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Ace Con Chicago was already last week, but I’d like to share my thoughts and feelings about all the happenings. I talked about this on my podcast if you want to listen more in detail.

I’ve been to a few cons, usually trying to scoop up a press pass if I can, this one was no different. Ace Con Chicago happened in the conference center located in Navy Pier so it was one of the smaller cons I’ve been to. There was still a lot of walking, through the actual center because it’s still quite long and down the actual pier. So if you’re ever thinking of wearing heels to a con; think again.

If you weren’t busy shopping or getting a tattoo or even lifting Thor’s hammer, the people there are a personal favorite of mine. There were all sorts of cool people in attendance, dressed as cool characters but with a twist. I saw medieval Captain America, chainmail Deadpool, a steampunk Harley Quinn, even a baby dressed as Rey and her dad as Kylo Ren.

For me, the costumes that people spend hours making just to show off for a weekend is the exciting part. I don’t need to do a meet and greet or even participate in the extravagant costumes to be happy. But cons are more than that so of course, I had to sit through the panels.

It’s sad that this con seemed to have a canceling curse on it. First Josh Brolin, then Don Cheadle and then even Donny Cates got sick so the energy was kind of low. I hope people got refunds for their photo ops and signatures…

Anyway, the first panel I caught was the tail end of Zazie Beetz. She’s very kind in person, she spoke happily about her experience on Deadpool with Ryan Reynolds, how she actually auditioned to play Storm in Xmen: Apocalypse first and her upcoming projects.

The next panel was Chris Evans, Lee Pace, and Karen Gillan. This one was less exciting, most of the questions asked were about the next Avengers movies and none of the actors were allowed to say anything. Someone asked Karen Gillan what Nebula would do with the Infinity Gauntlet and she told them she’d punch Thanos in the face and say ‘bye daddy.’.

photo by Ace Con

A girl stood up and explained she had an anxiety attack on Tuesday and was almost not able to come, she asked the people on stage how they cope with anxiety and she seemed quite satisfied with their answer because at the panel right after with Matt Smith she got up again with unwavering confidence to ask her question.

Matt Smith’s panel was all sorts of fun. He’s a goofy guy and it makes sense why he was chosen to play the Doctor. He spoke about playing Prince Philip and denied that he was going to be in Star Wars, claiming ‘I don’t even know what a lightsaber is’. Oh! And he ended up singing my friend happy birthday which was so lovely of him.

Photo by Tory Appel

By Sunday, the only thing that mattered was getting to Tom Hiddleston’s panel with Elizabeth Olsen. Allegedly Tom’s manager doesn’t let him take personal questions so Tom was interviewing Elizabeth. The idea was… boring to me, but having forgotten about his wonderful Actors on Actors interview with Aaron Paul, Tom surprised me with the amount of research and care he put into each of his questions. Even Elizabeth was shocked. She did, however, mutter ‘Should we take audience questions?’ and despite a mic not even being up everyone ran to get in line. After some deliberation, the crew set up a mic and questions were asked. The first question asked by a child, age 7, was “Is Loki really dead?”, which is probably exactly why Tom’s manager didn’t want questions asked. It was a laugh though and after two minutes of fumbling Tom finally responded: “Your guess is as good as mine.”

The final person was the girl from the first two panels who had anxiety and this time, she was more than confident. She expressed how asking that question on Friday had changed her view on how she carries herself and everyone at the con has been so nice and excited to see her transformation. Elizabeth Olsen shared her own experience with anxiety and the moment was overall very heartwarming to watch.

So overall, to go to Cons, you don’t have to know everything about everything, you don’t need a 2,000 dollar costume, or an expensive photo op to have a good time. If you’re deliberating whether to go or not, just go and see the panels at least. The community that’s built in the three days is a wonderful feeling. Everyone is there because they love something in comics or movies, you can talk to just about anyone. And hey, maybe advice you hear during a panel will change your life.

Kara Middleton

Columbia Chicago

Hello, My name is Kara!
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