So I spent last weekend in Seattle, Washington, at the 2013 Emerald City Comicon – and it was really cool! This was my first con, so of course I was really excited. (Hey, it just took me 40 years to finally attend a con – better late than never eh?) Anyway here are some of my thoughts, including highlights and lowlights, about the convention.
Highlight #1 – Mark Waid: There were loads of really cool people and things at the con, but the best part for me was meeting Mark Waid. He has been one of my favorite comic book writers since I read his Captain America series in the late 1990s, and his recent run on Daredevil only helped to seal the deal as my favorite writer. Sure, I only got to talk to him for a minute, but it was still cool! And as a bonus (and proof that I really did meet him) he signed my copy of Daredevil #19.
Highlight #2 – Ron Marz: Another writer whose work I really enjoy is Ron Marz – especially his Green Lantern run and work at CrossGen Comics. I asked him about his work at the ill fated CrossGen and he told me what I’d already read elsewhere (it was a great place to work, but ultimately they made bad business decisions) but it was totally fun hearing it from one of my favorite authors!
Highlight #3 – Buying Comics: I had a great chance to fill some holes in my comic book collection. I was able to complete my run of Walter Simonson’s Thor, and add several more issues to my run of mid-200s Amazing Spider-man. It was cool because I spent Saturday looking through many of the long boxes of back issues, and when I finally went back to make my purchases at the end of the con on Sunday afternoon I was pleasantly surprised to find some steep discounts! Score!
Highlight #4 – Larry Elmore: It was really fun listening to artist Larry Elmore talk about his early days at TSR in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Like a lot of comic fans I also enjoy role playing games, and I’ve always been a D&D guy. I remember Elmore’s work on the red box and some of his cover art as well. He is a great artist, and listening to him tell some fun stories was a blast!
Highlight #5 – Patrick Stewart: Finally, the last really cool item I want to talk about was the final panel featuring Sir Patrick Stewart. I am a big fan of Star Trek as well as the X-men movies, plus I think he is a great actor as well as an all around swell guy, so I was excited enough about his speech to stand in line for 45 minutes just to get pushed to the back of the room to stand for his hour long presentation! Oh well, it was totally worth it. He talked mostly about how he got the part of Captain Picard on Next Generation, but he also talked a bit about working on Dune and Excalibur. He shared a really funny story about not knowing who Sting was and the awkward (in retrospect anyway) conversation with him when they finally met! Ha! He actually thought Sting played in a “police band!” Anyway, what a classy guy and a fun speaker to listen to.
Lowlight #1 – Too Many People: So, being my first con I am not sure how others work, but there were a few things that I felt a tiny bit irritated about. First was just the amount of people at the con – especially on Saturday. The organizers had the sense to not sell any tickets at the door (because they were sold out) but it was still very crowded! Luckily I had a hotel room across the street which allowed me to take a break during peak hours and then go back when there was finally some breathing room. I’m sure the amount of people was nothing compared to San Diego Comicon, but I wish they had limited the tickets a little more nonetheless. I would be interested in hearing your experience with crowded cons.
Lowlight #2 – DC & Marvel’s Pathetic Efforts: The other thing that kind of ticked me off was the poor showing by DC and the no-show by Marvel. I felt this was a big enough con (15,000+ attendees) that the Big 2 should have made a more impressive showing. DC’s booth was small and mostly focused on Vertigo – I looked for just a moment and then continued on to bigger, cooler booths. And nothing from Marvel? What a crock – that pissed me off!
Anyway, overall I was really pleased with the Emerald City Comicon 2013. I don’t think I’ll go back anytime soon as there are some other cons I would like to attend first, but I would have no qualms recommending this one to other fans of comics and pop-culture. If you’re interested in going be sure to take a look at their web site. And if you attended please share your thoughts about it.