It’s the only place to find DC, Marvel, William Shatner, and James Masters all in the same building. That’s right, March is almost here, and with it one largest gathering of comic book fans – not to mention cosplayers, trekkies, Star Wars fans, gamers, etc – on the West Coast. The con gets bigger and better every year, with 2010 attendance pushing well over 20,000.
This year, ECC is going for three days, from March 4th-6th at the Convention Center on Pike St. There will be events, panels, VIP guests, and exhibitors galore. This con is a must-go for anyone in the Puget Sound area wanting to keep abreast of developments within the comic book industry. Many of the heavy weight publishers, not to mention some of the smaller ones, will be discussing their future plans at panels like DC Nation!, Marvel: Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way, and the Avatar Press Panel. There’s also going to be a number of independent panels talking about relatively new developments in the comic world like the LGBT Comics Panel and LIVE Webcomics Weekly. A full program guide can be found here, plus a list of exhibitors here.
As indicated above, there will also be a number of celebratory guests attending events and signing autographs. Among them are the greats of old like Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes, along with newer faces like Felicia Day of Guild fame and Jasika Nicole of Fringe. Then there are those who are a little harder to classify like John Noble and Will Wheaton. Mr. Noble’s had a lot of great roles over the years, but clearly Fringe is what’s really brought him into public awareness. Mr. Wheaton was… poorly received during his days on TNG (although that had more to do with writing than acting), but since then he’s gained a lot of attention for his excellent blogs. Plus, he never charges for an autograph!
Besides the large publishers, a number of local artists can be found in, appropriately enough, Artist Alley. This the place to go for those seeking start up and independent comics. I will actually be there for my webcomic: The Exiled (under The Door Mouse Tail), so I hope to see you all there. A full list of Artist Alley participants can be found here.
There will also be plenty of opportunities to just have fun. Fans of the Magic: the Gathering should be pleased to hear that there will be draft and sealed tournaments going for almost the entire convention. What’s more, a number of excellent films are showing, including the Star Wars spoof Black Star Warrior and a fan-made Firefly sequel Redemption. However, the crown jewel has to be the ECCC Masquerade, where fans will get to show off just how good their costumes are. For anyone looking to participate in the masquerade, registration is open until the 26th.
Emerald City Comicon’s doors open at 2:00pm on Friday March 4th, 2011, and tickets can be found here. With such a big crowd, there are sure to be lines, so always arrive early, both to the convention itself and the happenings within. Few events give Seattle residents the same chance to experience such a wealth of pop culture as ECC, and I hope to see you there.