C2E2 announces first guests

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Officials at Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) have today announced the first guests who will be participating at the next show which will take place March 18 – 20, 2011 at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center.  Marvel Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis, whose work includes Avengers, Secret Invasion, and Siege, will serve as a Guest of Honor and will be joined by Featured Guests including Franco Aureliani, Art Baltazar, Katie Cook, Geof Darrow, and Tim Seeley.  C2E2 organizers note that this is the first of a long list of artists, creators and special guests whose participation in C2E2 will be announced over the next several months.  C2E2 was launched last year and over 400 artists and guests were on hand to meet the thousands of fans who came to the inaugural event in Chicago.  This year, the convention will move to the new West Building of McCormick Place where even more guests and a bigger audience may enjoy the pop culture extravaganza.

“We are incredibly grateful to these talented individuals, many of whom are the very best at what they do, for making a commitment to appear at our show,” notes Lance Fensterman, Group Vice President for ReedPOP and Show Manager for C2E2.  “Brian Michael Bendis is one of the biggest and most impressive names in comics today and we’re honored to have him and the other Featured Guests at C2E2.  We’re going to deliver another spectacular show, a quality, professional event that brings top artists and creators from across the country together with their many fans – and this is just our first announcement!  We will have plenty more guests to announce in the coming weeks and months.”

FRANCO AURELIANI:  Franco was born in 1492 aboard the cruise ship Santa Maria. He currently resides in Nueva York with his wife and son in a warm ranch style house with white picket fence. He spends most of his time in his Batcave like studio and emerges occasionally to yell at people and stuff. He is the creator, artist and writer of Weirdsville and the co-creator and writer of Patrick the Wolf Boy.   Recently he has worked on titles for DC Comics including but not limited to BILLY BATSON and the MAGIC of SHAZAM,  YOUNG JUSTICE and the New York Times bestseller, Eisner award winning series TINY TITANS…Aw Yeah!

ART BALTAZAR:  Art started his funky secret art studio in 1994 with the his self-published comic book …”The Cray-Baby Adventures”. Since then, he created other comics such as “Gyro-Man”, “Captain Camel & the Space Chicken”, “Jimmy Dydo”, “Lunar Lizard”, “Meteor Mite” and the famous, “Patrick the Wolf Boy”. Currently, Artie is the creative force behind The New York Times Best Selling, Eisner Award Winning DC Comics’ TINY TITANS, Co-Writer for Billy Batson and the Magic of SHAZAM, and Artist/Co-Writer for the awesome TINY TITANS/Little ARCHIE crossover! From small press to mainstream in a heartbeat!

BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS: Bendis is an award-winning comics creator and one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics. For the last ten years, Brian’s books have consistently sat on the top of the nationwide comic and graphic novel sales charts.  Brian is currently helming a renaissance for Marvel’s Avengers franchise by writing both Avengers and New Avengers along with the wildly successful event projects House of M, Secret Invasion, Siege, and the highly anticipated DEATH OF SPIDER-MAN.  Brian is one of the premiere architects of Marvel’s Ultimate line of comics, a line of comics specifically created for the new generation of comics reader, and he has written every issue of Ultimate Spider-Man since its best-selling launch in 1999. Brian’s other projects include Scarlet and the Eisner-Award-winning Powers, both from Marvel’s creator-owned imprint Icon.  He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, Alisa, his gorgeous daughters, Olivia and Sabrina, and his dogs, Shroeder, Lucky, and Buster.

KATIE COOK:  Katie Cook is a comic book artist and illustrator living in Ann Arbor, MI. She is best known for her work in the the Star Wars universe and for her work on the Fraggle Rock comic, but has worked on licenses like DC Comics, Marvel Comics, The Lord of the Rings and more. You can see more about Katie, her art, and her cats at www.katiecandraw.com.

GEOF DARROW:  Geof was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa has never voted republican or watched the film Sound of Music. He has worked in animation for Hanna-Barbera studios as a character designer on such varied shows as Smurfs and Super Friends, before moving to France and working Moebius on various projects. He then published his first comics works for Metal Hurlant and Moebius own publishing house during the 80s Aedena. Through Moebius he met Frank Miller with whom he co-created the works Hard Boiled and The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot.  He became implicated in Hollywood production design with the Matrix Trilogy of films and has worked on and off again as a concept artist for various Hollywood projects, some filmed some stuck in development and currently serving as overhead protection for studio profits.  He is currently trying to do new comic book works aimed at reducing  methane gas emissions in greater metropolitan areas everywhere with varied degrees of success complicated by diet.  He has won some awards but, as mentioned before, he has never voted for a republican and considers this his proudest and most lucid achievement.

TIM SEELEY:  Tim Seeley is a comic book artist and writer living in Chicago. He has drawn for Marvel, DC, and Devil’s Due. He is the creator of the comics HACK/SLASH, LOADED BIBLE and COLT NOBLE. He is the current artist of Wildstorm’s WILDCATS and writer/artist of Marvel’s ANT-MAN & WASP.

Customers interested in signing up for Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo should contact Larry Settembrini at lsettembrini@reedexpo.com.  Tickets for C2E2 may be purchased at www.c2e2.com.  Other information about the show, as well as news about ReedPOP, which also organizes New York Comic Con (NYCC) is available at Lance Fensterman’s blog, www.mediumatlarge.net.