Comic Con comes once a year, the saying goes. “What saying?” You ask. “Who said it?”
I have no idea, but every year in March, Emerald City Comic Con comes around and thousands of people from around the country flock to Seattle to take part.
This year ECCC broke attendance records with over 90,000 guests attending. The events listed ranged from panels by Stan Lee and the cast of Stranger Things, to cosplay competitions, an entire floor dedicated to art booths, and more. If you didn’t have a chance to attend this year, or perhaps did and feel like you missed something, here’s a list of the coolest things about ECCC, and what to maybe avoid.
5 Cool things to Checkout at Emerald City Comic Con (and what to avoid)
This was my second year attending the con, and while last year I went as an understated Jessica Jones (anyone can if they wear a leather jacket and jeans). This year I didn’t dress up at all and took the role as an observer.
On a Saturday and managed to capture a real life Belcher Family and a Corpse Bride Couple, and those were only the ones I managed to take pictures of. From Anime, Manga, Miyazaki, to Games, Comics, and Disney, there was no end to the range of costumes on display.
I would recommend checking out this article to see some of the other many costume on display this year.
On the top floor of the convention center, located in the far back, behind the celebrity signing booths is 2/3 of a floor dedicated to artist booths. The lineup of artists ranges from the amazing Crystal Graziano to Terry Dodson.
I cannot recommend enough the Emerald City Comic Con art scene, I got a number of amazing prints and originals from famous artists for cheap about 10$ or less. Not only are you buying straight from the artist, but you also have the chance to get your work signed. On top of that, many of the artists love to talk about their work, what they do, the scene, and more. Me and my friend spent over three hours simply talking to artists, and moving between the booths admiring their work.
If you love Magic the Gathering, Pinball, Indie Games, or more, this con has a place for you. The second floor of the convention center is dedicated to games, and a lot of the rooms located on that floor house a space for playing with other fans.
There was a room for strangers to gather and play each other, and also a room for Indie Game developers to live test their games on many willing participants. Be sure to bring your decks because there’s ample opportunities to get your game on.
This years lineup was especially interesting. Stan Lee and Todd McFarlane had a discussion on comics and the roles in them and the cast of the 2016 hit tv show “Stranger Things” was also featured in a panel.
Other smaller panels were less jampacked, but still equally interesting. There were talks on everything from women in fantasy comics and literature, to how to make your own cosplay, to using D&D strategies in real life to boost your career. No matter what your interest there’s a panel for everyone.
Above all else, the culture at Comic Con is one to be reveled in. People aren’t afraid to show their interests and share them with others. Everyone is incredibly friendly (with the exception of the cosplayers who’ve been asked to take their millionth photo) and happy to be there. Kids, families, couples, friends, and solo goers all have a great time and no one is excluded or shunned. While I was there I made small talk with a number of interesting people. If shared interests are the key to friendship, this is the place to make friends.
Emerald City Comic Con’s growth is not only a reflection of Seattle’s booming growth and notoriety, but also in part due to the large success of Geek culture. Comic book inspired movies, shows, and video games are billion dollar industries. With Seattle being home to a number of notable studios, it seems like a no-brainer to have a conventions in the city that represent these interests and industry. PAX and Sakura Con also take place in Seattle. Each convention has it’s own specific focus, Sakura Con is more aimed towards anime and manga fans, and PAX is an high end game developer conference. Comic Con is a more generalized convention that allows for expression of all aspects of geek culture.
The Main Floor
There’s only two things I would recommend avoiding at Emerald City Comic Con. The first is the main floor of the convention center. This is a huge open space filled with hundreds of booths that stretch across Pike street. While there are a number of interesting things to see and do on this floor, almost all of the booths are corporate-owned. I would personally recommend saving your money for the top floor and buying beautiful merchandise from the artists themselves.
Paying for Signatures
This is more of a word of caution. Emerald City Comic Con has an area where celebrities will sit at a booth and fans can line up to pay for the opportunity to get a signature. While this means a lot to hardcore fans, often they come away disappointed because they’re rushed through the process and don’t manage to get in more than a handful of words. If you’re looking for a meaningful connection, you won’t find it shelling out $100+ dollars for a signature.
Regardless, Comic Con is always a good time, with over 90,000 people attending this year, it’s only expected to grow, and I would highly recommend coming with a fat wallet and high spirits, and leaving with new friends and art.