Off the Racks: C2E2, Chicago ‘zinefest Gems by Browne and Brown

Last month I attended two Chicago area conventions where I was slangin’ those B-one comics ( The first was the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2, and it was attended by around 35,000 people this year.  This was my first table at a major con. Bobgar Ornelas made the trip out to supervise my comic selling as well! You may have read some reviews on the show and I have to say I can’t add much to the glowing reviews I’ve seen on this here Internet.  It was a huge show, we had a lot of traffic at the table and a lot of fun overall. It would be difficult for me to give a true recap, as Bob had me chained to the table(literally), but from what I saw the show has grown so much in its second year. For a more in depth run down check out episode 44 of our podcast at .  There were all-around top-notch talent in artists alley, all the major publishers, and great retailers this year at c2e2. Speaking of top-notch talent, when I was able to escape my captor, er co-creator, I found myself at the table of Ryan Browne… several times. I purchased many things from him, including the print version of his webcomic God Hates Astronauts, but I’d like to highlight his 24-hour comic.

24-Hour Comic by Ryan Browne

For those who don’t know, there is an annual event where artists try to write and draw a complete comic in 24 hours. As you could guess from the clever the title, this was Ryan Browne’s contribution (from 2010). I’m not 100% sure if he will be selling this outside of cons, but I suggest you track it down. For fans of a great clean art style and off-the-wall, crazy writing. The story follows a man who accidently kills the world’s most important bear while carrying him across the desert. Really? That last sentence didn’t get you to rush out to find the book? Well there’s also Draculas and superheroics. Browne pulls off outlandish writing as good as I have ever seen, and the fact he made this in 24 hours is scary.  Only $3 and it is packed cover to cover of this mini-comic. Please check out his stuff.

Chicago ‘zinefest
The next weekend I also attended Chicago ‘zinefest at Columbia College in Chicago. This was not quite attended by 35,000 people, but still fun none the less. This was a local ‘zine showcase, which was put on in part by staff at Quimby’s books in Chicago. There were over 100 exhibitors and I couldn’t even begin to describe the array of mini-comics and ‘zines available. Although, traffic was slow at our table, I met some nice people and picked up some great stuff. The highlight for me was definitely the one workshop I was able to attend by Jeffrey Brown.

1-Hour Comic by Jeffrey Brown

Brown had elected to talk with the audience about his work while creating a one-of-a-kind 8-page mini-comic there at the show. He then photocopied and stapled it there and we were able to pick it up from him! “Jeffrey Brown—Junior Zookeeper” was created on 8.5×11 paper and covers a day that Brown was a junior zookeeper.  I love his style and it was so amazing to see him do it “live.” Some may not like his work, but there is no denying he is a genuine and unique talent in the comics community. You can see some of the pictures here and the finished product. It was a great experience and what a great little treasure we got to take away. Although you won’t find Junior Zookeeper at your store check out his work at

So, even though these items may be extremely “off the racks” in that you might not find them online or in any store, they do highlight a great week for me.  They also represent something unique. For those reluctant to enter into the world of conventions, I wanted to offer you some examples of items and experiences that you can only get if you attend. Please check out Mr. Brown and Mr. Browne’s other work, as well. I will be at Summit City Con in Fort Wayne In June 18th. So come out, say “hello” and make new friends. That’s really what these funny books are all about.

Jon does a Web comic here on Osmosis called Apocalypse Meh, has a band called Anti-Hero (, does podcasts ( and ) , acts like an idiot for Fight Fire with Aurthur Film, and frequently posts at He’s been very busy lately, so excuse his lack of writing skills



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