8 things I'm looking forward to at C2E2

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Thursday, April 24, 2014

I pose for the classic shot just after donning my Press badge at C2E2 2013.
The fourth annual Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) starts Friday, April 25 and runs through Sunday, April 27. I’ll be there as a member of the media for the third straight year.

Of course the convention covers comics — from A to Z — but it also features speakers and other guests from movies and television, as well as from the realms of toys and video games. The festivities all happen in the massive South Building of Chicago’s McCormick Place. 

Lines like this might intimidate some people, but I use time waiting to make new friends.
Here are eight things I’ll be looking forward to (in no particular order) while I’m there.

1) How companies are using apps and social media to spread the word. Can I make any suggestions when I return relevant to Astronomy?

2) “Science Fiction,” a three-author panel on Friday afternoon. The description promises: “From the far-flung reaches of the Milky Way to the mind-bending possibilities of time travel, let authors John Scalzi (The Human Division), Daryl Gregory (Afterparty) and M.D. Waters (Prototype) tell you what they see when they venture to other dimensions.

I always enjoy listening to someone who has created a world (or universe) of characters. How much science did they use? Have they advanced technology in a logical direction? And most importantly, how many laws of nature did they bend? I’d love to create a universe.

Predator is a 1987 science-fiction movie starring Arnold Schwartzenegger. The cosplayer pictured may not know it, but that creature represented a “first contact” in the movie.

3) Cool stuff and meeting new friends away from the convention center. See some people who obviously have been to C2E2 at a nearby (packed) restaurant? Maybe ask, “Hey, wanna share a table?” That way, I can get to know them in a more casual setting — and seated rather than standing in a long line.

Doctor Rockso, a character from the animated show Metalocalypse, has no relationship with science, but I am a sucker for the craziest outfits at any convention.
4) Picking up and putting on my Press badge. At events like C2E2, people listen a few ticks longer when they’re talking to the media. And there’s an extra boost when they see what media outlet I represent. That’s right. I’m science plus credibility.

5) Chatting with people at random. I really want to know what they think about the current crop of science-related entertainment products. For example, we know The Big Bang Theory has had a positive effect on students choosing science majors. Will the Cosmos series and movies like Gravity have the same draw?

6) The panel titled, “The Theoretical and Literary Multiverse for Nerds and Geeks Alike Presentation & Discussion.”Its description says the presenters will review the concept of the multiverse both in regards to theoretical physics and entertainment mediums such as comic books and video games. One of the discussion points will be the SETI program. Hey, how do I get invited to be on a panel?

7) Science-related costumes.

8) The unexpected. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at previous C2E2s, so I’m hoping lightning (from Thor’s hammer!) strikes again.


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