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  • Marielle Bokor

It’s Time for the Choose Your Own Adventure C2E2 Preview 2024!

Can you believe it? We were still under a freeze warning this week but it’s almost May. Oh yeah, and this weekend is C2E2! 

This is not a drill, folks. This is the kickoff to Chicago con season. And while the guest list may not be as stellar as some were hoping for, there’s plenty of interesting guest appearances, panels and of course merch to get out there for. With crowds expected to be as big as ever, ya better bring your umbrella, walking shoes, cosplay touchup kits and cameras. 

We’re going to hit it hard and once you poke around the full schedule, you’ll find there’s much more to this con than meets the eye. By the way? Our Choose Your Own Adventure C2E2 is handy to keep around, but you should also make sure to keep checking the FULL schedule, as we might have missed things you're super excited about and things frequently get moved around due to cancellations and general con chaos. On that note, Josh Brolin has also cancelled for this convention, and joins Christina Ricci, Chris Claremont, Nolan North, Saladin Ahmed and Taylor Gray and Paige O'Hara as of the time of writing.


Get started early if you’re interested in writing children’s books- How to Write a Book for Kids: A Panel of Creative Minds will kick off bright and early at 11 am in S402-B with critically acclaimed and published authors and graphic novelists Mary Winn Heider, Colleen AF Venable and Art Baltazar. 

Meanwhile, K-Pop fans, it’s time for you to get all dolled up early and hope that skincare’s got your skin glowing so you are wide awake and snatched for K-Pop Time! In S502B, which will feature mini games, fan meetups and free-for-all games for those who take K-Pop seriously.


If you’re into esports and want to see how they do it here in Chicago, don’t miss the Chicago high school Esports exhibition at Side Quest beginning at 11 am and watch people compete for tournament gold!


If you’re a gamer whose forte is Fortnite hit the Pride Lounge in S504-ABC and throw your hat in the ring for some fabulous prizes if you decided to stay, play and slay. Games begin at 11 am but go all day.

It doesn’t matter who you bring to Q&A with The McElroys, you’re sure to have a good time. Hosts of successful and incredibly fun podcasts My Brother, My Brother and Me and The Adventure Zone, these brothers bring the advice, adventure, and silliness to the stage and there’s no doubt you should be there in S404 at 12:30 when it all begins.


If fitness and nerdery both hold equal places in your life, you’re gonna want to limber up with Star Wars Yoga at the Family HQ from 1:45 on. 

Did you know that even before the eclipse, Twilight is SO HOT right now again? Well, even if you didn’t or it isn’t, and you love it, don’t miss Twihard- A Twilight Musical Parody Staged Reading out in S403-AB, which promises ridiculosity on a whole ‘nother level for fans of the vampire saga.


If classic sci-fi horror and badass women in fiction get you going, make sure you don’t miss 45 Years of Alien with Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwight in S404 at 3:30. These acclaimed actors will talk about their time on set and discuss the staying power of the Alien franchise.

Once the clock strikes 4, make sure you’re already comfy in line outside the Main Stage, because that’s when The Cast of One Piece takes over - and we’re expecting this panel to bust out the doors. This is your first taste of big panels for the weekend and if you’re not familiar with the process, C2E2 clears panel rooms after most panels, and you’re gonna need to queue at least a half an hour ahead of your preferred panel’s start time if you want to ensure a seat for blockbuster panels like this.

Now, you don’t have to wake up early (thank God!) for the 30 Years of Clerks with Kevin Smith & Jason Mewes panel at 5:30 on the Main Stage, but like we’re saying, be parked in the line on the cozy convention center carpet nice and early. We’ve seen these two in panels before and it’s going to be a great time, so bring some weird questions and get some weird answers - just GET THERE ON TIME! 


If you’re a gamer who wants to talk retro, why not consider Memory/Card: A Nostalgic Video Game Conversation in S405B at 6:45 pm. You might just find some new people to co-op with!

Finally if you’re the late owl sort, why not attend the inaugural C2E2 prom on the Main Stage at 8pm which celebrates 15 years of Fantasy here in Chicago and will give you a chance to make nerdier memories than perhaps you did at your senior prom.


Hop on over to Cyanide & Happiness After Hours in S402B when they live play Master Dater!

Then go to bed, you crazy kids, cuz it’s about to start all over again on SATURDAY!


