Heading to C2E2 this weekend? Have a game plan ready to navigate its vast offerings

Winged, hooded, one or two of them green-skinned, they streamed into a great hall surfacing massive concrete pillars – a scene that evoked a vast space visitor arrival lounge.

They passed through a security checkpoint, displaying their blasters, battle axes, and lightsabers.

They came in peace.

Hopefully they came up with a game plan to successfully navigate the giant maze of toys, curiosities, artists and celebrities inhabiting McCormick Place April 26-28 for C2E2, the Midwest’s largest pop culture convention. is the best option Download the event’s mobile app, Which offers detailed maps, coupon books, schedule updates, notifications and more.

It must have seemed a particularly daunting challenge for 21-year-old Warren Swanson of Batavia, who brought along an 8-foot-long, 3D-printed space battleship Yamato from the Japanese anime series of the same name.

Dressed in character Susumu Kodai’s red and white naval uniform, Swanson planned to drive his creation around the convention on a handmade cart all day Friday.

Swanson said, “It’s my love letter to the (anime) series.”

But before he could share it, he had to get the thing into the parking garage elevator.

Easy, he said, showing how the magnetic hull could be broken into different pieces. Swanson spent the rest of the day wandering the aisles of glowing light sabers (ranging from $99 to $1,600), foam swords, cellophane-wrapped comic books and thousands of other shiny trinkets.

Convention goers also have the opportunity to get autographs and pictures with favorite celebrities, which this year includes actors Christopher Lloyd, Chad Michael Murray and Cristo Fernandez.

Passersby repeatedly stopped Swanson for photo ops – no mean feat in a place that carefully brought to life dead ringers for Batman, Spiderman and Captain America, as well as hundreds of other fictional characters. Swanson obliged, saluting her black leather boots and clicking the heels.

Eileen Peterson’s problem on Friday was that her world had gone blurry overnight — a price to pay for becoming “Gwen,” the deer-like character from the video game “Spiritfarer.” To achieve the effect, Peterson, 34, wore white contact lenses with small holes on each pupil.

“I have a sense of the shapes, so I’m aware of where people are,” said Peterson, who lives in Memphis, Tennessee. “If the landscape is changing, I have what we call in the industry, a cosplay handler,” she said, pointing to her best friend Toria Olivier, 34, who lives in Chicago.

Peterson said he is completely focused on authenticity.

“So I thought being blind for a few hours was worth it to take cool pictures with my best friend that will be memories for a long time,” said Peterson, who was also wearing 3-inch heels.

Erin Cox’s challenge was to keep cash in your pocket, in a place that would quickly drain you – at least until you could find the nearest ATM.

Cox, who hails from Fort Wayne, Indiana, found herself in front of a booth that sold ultra-realistic light sabers, most of which retail for hundreds of dollars.

“I want them all,” Cox said, adding that she didn’t really want that. need Any. She said she brought her boyfriend along, at least partly, to warn her if she felt nervous about spending.

“Looking around is overwhelming. There are a lot of things you want,” Cox, 31, said.

Steve Ormins’ expectation for a Chicago-themed tableau with a group of friends was to last about two hours. With wide Styrofoam wings affixed to his arms, he looked as if he was testing a human-powered flying device. But when he got the study completely straight, he turned to, of all things, the Picasso sculpture of Dealey Plaza.

The costume took them about a week to create, Ormins said. He briefly considered visiting as a “rat hole”, an imprint of the North Side sidewalk that has now been removed. But he decided he wanted something classy.

“It’s far more prestigious,” Ormins said of the Picasso.