C2E2 is next weekend, and I had a chance to catch up with Garrett Clark, cofounder of CrawlNightLong. My text is in bold, and his replies are not. You can find out more on their facebook event page.


Hi Garrett!


My name is James, and I run CarrollFilms, a media company that specializes in content gathering at conventions. We have a facebook page, a Youtube Channel, a RSS feed on Kotaku, and another Youtube Channel. I ran into Eddie B at a CosAwesome Studios event, and he was telling me a little about the Crawl. (Writers note: Eddie B is an amazing photographer, and you can find his work here. )

Eddie is amazing! We met him through C2E2 and he’s so much more than a photographer, he really is passionate about the events we put on and helps us organize them. And his kids are adorable, so I’m fairly biased toward liking Eddie.

What is CrawlNightLong? How long have you been around, and what event’s do you put on?
CrawlNightLong is a group of volunteers — coworkers, friends, drinking buddies — who liked organizing parties and turned their efforts towards these crazy, weird costumed bar crawls for charities. It started when the organizers for SantaCon Chicago stepped down. We stepped up to organize that event 3 years ago in 2012, added a charity element to the event, and tried to give it a little more polish and a little less chaos. That was essentially the birth of CNL, though we didn’t come up with that name for another couple months. The name is, obviously, a wordplay on pub crawls and Lionel Richie’s hit 1983 jibberish-dance song. Since that first crawl, there we just let our geeky creative sides go nuts, and we launched events like the Pirates vs Ninjas and a lederhosen-clad Crawltoberfest. Super Hero/Villain Crawl is particularly close to my heart, as a longtime comicbook reader who always felt that C2E2 deserved an amazing, memorable afterparty for people to look forward to every year.

So you’ll be hosting your third C2E2 charity crawl. How has it gone in the past, and what are you doing different to make this better than ever?
Yes, #supercrawl15 is a follow up to a really warm welcome we had our first two years. Our first year really surprised us with a great turnout, including a bachelor party of guys all dressed as Aquaman. The second year doubled in attendance and we had impromptu dance parties and some really spectacular costumes. So this year we’re pulling out all the stops!

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It really helps because our charity partner this year is Reading With Pictures (www.readingwithpictures.org), which does great work creating educational tools with comic industry professionals. They have some exciting, huge projects in the works - that I’m not allowed to talk about - that got us excited to be raising money for them with this year’s event ticket sales. Our drink specials and raffle prizes are all possible only through the generous donations from our venues (Reggie’s, Kroll’s, WeatherMark, Flo & Santos), hometown folks from Revolution Brewing and startup Right Bee Cider, as well as national brands like Fireball Whiskey, Angry Orchard, and Traveler Shandy.

We have dozens of donated prizes we’ll be giving away all night - far more prizes than any event we’ve done before. AND if that weren’t enough, we have The Cell Phones (http://cellphonesband.com) performing at Reggie’s as our official “kick-off,” with a set of their rock music, some geeky covers, and of course cosplay!

So I poked around your site, and it looks like you’ll have ‘Battle Bars’ and themed drinks. Can you walk me through that?
We wanted to start a friendly rivalry between the heroes and villains who show up to #supercrawl15. So we have color coded raffle tickets (red heroes, blue villains) that you’ll get when you pick up your wristband, as well as any time you buy a Hero or Villain themed drink. We made some geeky matchups unique to each bar: Mr Freeze’s freeze ray vs Human Torch’s supernova, for example.

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Bars will be pouring the drinks at the special prices all night, so you can visit the bars in any order you want! Each one has something to offer: Flo & Santos has amazing pizza, WeatherMark had a crazy costumed dance party last year, Kroll’s has great food and a superb beer list, and Reggie’s will be rocking with music all night.

So you’ll have teams and prizes. How will that work?
We’ll have a red Hero bucket and a Blue villain bucket at each bar, and we’ll draw a raffle prize from the bucket of the team that’s currently “winning” that bar (i.e. the more popular drink). We have multiple raffle draws at each bar, and a few underdog prizes for the trailing team, so everyone is going to have a lot of chances to win as the teams battle for supremacy! The generosity for this charity event has been astonishing.

We’ll keep drawing raffle prizes at bars until the night ends, with a grand prize at Flo & Santos at the end of the night for whichever team - Heroes or Villains - wins the most of the Battle Bars!

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Each bar has also donated gift certificates and other prizes that they’ll be giving away to their favorite costumes, so dress to impress and tip well, as always!

Is there a link where readers can go to donate and buy tickets?
Our eventbrite link ishttp://supercrawl15.eventbrite.com.

Also, we encourage everyone to follow us on twitter (http://twitter.com/CrawlNightLong), since that’s our easiest way to post quick announcements during the event!

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If you can’t come to the crawl but want to support this amazing charity for educational comicbooks, you can do that at www.readingwithpictures.org!

Thanks for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Flo & Santos has welcomed us warmly for the last 3 years, and this month they’re celebrating their 5th anniversary! They’ve creates a superhero themed “The Flame” pizza, which is sweet and spicy and delicious. $2 from each pie sold in April will be donated to Reading With Pictures, so try a slice if you get hungry while you’re in the South Loop for C2E2!

Garrett Clark
CrawlNightLong Cofounder/Media Manager
www.crawlnightlong.com
www.facebook.com/crawlnightlong
www.twitter.com/crawlnightlong