written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
This con has come a long way in 10 years, from humble beginnings in 2003 at the West Field Plaza and about 2,500 attendees to this year’s show at the Washington State Convention Center and boasting 64,000 attendees. This local con has grown exponentially every year, and it’s no surprise why… geek culture is pop culture and that fact is indicative of events like this (and even bigger ones around the nation like San Diego Comic Con International) being such huge star studded events. Being a regular con goer, this atmosphere wasn’t new. I’m used to hitting panels, waiting in lines, buying swag, and meeting the movers and shakers of this industry. This particular con was special because we as Lifted Geek were promoting ourselves in full force. I (Justin Prince) was only able to attend Friday and Saturday, but Lillian was able to spend the whole weekend there.
Friday I was on my own, it was a day to just meet a few artists, check out the booths and hit a few panels. There were two panels I was intent on getting in to, one of them was the first panel of the day in the main hall, it was Felicia Day in her geek goddess glory. It’s a pretty well known story now but I figure I’d share it again, Lifted Geek started in many ways because of people like Felicia (and Wil Wheton, Chris Hardwick, etc). Last year at SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) I was in the Indigo Ballroom attending the Geek & Sundry and Nerdist panel, I was vaguely familiar with Geek & Sundry but was already a huge fan/follower of Nerdist. It was here that Lifted Geek was born, the idea of being someone who lives, loves, and consumes all that is present in geek culture but also uplifts themselves beyond what the media and general populace will think a “geek” should be… we intended to shatter that misconception in our own special way. Anyway, I was inspired to contribute to this subculture that I love so very much, and with my best friend Lillian (and con co-pilot for many years) by my side, we launched Lifted Geek. Anyway, it was here at ECCC that the rumor mill start buzzing with Geek & Sundry possibly getting picked up and backed by a major studio. Right now they are supported by YouTube and are truly independent, at SDCC it was announced that Nerdist was picked up by Legendary Pictures (Batman Dark Knight Trilogy). Very exciting news, also as a big fan of Supernatural, Felicia’s Charlie Bradbury would be making another appearance alongside the Winchester Bros.
The other panel I had to make it into was the Adventure Time comic book panel. Having recently gotten into Adventure Time in a pretty hard way, I was pretty psyched to check it out. I am still yet to read more of the comic book series, but I have gotten into some of the miniseries, like Marceline and the Scream Queens and Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake. So primarily being a huge fan of the gender-swap episodes of AT, I was psyched to see Natasha Allegri (she’s pretty damn cute I was nerd-crushing hard) plus being a fan of all things Fionna and Cake this was a treat. The panel turned me on to start checking out the AT comic on comiXology.
Most of my Friday was spent checking out merch and buying stuff. I popped by the kaBoom! Booth to get a “get-a-sketch” cover of Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake #1 along with picking up my favorite variant cover of issue #2 (I ship Fionna and Marshall Lee… cuz cute). I wasn’t too keen on buying too much, especially since March can be a pretty tight month with two of my best friends, my brother, and my girlfriend having birthdays this month… kinda makes ya a lil bit broke.
Come Saturday, there wasn’t too much I was keen on seeing, I missed the first panel I wanted to hit because traffic and parking and delays, but no biggie. The main panel I wanted to see was Adam West and Burt Ward. It’s no secret that I am a huge Bat-fan. I grew up watching the Batman television show (my dad was a huge fan of the show as a kid) and while I love to subscribe to the notion that “darker is better” when it comes to the Batman, I have far too many fond memories with the old Batman television series. If you’ve never checked it out, look up Adam West on the Fat Man on Batman podcast and you’ll see why I had to make it to this con. The man is just a delight, so charming and funny, and having Burt Ward there was an added bonus.
Meeting Jerry Gaylord of Fanboys vs. Zombies was an absolute treat; Lil and I both got a “get-a-sketch” of us zombified for the most recent issue of this comic series, if you haven’t read it… I implore you to, it is fantastic and being the type of guy who feels like he’s coming home when he goes to SDCC, it really does make me think of those epic 4 days. Along with picking up the latest issue from
One major plus I noticed is their use of space, they managed to really utilize the convention center very well, it was packed but never felt as claustrophobic as Sakura Con or SDCC is. Getting past people is fairly easy and meandering around the entire con is an adventure in and of itself. I remember when we were trying to find the gaming section of the con; it was off in some far corner, and a section of the convention center I haven’t really been in. The other local cons can learn a lot as far as utilizing space from these folks.
Sunday I did not attend, so rather than jarring you folks with having Lil come in and interject, I will do my best to work with her notes. Two panels she was intent on getting in to was the Misha Collins (Castiel on Supernatural) panel and the Patrick Stewart Panel. Being a huge Supernatural fan, it’s no wonder Lil wanted to get into this panel, be it the fact she missed out on the Supernatural panel this past San Diego Comic Con. I remember how funny and charismatic Misha Collins was in San Diego so when Lil told me about how he discussed subjects like a Baptist church proclaiming him to be the anti-Christ, or waxing philosophical on who is the better kisser between Jared and Jensen. It’s obvious (especially in the way he fuels the fandom) that Misha loves the fans; it’s incredibly humbling to see actors like that.
Sir Patrick Stewart, a knight and a (space) captain. Here is a panel I wished I could have gone to, other than Morgan Freeman, this man has such a distinct voice that I would want to win the lottery just so I can hire him to record voice-overs for my life, I mean, can you imagine the hilarity? [in a Sir Patrick Stewart voice] “Justin awakens from a deep slumber, realizing it is the weekend and he doesn’t have a grueling work day to look forward to, he smiles slyly to himself as he lumbers himself half asleep to the kitchen for a cup of coffee”. That would be so full of epic win I can’t contain myself! But I digress; before I go too far off base, let me share some of Lil’s notes. Apparently this panel was one of the hardest to get in to. Something I did really like about ECCC was (unlike SDCC and the massive lines) all the panels I attempted to get in to I was able to get in to. I guess Lil barely made it in this panel and had to sit way in the back. If you’ve followed the Nerdist podcast as long as I have, you’ll have been privileged to see just how funny and charming this man is. A often told story from his time on TNG (Star Trek: The Next Generation for those not in the “know”) is how stoic and serious Sir Patrick Stewart was, coming from a theatre (see how I did “-re” not “-er”) background, the light hearted mood of the cast contrasted greatly from his previous experiences. In a quote from the panel, Sir Patrick Stewart says, “I was never funny, really. The Star Trek people taught me about a sense of humor. I thought you had to be serious all the time. They taught me you can have fun and do good work at the same time, and actually, chances are you do better work when you’re having fun”. Did you read that quote in his voice? I did.
What I loved (and what I always love) about this con was all the cosplay. What better way to show your love for a series or a character than by dressing up as them? I won’t wax too heavy on cosplay since we have a segment in our be(COS) section showing off some of our favorite costumes of the con. What I noticed here at ECCC that differs greatly from SDCC is the sheer volume of cosplay. We are usually used to anime conventions where it looks off to NOT be in costume, but at SDCC the minority were the costume fellows. ECCC (while not as saturated as Sakura Con) was filled to the brim with cosplayers. It was fantastic and I loved it when people would high five or recognize us for who we were.
I can’t wait for next year, next year I plan to get all three days and will put aside a good amount of cash for this con. I look forward to it and am already planning my costumes; perhaps I can finish that Nighwing armor or get my body all buff and stuff so I can be a decent Deadpool… who knows! Anyway, that was our Emerald City Comic Con, how was yours? Sound off in the comments and please enjoy a few shots we took in between nerding out of course.