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C2E2 cosplay convention is back. Should it be?

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


The Midwest’s biggest pop culture convention is back at the McCormick Center this weekend, just weeks after the omicron variant was possibly contracted at Anime NYC. 

C2E2, or the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, has long been a spot for local comic book, video game, and anime fans to connect, meet celebs, shop, and cosplay (aka dressing up as characters from fandoms). 

The convention drew 95,000 attendees in late February 2020, organizers said.

Wicker Park resident Kendra Gujral told City Cast it was the last sense of normalcy before COVID-19 lockdowns began in the U.S.

The 24-year-old isn’t going this year because she’s not ready to go back to conventions yet, especially after what happened in New York. 

That convention could be the country’s first case study of the spread of the omicron variant: The CDC has contacted more than 65% of the 53,000 Anime NYC attendees

But Gujral said she recognizes the conventions’ organizers are different. 

Logan Square resident Sam Cotto, 28, told City Cast he is comfortable attending Saturday because of the pre–convention health screenings option. Plus, C2E2 has a reduced capacity limit this year. 

The conventions are not central to Gujral or Cotto’s cosplaying — they’ve continued to dress up, discover more fandoms, and found more communities on TikTokTumblrInstagram, and Discord since the pandemic started.

C2E2 did not respond to requests for comment.  

Kendra Gujral as Hilda Valentine Goneril from “Fire Emblem.” Sam Cotto as Delsin Rowe from “Infamous Second Son.” (Images provided by Gujral and Cotto)

👉 Check out the convention’s safety protocols. Read more about Chicago-area cosplayers — including Gujral and Cotto! 


The “Hidden Mercy: AIDS, Catholics, and the Untold Stories of Compassion in the Face of Fear” book profiles members of the church who worked behind the scenes to care for men with HIV and AIDS, even as the institutional church denounced these individuals.

Some of these nuns and priests were the only ones caring for the patients. 

🎧 Listen to author Michael J. O’Loughlin talk about how the book explores the intersection of those two his identities: being gay and Catholic.

👉 Get the book. Hear O’Loughlin discuss the book at the Catholic Theological Union in Hyde Park Friday at 7 p.m.

  • The jury is deliberating the Jussie Smollett verdict. [ABC News]
  • Help cover the medical bills of a street vendor in Belmont-Cragin who was recently attacked. [GoFundMe]
  • You could be gambling in the south suburbs by 2023. [Chicago Tribune]
  • Illinois $563 million weed tax collections went toward opioid reversal drugs, the Girl Scouts, and so much more. [Chicago Sun-Times]
  • A snowless Chicago winter? Never heard of her. [WTTW]
  • Who wants to go splitsies on some vegan Jamaican baked goods? 🤤 [Eater Chicago]


+ TODAY: Adult trampoline night in West Loop
Get your trampoline on at Altitude Chicago from 7:30–8:30 p.m.

+ FRIDAY: Christmas movie marathon kickoff in Lakeview
Head to the Music Box Theatre to see festive double features starting Friday. 

+ THIS MONTH: Garfield Park “Serenity” flower show
See the winter flower show at the Garfield Park Conservatory through Jan. 9.


Reader Judy Brennan wanted to know where popular South Side church choirs will perform on Christmas Eve. 

We searched, Judy. But not too many places are hosting full services yet. 

BUT St. Sabina’s choir will perform at its Auburn Gresham church Dec. 24 starting at 9:30 p.m. and throughout mass. 

AND some choirs are performing before the holiday. 

Chicago Community Chorus of South Shore hosting a free virtual holiday concert Saturday starting at 6:45 p.m.

Trinity United Church of Chatham will have a virtual concert with vibraphonist Thaddeus Tukes, soloist Sharon Irving, and its own choir Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.

The Wooten Choral Ensemble, the oldest community choir in the country, will have a Christmas choral service at Beth Eden Baptist Church in Morgan Park Dec. 19 at 11 a.m.

❓ What questions do YOU have about Chicago? Ask, and we’ll answer (or try to). 

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