By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Emerald City Comic Con is the jewel of the Pacific Northwest pop culture scene, and this event will be big! Instead of adjoining buildings to host the many events happening, it’s spread out just a little. Folks coming to meet the many entertainment guests will have to walk a few blocks away to the Hyatt Regency Seattle hotel and back again. Not everyone knows of this change, and it may be to thin the crowds so congestion is not as bad.
Although tickets have sold out for most days, this year offers a breath of relief–more or less. Fans hoping to get a ticket last minute instead of buying from a scalper (still a problem with this event) can sign up at Lyte. Here, those unable to attend can sell.
When considering there are more than 150 comic book industry talents to ply their trade, the other third of the show deserves their own building. In the main venue, the Washington State Convention Center, the exhibitor’s hall and artists alley make up the heart and soul of this event. A few names to mention include Rob Liefeld (Deadpool), Bob Camp (Ren & Stimpy), Mike Grell (Green Arrow), Irene Koh (The Legend of Korra), Chris Roberson (iZombie), Tim Sale (Batman The Long Halloween). For a complete list, please visit this convention’s website here and the schedule is up. This event has a lot of panels to update fans on what’s coming and the meet and greets are special unto itself.
In the literary front, Greg Weisman is a talent who has crafted a lot of products for fans of any age to enjoy. Not only was he one of the many talents who created Disney’s Gargoyles but also he’s written his own YA, Rain of Ghosts. He’s also an ADR director. Fans love him for Young Justice, which finally has a third season! Rachel Cain (The Great Library) and Terry Brooks (The Shannara Chronicles) are just a sampling of this huge Writer’s block.
In addition to one of the Doctor’s appearing (Peter Calpadi replaces Matt Smith because of last-minute changes), Boys Meets World, Critical Role and Stranger Things are the highlight of this year’s show. Nearly the entire main cast is there in special reunions and to talk about fond memories. In the case of Stranger Things, it’s going to get weirder. Radio Times confirmed the date of July 4th for when this next season will play on Netflix. Those going to San Diego Comic-Con may well be beside themselves for what to do; stay in their hotel to view or attend that event instead. It all depends on how die-hard one wants to be for their favourite show or to meet the stars behind them.
Emerald City Comic Con is truly growing. Out of the many years I have been attending, I find screenings of new works rare. They happen. This year has AMC’s groundbreaking martial arts drama Into the Badlands and the premiere episode of the supernatural horror series NOS4A2 starring Zachary Quinto. Both will screen Saturday 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM and 2:45pm in room 611 of the WSCC. It will certainly keep me busy as I will cover all four days (You can follow my live tweets at @edohotep, cell phone signal permitting). I will reveal as much as I can with the Q&As (industry or celebrity) that I’ll be attending.
Twisted Toonz makes attending ECCC (or any other convention hosting them) a must because of the hilarity from the voice over talents. Anyone who loves comedy will be rolling in the aisles. Their YouTube channel captures only some magic of being there for real. In the past, they have done readings of the complete original Star Wars Trilogy, The Princess Bride (if only Fan Expo Van & ECCC teamed up, to have the original actors reprise their role would most likely have venue sold out and standing room only) and Beauty and the Beast (to name a few).
Yes, some events will be streamed, so not being able to attend is less of a blow. Personally, I thought I could go cold turkey for a year or two, but it is not happening. This event is king for a reason, and that’s because when something unexpected happens, it makes attending for that year all the more memorable. Terrific entertainment guests do factor into this equation, but that’s not why I feel I must return. I feel a stronger community vibe exists over other shows I’ve been to in the past 10+ years.
Photos are from Emerald City Comic Con’s website: