The Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, known as C2E2, promises to bring tens of thousands of fans of comic books, television, movies and other forms of pop culture to McCormick Place this weekend.
Launched in 2010 as a comics-centric event -- its organizer, New York-based ReedPOP, also puts on the successful New York Comic Con -- the event broadened a bit over the next few years, bringing in entertainment and literary celebrities along with the comics folks.
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The guest and event list to this year's show is typically jam-packed, so the Daily Herald has pulled some highlights for you to consider as you head downtown.
Comic books are still the bread-and-butter (or should that be cape-and-cowl?) of C2E2. There will be a slew of writers and artists in attendance who are known for the work they do for the two big superhero-comics companies, Marvel and DC. There also will be dozens of comic-book dealers on the floor. Here are some particular names to look out for:
• Art Baltazar, a cartoonist from Streamwood. Baltazar is known for his charming all-ages work on books like "Tiny Titans" and "Aw Yeah Comics!"
• Neal Adams, one of the industry's legends. Adams floored comics readers with his dynamic drawing style in the 1960s and 1970s and produced some of the most iconic depictions of Batman in that character's 75-year history.
• Top Shelf Productions, one of the smaller publishers that will be on the C2E2 floor. Top Shelf's catalog includes some of the most respected titles and creators, from Alan Moore to Nate Powell.
• Graham Crackers Comics, a suburban-based retail chain with outlets in Wheaton, Naperville and St. Charles, among others.
Love the tube? You won't want to miss these appearances:
• Ashley Eckstein, "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Eckstein voiced the character of young Jedi apprentice Ahsoka Tano on the acclaimed animated series, turning the character into a fan favorite. Eckstein has also been involved in anti-bullying efforts, focusing particularly on young girls who love science fiction and fantasy.
• "Game of Thrones." HBO's popular and acclaimed series will be represented at C2E2 by actors Alfie Allen, Kristian Nairn and Natalia Tena.
• RJ Mitte, "Breaking Bad." Mitte played Walt Jr. on the searing crime drama.
• Northbrook native and Second City alumnus Scott Adsit will attend as part of the Thrilling Adventure Hour, an improv comedy experience.
• Brian Posehn and Addison native Kyle Kinane, comedians from the Comedy Mutant collective, will appear on Friday only for a raucous night of humor.