At Emerald City Comicon (ECCC), people of all ages and walks of life, on earth and beyond, joined in the festivities, exhibits, photo-ops, and sessions to learn about the latest in the world of comics. Over 90,000 people were expected to attend the gathering of superheroes and villains in our famous Seattle metropolis.
ECCC featured multiple panel discussions of prominent comic book creators and web-comic artists. Here are some of the highlights of the sessions we attended.
DC Comics: Rebirth
by Susan Ralston
DC comics is one of the largest, oldest and most well-known American comic books publishers. The company produces iconic superhero characters like Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and many more. In 2016, DC relaunched the entire line of on-going monthly superhero comic books. The relaunch known as “DC Rebirth” aimed to return the characters to their earlier core elements and update readers on future premises. Since its launch, Rebirth has taken the industry by storm with its success, both critically and commercially. The dynamic panel, “DC Comics Rebirth”, featured DC heroes and heroines, and the great “behind the scene” talent who write and illustrate these comic experiences we all know and love.
Scott Snyder, writer of the All-Star Batman comic book series, covered new releases for #7 “Poison Promises” with Poison Ivy, #8 “Hats & Bats” with Mad Hatter and #9 “Ends of the Earth” finale! You’ll have to wait until March 15th and April 12th, for release of #8 and #9, respectively. Snyder stated “this series is about the art. Not political, and speaks on personal anxiety.” Next, Shea Fontana covered DC Super Hero Girls and its summer release (June 12) of DC Super Hero Girls Volume 3: Summer Olympus. Other updates were of Justice League/Power Rangers #3 & # 4 with Tom Taylor and Marguerite Bennett talked about newly released Batwoman: Rebirth #1. HOLY BATMAN!!!
With all these new releases lining up, the future of DC universe looks bright and promising and we hope to see that reflecting on big screen very soon!
The Comic Elements of Avatar and Korra
by Susan Ralston
Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra tell the stories of an epic quest to bring peace and unity back to the world by ending a war.
Sponsored by Dark Horse Comics, this quirky panel featured two very creative comic icons and ended with a fun trivia competition for awesome prizes! First, was writer Gene Luen Yang of Avatar: The Last Airbender – North & South Part 3 , which premieres April 26th. He shared with us how the story goes from a “world at war to a world at peace”. Next, talented artist Irene Koh spoke to us about The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars. The panelists bantered back and forth, with Yang teasing Koh about how she creates the artwork. Koh responded that she is “very sensitive to politics or societal impacts” and openly admitted to “making some of her characters after her own grandfather!” If you are not aware, Korra’s predecessor, Avatar: The Last Airbender, has continued its story in graphic novels, and now Korra is poised to do the same with a three-part graphic novel series from Dark Horse called Turf Wars. The first installment is due out June 7th.
How to Turn Your Weird Talents and Unusual Obsessions into Authentic, Original Art
by Meena Tang
Coming up with original ideas for your art is not easy. Many artists choose to follow popular trends and imitate popular work hoping that it will sell. However, did you know that it is possible to pave your way in the creative world using your bizarre hobbies or obsessions?
At the panel, The Power Was In You All Along: How to Turn Your Weird Talents and Unusual Obsessions into Authentic, Original Art, four web-comic artists, Lucy Bellwood (Baggywrinkles), Kory Bing (Skin Deep), David Malki ! (Wondermark), and Dylan Meconis (Bite Me!, Family Man) discussed how you can turn your niche interests into a successful creative art.
Each panelist currently use their unusual interests to create successful web-comics. Bellwood used to work on a tall ship, Bing grew up loving dinosaurs, Malki collects old books and Meconis is obsessed with wolves. They all got inspired by the subject that they are passionate about and decided to create art out of it.
“From my experience, people that go into the comic field do so because they have millions of bizarre interests and it’s the only way to showcase those interests all at once” said Meconis.
According to the panel discussion, the best way to introduce your niche to others is to blend the lines between the familiar and unusual. Doing so, you can more easily speak to niche enthusiasts who may not originally be comic readers and comic fans who want to learn more about the niche.
But at the heart of the discussion was the idea that the creator’s passion for their work is the most influential factor in increasing your audience and following.
“If you want to make something just because it’s popular, other people might not care about it as much because people are attracted to passion and excitement.”
“What got people interested in my work is how excited and enthusiastic I am about it…if you want to make something just because it’s popular, other people might not care about it as much because people are attracted to passion and excitement.” Bing
The panel ended with a note that you don’t have to be an expert about your subject of choice before you start, you just have to do it and learn as much as you can along the way – be it unicycling, art farming or whatever you like, the possibilities are endless.