If you live in the Chicago area you’ve probably heard of C2E2 but for those of you that haven’t. C2E2 or Chicago Entertainment and Comic Expo happened April 21st-23rd and was basically a weekend of geeking out over comics, TV shows, books, etc. Also known as the event where you want to be if you were in the area-ish. Two weeks before C2E2 was set to happen, I had no idea I would be attending, never mind getting to meet a blogger friend. As a scrounged to make plans, I got more and more excited. This would be my first time attending the expo and I had only heard good things.
C2E2 is primarily a comic and entertainment expo but even for a major book nerd like me, there were so many cool things to do. There were a couple of big authors signing on all the days and there were so many great panels- bookish and otherwise happening at the show (many of which were free of cost and also generally amazing.) The show floor was packed with people who were happy to be there and many also tastefully cosplaying their favorite characters.
C2E2 was very different from other cons/expo’s I’ve attended in the past because it wasn’t focused on books and yet I didn’t feel out of place at all. People were generally friendly and so happy to be there. Whenever I saw someone cosplaying a character I recognized, it made me feel even more at home at the expo because everyone was just a nerd and that was great.
There were panels at the expo regarding diversity in both YA lit and comics and there were actual diverse people at these panels! I KNOW. WHAT A SURPRISE. *throws confetti* Most of what I attended at the expo however were author meetup events set up by Epic Reads and those were the highlights of my time at C2e2.
These meetups were very casual and allowed readers the opportunity to connect with some of their fav authors and even learn a little about the books of authors they hadn’t heard of. The first meetup my friend and I went to didn’t have a lot of readers in attendance which meant that we got to talk to the authors for a LONG time (which is really the ideal amount of time to talk to an author.)
(from left to right): Katie Cotugno, Lexa Hillyer, Jilly Gagnon, Kimberly McCreight, Brittany Cavallaro
(from left to right) Danielle Paige, Megan Whalen Turner, Amy Tintera, Heidi Heilig, Colleen Oakes
Pardon my crappy pictures. I tried. I have better selfies if it makes you feel better. But yeah, back to me rambling about this exciting con I went to. These meetups were so much fun for me because it allowed me to have more than 5 mins meeting time to meet some of my idols. We got to talk about things, ask questions and even bond over common interests. To be in a room with people you admire is always such a great feeling but to be able to talk to them and to get to know them better takes that to a whole new level.
I GOT TO MEET MEGAN WHALEN TURNER who is the coolest and I am still not over meeting her. This is not to overlook other amazing authors I met, I’ve just been a fan of MWT for ages and ages and I cannot believe I actually got to meet her. I asked what fantasy series she would recommend reading to people and she said: Curse Workers by Holly Black & Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (random fact.)
Overall, the event was really fun and I wish I had had time to attend the other days because then I could have met SCOTT WESTERFELD (and asked why he didn’t reply to that email I sent in 10th grade after finishing and loving the Uglies series) and attended all the wonderful panels that were happening that day. Also I wish I had gotten to meet Caleb Roehrig (which will probably go down as being the greatest regret in my life.)08 If you have the time to attend C2E2 next year, you definitely should because it is 100% worth the time. Plus if you’re from nearby but not ~from~ Chicago, you can eat your way across the city while you’re here.
Quality brunch I had at Lula’s Cafe in Chicago!