The fourth annual Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo is coming up next weekend, and I'll be there, wandering around, buying stuff, badgering creators, seeing what new comics I can find out about, and just generally having a good time. As I try to do every year, here's what I find interesting and might consider checking out among the various programs and panels that are scheduled:
Friday, April 26
12:00 - 2:00: Boulet Sketching - I really like the French artist Boulet's comics, so it's cool that he's going to be at C2E2, although it looks like he's just doing this autograph/sketching session rather than having a booth. I'm not sure if I'm willing to spring $12 for a sketch, but I wouldn't mind at least stopping by and letting him know I'm a fan.
3:15 - 4:15: Kill Shakespeare: Dramatic Reading - I haven't read any of the Kill Shakespeare series, but it's something that I might check out someday, and this looks like a neat taste, with people acting out scenes and performing music and sound effects. It could be fun.
6:30 - 7:30: Digital First Comics: The New Trend - Digital comics can be an interesting subject, so this could be an interesting panel, featuring Mark Waid and Comixology's John D. Roberts.
6:30 - 7:30: Beer & Comics - I'm not sure what there is to talk about regarding these two subjects, but maybe there will be some free samples?
7:00 - 8:00: Spotlight on Nick Spencer - I haven't been super-impressed by the Nick Spencer comics I've read, but he's one of those rising stars, and it might be interesting to hear him talk. The panel is being moderated by my friend Kiel Phegley, so I might try to make it to show some support.
7:45 - 8:45 - Dredd and Beyond: The Whole Wide World of 2000AD - I'm always interested in reading more 2000AD comics, so this might be an interesting panel, featuring Andy Diggle and Paul Cornell, moderated by Heidi MacDonald.
8:15 - 10:00 - Maniac Screening - I don't usually go to screenings at conventions, but this could be a good way to end the day, seeing a horror movie. It stars Elijah Wood, and it's described as a "gory and brutal first-person remake of William Lustig's 1980 slasher classic". Fun?
Saturday, April 27
11:00 - 12:00 - Comix Chix with Kate Kotler Live - I guess this is a podcast, but it's notable for the participation of Amy Reeder, Jenny Frison, Jill Pantozzi, and Heidi MacDonald, so it could be an interesting discussion of women in comics, and hopefully not just more talking about Fake Geek Girls.
11:30 - 12:30 - The Future of Graphic Novels and Motion Comics: A Look at the Not-So-Distant Future of Interactive Graphic Storytelling - The title and description of this panel are broad enough as to be nearly meaningless, but if this ends up being a discussion of digital comics and the use of technology to tell comics stories, I might be interested. If its about those awful motion comics where art from some existing comic is given limited animation and terrible voice acting, then no thanks.
12:15 - 1:15 - Spotlight on Brian Wood - I like Brian Wood's comics pretty well (although I haven't read a lot of his more recent stuff, like Conan and Star Wars), so this may be worth attending.
12:30 - 1:30 - Patton Oswalt Q&A - I really like Patton Oswalt; he's a hilarious comedian, and he's got some real geek cred, often offering smart commentary on science fiction, comics, and even crime fiction, so this will probably be a good time.
12:45 - 1:45 - Imaginative Sci-Fi Authors of C2E2 - I'm not sure what exactly this panel is about, aside from throwing some creators together and having them chat, but since it features David "Mouse Guard" Peterson, Jeffrey Brown, and Royden "Rust" Lepp, among others, it could be interesting.
2:00 - 3:00 - CBLDF Presents a History of Censorship in Comics - Here's a chance to learn about depressing events, but it's important to know about this sort of thing, and it's probably worth attending, if I have the chance.
4:00 - 5:00 - The Chew Panel - I enjoy Chew quite a bit, so this panel featuring the creators will probably be worth attending.
4:30 - 5:30 - Futuristic Fright: Science Fiction Novelists Imagine Far-Future Worlds - Some sci-fi authors, including John Scalzi, talk about their craft, which will probably be interesting.
5:15 - 6:15 - Dark Horse Spring Fever - One of those publisher "here's what we've got coming out soon" panels, which can be hit and miss, but Eric Powell is going to be included, and I'm sure there will be lots of interesting comics to hear about.
5:15 - 6:15 - Viz Media Panel - I don't know if Viz has been to C2E2 before, so this could be a panel to check out. I am sort of biased about one of their series...
7:00 - 8:00 - Chicago Comics from the Chicago Scene - This one is a can't-miss for me, since I love the Chicago comics scene. It features Tim Seeley, Jeremy Tinder, Paul Hornschemeier, and Jeffrey Brown, and is moderated by Kiel Phegley. I bet it will be great.
7:45 - 8:45 - Husbands: Television and Beyond - I've heard this show and the comics which have been spun off from it are pretty good, so this panel/screening might be worth checking out.
Sunday, April 28
11:00 - 12:00 - Derf Backderf on My Friend Dahmer - My Friend Dahmer was one of the best comics of 2012, so this is a can't-miss panel for me; I imagine it will be fascinating.
12:15 - 1:15 - Exorcising the Spectre of the Fake Geek Girl: Discussing Geek Culture, Gate-Keeping, and Sexism - Ah, here's the panel specifically devoted to the "fake geek girl" nonsense. It might be an interesting discussion (sponsored by some outfit called the "Chicago Nerd Social Club"), but I for one am sick of the entire thing, so I doubt I'll make the point of attending.
1:30 - 2:30 - Archaia Entertainment Presents: Comics Storytelling and the Lost Art of 3D - I guess this is related to an upcoming 3D comic from Archaia, but it's also a survey of the history of 3D comics, and I bet it will be interesting. I'll have to try to make it.
That's everything that caught my eye, but if anybody has anything they think I should check out (including off-site concerts, parties, or other activities), or if you would like to meet up with me at some point and say hi, feel free to drop me a line at mbrady325 at gmail. I'm expecting to have a great time; see you there!