Seattle Geeks Out: Emerald City Comic Con 2018
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
With another Emerald City Comic Con coming to a close, this year marks some exciting changes for our local home-grown comic convention. For starters, the trend of comic conventions adopting a four-day format ideally helps to maximize the comic con going experience for even more fans. Last year ECCC toyed with the idea of adding a fourth day but it was only a half day, with this year’s Thursday being a fully loaded day at the con… I was ready to jump all in.
Some folks argue that validity of the con going a full four days and I’ve heard the views from both camps. Personally, I like that it went a full extra day. Having a full Thursday at the con made for more chances to enjoy everything Emerald City Comic Con has to offer.
One of the most positive changes from last year to this year was how organized the show felt. It seemed like Reed Pop was ready to go full-swing into making ECCC as smoothly run as some of their other shows like PAX and NYCC. Since Reed Pop’s acquisition of Emerald City Comic Con, frankly the show did feel a bit rocky the first couple of years, but as someone who has attended this con from both perspectives I felt like this year was the best time I’ve had at ECCC in years.
Each day felt packed and full of programming, even Thursday which normally doesn’t draw as many attendees still felt as bustling as one of the weekends. Celebrity guests covered a wide range, offering something for almost every fandom to get down with. My personal highlight of the show was seeing David Tennant and Billie Piper on a comic con stage for the first time ever. I never got around to seeing them together in the past and hearing them both reminisce about the “good-ol-Doctor-Who” days was a delight.
Other notable panels I hit included the likes of Jeremy Shada (Adventure Time), Wil Wheaton, Zach Callison (Steven Universe), and both Ricky Whittle & Yetide Badaki (American Gods). As with every year I made it a point to hit the Twisted Toonz panel, a staple at ECCC since the year they first graced a ECCC stage to perform a reading of Star Wars: A New Hope. This year the voice actors performed a reading of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. I always make it a point to see this panel, it’s one of my favorite panels at ECCC and is always good for a laugh.
The show floor felt renewed with energy the con seemed to lack in past years. Artist Alley was moved upstairs featuring independent artists and some of the biggest names in comics today. The main show floor featured the big names I’m used to seeing there, publishers like Dark Horse and Boom to Enfu’s island of artists. New to this year was the inclusion of a separate section of local artists, the new Homegrown section of the vendor hall was a welcome addition despite it being slightly confusing to navigate. A common criticism I heard from attendees was how people seeking out artists in Homegrown were confused why it wasn’t upstairs with the rest of Artist Alley. While a quick peek at the map would have done them better than randomly exploring… honestly it’s the exploration that makes this con so fun. Overall, Homegrown felt like the most positive addition to this show since Reed Pop took over management.
As with any con we go to, a major draw for us is checking out all the amazing costumes. From people cosplaying for the first time to our friends who’ve painstakingly built a suit of armor out of foam, there was quite a bit to love here. What matters the most, and something that stood out to me, was how much fun people were having. Kids from 1 to 92 were decked out in capes, cowls, armor, and spandex.
I love comic conventions because of the social element these events afford. Getting to talk to like-minded fans and geeking out over impressive costumes, new comics, and enamel pins is what make a comic con for me. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say it, but this year’s Emerald City Comic Con felt like a new step in the right direction. Originally, I was apprehensive when they first announced a full four day convention… now… looking forward to tiring myself out next year with four days of comic con goodness.