The Glitz and Glamour of Emerald City ComiCon
There I was, standing in line at the concessions stand. I hadn’t had anything to eat the entire day, had stayed out way passed my bedtime the previous night, and now was suffering the consequences. A buddy of mine had called me at 9:00am to wake me up, excited about going to this convention for the very first time in his life. Now, 9:00am isn’t exactly the crack of dawn, but when you go to bed around 6:00am that morning, it can be a little tough. But that didn’t deter my enthusiasm for being there. Emerald City Comicon is one of the biggest conventions the Pacific Northwest has during the year, attracting thousands of geeks and nerds out of their parents’ basements, dressed to the nines in their most detailed and extravagant costumes, ready to mix and mingle with their fellow peeps regarding everything in the world of comic books, video games, and sci-fi film and television. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that people can be as passionate about something as these people are; I read comics as a kid but unfortunately not as much now a days. I think events like the ECCC are great and lots of fun, but at that particular moment all I wanted was a bag of peanut M&Ms and a soda.
As I stood in line, behind someone dressed in what I believe was a Sailor Moon outfit, I heard two girls near me talking excitedly.
“What time is Felicia Day going to talk?” one asked.
“Their panel is going to start in ten minutes in hall 4A!” the other one exclaimed loudly.
“We better go and get some good seats!” the other almost shouted, and off they ran down the hallway. I turned to Sailor and asked, “Excuse me. Who’s Felicia Day?” to which she responded, “She’s on The Guild.” It took her about five seconds to realize I had no idea what she was talking about. “Umm, she was on Buffy the Vampire Slayer?” “Ohhhhhh,” I responded. I was definitely out of my element.
I grabbed my peanut M&Ms and soda and made way back to the main floor. If you’ve never been to the Seattle Convention Center, I’ll tell you this: it is huge. You take two or three escalators to the fourth floor, hang a left, walk across a sky bridge, and enter a room that could be the size of a hanger bay. Inside the room were dozens upon dozens of booths and stalls with people selling and displaying everything from vintage comic books to priceless toys that have yet to be taken out of their packaging. On the outside rim of the room were comic book artists and writers from all over the country, with their work out for everyone to see, and even buy, if the customers are willing to lay down the appropriate funds. And everywhere, and I mean everywhere, were people of all ages, sizes, and shapes dressed in costume and taking pictures with just about anyone. I walked into the main entrance and was met by a sea of people. I looked around, trying to see where my friend had ended up. I veered right, dodging someone dressed as Gambit from X-Men, took a left where a Gundam character was taking pictures with some children, and made my way to the other side of the room, where my friend was buying a piece from an artist.
“I don’t know what to get,” he said, “should I have him draw Wolverine or Ryu from Street Fighter?”
“Either is good,” I answered, “we should get going soon. There’s a bunch of booths I want to check out and the panel I want to go to is up in a few hours.” My friend finally decided on Ryu, and told the artist that we would be back to pick it up.
We made our way around, checking out all the sights and sounds of the convention. Like I mentioned earlier, I definitely felt a little out of place, as I haven’t followed comic books seriously since I was about, oh, thirteen. But that didn’t matter. I was having a good time; it’s not everyday you get to see the awesome spectacle that is Comicon. We shuffled our way around, me occasionally throwing an M&M in my mouth and smiling at just about all the cool stuff, while my friend took an ungodly amount of pictures with his brand new SLR. “Hey look,” he said, “there’s some guy dressed up as a red ninja!” “That’s Deadpool,” I responded, as I moved my friend out of the way as The Predator walked by with a Snickers bar in his hand.