Yesterday Whirl and I attended C2E2, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. We met up with our friends Farmboy and Princess. The three-day convention covers comic books, movies, television, toys, anime and video games. The show floor plays hosts to hundreds of exhibitors if you’re looking to score some interesting loot. There are panel discussions and autograph sessions that allow fans access to artists, actors and writers. And the ever-popular sneak-peek film and television show screenings. This was the second year for C2E2. Last year was fairly lightly attended, but well-received.

I wasn’t particularly interested in spending three days at the convention, but I thought it would be a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon. And besides, I’ve always wanted to pull out the camera and see what kinds of cosplay portraits I could make.

We attended two panel discussions. The first was “The Walking Dead Q&A” with Jon Bernthal (“Shane”) and Laurie Holden (“Andrea”). This was very funny, with Bernthal running away with the conversation on more than one occasion. Farmboy remarked a couple of times about Bernthal’s apparent southern California origins. While I have no idea whether that’s true or not, I can attest to the fact that his choices of slang and colloquial idioms stagnated somewhere around 1989. Everything was “rad” and he was “totally digging” working with Frank Darabont. The highlight of the panel came about two minutes after all the press photographers filed out and Bernthal found himself trapped in a nearly three-minute long string of unintentional double-entendres. Each more embarrassing than the last.

The second panel was the “True Blood Q&A” with Brit Morgan (“Debbie Pelt”), Kristin Bauer (“Pam”), and Sam Trammell (“Sam Merlotte”). While not quite as entertaining as the Walking Dead panel a few hours earlier, it did provide some moments of levity and one crucial insight into acting from Morgan. While answering a question about contending with the various supernatural stressors placed upon the characters they portrayed, Morgan talked about becoming a sort of legal advocate on the set, with their character as their client and the director as the judge. The two women also agreed that Alexander Skarsgård is even more beautiful in person than he is on-screen. Trammell was conspicuously — and humorously — mute with his opinion on that question.

We walked the floor between the panels and took in the environment. There was a lot to see and photography was not only permitted, but actively encouraged. Aside from the challenges of making a frame with a halfway acceptable background, it was an exceedingly target-rich environment. The skill and creativity that went into a number of the costumes impressed the hell out of me more than once. I’ve published the full set of photos, but a few of my favorites include: