Officials at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) have announced that there will be many new and fresh faces at the annual pop culture extravaganza this year. Several notable comics publishers will be exhibiting at the show for the first time. They will be joining other leading publishers, such as Marvel and DC Entertainment, who have helped to make C2E2 the preeminent pop culture event in the Midwest since its debut in 2010. Officials are projecting that exhibitor space at C2E2 will be approximately 25 percent larger than last year! A few of the creative and innovative new companies on hand this year will be Action Lab Entertainment, Athleta Comics and Lion Forge Comics. In addition, Reload Comics and 2000 AD/Rebellion will be at C2E2 for the first time promoting their widely popular properties and titles.
In addition to Marvel and DC, some other returning publishers include Anomaly Productions, Archaia, Avatar Press, Big Dog Ink, Boom! Studios, Dark Horse, Medallion Press, Quirk Books, Valiant Entertainment, Xigency Studios and Zenescope Entertainment. All these publishers will have new comic books and stories to reveal at C2E2 and they will have fresh, original artwork to display in their booths. DC Entertainment has provided the original poster art for this year’s show which features Superman in an iconic Chicago setting. The Marvel booth will be centrally located on the show floor where fans will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with creators and staff. Many of the publishers will also be participating in panels, providing show exclusives, and will be bringing their top talent to meet the thousands of fans on hand at C2E2.
As noted, C2E2 has quickly become the largest and most influential pop culture event in the Midwest. It attracted just over 27,000 fans when it was launched in 2010 and grew to over 41,000 fans last year. While it is impossible to project attendance for 2013, convention officials note that ticket sales are running between 85% - 95% ahead of the same time last year, virtually guaranteeing that this will be the most widely attended C2E2 to date. This year’s C2E2 will take place April 26 – 28 in the West Building at McCormick Place Convention Center.
“The fact that we have so many really cool first time publishers signing up for our show is the best news I could possibly be sharing,” notes Lance Fensterman, Global Vice President for ReedPOP and Show Manager for C2E2. “Presenting new original content and being able to provide fans an opportunity to meet artists and creators who they have never met before is the lifeblood of what we do! We want to provide a home where our new customers feel instantly happy and productive and where our fans come away feeling like they have ‘discovered’ something. I am hugely grateful to all the publishers who have decided to join us for the first time this year and I know our fans will do everything they can to make C2E2 a great experience for them.”
Examples of the various projects that some of these publishers will be promoting at C2E2 include:
Action Lab Entertainment, publisher of the 2012 two-time Eisner nominated Princeless, will be at C2E2 to introduce their lineup of creator-owned comics. They will be presenting at the Diamond Retailer Summit and will talk about Jamal Igle’s Molly Danger, NFL Rush Zone, Jeremy Dale’s Skyward, Princeless, Vamplets: Nightmare Nursery, Pirate Eye and their new Mature Readers line called Action Lab: Danger Zone.
Athleta Comics is owned by Israel Idonije, the longtime defensive player for the Chicago Bears. Mr. Idonije will be coming to C2E2 to promote his first comic project The Protectors. Idonije was inspired to create The Protectors when he had an idea for a superhero who would appeal to both comic book enthusiasts and die-hard sports fans. He has teamed up with the creative team of writer Ron Marz and artist Bart Sears and Idonije, Marz and Sears will be at the Athleta booth throughout the show and will participate in a panel!
Lion Forge Comics will unveil its two latest publications on Saturday, April 27 at C2E2. Former Playboy 2011 Playmate of the Year has partnered with Lion Forge on the use of her image and story line for Wonderous: The Aventures of Claire Sinclair. Actor Flex Alexander has collaborated with Lion Forge on a cyber-thriller comic called The Joshua Run. Alexander notes: “I am very excited to be a part of C2E2 this year. This is big for me because I grew up a comic book fan and collector. I can’t wait for everyone to get into the world of The Joshua Run. It is going to be an amazing ride!”
United Kingdom publisher Reload will be making their first U.S. convention appearance at C2E2. They will promote their flagship title, Jericho, which was created by Fwah Storm, self-described as a “musician, magician, poet, illustrator, a proud member of Reload Comics and so much more!” Storm notes that Reload will be bringing their books, merchandise and promotional material (along with some other goodies!) to C2E2.
The staff at 2000 AD/Rebellion note: “After hearing such good things about C2E2, we knew exactly where we’d be spreading the 2000 AD Thrill-power! We’ll be promoting our North American line of collections – from classics such as Judge Dredd and Sláine the Barbarian, to more modern titles like Leviathan and Zombo – as well as bringing a few little British treats across for fans new and old! We’ll also have a great panel on the Friday evening at 7:45pm with several top names that will be very familiar to US audiences! We can’t wait to get to Chicago and introduce new readers to the amazing galaxy of characters from 2000 AD!”
Tickets for C2E2 are currently on sale at www.C2E2.com. Anyone interested in exhibiting at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo should contact Larry Settembrini, Larry@ReedPOP.com. As noted, more guests and activities will be announced in the month ahead and fans should keep their eyes on C2E2’s website for additional comics and entertainment announcements.