The grand finale of the Chicagoland Entertainment Collectors Expo was held this weekend. The final show marks the end of an era. Paul Maiellaro has done a wonderful job over these past 11 years, bringing an exciting and vibrant show to the Chicago area. Although it was formerly announced this weekend that a new Chicago-area show will be held starting this May to be run by dealers Ed Webb (Scifi Cards) and Kevin Bennett (K & J Non-Sports Cards), the show will not be the same. Paul had a panache for bringing together artists, celebrities, and publishers along with dealers.
As an exhibitor, you could not ask for more from a promoter–Paul kept his exhibitors well fed, supplied with chips, sweets, & drinks, and generally happy. As part of the group that runs the Philly Non-Sports Card Show, I can say that Paul did things that we could not in these terms of exhibitor relations. And perhaps this was a double-edged sword and part of the reason his show has ended. But it was tremendous fun while it lasted, that’s for sure.
This weekend’s show was a typical Fall Chicagoland Entertainment Collectors Expo. The crowd was similar in size to the usual Fall shows (which have always been the larger of Paul’s twice per year shows). One might have hoped, however, that a few more collectors would have turned up to send the show off.
On-hand at the show were 15 or so artists including Connie Faye, Ted Dastick, Jr., Kristin Allen, Jeff Clark, Dave Dorman, and Cynthia Narcisi. Unfortunately, a couple of announced artists were unable to attend including Mark McHaley and Chris Foreman. Also on-hand was actor Scott L. Schwartz (Ocean’s Thirteen and others), who has become somewhat of a regular at the CECE show.
During the weekend, collectors could participate in an auction (for Paul’s favorite charity, the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation), enter raffles, get made into a zombie (via make-up artist Tara Schile), take a yoga session with Cynthia Narcisi, get their picture taken with a replica of the H.G. Wells Time Marchine, and more as well as peruse a great selection of cards, toys, and more from exhibiting dealers such as K & J Non-Sports, Scifi Cards, Ron Gahan, Bryan Schemine, and Looky Here. Non-Sport Update was on hand selling our new issue, select back issues, books, and some trading cards.
We will miss Paul’s show but we know Paul has some exciting hobby-related things planned for the months ahead and we look forward to Ed and Kevin’s upcoming Chicago-area shows. Be sure to view our gallery of photos from the show below.