The effects of a hard night’s worth of drinking is nothing like the hangover you get from leaving a convention as busy as Emerald City Comic Con. ECCC is huge and sprawling, taking up most of the Washington State Convention Center, with signs directing you every which way for SIX WHOLE LEVELS. I’m no green girl when it comes to huge conventions; hell, I’ve tackled San Diego Comic Con alone before! This is the first time I had ever attended ECCC, and I thought I knew what to expect out of another ReedPop owned convention.
This year’s entertainment guests included the likes of Norman Reedus, Dante Basco, Lana Parrilla, The Weasley twins, and more. The list of talent goes on and on, a list that seems beautifully endless and includes artists, authors, makeup designers, and prop makers. The artist alley was also incredibly packed with talent this year, ranging from a surprise signing with G. Willow Wilson to scores of indie creators I cheerfully met and purchased wares from.
Like usual, I planned out my days, from panels to interviews, and as I scrambled to familiarize myself with the convention center layout, I begrudgingly accepted the fact I would need to sacrifice a panel or two to make it to the aforementioned G. Willow Wilson signing. Even though I had to race through the TWO separate exhibition halls/artist alleys, I successfully got a few minutes to talk with the genius behind Kamala Khan.
Floating on cloud nine after such an encounter, I quickly checked my schedule and decided to check out the artist alley and hall I was in before scurrying off to a 3pm Vertigo panel about their upcoming projects. I normally do a quick lap around a room before gathering my courage to meet creators whose work I had enjoyed from afar and pushed into my regular customers’ hands. Then I made sure to visit friends, such as artist Megan Lara, and fellow Valkyries manning the Valkyrie table, before opening my wallet with reckless abandon. Purchases this day included “Oh Joy Sex Toy,” a pair of Hamilton inspired prints from artist Arielle Jovellanos, and one hell of a sexy Poe Dameron from Cara McGee before I queued up with fellow comic lovers for my first and only panel.
Speakers for the hour long panel included Kurt Busiek, who spoke about issue 41 of Astro City finally revealing how it got its name to Gail Simone describing some of the chills ahead in her horror comic, Clean Room. In all honesty, it was surprisingly underwhelming compared to earlier announcements from other publishers, such as DC’s new imprint Young Animal under musician and comic enthusiast Gerard Way.
Luckily, my panel wasn’t far from my first interview, but I got lost and ended up in the wrong artist alley! However, a kind young man dressed as Deadpool set me on the right path (thanks, Deadpool!) and I quickly found the booth I was meant to be at before getting distracted by Espionage Cosmetics gorgeous nail wraps. My Friday ended after WRAPping up an interview with the super cute artist, Camille d’Errico so I could get ready for a Wickedly Divine off-site party.
Saturday was my only other con day thanks to an early flight home on Sunday, so I stuffed it to the brim with meetings with creators to discuss upcoming Image Expo announced projects and a couple of interviews, including Faith Erin Hicks and Dante Basco. I’m stoked for several series from creators of color and women like, Graveyard Winnebago, Afar, VS, and Black Cloud. It’s an amazing time to pick up really good stories from diverse voices (need suggestions? ASK ME!).
My one panel of the day centered around a fantastic group of women in comic shops that I’m glad to be part of, the Valkyries. Discussion included how underestimated a group of 500 retailers with ordering power can be, and reasons why certain books mean so much to us. It was touching being among so many other female workers since I felt alone for so long working in my shop in Texas, but now I have this vast, wonderful network when I need help or suggestions! It was definitely one of my favorite convention moments.
I left the convention with a heavy heart and even heavier bags thanks to the rest of the exhibition hall.
Next year, I will attend with knowledge about Sea-Tac Airport security lines and with an additional day to explore the city if I can manage it! If you attended Emerald City Comic Con, what was your favorite part?