Star Wars Fans of all ages - Saturday’s your time to get up early! 10 Years of Star Wars: Rebels features Hera Syndulla, Taylor Gray and Steve Blum all talking about their roles and how the show’s endured over the past 10 years.


Make sure you remember it’s a local con and stretch out on the weird green grass of The Yard with a cold one from Rev Brew to play Jackbox Games - it’ll run from 11-2 and give you an excuse to drink and people watch while also supporting your local breweries, game devs and cons. We’re a fan of this plan!

Animation fans (especially those who love Pickle Rick and Szhechuan sauce) should make sure they’re at the Main Stage at noon on Saturday for The Cast of Rick & Morty panel, so they can look back on 10 years of general insanity with Spencer Grammer, Ian Cardoni, Harry Belden, Chris Parnell and Julie Snyder. We expect this to be a big one too, so don’t sleep on it.


If you’re into cannibals (?) then Feed Your Fear as The Cast of Hannibal takes the Main Stage at 1:30 with both Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen making appearances to tell tales from behind the scenes and answer fan questions!


If you’re seeking out more Asian American Stories - make sure to stop by S405A for the Asian American Stories Are About More Than Representation panel, which brings together notable Asian American writers, artists and performers for an important discussion.

Retro movie fans get some kicks starting at 3 on the Main Stage with a Spotlight on Christopher Lloyd


Choose your own adventure carefully cuz the Darren Criss spotlight is at 3:15 in S404.

Take a look, it’s a in a book and you can hang out with Drag Queens for Drag Story Hour Chicago at 4:15- it’s an uplifting all ages community chillout we hate to miss every year - as many times as we can make room in our schedule for it.


Dig into a quality tabletop adventure with puppets and be incredibly entertained by Pro-GM Sarah Moore from Sarah’s Table on GenConTV. You won’t want to miss this as Sarah embodies joy in gaming and will draw you in with silliness, sweetness and expert DMing to create a unique adventure you can’t have anywhere else.

Locals report - and this time you don’t have to go to Berwyn! The Celebration of 45 Years of Svengoolie! Begins at 4:45 at S404. Relive all the bad movies and great puns that have made Rich Koz an icon. 

Finally, when we say you should make sure you get to the Cosplay Central Crown Championships, we mean it. If you haven’t ever stayed until 7:30 for this show, you’re missing out. This isn’t just a one-convention cosplay contest - this is the culmination of a circuit of such contests from all over the world, and people come to play. You’ll see the best in the region, finals, and then finally, the global championship, and trust us when we say you aren’t ready for the level of amazing cosplay that’s about to hit that Main Stage. DO NOT MISS THIS


If you don’t want to be anyone other than who you’ve been tryin’ to be lately - try not to be late to see The Boys of One Tree Hill up in S404. Some of us never got over our time at One Tree Hill and will be sure to grill James Lafferty and Chad Michael Murray on their time on the show (and maybe even Gilmore Girls for Chad…who knows?)


If you’re a little shy of cosplay but still keep thinking about debuting a costume one of these days, we encourage you to hit up Starting Cosplay with SheProp in S503B at 12:30. It’ll help you find your footing, give you great tips for starters, and help you build your confidence in who you are and what you want to do so you can slay on the floor at your next con.


Get a little strange with Maya Hawke, who’ll sit down on the Main Stage at 12:30 to talk about her career from Do Revenge and Asteroid City to, of course, Stranger Things.


Go go to S404 to join Amy Jo Johnson and David Yost for The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and get a taste of your 90s childhood all over again.


If wholesome TV is your thing, BELIEVE that you gotta be at the Main Stage at 2:00 pm for The Cast of Ted Lasso featuring Phil Dunster and  Cristo Fernandez.


If you’re a voice actor and Disney stan, A Tale as Old As Time: The Voices Behind Beauty and the Beast in S404 at 2:15 might be your cup of tea. Quick update: Paige O'Hara is ill and will not attend this, and is being replaced by the voice of Jasmine. Still, a great time with some fantastic actors from your childhood.

Now you know the haps, kids. Take some water, wear comfy shoes, get in line early for panels you can't miss, and bring some snacks because it's gonna be a full weekend of nerdery and you're gonna need to keep fueled for it!

See you on the floor, Chicago!



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