Long Live Emerald City Comic Con

Originally published at: Long Live Emerald City Comic Con -

Author: Xavier Scudder

Conventions here and globally enrich our appreciation for the stories and characters we adore and allow us to foster connections with fellow fans. They remind us of the joy and community that arise from shared passions. There are many, from the mothership that is San Diego Comic-Con International to local-one-day signings offered at small shops and comic-card trading spaces. In Seatle, our biggie is the gem-colored beauty that is Emerald City Comic Con. When you visit their website, you’re greeted by the banner “Long Live Emerald City Comic Con!” Say less! Because even to this day it feels like droves of attendees are already anticipating next year’s con (March 6th-9th) as we have yet to calm down from this year entirely. From Feb 29th to March 3rd, this year’s ECCC was so eventful and jam-packed it had something for everyone to enjoy.

Since this is the second year in a row that the con was held in the new convention center, you can see how much more enjoyment con-goers had from past years, which were met with walking between multiple buildings attempting to make highly anticipated panels on time. The convention setup, spread across two buildings and cleverly designed to function as a cohesive unit, has markedly improved attendee satisfaction. Upon arrival, one building serves as the gateway where you pick up tickets and explore a selection of merch, while the main building—just a couple of blocks away—hosts the myriad activities essential for the whole con experience. The streamlined process extends to badge activation, an easy online procedure outlined on their website.

ECCC’s venue, towering five floors, is an emporium of sights, activities, and indulgences. For those venturing below, the basement offers additional merchants, presenting a treasure trove of hidden gems, exclusive swag, and souvenirs. The layout, although expansive, is navigable thanks to escalators, stairs, and elevators. It’s a reminder for first-timers to gear up with comfortable shoes and snacks (as onsite food can lean towards the pricier side) and to carry a sizeable bag for all your discoveries. Like many, I found the escalators the most efficient means of floor-to-floor travel, with stairs serving as a handy alternative.

Another brand new change this year is the introduction of digital tickets, which you can use if you still want to see the con and panels but can’t participate or are nervous about attending such a big event with many people. From what I gathered, it allowed you to see bits and pieces of the con, specifically focused on the big panels. The panels offered a diverse range, from celebrities sharing insights to everyday heroes opening up about their lives and imparting unexpected wisdom. Because of this, I hope all panels will have an even greater reach with this new digital access. It would be great for digital attendees to see con-goers walking the floor or posing in cosplay. Featuring Artist Alley, where artists from all over come to showcase what they have to offer, would be another way to bring a section of the con to virtual attendees.

As I reminisce on the cosplay themes and trends, you noticed popular characters from One Piece, Baldur’s Gate 3, Avatar the Last Airbender, Wednesday, My Hero Academia, and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth as they’ve all had incredible announcements and premiering leading up to this moment. There were also fan-favorite cosplays from IP and franchises such as Marvel, DC, Disney classics, Star Wars, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and so much more. Honestly, if I were to list all the characters I witnessed and got excited about, I would still be writing them down now.

Truthfully, cosplayers will always be my all-time favorite part of any convention, but especially ECCC. Seeing others around me express a different side of themselves always brings me joy. And if you’re asking me, I don’t think you can have an authentic con experience without cosplayers. It’s the social norm that if you’re at a con, you’ll see someone dressed as a character from your favorite show, movie, game, or even music video. The difference between someone in a costume and a cosplayer is the added level of theatrics to embody the character they are portraying. As a cosplayer myself, I can tell you this is no easy feat, and thus, it makes me appreciate the artistry even more.

Cosplaying has levels, from casual cosplay that only true fans may recognize due to the simplicity to being recognizable on the con floor to joining the cosplay contest. This year’s competition was filled with breathtaking cosplayers. For the unaffiliated, a cosplay contest is broken down into three categories, designed to show the audience the passion people put into their craft. It’s always astonishing to hear about the process of creating something so fantastic it’s hard to believe they made the cosplay displayed before you.

Some of those same cosplayers could meet who they were cosplaying, like the plethora of roles Chris Evans has embodied, from Lucas Lee from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World to Steve Rogers/Captain American in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. People were understandably excited about him being one of the main headliners. There were other incredible actors able to take part in the con, such as Ashley Greene, Billy Dee Williams, Christina Ricci, Christopher Lloyd, Dante Basco, and Elijah Wood. As you can see, the list continues to grow since there are so many to see. For me, Dante Basco was my favorite since he was the voice of my childhood.

Wrapping up my ECCC journey, it was precisely the remedy for anyone with that con-itch that only a true geek culture convention could scratch. ECCC provides for a rare expression of oneself, offers encounters with celebrities that make them feel as down-to-earth as anyone else, and leaves you with those “you just had to be there” memories. ECCC is a beacon for the geek culture community, providing that in the spirit of our opening cheer, ECCC will live long and prosper. Here’s to the stories, adventures, and connections that await us at the next ECCC. Until then, may the spirit of fandom unite us, reminding us of the incredible worlds we love and the community that makes them truly come to life.

Did you feel the thrill of ECCC 2024 or wish you had? Share your experiences or dreams of attending in the comments below! Whether you’re a seasoned con-goer or dreaming of your first time, we’d love to hear what moments you’re most excited about or memories that still make you smile.

Some Important Links:
Main ECCC page: https://www.emeraldcitycomiccon.com/en-us.html
Guest appearance page: https://www.emeraldcitycomiccon.com/en-us/guests.html
Where to buy tickets: https://www.emeraldcitycomiccon.com/en-us/buy/tickets.html
How to activate badges: https://www.emeraldcitycomiccon.com/en-us/activate-badge.html
(unofficial) Facebook group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/10637928253/
Where to download the app: ​​https://www.emeraldcitycomiccon.com/en-us/about/mobile-app.html