March 6th, 2018

comic con // emerald city.

What’s the word for: “I am so sad ECCC is over that I already bought passes to SVCC?” Because, that.

Attending comic conventions is a rather new hobby of mine. When I lived in Texas, cons that actually showcased comics were few and far between. Mostly, they were anime or anime & sci-fi — but with an anime-heavy push — which is, unfortunately, not my fandom. I never felt included or represented at cons.

Last year, I attended both the Silicon Valley & San Francisco ComicCons and discovered a different breed of convention — one focused more on comics, art, creators, and cosplay. This year, I had the opportunity to attend Emerald City ComicCon, which my partner assured me was even more art focused. And, wow! ECCC was more than I could have imagined.

We had weekend passes, but were only able to attend two full days due to our work schedules. Also, I had never been to Seattle before — so that alone was pretty cool.

We arrived early Friday, meeting up with our friend who was in line for a David Tennant autograph. We stopped in for the “official” ECCC merch (I bought so many t-shirts!) because we were obviously going to need a bag for our haul — then, we decided to hit Artist Alley first, and hard. There were several artists of note that I wanted to get merch from, specifically things they weren’t going to be selling online, and I had pre-commissioned an original piece of artwork as well. I am glad we stopped by Artist Alley on the first day, because I went a little crazy and ended up commissioning two more original works of my D&D character, Osiria — receiving these beautiful pieces from artists I admire ended up being the highlight of the entire con for me!

(Art by Jack T. Cole & Katie Longua)

A few other first day highlights: we played Kirby Star Allies for the Switch and it’s crazy fun, I wore my “Crit the Patriarchy” shirt and received a load of compliments — said compliments also inadvertently led me to purchasing some D20 earrings to match, Brad got to meet Stan Sakai (author of Usagi Yojimbo), we sat in on a Critical Roll panel (where there was a fan proposal during the q&a!?), and we tried out the ECCC exclusive brews in the biergarten (yeah, there’s a biergarten). After a couple of ciders, I ran into the Copic marker booth and sang an angelic: “ahhhhhaaaahhh!” which was immediately reciprocated by a booth worker — cons are filled with other dorks and I love it. In the end, I successfully limited myself to five markers, and we all went out for margaritas.

Saturday was a lot more crowded, which was exciting for all the cosplay watching, but definitely increased the difficulty level in navigating the Show Floor. That didn’t stop me! My major goal for the day was to get the first Liveship Traders book signed by Robin Hobb. I have been to a few fantasy literature conventions and I have never seen her signing — so, let’s just say my excitement level was such that I was the literal first person in line. Our interaction was brief, but perfect:

Me: “I loved this book [Ship of Magic] so much, I read it in college and it’s still my favorite.”
RH: “I had so much fun writing it.”
Me: “It was one of the first fantasy books I read with a female protagonist. A lot of male readers have told me they couldn’t get into it for that reason, but it made me really happy.”
RH: “Well, there are other books for them.”

Afterward, our triumvirate had lunch at Mod Pizza with all the cosplayers and I made my way over to Vault Comics (my favorite publisher, at the moment) and ended up spontaneously meeting the creators of Zojaqan (my favorite comic, at the moment) who signed a first issue for me! I didn’t fangirl too hard, and they seemed genuinely happy to meet a fan — the fan / creator interaction is my favorite thing about cons and our mutually enthusiastic interchange just served to underscore that. I also made my most hilarious purchases on Saturday — a Dwight Schrute Lying Cat by Zak Kinsella (which, if you know me, is the peak of two of my fandoms and I also happened to be wearing a Lying Cat shirt that day) and a “Kylo Ren is a Punk Bitch” t-shirt (ugh, I hate the new Star Wars movies so much).

We ended the day with one more trip to the biergarten and a series of photos in the Dark Horse Comics photobooth (sidenote: their props inspired me to attempt my own horned flower crown for Silicon Valley in April — I am going to pretend to be a Tiefling) right as the floor was closing. It was a perfect end to a perfect con and I can’t wait to go back next year. Also, this four day respite was a good reminder to take time for myself and my hobbies because I came back to work in the best mood I have been in for weeks.