Thursday, April 3, 2014

Emerald City ComiCon 2014

Comic conventions always seem to provide a certain nostalgic feeling; seeing the vendors selling toys from your childhood, the cosplayers donning the garb of classic cartoon characters, the smell of pizza and hot dogs emanating throughout the convention center like lunch in a school cafeteria… Ah, it’s a great feeling, and it transports you back to a time when life was simple, carefree and fun.


Emerald City ComiCon (“ECCC”) has quickly become my favorite large-scale comic convention to attend because they seem to get the little things right, like separating the celebrities from the main floor to prevent bottlenecking and foot traffic stoppage. In addition, this show is a throwback to the ghost of comic conventions past, which features creativity, art and comic books as opposed to the media-centric conventions that have become popular and almost the norm. Although there was a smattering of celebrities thrown in to attract the casual fan, this show was mostly about art and comics.


ECCC is held at the Washington State Convention Center, which is a great venue with plenty of space for a show of this magnitude.








The show was completely sold out, which shows the popularity of this particular event.



Thankfully, a friend picked up a 3-day badge for me... and those lanyards were an extra $5.

On the first day, the lines to enter the main exhibit hall were massive.








There were several different floors within the center that all had different purposes, which served to separate various interests.




One section even had an area dedicated to Legos.








Once you entered the main floor, there were booths and exhibits galore with comic companies and artists representing and showing off their work.


























There was even a Tattoo parlor in the middle of the exhibit hall floor... and people were really getting tattoos!






The Sheraton across the street was completely dedicated to gaming… and it’s a good thing I ventured over there on the last day, because I would have spent the duration of the show playing classic arcade games.




Each individual room was specifically designated for a different genre. There was the classic arcades, which was my favorite.














A room for Magic the Gathering.




My Little Pony, believe it or not...




I couldn’t find the Yu-Gi-Oh! room, then again, I spent too much time playing Donkey Kong and didn’t wander around too much. Throughout the floor, they had a large lounge for gaming, which was really cool.




At ECCC this year, there was a “Cosplay is not consent” campaign, mostly for dirty old men and Pedobears.




Just because you see someone in costume, that doesn’t give you the right to grope them. I’ve even been groped by a couple of females while in costume. While I wasn’t completely repulsed, I was a bit shocked at the behavior and lack of restraint.


When you attend a comic convention, it helps to have an agenda, and my number one priority was to have books signed by various writers and artists. My plan was to take care of all the issue signings on the first day, then enjoy cosplay fun for the remainder of the show. Once we were allowed entry to the center, I headed for Mark Bagley's table first.








Then I headed to J. Scott Campbell’s booth, which was packed! Since he was doing a couple of sketches, the wait was over an hour for signatures.








I headed to Amanda Connor’s table next. She is such a sweetheart and a pleasure to talk to!



Right next to her was Jimmy Palmiotti.





I then hit up Red Lantern artist, Alessandro Vitti.






Then, asked Charles Soule to sign the Red Lantern books and my issue of Superman / Wonder Woman.






Afterwards, I moseyed on down to Brian Buccellato’s table.






Finally, I hit up Erik Larsen’s table.






I had gotten everything signed and my mission was a complete success! I was famished from carrying around what seemed like a few bricks in my backpack all day and needed to recharge. The pizza smelled great, so I decided to grab one and sit down for a spell. BIG mistake!




This was freshly-baked from the oven and was the most greasy, sloppy, vile, deliciously appetizing pizza I’ve ever had. When you’re starving, almost anything will taste good, but beware. When you start to get a little older, junk like this might not agree with you, and it most certainly did not agree with me later. When you attend a comic convention, EAT BREAKFAST! You’ll thank me for it.


After scraping myself off the floor from the effects of that slop disguised as pizza, I went upstairs to the celebrity area, which was organized and civil. No ticket nonsense, no wristbands, no lottery and no BS; just organized lines. I thought I was in Bizarro land. I was shocked!

