written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Emerald City Comicon has been on our radar since the inception of our little corner of the web, it was one of the first conventions we covered after starting Lifted Geek and after three consecutive ECCCs running our particular brand of geeky coverage, our not-so-little local comic convention has taken another big step forward.
Announced late last year, Reed Pop (the organizers behind PAX, C2E2, and New York Comic Con) has acquired Emerald City Comicon and adds it to their already impressive line-up of fan conventions. But this isn't without a few snags... but I'll get into that later on.
This year's ECCC was unforgettable for several reasons. Aside from walking in knowing the core staff behind ECCCs past wouldn't be the same, the energy inside the Washington State Convention Center was as electrifying as it's always been. Vendors from the big name publishers to local small press groups litter the exhibition hall from wall to wall, and artists from well known comic names to local heroes shared their works for all to see.
I didn't get the chance to hit as many panels as I hoped, but the three I did make it to were some of the most entertaining hours of the entire weekend. Alex Kingston (Doctor Who's River Song), Clark Gregg (Marvel's Phil Coulson), and John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) were the three panels I made it to. As expected all three were charming beyond belief, finally seeing Alex Kingston on a panel was my favorite event of the entire con. As an avid con goer I've been delighted by Clark Gregg and John Barrowman multiple times at various panels from San Diego to the Big Apple, but seeing Alex Kingston... THE River Song made my lil Whovian heart go parumpumpumpum... even a surprise cameo at John Barrowman's panel (FINALLY! RIVER AND JACK TOGETHER!) surprised and delighted many a Who fan.
The con wasn't without its troubles, it felt like the awkward adjustment period of a new event coordinator running the show made some of the more streamlined parts of last year's convention into an unorganized mess this year. Meeting celebrity guests in the autograph area didn't run as smoothly, but the biggest low has to be what happened at the end of the John Barrowman panel. Though John Barrowman's panel was one of my highlights of the con, it ended on a bit of a sour note... call it miscommunication but having gone to his panel at New York Comic Con, the Reed Pop folks there know how his panels work... John hangs with his fans till the top of the hour with no exceptions... at the 50 minute mark a staffer attempted to shut off the audience mic... clearly upset by this, Barrowman went into a bit of a tirade first saying to a staffer "you're not really going to do this to me?" and following up with "don't ever cut off my mic, or I won't come back!" A true defender of the people, he went on to say that his fans spent alot of money to see him and he refused to let them down.
Comicon is always an electrifying weekend in Seattle. Despite some slight hiccups and a horribly awkward ending to John Barrowman's panel that left me feeling as I do when watching really horrible singers on American Idol. The vibe at this show is always enough to make any shortcomings at the con... and life... that much better. This leads to another reason this convention will forever be memorable to me. On Saturday, I got a call from my parents that my dog wasn't doing too well. He's been sick for a while but his health took a dramatic turn for the worse that weekend. We decided to put him to rest that Sunday, so I went home to spend one last night with my dog before saying goodbye. I spent 17 of my 32 years with him, and those were the best 17 years of my life. So after saying my tearful goodbyes, I went to the one place I knew I could feel the most support. After posting it on Facebook, mostly to explain why I left the con early Saturday night... come Sunday morning I was met with hugs and support from all my friends in this scene, and I couldn't be more more thankful.
I guess the one takeaway I can say about this con; despite all the awesome sights and amazing guests... my highlight has to be the people I spent it with, and when it comes down to it... isn't that was Comicon's about? The people, those you spend it with... new friends and old friends... they are what make Comicon great... and even if I begin to grow tired of this show (which is highly unlikely) the people, my people, will keep me coming back.