Excitement was in the air as tens of thousands of people lined up to enter into the fourth floor of the Seattle Convention Center for the 12th annual Emerald City Comic Con. This is the fifth year that STR has attended the show, and it continues to impress! With more publishers, more creators, and more attendees, ECCC continues to reconfigure itself to meet the growing demand.
The Friday launch this year was brisk, with people queuing up early to get their crack at the handful of wristbands available for the single Jim Lee signing. Like the Robert Kirkman signing two years ago, the appearance of a superstar creator was enough to get people through the doors as soon as they opened. The halls quickly filled, with all tables reporting better business than the year before.
It was not just Lee that fans were here to see. First year attendees include Bob Layton, Peter David, Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, J. Scott Campbell, and Becky Cloonan (to name a few). What continues to impress me the most about Emerald City is the deliberate placement of marquee names right next to up and coming talent. There is no sense of being “relegated” to the back of the hall away from everyone else. Even the artists and writers who were on the third floor of the con (a first for this year’s convention) were found by their fans. We stood in line for a solid fifteen minutes to meet Amanda Connor, and she was about as “out of the way” as one could get at ECCC.
As always, Emerald City is a great opportunity to catch up with people I have not seen in a while. I caught up with Reid Psaltis whose first book in the Kingdom/Order trilogy is out. It is moody, gorgeous, and will be the subject of a forthcoming review! I also caught up with Josh Shalek whose third issue of Falling Rock National Park also just hit the stands. Full of wit, humor, and an alien abduction, Falling Rock is always worth checking out! (And, yes, look for a full review of that as well!) I chatted with Lucy Bellwood who recounted her adventures rafting down the Colorado River and told me about an exciting opportunity she has which could result in future issues of Baggy Wrinkles! We even saw Egypt Urnash, our neighbor from Geek Girl Con!
There were many more people who I would have loved to have chatted with, but more often than not their tables were packed with fans! It is great to see so many creators getting the recognition they deserve.
It was not all social, I also did a bit of shopping. I picked up Lady Excelsior Presents the Best of Tragedy Series volumes 1 and 2 from Benjamin Dewey, Concrete Martians by Mitch Cook and Keith Grachow, and The God Within by Walter and John Garre. The three represent just a small fraction of the self-published books available at this year’s show.
I would like to acknowledge and applaud Emerald City for their cosplay policy this year, specifically their policy on cosplayer harassment. Throughout the convention center there is signage which specifically states that “Cosplay is not consent.” It explains the policies of the convention as well as who to speak to if there is harassment of cosplayers. This same language and graphic is prominently displayed in the convention guide given to all attendees. Hopefully this kind of direct statement of policy will curb the problem.
A few other cosplay observations: The makeup of this year’s cosplay crowd is a bit different than in year’s past. The number of Homestuck cosplayers has decreased by over two-thirds, even with Andrew Hussie in attendance. There are a lot of Waldo cosplayers. I counted six. While that may not seem like that many, there were more Waldo’s than Homestucks. There have not been any zombies this year. Nor has there been a Pyramid Head, Doctor’s companions, Weeping Angels, or blackface Geordi La Forge (thankfully). There was, however, an impressive Patriot cosplay, and the obligatory male LeeLoo.
Tomorrow is a new day and we will be back for more fun and adventure. And, in case you have missed our announcement about it (how could you?) I am moderating the Self-Publish or Perish panel tomorrow at 5:40 pm in Hall D (Rooms 602-603) with Becky Cloonan, Richard and Wendy Pini, Jeff Smith, and Chris Roberson.
See you at the Con!