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A Walk Through Artist Alley: Interviews from C2E2

C2E2

March 18th marked the second annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2. Hosted at McCormick Place, the event spanned multiple floors and was filled with goings-on: speed dating, celebrity meet and greets, quidditch matches, and costume contests. My brother Zachary and I ignored these distractions, and spent most of our time walking the spacious aisles of the artist alley, which featured a vast array of illustrators. Compared to the cramped tables of Washington DC’s Small Press Expo, or the petite offerings of Wizard World, Chicago’s other comic convention, the artist alley at C2E2 was a sight to behold. Its position at the back of the main hall felt like a culmination, rather than an afterthought.  All of the artists seemed to be in a good mood, and Zachary and I stopped by several of their tables to chat about the show and their comics.

JEREMY SORESE creator of The Parlor Room

Miles Johnson: Is this your first year at C2E2?

Jeremy Sorese: Yes.

MJ: What do you think of the show?

JS: It’s really big and intimidating in terms of size. There’s a different spectrum of comic readers than I’m used to, a different demographic.

MJ: Tell us a little bit about the work you are showing today.

JS: I’m selling an older story finally put to print. It’s pulling from the English occupation of India and old Winsor McKay art.

MJ: What is your comics pet peeve?

JS: Costumes and the old hegemony of previous books (super heroes).

 

MICHAEL JEWELL, creator of Go Ye Dogs

 
Zachary Johnson: Is this your first year at C2E2?

Michael Jewell: Yes.

ZJ: What do you think of the show?

MJ: I haven’t been here that long yet. Opinion pending.

ZJ: Tell us a little bit about the work you are showing today.

MJ: I draw funny animal comics about dudes having adventures, drinking, cussing, and kissing.

ZJ: What is your comics pet peeve?

MJ: There’s too much focus on labels and segregating of comic fans by interest.

 

TOM KELLY, creator of Sword of the Savage Samurai


Miles Johnson: Is this your first year at C2E2?

Tom Kelly: It’s my 2nd.

MJ: What do you think of the show?

TK: I like it. There’s a good crowd and layout, and lots of space. There’s really a focus on making this a strong show.

MJ: Tell us a little bit about the work you are showing today.

TK: My work is very family and kid friendly. It’s unique and one of a kind.

MJ: What is your comics pet peeve?

TK: I don’t like comics that are overly complicated with too much talking and internal dilemmas.

 

JOSHUA EMMONS, writer of Verum Corpus

Zachary Johnson: Is this your first year at C2E2?

Joshua Emmons: [It’s my] second.

ZJ: What do you think of the show?

JE: I love it! It’s worth it for the wide aisles, the sunlight, and the space. C2E2 listened to so much opinion from people [that attended last year]. It should get better and better. Plus, it’s my local show!

ZJ: Tell us a little bit about the work you are showing today.

JE: I write Verum Corpus. I like working in comics. It forces you to boil down your writing and be short and to the point.

ZJ: What is your comics pet peeve?

JE: They’re not all-ages. Comics either have to be dark and gritty, or kid stuff.

KEL MCDONALD, creator of Sorcery 101

Miles Johnson: Is this your first year at C2E2?

Kel McDonald: Second.

MJ: What do you think of the show?

KM: It’s alright.

MJ: Tell us a little bit about the work you are showing today.

KM: Sorcery 101 is about an inept sorcerer learning magic from an inept vampire. From Scratch is about demon gangsters in the 1920’s. Bisclauret is about a werewolf who can’t turn back until he finds his clothes.

MJ: What is your comics pet peeve?

KM: Gross comic fans, (points) that guy in particular.

 

EVAN DAHM, creator of Rice Boy

Zachary Johnson: Is this your first year at C2E2?

Evan Dahm: Second.

ZJ: What do you think of the show?

ED: It’s definitely attended and run better than last year.

ZJ: Tell us a little bit about the work you are showing today.

ED: I do a number of fantasy and adventure comics set in Oversight, an inventive and strange world filled with monsters. It’s huge.

ZJ: What is your comics pet peeve?

ED: Shitty fonts and speech bubbles with nothing but ellipses in them.

 

SEAN K DOVE, creator of Fried Rice

Miles Johnson: Is this your first year at C2E2?

Sean K Dove: It’s my first year tabling.

MJ: What do you think of the show?

SKD: The crowd’s better than last year. Overall, it’s awesome for a downtown con.

MJ: Tell us a little bit about the work you are showing today.

SKD: It’s retro-themed monsters and creatures with light-hearted humor.

MJ: What is your comics pet peeve?

SKD: Bad lettering.