Hello all you convention goers, dreamers and cosplayers! This year marked the FIRST year that I, your cosplay savant, had the chance to partake of Emerald City Comicon.
About the Event
Emerald City Comicon, lovingly referred to by it’s adamant fans as “ECC”, takes place in down town Seattle at the Washington State Convention Center. Nestled between 8th and 7th Ave, this center is chalk full of panel rooms, event areas, small cafes and outdoor nature zones. Created with people in mind, it spans a city block (nearly) and stands four stories tall without it’s attached hotel (with the hotel space it’s six floors). ECC started 15 years ago with a small fan base as has grown to over 90,000 attendees. It’s growth, like many other older conventions, has overwhelmed its space and created interesting obstacles for the organizers of this large convention. Despite parking, food and walking space upsets I still managed to enjoy a great deal of this convention.
Vendor Hall and Artist Alley
I was blown away by the Vendor/Exhibitor hall at ECC. It was ENORMOUS! It literally took up 3/4 of the fourth floor. There were three separate areas when you entered via the main entrance off of the escalators. The one to the left hosted companies like Kaboom! Studios and Bungie. Passing through major publishers and game designers you could find yourself in the second section to the left which was chalk full of local, international and critically acclaimed companies (such as Weta Workshop). Wandering this enormous room took well over an hour.
To the right of the main entrance were a great deal of wearable merchandise dealers. I saw more hats, Pokemon shirts, super hero robes and anime styled stick on nails than I knew even existed in current markets. This room, much like the second to the left, was ALSO huge and required an hour to comfortably peruse.
Complaints aside they did have amazing artists and I picked up a really cute green Storm Trooper pin to go with my Magic Knight Rayearth cosplay because, why not?
This is one area I am quite contemptuous about. Twice the service in Seattle caused me to miss events due to a lackadaisical attitude towards polite, punctual and proper customer service. As someone coming from Phoenix I understand that a big event will delay service…but TWO AND A HALF HOURS?! For a SALAD and DRINK?! THAT is ridiculous. Seattle also seems to have a bit of a problem staffing their restaurants to meet large crowds. In addition to service delays there was the matter of a LACK of options in and around the convention itself. At other events, convention centers often bring in food trucks, outdoor stands and extra staff to manage high demand. This is something ECC needs to consider for their future events.
I LOVE cosplayers and I LOVE complimenting them on their work. So when I compliment a group and they turn away or they angrily huff at me I am left stunned. This happened CONSISTENTLY at ECC. I met some really nice cosplayers or some really mean…there was no gray area.
Now, for the cosplayers I met in Seattle who were polite: THANK YOU! YOU make this community great and YOU help draw crowds to events. Keep being you and keep spreading the joy that your character brings you.
In summary my experiences at ECC were often pleasant with a twinge of uncertainty. Most of the people I met had good hearts, good intentions and strove to make my experience the best. I suppose much of my disappointment comes from the fact this event is spoken of SO HIGHLY and yet…I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed. Yes, their exhibitors/vendors/artists are incredibly and yes, they do have a HUGE turn out but something was just missing. I am used to the camaraderie at other comicons and this one seemed distant…sort of withdrawn. It was almost as if I was looking through a window at the convention instead of attending it which is a really weird experience.
I would not deter others from attending this event. There is A LOT to see and plenty to do if you want to shop, meet celebrities and/or get autographs. I suppose I was just looking for something a little more interactive at this event (like a parade, some workshops or maybe even more meetups). Whatever I was missing may not be the same for others so I would definitely encourage you to visit Emerald City Comicon at least once. Ok…enough blabbering from me. How about a video? Oh yeah, let’s get to the fun stuff, shall we? Here is Emerald City Comicon 2017!