March 17, 2013

Emerald City Comic Con

I attend comic book conventions.
I can add a "s" to the end of convention because I have now been to two: Emerald City Comic Con (Seattle) was SOO much bigger than C2E2 (Chicago) and a bit more overwhelming. In a good way.

If you haven't been to one, heard of one, or have a negative perception of comic-cons, then let me enlighten you. There is a huge room filled with booths in which you can purchase just about anything that has to do with any comic-book, science fiction movie, horror film, and fantasy novel- from action figures to zombie stickers, you'll find it there. 

There is another room called Artist's Alley in which you can meet/buy stuff from writers and/or artists and buy original creations by people that have no official affiliation with a publishing company (the legality of such purchases is overlooked). There are panels at certain times that highlight famous people, interesting ideas, and educational lessons on the booming comic-book industry. 

Then there are the con-goers. Hundreds upon hundreds of them. Emerald City was very crowded with unique people that are really fun to observe. And take pictures with.
This picture makes me happy. Look how happy I am....sigh...
Here's why I go to cons and will keep going, no matter how crowded they get.
 (I've got pointy elbows. I'll make do).

1. Yes, it is a strange place, but I'm strange too. I fit right in.
This is where the nerds come out to play. It's a mixture of Halloween, a social meet-and-greet for socially awkward people, and the coolest comic book store with everything you could possibly buy from Geekdom.

People dress in costumes (I love creating and getting into costumes). For example, there are groups of zombies just wandering around (including Corey and I). If you can name a superhero, I could have found somebody in that costume at the con. Or a villain. Or a video game character. Or the City Guard from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. The little kids were the cutest by far. People ask to get pictures with people in costumes, and the people in costumes pose. That's part of the culture of a con. And it's spectacular. 

There was an equal ratio between male and female con-goers from what I could tell (take that all you geek chic haters!). There were about the same amount of boys/girls dressed up in costumes. However, since there is a lack of strong female characters in the comic book world that aren't wearing skin-tight-revealing-leotards, A LOT of women were dressed as male characters (see number 4 below). I saw one guy dressed as the princess' stunt man from the Mario video game, but that was it (great costume by the way).

Not everybody is in costume. The great majority of people are normal looking, with a broad variety of body shapes, skin colors and ethnic groups- there are nerds everywhere... It's just nice to be able to dress in costume on a day that isn't Halloween. Also, with the massive popularity of comic books being transformed into gleefully good movies, comic cons are becoming less uncouth and more crowded.

2. I am an English teacher. I like buying and sharing books. There were lots of books there. 

In short, I spent too much money. My students love me for it. Check out my blog post on graphic novel suggestions for a complete list of awesomeness if you want to expand your classroom library, have children, or are looking for some WONDERFUL reads yourself.  It was also great to talk with some of the actual artists/writers of these stories. I got some of my books signed. Totally wicked!

3. I experienced some interesting things 
(That guy in the awesome Thor costume was just one)
There are panels for celebrities to talk about their experiences on shows and movies that they have starred in/written/been awesome around, and they serve as manna from heaven for nerds who worship these actors/writers/performers. I could listen to Patrick Stewart talking about his audition for Star Trek forever... I also saw Gillian Anderson (she said 'um' a lot, but had some good stories), Christopher Lloyd (very calm and kind) and Will Wheaton (who was hilarious in an "I'm famous and over it" kind of way). 

No, that's not the real Christopher Lloyd, 
but signatures were $60, so this will have to do. 
I went to a great panel on raising a reader, went to a fall-to-the-ground-clutching-your-laughing-belly panel on Con Horror Stories, and accompanied my sister Corey to a few panels on how to publish stories, which were helpful and well run. The comic book industry may be hard to break into, but the creators are willing to help and give advice. It makes for a very welcoming atmosphere. 

Check out this amazing musical duo called Paul and Storm, who had me laughing for a solid hour. I even snorted once. It was mortifying.  Then I remembered where I was and got over it quickly.
I also made eye contact with a random guy while searching for Corey in the crowd, and he lifted up his badge which had "I'm single" written on it, then raised his eyebrows a couple times. In the manner of the school photographer who was trying to get you to look at the camera. Lesson number one- I shouldn't get separated from my sister (who tends to leave her phone on silent). Lesson number two- guys, don't wiggle your eye-brows like Mexican jumping beans. It's very off-putting.

4. Corey wants to do this for a living.
My little sister is an amazingly talented story teller- she's witty and artistic and driven (which is everything you need to be a sequential artist- translation: comic-book creator). It was great to be there with her, getting ideas for a booth for next year's Emerald City Comic Con (fingers crossed!), and watching her fill up with inspiration, ideas and excitement. And, to end this post with the most awesome story, I will share one of Corey's quick, weekly web-comics. This was my FAVORITE moment from the con. I'm still giggling about it...
Loki is her favorite. Thor is mine. We are very different.
You can bet your bottom dollar that really happened.


  1. Can I just say I love your blog? LOVE IT.

  2. Also, we may like different Asgard gods; but, I'll never try and take over the world and destroy New York because of daddy issues. Though, I still want to wear that ridiculous helmet.

  3. Fantastic! However, as a fellow geek, I must correct you on the term "nerd". Nerds are uncool, awkward etc. However, you can "geek-out" about anything, be it beer or boardgames (my husband falls into the geek category of both ;) ).Honestly, there were probably both at the Con...that sounds about right... I love Cor's comic, and the story makes me laugh every time I think about it too! LOVE you Sis, and love your blog.

  4. And I say- let's take back the term and make it awesome. I will shout it from the roof-tops, I will scale a mountain and proclaim, "I am a nerd and proud of it!" Or, I could type it quite calmly from my computer.