I'm recently back from attending my first Emerald City Comicon and also my first trip to Seattle. I drank tons of coffee, froze, got rained on, looked at tons of fantastic art, saw friends, bought comics, went to panels - nothing iss quite like the first convention of the year. You're fresh, far from burnt out, and I was really just excited to be among crowds of my people again. Going to conventions and seeing pals is like being at home. The cozy, familiar, warm and fuzzy kind of home. Like what Bag End has to feel like.
I missed the first day of the show, but I attacked the exhibitor's hall with enthusiasm on Saturday. I overheard many people say the convention had doubled in size in comparison to last year, and it showed. The crowds were not insignificant. I was happy to notice artists' alley (which was split into two parts on opposite ends of the exhibit hall) seemed more crowded than the rows with the bigger comic book publishers and merch/t-shirt sellers. I got the vibe that the show put the emphasis on creators and that always pushes a convention into a happy area for me.
|Amethyst by Brianne Drouhard|
Since this wasn't a driving show for me, I resolved to keep my purchases small so that I wouldn't have to check luggage or worry about keeping art from being bent during travels. I checked out new stuff from artists I know and set my sights on finding new books and prints to treasure. I grabbed a couple of sketchbooks – one from James Silvani (along with some adorable Toothless art) and one from Brianne Drouhard. I got two books from Extracurricular Activities. I walked past their table and fell in love with their art style immediately. You can tell when something is a perfect match for your taste.
Other than wandering around, visiting friends, and taking pictures of talented cosplayers, I loved seeing Haxbee's exhibit of costumes from The Hunger Games. Everything was worn in the film, and I desperately wanted to steal Katniss' District 12 boots. I also joined a line to see a display of custom LEGO builds that included a huge Shire, a Borg cube, and the massive Hogwarts castle you may have seen online. It has over 400,000 bricks!
My lazy self only made it to a few panels: How to Talk to Geek Girls (because hey, I like geek girls and also some friends were on the panel), Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars in Comics, and another panel about looking past the target audience which discussed minorities in comics, video games, etc.
The only part that gave me pause was navigating the Washington State Trade Convention Center; it was a like a giant multi-level house where the floors didn't connect. I'm terrible with directions, and I unintentionally ended up downstairs in the arcade completely confused more than once. The vendor layout also seemed a little weird as I only accidentally found Larry Elmore's table - it was sort of hidden along with a handful of other vendors. It's only a small mark against an otherwise great convention though. I'd definitely attend Emerald City Comicon again sometime, and if all goes according to plan, I should be back in Seattle for GeekGirlCon in October.
Check out more of my pics from the convention here.