The Vintage Tempest’s 2018 Emerald City Comic Con Journal – News & Views

6 Mar


By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Emerald City Comic Con never fails to impress. I have attended over six and have always enjoyed being here. Twisted Toonz‘s zany shows featuring voice over talents playing iconic roles are always the highlight. With a floor dedicated to comic book talents and fiction writers, this area is the place to hang out. Those with a lot of merchandise to sell are located on the show floor. Here is where the shopping happens. At the Washington State Convention Center, a complete level for all things gaming related (from Pathfinder to Magic the Gathering) will keep the mainstream fan happy, and in another building altogether, LEGO!

It’s possible to take in this four-day show in two; to make the most of any event requires planning. I did the Friday/Saturday combo. For my first day, I got my essentials done. This meant getting autographs from a handful of comic book creators and hitting the Sheridan Hotel where all the celebrity opportunities happen; the people managing the lines are tops. The wait was minimal. I met David Tennant. My introduction to him was in BBC‘s Casanova and he does “crazy” very well, especially as Barty Jr., in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. My appreciation only grew upon hearing him lend his voice in works with side characters like Spitelout in How to Train Your Dragon and taking on the lead as Scrooge McDuck in the rebooted Ducktales. He is more than just Doctor Who, and I got my moment to ask him how did he like his stay in Victoria, BC. He said he loved it. Had Gracepoint been renewed, the chance of meeting him outside of a convention might be better. I like candid photos, but I did not want to miss this opportunity when this convention announced his appearance!

Attending this event is not just about quick moments with the guests (comic book creator, author, celebrity or otherwise), but also just being able to talk to them. I got to meet a variety. ECCC excels at offering a mix which includes fiction writers! One year, I’m hoping Neil Gaiman will appear.

On the television front, Felicia Day’s character in CW’s Supernatural died (twice). Some characters come back and others remain six feet under. For those who do, Day revealed she would want to be brought back by a magic and have the brothers come rescue her to complete the resurrection. She wondered about my sunglasses when I ask for photos and I said never like how my eyes look squinty. She is very sweet and her compliment to me made this year’s show memorable.

In all the years I’ve attended, I never managed to hit the fan meetups. Depending on the theme, the turnout and experience are variable. The Stargate one had leftover flyers to the Vancouver, BC event and the Marvel Cinematic Universe I went to was a letdown. I should have skipped the panel I was at to attend the former and perhaps reconnect with Darren Sumner of Gateworld.net. While offering space for specific fandom to meet is great, when there’s hardly any promotion for it, I’m not sure if this diversion is worth trying again.

At least with Robotech, the learn fandom is alive and well made me smile. It’s easy to see the people who grew up with this franchise remain enthusiastic. The Q&A revealed new model kits and where the state of the live-action film is at. Vice President of Harmony Gold (HG), Kevin McKeever was overwhelmingly positive in going forward even though the licensing is reverting back to the owners in 2021. He mentioned there are individuals within Sony Entertainment who are fans of the show and they want this product to happen. As for how soon, development has been slow. The stance on fan films lays in with how their contract is laid out with Tatsunoko, the owners/creators of the original works — Macross, Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada.

Switching over to the video game world, I was pleasantly surprised Nintendo was here. They are promoting their new Kirby Star Allies game. The learning curve is not too bad. This platformer is very enjoyable as a multiplayer game. In what’s unique is in how players can tag team to defeat bosses. While it’s not quite for me (I’m a hardcore Zelda fan), I did appreciate seeing this company here. All the major companies based in this State and involved in the popular culture media are present!

In another aspect of the show, I conversed with a representative of Steve Jackson Games. Their table is all about promoting Munchkin. Had their table had other products available to purchase, I have a list a mile long of products to put back into my collection. I had Car Wars Deluxe, but the box self-destructed. The new version is still in development and the goal is to bring it into miniature battles realm. The plan is to honour the original product design. Also, the role-playing game, Illuminati is in the pipeline to revisit.

I always enjoy wandering by the Weta Workshop (new to their Mini Epics line is Gandalf) and Dark Horse Comics booth to see what they have and who is signing each day. This year. Irene Koh, the illustrator for Legend of Korra, has her own table. Writer Richard Hamilton was present, and he said the third How to Train Your Dragon movie is in the test screening stage and is being tweaked. He worked with Dean DeBlois in developing the graphic novel series and the bulk of the work is handled by him. The next volume, Dragonvine, is coming early September.

He also revealed how close Guillermo del Toro is with managing the Trollhunters universe. He oversees everything pitched and notes are exchanged. Had del Toro had more time, Hamilton believes he would get more involved with comic books. One thought I put forth is by asking if Merlin will appear. This author said the hints are in The DreamWorks Trollhunters: A Brief Recapitulation of Troll Lore Volume 48. He knows what DreamWorks has in the pipeline and is most likely to continue co-authoring expansions with the upcoming 3 Below and Arcadia.

Back in the comic book front, Rasputin, The Voice of the Dragon #5 is coming out this week. I spoke with co-author Chris Roberson and he revealed more tales are planned to reveal how Rasputin develops as the Dragon. He’s not just the voice. This series is only a beginning. The narrative begins in 1941 and Hellboy was not summoned until 1945. Series creator Mike Mignola is not done with this mad monk yet.

These moments define the comic convention experience. These days, most of the big events with the big name celebrities are streamed and archived to view online to watch at any time. These shows should not be defined by them. They help raise interest in going but I feel when attendees explore the show floor, take on panels and interact with creators and fellow fans, to realize how different aspects are all intertwined makes the experience all the more worthwhile.

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