We love to wax nostalgic at PoP!, but sometimes it’s what’s yet to come that most quickens our nerd pulses. For better or for worse, let’s start the speculation over what’s making us Future Tense.
It’s convention time, friends; more specifically, time for the best in the (mid)West – C2E2! The folks at Reed don’t just put on a convention, they throw a party, and whatever your particular predilections, they’ve got you covered. There’s plenty to be excited about, for sure, but what’s at the top of the list?
We’re not talkin’ Virgil here (though he will be in attendance) – to list here each and every one of the guests scheduled from the worlds of comic books, literature, and entertainment in general would be pure folly. Suffice it to say, there’s a smorgasbord of celebrities who’ll be in attendance, and if you don’t believe me, take a look at C2E2’s page for the full list. Where else will you see Anne Rice, Val Kilmer, and Adam Hughes under one roof?
For those not-so-star-struck among you, Reed is offering up the most packed schedule of panels, screenings, and events you could possibly imagine. Learn tales and tricks from industry insiders, get the scoop on your favorite properties and where they’re headed, or just sit back in front of the Variant stage and laugh your ass off from 2:15 to 3:15 pm on Saturday (shameless plug). Wherever you go, you’ll find something to catch your attention and before you know it, the show floor will be closing for the night and you’ll be itching for morning and a chance to do it all over again.
The Show Floor
Still, a fan can not live on autographs and advanced PR alone. The show floor is the glue that holds any con together, and C2E2’s floor is the stickiest around… that didn’t come out right. Consider this – you get the autograph you were dying for and the panel you’re excited about doesn’t start for another 45 minutes. It’s too early for lunch, and who wants to go sit in a hallway just to wait; what to do? Walk the floor and take in the sights! Whether it’s retailers like Super-Fly Comics and Games at booth #469, exhibitors like Diamond Select Toys with their lovable (and buyable) Minimates at #311, your favorite podcasters at Panels on Pages booth #862, or some hoity-toity artists who make their way out onto the show floor like Mr. Michael Champion at booth #715 – there will be plenty to keep you busy.
But don’t just hop from booth to booth all willy nilly! The image above might help, but you’ll be even better off clicking it and going to the interactive version on C2E2’s site to plan out your con voyage. And as you walk, be sure to take in the sites and sounds – PepperInk (aka Eric Maruscak) will be working his chalk art magic, cosplayers will be showing off their latest and greatest creations, JFX316 will be dropping some almost-assuredly nerdy beats, and the 11th Hour will be everywhere, shooting video like only they can. Pro tip: if you find yourself with a video camera pointed at you, a static pose doesn’t make for great television – unless you’re cosplaying as Boo from Super Mario 3.
Let’s not forget the other main attraction of the convention circuit – the art! Whether you’ve already got a collection under way or are looking to start one, Artists’ Alley is where you need to be. From newcomers to pros and everywhere in between, the alley is the place to find some of the most talented folks at the show peddling their wares. It’s not just about getting a great sketch or print, though. Here, you’ll learn about side projects from your favorite creators, new books from people you’ve never heard of, and – if you’re lucky – you might just stumble into some sort of zany hi-jinks… I’m looking at you, Dirk Manning!
Of course, no con is complete without the single greatest attraction – the PoP!ulation! Whether it’s reconnecting with old friends, meeting a long time acquaintance for the first time, finally putting a face to a name, or finding a complete stranger and indoctrinating them into the madness, this is what really gets me pumped for C2E2 each year. If you’re already a member, you know what I’m talking about. And if you aren’t? Make sure you find your way into the fold; who needs Kool-Aid when you’ve got PoP! Rocks and Coke? Whether it’s at the PoP! booth, the panel, or the hotel lobby after hours, we promise to welcome you with open arms and individually wrapped slices of cheese… still looking at you, Dirk!