Is it just me, or can being an adult sometimes be a total drag?
I remember the days where I could sleep in, play make-believe with my friends, and believe with my whole little magical heart that my Hogwarts letter was coming aaaaany day now.
Today, I find myself protesting against the rising of the sun for just “FIVE MORE MINUTES!”, having a strong belief that I can’t make it through my morning without coffee, and struggling to keep my apartment clean (seriously, Hogwarts letter, where are you? I need to learn that cleaning spell that Dumbledore uses in The Half-Blood Prince!)
The point I’m trying to make here is, adulthood can be the total doldrums in comparison to when we were kids.
Well fret not, friends, because all hope is not lost!
I’m here to tell you all about how you and your family can find that spark of wonderment and joy at C2E2, and how the Des Plaines Public Library can help make your experience awesome!
Founded in 2010, it is a yearly event held at McCormick Place in the South Loop that brings people together to vibrantly celebrate their love for different facets of pop-culture.
From comics, to movies, to TV, to games, to music and more there is something for everyone to get excited about here.
In an extremely creative gesture of devotion to a series, many people at c2e2 often show up in costume, which is referred to as cosplay.
Honestly, walking into the main entrance is like stepping into a dream, and with each step you take further into the expo, the more distance you put between yourself and reality.
To your left, you’ll see Spiderman, to your right, you’ll see Ana and Elsa.
If anything, C2E2 is worth it just to see the insane display of creativity. Of course, there is plenty more to do than just look around.
There are a variety of things to do at the expo, including walking and browsing in a gigantic vendor hall where you can buy clothing, art, and other knick-knacks inspired by geek-subculture and fandoms.
There is also a section called Artists Alley where you can talk with your favorite comic book artists and have them sign books.
You could also discover new artists and pick up some new pieces for your home or work space. This is my favorite place in particular, and yes, my wallet did cry afterwards! But yours doesn’t have to!
You can go to C2E2 and not spend a penny more than your entry pass, and you could still have a fantastic time.
Panels are huge part of convention life in general, and they run all day long, all weekend long.
Some panels are just fun Q&A’s with celebrities, but some are educational.
I attended a panel called Leaves on the Wind which invited fans of the sci-fi TV series Firefly to gather and reminisce over our beloved, one season (STILL BITTER) show and have a conversation with actors Gina Torres and Alan Tudyk.
I also went to a few voice acting panels that gathered some of the top names in the profession and discussed how to get started in voice acting, and what it’s like to be a voice actor, as well as a panel that discussed comics as therapy.
There were also a bunch of panels that focused on cosplaying tips & tricks, and costume-building tutorials!
If you’re gamer, there is also a board game area.
Bring your own games and play with your friends, and a video-gaming lounge that has everything from old arcade cabinets to the NES to XBOX One.
Want a more visual representation of what C2E2 is like? Watch the video below to catch our visit to C2E2!
If this feels like something you definitely never want to miss out on again, and you want to show off your love for one of your favorite shows, books, movies or comics via Cosplay, the library has you covered!
Check out our list below!
So now you’re ready for your trip to C2E2!
Who did you want to be when you were growing up? Who will your first cosplay be?!
Let us know in the comments below!
by Jennifer Culp
Looking to just get a general history of cosplay and how it came to be? Check out Cosplay: Role-Playing for Fun and Profit by Jennifer Culp.
Perhaps you know what cosplay is, but aren’t quite sure how to get started. Then Cosplay Basics: A Beginners guide to the Art of Costume Play is just the book for you! This fun instructional book combines manga and list layouts to teach you the basics of getting your first cosplay together!
by Svetlana Quindt
If you are interested in cosplaying a character with armor, or a character that is equipped with various cool props, I highly recommend The Costume Making Guide by Svetlana Quindt, AKA Kamui Cosplay. This instructional guide covers in-depth what materials you will need to make specific pieces of armor and props, and provides costume inspiration as well!
If armor/props are something you’d like to dive even deeper into, the library also has a book called Foamsmith: How to Create Foam Armor Costumes. This goes beyond basics and goes into creating even more detail with foam, as well as how to add lighting your costumes with LED’s, and basics of soldering!
by Gillian Conahan
Maybe you’d just like to focus on making a costume without props, but aren’t sure how to go about sewing. You can always check out The Hero’s Closet: Sewing for Cosplay and Costuming by Gillian Conahan. This book teaches you how to plan and prepare for sewing a costume, provides patterns for various pieces you might need such as capes, dresses, or leggings, and even takes you through practice tutorials for superhero, sci-fi, and other themed costumes!
Steampunk culture is also a big part of C2E2, and many booths and vendors there focus their products solely around the steampunk aesthetic and lifestyle. From easy accessories to full on clothing pieces, Steampunk Your Wardrobe: Easy Projects to Add Victorian Flair to Everyday Fashions will teach you to time travel your clothing to the Victorian era faster than you can say tea time, old chap.