By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Emerald City Comic Con is in full swing and to make the most of the show means strategizing. Honestly, there’s no fun in that, but when some are only attending for a day than all four, to soak in everything is nigh impossible. This event requires at least two days, and whether that’s to shop till you drop, attend industry panels or meet fellow fans or the cast of your favourite television show, planning is required.
Four years ago, I wrote a survival guide to how to best navigate Emerald City Comic Con. Lots have changed since then and that article is a lengthy read. This show will only become bigger and have attendees confused in where to go for specific events. Not everything is happening at the Washington State Convention Center. Thankfully, the major panels will be streamed by SyFy WIRE and become available on YouTube at a later time.
Some points from my lengthy article are still relevant but a revision is in order. Offered in point form are my notes on how to tame, not train, Emerald City Comic Con. These suggestions also apply to any other convention one wishes to attend, as they all share a similar experience.
- A Terrific Pair of Hiking Shoes (& moisture wicking day socks) – Expect to do a lot more walking this year. I wear Merrell and Keen. With half the show moved to another building three blocks away, a lot of back and forth will happen. Bonus: for those not used to walking lots, Lush makes a terrific foot soak and offers a cream to relax those weary feet.
- Showing up 30-min early and Waiting – The celebrity panels are going to be packed. With most of the cast from Stranger Things, Boys Meets World and Critical Role here, a lot of fans will want to have a good view or be close.
- Staying Hydrated – A water bottle will do and the Washington State Convention Center has plenty of outlets to refill. Those who sweat a lot may want to consider is to bring electrolyte sachets or a battery operated mini-fan.
- Bring your own Bag – Yes, a lot of vendors will have large ones to offer, but they are not designed to carry a lot and the strap will break. I use an army grade messenger bag myself.
- Cold-busting Medication / Hand sanitizers – Nobody likes to develop con crud afterwards. There’ are plenty of immune boosters out there in capsule form to tame the germs. Some opt for Emergen-C, I prefer Zinc tablets and Astragalus Root. You can visit natural health stores to obtain the latter.
For the veteran convention-goer, I recommend these following products. There will be lots of things to buy this year and staying organized can be challenging. With security beefed up because of problems reported at other shows, having some items neatly grouped together will make their job easier.
- An Itoya Art Portfolio to sleeve all your photographs, signed comic books and autographs in. Posters require a tube, and I find the collapsible version is perfect to handle prints of all sizes.
- A neck wallet for holding your convention badge, money, business cards and sunglasses! To have everything together in one spot makes pulling out that one important item is easier than fumbling through coat pockets. This problem is especially true for cosplayers when they have not considered adding secret pockets to them. Plus, it can hold cell phones!
- Not all vendors will take a credit card, but when it’s available signing your name with a finger in those touch windows is tough. Carrying a dual-purpose writing instrument helps. Bic Tech has Cristal, a 2 in 1 pen/stylus, and can be found at Target or other stationery outlets.
I visited most of these places and when craving hits, I will revisit. These operations are relatively inexpensive and are close to the con or the hotel you are staying in:
- Blue C. Sushi – Select what you want (a little or a lot) via conveyer belt!
- Blue Water Taco Grill – Great breakfast burritos!
- La Creperie Voila – Need breakfast on the go? If you’re willing to wait since they are right in front of the convention centre, this place does the job.
- Biscuit Bitch – I find their meals fuels me up for half the day.
- Mezcaleria Oaxaca – for a taste of better Mexican, this place is tops!
- Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya – on a cold night, their dishes will warm you right up!
- Matt’s in the Market
- Pokeworks – Fans of Poke will want to make a stop here, and not deal with Pikachu
For the non-budget conscious or adventurous spirit, I recommend:
- Kedai Makan – Fried spicey frog legs or pigs tail. ‘Nuff said!
- Crab Pot – Love crab? They’ll serve it you by the bucket load!
- Wild Ginger – Vegetarian options! And terrific cocktails.
- Maneki Sushi – this diner is located in the International district and has offers the best sea urchin in Seattle!
Interested in hearing what I’ll be up to during ECCC? I will be tweeting as much as I can from my personal page. My handle is @Edohotep