CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo is underway at McCormick Place.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser got in using a secret handshake, and offers his impressions. CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole was there too, in a Jedi cloak with light saber in hand.

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LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

C2E2, as the convention is known in its shorthand form, features the latest from the comics, sci-fi, anime, manga and video game industries – including autograph sessions with leading comic creators to sneak peeks at movies and television programs that have yet to go live.

Actors John Cusack and Val Kilmer, Stephanie Izard of “Top Chef,” and Anthony Daniels, who was the man inside C-3PO in “Star Wars” will all be making appearances. So will dozens of comic book artists, and an assortment of writers – including Anne Rice of “Vampire Chronicles” fame.

But to spend time at C2E2 is not necessarily to fully grasp the world of comic cons. The participants are eccentric – and the atmosphere can be sexually charged. You’ll even find a nerdy band of burlesque performers.

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The Midwest Garrison was also present, dressed as an assortment of heroes and villains from Star Wars as they raise money for a good cause.

“We just find a great community with each other, we can connect with each other, learn how to build costumes – it’s pretty sweet looking – and we also get a lot of enjoyment out of giving back to the community,” said Midwest Garrison public relations officer Brian Troyan.

WBBM Newsradio also met a tattoo artist whose themes, he says, are geek oriented.

“People come in with, like, Nintendo requests; people want, like, Pixar, like Mario or Zelda,” he said.

A Marvel Entertainment auction is expected to be a big draw.

“It’s pretty cool; I mean, we’re selling most of the iconic items from ‘Captain America: The First Avenger,’” said a Marvel representative.

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Even the Joliet Public Library was there, encouraging people to come to “Star Wars” Day.