Guess where I was yesterday? 😉
Emerald City Comic Con is quite an event. I haven’t been to a ton of conventions in my life, but I’m not an amateur either. Many years ago I went to PAX East and met members of my kinship from Lord of the Rings Online in person for the first time; I lived in Colorado at the time, and some of them came to the con in Boston from Montreal and New York City. What a great experience that was!
Despite living in the Seattle area for about ten years now, I haven’t actually made it to PAX West, where the con started yet. I also went to FanimeCon in San Jose, again many years ago, and I went to a few fantasy/writing cons in Denver back in the day. Most recently, I’ve been to Emerald City for the last couple of years.
And boy is this con growing. Last year we managed to find street parking a couple of blocks away (my buddies and I go on Thursday to try and avoid the bulk of the crowd), but this year we drove around for forty five minutes before finally finding a garage over six blocks away from the convention center. Parking in Seattle is always hard, granted, but this was pretty exceptional.
Once we got in, the con was even bigger than I remembered. They dedicated an entire floor to cosplay, including a changing room, backdrops to take pictures in front of . . . there was even a repair station! Even though it was Thursday afternoon, the cosplayers were certainly out, I saw some fantastic costumes.
There was a new MusicAlley, where the local nerd rock bands played live. There was The Hive, another whole floor for hands-on activities like Geeky Yoga and Lightsaber Training, and the League of Libations, where a bunch of local breweries and cideries brought their best for people to try and buy at the Beer Garden. There was lots of new stuff this year, as well as the normal photo ops, performances, signings, gaming rooms, panels, and workshops.
We didn’t actually get to almost any of that. Just getting through the Show Floor and Artist Alley, walking slowly and stopping occasionally, took over five hours. It’s enormous. Art, books, gaming supplies, games (video, board, card, etc), clothes, jewelry, crafts, one smart stand that sold snacks, and of course, comics. And more, I’m sure, because by the end all the awesome stuff I was seeing was swimming around in my head; I can’t possibly remember it all. For an afternoon on Thursday, it was busy, busier than last year. I can only imagine how crowded it is today and what it will be like over the weekend.
Emerald City is certainly an experience I recommend, if you’re into all things nerdy; there’s so much more going on that I haven’t even touched on, and there’s all kinds of amenities to make things comfortable and convenient. There’s a new Food Guide, on the ECCC website and the ECCC app, to help you find food inside and outside the convention center, quiet rooms in case you need a mental or physical health break from all the noise and chaos, a Family HQ with activities and performances for younger con goers . . . the map even shows where the designated UberEats pickup spot is!
But I’m telling you this for next year. Tickets go on sale months ahead of time and these days, they get snapped up pretty quick, though there are still tickets for a few events on sale, according to the website. If you want to do more than wander the Show Floor and occasionally buy something, like we did, you’ll need more than a one day pass, and those sell out fast. I’m told Ubers and similar services are more expensive when big events like this are on, but parking will be expensive, so the costs might end up about equal. Or, if you’re local, it might be a good idea to take the bus in, if you can. The event is certainly bigger than it was last year, and Emerald City Comic Con shows no signs of slowing down! All the better for those of us who love comics and games.
Here are some pictures I took while at ECCC yesterday. The title picture is the ECCC official program guide, my badge, and a couple of little gifts I picked up for BabyGMR.