Updated: Feb 20, 2020
Two weekends ago, I traveled to Chicago with my brother for ACE Comic Con, and had an absolute awesome time. This was my third ACE I have attended, and I must say that these events never disappoint.
For this particular convention, my brother and I were excited because Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Holland (Spider-Man), Jake Gyllenhaal (Mysterio), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), and Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) were some of the celebrity guests. I was also super excited that Kit Harington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones) was in attendance too.
Before the convention began, our adventure started with trying to transport a replica Thor hammer. Yes, you heard right. My brother decided to buy a Thor hammer because he wanted Chris Hemsworth to pose with it in our photo. This idea originated from the time when we met Chris Evans over the summer at another ACE, since he had posed with a Captain America shield during our photo-op (granted the shield was on site, provided by the convention unlike the hammer). So, we had many ideas on how to get the hammer to Illinois: 1. Ship it to the hotel ahead of time, 2. Ship it to the convention center, 3. Bring it on the plane, or 4. Put it in one of our suitcases. My brother thought putting it in his suitcase was the best idea (it was inside a box with protection so that it did not get damaged), and it actually worked.
With that small dilemma solved, we arrived in Chicago and settled in at our hotel. Then, we went to the convention center for check-in. This was a fun experience because we not only got to meet some other fans, but we also got these fantastic swag bags (we paid for VIP admission and the swag bag came as a component of that). Inside the bags, there was a Funko Pop, two pairs of Marvel socks, an ACE Comic Con travel and/or stadium blanket, an ACE Comic Con luggage tag, hand sanitizer, and a really cool ACE Comic Con pin (mine was Spider-Man themed, my brother's was Thor themed).
After check-in, we went to the famous Giordano's for some dinner, and the deep dish pizza was delicious (although I will forever be a New York style pizza girl).
The next day, we had some time to kill so we went to Dave & Buster's to play some games. While we were there, we found this fun arcade game called Marvel Contest of Champions. I had never heard of it, but my brother had. We sat down and played a game, and when it was over, it dispensed these Marvel playing cards. Automatically, we became addicted because we wanted to get more of these cards because they were just so cool. I lost count of how many rounds we played, but we amounted a decent stack of cards, so you can only imagine we were there for a long time. It was fun, though, because I felt like we were like kids again, trying to collect all the playing cards.
Once we were done at Dave & Buster's, we went back to the hotel to get ready to go see Hugh Jackman in concert yet again. It was pure luck that Hugh Jackman was there the same weekend as the convention. But, of course, we had to take advantage of this opportunity, and it was well worth it. Hugh Jackman is just amazing and there are no words to describe how brilliant he is. The concert serves as an embodiment and expression of his talent, creativity, and imagination. I could see it hundreds of times and never tire of it.
The special thing about this event was that Keala Settle (The Bearded Lady from The Greatest Showman) was his opening act. When she sang "This Is Me," I lost it. She was phenomenal, and it was truly a bucket list occasion to hear her sing (and for me to sing along with her).
As Saturday dawned, it was finally ACE time. The big part of this day for me was meeting Kit Harington. My photo-op with him was first, and I must admit, that he was everything I dreamed he would be—nice, handsome, and well-dressed. During the photo-op everything happened so quickly (which I expected). However, when I left the photo-op booth, the whirlwind of the moment settled and I completely started fan-girling, as I realized Kit Harington was really just perfect in every way. Once I collected my photo, I immediately took a picture of it and texted it to my mom, where I then sent her all the heart-eye emojis I could to convey how happy and silly I felt.
From there, I went over to the autograph area to wait in line to get my autograph from Kit. This was a special opportunity because I heard that he usually doesn't do autographs, only photo-ops. When I entered the booth, I knew this was true because he was signing things for two people ahead of me, and he randomly blurted out, "Uh oh...that's not how you spell Jaime." Quickly, a new photo was provided so he could redo the autograph. He signed it again, but said, "Maybe I shouldn't have used gold, you can't see it that well." The woman working the booth insisted it was fine. As the other people walked out, I gave him my poster and he asked me where he should sign it and where he should personalize it. I instructed him, and then bid him goodbye. Once I was out of the booth, I realized his meticulousness about every autograph being perfect may have showed his inexperience, but it actually made me love him all the more because it conveyed how he truly cared about each fan since he wanted to make them happy.
After that amazing experience, my brother and I got to meet Tessa Thompson, who was also super nice. Unfortunately, we missed her panel discussion with Brie Larson since we had a scheduling conflict. But it was still nice to see her during the time we did. Plus, she signed this wonderful piece of artwork created by Bruno Illustration.
As the day neared its end, we had one final thing to do, which was attending the Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal panel. These two interact so well with each other, and I liked seeing them together because they truly have a great friendship. I also liked that we got to hear about their upcoming projects and how they were able to learn so much from each other in terms of acting.
Last, but not least, was Sunday, the day we got to meet Chris Hemsworth.
He was the main reason we wanted to go to this convention, and seeing him was the best experience. We had our photo-op with him first, so the hammer came out right away. When it was our turn, Chris had no problem with holding it, as he quickly took it from my brother and snapped a photo with us. These sessions are so quick it's hard to process much, but Chris lived up to all my expectations too—nice, funny, tall, and very pretty. Definitely another fan-girl moment. More than anything, I realized that Chris embodied Thor so much (and the hammer certainly helped to make the experience even more authentic).
Next was the autograph session, which was my favorite memory of the weekend, since I actually had a quick conversation with Chris. He really liked the artwork I had him sign since he had never seen it before (at cons people tend to bring the same thing to get signed so it's nice when something new comes along). I told him I had brought it before the con from an artist's Etsy store online called SprayArtNYC.
It made me feel so special that he noticed because I literally had to plan in advance to get the artwork shipped to my house and then I had to travel with it in my suitcase from Denver. I was so excited and giddy when I left the booth that several other people noticed my enthusiasm, but I didn't care because I was so happy.
The final objective for the convention was to attend the Chris Hemsworth panel, and since we had VIP admission for him, we were able to sit really close to the front of the stage. During the conversation, he talked about acting and his career in general, but it was here where his sense of humor really shined through, as he had everyone laughing, which made me think once again that he was truly Thor, even in real life.
Overall, this ACE convention was such a fun experience, and I want to thank the ACE Comic Con team for putting together another wonderful event. Between the celebrity guests, the vendors, and the programming it was definitely my favorite ACE Comic Con so far. I cannot wait for the next one!