Jesse James writes;
I usually don’t think of a Convention until a couple weeks out. Usually, I’m looking to see what the weather is going to be like so I know what type of clothes I need to wear. However, there is one Con I think of constantly throughout the year. Everyday I get my notice on Facebook about something going on at this Con and my calendar is riddled with slashes counting the days to my favorite party of the year. It’s in my old stomping grounds of Seattle and its called Emerald City Comicon.
This year though, it threw us a nice twist. Most people have been writing about how its gotten so much bigger. I really don’t care if a Convention gets bigger though. I care if it gets Better. I don’t care if a Convention has 6 floors of cool things to do. I care if there is space to enjoy the things that they are promoting. ECCC had it all. They didn’t under deliver on any of their promises to make this a con for the fans not to just enjoy but to remember for years to come.
Now in all honesty for someone who has gone to a lot of ECCC’s I wasn’t ready for the floor change. In fact I was lost for the first hour. I couldn’t figure out why the floor plan wasn’t making any sense to me until I realized I was totally in a new room. Once I got to hall D I was ready to roll.
Now, the first thing I Love about ECCC is Cosplay central. In fact, I think its the best in the world. However to my dismay they had decided to put something different there this year. Now, I don’t mind if its something that impacts the fan experience but in this case I have no idea what was in the middle of the floor. In respect to ECCC no one seemed to care about the setup. However, Cosplayers being who they are found ways around it and made sure they had their just due. I spent half my time hanging in the make shift Cossie areas checking out some great costumes and awesome Cosplayers playing the part. I’m hoping that ECCC decides to give this area back to the Cosplayers its one of the things that got them to the dance and is part of their history and culture.
Now ECCC decided to split their publishers into two rooms. This is something I’m glad to see a Con finally do. Just like Malls across America, they put publishers in both rooms nicely spread out. This makes the fans walk around more and gives the other vendors more opportunity to show their goods to more fans. It also keeps lines from bumping into each other. The other benefits are it gives you landmarks for when your walking around to figure out where you are at. This was a very nice move on the con and all the publishers I talked to liked the spacing between their competitors.
As usually Boom studios was the big boy on campus. This seems to be a stronghold for them and I really don’t see any of the other publishers taking that spot away from them. Publishers like Avatar, Valiant and Image really brought their “A’ game to this con as well. Companies like Zenescope, Big Dog Ink and Aspen continued to build their fan base at this con with some very cool Variants.
DC was also there. I was very surprised to see a very small booth area for this powerhouse. However, their talent changed that as the lines made you forget how small their space was. I talked to Dan DiDio for a couple of minutes. He was upbeat and was very excited to get to April with some new launches they have planned. He was also excited to see that their variants were doing well on the market.
Artist alley was a little different with so many artist strung out in two different rooms. It was a maze within a maze. I really think that artist alley should be all together in one area. With so many genres and creative styles it was really hard to be in that Indy mood all the time. I found myself getting excited on one side but getting uninterested on the other side.
Of course creators like Greg Horn and Brian Pulido just seemed to be on fire the whole show. It was just hard to gauge who was busy and who wasn’t though with the split of talent. Some of my favorite artist Neal Adams and Wendi Pini were on separate sides and seemed to be enjoying their stay at the con. I talked to many Creators and everybody seemed to be really having a great time. Many, like Brian and Kristy Miller of Hi-Fi found themselves almost sold out of product on Saturday.
Now I never really figured out what the bottom floor was suppose to be this year. In the past it was for media. It looked like it was for many alternative genres. I really didn’t stay down there that long and I’m hoping next year its more of a defined area.
The traffic on the floor was well spread out and really there was no issues about getting to one area to the next. Since I’m not a programming or media guest fan this show really allowed me to explore and have fun seeing many new creators and really some nice art.
In the Golden age and Silver age world their seemed to be a major gap in the previous year shows. There wasn’t that “Hit it out of the ball park” type vendors this year. In fact, there was no buzz at all that I’m so accustomed to year after year. Though this part of the con pushes out the least amount of comics, its average sale out ways volume with quality of product. I’m hoping this year was just a minor setback and will come back strong in 2014. You can gauge a con by its quality of its vintage sellers on the floor.
So did I like ECCC this year compared to the previous years? Yes of Course, in fact its probably in my top five cons of all time. However, I really think that if they just work on some of their culture, that they have built in the past years, and stay the course the following years can be in the top 2 or 3 spots for my 30+ years going to cons.
This convention I would recommend to everybody out there in the comic book universe. Don’t worry about the weather and the rain. You wont even know about it till you get back home. ECCC keeps you that busy the whole time your there. In fact once you go, they keep you busy the whole year social networking and making you count down the days on your calender to the 2014 show.
As usually I want to thank ECCC for another great year of hard work and taking care of me in 2013.