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Day 2 of C2E2: Too much

Christopher Borrelli

12:57 AM EDT, April 28, 2013

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A few notes from the second day of C2E2 -  a.k.a., the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo - which runs though Sunday at McCormick Place, and in its fourth year, shows signs of not only getting bigger (attendance wise), but becoming comfortingly archetypal (programming wise): Lots of con legends (Burt Ward, Ron Perlman) but not too many, lots of insider chatter (but nothing off-putting), and lots and lots of people in handmade costumes. On the other hand, Adam West canceled at the last minute (back injury) and, surprisingly, DC Comics, which has a full slate of artists, writers, editors and programming (the publisher even designed the official, Superman-centric C2E2 poster), decided against maintaining a booth at the last minute (and would not explain why when asked, though convention costs have been mumbled about).
 
Anyway:
 
Patton Oswalt, consummate nerd comedian - after pointing out the incongruous,  "strip club house music" used to introduce him ("Hi, I had a brownie and some Lay's for lunch. Who wants to talk ‘Blade Runner' now?") - explained right away what many of the 1,600 in that large McCormick ballroom probably wanted to know: How he ended up on "Parks and  Recreation" delivering a funny, improvised filibuster/pitch of what the next "Star Wars" movies should be. On the episode, his rant is only a few seconds; online, where the entire speech was posted by NBC, it's an impressive 8-minutes and change. "They told me they just need to talk a while in the background... What I didn't know was that Amy (Poehler) and Aziz (Ansari) told them not to yell ‘Cut,' to see how long I could go."
 
Responding to subsequent online criticism he received for some of the points he made during the ramble -- he takes issue with "The Avengers" movie -- Oswalt said: "I was doing every argument I've seen online, and then I got the very same arguments back."
 
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Comic book news! Sort of.
From Marvel: Fantasy writer Neil Gaiman will be co-writing (with comic book veteran Brian Michael Bendis) a series of upcoming issues of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" (soon to be movie)... From DC, Bob Harris, DC editor-in-chief Bob Harris: "I think the relationship (recently flowering) between Superman and Wonder Woman is one of the interesting things happening in the New 52 (DC's revamped, reconsidered line). The last few issues they have kind of found each other but there are still feelings for Lois Lane. So will there be tension? Lois has a boyfriend now who isn't a jerk..." From Marvel: Its Marvel Universe spanning "Infinity" storyline begins in August, but first, on Saturday, National Free Comic Book Day, Marvel's offering will be a single-issue teaser of sorts, spotlighting the central villain, the blue-hued Thanos, widely expected to be the villain in the upcoming "Avengers" sequel... During the Q&A section of the Vertigo comics panel, a young guy asked if he would ever see a very specific, sex-loaded issue of "Preacher." The always menchy (Andersonville-based) comics writer Brian Azzarello replied: "It's not gong to happen. Why the (expletive) would you ask that question?"
 
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Overheard in a McCormick Elevator, from a C2E2 staffer: "Did you hear those guys in the back of the hall today making those Bigfoot screams? It was seriously terrifying."
 
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Excellent costume shout-out: To David Rocco Facchini, a 38-year old Chicago visual artist who was dressed as the strong-man hot dog on the roof of Superdawg, the iconic Milwaukee Avenue hot dog drive-in. The hot dog's body was made of sculpted foam and hula hoops (to retain the rounded shape) and fabric and bike reflectors for eyes. Asked if he ever wore the costume to Superdawg, he said he didn't and his meal was not free.
 
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During Ron Perlman's Q&A session (with about 1,000 convention goers in attendance), a young woman asked if, hypothetically, there was a fight on say, "Justice League," an animated show (of many animated shows) he has done voices for, and the characters in the fight were characters he had voiced on animated series (Clayface, Orion, etc.), and he was allowed to chose the winner, who would the winner be in the episode?
 
"I have no idea what you are talking about," he said, not with annoyance but genuine confusion, then said: "Look those were jobs. I show up, where do I park, and I'm done."
 
Perlman also said - when asked if there was a role he always wanted to play, a superhero, say, or a famous monster - that he always wanted to play Tavia in "Fiddler on the Roof," and that he's tried, but all he's gotten back from producers was laughter.
 
cborrelli@tribune.com