Our mission is to produce quality television and live online broadcasts featuring established and upcoming comic book artists, cartoonists, graffiti artists, pop artists, illustrators, entertainment/gaming artists, animators and musicians that create music for those industries. We will provide a platform for those that create the art and music that provide a means of escape from daily grime. We will provide a social network supported by sponsors and partners for those that wish to immerse themselves in the culture. Our audience will have the opportunity to learn from artists and musicians of the industry and watch them demonstrate their techniques. It is our goal that they will gain knowledge and appreciation of how things work, the history of escapism and its importance in current times. Commercial art and music for industry educators will also be encouraged to participate.

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Comic Creators Gene Arriola and Eric Perez Share their Comic Book Creation with PMac

Comic Creators Gene Arriola and Eric Perez Share their Comic Book Creation with PMac

With the wide-eyed anticipation of children, my colleagues and I waited in line for the doors to open for Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo’s (C2E2) first convention at McCormick place.

Anticipation was great! We were anxious, maybe over-anxious with great expectations.  On opening day (April 16), we arrived thirty minutes before the entrance opened. When the doors opened, we were like a bunch of kids rushing into a candy store. Our steps quickened. As soon as we walked in, we were treated with a gift bag full of comic books and memorabilia promoting Free Comic Day, scheduled for the  first week in May. At the close of show on Sunday we were handed a goodie bag from MidTown Comics.

I enjoyed and was impressed by this event. For C2E2’s first start, it was outstanding and enlightening. It was everything I had hoped it to be and more. The focus of this event was on comics/animation and the artists. DC and Marvel had inspiring and mammoth displays that featured their comics and artists. They gave away an array of comic books and posters. Some artists were on hand to sign several of the books.

While both organizations offered advice to admirers on how to break into the comic book business, I was somewhat disappointed with DC Comic’s panel discussion titled, “DC Comic Talent Search.” While the presenter was very polite and straight forward, I had hoped we would get some work on the blank presentation screens and have it critiqued for those looking forward to becoming comic artists. Instead, artists were asked to submit a form with copies of their best work attached. They were also asked to look for their name on a board in the DC booth the following morning to see if they had a chance to meet with DC Comics and have their work reviewed. The following day, I counted seven names on the board.

While I enjoyed some of the panel discussions and animation screenings (particularly the VIZ series “Monster”), my favorite part of the show was Artists’ Alley. It was inspiring to walk down the lanes and watch the artists draw – ink, etc. – and meet and talk to the artists and writers. There were artists on hand in the booths as well as Artists’ Alley that offered critiques to would-be artists that brought in their work for them to offer suggestions for improvement. They sketched and signed autographs. They even sketched in visitors’ sketch books and inked some pencil sketches brought in by admiring fans. Other highlights were “Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars” presentation. Drawing lessons were also provided during the presentation. I liked the combination of comic art and education, which seemed to be a priority during this event. Vendors in the education arena included the Kubert School of Art, Illinois Institutes of Art, Westwood College, American Academy of Art and others.

There were a host of vendors offering good deals on art supplies, comic books, action figures, and more. And of course, there were photo opportunities with your favorite fantasy characters. I had anticipated more of a crowd at an event like this, but I think after the word gets out about this first time, first class presentation, the numbers will grow quickly. Well done, C2E2!