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The Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo – C2E2 – attracted some 40,000 fans to McCormick place April 13-15. They came to interact with favorite artists and writers; attend panels on TV, films and graphic novels; buy collectibles and collect autographs. While attendees on both sides of stardom came from all over the country, many who live in the Chicago area took advantage of the Expo’s proximity to see and be seen and be heard, Evanston was among them.
Friday was devoted to events for industry professionals. One panel in particular, “Reading With Pictures: The Future of Comics in the Classroom,” was directed at teachers and librarians, and was headlined by the teaching-materials development group Reading With Pictures.
Evanston resident Travis White-Schoch, graduate of both Evanston Township High School and Northwestern University, gave a talk titled “Reading Comics: Perspectives From Psychology and Learning Sciences,” based on his research with NU School of Education Professor David Rapp. Mr. White-Schwoch says that, while he now works in the auditory neurosciences lab of Professor Nina Kraus, as an undergraduate he worked with Prof. Rapp. He has continued to collaborate with the latter on the potential of comics in teaching because of “personal interest.”
Film historian and media theorist Bruce Scivally, another Evanstonian, manned a booth at C2E2 to promote his new book, “Billion Dollar Batman.” The book is “a history of the caped crusader on film, radio and television, from 10-cent comic book to global icon.” Mr. Scivally’s earlier book, published in 2007, on film representations of the Man of Steel, bears the title “Superman on Film, Television, Radio and Broadway.”
Evanston fans of TV, film and comics attended too. The RoundTable stopped in at the filled-to-capacity, 34,000-square-foot IGN Theater to listen in just as the question of an Evanston fan of actor John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness on “Doctor Who” and “Torchwood”) was among the first to be read. Though the RoundTable was unable to locate “Padraic of Evanston” for an impromptu interview after the presentation, it is certain that Padraic enjoyed his weekend at C2E2 – if the excited laughter and clapping for Mr. Barrowman was any indication.