Entertainment extravaganza at C2E2
BY MISHA DAVENPORT For Sun-Times Media April 13, 2012 3:18PM
The Chicago Comic and
♦ April 13-April 15
♦ The North building of McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore
♦ Tickets, $25-$65
♦ (800) 354-4003;
Updated: April 20, 2012 10:50AM
Captain America, Iron Man and Thor aren’t just assembling as “The Avengers” in the blockbuster film opening May 4. They’ll also be gathering at this year’s Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo.
At least their costumes and props, anyway.
More than 220 props, costumes and drawings from Captain America, Iron Man and Thor will go under the hammer 6 p.m. April 14 at the expo, more commonly known as C2E2.
“This auction is really being done out of the loyalty that Marvel Entertainment has for their fans,” says Joe Maddalena of Profiles in History, the Los Angeles-based appraiser conducting the auction. “Fans grew up reading their comic books and enjoy watching their films and now, thanks to the auction, they can also own a piece of the films.”
Every iconic moment from 2011’s “Captain America” is represented in the auction, from Captain America’s USO outfit right down to his ice-encased shield. Mjolnir, Thor’s mighty hammer, and a Mark II War Machine from “Iron Man II” will also be up for auction.
“Everything was screen-used,” explains Maddalena. “It’s quite unusual for a contemporary, not too far out-of-the-box office (film) to be auctioning off the kinds of things slated for auction.”
Some items, like the complete Captain America costume worn by Chris Evans in the film, are expected to fetch thousands of dollars, but Maddalena, who also the host of SyFy’s “Hollywood Treasure” which returns for a second season in May, says there is something for everyone’s budget.
“Posters and production art and other things are certainly more affordable,” he says. “Regardless, about 60 percent of the major items will all be on display at our booth leading up to the auction and we encourage fans to stop by.”
Another hightlight of this year’s C2E2 is the appearance of two of supernatural fiction’s best-selling authors, Anne Rice and Charlaine Harris.
Harris, the mind behind the Sookie Stackhouse series of books that are the basis of the hit HBO show “True Blood,” will be joined by other authors of the supernatural genre to discuss girl power and female protagonists who kick butt in “We’re no Angels: The Leading Ladies of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy” at 5:15 p.m. April 14.
“Deadlocked,” the 12th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series comes out in May, and Harris will no doubt be spilling some of the details about that book and the 13th and final book in the series due out in 2013.
“I’m honored to be asked to participate,” Harris says. “I’m a little perplexed, though. I don’t think of Sookie as a kick-(butt) heroine. She’s less a knives and boots and more of a sneakers kind of girl. Still, though she’s not a physical brawler, she knows how to and can throw a punch when she has to.
“Anne Rice changed the face of genre writing with ‘Interview With a Vampire.’ Her works are truly groundbreaking and she, along with her character Lestat, opened doors for people like me and Sookie.”
Harris was floored to find out that Rice is a fan of “True Blood.”
“It’s true, I enjoy the show,” Rice says. “And it was from the show that I came to Charlaine’s books and I love them. What she has done is so clever. Her books have this undercurrent of satire to them. Also, she gets the South. She really gets the South.”
Rice and Harris have exchanged emails but have yet to meet face to face. They’re hoping to do just that this weekend. Rice’s spotlight question-and-answer session is 1:15 p.m. April 15. She’ll be discussing her career, including her latest book, “The Wolf Gift.” After several books on angels and the life of Jesus Christ, fans and critics alike are heralding the queen of all things that go bump in the night’s return to the supernatural with her latest book, about werewolves.
Rice says her return to writing about the supernatural came as a request of Jeff Easten, the producer of USA Network’s “White Collar.”
“He sent me an email that he had just watched a documentary on werewolves and we emailed back and forth about how there really isn’t a great werewolf novel like ‘Dracula’ is for the vampire,” Rice says.
Though her older sister, the late Alice Borchardt, had written a successful series of books about werewolves, Rice says her hesitation had nothing to do with her sister’s work.
“We were both incredibly supportive of each other’s work and she would have been fine with me writing about werewolves as I would have been with her writing about witches or vampires,” Rice says. “Any reluctance on my part really had to do with figuring out what — if anything — I wanted to do with werewolves. It’s not like when I wrote “Interview with a Vampire,” werewolves are literally everywhere.”
Rice knew she was on to something when she realized the protagonist of her werewolf story, Reubon Golding, would be fully conscious when he changes.
“There is a good story in seeing him wrestle with his nature when this dark side comes out,” she says.
NOTE: Anne Rice signs autographs at C2E2 from 2:30-4 p.m. April 15 (free). Charlaine Harris signs autographs 4-5 p.m. April 14 (free).
Scheduled events/appearances subject to change without notice.
Misha Davenport is a local freelance writer.