August 11-14, 2011
Story & Photos by Chris "Darth" Spice


With August upon us quicker than I could recover from San Diego Comic-Con, I found myself once again headed for Rosemont, IL and the Chicago Comic-Con.  When I got to the convention center, I was very surprised how many people stopped me and asked me where my booth was this year.  However there were some issues between Wizard and Sandtroopers, so I decided to merely attend the show to have a good time as I have in most of the years I've been to this show. Speaking of which, this is my tenth in a row and I can only think about what could have been. If you flashback to 2003, Hasbro, Gentle Giant and many of the other key Star Wars manufacturers were in attendance with exclusives. Today the Chicago Comic-Con hasn't had Marvel, DC or Dark Horse comics exhibiting, and this might be the same issue we had of not having the same contact year after year.  The positives you ask?  If you were looking for Star Wars product, you could find everything at the usual vendor inflated price, but it was there and you could inspect your items yourself and not pay shipping. There was also a wide variety of autographs available from a wide spectrum of pop culture.  Christopher Lloyd and Anthony Michael Hall seemed to be doing really well.  I never once saw Bruce Campbell and have no clue what happened to Billy Corgan showing up, not that I wanted to pay for their autographs.

The costumes, crowd and atmosphere was also very busy even though there isn't much of an exhibitor area, when you walk in the door you have the autograph hall and then it's almost immediately the dealer area. As big a punch that this show can pack on the weekends, I can only think where it could be. As much fun as setting up a "Battle Station" can be, I can honestly say I had a lot more fun and less stress just walking around taking pictures and Trooping with the Midwest Garrison. I dropped off a couple of "Boba Fett" fans to his agent, and those of you who know Mr. Alcantar know how appreciative he was to have them! I also was able to stop by and see Dawn Carlucci who was set up with the artwork of our founder Pat. I can't say enough how cool it was to simply see the banner, even though I didn't get a chance to really sit down and catch up like I wanted to.  If I did it would only bring me back to days that the show had better time, and not having the full crew of Sandtroopers to accompany me did feel a little flat.  However I will say discussion has taken place and we may return in full-force in 2012. Overall Chicago Comic-Con is still a show you might want to attend.  There are deals to be found on the floor and the people really do make the event stand out from just your average convention.  Until next year Troopers, hi-de-hay baby don't cha wanna go? Back to the same old place, sweet home Chicago!

To see the photo galleries check out the action from Friday and Saturday!