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Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo 2011: Full Report
C2E2 - Day 2

by Bamboo Dong,

One of the greatest things about C2E2 was the Rock Band stage. Everyone thinks they're “over” Rock Band until they see an empty drum set. Then they run up to the stage like a kid on Christmas morning, and forget that they've ever said bad things about the game. Having the stage set up in the hallway right before the registration area and exhibition hall entrance also meant that there was always music playing, and who doesn't love a live band? It's also pretty much decreed by law that anytime anyone anywhere plays “Don't Stop Believin'” by Journey, that everyone in the vicinity has to start singing along. I saw a Supergirl and a Flash slow-dancing to Journey, and it was one of the greatest moments of my life.

How to Be A Genius Frickin' Voice Actor: Step One – With Spike Spencer

Never since San Diego Comic Con have I ever seen a panel this packed to the brim. Granted, this panel was being held in one of the smallest panel rooms, but every single seat was occupied, and there were people clustered in the aisles, and stuffed to the doors. It was probably a fire hazard that should've been mitigated by C2E2 staff, but either they didn't care, or they too were fascinated by everything that Spike Spencer was saying.

By the serious way that everyone in the audience was paying attention, and nodding along to everything Mr. Spencer said, I could only assume that all of the hundreds of people crowded into that room were interested in pursuing genius frickin' voice acting as a career. I expected some softball questions from the crowd, like, “What's it like to be a voice actor?” but there were some really well-thought out questions. Mr. Spencer delivered on equally well-thought out answers, and soon there was an earnest dialogue about topics like how to put together a demo, or how to develop a wider vocal range.

There was one particular piece of advice that I found fascinating, on how to deal with not having enough moisture in the mouth before recording. One suggestion was to eat a green apple, but in case there are none available, just by quickly sucking in bursts of air, the mouth dries out, and it allows the voice to be clearer.

Overall, an educational panel, and justifiably packed.

The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Iron Man Anime

Presented by Marvel's Head of Television, Jeph Loeb, the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Iron Man panel was one of two panels this weekend that showcased some of the works that the comic publisher's animation department was working on. The panel started out by talking about the Avengers series' airing schedule, saying that new episodes would start airing after the release of Thor in theaters. After showing the next episode, as of yet unaired on Disney XD, they moved into talking about the collaboration that Marvel had with Madhouse.

As reported before, Madhouse is working on four 12-episode series, starting with Wolverine and Iron Man, and finishing up with X-Men, and Blade. Although the program guide promised audiences a look at the pilot of the Iron Man Anime, which will air on G4 later this year, Loeb decided instead to only show the trailer, as well as a scene from the pilot, where Tony Stark is attacked by Scorpio. Over the course of the twelve episodes, Iron Man will have a chance to fight the anime-version of the Zodiac.

Instead, attendees were treated to the first episode of Wolverine, where Logan is tortured by memories of his ex-love Mariko, a beautiful woman who was taken away from him after he was attacked on a yacht. A year later, he discovers her whereabouts, but must face her sword expert father, and his crime syndicate cohorts.

The episode was well-received by the attendees, but it was interesting seeing an episode of the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes back-to-back with Wolverine. Anime fans have long since touted (some lamented) the difference between Western and Eastern animation, and although it's a matter of different styles and tastes, seeing the two episodes a few minutes apart was an interesting experience. I won't say that one is better than the other, but merely different, and worth trying.

Saturday Night Masquerade

One of the long standing traditions at any anime show is the Saturday night Masquerade, and like most comics conventions, C2E2 has also embraced this time-honored pageant. Hosted by Mario Bueno, whom past viewers of ANNTV may remember as one of the news hosts of yesteryear, and also last year's AX Idol winner, the masquerade was well-attended and enjoyed by all who went.

Like most Masquerades, contestants came onto the stage and performed a variety of skits-- some did comedy sketches, some did martial arts demonstrations, and some sang. And because it wasn't limited to just anime and video games, the contest drew in contestants from all corners of fandom, including my personal favorite, a spirited rendition of "I Got You Babe" by He-Man's Evil Lyn and Skeletor.

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