The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, better known as C2E2, was held this month in the South building at McCormick Place, Chicago. I have to give a lot of credit to those who run C2E2, and to the McCormick Place. Every time I come they have been very welcoming and responsible for the attendees. Thank you Team!
What I have noticed over the years at this event is the freedom people have to participate. I see more women playing in character without fear of harassment. I see the crowd obeying and doing their part to police the C2E2 "ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY for harassment of any kind". C2E2 does not have a problem ejecting you from the game if you do not comply. It is just very nice to see the public giving the policy full support, and people who have feared any type of harassment open up to their inner selves and participate.
People are kind to one another at this event. As a participant and vendor you need to know people will be taking photographs. If you are uncomfortable with that you do need to speak up. Me, as a photographer if I see signs of fear I will ask an individual before taking their photograph. If it is a stand alone child I want to photograph I will definitely ask their parent for permission. If a vendor's work appears proprietary I ask before taking a photograph of their booth. Everyone says "yes" and "thank you for asking". When I still sense fear after a "yes" I tell them how I will use the photograph in my blog, and give them my card. I do not want to push their comfort zone. Always feel free to say no to people!
This is a family friendly environment, though some of the costumes can be a bit more on the adult-side. What I find interesting in contrast, when photographing some of the female adult-side cosplayers, when I take just a couple select photographs they would like me to take more. I give credit to C2E2 for that, in that their Zero Tolerance Policy works, and that the cosplayer feels safe doing what they are doing. The cosplayer is doing something that makes them feel good. Something that they are proud of. All without fear.
This is a 3-day event, Friday thru Sunday. I started out Friday on the 5th floor of the South building so that I could photograph the cosplayers going to the "Meetup" room for their genre or other interests. The first few photographs are looking out the windows of that floor. McCormick Place is designed well to give you a view no matter what direction you look. A gift of the Architect and Chicago to you.
My interest in events like this is my photography and photographing cosplayers. When photographing the cosplayers I get to see the beautiful people they are. My challenge is to capture that in some way.
If you are in the photograph, you are free to download, and to E-mail me if you would like the full size image. If you are not in the photograph, please do not download. This blog and my photographs are not here for you personal collections of any kind. I too will protect the Zero Tolerance Policy of C2E2, and for any event that cosplayers participate which I photograph. (Links to My Copyright can be found at the top and bottom of this page.)
Participants come for many reasons. Many to show off their talent with hand made artistry, and others to show the funniness of their character.
I needed to take the above photograph of Gene from Alien Entertainment and operator of Chicago TARDIS. I am a Doctor Who fan. My first comic and entertainment experience was in 1989 with Her Majesties Entertainment, held at the Harvey Holiday Inn, South side of Chicago. I found out Colin Baker was going to be there. (I believe his first visit to the US.) My son was thrilled to meet him, and found out his daughter and my son were the same age. That began our experience, from Her Majesties Entertainment, to Visions, now known as Chicago TARDIS.
The above photograph is the booth of The Elven Caravan. I was impressed with their layout, costume, energy. So I had to photograph. You can find out about them by going to their Facebook page.
The above photograph was my first Doctor Who cosplay of the day. She was happily surprised when I asked her and her father if I could take her photograph. The smile tells it all how important that moment was to her.
The above photo of our Captain America holding his "Stanley" Cup. You have to smile at the creativity people have.
You were able to have you photograph taken in the Ghost Busters Ecto car, or the Back To The Future Delorean car. My bride was to have her photograph taken in the Delorean on Sunday when she cosplayed the 13th Doctor, however with everything going on we failed to remember to do it. There is always next year . . . we hope.
As in the above photograph, it is fun to see what people find enjoyable. What they connect to.
And Deadpool would not be Deadpool if he was not hamming it up. (Above photograph.)
The part I enjoyed the most was family cosplay. It reminds me of the 30 years ago when my family started, and now with my new bride that it will continue.
As in the photograph above, there is something for everyone at C2E2. If you look, you will find. The photograph below is father (left) and daughter (center) talking to the vendor. When the daughter saw me point the camera you could tell her quick smile was an automatic one of joy, like awe shucks . . .
The family who cosplays together stays together, at least on the floor to grab a bite to eat. Or, send your kids off to Family HQ to show of their cosplay.
Service pets allowed (below) . . .
Women super hero of another kind (above) . . .
You can try to go stealth, however the little ones will still point you out (above) . . .
As a parent, it is relaxing to just sit and let your children burn off some energy flying around learning how to play Quidditch.
Bring on the games (above photograph)! There were a lot of interactive games at C2E2. Everyone was enjoying them!!!
So, which one did my bride buy? (Above photograph.)
Plan your activities on the C2E2 app, and find the location on the map.
By bride. Say hello to her little friend (Ex-Ter-Min-Ate).
Some photographs before the show opened. I did not have to stand in line!
"Seriously dude, I don't know any Luke Skywalker."
Vendors come in about 2 hours or less before the show opens. Many in costume. There was also a band playing some cool music. The CAH Comedy Theater was present to announce the show, and the piccolo flute player of CAH Comedy Theater asked if he could play with them.
One family shown above was waiting on the Mayor of C2E2 to cut the ribbon, signifying the opening of the Saturday show.
Though there are a lot of themes to cosplay at C2E2, I cannot get over the overwhelming support of Doctor Who. The photograph below is of a Dalek, and very nicely done.
I do enjoy when parents involve their children, especially when they are cosplaying a Doctor Who character (photo above.)
In the photograph above it may look congested at one end, however C2E2 did a great job with a few wide corridors to help you get from end to end when you needed to.
Storytown Improv! This is always a great event to bring your children to. Improvised musical improv takes the children on a journey of their choice, by giving the actors suggestions. What is very cool is my friend Lou Leonardo (pink shirt on the right) has been part of this ensemble probably from the beginning. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Lou.) The children not only help to frame the improv, they also get a chance to participate in it. How cool is that?!
My bride and Barf making out . . .
Like the photograph below, sometimes your costume needs a little field rework. C2E2 does provide a place to change into costume, a quiet room to unstress if you need to, a family room, lactation room, all gender restrooms, and more!
What most of us were waiting for! The C2E2 Crown Championship of Cosplay!!! This was presented by Singer, and was the "last stop" in the ReedPOP's 2018 Global Championships of Cosplay. Represented were the Unites States, Australia, China, Austria, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Korea, France, the UK, and South Africa.
My bride Christi was first in line so that we could have a decent enough seat to photograph from. After we were in the closest we could get was 6 or 7 rows back, because of reserved seating by special ticket holders. I think we did a good job given the circumstances.
The show started with a singing contest by selection of audience members. Unknown to the host when she selected him sitting down, was who she nicknamed "Crop Top Mario", who was actually in some sort of adult roll play version, complete with collar and chain. This was hilarious to watch as the host dealt with it to perfection.
The judges this evening in order as they came on stage, Avantgeek (center), Leeanna Vamp (right), and Yaya Han (left).
First, the United States competition in three categories; Armor, Needlework, and FX.
A dance competition . . .
Vimeo was live at C2E2 during the week, and gave out awards as well.
Now the worldwide awards, and Crown Champion for 2019.
The next few photographs are of Doctor Who fans going to the Meetup room, and of the showing support of Doctor Who in the Meetup room.
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