It has been almost four years since my last Con. Con, in this context, is a science fiction/fantasy/gaming/comic convention. This year, I went to one day of Emerald City ComicCon – Sunday. Sunday of cons is typically known as a more relaxed day – lots of vendors are trying to wrap up and sell as much product as they can so they have less to take back with them. My decision to attend on a Sunday was based off not wanting to go on Saturday and not being able to go on Friday.
My journey to Emerald City ComicCon (ECCC) began with a 5:00am wake-up to catch a 6:30am BoltBus to Seattle from Portland. I went to bed early enough the night before that I did not initially feel tired. I have a Star Trek costume top, but I elected to not wear it this year due to not having proper pants. Which I suppose is a bit of a pansy reason.
My bus ride consisted mostly of being really excited and catching up on TV shows. Once I arrived in Seattle, it was about 9:15. I walked from the stop to the convention center, just in time to get in line. I was pretty far into the line and, never having been through the convention center before, a bit lost pretty much right away.
While waiting in line, I was handed a convention program which held inside a special print of The Walking Dead #1 (good work, Image, now I want to read The Walking Dead) and a lanyard for the pass. This was the simplest lanyard I have seen, and I loved it. A lot of the higher education conferences I go to have these ridiculous, complicated name badges that are uncomfortable and I never want to wear for more than a couple hours. In contrast, I never even noticed I was wearing this pass.
Once I oriented myself, I went up to celebrities. Two of the autographs I wanted were Karen Gillan of Dr. Who fame and Karl Urban of, well, lots of fame. You may recognize him from Judge Dredd, Star Trek (’09 & ’13), Almost Human, or Lord of the Rings. By the time I got up there, their lines were already packed out.
I returned to the main area and started looking for the comic book autographs for the volumes I brought with me. Within an hour or so, I had the majority of them signed. I had a wonderful interaction with John Scalzi, author of Redshirts and Old Man’s War and Fuzzy Nation and lots of other wonderful things. I’m sure as a Person of Some Repute and Significant Note in the World, one gets lots of adoring fans telling lots of stories about the impact of their work and it is probably a bit awkward.
By the time I had many of my books autographed, I went back up for celebrity autographs. Two hours later, I had both Karen Gillan and Karl Urban’s autographs, as well as a handful of conversations with complete strangers about the potential value of Star Wars 7, the flaws of Episode 1, J.J. Abram’s handling of Star Trek and his apology for using lens flare, and favorite episodes of Dr. Who.
After waiting in line another hour for an autograph from Kelly Sue Deconnick, author of the current run of Captain Marvel, I had all the autographs I wanted for the day. I switched to primarily perusing for art for my apartment or office.
First up, I went to find Portland-based artist Benjamin Dewey who is nerdy and fantastic and has awesome Pacific Rim art. I bought a Pacific Rim poster for my office, and we chatted a bit. He was very nice, and he had a piece on display that I definitely want to buy in the next couple of months for hopefully obvious reasons.
Then I wandered, looking for the best things to catch my eye. The last time I went to a con, it was a “buy it now or the next con” sort of situation. So many things have changed in the last few years, and I can easily grab (and did get a few) business cards to look up artists on etsy and have a piece in my hands in a few days, without the hassle of carrying it home. This really changes the aesthetic of buying art at a con. I did find a cool dinosaur/Dr. Who mashup piece that I love and cannot wait to display.
All-in-all, I really enjoyed the con. I am hoping to be able to go for Friday and Saturday next year, and head down to Southern California for San Diego ComicCon. Who knows what will happen between now and then, but if all goes well, I will definitely be going to one day of Rose City ComicCon. Maybe I will even dress up?