Growing up, I sent a lot of time people watching. My parents took us to a lot of museums, free concerts, camping, and plays. In fact, at times, I suspected that they left the Art Museum and found us before it closed. Each kid had a favorite painting near a bench that we would read and people watch from. They found one of us, and like a track race relay team, we would round up our small tribe. We wouldn’t see our parents for hours, but suddenly they reappeared.
Book reading and people watching work well together because you can hold a book just right and barely look up so people don’t know you are watching them instead of reading. This once afforded me to see a very old Groucho Marx’s come into the museum surrounded by other men. Being young and him being the first celebrity I saw in person, I got up, walked through the men to double check that yes, it was Groucho Marx. Then I did something dumb. I pointed at him and said, “You’re Groucho Marx.” He simply told me, “Get out of here kid. I don’t want people to know I’m here.”
What was dumb was I didn’t ask him for his autograph.
C2E2 is a great place to people watch and get autographs. You don’t even need a book to people watch, people expect to be watched. For autographs, you need money, lots of money.
There are many different groups of people there at the conventions to be watched. First are the normal people. I fall into this category. We may wear a comic t-shirt, but that’s about it. I don’t want to spend the day trapped in clothes that are painful, too hot or too cold. The second group it the geeks that geek out at the convention. By lunchtime, they are wearing half of their purchases, plus freebies and carrying the other half. This is the main reason to park at McCormick Place, to dump things into your car and go back for more. Then are the dealers. They are at C2E2 for one thing, to get your money, which they do.
Cosplayers are there to be watched. After working on and spending lots of money for their costume, they want to be seen. There is a lot of eye candy among the cosplayers so remember your manners, please. Ask to photograph them, don’t ask them to hold small children (I was handed a baby to hold while in a dog suit once. It wasn’t fun.), and never, ever touch them without asking permission. Like I said, they are there to be watched. If they wanted to be molested, they would go to Harvey Weinstein’s office.
Next are there those too cool to be there. These people act like the convention is below their notice, but it’s not or they wouldn’t be there. They will order the custom made Mjölnir online rather than be seen buying it there then pretend it was a gift from someone. Next are the cosplayers that shouldn’t be cosplaying. They didn’t have the time, money so resources to pull off the costume they wanted. You have to forgive the earnestly of these people and not mistake them for the people that dress up for the convention because they think they have to.
At this point in time, I feel the need to make almost a public service announcement. If it doesn’t fit, don’t wear it. I’m not fat shaming here. I fall into the overweight group, but I would prefer you take some time now and try on that Slave Leia outfit you bought 20 years ago before wearing it to C2E2 and look in the mirror. Your hubby may still get a kick when you wear it in the bedroom, but that is where you should leave it. If you really want to go as Slave Leia still, buy a new costume that fits and don’t forget to get a Brazilian wax. The worst Slave Leia I’ve seen was too skinny and the bra slipped down showing her nipples. C2E2 is all ages con during the day. Nipples in the family area, not cool. Until women are freed to go shirtless, please keep them covered for the sake of the parents that have to explain to their 5-year-old that just because that strange lady was showing her nipples doesn’t mean she can show hers.
Over the years I’ve seen many Poison Ivies. Some looked great, others not so great. One of the best Poison Ivy was a plus sized woman that had the costume made to fit her. She was catwalk ready in green.
This goes for men too. Your gut should not roll out from under your chest plate and you may want to wear a cup if I can tell if you have been circumcised.
One of me more uncomfortable booths had a man advertising his comic dressed as the main character in a modernized loincloth. It was padded or lined in some way so it looked a little like a diaper on him but it made the loincloth tasteful to wear at the convention, but he was so tall that even trying to look up at his face, low in the scooter I was in I would be looking at him package area. After a quick peek at his comic, I scooted off and sped by his booth for all three days.
The last and the group that many people come to watch are the B, C, and D list celebrities. It’s been a while that C2E2 has bought Chicago an A-lister other than Stan Lee so I don’t include them. The year they brought Chris Hemsworth was 2011 and he only had the first Thor movie under his belt. A lot of people come to meet their favorite comic writers and artists which where they get the C in C2E2. The newer ones autograph for free, or with purchase. The bigger ones may have a free signing time (Thanks, Brian Azzarello for flying the bird as you opened a comic seal to sign. #Bestphoto of the con.) Some of the entertainment guests may too have a free signing time at a company’s booth, but they generally don’t sign otherwise or may take half a day waiting to hopefully get an autograph. It takes time and cash to get most of the celebrities autograph or a photograph. This year, I’m having a dilemma.
I was raised to see the beauty of a person. This is where a person’s worth can be judged. As I have grown older, I still believe that but I also have realized that eye candy is enjoyable too. After all, I spent hours on hours as a kid in an Art Museum. I learned to appreciate beauty caught in bronze, stone, and canvas. More recently I’ve enjoyed the beauty of Chippendales’ when my boyfriend took me to their show. So is my dilemma. I don’t have unlimited funds. My question is do I go for eye candy or inner beauty in getting an autograph or photo.
None of the guests scream at me like Jason Momoa did in 2015. That is some tall eye candy with a heart. I got his autograph and even though I don’t like pictures of myself, I had to get a picture with men if only to prove that I meet him and spent about 3 minutes in total with him. He kept giving me strange looks when I spoke to him. I don’t think he could hear me up there from where I was in my scooter..
So what do I do, get Dave Bautista after 2 great Guardians movies and Blade Runner 2049? Milo Ventimiglia, who I loved in Heros? I haven’t seen his new show, ‘This is Us’. I stopped watching T.V. a while ago except for GOT. Alan Tudyk and Gina Torres from Firefly, but damn it missing Nathan Fillion. Or do I go for the sweet eye candy from Smallville, Justin Hartley? And like with Milo in the minute I took to keyboarded this I still haven’t seen his new show ‘This Is Us’. I can afford a combination of one autograph and one photo or two autographs.
Or I can save my money if C2E2 doesn’t get some A-listers on the slate.
What would you do?