for… Scantly clad woman in spandex!
And everything else… Including Virgil!