Emerald City Comic Con: Safety First

Codex purchased tickets long ago for the Emerald City Comic Con, held last weekend in Seattle. We loaded up the family vehicle, packed a reluctant Glyph into the back seat, and drove in to the big city on Saturday. Sadly, our tickets were for Sunday only.

Codex thought she could assuage us with a delicious and forbidden Tiramisu, and it mostly worked. I’ll not mention this little snafu further.

Basic Stats
Last year ECCC had 80,000 attendees and this year it was sold out. Official figures haven’t been released yet. This compares with 130,000 at San Diego Comic Con and a pathetic 5,000 at Sasquan, which had the largest  attendance for a World Science Fiction Convention since 2006. Since we were there too, we can give a first-hand comparison of the two.

Compared to Sasquan, Artist Alley was huge; panels were exhaustive; and vendor areas were overflowing. I spoke to several tired but happy retailers on Sunday who all suffered from the same problem: they were running out of merchandise. Many were selling comics, but there were lots of games, books, clothing items, prints, toys, and art suppliers. The shelves in the oversized Copic pen booth were practically empty when we got there. Thank goodness; Codex spent a small fortune as it was.

There were people of most age groups, from infants to us old folks at 50. Yes, that’s right. I hardly noticed anyone older than that. Apparently the don’t-trust-anyone-over-70 crowd attend WorldCon. The restaurants were much less crowded in Spokane. Lots and lots of twenty-somethings. Tons of people wore costumes.

Cosplay
Cosplayers were out in force, even on Sunday. The costumes were impressive, too, with only a handful that stuck out as “bad”. The slutwear that seems to have taken over Halloween does not appear to be taking hold in the convention world.

On the other hand, gender-reversals were fairly common. The women dressed as male characters, or versions of male characters, were far more numerous and the costumes more impressive. After reflection and observation, I think this was because they weren’t trying to be men. It sounds weird to type that out. Basically, they didn’t hide their femininity behind the costume. As a result, a lot of the outfits were quite well-done.

The few men who wore women’s costumes looked ridiculous. One Wonder Woman’s corset kept slipping down to reveal man-boobs. I think I noticed three others, but don’t remember the characters they were trying to be. None looked comfortable. They had either been duped by feminist indoctrination or they were experimenting with an alternate lifestyle. It’s Seattle. It may simply have been their street clothes.

For the record, this guy was Manly. He simply dripped with testosterone and played the part of assassin well.

Assassin's_creed
And that’s why Glyph is the official Tempest in a Teardrop photographer and I am not.

The guy dressed in the leotard with no attempt to hide anything in the belt region was not. Picture not included. You’re welcome.

Safety
ECCC felt completely safe. Maybe it was because we only attended during the day. Maybe it was because there were security personnel everywhere we went. Maybe it was because the Black Lives Matter and Bernie protestors crashed the Mariners game at the other end of town. My own theory is simple: Seattle is not Chicago.

It certainly wasn’t because of these signs, located everywhere:

Cosplay_not_consent
Quizzer <– Not Official Blog Photographer

That isn’t to say we actually were safe, however. The Sunday badge, which we are still recovering from, featured a panel from a horror comic with a woman about to be assaulted! We’re sharing in the hope that one of our readers will be able to offer us words of comfort.

ECC BadgeThe convention people were very nice in that you could exchange the problematic badge for a non-problematic version. Frankly, duct tape for the eyeball region and bubble wrap cocoons would have been better for everyone.

Panels
The vast majority of the panels were what you’d expect. Lots of fan appreciation discussions. Lots of how-to stuff. There were tracks for children, tracks for professionals, tracks for gaming, books, animation, television, and more.

We attended one panel: how to represent time and space in a comic book. Despite being filled with SJW nomenclature and tropes, it contained a bunch of useful tips and tricks. We’ll probably start incorporating some of them.

Then there were the Diversity and Women in Comics tracks.

Throughout the four days of the convention, you could have attended talks on Loving What You Hate: How to Engage with Problematic Media, Hard to Swallow: Gay Comics at their Best, The Future Is Now: Better Comics Through Diversity, Embracing Body Diversity in Comics and fourteen total Women in Comics panels.

The Women in Comics panels covered things like selling, working with licensed franchises, coloring, and lettering. You know, stuff that people generally interested in making comic books might be interested in. You know, all people. Whether women, those who claim to be women, women who claim to no longer be women, or, for Grabthar’s sake, men.

Not that feminists are sexist in any way.

Sadly, I valued my sanity far too much to attend any of these panels. I’m sure you can do something else to remove brain cells in lieu of an exhaustive review. Be culturally sensitive: make sure it involves tequila.

Conclusion
All-in-all ECCC was an interesting experience from a professional point of view, even if it wasn’t an entirely enjoyable one. We were there to work. Codex talked to a lot of professionals schmoozing for handouts and guest speakers for her (actual, paying) job. I went to observe and write.

At no point during the day, when Codex volunteered at a booth for a couple hours, was The Cheesecake Factory visited. I mean, right outside a comic book convention? It would take you twenty-two minutes to get a table, eighteen minutes for a pizza to arrive, and twelve minutes to eat and message your missing family member that you were bringing leftovers for her to munch on. There would no time left to order and devour a piece of Kahlua Cheesecake before reuniting with your family.

And we don’t have the photographic evidence to prove it. Mostly because I  took the pictures.

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