Emerald City Comicon is the Northwest’s premiere pop culture convention. It keeps most of its focus around comics and is said that the founder wanted to model it around the East-coast’s successful Heroes Con. I have been every year since 2012 and I have to say that it does an excellent job melding worlds together and making it a con with something for everyone. I don’t typically go to any conventions for its TV or film presence, so ECCC is my favorite con of the year because of the comic talent it brings in. That being said, this is the first year that I did take advantage of the celebrity photo ops and autograph area to meet Hayley Atwell.
This year the celebrity area was on the 6th floor, which helped keep congestion and traffic around the con manageable. Hayley was only there on Friday, but other guests included Stan Lee, Clark Gregg, Steven Yuen, John Barrowman, Orlando Jones, and other great guests from various fandoms. The show also didn’t skimp when it came to great panels. One highlight was Clark Gregg joking about how his infamous “Destroyer” gun was to be known as “Baby.” Since he’s married to Jennifer Grey, best known for Dirty Dancing, he refused to call it that for fear of the countless memes there would be about him putting “Baby” in a corner.
Food was another improvement over previous years. There was a Food Truck Alley set up on the streets outside of the convention center. They had Thai food, BBQ, comfort food…again, something for everyone and tastier than the jacked up prices of the convention food. Definitely a life-saver around 2:00 pm when you feel like you could pass out from hunger.
The social scene and meeting new people with common interests is another big draw to the convention. They had meeting rooms set up on the 3rd floor with specific themes and times for people to hang out, get to know each other, and take a break. I think it was a great idea and fun for people who may be too shy to go up to strangers to have some way to break the ice. There was Sci-Fi Speed Dating on the same floor. I did not partake in the festivities this year, but am considering doing so next year for sh**s and giggles and to say that I have.
As far as my personal experience at this year’s con, I attended all three days for at least a couple of hours. Friday, I was in costume but only really spent time in the celebrity area to meet Miss Atwell.Saturday, I debuted a brand new costume and did the full day. I walked around and took pictures of the amazing cosplayers and picked up some original artwork I had commissioned prior to the show. I picked up Madder Red/Rasputin from Riley Rossmo, Crow from Nick Dragotta, Oppenheimer from Nick Pitarra, Zsasz from Shawn Crystal, X-23 from Eric Canete, and treated myself to TWO M.O.D.O.K. convention pieces, one with Walter White and one with Grimlock from Gabo and Ken Christiansen, respectively. Sunday, I dressed casually and said my last minute good byes to some friends, networked for future cons and interviews, and scored some free prints. Overall, it was another successful year and a ton of fun.
For 2016, con goers can expect their first big changes since being acquired by major con company ReedPOP in January. ECCC will take place over four days instead of its traditional three. The company hopes that this will make the convention more like its other major comic book events: New York Comic Con and Chicago’s C2E2. The 2016 edition of Emerald City will kick off on April 7of next year. See you at WonderCon this weekend.
Official Press Release
As thousands descend upon, Emerald City Comicon (ECCC), the biggest comic book and pop culture convention in the Pacific Northwest — ReedPOP, the world’s largest producer of pop culture events, announces that for the first time ECCC will expand to four jam-packed days in 2016. The expansion is sparked by growing consumer demand and sell-out crowds that have made the event a must-see calendar event of the year. ECCC 2016 will take place in downtown Seattle, Washington April 7-10.
ECCC 2015 features 200 hours of diverse, inclusive programming, including panels from the hottest writers and artists and some of the comic and entertainment worlds’ brightest voices. This year’s line-up includes the likes of Kevin Eastman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet, Captain Marvel), legendary comic creator Stan Lee, Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter, Captain America: The First Avenger), and John Barrowman (Arrow, Torchwood, Doctor Who). It also boasts the largest Artist Alley in the U.S. and an expanded Kids Area with Brick Nation, Clay Animation Network, and the 501st Legion.
ECCC, known for being a fan-oriented and comics-focused show, was founded by local comics retailer Jim Demonakos and opened to 2,500 fans its first year. Since then, attendance has grown steadily reaching a record 70,000 in 2014 and 80,000 in 2015! With new comic and celebrity guests each year, ECCC stands out in the industry as providing a unique experience with heart for fans of all ages. Additionally, ECCC has created a charity art book each year since 2009 –Monsters & Dames – that has raised over $75,000 for Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Demonakos had this to say about the expansion, “This was a tremendous year for us in terms of fan reaction. We sold out far quicker than we ever have in the past and want to expand to meet the demand of all those fans that are looking to experience ECCC. It’s a really unique and special show, and we’re excited to work alongside ReedPOP to help continue its growth.”
“After seeing the amazing response from fans and the opportunity to program even more in 2016 it became abundantly clear that we needed to add another day,” said Lance Fensterman, ReedPOP’s Global Senior Vice President. “We can’t wait to see what next year will bring.”
For more information on this year’s Emerald City Comicon please visit www.emeraldcitycomicon.com.
ReedPOP is a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions exclusively devoted to organizing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium brands in the pop culture world. ReedPOP is dedicated to celebrations of popular culture throughout the globe that transcend ordinary events by providing unique access and dynamic personal experiences. The ReedPOP portfolio includes: New York Comic Con (NYCC), Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime, East, South and Australia, Emerald City Comicon, BookCon, Oz Comic-Con, Comic Con India, Paris Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, TwitchCon, Shanghai Comic Convention and UFC Fan Expo. The staff at ReedPOP is a fan-based group of professionals uniquely qualified to serve those with whom they share a common passion. ReedPOP is focused on bringing its expertise and knowledge to world communities in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, India and Australia. (www.reedpop.com)