Monday, April 2, 2012

I Survived 2 Days at the Emerald City Comic Con!

Just two weeks after my trip to Wondercon in Anaheim, I found myself gearing up for our local annual comic convention, the Emerald City Comic Con, right here is scenic Seattle WA.

I was really looking forward to this convention because this is my go-to con that I have attended every year for the past 6 years, and always delivers when it comes to good old fashioned comic convention fun; rooting through comic boxes, hunting for classic toys and taking pics of tons of costumed attendees.

This year I tackled two days of the con (usually just going on Saturday in the past), and boy am I glad I did, because Saturday at the con was so unbelievably packed with attendees, that after battling the crowded aisle after just a few short hours, I had to admit defeat and just leave. I had never seen so many people at this convention, and although this was indicative of the rising popularity of geek culture, it just made for a claustrophobic maelstrom of sweating, grouchy humanity and where I usually stayed until the end of day at 7:00, I was jumping ship by 3:00.

I can't stress enough how unbelievable it was. The aisles were transformed into a slowly shuffling sardine-packed mass of people. If you were fortunate enough to fight your way to a booth to look at some wares, good luck squeezing into the booth to get close enough to buy something.

The few hours that I did spend the3re did have some bright moments, and I did manage to meet some cool people, score a few treasures and get some cool pics. You can see the majority of my pics (unfortunately, I didn't get as many as I would have liked) in an ECCC 2012 Flickr set that I made. But here are a few highlights...

It was cool to see my friend Tony Fowler (from Backyard Legends) and the prototypes of their upcoming Prince of Crystal release (I already have their Emerald Dragonrider figure, seen on the right, and still love it dearly)...

I also think I may have officially kicked off my love for "artsy toys" when I spotted this adorable Sasquatch and lumberjack figure (which I did buy and will be dedicating a post to in the near future)...

I was so tempted to buy every single one of these hand-made superhero bunnies (or at least the Batman one), but at $50 each, that would have severely stretched my budget for this year. But, seriously, how adorable are these?

It's funny, this year I found myself hunting for toys and comics a lot less than I used to before I made a conscious effort to curtail my "amassing" and focus more on actual collecting, and now taking more time to just look and appreciate the myriad works f art around me, something I probably always should have been doing at comic cons. By taking it easy and calmly soaking it all in, instead of running around, wad of burning cash in my pocket, from one vendor booth to another, I was treated to countless feasts for the eyes, and sopping up the inspiration like gravy. Take this painting below by Justin Hillgrove. I never would have seen this if I had been too busy digging through long boxes...

Another unexpected treat was this massive Lego display going on in the main foyer before the registration room. I had no idea this was going on, so it was a nice surprise to stumble onto this. 

And, of course, it wouldn't be a comic book convention without the scores of people in costumes. I have to say that the costumes this year were fantastic. I'm posting a couple of my favorites below. I may just be in love with that Poison Ivy.

Of course, you can see the rest in my Flickr set. (I'm sure there's a couple of Harley Quinns for you, Stettmeier.) Again, I didn't get to take as many shots as I wanted because it was just too packed and difficult to find room for people to pose, and if I did manage to stop someone, ask for a pic, back up to get them all in, then I felt like a jerk for bottle-necking the flow of people who had to stop behind me, stop behind the costumed person and not walk in between the us just so I could get a picture of a girl in body paint holding a giant sword made of duct tape and cardboard.

All that having been said, I have say that I did end up going again on Sunday (Sorry I missed you, Jon K! I just saw your message when I got home last night!), because I thought it was time that my friend's son, Royce, who is 13 and turning out to be quite the budding artist, got to experience his very first comic convention.

Let me tell you, I was so glad that I went back on Sunday, because the difference was like night and day. The crowds were much thinner. There were areas in the aisles where I could have done a cartwheel and not hit anyone. Isn't was still busy, mind you, but just busy enough in that perfect way where you could easily maneuver your way around while still having enough people to feed off of that classic comic con buzz.

So, I went from mild disappointment on Saturday to jubilation on Sunday which all adds up to this being my favorite comic convention of them all. Yes, SDCC is massive and epic, and you know how I felt about Wondercon, but ECCC is my hometown convention, with that certain personal something that it will always have over other cons.

You can be jolly well sure that I'll go again next year, possibly even making my two-day trip a new tradition.

Oh, and you know I scored some killer comics (I love the cheap boxes!)...

... but that is another story...