There were snipers that made sure that you didn't take candid photos of the celebs without paying. If you even took out your camera, someone was on you like white on rice.
When I was younger, I had a MAD crush on Cree Summer from A Different World. She was a delight to meet. Her co-star, Jasmine Guy had a child with the same name as mine and it was their Birthday. It’s cool that they still keep in touch.




Day 1 was done, and it was a long ass day…




…and satisfying because I had gotten everything done and it was time for some cosplay fun!


Cosplaying is always the highlight of my convention experience. There’s no greater feeling than taking photos with adoring fans. I frequently hear people say, “I had to do a double-take because I thought you were really him!” I have a blast posing with fans.










Here, I’m posing with pro cosplayer extraordinaire Yaya Han. When I walked by her booth, she had a total fan girl moment and ran to grab her camera from her purse.




She was really sweet, and it was flattering to see a pro geek out over my cosplay. I spoke with her a bit and she told me that there will be a season 2 of Heroes of Cosplay. Sweet!


Most people say, “You should have red and blue pills with your outfit.” When I actually bring them out, people really lose their minds. It’s hilarious!






This babe was really cool. I was supposed to tag her on Facebook, but I can’t remember her name for the life of me. I remember her telling me that it was Oconella, and I tried searching for her, but nothing came up. Sorry, darlin’.








Here, I’m posing with lovely pro vixen, Soni Aralynn. She is so cool, and so incredibly sexy. We did a video together, but I can't post it because of a wardrobe malfunction of sorts.








These Flash cosplayers were awesome. The best part is one has a beard and one has boobs. This was my favorite photo from the convention.








I found Amanda Connor while in costume and she was cool enough to take a photo with me.




Same with artist Ed McGuiness.




...and J. Scott Campbell.




Mariedoll is the cutest, sweetest, little cosplayer ever! Got Mega Milk?










This Huntress was way cool!




Same with this group of hotties.






This babe is pro cosplayer Ani-Mia, I believe.




I get a kick out of doing the vs. poses as well.








We attended the Costume Contest, which was okay, but it would have been a bit nicer if they had some kind of performance with the show. Still it was fun and we took plenty of photos.





Zod was the eventual winner of the contest because of the articulation in his design, but I thought there were better, more creative outfits that should have won.


On Sunday night, there was an ECCC after party at Club Q that we decided to look into. It was your typical club stuff: loud, “boots and pants and boots and pants and boots and pants” house music, dancing, alcohol and drunk folks wandering about.


The guy in front that resembles Pee Wee Herman had a bit too much to drink and kept pestering people and the bouncer noticed and asked him to step outside. I never saw him after that. LOL! I shouldn’t laugh, but it was so darn funny! Handle your liquor, people! Don’t let it handle you!






I took a couple of people’s suggestions and created a Facebook fan page just for my convention exploits. When I attended New York ComicCon, the good people there knew who I was and referred to me as the "West Coast Morpheus", so I decided to run with that name. On this page, you will find all of my convention photos from the ECCC. Feel free to “like” the page, or if you have photos with me from the convention, feel free to post them.

As James Earl Jones would say, “Ah, it was the perfect end to a perfect trip.” I’m already looking more forward to going to this show next year than going to SDCC this year.


I picked up a few things for a couple of friends…




…and got a few mementos for myself.





This was honestly one of the most fun conventions I've ever attended. The perpetual Seattle rain couldn't even put a damper on this trip. I got all the signatures I wanted, had a blast cosplaying, met some really cool folks, helped out a couple of friends with exclusives and took plenty of photos during the trip.

I have to thank DJ, for booking the Hotel and making the arrangements, Mike for obtaining my 3-day badge and Belsheim for taking most of photos with me and other cosplayers iin addition to the photos at the costume contest. As always, I have to thank my wife Cherry for allowing me to abandon her for four days to attend this convention. I have the coolest wife on the planet!

Until next time!



I think I have finally found "the one" convention, and it's domiciled in Seattle.